Sunday Stealing: The "What If" Meme
Deals and Steals, Week of 1/3/10

Nine Years

On Saturday, Rob and I celebrated our ninth anniversary. Nine wonderful years:

In November, 2000, we met online. We lived in Florida then.

In January, 2001, we eloped!

In September, 2001, we had our first baby, Chloë Raine.

In August, 2002, I became pregnant with our identical twin boys, Jack River and Robert William.

In October, 2002, we moved to Guam.

In December, 2002, Guam was hit by the worst supertyphoon on record. Because of a complicated twin pregnancy, I was declared "unfit" to live on the island.

In February, 2003, we moved back to the States, to Virginia.

In March, 2003, our sons were born 9 weeks early. Three days later, Robby died. Something in me broke. I would not be "myself" again for about four more years.

In July, 2004, I became pregnant with our baby, Sophia Lorelei.

In April, 2005, we welcomed Baby #4 to the world.

In October, 2006, we took a family trip to Disneyworld!

Around that same time frame, I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the medication trials began in earnest. My weight gain started to be out of control from the meds. I hated myself.  It was an awful two years for us, while I tried to get the weight under control and qualify for gastric bypass surgery.

In June-July, 2008, we finally took our honeymoon, the trip of our dreams, a two-week European cruise, without the kids. It was an incredible trip. We were so happy.

In January, 2009, I finally had my gastric bypass surgery. I had ballooned up to 341.3 pounds. My husband still loved me, despite the weight, although we had a rocky next couple of months while we sorted out the major ups-and-downs of the previous eight years. We went to marriage counseling. Everything worked out well, and we are now stronger than ever before. We realized that sometimes it takes a crisis to appreciate how much we love each other.

And now, in January 2010, we are celebrating nine years of marriage, four children, one child's death, a few bumps in the road, and my having lost (so far) 155 pounds since surgery. (I weigh 14 pounds less than when we met!) We are completely in love. He is my everything. I hope I am his.


For an anniversary present, Stephanie offered us a free night of babysitting.  In our marriage counseling sessions, we were "ordered" to have a date night once a week. We did that at first but can't really afford it regularly anymore, so we jumped at the chance! It wasn't until we were actually ON that date that we decided exactly where we were going to go.

We had a certificate to Taza in the Westin hotel in Town Center, but when we arrived, it turned out that Taza was gone, and Lucky Star was in its place. After some conferring, the manager of Lucky Star decided he would honor our certificate, but because the restaurant portion was closed and only the bar area was open, we decided to eat somewhere else. It just wasn't the ambiance we were looking for tonight.

We headed out into the freezing cold night to find somewhere else to eat. I thought about Ruth's Chris, but since we've eaten there several times before, I didn't mention it. We stopped in at Sonoma Wine Bar & Bistro next to Ruth's Chris, where we ate one time with the kids, although it's most definitely not a kids' restaurant. It would have been more than satisfactory, but they were completely booked.

So we decided to head down to a new place where we hadn't been before but had seen on the drive over: Zushi Japanese Bistro. It was a great find! We were greeted immediately by a man who seated us and took our coats. He pulled out my chair, and pushed it in for me when I was seated. He recommended the spicy soup to us, since it was so cold out, to warm us up.


Rob took him up on the soup offer. It was REALLY spicy. When the server took his drink away to refill it and forgot to bring it back - the only slip in the otherwise outstanding service - he had to steal some sips from my Diet Coke!


The tableware was really cool. I loved the silver chopsticks!

We ordered a LOT of sushi. Far too much. I don't know what we were thinking, other than we LOVE sushi.  This wasn't even all of it - there was another plate I forgot to photograph!  So when we were finished, and I asked for a box for more than half the food, the sushi chef came over and showed genuine concern for our satisfaction. "Everything is all right? Lot of food came back to the kitchen!" I assured him everything was great and that we were just full, and he laughed and said, "Yes, only two of you!" Lucky us, though, there were plenty of leftovers for snacking later!


Rob felt brave enough to try the sea urchin. Like I've said, he'll eat anything once. I took a scoop of the orange stuff. Blech. In my past life as a marine biologist, I dissected enough sea urchins to know there's nothing in there that makes me go, "Ooh, I wanna eat that." Rob didn't like it either. Our assessment? Don't order it!


The server took our picture. I thought we looked pretty good tonight! Except for my red chest, from the allergic reaction I'm currently having to who-knows-what.

The server, the chef, and the host checked on us multiple times during the meal. When we were finished, the host immediately went to retrieve our coats for us.  We weren't near the garage where we'd parked, so I stayed behind while Rob ran to fetch the van for me. The host asked what he's driving and said he would keep an eye out for him for me. When Rob pulled up, the Host walked out - in the freezing cold, without a coat, with me and opened the car door for me. I was very impressed by that; I almost wanted to give him a hug! So if you love sushi and appreciate good service, do check out Zushi in the Town Center of Virginia Beach!

After dinner, we drove two minutes down the road to go to the movies. We saw It's Complicated, with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin.  I'd heard it was hysterically funny from beginning to end, so I really wanted to see it. I'd heard wrong. There were a few funny moments, including one absolutely hilarious scene that had me going, "Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!" but it was no all-out laugh-fest. It was okay. I could have waited for the DVD to come from Netflix. Maybe we should have seen Avatar instead, after all!

All-in-all, it was a pretty good date night for us. We came home, and Steph and Tim were there with their baby Luke asleep in Tim's arms, our three kid still up and running around after eating THREE times in our absence (!!!), and two more sleeping charges of Stim's on the couch.  A full house. The other two kids' mom was coming in a half-hour to pick them up, so we sent our chirren to bed and then hung out with Stim for the rest of the time. I held Luke the whole time. I just love that kid, as much as I love my own kids, which is saying a lot for me because I don't tend to like other peoples' kids, in general! He's beautiful and sweet and perfect, and I'm so happy for them.

And now... I'm waiting for Rob to go upstairs and clean the tub and all his crap off our bed, so we can go have a spa night together, with a good, hot soak and massages and... ;)