Delilah Dior Dominica
A woman's journey exploring her passion for Faith, fashion and travel.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Baby B.

This has been a month of big changes. I have been a wife for about a month and a week, in that time we have traveled to Fiji, Australia, Bora Bora, moved out of San Francisco, moved back into St. Louis, Canada, Detroit, St. Louis, Atlanta, and now Minnesota for the deep breath and pure joy of it all: meeting our niece. 
Brooklynne Mackenzie Calhoun. 

She is absolute perfection. And I know everyone says that about their newborn/granddaughter/daughter/neice but I mean it. Let me tell you why:
1. She never ever cries. Unless she is scheduled to eat, the girl is perfectly content.
2. She has these steel-blue-gray eyes that change every day.
3. She has full blown dreams and sleeps like her mommy and daddy. (Spastic, constantly twitching and making weird faces.)
4. She always, and I mean always, wants to have both hands on her cheeks, reminding me of numerous favorite movie characters.
5. She is so precious. And I can't help but think that since she doesn't have anything to dream about, she is probably just dreaming about Jesus and heaven all the time- remembering where she came from. 

I can't believe she has fingernails. That is one of the most incredible things to me. And coming from someone who stares at her for seven hours a day and is amazed with every mouth twitch and whimper, this means a lot. She has lived and grown inside my sisters belly for nine months, and when she was born three days ago, she was born with fingernails. And eyelids. And the teeny tiniest mouth that was copy-pasted from her daddy's face. God is amazing. 

More to come.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

G'Day Mate!

After spending one night in a very interesting hotel in Tahiti, we were off to Sydney, Australia. I remind you, that this honeymoon was a complete surprise. I had no idea where we were going, and had even less than no idea that we'd be going to more than one place. I just got two pieces of information: 1. 12 days, 2. Hot. So I packed accordingly. Plenty of sundresses, mini dresses, lots of crochet, floppy beach hats, wedges and strappy heels, inappropriate bikinis, way too much white, even more black, and the other fun stuff. 

Imagine my surprise when we landed in the tundra. (Dramatic, it was around 50 degrees with a little mist and light wind.) I draped my cardigan over my denim cutoffs and asked our cab driver if the weather would be like this all week. He looked in the rear view and was happy to tell us "Well, two days from now is the official first day of winter!!" We laughed. That is my responsibility of trip planning, to worry about the small details in all my list making- checking the weather in the chosen location a month in advance, and giddily awaiting the 10-day forecast before we leave. These are the details my love couldn't care less about. When we got to our hotel with the expected "Hi! Unfortunately, your rooms aren't ready yet..." we decided to walk around the streets of Sydney to shop for some winter coats. 

The streets of Sydney share a striking resemblance to the streets of New York, or any other city in America. It resembled Canada almost identically, a "knock off" America so to speak. I loved all the accents, the mix of people, and of course the shopping. The shopping was more than I could handle, really. The Burberry store in The Rocks was literally larger than my house. three stories, it nearly took up the entire block. It was a dream. I was more than excited about the pre-winter sales going on in Summer.

Fiji was the relaxation portion of the trip, and Sydney was the adventure portion. Our first full day was spent touring the famous Sydney Opera House and then taking a water taxi to the Sydney Zoo for a special tour. The Opera house is stunning. The history that our tour guide gave us made me want to go see a show that night. The architecture and views alone quickly helped me realize why it was such a staple to Australian culture. The zoo was just as exhilarating. It would take a full two days to see the whole thing, but we did the Australian private tour, allowing us to see the animals first hand and enter the cages of safe animals. Koalas and kangaroos are so strange, Koalas sleep in balls at the top of a tree, and the shape of their bum has prepared them to do so. Kangaroos literally have biceps (Oj was determined to box one...) And not so fortunately for me, Australia has tons of famous rodent-like animals. 

 Sleeping like the Koala

If you know me even a little bit, you will know that my biggest fear- well, a fear tied for first place with a few others- is an overwhelming fear of rodents. And when I say rodents, I mean cats, rabbits, squirrels, gerbils, hamsters, ferrets, hamsters, and especially mice and rats. I literally got the chills typing those two words out. Of course, our special tour included first hand looks at the little things, going in a special room and letting the true mix of a rat and rabbit jump around (I stood outside, listening to the coo's and ooh's and aahh's of 'You're really missing out! They're so cute!') I was just trying to survive. Our next stop was inside the possum cage where, again, I stood outside the glass. I'm glad I did, because a possum jumped on Oj's shoulder. 

Our final stop was inside the kitchen, where plenty of staff workers were cutting up celery and carrots and apples and pears. I was so relieved! This was exactly what I was waiting for! Until our guide announced an 'extra special treat.' He started talking to us really slowly like he was reading 'Goodnight Moon' to a kindergarten class. "I'm going to bring a couple gliders in here for you to play with!!" I almost passed out. I was trapped in a room that was soon to be taken over by schizophrenic mice with wings. Oj came and hugged me telling me it would all be okay. I went to distract myself and look in the fridge, only to focus in on a bag full of frozen rats and mice. This was not going well.

