Sunday, December 4, 2011

Celebrating Two Years of Wedded Bliss

See that photo? -----> This is the photo that peaked my interest in the man who I now proudly call "husband". This photo was one of his profile pics on okcupid, and it made me think, "This man is silly...this is good." It's the photo that made me answer his initial message, and the one I kept peeking at whenever I logged on to see if he'd sent me anything new. Happily, we quickly moved past the friendly banter on the dating site and exchanged actual email addresses. Soon we were talking on the phone (which if you know me, you know I hate doing!) and set up a coffee date. I emailed my friend in Australia to tell how nervous I was to meet him in person. I couldn't figure out why I was nervous... I'd been at this whole dating thing a while, and had pretty much gotten past letting it freak me out. Something about Ames was different, though. We met at Stella's on Pearl on a wonderfully warm and sunny Sept (the 7th) day. I parked about a half a block up and checked myself over to make sure nothing was amok. Deep breath. Concentrate on NOT tripping as I walked towards him. I remember laughing a little because my heart was beating so hard I could feel it in my neck. I managed to make it up the two steps and shake his hand and speak a full sentence without A)giggling like an idiot B)spitting on him C)mucking up the correct order of the words coming out of my mouth. Yay for me! Those hours we sat talking flew by, and suddenly it was time to go and pick up our respective children from their other parental units. He walked me to my car and asked if he could fix dinner for me. No kiss happened then and though I was mighty curious (he has delicious lips), I was happy it didn't happen there on the sidewalk. A couple of never ending/time stood still/what am I going to wear days later, I went to his house for dinner. He gave me the tour and this was in his room. --->
It projects the time on to the ceiling!! I don't know why that goofy Batman clock made me so giddy, but it did. It said a lot about who Ames is. He embraces his inner geek. I quickly grew to love this quirky man- in fact, I fell head over heels watching him recite the lines to The Dark Knight. I looked over at this grown man sitting on the edge of his movie theater seat and sank deep into a rainbows, tweeting birds, butterflies flitting, unicorns and puppy filled love. I didn't tell him for another month, though:) My life since I met Ames has been full of happiness, silliness, long talks, lots of hand holding, laughter and a deep kind of love I really didn't think existed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meet Rosie! Our newest foster pup:)
Isn't she just beautiful?? Her big brown eyes just make you melt, don't they? Rosie is nearly a year old, so she's just about done growing. She's roughly 50lbs. and on the larger side of "medium dog". She's house trained, crate trained, up to date on shots, spayed, pretty decent on a leash, will bring the ball back when playing fetch, knows several commands, doesn't have any issues with people, loves other dogs and thinks the cat is mighty fun. She was well loved by her previous owner, who tried their best to keep her, but couldn't due to their living situation. She came to New Hope about three weeks ago. Rosie will stick right by your side and isn't distracted easily. We think she'll be excellent on hikes off leash. She is very attentive and watching her watch our movements is pretty fascinating. I'm sure that if she had thumbs, she'd figure out how to get the fridge open as she knows that's where the good stuff is! Rosie is incredibly gentle with people and loves to cuddle and have her ears scratched. Her ears are so soft:)! She snores when she sleeps, and sometimes hogs the blankets. Rosie is not afraid of loud noises (ie: kids), will bob for ice cubes in her water dish and enjoys being brushed. She loves to chew and will annihilate a rawhide in mere hours... especially if you put a little peanut butter in it. Give her the tree trimmings and she'll mulch them for you.
When you adopt a dog our family has been fostering, you can expect this: A happy, playful pup who's been cuddled and kissed and spoiled a bit. A pup who sleeps on the bed (or wherever they want) with several other dogs, who has been a pillow for children, and knows that when told to "sit" in the kitchen that there's usually a treat coming.
You'll have peace of mind knowing that your new pal gets along just fine with kids of all ages, other dogs, grown ups, knows what it's like to ride in the car and has passed the "dog park test". Your dog will be healthy, having been thoroughly checked out by the vets who work with New Hope, and will have been fed a high quality food during their time with us (we are dog food snobs... just fyi..) Your pup will know basic commands and will have been rewarded for good behavior. Your pup will not have been scolded for things they may have done but we didn't catch them doing, as we know a dog must be caught in the act in order to understand why you are scolding them. Your pal will never have been hit by us. We will ask you a plethora of questions about your daily activity, living situation, family members and other pets. Our job is to make sure everyone will be happy. We will visit your home if possible. We will turn you away should you say things like, "We want a puppy, but have you trained her to not chew on things?". We might tear up a bit saying "goodbye", but that's because part of us has fallen in love with your new pal. The joy of knowing we've just made you and a dog very happy is rewarding beyond words. Rosie, along with many other wonderful Cattle Dogs, will be at an Adoption Fair this Saturday (the 8th) at Petco in Golden--- address is--17132 West Colfax Ave., CO 80401 from 9am until 3pm. Even if you're not looking for a new pup, please share this info with others. Thank you! http://www.nhcdrescuecolorado.com/

