Five Years and a Whole Lot of Love

Five years ago: Wedding ceremony, part 1 (CL, 2/21/09) and part 2 (Key West, 3/21/09)

Five years ago: Wedding ceremony, part 1 (CL, 2/21/09) and part 2 (Key West, 3/21/09)

Five years ago today, I piled into a car with my dad, mom, and sister, dressed in a white gown and black snow boots. We were headed to St. Ann’s in Coventry. It was snowing and I was stressing out – no surprises there.

Was I nervous that I was about to get married to Scott? Not at all. Out of all the things in my life, he is the one thing I have always been sure of.

I was just running late, and I hate running late. I was also anxious about slipping on ice or falling on my way down the aisle.

However, the moment I saw Scott patiently waiting for me at the front of the church, I was calm. Whether it’s our wedding day or a random Tuesday, Scott has the ability to calm my nerves with just a funny face:

scott face

Not sure if this particular Scott face is funny or scary

With Valentine’s Day and our anniversary so close to each other, love’s been on my mind lately. However, not just love for Scott, but for the friends, family, and city that have made up so much of our marriage and supported us through this past year of ups and downs.


I count myself very lucky that my mom, dad, and sister are in good health and I get to see them fairly regularly considering they live in Virginia. The good health hasn’t always been the case, and I also know it won’t always be the case. But at this moment, everyone’s happy and healthy and I’m grateful for that. I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can for as long as that lasts.

They keep me honest – about myself, my feelings, and how things are going.

I’m also grateful to finally have Scott’s parents and grandmom in Cleveland. I forgot what it was like to have family right around the corner. I didn’t even realize it, but I missed Sunday dinners. I want to spend as much time as possible with this lady:

Grandmom made a tomato heart in honor of Valentine's Day

Grandmom made a tomato heart in honor of Valentine’s Day

It also means we’ll get to see more of Scott’s sister and our brand new brother-in-law! Happy one-month anniversary, Laura and Max.


I know that Scott and I have the habit of retreating into our own little insulated world — one constructed of comic books, LEGOs, and two crazy cats. However, it’s good to escape and enjoy some time with the girls. After the stress of the last few weeks, not one, but two girls nights were needed.

Nothing can quell my anxiety quite like Ty Fun’s Gang Gari curry, chocolate, bubbly, sorbet, and an evening with Alicia, Jen, and Kimberly. I have a tendency to go down the rabbit hole of panic and negativity. And although they let me ramble on about whatever’s bothering me (or the 500 things that are bothering me), they also force me to talk about what’s good. That, more than anything, helps stave off my crazy.

As if that wasn’t enough, I celebrated my first Galentine’s Day on Sunday with some friends from work. What is Galentine’s Day, you say? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year! (Non-Parks and Rec fans can check out the link.)

We channeled our inner Leslie Knope and enjoyed a delicious (and slightly rowdy) brunch at Le Petit Triangle. The smoked salmon crepes were magnificent; however, I don’t think you could go wrong with anything on that menu. And although no one got a needlepoint pillow with their face on it, I think we would have made Leslie proud with our various gifts:

Will you be my Galentine?

Will you be my Galentine?


A post about the last five years would not be complete without a mention of Cleveland. Exploring the city and its surrounding areas is how we spend most of our time as a couple, finding new things to love from the region’s great food, attractions, and nonprofits.

One event recently combined all of those things – the Cleveland Zoological Society’s Animal Attractions:

Food from some of the area’s best restaurants. Favorite dishes came from Rosander Event Kitchen, Whole Foods, and AMP150. I’ve learned to expect that I’ll always love AMP150’s soup; however, Animal Attractions’ roasted red pepper soup impressed even me. In many red pepper soups you may get a little heat and acidity; however, you could fully taste the fresh red pepper in AMP150’s.

Year-round Fun at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. It may have been cold the night of Animal Attractions, but it was hot inside the Zoo’s Rainforest. I enjoyed being surrounded by all of the tropical flora while saying hello to my favorite Rainforest residents: the porcupine, the chameleon, and the orangutans. We also got to hold a bear’s baculum during the pun-filled Bear Foot and Pregnant presentation!

