Saturday, December 31, 2011

Big Game This Weekend For The Denver Tebows... I Mean Broncos

One of the biggest things I found fascinating after moving to Denver is the media attention toward Broncos quarterback and Florida's golden boy Tim Tebow. If you thought the frenzy on ESPN was crazy enough, try living in the city. Billboards, local magazine covers, individual "Tebow Time" segments on all the local news stations.

It's unbelievable, but it's good for the city. The fans here definitely seem rejuvenated and ready for a playoff run.

(Sidebar: Isn't it ironic how I've cheered for the Lions my whole life, and after I move out of Michigan, they now look like they can do some serious damage in the playoffs? Was I the bad luck??)

Anyways — for people who don't track playoff standings on ESPN every day, the Broncos are in the hunt for a playoff spot under Tebow's late-game heroics. If they beat the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend at home (the city will be crazy busy), or if the Oakland Raiders lose (we also kind of cheer for the Raiders in this household because of Hillsdale monster Jared Veldheer), the Broncos make the playoffs.

It'll be an awesome way to kick off 2012 if the Broncos make the playoffs. To pay tribute to our city's quarterback, we took a couple (or several) 'Tebowing" photos on our honeymoon!

And make sure to watch this amazing video of Tebow's biggest fan, ESPN Analyst Skip Bayless.

Friday, December 30, 2011

When Living Together Gets Real: A cold bug

Christmas brings a lot of things: Joy, cheer, presents, family, love and the list can go on and on. It also brings the Christmas cold.

It was probably a combination of the rainy boat excursion we took in St. Lucia and the nearly 10 hours of traveling it took to get back home to Denver, but Erin came down with a cold. Sneezing, sniffling and a sore throat. She is adorable when she is sick.

Of course, the one thing after marriage you need to get used to is sleeping in the same bed together.

Every night.

Early Christmas morning, I felt a warm, rhythmic breath close to my nose. Unsure of where I was on the bed (I think I was on the very edge with little blankets...), I opened my eyes and see an adorable, sick Erin, with mouth partially open, breathing right in my face. Lovely.

In fact, for fans of 90s Nickelodeon cartoons, remember that kid from Hey Arnold who breathed really loudly behind Helga Pataki? That kid was Erin.

Germs. Cold bugs. Breathing in the face. When living together gets real.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gallery: All Of The Photos From Our St. Lucia Honeymoon

Ok, we've teased you enough with only a few photos from our honeymoon. Here's the complete slideshow of all (most) of our photos - enjoy!

Our first dance as husband and wife

We are still waiting for our professional photos from our wedding, so for now, enjoy this song by James Morrison, "I Won't Let You Go". This was the first song Erin and I danced to as husband and wife.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Vibes: Highlights from our St. Lucia Honeymoon

Our trusted tour guides! Keep scrolling down for more photos!

While Erin and I went into our honeymoon focusing on relaxing by the ocean and rejuvenating (which we did do plenty of) after some hectic weeks of wedding planning, one of the favorite parts of our trip to St. Lucia came on our last full day when we went on a land and sea tour of the island.

Here’s how our day of adventure went:

While eating breakfast at the resort, we watched a light rain turn into a magnificent double rainbow over the ocean. It was a sign to us that today was going to be a terrific day weather-wise.

We couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’ll start out by saying that we had absolutely beautiful weather for our entire trip, until our last day. It rained hard and frequently throughout our day-long excursion. We were cold and wet, and to many, that doesn’t sound fun at all. We felt the same way during parts of the trip, but after we returned to our room after the tour, we realized that we would have just stayed cooped up inside our hotel room all day and would have essentially wasted our last day on the island.

Along with a handful of other honeymooners, we caught a bus from our lobby, which delivered us from the resort to the city’s harbor. The bus driver pulled over at an unidentified curb in the middle of the downtown, told us to "go to the right", and took off as soon as the last couple had exited the bus. Our group of five or so couples cautiously wound our way through a St. Lucian market, until we found a small dock on the harbor. We waited here for around 20 minutes, and just as we were all starting to grow a little suspicious, two boats pulled up, and we were greeted by three crazy, fun-loving, (and most likely pot-smoking) St. Lucians. After getting everyone situated on the boat, they got down to business.

