Lilly and Lucas – The End of The Love Story

 

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Lucas tried TexMex for the first time (my homemade enchiladas).

“How are you?” Lucas asked me.  Often.

“Well, let me tell you about this guy…” I would answer.  Often.

That’s just who I am.

When I finally got around to asking how he was, I would be humbled by the answer.

“At the hospital, doing dialysis.  I’m fine.  How’s Sally?” Lucas would redirect.

Why?  Because he’s a sweetheart.  Because he was truly, deeply, a self-less person.

I say, “was” because Lucas died on Wednesday.  That was yesterday; how is it that I heard the news over a day ago?  I’m still trying to process this.

Lucas and I only met in person once, in 2015, when he and Lilly visited Dallas.  They had a wedding reception to celebrate their love.  Lilly surprised us all by wearing her wedding dress; she had led us to believe that she didn’t have room in her suitcase for it!  Lucas hugged me like we were old friends; we had met on Skype, just like he had met Lilly.  We had messaged on Facebook.  Who cares that this was the first time that we stood face-to-face?  Lucas’s love wasn’t limited to people who were in the same room.

Lilly knew that Lucas had a chronic, terminal disease soon after she met him on Facebook.  At that time, she was in Dallas, Texas and he lived in Canberra, Australia.  He was very open about his medical issues.  I really loved his openness, and Lilly did, too.  His openness was part of what she fell in love with.  Anyway, his medical condition was such that he knew that he’s need an organ transplant within the next 10 years.  The heart wants what the heart wants.

And, Lilly knew that she could deal with hospitals.  She had been a photographer for Logan’s Legacy, a group of special people with huge hearts: they comfort grieving parents and take pictures of precious babies who never had a chance to experience the world.    Through this work, and seeing the parents who longed for even a few minutes with their children, Lilly understood that every moment is precious.  Even a few days with her beloved was worth any pain that she might experience.

And the prognosis for Lucas was at least 10 years; heck, with a transplant or two, he might outlive all of us.

Only, the doctors who said that, were wrong.  Lucas’s lungs were weak, and he applied for the transplant list last year.

And was denied.

His body was too weak for the operation and he might not survive it, the doctors said.  Plus, there aren’t enough organ donors.

Lucas could have curled up in a ball and lamented his fate.  Instead, he and Lilly set out on a quest to solicit more people to sign up for organ donation.  They volunteered to photograph anyone on the transplant list or who had transplants.  The plan was to compile the pictures into a coffee table book to raise funds for the cause.

But he was too sick.  He was in and out of the hospital.  He continued to ask how others were doing and to work as much as possible, whether at his day job nursing or his other job as photographer.  In every picture of him, whether taken by another photographer as a test shot or a selfie with his bride, he is smiling.  Rarely would he let the world know how much he was hurting.

Lilly tried to smile, too.  They were foster parents for kittens; they adopted a 3-legged dog; and they joked about how all the animals passed wind.

I can’t believe that vivacious young man is gone.  I can’t believe that the 10-year-minimum that he was supposed to have with Lilly, was cut so terribly short.  They had barely a year together as a married couple.

Even a day with one’s soul mate is worth any amount of pain, I’ve heard.  To have a year together, they were blessed.  And I would bet good money that Lilly would do it all over again.

You can read more about Lilly and Lucas (Mallie and Matt, to the rest of the world), in this article from a year ago (shared with permission from Mallie):  http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/matt-and-mallie-taylor-to-hold-photoshoots-for-those-in-need-of-organ-donations-20160831-gr5ew5.html

If there is but one thing you get from this tragic love story, Lilly and Lucas would want it to be: Donate your organs.

For me, this story is also about carpe diem.  If you love someone, spend as much time with him/her as possible.  Savor the good times.  Laugh about cat farts in the bad times.  Smile as much as possible.  When you hurt, find a way to help others.

Lilly, I love you!

Cheers,

Jules

PS On Sunday, we will return to our regular programming.

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Everyone loves an Aussie Man!

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Lilly was a radiant bride!

