nine years

June 2007, when puka shells were barely still a thing

May 27th, 2006.

Nine years ago, & 4 days after I was hoping he would (May 23rd is my favorite day of the year), an 18-year-old Jared took a 17-year-old me on a walk around my parents' neighborhood. We sat in a garden on the golf course. He said, "Kelsey Leigh Essmann, would you be my girlfriend?" & I said, "Of course."

We were babies. The older we get, the more we understand just how young we were. But I can still feel the knowledge I had in my heart & in my gut. That this was it. This was my big love. He was more than I could ever dream up. This was only going to get better.

Nine whole years have flown by. I've been thinking on this for the past couple of weeks & I don't know how to put this thought into words without sounding cheesy or insincere. But here it is: Every day is still a dream. My love for this man has not faltered, faded or dimmed. Love is so big. So overwhelming. It is seriously such a gift.

My heart booms for you, Jared Stedman Bethune. I love you, My Someone.



Well, hello.

Just another "checking in" post as yet another month has nearly come & gone with me making all of two grand appearances on my own blog.

  • I'm sitting in the coffee shop down the street currently because our building's water has been shut off for the second time this week, in an effort for plumbers to correct the issues that our fellow tenants have quite literally flushed down the toilet. Cue questioning apartment living that inevitably leads to adding up how much money we're wasting on rent & the panic attack that ensues.
  • But the great news is that I really love the coffee shop down the street.
  • Our balcony got a surprise facelift last week & it has inspired us to invest a little more in that space. You know, since our apartment is teeny & we'll take all the extra living space we can get. 
  • Important to note that we have officially decided to stick it out in this apartment for one more year - A surprising twist beings that I had an active countdown to August 2015 when we first moved in. We've worked hard to make that little place home, & also have high hopes of being able to afford a better place in August 2016... Something we can't quite work into the budget right now. If we moved this year, we'd be sacrificing location (location location) for a little less rent & more than likely, even less space. To which we say, "Thanks but no thanks."
  • I'm very happy to report that spring in DC has indeed restored my soul, as predicted here. We have fallen deeper & deeper in love with this city as the weather has grown warmer.
  • Things with Tart have remained BUSY. Hence my lack of social presence on the interwebz. Things slow down just a little bit over the summer, & I have a really exciting to-do list that consists of items like: Organize emails, file receipts, track mileage.
  • Jared was sent to Toronto for work, where he fell a little bit in love with Canadians & brought me back ROSE FLAVORED GIN & a Roots sweatshirt. I'm pretty sure this is some form of pacification since I haven't been able to tag along on any of his work adventures, but as long as there's rose flavored anything involved, I'm happy.
  • OH! & I cut my hair!
If I have anything else to say, it didn't fly from my fingertips fast enough, as I must depart for el part-time job-oh. Womp. #chaptersoflife


iphone does: cardinals nation

A beautiful day for baseball
Cherry blossoms + dad being reprimanded by George Washington for rooting for the rival team
Game #1 aka my turn to wear our (yes, OUR) new Cardinals shirt
Mama & Papa E!
WHEN IN ROME! + Game #1's dugout seats
Sweet Grandma - I hope to age as beautifully as she has
They may actually be the game's biggest fans
The man who started a Redbird legacy
My man Yadi on the right!
As dad put it, you can take the usher out of the ballpark, but you can't take the usher out of the man
I mean, those are cute. And conveniently, delicious.
Pictures like this make me wonder if I'm nearing my quota of how many selfies I can impose on him
Post game brewery madness at Bluejacket

Because I am approximately 6 months behind in blogging about life events, these are from ohhhhh you knowwww, last MONTH when my parents & grandparents came up to DC to join us for the Cardinals vs. Nationals game. Both of my parents hail from St. Louis, so I was born into Cardinals fandom. Jared is a more recent convert, having no opinions on baseball prior to dating me, & eventually becoming -- Dare I say it? -- a bigger baseball fan than I am. We made it to two of the three games, & had equal amounts of fun with the ENORMOUS Cardinals fan base that we were surrounded by at both games. (& really, we like to have local spirit, but only when the Cardinals aren't the opponents. Go Nats.)

It was especially an honor to have both of my grandparents at the game. My grandfather has worked at the Cardinals' Busch Stadium since he retired over 20 years ago, ushering every home game ever, I'm pretty sure. My grandma joined him at the stadium for the past few years, & together, they are surely the biggest Cardinals fans I've ever met. They recently moved out to Virginia from St. Louis & are experiencing their first baseball season away from the ballpark, so it was very important to all of us that we got them to their team while our redbirds were nearby. It was a truly memorable afternoon, enjoying the game with them from the stands.


this month - may

MAKING - more frequent trips to the weekly farmer's market
CRAVING - a day slathered in sunscreen, on the water somewhere
PLAYING - house, as the spring rearranging bug has bit
LISTENING TO - the new Alabama Shakes album, forever and ever amen
READING - reviews on outdoor partitions, in our continued attempt to home-ify our giant balcony
WATCHING - puppy videos on youtube, pretty much every day at this point
WEARING - dresses! & sandals that show my toes!
LEARNING - that you don't walk to work in the same outfit you're going to wear to work when it's over 70 degrees outside
GOING TO - Richmond via train more often & learning to love it. Learning.
WORKING ON - a non-wedding event for the first time & maybe having too much fun with it
OBSESSED WITH - Shiner's Ruby Redbird being back in the grocery store for the warm weather
PLANNING - for the summer months, already
EXCITED FOR - a haircut! 
HOPING - my baby cilantro plant survives
STARTING - to see more sunsets, even on the days I work at my part time job, as the days get longer
FINISHING - off old candles to make way for a new army of Anthro candles

What are you up to this month?