First rule: “No one gets hurt. We don’t do paperwork.”

I look at Erin. We didn’t really sign any waiver forms or anything. Our fingers are crossed.

And second rule: “We’re going to party like rock stars!”

The tour guide, who strangely resembles a shorter Snoop Dog (and of course, he made sure we called him ‘Snoop’ for the day), pulls out a gallon of homemade rum punch. “We have three full gallons of this stuff! And It’s going to make you feel awesome!”

Again, I look to Erin. We smile and just accept that it’s going to be one hell of a tour. Side-note: at one point I asked for a rum and coke. It was more like rum with a hint of coke.

Our excursion, called the “Joe Knows” tour, was awesome. Not only do you get amazing up-close views of the island’s main landmark, The Pitons (two 3,000 foot cliffs, which ‘Snoop’ referred to as St. Lucia’s boobs), but you also get to snorkel at the reef between the Pitons. 

So, we’re boating at a pretty good clip and sure enough, it starts raining. At first, just a drizzle. Then it starts pelting down on us. Wearing a cotton T-shirt was a bad idea. With more rain and wind, our boat’s captain, named Cupid, kicks the boat into a higher gear and we start bouncing up and down even more. His face reminded me of Lt. Dan from Forest Gump when Forest and him were taking their shrimping boat through the heavy storm.

Because the ocean is pretty rough, we're bouncing up and down and then we hear a scream. The canopy that was screwed into the sides of the boat snapped off and hit this one guy (Nick, aka typical frat boy honeymooner) in the head.

Remember the first rule — don't get hurt. I think he survived.

When we arrived at the cove where we would snorkel, the Caribbean guides pulled out a trash bag of worn-out snorkel gear and handed it out. I'm sure it was sanitized. Nick came prepared with his own gear, naturally.

For length's sake, I'll fast-forward a bit: After snorkeling, we went inside St. Lucia's dormant volcano, took a mud bath, relaxed in a natural sulfur hot spring, and then rinsed off in a water fall! If you watched the season of the Bachelor where they went to St. Lucia, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Other highlights:
  • A very, very large man — seriously about 350 pounds — was very annoying and was drinking heavily. He finished up more than an entire fifth of Bounty rum...just on the boat ride back. Who knows how much he consumed up to that point. 
  • Before our lunch, a little Caribbean boy named John approached me and told me that he was going to cliff dive for us (and he did... for a dollar) I'll post the video in a future post.
  • Don't be fooled by waterfalls. While they look romantic and incredibly refreshing, they are actually quite dangerous. The floor of the little pool is rocky, sharp, and uneven. And the waterfalls themselves are POWERFUL. I was holding Erin's hand as we tried to walk underneath it, and when I got under the water fall first, I was knocked down and dragged Erin down with me.

Really, the best part of the tour is that the guides would take our photo at all of the scenic places. Here are some photos from our tour!

Our entire honeymoon was of course amazing, and consisted of the typical pina colada-in-hand pool-side and beach-side relaxing. Our Joe Knows excursion was the extra element which will make our honeymoon that much more unforgettable, which is why we wanted to share. 

As J.R., Cupid, and 'Snoop' would say: "Good vibes, good vibes". 

Monday, December 26, 2011

When Living Together Gets Real: Bobby Pins

The one thing I've learned in my first week of marriage: Bobby pins are everywhere. Two examples:

After returning from our honeymoon, we needed to do an intense cleaning and organizing of our apartment. After the wedding, we kind of just dropped everything, packed our bags and took off.

So, while cleaning the apartment, there was something sticky on the kitchen counter. Erin's guess — the champagne that spilled while my groomsmen and I were getting ready for the wedding. As I begin to wipe the counter, I feel a bump. A bobby pin. It was stuck to the counter. Gross.