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Lucas and me at the wedding reception.  (It had a Hawaiian theme, which is why he is wearing a lei.)

Sassy Sally proposes to Pretty Penny

 

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Sally bent down on one knee, holding up the ring box.  Her blue eyes were glowing sapphires in the shade under the trees.

Penny’s mouth gaped for a moment, taking in the scene.  Hot and sweaty from the hike up the mountain, she had stopped to take a break and gaze out over the beautiful view; she had not anticipated this.

Wordlessly, she reached into her pocket, pulling out a similar ring box.  She fell to one knee and held it up, imitating Sally’s posture.

They looked into each other’s eyes, matching sapphires frozen for a moment in time.  Then they started laughing.

“I’m asking you to marry me!” Sally said.

“Well, I’m asking you, too!” Penny answered.

“I asked first, so you answer first!” Sally insisted.

Penny rolled her eyes and leaned over to kiss her girlfriend.

“No!  Answer me first!” Sally again insisted.

“Um, don’t ya think it’s pretty obvious?” Penny replied.

“Say it!” Sassy Sally said saucily.

“Yes!  Alright?  Yes, I want to marry you!” Penny said, exasperated.

Sally rewarded her fiancée with a kiss.  “That wasn’t so hard now, was it?  And I say, ‘yes’ to you, too!”

The Real Story

That’s not how it really happened, but that’s how I had envisioned it.  After all, Sally had teased Penny for months, letting her know that she (Sally) was ready for a ring.

For example, at the mall, Sally said, “Oh look!  There’s a jewelry store!  Let’s go look at rings.”

Penny would look the other way and pretend not to hear, or point at something in another store.  “Oh look, shirts!”

Penny always wore solid color, basic button ups or t-shirts.  It’s safe to say that she isn’t a big shopper.  Sally actually forced her to try on some shirts which had patterns on them, which was way outside Penny’s comfort zone, but she dutifully tried on the shirts, anyway.

Another time, when we were chilling at home, this convo happened.

“I have a Pinterest with all my wedding ideas,” Sally had told me.

“WTF?!  I don’t even have a Pinterest account,” I answered.  “Does Penny know about this?”

“Yes,” Sally said.  “I started it so that she’d pick out the right ring, when the time came.  It also has bridesmaid dresses, and my wedding colors, and…”

I stared at the alien sitting next to me, the alien who had almost certainly taken over my daughter’s body.  Unless it was a doppelganger, and my daughter’s real body was locked in a closet somewhere.  Although some myths state that the doppelganger uses the bones of the person, in which case there wouldn’t be a body to find.

Later, I casually questioned Penny about her feelings on the topic.  “Are you going to pop the question?  Are you even gonna ask her parents’ permission first?”  (For the record, I think asking the parents is old fashioned and I didn’t really expect to be asked.  I was just giving Penny shit.)

“I’ve told Sally,” she said, with what sounded like long-suffering patience, “that when the time is right, it will be a surprise.  But it has to be a surprise.

My daughter is a lot like her mother (and yes, that’s me), in that patience is not her strongest virtue.  So I wasn’t extremely surprised when we had this phone conversation.

“Mom, I spent a little money—not too much, I promise—and I bought Penny a ring.  I’m going to propose to her when we’re on our romantic vacation in Colorado in two weeks!” Sally said, bursting with excitement.  I could see her big grin and how she jumped up and down, even over the phone.

How it went down

Sally and Penny spent the morning hiking around Engineer Mountain, until they were tuckered out.  They drove to lunch, then back to the hotel to wash the mountain dust and sweat away.

“What do you want to do?” Sally asked.

“I dunno, I don’t want to move very much, I’m sore!” Penny said.

“Ok, I know what to do!” Sally said.  See, Sally (like her mother), is a planner.  Plus, she’d been on enough hiking trips with me to know that this moment would arrive, so she pulled a wrapped box out of a drawer in the dresser where she had hidden it.  “Open your present!”

“What’s this?” Penny said, opening it to find the Lego tie fighter kit.  “This is great!”

The ladies took turns putting the pieces together, following the instructions, until they were down to the last piece: the windshield.

