I Woke Up ..

I didn't open my eyes. I just laid in that state where you can only feel your mind drifting in euphoria caused by being in an environment you considered perfect. You know, that perfect place we all go to when we know that we can wake up to no problems.

As I finally came to, I heard the hustling & rumblings of the people on the streets getting ready to start the day. As I slowly cracked my eyes open, it wasn't a blinding light the sun usually brings, but rather a smooth transition only the earliest beams of the sunrise could generate.

As I go to stretch I feel my leg slide down the smoothest & warmest skin ever. Without even noticing her laying on half of my body, she was perfectly placed where nothing is numb. She's sound asleep & doesn't notice me moving around in the bed.

As the sun creeps in & kisses off of her skin, I watch her glow from the same euphoria I felt minutes before. In this moment of unaware happiness, she's the most beautiful person or thing I've ever seen in my life, simply her.

I slide her off of me with a gentle kiss to the forehead. She rolls over, I proceed to get up & survey the room. It's nothing fancy. It's like a vintage room from WWII, with the minor exception being the laptops on a desk in the corner with our cell phones & a camera on top.

I retrieve some orange juice from the mini fridge beside the counter & head to the balcony. The view ahead of me is modest with another building adjacent from mine. Flowers & different plants are aligned on different balconies, showing off the different personalities of the occupants.

The streets are narrow & made out of bricks. Few cars, but mostly bikes & walking people. I close my eyes and take in the fresh air, but it's not til I open my eyes & glance left that I truly appreciate my surroundings.

In the not so far distance is the Eiffel Tower, half covered in the early morning fog & the rest being showered in sunlight. I am in the city of lovers. Which all makes sense now.

I appreciate the significance of the view. But it's not til I turn back and rest against the balcony, just staring into the room where I was, that I truly appreciated the beauty of the scenery.

Covered at the hip with just a sheet, arm draped across her chest, & her hair so beautifully messed up. I am with the most beautiful woman in the world right now.

I go over to her just thinking of all the ways to possibly love this woman & the only thing I could think of is to bend over & kiss her gently on the lips. She just smiles & blushes before she opens her eyes to the reply of, "I've been waiting on that since I peeked my eyes on you mister".

And at that moment when she looked at me smiling like I'm the greatest man in the world, I felt no other happiness than the moment of complete & utter euphoria with the sunlight mixing it all in my heart.

Couple of Date Ideas, Part 2 | Summer Edition

Well summer is off to a bang wouldn't you say? It was just three months ago that we were talking about how the winter storms were kicking our asses and now how we longed for the hot weather. Well now that the hot weather is here people are second guessing that wish during the daytime lol. None the less, hanging out at the night scene has picked back up and the loose, or lack there of, clothes have rolled back out. There's so much more to do in the spring and summer time because the weather allows us to do so, but most people won't look beyond the typical to go out and do it, that's where I come in to help you out with. With the second installment in this series, most of the dates will focus on activities that can be done outside of a house, restaurant or club. I really hope this helps a lot of people like the last installment, because summer is a great time to be out and active.

1. Amusement Park, Downtown Festivals & The Circus | It's Summer, it's hot out. What's better than going 100mphs, twisting and winding through the air. Or catching cool sights and sounds at the circus. Get out and about and have some fun. Downtown festivals are hot spots for food truck festivals and many different kinds of cultural festivals to explore and learn something new.

2. Take A Trip.
| Whether it's to the beach or somewhere that's on the other side of the world, this is prime trip taking months. It's not winter anymore and some of your favorite places are being flooded with visitors, you and your significant other can vibe out somewhere and not have to be stuck in the house anymore.

3. Be Adventurous.
| Go hiking. Rock Climbing, Skydiving, Zip-lining, Rafting, Camping. There are so many things that are cool enough to do now that the snow isn't a factor. There are groups who get together and do these things so you don't feel the pressure of doing them. Along with guides, it's very easy to do.

4. Have A Water Fight.
| Picture this, it's a blazing hot Sunday afternoon. You're sitting around not doing a thing. Whipping out some water guns, balloons and some kiddie pools in the backyard with your friends can kill a lot of time. You're never too grown to have some fun.