And then as we are leaving Erin's family Christmas in Lakewood, I reach into my coat pocket to get my car keys and what do I find in my pocket? Two more bobby pins.

Bobby pins. They're everywhere. When living together gets real.


We've returned from our honeymoon in St. Lucia

Enjoying a very cold waterfall in St. Lucia.
Merry Christmas and soon-to-be a Happy New Year! Erin and I returned late Christmas Eve from our lovely honeymoon in St. Lucia and it was amazing.

If you don't remember, Erin had no idea where we were going, which is probably even more amazing, because I'm terrible at keeping secrets. I booked our honeymoon in July and kept it a secret until we arrived at the airport late Saturday night, the day after our wedding. After I swiped my passport, our itinerary popped up on the kiosk and Erin's face lit up.

Over the next couple of days, I'll post photos from our trip as I get them uploaded. For now, here are a few scenery shots and photos of Erin and me.

We were (as all honeymooners should be) completely disconnected from the Internet and phones all week, which is such a great feeling. Don't worry, we sent over a quick email to our parents to let them know that we arrived safely.

The weather was beautiful and the island was a ton of fun. We have many funny stories to share, which I'll work on writing up this week and get back onto a normal blogging schedule.

Oh! Our wedding was perfect! We'll also have more photos (our photographer should have our photos ready in the coming weeks) and stories to share.

We hope everyone had a great Christmas!



I know this looks fake, but this is actually the view Erin and I had one morning
while eating breakfast. Just another day in paradise!

Erin and me in front of a beautiful St. Lucian sunset!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Beautiful Bride

Wow! Where do I begin?

Our wedding was absolutely amazing and there are so many things to talk about. But! Erin and I are on our way to our honeymoon.

In fact - I'm typing this from my iPhone inside of a Lincoln Town Car taking us to the airport right now.

I had to blog this amazing photo taken by our photographer Ross Bothwell. Erin looked amazing — a true princess.

Many more to come after we return on Christmas Eve.



Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Wedding Day is Finally Here

Erin and me at our rehearsal dinner Thursday night.
DENVER — How lucky are we?

I'd say we're pretty lucky. Excitement has been building all week, and seeing a good portion of our family and friends yesterday amplified that even more. But today is the best day of my life — and I know if Erin wasn't so busy, she'd be blogging the same thing.

When I met Erin more than four years ago at Hillsdale College, she was a shy, cute girl who was clearly homesick. Maybe I'll never quite put my finger on what drew me to her, but she was special. After dating for about three months, we knew were going to be great friends.

At last night's rehearsal dinner, we were reminiscing with some friends, and one of them said she remembers being at our house in college for some kind of party, and telling her that I was going to marry Erin. My best man Shawn McKinstry also chimed in with similar stories. It was meant to be for us — and today that is celebrated and sealed forever.

I could go on and on about Erin and I, but I think everyone understands how in love we are and how happy and blessed we are to have one another in our lives.

So, here's a quick rundown of today's festivities. Not only is this a great opportunity for  girls who love weddings and dream about weddings, but also for our family and friends who couldn't make the wedding.

• At 9 a.m., the groomsmen and I are heading to the GQ Barbershop to get full shaves and cleaned up, maybe a massage. Keeping it classy.
• (Erin will be crazy busy doing everything in the world to look as beautiful as possible... I know she is going to look amazing.)
• 3:30 p.m. - the first look. Because it gets dark in Denver in December around 4:30, we wanted to make sure we had some good outdoor photos. So Erin and I decided to see each other before the ceremony.
• 4:30 p.m. — Half hour to wedding.
• 5 p.m. —Erin walks down the aisle, and a half hour later we are Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Dodson!
• 6 p.m. Cocktail hour with music provided by a string quartet
• 6:30 p.m. - Dinner begins
•7:30 p.m. - We cut cake
• 8 p.m. - We dance the night away.

Obviously the condensed version, but that's also because I have to get ready now for the best day of my life.