“Where is it?” Sally asked innocently, hiding it in her pocket.  “Oh, here it is, under the bed!”  She pulled out a ring box, and told Penny, “You’re my missing piece!”

And she said yes!

Summary

Congratulations to the newly engaged couple, Sally Strawberry and Penny Pineapple!  They plan to be engaged for three years, allowing Sally time to graduate with her undergrad degree.  Since both ladies are so very patient and…

I can’t even finish that sentence.

Cheers!

Romance Novel: Inspiration

 

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“The work of a storyteller doesn’t get any easier the more experience we get, because once we’ve learned how to do something, we can’t get excited about doing exactly the same thing again—or at least most of us can’t.  We keep wanting to reach for the story that is too hard for us to tell—and then make ourselves learn how to tell it.  If we succeed, then maybe we can write better and better books, or at least more challenging ones, or at the very least we won’t bore ourselves.

“The danger that keeps me just a little frightened with every book I write, however, is that I’ll overreach myself once too often and try to write a story that I’m just plain not talented or skilled enough to write.  That’s the dilemma that every storyteller faces.  It is painful to fail.  But it is far sadder when a storyteller stops wanting to try.”

–Orson Scott Card, “Speaker for the Dead, Author’s Preferred Edition” (Introduction), 1991, Tor Books.

Why do I keep dating?  I’ve asked myself that a thousand times.  And 998 times, it comes back to, “I want a partner to share my life and whose life I can share.”

But wait—I’ve already had that.  In fact, I’ve been married twice.  What if I’ve already lived my love story?  Sure, the ending sucked, but the beginning had some pretty awesome moments.  While I was writing What I Learned From Romance Novels, I thought, “My relationship with Alan covers all of these rules.”

Stay with me here.  I need to squint, put on rose-colored glasses, and focus only on the first two years to make it work. Instead of an evil stepmother, we battled his evil ex-wife.  Instead of a kidnapping, we dealt with custody issues (legal kidnapping).  The hero of the story may not have been Hugh Jackman hot, but he was the love of my life.

Until he wasn’t.

But that’s another story for another time.  When Divorce Novels become popular, I’ll write that one.

Or not.  As much as I enjoy a good challenge, some things I prefer not to relive.  *shudder*

In the spirit of all good romance novels, I promise to exaggerate everything.  Hyperbole will be the over-riding theme.  I also promise to have at least one sex scene.  Sally, daughter-o-mine, I will put a warning in the title to let you know not to read that one.  Maybe “Rated R” or “WARNING!  Sally shouldn’t read this one!”

The plan will be to publish one chapter a week, starting tomorrow.  I promise that I will post additional blogs if anything interesting happens: like an actual, real-life date.  And Nadia still has some stories that she wants to tell.  So this isn’t a totally new direction for the blog, just an added feature.  One to revive the hopeless romantic within me, and one to keep me from getting bored while I await my next Great Romance.

Wish me luck!

Cheers!

PS Nadia thinks that EVERY chapter ought to have sex in it.  Clarification: this is a ROMANCE novel, not Showtime!  Go watch old episodes of “Red Shoe Diaries” with David Duchovny.

Mmmm, David Duchovny.  I think I’ll picture him when I’m writing that love scene!

 

A Mighty Good Man

 

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“Four years of being married to my best friend, Alex Awesome! You rescued me, you demonstrated what love really is, you made my dreams come true and helped me reach for new ones, you are my everything. I love you, forever and always. Happy anniversary, my wonderful husband,” Holly Grape posted on her Facebook wall.

On any given day, chances are good that either she or he posted something romantic about the other.  I grew used to the weekly pictures of fresh flowers that Holly would post with the caption, “From my wonderful husband!”

I’ll admit, the Scrooge in me was skeptical.  But then, I had the chance to spend time with them over the summer.  They are just as sappy and sweet in person.

So today, when I saw the anniversary post, I had to say something.

“Alex, when I find a guy worthy of my awesomeness, I’m sending him to you for training!” I commented.  “Holly, hold onto this one!”

Holly (predictably) answered, “He’s mine!”

