birthday trip to coeur d'alene.
Monday, February 18, 2019:
We will begin our day with breakfast overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene in the small dining area. Once through with breakfast, we'll head into town. Our day starts with ice skating at the downtown Coeur d'Alene square, followed by horse and carriage rides through the entirety of the downtown area, approximately twelve city blocks. After being out in the cold for so long, we'll return to the lakehouse for rest and relaxation and lunch. We'll spend an afternoon together at the lakehouse before attending dinner at The Roosevelt Inn. This is a special inn event consisting of a four course meal, designed by Gordon Ramsay during a recent trip to reinvent the hotel, served in the dining room and a movie shown in the parlor. This is usually done outside on the lawn in the summer months but moved inside during the winter. The movie for this Monday is Sabrina. (My aunt and uncle own the hotel so I might have had some pull on the film.)
Tuesday, February 19, 2019:
We will begin our day with breakfast in the small dining area overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene. Once through with breakfast, we'll head into town. Our day starts with a painting class at Pinot's Palette. The painting we'll be creating is Stargazers. Our next stop will be lunch at Hudson's Hamburgers nestled in the heart of downtown Coeur d'Alene. (This place is a Hough family favorite, you'll be forced to try every shake and even sweet on the menu!) Once we're through with lunch, we will attend a wine tasting at Coeur d'Alene Cellars with light snacks served in between tastings. Afterward, we'll retire back to the lake house for rest and relaxation before cooking and having dinner there, returning to town for a Sip & Cemetary event. We'll be served warm apple cider and s'mores as we're taken on a walking tour of the city cemetary where we'll be told local folklore, town history and stories of Coeur d'Alene's own celebrities. (This includes one Robert 'Bobblehead Bob' Hough, a radio DJ for more than decade there in town. He's also known as my grandpa!)
Wednesday, February 20, 2019:
It's your birthday!!! We will begin our day with sweet and slow morning birthday loving before I insist you stay in bed so I can prepare and deliver breakfast in bed, followed by a long, hot shower or bath together. (Who are we kidding? This will also include more making out and more loving, I'm sure of it.) We are scheduled for couple's treatments, three hour long services, at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Spa later that morning. Once our treatments are over, we will have lunch at Club at Rock Creek and afterward, we will head back to the heart of downtown Coeur d'Alene so we can attend a vintage book sale at The Well Read Moose. Private collectors, estate sales and the bookstore itself will be selling hardbacks, first editions and other prized works of fiction. When we're done with the booksale, we'll retire back to the lakehouse for rest and relaxation and to get ready for dinner at Beverly's at The Coeur d'Alene Resort, a seventh level five star fine dining restaurant looking over the lake. You might think the fun is over when dinner's complete but we have one more stop: The Blackwell Hotel, in their back entertainment area, for a surprise. (You don't get to learn the surprise until we're there!)
— Over the course of the three days Miles and Jules will be spending at the lakehouse, Jules has booked and planned several things for them to do. In their time at the lakehouse where they are resting and relaxing, Jules will want to introduce him to a lot of memories from her childhood from summers spent on the lake, including the short hike through the woods to her grandfather's lot marked with a handmade wooden placard reading 'Hough Place', her grandfather's boathouse and the famous blue slide he put up for all his grandchildren and eventually, great grandchildren, her own boathouse and QuitYerBitchin, the boat she inherited from her grandfather and the rope swing tied to a tree high above the lake on a cliff which is always put to use in the summer months.
— Unbeknownst to Miles, Jules invited their parents and siblings to celebrate his birthday on the night of the 20th following their dinner at Beverly's. Everyone who was invited, and could make it, will have gotten into town earlier that day and checked into the Blackwell Hotel, Jules having made their reservations weeks prior. After dinner, Miles and Jules will take a short ride to the Blackwell Hotel where everyone will be waiting in the back outside entertainment area for a surprise get together to celebrate the birthday boy. Cake, light snacks and refreshments will be served and Jules will make sure to FaceTime in Mup and Jesse at some point during the evening. When it comes time for gifts, Jules will insist he open everyone else's before opening her own and then she will present him with tickets to four Phillies Spring Training games over the course of a weekend in March for themselves and Michael.
— With the gathering taking place outside during the winter, his party will not last more than an hour and a half to two hours. After saying their goodbyes, Miles and Jules will retire back to the lakehouse while everyone else is prepared to stay at the hotel. Jules has encouraged those who can to stay and explore the city over the weekend, having made reservations and paid for dinner for their parents and paid for massages for their moms at the same spa she and Miles visited on his birthday. Once they arrive back at the lakehouse, he'll be greeted with one more gift, wrapped in a large box and waiting for him on the dining room table: a custom star map of the day they got married and a letter, sealed in a white envelope addressed simply 'Mr. Teller' in blue ink.
Miles,Happy Womb Extraction Day, baby! It's your birthday today and that means you get to hear me wax fucking poetic about how much you mean to me, although I'm certain you've heard this all before, in vignettes of conversation and in strings of pretty words in other times and places. That doesn't mean I won't try, especially on such an important day as this.
You've always been my best friend. When we first met, I'd been in this industry for a few years but there wasn't anyone I could really turn to, rely on or trust until I met you. No one really understood me, or saw me, really saw me, for who I truly was until I caught you looking back at me. What was fast friendship, laughter and jokes, time spent doing nothing and everything at the same time meant the world to me; I'd never felt more like myself than in your presence, your calming, loving, trusting, beautiful presence. What was first fast friendship turned quickly into lingering looks, stolen kisses and passionate nights, a secret we were too selfish to tell yet we wore on our skin for everyone to read like pages of a book, that still wear themselves at the forefront of my mind and make me smile when I think about the very beginnings of 'us'.
