The Orange Trail

Fact: I hate getting dirty. I hate bugs even more; especially ticks!

Growing up in Alaska, those little blood-sucking critters weren’t anything I ever had to deal with or had encountered until I moved to Indiana. Getting out on the trail is an easy workout, and we live pretty close to a park here in Indianapolis, so why not get out and enjoy some fresh air.

Back home in Alaska you get more scenic and mountainous views. There are trees everywhere, but the trails I frequented didn’t involve trekking through mud or doing tick-checks when I got home. Okay, sure, moose and grizzly bears are far scarier than ticks… but give me a break! Ticks are just #$%#$^#@#$@$^^&$% to me (laughs).

Usually if I’m in a scenario where I’m not having the most fun, or I’m working through a tough moment, I go silent. That is me processing whatever thoughts are bouncing around my head at the time.

I’ve never been a whiner, but I am very honest. My dad would tell me all the time growing up “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” My aunties would blast me with the classic line “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Family and friends would jump down my throat accusing me of being a wet blanket if they perceived I was having a terrible time. Those of you who know me have seen the majority of my facial expressions, and know that I don’t have to use any words to communicate how I’m feeling most of the time. This is something I’ve learned to contain… for the most part.

I’ve learned to communicate that a situation may be new and that I wouldn’t put myself in any scenario that would make me uncomfortable.

Hitting the trails with S has been funny, mostly because if we encounter a long stretch of muddy non-sense, or have to go through a tighter trails with brush – more chances of getting TICKS – I simply say “I’m trying. You know I’m trying.” I’m sure S is getting a kick out of this inside, but he’s very supportive.

We’d planned to get out on the fitness trail today, but Mother Nature has other plans. It’s been pouring cats and dogs this weekend, so I’m NOT going anywhere near that trail until it dries up a bit. Hey! Don’t judge. I’m taking baby steps here.

Oh! You can find a clip of the trail adventure on my Instagram profile.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

J

A Quick Getaway

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(Reynold and I in front of IU auditorium)

 

Sometimes you just have to get out of town. S and I decided weeks ago that we would take Friday off and spend a weekend in Bloomington. Bloomington, Indiana is the home of Indiana  University – Go Hoosiers! – and is where our story began. This makes it an easy place to visit if we need to escape the city and relive the college glory days, as it’s only and hour south of Indianapolis.

We decided that we  didn’t want to let too many know that we were in town. Reconnecting and refocusing our energies on each other, at times, can mean tuning everyone and everything out for a moment. This is not to alienate or disrespect those in the area, but to share valuable time with each other  and have a private adventure away from our cozy couch. We did stop by a good friend’s house to visit with her and her son, but we hadn’t seen her in ages! We had to say hello.

 

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The weekend was nice and simple. Before checking into the Hotel, we got to hangout with Reynold – our pup – at one of  our favorite Bloomington spots, Crazy Horse, and walk the B-Line trail. Later that evening we enjoyed dinner and drinks at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and turned in after a couple more drinks at the hotel bar.

We spent the next day walking around campus with puppy, exploring shops, and recounting all the wild and crazy times we had as undergrads. I really got a kick out of walking all over the IU campus with our dog – it’s like I was taking my kid to orientation or something, haha, showing him the beauty and glory or IU’s campus. Saturday evening was a very enjoyable and relaxing time for the both of us. We’d planned to go out, but somehow, we never made it out the door 🙂

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Sidebar: Orientation is currently going on at IU. If you didn’t know, I was an IU orientation leader the summer of 2007 for the university and to this day say it was probably the best job I had. It was fun and exciting for me  to spend a summer greeting our new students and parents; getting them excited about the adventure they’d begun. I smiled every time I saw a group and spotted one or two orientation leader t-shirts in the middle of the crowd. Has it really been eleven years since I was in that t-shirt? Goodness.

The weekends are never long enough, but we appreciate any bit of time we can spend with each other. A quick weekend trip down the road is inexpensive and a fun way to experience the escape of a vacation without breaking the bank or taking too much time from work. Could we have used another day in Bloomington? We could ALWAYS use another day. Have any of you ever taken a little staycation with your significant other? Share your experience with us in the comments! We’d  love to hear 🙂

J

*Reblog* One Night Dance

Original post here.