Couples like the Awesomes are inspiring.  I mean, I hear so much about divorce and meet so many guys that aren’t my type, that it’s crazy cool to hear about a couple doing so damn well.

“Alex, how did y’all meet?” I asked my friend.  “I know, you probably already told me, but I may have been drinking at the time.”  Like the night that we sat on their back porch, a group of us, and finished off bottle after bottle of wine.  He fed us steaks and salad, taking pains to ensure that mine was allergen-free and cooked to my liking.

Alex answered, “Me and Holly met the first time at a company picnic. She was still married as was I. I was part of a group of friends that every Tuesday would go to Buffalo Wild wings for a get together outside work. After a couple of times I started noticing things. Things like her subservience and bruises.”

Holly has bravely spoken out against her former husband and the abuse she suffered.  It’s not a secret, but I hadn’t realized the role that Alex had played in getting her out of that bad situation.

“I friended her on Facebook and started chatting out of concern. One Facebook poke led to another and we started getting intimate. Eventually the more I saw her the more I became in awe of how amazing a woman she is. Beautiful, intelligent, great mother, and very nice set of tits.”

They dated casually for a while, then decided to start a new life together.  Alex added, “It was a risk I am glad I took. She has given me everything I could ever want and more.”

“What advice do you have for a woman looking for a good man?” I asked.

“Never portray anything you are not. False pretenses are a very bad way to start a relationship. So just be yourself. From the start, always communicate. If a comment is made or an opinion is said, that is a way to open a conversation. Don’t make it condescending or rude but just talk. A valuable thing to learn is how to communicate. Never start with putting someone on the defense. Start off by saying, ‘in my opinion,’ or ‘I think.’ Not, ‘You should’ or ‘You have to’. Communication is something that will always make a relationship fail without it. If kids are involved, mixed family or not, you both have to be on the same page with everything. Never split kids like you have to teach and discipline yours and he has to teach and discipline his. Kids are smart and will test their limits with that.”

He continued, “For the guys, there is a book called The Five Love Languages. READ IT. Read it once every year also or more to refresh yourself also. Figure out what keeps your ladies love tank full.”

I’ve read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book and it is excellent.  It helped me understand my relationships, as well as myself.  For example, I tend to be a gift giver.  Just ask my daughter Sally.  I always have something for her when I see her, even if it’s just a pair of socks.  Sometimes they’re even elk socks.

Alex continued, “If you notice, I put the woman first. How I live my life every single day is this….my kids and wife come first in every situation of everyday life. I never think or put myself first. It is not about me. I will receive plenty in return to keep my tank full. I know this because my kids and wife know this as well. I am not taken advantage of by anyone and won’t stand to be either. By putting my family first and knowing that I am meeting their needs give me more pleasure than any gift ever could.”

Wow.  Just, wow.

Sex

Nadia wants to know your number one sex tip,” I relayed.  Ok, so I’m curious, too.  It’s not every day that I meet a nice guy.  Especially a nice guy who’s willing to share his story and advice.

He answered, “Again, it is not about me. It’s about thinking of your partner first. My wife is always pleased before I am…numerous times. Let’s face it ladies we all know men can be 2 pump chumps. Every once in a while that’s fine. Quickie in the morning before work or she is bent over in the kitchen and the urge arises. You also have to keep it exciting. Don’t fall into a rut. Your everyday life is a rut. Don’t make your sex life the same. That is a big reason why people stray. We want variety. You can find that with the same person.”

Alex’s Advice:

  • Dress up for her on a date night.
  • Open that jar she can’t.
  • Grab her ass while she is walking upstairs.
  • Come up behind her and kiss the back of her neck.
  • Sometimes she just wants a fuck. So give it to her. We were doing laundry yesterday and I got her excited so I laid her down right there on the carpet. (We have the rug burns to prove it.) I didn’t get off…but it’s not about me. I got mine later.

“Not everyone is the same when it comes to sex. So what works for us may not be what works for someone else. But experiment, and COMMUNICATE. I like this…I don’t like this…I am willing to try this.  There is nothing wrong with saying and letting your partner know what’s up. You are not a bad person or less of a lady if you like it dirty or something someone may look down upon, if it works for you,” Alex continued.