Our story is a long and winding one. If this were a romantic comedy, our life now would be what comes after the credits, a bonus scene of the two main characters, whom the audience championed being together the entirety of the film, living happily ever after. That's what happened here; after many a twisting turn, a turning of a page, a 'to be continued' painted in blinking, neon light, we found ourselves declaring our love ("I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her."), overcoming our hurdles ("Don't cry, Shopgirl.") and finding forever finally where it began eight years ago during one hot summer in Atlanta ("When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.")
You should know that this forever wouldn't be possible without the man you are. I know I've said it time and time again, but it rings truer today than any other day. I'm so grateful you exist. God knew exactly what he was doing when he created you. He knew this world needed someone with your patience and understanding, your stubbornness and your grace, your sense of humor and your ability to put others at ease with your laugh alone, your intelligence and your quick wit, your resilience and your bravery, your loving, kind, warm heart and your beautiful, dark, irresistible mind. All of this together, plus every reason I might have forgotten to mention, makes up the man I'm so incredibly happy and proud to call my husband. And to say I'm grateful that you're my husband is an understatement. I admire the way you've faced every hurdle and hardship this life has given you with humility and endurance and survived with the faith of a mustard seed. I'm so thankful you survived, I'm so thankful that your time on this earth wasn't cut short, I'm so thankful that this world still has you in it; you were meant to be here, you were meant to make a difference, you were meant to be the man to show me what real, true, lasting love looks like.
I'm not just proud to be yours but I'm insanely proud of the man you strive to be every single day. Your inherent need to provide for me and protect me is my favorite thing about you. Knowing you always strive to give me, and us, the life we deserve while also protecting me from harm's way with everything in you gives me a sense of safety and security I've never known before in this life. I am also proud of you for standing up for yourself and others and what you believe in. You are never one to stand back in silence on the issues that mean the most to you, that you want to see a difference made in, in this life and that takes such a bold soul with a sense of bravery that you have down to the very essence of your being. And it's not just that you stand up for yourself and your beliefs, but you stand up for those that have no other way of telling their story. The way you've showcased the importance of veterans and first responders, something that's very important to me too, through your craft means everything to not just me but those who watch you on screen and find a connection and release through your acting. That's another reason I'm proud of you; you have such a dedication to the craft you were destined to be a part of.
There is just such a light about you, within you and around you, that brightens up even the darkest of nights and my gloomiest of days. There's a fire that lives within your heart and sparks in your eyes that shows me that you want so much out of this life and your joy and zest for this life we're living together only makes me love you more and makes me want to try to give you everything you've ever imagined for yourself. All of this together makes you the only and most perfect man to be the future father of my children. They are going to have such an exemplary example of grace, honor, integrity, strength, honesty and humility to look up to. Every good thing about you, you're going to pass on to your children and help them to become good people others are proud of and love just like I'm proud of and love you.
Looking back on my life, when I thought about the man I'd marry, I couldn't have molded a more perfect man than you to be my husband. You are strong and kind. You show me grace and mercy. Your faith in me could move mountains and there's never been a day that I've questioned the love you have for me. You are proud for me in my great moments and you are brave for me when I'm weak. I've never quite liked saying someone completed me but I feel like I never quite understood it until I found you. It wasn't that I wasn't okay on my own, but with you, I'm this bigger, brighter, better version of myself that you help me to be every day. I prayed for you long before you ever entered my life and now that you've made a difference in it, I pray for you more than I pray for myself. I just want to make your dreams come true. You guide me, you center me and you make me believe in the impossible. You are without a doubt the love of my life and my one and only soulmate; my reason and your reason for being on this earth are the same, to love one another passionately, wholly, completely.
I often think about the little boy you once were, playing Indiana Jones with his sisters, or the teenager who played the drums and joined drama for the hot new drama teacher, or the college kid who smoked way too much for one person, or the young man fighting for his life, who would continue to fight for his life for years to come. I think about you in all these stages of life and I find myself wishing I'd found you sooner, that I knew you earlier in life so we would have had more years together. But then I wonder if things would have been the same had I known you before, so I settle for wanting to take all the time we've lost and somehow give it back to you. Every day we have together, I want to be the best day you're alive, I want it to be a memory in the making, I want you to smile and think that marrying me was the best decision you ever made cos without a shadow of a doubt, making you all mine was the best and most right thing I've ever done in my whole life. And when we're old and grey and the best of our years have gone by, I hope we've lived a life we're proud of. I hope we have the least regrets possible. I hope we saw all our dreams come true. But most of all, I hope someone loved me like Grandpa loved Grandma. And you should know, cos of you, cos of the love you give me, all of these things will be true. I said 'I do' to the love of my life and since then, since the very beginning of our journey eight years ago, you've loved me in favor of my flaws, my mistakes, my brain working in overdrive. You've loved me kindly, fiercely, truly from the deepest parts of your heart. Fifty years from now, I hope you'll kiss my lips and remember you've always made me the happiest woman in the entire world.
I love you so much, Mr. Teller. I hope you have the happiest of birthdays, this year and all the ones to come. I can't wait to spend every single one with you.