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How to Not Be a Jerk On the Road


I drive A LOT for my job. I've driven up and down I-70 22 times so far this summer. I feel the need to share my rules for not being a jack ass while operating a motor vehicle.
1- Merging onto the highway. You see those cars you're about to shove yourself in between? Chances are they're all going at least 65. No one really goes the speed limit. Your job is to successfully put your vehicle in the mix, and to do so you need to A)realize that the "Yield" sign is for you, not them and B)accelerate up to that speed! Yes, move faster! Merging while going 32 miles per hour forces others to slam on their brakes, swerve, smash into the back of you. None of these create a positive outcome. The good folks speeding by on the highway should not have to do any of these things. They are busy driving very fast. Let them concentrate on that.
2- Roundabouts. One lane? Signal your off; meaning let people know you're exiting. Two or more lanes? THE OUTER LANE is the off lane! This means you do not cut over into it hoping the car there already knows what you're doing. If you miss your off, CIRCLE BACK AROUND. This is the cool thing about roundabouts... take you about eight seconds, maybe. Merging into a roundabout means you WAIT for an opening and go. Not just go. Those stop and yield signs are for you.
3-Slow moving semis. Chances are if you're on a mountain highway you'll see dozens of semis and other large vehicles with their hazards on going REALLY slow as they are not able to cruise along at 70 while going up an 8% grade. If you are in the lane behind them and want to pass them, DO NOT race up behind them, slam on your brakes and cut over. This is guaranteed to A)piss many people off and B) make you an ass. Get over early! Why wait?? You know you're going to pass them, so do so when you have an opening. Plan on accelerating to match the speed of the lane you're moving in to.
4- Signaling. NO ONE CAN READ YOUR MIND. Turns signals are there for this reason. Use them. We won't think any less of you. If you see someone signaling to get over into your lane, let them! Seriously, is slowing down a touch to give them room going to wreck your day? What is that, like, 1.8 seconds for you? Chances are pretty good they have a reason to be doing so, and you might even get "the wave"!
5- Motorcyclists... I have a lot for you.. Helmets hung on the side of your bike make us all laugh at you. It's not sexy; it's stupidity in one of the highest forms. Lack of proper protective gear is equally lame. We secretly hope you wreck and become one big scab.
Do not expect the two ton minivan you just cut off and stopped abruptly in front of to be able to stop as abruptly as you did. It's not physically possible.
Do not take turns wide on blind curvy mountain roads. This is not a race track. I came upon a wreck of motorcycle vs. boat on the pass to Winterpark... who do you think won? I'm sure when Mr. Motorcyclist started his day he didn't picture it ending with the Hazmat guys hosing down his remnants from the roadway.
Do not ride the center lane if traffic is moving swiftly along. It's okay if we're all at a slow crawl or stand still... 99% of us will be jealous of your ingenuity. If you try to do this when we're cruising along at 85mph, chances are someone will stop you because you're being an ass. Come upon a vehicle switching lanes that isn't using their trusty turn signal and you're one big smear.
Vehicle drivers, you are not to turn in front of a motorcycle unless you have a safe distance to do so! You can kill them! You cannot merge into their lane if they are next to you, either. You can kill them! Do not try to race them up the on-ramp, then cut them off, either. You can kill them! Figure this... anyone who puts their person onto a piece of machinery that offers no protection and can quickly accelerate to over 200mph.. well, they are not like you. They have a bit of an edge to them. They like to jump out of planes and get tattoos and enjoy mosh pits. It's okay to be different from them. Differences are what make us interesting. Just don't hold it against them. Also figure that some of these motorcyclists will not hesitate to beat the crap out of your car door with their armored fist should you have just risked killing them.
6- Texting while driving. NO ONE can safely text and drive. NO ONE. If it's that damned important, wait until you are stopped, or pull over into a parking lot or onto the side of the road. But you trying to text while you drive causes you to swerve, suddenly slow down, not see what is right in front of you... like the tree you're headed towards, or the pedestrian crossing the road in one of those tourist town crosswalks. Tourists don't wait for you to stop... they just go. All sense of reason left them at the airport.
what else...
7-Driving in snow/ice. You have four wheel or all wheel drive... hooray for you! This doesn't mean you won't go sliding off the road into a ravine like the rest of us. Slow the hell down. You hit a patch of ice and your tires lose traction just like ours do. This also doesn't give you the ability to stop on a dime.
8-Your car is fast, right? Do not expect that minivan you come racing up on that's trying to pass the semi going up the 8% grade to be as fast as you. Riding up their ass will cause two things to happen. They will slow down because you are annoying, or they will continue to work at trying to pass the semi and you will become annoyed and start honking or flashing your lights. Neither works at all to help you get your way. Just accept the fact that we know your Porsche engine is far superior to the V6 in the minivan and get over it. They'll be out of your way as soon as they can be, I promise.
9- Slower drivers on curvy roads usually have a reason to be going slow. Perhaps they're not used to the curves and are nervous, or perhaps their vehicle isn't great at cornering, or perhaps they are transporting something fragile such as children or a wedding cake. Leave them be. Go around when you safely can and accept the fact that curvy roads are not everyone's cup of tea. If you happen to be the slow driver, be courteous and pull onto the shoulder or into the slower traffic lane to let others pass you. This is the nice thing to do. Less swearing will happen.
10- Tourists- Colorado is a beautiful state and our mountains are breathtaking. Please pull off of the road entirely and come to a complete stop to take your pictures. Please wait for a safe break in traffic to get out of your vehicle if your car door is close to oncoming lanes. We don't blame you for taking pictures, but we shouldn't have to swerve around your ass sticking out of your door because you are looking for spare batteries. In addition to this, DO NOT hold your camera out of the car window and try to take pictures while going 78mph. This is as stupid as texting while driving, and your pictures will most likely suck.
11- Vehicle on fire? You automatically get the right of way! We will all gladly move for you! DO NOT continue to drive. Exploding is bad. Pull over to the right hand emergency lane asap. We'll help you get there!