He paused to think, then added, “That’s the other thing. I know a lot of people today do not show affection in public or at home. Huge mistake in my opinion. People need comfort.  A 20-second hug actually releases tension.  It can put a person at ease and is far better than to just say, Hey how was your day.”

Heck, I’ll take some rug burns in exchange for that any day!  Well, from the right guy, at the right time, of course.

Another reason that I respect the hell out of Alex and Holly’s relationship: they have tattoos that are symbols of their relationship.  Like the “LO” on her left hand that matches the “VE” on his right hand, so that when their fingers are intertwined, everyone can see their love.  Literally.

I’ve been divorced.  Committing to another person is scary.  Committing to a tattoo is beyond me.  But committing to a person and a tattoo?  That’s REAL.

Alex has other tats proclaiming his love, too.  He has a sexy teacher tattoo which is a nod to his wife and her occupation.  It is more curvy and realistic than most pinup pictures, and has her dark hair and green eyes.

Then there’s the family crest that is large on his chest.  It combines his children and hers, and shows just how much those young people are now theirs.

“Not to be rude but me and the wife are heading out for our anniversary dinner. I would love to chat with you some more tomorrow,” Alex said.

“Of course, thanks!”  I answered, “Have a great dinner!”

“Thank you. I’m kinda looking forward to dessert!” he said.

Happy Anniversary, Alex and Holly!  May you keep inspiring us for years to come!

In Other News…

A couple of weeks ago, I scheduled my first date in months .  It was canceled due to a cash flow problem.  So, we rescheduled for last Saturday night.

And a freakin’ tornado blew through town.

A TORNADO.  I cancelled a date because, oh, sorry!  Heavy winds and funnel clouds are in the neighborhood.  Think I’ll just stay home, thanks, see you another time.

As far as cancelling dates go, “Act of God” is a damn good reason.

We decided to get together on Sunday night instead.  North Texas flooded.

FLOODED.  Seriously.  Fort Worth, Dallas, everything between and around, was under water with continuous rain for hours.  At one point, quarter-inch hail pelted my house, sounding like bullets hitting the roof and walls.

Um, is God trying to tell us something?  Like, maybe we weren’t meant to be together?

Eh, we’re stubborn.  We’ll try again this weekend.  I wonder if we’ll get locusts.  Or maybe a snowstorm.  As long as it’s not a car wreck, I’ll be ok.  Then again, maybe I’ll just stay home.  God has a strange sense of humor sometimes; no telling what He’ll think of next!

We can’t all be in great relationships like the Awesomes.  Again, happy anniversary, friends!  XO!

Cheers!

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What I Learned From Romance Novels

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Being single means that I have time to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and a good book.  Sometimes I read a romance novel instead.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, some romance novels are good.  Some are even great.  But the vast majority seem to follow the same formula: girl meets guy, they hate each other, crisis happens, they’re forced to work together, they fall in love despite themselves, and they live happily ever after.  Usually with a big wedding and pregnancy, not necessarily in that order.

For your amusement, I will now summarize the Laws of Love.  Er, the Romance Rules.  Er, What I Learned from Romance Novels.  And some Rom Coms (romantic comedy movies), ‘cause I lump them into the same category (#NeverGonnaHappen #NotRealLife #SettingUnrealisticExpectationsThatNoManCanLiveUpTo)

