Ten years ago this month, upon my grandfather's passing, my mother and her four siblings decided to make a concerted effort to remain close since they no longer had either of their parents. They chose to meet for dinner on the last Friday night of each month, all five of them plus their spouses, therefore a group of ten. Because all of their children (myself, my siblings, and all of our cousins some of whome are grown adults with their own children) were banned from these dinners, they became known as "Secret Meeting Night." We figured the reason we weren't allowed to attend was because they were all sitting around talking about us. After a while, my mom, her one sister, and one brother who all live close to each other began meeting on the in-between Friday nights. This meeting of the three siblings and their spouses became known as "The Secret 6." Why am I telling you this?
My siblings and I, now all married or engaged decided we should begin our own Secret 6 meetings. It wasn't easy, but we held our first meeting this weekend on Saturday night. We went to Pub Dog here in Columbia and enjoyed some gourmet pizzas and craft-brewed beers. This was, believe it or not, the FIRST time the six of us have gone out together, just us. It was a real riot. The three boys together kept the three girls in stitches most of the night. We had a lot of laughs reminiscing about old stories and childhood memories -- which is actually what most of our dinner-table conversation is like anyway when we're together. After dinner we came back to my house and played RockBand for a while. The highlight of that was Amberly singing "Roxanne" by The Police. If you know that song at all, you can imagine why we were laughing with tears rolling down our faces at this.
And so, a tradition has begun. Our next meeting will be August 30th and we'll be honoring Ben's birthday (Sept.1). I can't wait to see what that one will have in store!
In other news... you may have picked up that Ben and Jenna are finally engaged! Hooray! We're very excited. Ben asked Jenna's aunt for her great-grandmother's ring and that was that. They are having the diamond reset, and Ben will plan a proposal with that. I got to go wedding dress shopping with Jenna and our moms on Saturday and she actually found "the one." It was pretty fantastic. I had so many flashbacks looking through all of those dresses. It was so much fun, but it also made me so glad that I wasn't in the middle of wedding-planning anymore. They are currently scouting the perfect outdoor location and are aiming for a date sometime in late May or Early June of next year.
Also, recently my dear friend Jenn was writing about new beginnings in her blog and how we shouldn't all wait until the new year to resolve to make a change that we want to make. And actually, Josh and I are getting ready to make a change ourselves. Over the past seven months of newlywed bliss, we've experienced what I call "the newlywed 15." Remember the "Freshman 15" from college? This happened to us after getting married. It wasn't because we decided to let ourselves go or anything, we just didn't spend the time we should have planning our meals to make sure we were eating healthy. We also recently saw on the news that low carb diets like Atkins and South Beach are best for losing weight quickly and keeping it off. They're also best for cholesterol and blood pressure. We've heard some success stories from South Beach so that's what we decided on. It's a three-phase program that initially omits carbs, then works the healthy ones back in after your body has burned a lot of your fat for energy. So after a Cold-Stone date on Thursday night, Friday begins it and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes! Wish us luck!