Lucky Anniversary #3

14 Oct

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This could easily be the dumbest photo face* I have ever made in my entire life. But when you’re stupid in love, I guess you throw caution (and awareness of your facia2l gestures) to the wind and just let the stupid hang out, because you’re with the person who makes you smile the goofiest**, and what better person is there to be with? Zack and I celebrated three amazing years by taking it easy. We had a retirement-home-worthy dinner reservation at Uchiko for 5PM*** on 10/10, so as soon as I was off of work I threw on a dress Zack had bought me for Valentine’s Day, as well as the Eiffel Tower earrings**** he purchased for me abroad, and we were off.

*Your face is a bit silly, but oyy, my hair. Really looking forward to cutting it for our costume.

**I got that goofy smile just reading this 😀

***The only openings were 5 pm or 9 pm and since Caitlin’s schedule calls for 10:30 a.m. lunch, that choice was easy.

****She looked stunning, despite what she may say about the look she’s giving in this pic.

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Not only does Zack clothe me, but he treats me to delicious foods like those at Uchiko. This little sushi restaurant has become one of our staples, because they just do what they do so well. My favorite bits always tend to be the appetizers — after a quick hot-wet-towel-to-the-hands, we went crazy ordering all kinds of stuff because we managed to arrive just in time for Happy Hour. We got the dinosaur kale-and-fruit salad in the upper right corner, ordering it vegetarian so I could share in the deliciousness, and the wrap below was one of three sushi situations that Zack had. I let Caitlin have more of the kale as I dug into my salmon roll. 

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Let’s get real, though — we’re in it for the brussels sprouts. No other place has ever gotten me so excited for vegetables (although the Irish place and their carrots were close). Though the thrill of that first time you bit into the lemony, sweet goodness of these sprouts has dissipated just a little, these are still the most delicious item on the menu. We actually ordered these with dinner AND as dessert the last time we were at Uchiko, but managed to hold ourselves to a serving each this time around. We’ve gotten into the habit of making these regularly enough at home that there’s typically a pan with a 1/4 inch of olive oil and bits of sprout resting on our stove at all times. As well as Caitlin’s perfected the recipe, we still can’t get ’em nearly as tasty as Uchiko. I got them with the fish sauce, Caitlin got them without. They’re so amazing, Caitlin wanted me to try hers to see which was better, then decided she couldn’t spare a bite.

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These are the komaki rolls, which our waitress recommended for their fresh, springtime-y flavors. They were very fresh, but for me the lemon was a bit too much (and I LOVE lemon flavors). In retrospect I probably should’ve stuck to the apps, but I’m still glad I gave these guys a try. I enjoyed that two of them made it home in the leftovers for a little snack the next day.

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I can’t find the name of this deliciousness, but all you need to know is that it’s deep fried slices of sweet potato. What more really needs to be said? I was so full by the time these came out that I had to take quite a bit of them home, and they made for an EXCELLENT next-day snack. They were excellent and really re-heated nicely. I assume. I was jealous when Caitlin had them.

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These were some ribs Zack ordered, which I’ll let him describe for you. They were pretty delicious. I’m usually more partial to BBQ ribs, but I enjoyed the light sauce quite a bit and ate every bit of meat off the bones. 

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By the time they brought out this final roll for Zack, he’d sort of forgotten he’d ordered it and we were SO stuffed*. We opted out of dessert at Uchiko, but nabbed a slice each of cheesecake (red velvet cheesecake for me, pumpkin for Zack) from Mozart’s. We forgot to take photos because it was far too delicious, but I will say that Zack’s pumpkin cheesecake** won and we will be back for another slice of that in the very near future, I can promise you. Ooh, and we watched the early Tom Hanks movie “The Money Pit ” as we ate dessert and it inspired a big new feature on the site that we’ll be announcing next week. Stay tuned!

*I still ate this avocado and tuna roll, but it made sure dessert got pushed back a while. 

**Tis the season. And this bad boy was especially rich.

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As for gifts, we kept it fairly modest this year (…fairly.) because of our Europe trip. As soon as I saw this collection of Yellow Submarine Beatles ornaments, I knew I HAD to get them for Zack. We’d been looking for some kind of ornament to get Zack excited about Christmas decorating, and we’d seen ornaments just like this in Venice in a shop that was closed until after we left. These were a perfect Toy Joy find that I was excited to snag for my man. This made me so happy. I’ve never had my own ornament before and like Caitlin said, it was the perfect thing to make up for the Beatles shop in Venice being closed. Christmas trees still feel a little foreign to me, but having John & Paul & George & Ringo on there as we listen to Beatles Christmas songs will get me right in the holiday spirit.

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Zack and I have been talking a lot about getting a wind chime lately, because we both really love the sweetness of their sound. It’s a calming thing, and we’re hoping it’ll inspire us to do more renovations out on our porch so we can sit out there more often and enjoy the outdoors. I found this adorable, legitimately made in Japan chime in Toy Joy and thought it was so sweet with the goldfish. We’re not sure what the fortune says, so if anyone wants to shed some light, we’d appreciate it! This one has a nice little ring to it, but isn’t too overpowering. I’m going to ask the Japanese moderator at work about the fortune. I hope it isn’t something silly like one of those Chinese character tattoos that are always the worst mistake Americans make.

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After I’d already bought and wrapped up what I thought was going to be the only wind chime in Austin, I went to BookPeople to get Zack’s card and discovered they had an entire section of chimes! I loved the sounds all of them made, so I decided to get Zack a gift card for one so we could go pick it out together. We picked this beat’ and it sounds so soothing. I’m excited to get them posted up on the porch.

I had fun picking them out while Caitlin got in one last bathroom trip before I dropped her off at ACL Saturday. Wind chimes are obviously an audio thing more than a visual thing, so I made a quick 15 second video of picking out the chimes.

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Zack surprised me early on in our anniversary with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. You can’t quite tell the true color of the vase in this photo, but it’s a GORGEOUS sort of vintage creamy pink color, which I love almost as much as the flowers themselves. They are so colorful and happy, they instantly remind me of him and make me smile. There’s a flower shop on E. 7th (Diane’s) that I like to frequent on special occasions like this one where I give them an idea of what I’m looking for and they always put together the most lovely arrangements. The vase was a sweet bonus.

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And of course, as is his tradition, Zack is compiling an anniversary book of photos from our past year together, but since we were in Europe and so he wanted to hold off on making it, he created this excellent collage as a stop-gap and had it printed out nicely and put in a frame for me. It’s sitting by my at-home work desk right now, and lets me lose myself in our past adventures together whenever I’m feeling low. I’m so grateful to have this sweet-hearted, hilarious, spunky and very, very handsome man in my life, and I’m excited to build an even stronger fourth year on the foundation we’ve created. Daww, I’m even luckier to have Caitlin in my life. I’ve never met someone with such a true and honest soul who would do anything for the people, dogs, and bands she loves the most. She’s the most wonderful, beautiful woman I’ve ever met and I’m eternally grateful for the three years we’ve had together and can’t wait for more!

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