  1. Be a bitch the first time you meet a guy. He’ll be intrigued, because no woman has ever treated him like that before.
  2. A major crisis will bring you closer together. A murder attempt or kidnapping works best—get his adrenaline pumping.  Bonus points if there are pirates involved (as the villain, or he might be the pirate, or heck—Equality!—the heroine can be the pirate disguised as a dude).  (Ok that’s not true equality, but stay with me here.)
  3. Strong women are bitches. A strong woman who suddenly needs a man to help her, is stunningly attractive.  (This is a combo of Rule #1 + #2.)  Damn it, why can’t I get kidnapped?!
  4. The poorest guy is the most attractive. Examples include Christian Slader’s character in Heathers, Judd Nelson’s character in The Breakfast Club, and Aladdin of the book/movie by that name.  If they are homeless or dress like a hobo, they’re dead sexy.  Must have wardrobe element: trench coat.  Bonus points for fingerless gloves.
  5. If the man happens to be rich, then he MUST be pouty. Think of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice; he was definitely the broody sort, and extremely   At one point in the book, the heroine goes on a tour of his mansion with her aunt and uncle.  The only house that I know of, that allows tours, is the White House.  How rich was this guy?!  Another example of rich and depressed is the star of 50 Shades of Gray.  I didn’t read the book or see the movie, but I’m told that the main character was emotionally scarred.  Tell ya what: if I meet a guy like that, I don’t care how rich he is, I’m referring him to a shrink.  I WILL NOT let him use me as a punching bag, whipping post, or slave.  I know, I know, I’m strange—call me a hopeless romantic!
  6. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is false. Get in his face as much as possible—he’ll be more likely to fantasize about you.  Maybe involuntarily.  Maybe he’ll have nightmares.  But, hey, you’ll be in his thoughts.
  7. If there’s a lost/runaway/kidnapped child/dog/elderly person, convince him to hunt for him/her with you. Nothing brings enemies together like a shared manhunt—uh—or man’s-best-friend-hunt.
  8. On the hunt, if you’re lucky, you’ll get caught in a rainstorm/snowstorm/monsoon. Find an old shack/barn/hunting lodge and hole up.  Between your soaked clothes clinging to your curvaceous form and the way your shivering causes all the right things to jiggle, (BREASTS), you’re guaranteed to get lucky.  I mean, you need his body heat to stay alive, right?!  Bow chica wow wow!
  9. Assume he’s in love with his ex-wife/ex-girlfriend/dead wife. Throw passive-aggressive comments at him as often as possible, like, “She’s gorgeous.  I can understand why any man would want her,” and dare him to disagree.  He’ll be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.  Hmmm, maybe that’s why he’s broody.
  10. Evil stepmothers bring couples together, even when they’re trying to keep people apart. This is a corollary to #2.  See Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Enchanted…  Heck, just about any Disney movie with a princess in it.
  11. Take a plain looking woman, add fancy clothes and a lady’s maid to fix her hair, and she’ll look gorgeous. Think, Pretty Woman or Cinderella.  Since this rule is repeated in numerous books and movies, it MUST be true.  To any rich man reading this: contact me so that we can test this theory.  I will accept a Michael Kors dress and Louboutins in the name of science.

Or Jimmy Chu.  I’m not picky.

I’m SURE that I’d look like a supermodel.  Or at least an attractive actress (hair and makeup can’t hide pounds).

  1. When you meet The One, electricity will pass through you, every time you touch. This doesn’t sound fun to me, ‘cause I’ve been zapped with static electricity repeatedly by my brothers.
  2. His mother/sister/best friend will know that he’s in love before he does. He’ll be in denial for at least a week after he’s been told.  Unless the pirates move up the timeline; then he won’t have time for denial.
  3. When he finally gets around to expressing his love, you should get married immediately. Who cares if you never really dated?  Who cares if he hated you the week before?  True love conquers all.  Put a ring on it!
  4. Attractive men will be at least a head taller than their ladies and look like Greek gods with their shirts off. They’re also rich, whether you know it or not.  (Some masquerade as a pirate or minimum wage worker to learn their father’s business, get away for a while, or spy on the enemy.)
  5. If you don’t have a dark secret in your past, he does.  Or, heck, maybe both of you do.  Hide it as long as possible.  Men love mysterious women.

I hope you learned as much as I did.  Now I’m off to do more research!

Cheers!

Lilly and Lucas: Wedding Reception

Jules & Lilly <3

Jules & Lilly ❤

Lilly and Lucas were married in March in Australia, in an intimate wedding ceremony.  Their American friends wanted to celebrate with them, so yesterday (October 17th), we did.  The seven month delay was so that the bride and groom could attend the party.  And this month, Lucas stepped onto American soil for the first time.  Here are a few pics that I took at the celebration.  I’ll have more for you after the photographer processes her photos.  Also, here are a few fun pics from the party at Dave & Buster’s later.