The Zoo's Curator of Animals Travis Vineyard had a surprise co-presenter during Bear Foot and Pregnant

The Zoo’s Curator of Animals Travis Vineyard had a surprise co-presenter during Bear Foot and Pregnant

Supporting the Cleveland Zoological Society. Scott and I are glad to be members of the Cleveland Zoological Society and love that such a good night goes to raise money for the Zoo’s programs. Summer will be here soon enough with more Zoological Society events like ZippityZooDoo (6/6), Twilight at the Zoo (8/1), and Date Night at the ZOOvies (8/22). We hope to see you out at them.


Which brings me back to Scott. Every year of marriage has its ups and downs; however, this past one brought more challenges than the previous.

We both had changes occur in our jobs, which although good, were still an adjustment. We also struggled with some personal news.

After unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for 3 years, we decided to get tested last Spring for fertility issues. Considering it took both sets of parents ten years to get pregnant. I always knew it could take awhile. However, they also started much younger than us so we wanted to find out sooner than later if there were any issues.

We learned this past year that, in fact, it would be very difficult to get pregnant.

This was not the news Scott and I had hoped for, at first. However, it opened the door to another possibility. One, that after a lot of reflection and conversations, we’re even happier with.

We’re going to adopt.

This isn’t news if you and I are friends on Facebook; however, it is the first time I’ve shared it here in a more public forum.

Why share it now? As I think about the last five years of marriage with Scott, supported by family and friends and surrounded by this fantastic city, I’m also looking ahead to the next five.

Here's to the next five years and beyond

Here’s to the next five years and beyond

Realistically, I know the adoption process is not going to be easy or quick. Because of this, we’re forcing ourselves to take our time. We know we want to move forward with a domestic infant adoption, and our goal for 2014 is to just pick an agency we’re happy with and prepare ourselves by attending more workshops at Adoption Network Cleveland.

In the meantime, though, Scott and I will continue living, loving, and most of all laughing. And we’re happy you’ll be here with us.

One of the rare times I've told a funny joke

One of the rare times I’ve told a funny joke

Happy anniversary, Scott!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Animal Attractions in exchange for previewing the event on my blog. Opinions about the event are my own.
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  1. Happy anniversary! Love you guys!

  2. Crystal @EatDrinkClev

    Happy anniversary! You two are such a great pair! With us just being married almost 5 months, you are great role models. XOXO

  3. This is beautiful Amanda! I especially love this: “Out of all the things in my life, he is the one thing I have always been sure of.” Good luck on your journey to adopt – that is wonderful and you will be a fun, fantastic mom.

  4. Happy Anniversary! So happy you guys are going to adopt!

  5. That is awesome news re: the adoption. Congrats and good luck to you guys!!

  6. You are amazing and with Scott, you are both unstopable. I hope we are around to see the next five years!

  7. Happy anniversary, and congratulations on your big life decision! Any child will be lucky to have you both in their lives.

  8. Happy anniversary! And good luck with the adoption process – it will be so rewarding in the end! And it’s a very important choice you both decided to make, you will both be wonderful parents :)

  9. Happy Anniversary! You two are the best! We are lucky parents and so proud of you both. We are happy to be here in Ohio, and closer as you have your future adventures.
    Amanda, you write so beautifully. Your blog has meant a lot to us these past five plus years since you made Ohio your new home. It as has been an insight, a sharing of personal events and also all that the Cleveland area has to offer. We left our home in New Jersey with confident anticipation of new, fun adventures and best of all being closer to you and Scotty.
    So here’s to Sunday dinners and all the good things being with family offers, and being in a good place has to offer.
    With love, Mom and Dad (H) and Grandmom

  10. Happy Anniversary! My hubby and I celebrate 5 years in September. I admire you for blogging about such a personal matter but honestly I don’t know of any other Cleveland bloggers who have talked about adoption. I’m sure if you continue to document your process and experience it will be an amazing resource. Blessings!

  11. I love this, Amanda. I’m a little late (I’m soooo behind on my blog reading), so I hope you had a great anniversary. I can’t believe it’s 5 years already. It must’ve been, what, 8 years since I first met you in New York?! Yikes!! Congratulations and best of luck with everything!!

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