if you have anything to add to this list, please feel free to comment!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kelley's Kitchen: Bear (the Magnificent) the foster dog

Kelley's Kitchen: Bear (the Magnificent) the foster dog

Bear (the Magnificent) the foster dog



We're on foster number five, and so far it's been a wonderful experience for us! A lot of people ask how we can let them go... it's hard, but to be able to place a pup in a loving home is incredibly rewarding. I also facebook stalk the new family:)

So this is Bear, and he's awesome:) He's about a year old, up to date on shots, neutered, crate trained, house trained, excellent on a leash, and not a runner. I'm willing to bet he'll be amazing off leash as well. He's full of energy and very sociable. No issues come with this dog! Like most cattle dogs, he's very cuddly and will happily curl up next to you and rest his head on your shoulder.

Bear gets along great with other dogs and doesn't exert the need to dominate. We now have three permanent furry pals and Bear very quickly bonded with them. He LOVES to play. He's fine with kids, too... our four think he's quite fab!

The general consensus is Bear is part Border Collie, which has made him very soft and fluffy. He has the most beautiful brown eyes, doesn't he?

If you're thinking about adopting one of these wonderful creatures, please feel free to contact me at kelleyinco@gmail.com or peruse the many fabulous furry folk on the New Hope website www.nhcdrescuecolorado.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

From Sketch to Reality

I just completed one of the more elaborate cakes to date--- going from a flat sketch to the sides of a cake is joyous for me, as all of the thoughts jumping around in my head finally come together. Up to the time it's being created I have been known to say to clients, "Bear with me... I can see it in my head!"
This is the sketch:




















And this is what it looked like when all was said and done:


















Congrats to Melissa and Jeff:) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be a part of your wedding day!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Meet Lacey! Our newest foster dog!


Isn't she beautiful? She knows it, too:) Lacey is one heck of a terrific dog! She's roughly one and a half years old and is current on all shots and has been spayed. She's incredibly intelligent, super cuddly, most excellent on a leash and loves to play. She's all of the great things about a cattle dog, and BONUS, she's super mellow about you leaving her alone! No crate needed! Down side of this dog-- she won't hear the doorbell.
Lacey is completely deaf, but you certainly wouldn't know it if we didn't tell you. We were a bit concerned she'd be skittish or hard to work with when they asked us to foster her, but I'm so glad we said "yes", because she is truly incredible. I've done a lot of research on deaf dogs and have found out it's very common for them to be far more focused than most dogs. Makes sense since they can't rely on their hearing, right? Lacey is constantly looking at our face to read our reactions, and our hands to see what we'd like for her to do. Lacey knows several hand commands like 'come', 'sit', 'stay' and 'leave it'. A simple thumbs up and a smile from you and she knows she's a good dog:)
If you think about it, you probably use your hands when training a hearing dog, so it's no different at all when training a deaf dog. Lacey will frequently turn and look to see where we are at. I about fell over the first time I took her for a walk and noticed that not only was she looking up at me to make sure she stayed right at my heel, but she also watched our shadows and slowed down to stay where she was supposed to stay! Crazy!


Another bonus---she's quiet. Like, no crazy barking and whining. We have several small yapper dogs in the area and sometimes they get our Radar going a little bananas. Lacey just looks at him like, "What the heck, man?" She visits other dogs, but there's no freaking out at all. It is awesome!