Lilly’s biggest complaint about her new husband was, “He kept taking babies away from me!  Seriously, there were seven babies at the reception.  I held three of them and he took each one out of my arms.”

Lilly & Lucas.  Notice who is holding the baby!

Lilly & Lucas. Notice who is holding the baby!

Her friends and I were thrilled that she brought her wedding dress with her.  We had asked her to, but she had never agreed, so we thought we might be disappointed.  Imagine our delight when we saw her all dressed up in her bridal attire!  Lucas looked dapper in his suit as well.  But there’s nothing like a beautiful bride!

Lilly is employed at a doctor’s office and loving it.  It’s busy and stressful and she has great coworkers.  Lucas is finishing up his last few semesters as a nursing student.  He’ll begin work in February.  Best of all, they’re moving into a rent house soon after they return home.  Life is good!

The pics tell the rest of the story.  They’re so in love!  If Lucas will stop taking babies away from Lilly, they could have a long and happy marriage.  ❤

Cheers!  To the newlyweds!

American women LOVE Aussies!

American women LOVE Aussies!

Lucas & Jules

Lucas & Jules

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Centerpieces - love 'em!

Centerpieces – love ’em!

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I wrote advice in their guest book.  LOL, I’m probably not the right person to ask for marriage advice!

Love you, Lilly & Lucas!  Hope to visit you soon!  ❤ ❤ ❤

Happily Ever After Part II: Lucas Update

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Lucas is 26 now!!  Happy birthday, my Aussie friend!

Happy 26th Birthday!

Happy 26th Birthday!  

This post is the second part of an update on my friend Lilly Peach-Blueberry and her new husband Lucas Blueberry.  They married in March after she moved from Texas to Australia to be with him.

Deodorant Dream Saga

“I said good morning to Lilly, and she was all mad at me.  I hadn’t been awake for more than 3 minutes, so I knew that I hadn’t done anything.  It was literally all in her head.  Literally!  It was a dream!” Lucas said of the Deodorant Dream Saga.

I laughed.

Lilly insisted, “You wanted me to wear Cherry Vodka Scented Deodorant!  How dare you!”  Then she laughed, too.

Interview Time

I asked Lucas, “What are your favorite parts of being married?”

He answered, “Do I have to keep it G-rated?  Then my favorite bits can’t be in there.”  He smiled, kissed his love, then answered, “Seriously, though, I never had a girlfriend on my birthday before, and now I have a wife, which is even better.  I love seeing her in morning, kissing her, doing things with her.”  They kissed again.

Seriously, these two are too freakin’ cute!

I distracted him by saying, “Hey you two!  I’m here, too!  Break it up!  Lucas, Lilly said that you go on random adventures together.  What has been your favorite so far?”

“We saw a wallaroo.  We were—you know—location scouting before the party, up in the mountains.  We were looking for places to take good pictures.  And there he was!” Lucas said.

Location scouting.  Right.  On the way to a party.  I think we all know what newlyweds do on rural roads after sundown!  (Wink, wink, nudge-nudge, know what I mean?)

“What other g-rated adventures have you two been on?” I prompted.

“We went to the museum!” he said, as excited as a five-year-old.  “In the earthquake room at the Questacon Science Museum, we built a house out of blocks.  You know, you build a house, then the earthquake shakes it down.”  I assume that he meant there was a vibration table in the room, because I seriously doubt that the museum has daily earthquakes.  But I haven’t been there, so I don’t know for sure.

Lucas continued, “A 10-year-old stole her blocks.  She was so mad, she yelled the child.  That was seriously rude of the little kid.  Then we went to the tornado exhibit, where if you put your hand in the tornado, it will break.”  Here I assume that he meant one of the special fans that has smoke in the air stream, so that you can see the flow and get an idea for how tornadoes are made.  But then again, maybe someone has actually captured a tornado for the museum.  Stranger things have happened.