5. Sign Up For A Mud Run Or Color Run.
| This year more people are becoming active and shedding the lifestyle of fast food and sitting on their butts. A mud or color run is a great way to assist in that. There are even Zombie runs that are conducted. Plenty of variations of runs that you can participate in case you're tired of the regular 5K run.

6. Spend The Afternoon At The Beach. | If you live near the beach then this is the ideal thing to do. If you live close enough you can explore the city and branch out to there when there are special events. Plus when the temperature drops, it's a nice view of the sunset or sunrise over the ocean.

7. Spend The Afternoon At Your Local Farmer’s Market.
| There are plenty of things at the farmer's market to see. If you're about the healthy lifestyle there are ample fruits, veggies and home grown  wheat products.

8. Plan A Patio Date In The Summer.
| BBQ, add beverages (wine, iced tea), and enjoy the warm air. It's plain and simple.

9. Learn A New Outdoor Activity Together.
| Kayaking, gardening, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, or sailing. So many cool things to learn how to do that you don't know how to do yet.

10. Go To A Drive In Movie Or Outdoor Theater.
| Not too many cities have drive in  movie theaters anymore, but if your city is lucky enough to have one or you're close enough to one, then I suggest you visit them. They're pretty awesome and something different. Outdoor theaters have many plays during the summer time. I suggested seeing plays in my last post, they serve as an alternate to movies, and sometimes they're better than them, IMO.

11. Dine Under The Stars.
| This is my personal favorite because it involves food and the cool night weather. I also like the scenery of downtown, so after a nice meal you can walk around and do a little talking and looking at the shops that are still open. Or even possibly stop somewhere and get drinks after.

12. Learn Something Fresh.
| Museum parties, cooking classes under the stars, art classes, there are so many things you can learn how to do that is fun if you get out and look for it.

13. Teach The Other How To Do Something They’ve Never Tried.
| The guitar, a new card game, how to bake an apple pie, just as a few examples.

14. Exercise together.
| Take a fitness class together you’d both enjoy. Or, buy a workout DVD, a challenging one to try at home. Couples that stay fit together show an increase in happiness, in a study, somewhere.

15. Work on a fun project together.
| Buy supplies, figure out instructions, and get to work!

16. Volunteer Somewhere.
| You’ll spend quality time together and help out someone else in the process. It's always a great thing to give back to others who can't do fun things themselves.

17. Get Hooked On A New TV Series & Have A Marathon.
| Try watching a show your significant other loves and is always talking about. It might end up being your guilty pleasure.

18. Be Tourists For The Day.
| Go sightseeing around your city. Stop inside places you often pass but never go into.

19. Game Night.
| You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Try a play date instead. Pick up a deck of cards and a board game for an indoor date.

20. Spend The Night By The Fireplace.
| Some days you're just tired and want to lay down in peace and quiet. Coming out of the shower to a warm fire place, with wine and some strawberries waiting for you. These are good things about having a significant other to take care of you, especially on those days where you simply just can't.

21. Take In The Sunset.
| Walk on the beach, sit on a dock, find higher ground, sit on a rooftop, or just choose a quiet spot to soak in the sunset together. While you’re at it, pack some food and turn it into a simple sunset picnic.

22. Stargaze
| It's so classic that it's almost a cliché, but spending the night outside is so romantic we couldn't resist including it. The best way to stargaze is to actually know what you're seeing, so download The Night Sky app. That way, you can actually be confident you're looking at the Big Dipper before you abandon all pretense and just make out.

Like A Star | H.E.R., Part II

I stood in the shower for about a good 45 minutes trying to decide if I wanted to write this or not. I was leaning heavily towards the no because of the amount of personal & emotional content that it would include. THEN I realized that if I didn't write this, then I couldn't call myself a blogger. To me, the truly great bloggers separate themselves from the rest of the pact by being able to articulate a point they are passionate about, by using personal experiences. That's why I think a lot of my blogs are received fairly well. I try to avoid putting too much of my life out there because I'm one of those people that believe in a high level of privacy. Some things people just shouldn't know. But I'm going to step out of my box to write this one, so as cliché as this is going to sound, this will be the "realest blog I ever wrote".
For most of my life I pretty much did what I wanted to. I didn't really take too many things seriously. I was pretty nonchalant about a lot of things, and when I felt like a major change was needed, I did it without hesitation. That's just how I operated. I tended to take the way that I wanted to take because that's the way that made me happiest, and I don't like people telling me what to do anyways. When it was time to move on from something or let someone go, I did without hesitation or fear of repercussion. I understand how life works for the most part, you live and die, with those moments in between being precious. But in the same breath, you have to practice some sense of caution because you don't want to just make rash decisions that could mess your life up. Lately, I haven't been holding true to myself, to be completely honest, I haven't been making those kind of decisions like I should have since 2010.