The first day we tested her a lot to see if she would startle if you just came up and touched her. I think we were all thinking about how you never walk up behind a horse and touch them, because you will most likely get kicked right square in the chest. Lacey has yet to act startled, despite all of the random surprise touching and nudging we've done. I felt kind of silly even thinking this was a concern after I gave it some thought. This is what she knows, so why would it bother her?

If you're looking for a fabulous dog who will love curling up on the couch with you as much as taking a hike, consider Lacey.
You can find out more about her by contacting me personally at kelleyinco@gmail.com

Check out New Hope Cattle Dog Rescue of Colorado, too. There are so many wonderful dogs waiting for a forever home!
http://www.nhcdrescuecolorado.com/

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When Grooms get involved....


Recently I had a second meeting with a lovely couple to discuss some changes to the cake design, and to my surprise, the groom had sketched out the cake. His sketch is so awesome, I had to blog it:) I love this.. when couples get excited over the design of their cake. They had even considered how this cake would look up against the beautiful, rich wood tones inside The Villa Parker:) I think they nailed it... a vibrant purple cake with shimmery champagne toned details is going to look stunning in there!

They asked if it bothered me that they made a sketch, and I told them not even the tiniest bit... this cake isn't about me. It's YOUR cake. I just get the extreme pleasure of creating for you. It's YOUR day. I am lucky enough to be a small part of it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Okay, who decided this?!


I'm getting calls and emails right now for wedding cakes needed during May through July. This is not good. I figured some big wedding blog or magazine had written a wedding planning time-line and so I did a little digging, and lo and behold, this is what I found: The WeddingChannel.com says pick your baker and cake in the 4 to 5 month range. Contemporary Bride says 5 to 6 months. Real Simple (never heard of this) also says 4 to 5 months... I read nine different lists before I came across only one that was fairly realistic (at least six months out) and mentioned that you must consider what time of year you're getting married as part of your planning.

If you're getting married during prime wedding season, which is May through September, waiting until NOW to think about cake is not a great idea and will severely limit your choices out there. Not many bakeries do a ton of cakes in a weekend like they do on Cake Boss. Most of us limit the amount of cakes we'll do to just a few. If your wedding is up in the mountains and you're looking at bakeries in Denver, you've got to factor in the five to six hours of delivery time... which means your cake is quite possibly be all that a bakery will take on that day and waiting until now to order it for your June wedding is not a good decision.

I'm really frustrated with these wedding planning time lines that have clients waiting so long to book certain vendors, and I wish there was a way to educate the writers.

An addition... after posting this blog on my Facebook and Twitter pages, I received several comments regarding florists and musicians. These are folks you don't want to wait to book either. Musicians in particular are limited to what they can do in a day. Florists can usually handle a little bigger load but they still need to factor in assembly and how long delivery will take for orders and A)they need to sleep at some point and B)cannot fly.
We all get busy during those prime months, and we dread having to turn anyone down. It's stressful for you and that's no good! So plan early and save yourself a lot of headache and freaking out:)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Love Story Contest Winners!

It was truly difficult to pick one winner, but this one just stood out. The chance meeting, that zinging sensation someone truly special gives you, the wish come true, the logistics of a long distance romance... Nicole and David experienced it all, and it's just incredible!

Nicole sent me their story, and it was so terrific I had a hard time shortening it... so I didn't:)



You Don’t Find Love, It Finds You

Most love stories start with “Once upon a time”, and while I assure you the following is a love story, I find it too cliché to start with this famous line. It has no fairy godmothers, no magic spells, no fire breathing dragons or princes on white stallions. Ours is a story of two simple people who met by chance, and by fate, fell in love and have made it work against all odds. And while being in love feels like magic most days, I refuse to let this love story start with a “once upon a time” like some Disney fantasy. No sir – because this is a “real life” love story, and everything I’m about to tell you actually happened to two very real people.
Our story starts with a coin.

Chapter 1: Coins in the Trevi
I am Italian. I had my first glass of wine in third grade, grew up listening to Sinatra instead of Madonna, and was taught it was a sacrilege to eat spaghetti if the sauce came from a jar. I’ve grown up in the Littleton/Highlands Ranch area my whole life, but was lucky enough to get to visit Italy – “the motherland” – with my family when I was 15 years old. On a whirlwind midnight tour of Rome, our group stopped at the Trevi Fountain to toss in a coin. For those of you who don’t know, there is a legend associated with the Trevi. They say if you turn your back and throw a coin in with your right hand, you will return to Rome one day. I’m usually not a big believer in those kinds of things, but I tossed a coin in anyway.
It must have been one powerful coin I threw in that night… because low and behold, 5 years later, I found myself making a return trip to Rome to study abroad for a semester in college! Now, upon this second trip to Rome, I made sure I paid tribute to the fountain that brought me such great luck the first time around! As I sat there eating my afternoon gelato, watching all the tourists come and go, I flipped through my pocket tourist book. In the footnotes on the entry on the Trevi Fountain I found something that caught my eye – it turns out there was even more to the legend of the Trevi than I was told the first time! The legend says throwing one coin in will ensure a return to Rome, a second coin leads to a new romance, and a third coin leads to marriage. Thinking about the power my first coin had had on my last trip, and the “young and single” stage of life I was in, I shuffled through my purse and pulled out two rusty old pennies. I turned around, mumbled “here’s to fate,” tossed the coins over my shoulder, wondering what I had just gotten myself into!