I embrace the dark, pulsing, cloud of people that is the dance floor at the bar. Dancing is something I have to be in the mood for, and tonight I would turn up the heat.  Scorpio season’s influence is heavy in the air as I begin to wind up – serving up my best Beyonce – and feel the rhythm of the sounds around me.  It’s not long before my friends and I are in the zone, and wondering eyes find their attention on our group.  I turn around and make instant eye contact with the buzzed and beefy stranger who would become my dance partner for the better part of the following hour. Not moving an inch out of my personal circumference, I watch him approach; his interest growing with every step he takes. I don’t miss a beat as he enters my bubble. “Hi” he speaks over the music, and syncs his movements to mine. “Good evening” I respond as I let his palm meet my chest. Together we move like one of the ocean’s traveling waves, and communicate only with our eyes.  His buzzed head, thick frame, and fitted jeans move in ways I appreciate greatly. The only thing that would send this moment completely over the top would be if S were standing in the corner watching. “You’re good at this” he breathes into my ear, before turning around to offer his backside, and run his hands up and down my thigh. “Well, I did get you to come over here… and thanks.” I allow him to enjoy me for a little while longer before I find his eyes again. “It’s past my bedtime, sir. Thanks for an amazing dance.” “Would you like company?” he offers with eyes both timid and curious. “Not tonight, but thanks.” Using one hand, I pull his belt buckle loose, flash a smile, and exit the bar.

One Night Dance

I embrace the dark, pulsing, cloud of people that is the dance floor at the bar. Dancing is something I have to be in the mood for, and tonight I would turn up the heat.  Scorpio season’s influence is heavy in the air as I begin to wind up – serving up my best Beyonce – and feel the rhythm of the sounds around me.  It’s not long before my friends and I are in the zone, and wondering eyes find their attention on our group.  I turn around and make instant eye contact with the buzzed and beefy stranger who would become my dance partner for the better part of the following hour. Not moving an inch out of my personal circumference, I watch him approach; his interest growing with every step he takes. I don’t miss a beat as he enters my bubble. “Hi” he speaks over the music, and syncs his movements to mine. “Good evening” I respond as I let his palm meet my chest. Together we move like one of the ocean’s traveling waves, and communicate only with our eyes.  His buzzed head, thick frame, and fitted jeans move in ways I appreciate greatly. The only thing that would send this moment completely over the top would be if S were standing in the corner watching. “You’re good at this” he breathes into my ear, before turning around to offer his backside, and run his hands up and down my thigh. “Well, I did get you to come over here… and thanks.” I allow him to enjoy me for a little while longer before I find his eyes again. “It’s past my bedtime, sir. Thanks for an amazing dance.” “Would you like company?” he offers with eyes both timid and curious. “Not tonight, but thanks.” Using one hand, I pull his belt buckle loose, flash a smile, and exit the bar.

Y E A R O N E .

It’s been one year since I posted Sparks on Gays in the Life – my first post for the blog. Where did the time go?! I’m so happy with the progress I’ve made, amazed at the unexpected lessons I’ve learned through each post, and stunned that people actually still read this little project of mine.

So much has happened in the past year, and it’s been a welcomed creative challenge to keep the ideas fresh and flowing. I appreciate all of you so much, and thank you for your time and attention. Your presence as an audience keeps me motivated, and the result has been the production of forty-seven posts on Gays in the Life to date; there are fifty-two weeks in a year. I hope all of my readers have been able to apply every message that’s been downloaded into each entry, grown with me (and S), and have learned a little more about our everyday lives as a pair of husbands.

Some highlights within the past year include: Reaching a number of communities with GITL, learning more about myself and my husband (through planning each entry), hitting almost two-hundred views in one day, collaborating with fellow bloggers, our first marriage anniversary, NATIONAL MARRIAGE EQUALITY, substantial growth professionally, getting our puppy, and yes… FINALLY starting my book.

Most of me still wonders how I actually managed keep up with the blog, a fairly busy life, and a number of hopeful side projects I have stored in my head; why can’t I just pick one thing and stick with it? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every brainstorming session, editing hour, and growing the project with each week. I wholeheartedly believe that none of this would be possible without any of you. If you’ve read one, or all, of my post(s)… thank you. If you’ve shared any entry with a friend or your followers… thank you.  And if you’re currently reading this jumbled mess of thanks… THANK you.