The next highlight of the trip was climbing the bridge in Australia. It was truly incredible. I am afraid of heights, and somehow Oj always schedules a portion of our trips or dates that sneaks in something tall. "Surprise! We're climbing the Sears tower!" "Guess what!! We're riding in a helicopter!" "Today, we're climbing the bridge!" I never realize it until my paralyzing fear has passed and I am enjoying myself that he has once again tricked me. It was an experience of a lifetime. We happened to climb in a terrible storm. Wind, rain, and all. He knew this put him on thin ice, and turned around every six minutes to yell "ARE YOU OKAY?!" But I was. After three hours of climbing I was so ready to take a bath and eat pizza- that's exactly what we did.

We canceled our next day of activities because we were all activity-ed out. We are much more inclined to hang out in bed and watch The Wire. Our only other excursion was a trip to Bondi beach, where the famous waves lived up to their name. It was again windy and freezing, but so worth the trip. We grew closer over every moment in Australia, and whether it was sitting in bed at 2am watching a Rugby match and trying to figure out why anyone would ever watch or play the game, or trying to perfectly mimic the accents, we had the time of our lives. And covered another continent in the process!

He got lucky...

 Beautiful night time light-show

The not sexy version of wind-blown hair

Bondi, not so Beachy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bula, Welcome Home

Incase you do not know my husband, I will fill you in on a few of his favorite things. Sitting in the massage chair in the comic book room with a stack of The Age of the Apocalypse series at his side, Warm apple pie with a heaping pile of vanilla bean ice cream, learning something new in the word, and successfully surprising me. Our honeymoon was a complete surprise, which was both incredible and faith-testing all in one. 
I am a bit of a control freak, just throwing that out there to be honest. Those who know me best will let you know how many lists I write in one day (In fact, last night while Oj and I were at a boxing match, I was scrounging through my purse nervously looking for a blank sheet of paper so I could make a grocery list for next week. It may be a little bit out of hand.) When I find out I am going on a trip, I begin making lists of things to pack and outfits I must wear and places I must go from that moment on. Usually it's about a month in advance, but the situation is no different if there is 6 months notice. This is why the honeymoon presented a challenge Oj loved- all I knew was that it was 12 days and sunny. Sunny has always been too broad a term for me. Antarctica is sunny- in fact, thats the place you're most likely to get a sunburn! I packed for tropical weather and enough clothes to last me a month, and awaited wedding night to hear where we were going.

Wedding night came around and he changed his mind, he was still going to keep it a surprise til' "tomorrow." So of course, first thing "tomorrow" I asked, only to be shut down. I didn't find out where we were going until we had landed in LA and were walking through the International terminal (me with my ears plugged, i'm not ashamed.) And right when I unplugged my ears a man said to Oj "Oh wow, Fiji is supposed to be beautiful." And that was that. 

Eleven hours later we landed in a dream. Bright blue water everywhere, carmel sands, and flowers sprinkled across every tree and inch of ground. After a beautiful helicopter ride we arrived at our resort, where some staff members were singing a beautiful native song and smiling ear to ear, dancing at your arrival. "BULA! WELCOME HOME!" Was all they said repeatedly, truly Fijians are some of the most authentically sweet people we have met. That started the first portion of the honeymoon- the relaxation and rejuvenation portion. We stayed in an over water suite that was both modern and comfortable with our own deck to swim from, snorkel gear, a glass bottom floor to watch the fish at night, and home made cookies left in a cookie jar every night. 

 Passion Fruit Iced Tea. Must. Find. Recipe. 
 Home! Villa 7

 Our own little dock

The whole time at the resort truly felt like I was staying at grandma's house, if my grandma was an uber-modern uber-wealthy Islander with fantastic taste in interior design and a sophisticated palliate. I think i'm going to start over- the whole time at the resort was incredibly comfortable. Oj said it felt like an episode of cheers- every staff member knew our name. "Bula! Welcome to dinner Oj and Jill, you must be hungry, you weren't at lunch!" (There is a 19 hour time difference between Fiji and California...we never adjusted.) That was the thing about it, the resort was tucked away yet so large and spread out. It was a luxury to be in such a beautiful place and only surrounded by about 6 other couples- we felt like we owned the island. 

 I need to do a segment just on the food- the reason I came home desperately needing a gym

My favorite day followed my other favorite day (I will be using the term favorite day a lot, it was just that kind of trip) Our third day there, there was a beautiful tropical rain all day. We ran to breakfast, got a massage and stayed in for the rest of the day reading, napping, and watching The Wire- our show for the honeymoon. The next day, we woke up and grabbed our snorkel gear and explored the ocean, swimming all the way to land to get a kayak, only to head back out and explore some more. This was Oj's first taste of exercise on the trip, and of course he just couldn't help himself. "C'mon! Don't get lazy on me, we're gonna loop around that island then double back. If you get tired I'll just pick up the speed for us..."After a half hour of rigorous rowing, I promised him that I would pass out, fall out of the boat and drown if he made me go around another island. It was marital compromise that we turned around and got back in bed, but those times were so special out on the water.

 Every sunrise was this magical 

 I assure you, tea has never been as incredible as Fijian chammomile. We had it with every meal. 

 Oj through the glass bottom floor in our room

When it was time to leave, I decided Fiji truly was like a home away from home. Every morning and every night we got on our knees and thanked God for the people there, the beauty of the island, and that much needed time after the hustle and bustle of the wedding. Late nights being up at awkward times- having slept all the way through dinner, but now being wide awake for the wee hours of the morning-were spent getting to know each other better. We are brand new in marriage, and Fiji was the perfect backdrop to our beginning.