Chapter 2: Someone To Be Thankful For
I have always considered myself to be a planner. Seriously, I love organizing calendars with to-do’s weeks in advance, and I don’t go anywhere without my day timer! But there was one night in October in Rome when I acted way out of my usual “planner” character. One of my roommates came running into my room and told me she had just found this awesome deal where we could fly to Dublin and London round trip for our Thanksgiving break for only 100 Euro total for all 3 of us—that’s like $40 a person! But if I wanted to go, we had to book it before midnight. I looked at the clock…it was a little after 11pm. Now, the planner in me had already made plans two weeks earlier to go to Milan with a couple of other friends for the break, but something inside me acted WAAYYYY out of character and blurted out “Heck yes!” without even thinking and I booked my ticket on the spot.

Thanksgiving came, and I found myself in Dublin, carving a chicken (we couldn’t find a turkey) with my roommates in our hostel for dinner. After stuffing ourselves in true Thanksgiving tradition, we decided to embrace the local Irish culture and continue our celebration at one of the most famous pubs in all of Dublin, Temple Bar.
When we walked in, it was super crowded. By chance, we ended up being able to snag a table. Not wanting to lose it, we sent one of our friends up to the bar to get some drinks. A few minutes later she came back empty handed and explained she had met Mike, a fighter pilot in the US Air Force, at the bar and that he had offered to buy us a round.

I was enjoying my free Guinness, chatting with Mike about how he and his buddies were here visiting for Thanksgiving when one of his very attractive pilot friends came over and started talking to my roommate, Danielle. Not even two minutes later she was grabbing my arm saying, “Hey, you’ve got to talk to this guy…he’s from Littleton too!” Astonished that I was halfway around the world and could run into someone from my same home town, I shook his hand as he said, “Hi, I’m David.” Now, I KNOW this is going to sound cliché, but the moment we shook hands, I felt something funny inside me. Something I had never felt before – it was tingly, exciting and brand new. I didn’t know what it was, but all I knew was that I should keep talking to this guy! We chatted the whole night, and I found out that he wasn’t stationed in Dublin, but in Sacile, Italy!…Italy!...Of all places!...
Before we knew it, it was closing time. He knew I was going to be in town for one more night and asked if he could have my number and get together tomorrow night. I was so excited he asked! But trying to play it cool (even though I’m sure I was smiling like a buffoon), I nonchalantly took out a small piece of paper from my purse and wrote down my Italian cell number. In our course of conversation, had mentioned he was coming back to Colorado for Christmas (as was I), so I also “conveniently” gave him my Denver number, and told him to also give me a call when he got back to town.

Chapter 3: The “Fake” Number
The next day I was still on a high from meeting David. I had butterflies, was all smiles, and couldn’t get him out of my head. I couldn’t wait for him to call me so I could see him again! Only problem was, my phone was running low on battery and in my packing flurry in Rome I had forgotten to bring my charger.
Then the worst happened – my phone went dead just before dinner!
Worse still – since it was a foreign cell phone, I hadn’t figured out how to set up my voicemail because the instructions were all in another language. So if David DID end up calling when my phone was off, he’d get a the recorded voice of some random lady telling him in another language that my voicemail had not been set up yet and that he couldn’t leave a message.

I was so sad when I never got a call from him. Here I was in Dublin, halfway across the world, and by total chance I met this great guy that was from my same home town, who happened to walk into the same pub on the same night, and even lived in the same country in Europe…and now we had no way of connecting. I didn’t asked for his number the night before, so there was no way for me to get in touch with him either! I was crushed.

The next day I headed off to London and saw the sites of the city. After a whirlwind couple of days, my roommates and I returned to Rome. I unpacked, plugged in my cell phone to charge, and like any college student, logged right on to Facebook. To my surprise, I had a message waiting for me…a friend request from David! I immediately accepted and was so happy he had managed to look me up. The next day when I woke up, David had the following message waiting for me:
“So there I was…in Dublin, and I met this girl. She was the cutest girl I’ve ever met. Unfortunately, this is where the story turns sad because she pulled the old un-callable fake Italian cell phone trick. But alas, the hero of the story was clever and still tracked her down… Sorry that I couldn’t meet up with you again in Dublin. I had a great time hanging out with you. Hope you have a great rest of your trip!” I was so happy to hear that he had tried calling me, and that he had a good time. I was even happier that he took the effort to track me down another way than by my silly phone. I wrote him back and explained what had happened to my phone, and how it had gone dead and that I had not given him a fake number (despite what he still says about it). We messaged back and forth several times over the course of the next few weeks and he asked if I’d want to get together when he came back to the states for Christmas. I of course said yes, and knew I officially had the biggest crush I had ever had in my whole life!