Love,

J.

For the Love of Butter, and A Nearly Carbless Life.

“Dieting can suck, but that’s up to you.” This is the mentality S and I adopted when we began our low-carb journey almost two years ago.  We had both played the yo-yoing-weight-fluctuating game over the years, and we decided that counting calories was not enough. Working out was part of our regular routine, so what was the deal? A diet that shocked our system was our sole goal to battle the repetitious plateaus that would taunt us from the scale’s view. Plateaus happen, but something wasn’t quite clicking with the workout and eating schedule we were keeping.  What about the factors beyond calories and exercise? What about the food and how it affects our bodies in the long run? My husband, S, mentioned the success he had doing the Atkins diet some years back, and that is how the low-carb curiosity was sparked.

“No bread? No beer?” Sandwiches are still my favorite food – I can turn anything into a sandwich, and didn’t mind doing so in the past – and beer is currently the only thing I miss if I have any cravings.  The first year was up and down, but we saw a great deal of success; only keeping our carbohydrate consumption around twenty grams a day.  The hardest part of any diet, or lifestyle change, is controlling your cravings and staying mentally persistent with your intended goal always on the mind. When we started our journey, the only goal we had was to lose weight and look good. After year one and deciding that we wanted to continue on a low-carb diet, we got more into the health aspects and benefits of the lifestyle. We still stay around twenty grams of carbohydrates a day, but we’re also focusing on the consumption of good, fatty foods.

Eating like our ancestors, the cavemen – with heavy emphasis on low carbohydrates and good high fats – has changed the way we function and the way our health is maintained.  The adjustment from a low-fat/high carbohydrate diet was not an easy one, but focusing on the specifics of our diet – we’ll get into the details of low carbohydrates and high fat on a separate post – and eating REAL, non-processed foods, has us feeling great, and learning more and more about human health in the process.  We’re not so strict that we don’t enjoy a good cheat meal every once in a while, and encourage a good burger and beer here and there. You can’t forget to live. Discipline is the key to any diet, but you have to have fun with what you’re doing. We don’t ever feel like we’re on a diet. Do you?

REYNOLD

For two years now, S and I have known that we would name our puppy Reynold. We were expecting to breed S’s family dog, Petey, last summer, but his female counterpart never came into heat; biology can be so raunchy sounding when it wants. On June 1st, 2015, Petey and Lily’s puppies were born: image1

The goal in breeding Petey and Lily (the pup’s mother) was to get more black and tan Rat Terriers, as you don’t see very many with that color combo. A dog’s first litter tends to be small, so I guessed there would be four puppies total, and S guessed six. S was the winner because five males, and one female were born. So far the wait has been worth it, and we could not have got any luckier with the results. In the litter, there’s one all black female, a black and white male, and the rest are black and tan; exactly what we wanted, AND we get options! Lily is mostly black with some tan and white coloring, but Petey’s look is what we and S’s parent’s were hoping for:

Petey Robinson

I mentioned adopting a puppy this summer if Lily didn’t come into heat, so these puppies are right on  time! I’ve been having puppy fever for a couple years now, so waiting a few more weeks to pick our puppy – we get first pick as a stud fee – and spend some time with him is the hardest thing right now; not to mention every weekend until the weekend we meet him is booked, so there’s no chance of sneaking down early. I can’t wait to meet our first fur child. I’m excited for this new adventure, and I think it’s pretty cool that our first puppy is a direct descendant of S’s family dog. I hate that “rat” is in the name of our dog’s breed, but they really are sweet, clever, cute little things. I consider dogs to be close to the same level as children. If i’m caring for another life, it won’t be a half-assed job, and Reynold will probably be spoiled beyond belief… because of me, BUT he will be trained and have manners (lol); he’s even going to be on a grain-free diet like his daddies. It’ll be fun to see how S and I parent together, but mostly it should be a great time. We’re both really excited about welcoming him into our home, early August, and we cannot wait to share more pictures and entries about our adventures with Sir Reynold in the future.