Thank to all of our family and friends who have supported Erin and I throughout our relationship — it's because of you that we're strong today and ready to live our lives together.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wedding Week: Welcome Family and Friends

DENVER — A high of 43 and partly sunny (not cloudy) skies are forecasted for Wednesday when a large portion of our family and friends arrive here for our wedding. The countdown is at two days!

Next to actually getting married, seeing our closest family and friends at what is being billed the party of 2011, is definitely the best part of this week. My immediate family, excluding my sister Sam and brother-in-law Henry (who come in Thursday, thank you Michigan public school system), come in Wednesday, along with my best man Shawn McKinstry. My former roomie and best friend Lyle Davis III flew in late last night.

Erin's sister Carly finished up her exams today and is now home for Christmas break from Colorado State University.

Erin has always loved the quote, "Live well, laugh often, love much." I think that's a pretty appropriate slogan for this week.

It's also safe to assume that when I start seeing all of these amazing people, it's going to FEEL REAL. A wedding is happening on Friday, and it's going to be awesome.

In other wedding news, I finished packing for the honeymoon and all my beach clothes are ready to. Whenever I remind Erin certain things for the big vacation, I get the standard, "Where are we going?"

It's still a surprise. I think I'll tell her at the airport. I would blindfold her and put noise canceling headphones on so she hasn't a clue, but I don't think Homeland Security would care for that.

Here are just some of the great people making the trip this week:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wedding Week: The best (early) Christmas gift ever

Thank you to my mom for the lovely personalized
Christmas ornaments from Bronners.
DENVER — What's better than Christmas? Getting married to your best friend around Christmas. The countdown is at three days — and everyone is so excited!

There are many great reasons for getting married around Christmas time — a big one being that the venue we're getting married is already fully directed for the holidays and it looks beautiful. Having those decorations up certainly helped us worry about one less thing.

But if there is one thing that is kind of odd about our timing (we get married on the 16th and get back from our honeymoon on the 24th) is the lack of time we get to enjoy in our new condo with Christmas decorations up. We did the best we could for the amount of time we've had.

We would like to give out an early thank you (cards will be in the mail soon!) to the Mundie family for giving us great Christmas ornaments and our very own personalized Christmas stockings. I hung those up right away and they look great. In keeping with the holiday tradition, here are some Christmas photos from our condo.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wedding Week: Top 5 Wedding Moments on TV

One of the many great scenes from Love Actually.
There's still plenty of little things to wrap up before the big day on Friday, but Erin and I are so ready to be married and celebrate with our friends and families. With all this wedding talk going on, I knew it was time to show some of the greatest weddings in TV history. I didn't include Kim Kardashian's extravaganza.

And I know Erin is going to tell me that I forgot the Royal Wedding because that also aired on TV. I decided to stick to fiction, although I was convinced that Uncle Jesse and Rebecca were married in real life on Full House.

While there are probably many great wedding moment's on TV, here are some top moments:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our new home in Denver, Colorado

Here's a sneak peak... there's still some work to be done —
but we're really excited about the possibilities!
DENVER — Always trust your first impression.

That was a lesson Erin and I learned when searching for our first apartment in Denver. I moved out to Colorado at the end of October, and that first weekend here, Erin, my dad and myself hit the streets to find our first place. That day, we probably looked at six different units. Near the end of the day, everything started looking exactly the same and we were getting discouraged by high rent prices.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Marriage: We're almost there

DENVER — The cake is paid for, our photographer is set and Erin keeps teasing me about how beautiful her wedding dress looks on her. Wedding week is here, and so is our new blog.

For the past several months, Erin and I have been meticulously planning our wedding, what our apartment (we ended up getting a condo!) will look like  and how we will spend our lives as husband and wife. One of the ideas that I thought would be fun  — and beneficial — would be writing a blog. Erin agreed with me and is pretty excited about it.

We've always been impressed with certain blogs we follow, especially blogs that our friends maintain. If you haven't done so yet, check out Anna Dunham's (her new last name is much easier), or Chase Purdy's, or Erin Cvengros'. We hope to keep you entertained and informed on what we're up to.