Chapter 4: Third Time’s The Charm
As promised, David called me when he got back in town. He took me out for dinner and a movie on our first date. We both had a great time, and I was swept off my feet by his humor and charm. We met up once more for an afternoon Starbucks before he had to go back to Italy. We both felt the chemistry, and knew we really liked each other, but didn’t know what to do with our situation. I would be staying here in Colorado to finish school, and he had to go back to Italy to resume his post. So we just left it open ended and said, fate has taken us this far, let’s just play it out and see where the rest of the journey takes us. We used email and Skype to talk over the next few months, and wanted to see one another again.

In March, David came back to the states to be a groomsman in his friend’s wedding. He flew me out to Pittsburgh to be his date at the wedding. My family and friends thought I was crazy to fly across the country to spend the weekend with a guy who I had seen in person a grand total of 5 times! But I didn’t care. We said “I love you” for the first time on that trip, and suddenly the realization of what was happening between the two of us in this long distance relationship was becoming clearer.

In August, David had booked a trip to go on a cruise around the Mediterranean with a few families from his squadron in Italy. He invited me to come along, and of course I couldn’t turn down an offer like that! And guess where it was scheduled to start…in Rome! So, I found myself headed to Italy for a third time!
The night before the cruise departed, we found ourselves wandering through the streets of Rome, hand in hand to make our way to the Trevi fountain to toss in our coins for good luck. But this time, I knew exactly how many coins I needed to throw over my shoulder.I looked at David and knew with 100% certainty what I wanted for my future. This time I was throwing three coins in. I rubbed the coins together in my hand as we counted down “3…2..1” and tossed them over our shoulders. I knew it was silly to wish that the legend of the Trevi would come true just because I threw in 3 coins this time, but I really hoped it would!

The cruise was amazing, and we went all over – Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt – the sites were incredible and we had the time of our lives! But then I had to go back to start classes, and he had to go back to work in Italy. David flew home for Thanksgiving and Christmas as we celebrated the 1 year mark of our relationship. Soon after, he found out his next assignment was going to be in South Carolina. I was so happy because even though we’d still have to continue a long distance relationship while I finished out school, at least we’d be in the same country again! It meant we could see each other a lot more (even if it still wasn’t as much as we’d like) and actually get to call each other on the phone when we wanted and not have to deal with an 8 hour time difference!

Only a few weeks after he got settled in to his new home in South Carolina, he found out he would have to be deployed to Iraq for 5 months. He took a week of leave to come back to Colorado and spend time with his family before he left. And while it was a pill no one wanted to swallow, we watched him head off to Iraq to help wrap up the war. I wrote him letters and we emailed fairly frequently. We got to Skype about once a week if we were lucky enough to get a good connection, but we managed to keep our relationship blossoming and our devotion for each other grew deeper every day. I graduated college, and got a real job, and he sent his love and support from overseas as we both hit major milestones in our lives.

Chapter 5: And Then He Asked Me a Question
When David got back from Iraq, I took some time off work to fly out and see him. It was like no time at all had passed, and it was as if we had never been apart at all. You know that saying, “distance makes the heart grow fonder”? It’s so true – spending time apart, especially in a long distance relationship, really makes us both appreciate the little time we do get to spend together – and we definitely make the most of it! We did some traveling around South Carolina and Georgia, and finally unpacked the last of the boxes in his house, and then I had to come back home.
David came home again to be with his family and friends in Littleton for the holidays. We were amazed that it had already been two years since that crazy fate-filled day we met in Dublin. I thought about how Thanksgiving was such a special day to have met, and how thankful I was for the gift of him in my life, and how I couldn’t have predicted the way I had fallen head-over-heels in love with him. I was more sure than ever that he was “the one”, and I knew he was feeling the same way.

On New Year’s Eve, he decided to make those feelings a reality. Seconds before midnight, in front of our friends and family, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! I of course said yes, and have never felt more elated in my life!

It has been two years, countless hours on the phone and hundreds of thousands of miles back and forth to see each other, but we’ve made it! We’ve made it through college, military assignments, separate continents, stress, frustration, joy, excitement, and even through war…but here we are…getting ready to tie the knot! I guess we’re living proof that you CAN meet someone in a bar!
Our love story may not be of the same caliber as Cinderella or Romeo and Juliet, but it is a story of true love nonetheless. A story of a boy who met a girl completely by chance, managed to sweep each other off their feet from across the ocean, and now get to love each other the rest of their lives together as man and wife.
The End

See? Told you it was pretty amazing! I'm honored to help them move into the next phase of their lives together on their wedding day.