When I joined the Army, my life kind of stopped. It wasn't a situation where I could move around like I wanted too, I was pretty much handcuffed to my job the first year, then the second year I spent in Iraq, then half of the third year was spent handcuffed again. I wasn't happy at all. There was no family, there were no friends, there were no relationships that could be sustained, it was just work.  I missed out on so many things while I was in the military. That's my main reason for getting out. I want a wife, I want kids, I want that home I can come to at the end of the day and be happy in. I knew for a fact that I couldn't do that in the military. I didn't want to be bouncing all over the place. That's my goal in life, to have a family I can provide for in every sense and have a home that is ours. But things didn't work out like that when I left Fort Bragg.

I went through a bad break up, well let's call it what it was, it was pretty shitty. I didn't want to be bothered for months, I didn't feel like anyone that came across my path was worth a damn & I didn't rest on my laurels from past relationships. So I did the only thing plausible to me, I started hanging out with myself alone. I was happy, for a time. Then like any other phase of life the loneliness started setting in, so I started doing things to keep my mind off of things and what not. And for the record, it's really annoying when friends try to continuously hook you up when you don't want to be bothered. I know they care and have good intentions, but naw, just stop. You just make us not want to be with someone even more.

I never really celebrated my birthday, you know the whole fireworks and popcorn that most people do to feel special. I mean as a kid when you have three brothers and you're the second oldest, birthday parties or things like that tend to become a thing of the past. But last November I decided that it was going to be the year that I did something special and big for myself. I had it all planned out, to the T. Then I was on my way back, tired and just wanted to die, for the record, driving on three hours of sleep from NY is not the move. But none the less, I was on my way back and I was talking to this very nice young lady that I was getting to know, and she called me and we talked and I didn't even notice that it was midnight while talking to her, and she told me happy birthday, I was so into that conversation and for the first time in a really, really, really, really, really, really long time,  I connected with someone. So I asked if she could spend later that day with me on a date, and at that dinner, I didn't even know it was possible to be honest, but I fell in love just by looking into her eyes. Ever since then, I loved her more and more everyday. Every single day.

Now we broke up, for reasons I tell everyone the same, I messed up. I didn't hold up my end of the relationship and she did what she was suppose to, and that was leave. I do not blame her one single bit. I actually thank her for doing that because without her doing that then I would've never came to my senses. I wouldn't have sought help and I would've never would've calmed down. But the thing is that it just sucks you know, to have someone you would do anything and everything for, and you can't be with them. I do believe in the old adage, "if it was meant to be, then it'll come back". But sometimes that whole time in between, just sucks. Then other factors play a part in the distance becoming greater. I don't know God's plan's for me, but this is one of those things that really sucks to deal with because it could have been handled better, not avoided, but handled better. I'm glad it happen from the stand point that I grew up in the process of it all. That's what you should aim for, something that makes you better. And she did that, she made me better, every single day.

I was asked what is love to me. Not what is the definition, not what I think it is, but a time in my life when I was just completely happy where I was at, and who I was with. I actually had to think about that, and I actually thought about all my exes and I thought about all the women I thought I loved, and it all came back to her. It was a random day sometime I think about two months into things and we were laying in bed, and she was laying on my arm and the sun was shining. I don't know why we were laying there or why we had time to do so, but we were. & her smile was just the most beautiful thing that I've ever seen in my life, and just everything about that moment I not only remember, I still feel it. Those are things that I miss late at night and early in the mornings. Just learning how to deal with this process and move forward with my everyday life is a challenge, but I put my faith in the good Lord, so I know I can do it.

I just miss her, and missing her isn't really that bad.
It's the learning to deal with it that's the hard part.