Lucas said, “The 10-year old kept breaking it.”

Lilly piped in, “So rude!  That little kid—urgh!”

Parents should keep an eye on their kids.  Just because the place is educational, doesn’t mean that the little ones should be allowed to run wild.

Lucas was on a roll now.  “You know that she’s afraid of heights, right?”

“Wait, the big bad Marine is afraid of heights?!  I thought Marines weren’t scared of anything!” I said, shocked.

They laughed.  “Oh, ya, big time!” Lilly said.

Lucas added, “There was this slide thing – she was terrified.  Here, watch the video!

“Oh my God, I kept my eyes closed the whole time!” Lilly said.  “Look!  I held onto the bar as long as possible!”

I laughed!

Tree

“We went to see our tree for our 2 month anniversary,” Lucas told me.

I smiled.  Lilly had told me this two or three times.  That was the tree where he had proposed on the day they had their pictures taken with the gorgeous view.  The clouds had broken the sun shown down on them when she said, “Yes!”

Lilly added, “It was soooo cold!  We froze our asses off!”

Then she looked at her darling, and they kissed.  Again.

“Lucas!” I said, trying to break them apart.  “Lilly tells me that you buy her a Kinder Surprise egg every time you go to the gas station.  Tell me why?”

Kinder Surprise eggs are chocolate eggs with plastic toys inside.  They aren’t sold in the US.  Lilly said that it’s because Americans are too stupid; they might try to eat the toy.  I think Americans are smarter than that; they’d eat the toy on purpose, so that they can sue the candy company.  At any rate, Lilly loves them, and she hasn’t choked on a toy yet.  As far as I know.

“Because I love seeing her smile, and they make her smile.  I love seeing her happy,” he said.

Nailed it.  Best. Answer. Ever.

Culture Shock

Lilly told me how different Australia is.  “We buy meat at the butcher’s store, which is in the shops.  The grocery store is a stand-alone store, in the mall.  It’s weird.”

“That is weird,” I said.  “Hey, we’re on Skype!  Show me the collect of toys that you’ve gotten from your Kinder Surprise eggs.  You must have a pile by now!”

“They’re all over the place,” she answered.  “I think there are some on the bench in the kitchen.”

I was shocked.  “Lilly, you just said BENCH!  Not kitchen counter!  You’re being assimilated!”

The utter look of shock on her face was real.  I couldn’t believe it!  Next, she’ll stop saying, “y’all”!!

After we overcame our moment of panic, she continued to tell me about her new home.

“There’s no central air or heat.  Electricity is too expensive.  We actually have a wood burning stove that we stack with wood when we go to bed at night.  Even then, it gets damn cold.  It got down to -9C!!”

Lucas said, “Hold on, I’ll translate that.”  He got on Google and came back with, “That’s 15.8 degrees F!!”

“Wow,” I said.  “It gets that cold, and you don’t have heat?!

“It’s a buggar in the morning, when it’s that cold and the fire has died” Lucas told me.  “I went to my car the other day, and the handle was iced shut.  I almost called into work and said, ‘Sorry, boss, my car is iced shut.  Can’t come to work today.’”

“I would have!  But then, here in Texas, I want to call into work for the opposite reason: the steering wheel is too hot to touch!” I answered.  “Seriously, when it’s over 100F in the shade, leaving the air conditioned house is just as hard as when it’s 15 degrees outside.”

“I miss that!” Lilly said, pouting.

“Well, you’ll be here in March, for your bachelorette party, right?” I said.  I felt a little pouty myself; I miss her terribly.  Wine over Skype is just not the same as in person.

“October!” Lilly and Lucas said in unison.  “We’ll be there in October!”

I did a little happy dance.  It’s a little early to start stockpiling the wine, but it’s only a few months away.  Lilly and Lucas are coming to Dallas!  YAY!

Until then, we’ll continue to keep in touch over Skype.  Congrats on almost-three months, my friends!  Here’s to many more!

Cheers!

Tomorrow night is my date with Keith.  Wish me luck!  

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