Our second place winners! We picked two, because choosing one was an impossible task.

Brittany and Daniel:
How we met…
… Brittany has always been the type to be working and keeping herself busy, so while she was in school, she started working for an event security company. The job was fun, so she continued working for that company even after graduating college. It was October 2008, at a Buffaloes home game (she was working it, of course), and Brittany was stationed in a section where she had to watch the patrons carefully. She noticed this handsome, blond haired, blue eyed guy was making his way towards her. Yes!!! He was stationed in the same section as she was! Brittany was pumped!!!
Brittany and Daniel started talking and kind of hit it off from the beginning, but nothing took off just yet. Brittany went home and told her roommates, "OMG I just met the cutest guy ever!" One asked if she got his number and she said, "No, it was just a friendly thing". Well the next game came and went, and this time a bunch of them went out afterward and got a drink. Again, nothing happened. However, they did exchange phone numbers due to work related things.

They were both in/ coming out of a bad relationship and their connection was put on hold until February 2009. Brittany received several texts from Daniel, but didn't think anything of it until a few weeks later; She just thought he was being friendly. On March 28th, 2009 they had to work another event together and this time there was more than just friendship in the air. This was an all-night event, which they finished around 6am. Daniel asked her if she wanted to go to breakfast with JUST HIM. Of course she said yes, but she was not hungry and just ordered water. Brittany said she was sorry, and that he could take her out again another time when she was hungrier...she had just wanted to be with him. Well by the time she got home it was close to 8am. Brittany fell asleep for a few hours and woke up, text messaged Daniel and said, "I’m hungry now". They met for a late lunch early dinner and hooray, the FIRST KISS happened!! She knew right then that he was the one...

According to Brittany, Daniel is the most NON-romantic guy ever! They had gone back to his mom's house in Lexington, NE for the weekend. During the four hour drive back Brittany called her mom and talked for a bit. Brittany's mom was telling her about her brother's wedding and when she hung up, Brittany started telling Daniel how her mom was excited and got to see the dress, the invitations, the party favors, etc... Daniel was just driving along when all of a sudden Brittany looked and him and told him she loved him and he was wonderful. He looked over at her and said, "No, you are more wonderful and I love you more". She came right back with, "No way I love you more"... After playing their little cheesy game a while, she threw out the words, "PROVE IT". Daniel started reaching into his pocket and pulled out a ring and looked (as much as he could, since he was driving), at Brittany and said, "You are the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I love you more than anything else in the world. WILL YOU MARRY ME??" She was confused at first, thinking to herself; really you are doing this while driving?? Then Brittany said, "YES OF COURSE, I LOVE YOU!"

They were just outside of Sterling CO when this happened, now every time they drive to NE she will always remember this event!! :)

Daniel proposed to Brittany with his Grandmother's ring, a symbol of everlasting love. He told her that his grandmother and grandfather were married for over 55 years and he wants that to be the symbol between them.


Our last, but not least, couple are Simone and Andy, and this is their story:)

Our story - April 2004:

Her Story: We were college students, and were joining friends in volunteering at the American Cancer Society Walk for the Cure. These events involve raising funds for research and walking around a track for 24 hours to support the raised funds. After so many laps around the track, they become a bit mundane. Simone decided to change it up a bit & walk backwards, to add comedy to the walk, if nothing else. Fortunately, she never tripped over herself. However, she did trip over a cute guy in her path. Enter, Andy. As it turns out, they had common friends. Simone inquired about this cute boy, and they were soon introduced. They wound up spending the entire night walking around the track, wrapped together in a blanket talking about everything and anything. They struggled to part ways in the morning, and after a first date for ice cream sundaes, the romance began.

His Story: While walking for countless hours at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Andy spotted a cute brunette walking backwards. Being the stone cold stud he is, he decided to step into her path, and quite literally let Simone just bump into him (pretty sweet move, huh). The rest of the night was spent getting to know each other and Andy realized that he had met someone special. After hours of talking and walking, they went their separate ways, although Andy forgot to get her phone number (details, right?). Thankfully, a friend was able to reunite the two for a first date for ice cream sundaes and six years of friendship, adventure, and love.

The proposal: On a cold Halloween night, Simone came home for lunch and Andy told her he wanted to build a snowman in the backyard after an unexpected snowstorm. They ate lunch, went out back and built a giant 6 foot snowman. Later that night, Simone came home to carve pumpkins, part of our Halloween tradition. These were no ordinary pumpkins, however. Andy had cleverly cut tiny holes in the bottom of the pumpkins and inserted two envelopes into two pumpkins. The first pumpkin, when cut open, revealed two plane tickets to San Francisco for a vacation a week later. Just as Andy had planned, Simone became very nervous thinking that Andy would pop the question in San Francisco. It was very amusing to watch Simone squirm inside with anticipation. Just then, Simone’s friend Jamie called as planned, giving Andy the distraction he was looking for to carry out the rest of his devious plan. When Simone finally got off the phone, she cut open her second pumpkin and began carving it, only to find a second mysterious letter. The letter simply said to go outside. Outside, the snowman they had built earlier was standing next to a glowing campfire, decorated as a waiter in a tuxedo and holding two dozen roses and a bottle of champagne. Simone, to say the least, was surprised, but confused as to what was happening. Just then Andy got down on a knee, pulled out a ring, and asked her to marry him………


For me, I couldn't resist certain aspects of both of these stories... the "I love you more" exchange between Brittany and Daniel really got to me because Ames and I do this. I will always win the "I love you more" battle, due to the fact that I told Ames I loved him a good two months before he said the words to me, and this gives me what... 60 some odd days advance on him? He says that because he is taller he now has the advantage. I think not.

With Simone and Andy, I loved his planned surprise and that he used a snowman to carry it out! I have a small (heh!) snowman fixation, and imagining one all dressed up as a proposal prop I found adorable. I also love that he teased her a bit with the plane tickets:) I hope Andy never loses that urge to keep surprising Simone!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Introducing Minnie! Our newest foster dog!


Meet Minnie! She's a whole lot of fun and cute rolled into one! The good folks of New Hope Cattle Dog Rescue saved her from being put down for having a rash in her armpits. Seriously.
Minnie has been with us for a few days now and is settling in nicely. She LOVES to play with our other pups, and is very sweet to the humans. She is most excellent at Tug-O-War. video

Minnie's the one with the bright orange collar... she looks a lot like our Radar, but she's got some of the red heeler color mixed in there. She's a beautiful dog! Her coat is so soft:)

The New Hope folks figure she's about eleven months old, so she might have a bit of growing left to do. Right now she's right at what you'd call a medium sized dog... she's roughly 40lbs, spayed, chipped, healthy, up to date on all of her shots and her teeth are fabulous. She LOVES to play outside and run around the yard... actually, it's more like leaping and bounding around the yard. Perhaps she's part gazelle?

Minnie doesn't mind being in her crate as long as she has something to chew. I've never seen a dog unroll a rolled rawhide before, but she does and will demolish a large one of those pretty quick. Currently, she has hidden at least five around the house and yard.

Minnie is very cuddly and gentle and will gladly curl up with you (or on you) and let you scratch her ears or tummy until the sun rises.

She's quick to learn new commands and has mastered "sit" and "lay down". She knows "stay" but if you get too much distance she'll get up and move closer. This breed is made up of a mix of pretty smart dogs, and I have no doubt Minnie will quickly figure out new commands and games.

She's great in the car, but isn't obsessed with going for a ride every time you grab the keys. I've left her out of her crate a couple of times now when I ran a quick errand and happily have come back to no surprises or destroyed shoes.

If you'd like to know more about Minnie, or cattle dogs or the great and amazing people of New Hope, feel free to contact me at kelleyinco@gmail.com

Check out New Hope's website at http://www.nhcdrescuecolorado.com

You can also find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/pages/New-Hope-Cattle-Dogs-Rescue-of-Colorado/176914999010640

Monday, January 31, 2011

Our cake give-away contest!

Our contest has come to an end, and we thank you all for the terrific stories you've shared! Our winners will be announced on Valentine's Day:)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kelley Kakes is giving away a wedding cake in 2011!!!


That's right... we're giving away a wedding cake! I'm in search of a couple out there with a fantastic love story to tell. Did you meet in a really "this never should have happened" way? What odds did your relationship overcome to get to the point of saying "I do"? Maybe you've got children from a previous relationship and (like me) you just find yourself wandering around in a daze over the realization that you've found someone who accepts you as a package deal? Whatever it is, if you think you've got a story to tell, then email me at kelleykakes@comcast.net and lay it on me!

Now the rules- I'm keeping these at a minimum because rules are no fun....

*Your wedding can take place any time during 2011.

*Your reception must take place within 30 miles of metro Denver to qualify for free delivery (you can certainly enter if you're outside of this area, but a delivery fee will be necessary)

*The cake can serve up to 100 guests. I'm pretty willing to fudge the numbers on this one if there is a fantastic design that requires a little more cake. Additional servings can be added at a very discounted rate.

*The cake can be more than one flavor and will be iced in buttercream. No limit to colors used, detailing and whatnot. Free cake does not have to be boring cake! Although I have nothing against the classic white wedding cake:)

That's about it, folks! Again, email me personally at kelleykakes@comcast.net your fabulous tale. The contest ends January 21st. The winner will be notified January 22nd. We'll blog and rave about them on Valentine's Day.

Due to the plethora of stories we've already received we've decided to create a 2nd place winner, and they will receive 50% off their cake! We'll notify those lucky folks on January 22nd as well.

Thanks everyone! Keep em coming! We love reading your true love stories!