Coincidence? I think not…

The past few days have been a little crazy around here due to the fact that Stephanie’s family is in town as well as her best friend and boyfriend. We always love having people visit so that we can go do some of the more touristy stuff that we never seem to get around to doing when we’re just hanging out together (as well as stuff we’ve done before, but still love doing again).

I’ll get more into all of this later in posts that are soon-to-come, but I will say that the highlight has definitely been finally getting to go check out Napa Valley yesterday. Napa is an amazing place and the fact that it’s only about an hour or so away makes me wonder why we had never gone before, but thanks to our family and friends being in San Francisco we were able to finally cross it off our to-do list.

The one thing that I wanted to post up really quick (after that somewhat lengthy introduction), is a pic that I shot on my phone as we were cruising through China Town today (which is always a good time). As we were looking though some of the many cheap trinkets, souvenirs and other odd things we found a rack of small, California license plates that you can buy with your name on them. After a few seconds of looking through the racks for our names, we ended up finding them at the same time. See the pic below to see what they looked like.

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Coincidence? I think not. :)

The story behind Hup’s unexpected dislocated shoulder and why he loves Steph even more because of it

I Guess You Can Call Me An Optimist
If you knew me for any period of time, you would quickly realize that I am an optimist. Actually, just calling me an optimist is probably a radical understatement as I have always lived my life with a ‘the glass is definitely half-full‘ mentality and the rose-colored lenses that I tend to see the world through don’t come of too often. Some people in my family say that I’m a little too optimistic sometimes and that I tend to trust people a little too much, too soon. To this I say that on a few occasions they’re totally right — I’ve been taken advantage of and I’ve been used a few times thanks to the fact that I’ll give pretty much anyone the shirt off of my back if they’d  simply ask. But, as I tell the naysayers — the benefits that I have been blessed with and the people that I have gotten to meet due to my high level of trust and optimistic view of the world greatly outweigh the minuscule level of times that I have been taken advantage of. In other words, the good has always outweighed the bad about 10,000,000,000 t0 1.

I tell all of you this because over the past few days I have been put into an unexpected situation that I could have easily dealt with in a negative manner, which would have only made a seemingly bad thing turn into something much, much worse. But, instead of viewing my unexpected accident as something that I don’t deserve and something that’s going to practically ruin my life and plans that I’ve made for the near future, I saw it as something that was unavoidable at the time and something that can potentially make my life even better (if dealt with in the right way).

I Fought The Street (And The Street Won)
Monday morning was such an awesome way to start the week. I had just moved into my new place the weekend before and had woken up, worked out with my buddy Redg, had a productive day at work and was heading home to hang out with the love of my life, Stephanie, who had just gotten home from work about 30 minutes ago. As I was peddling home (literally a block and a half away from my apartment) I was picking up speed and in a few split seconds something really, really bad happened that left me laying upside-down on my (dislocated)shoulder with the bike somehow still attached to my foot. As I came to my senses, pulled my foot out of my shoe that was stuck in the bike’s front spokes and dragged the bike out of the street I began to feel a big, throbbing pain in my shoulder. Honestly, it didn’t feel any worse than any other time that I had fallen off my bike, but this is the only time that surprised me with a bone that was definitely not in the right place as I took off my backpack and ran my hand over my back and shoulder. Something wasn’t right here and at this moment I started to freak out a bit.

“Hey man, are you OK??”, a young woman said to me as I tried to gather my thoughts on what had just happened. I told her that I was OK and that I hadn’t hit my head, which she didn’t really believe. “I’m just trying to evaluate your state of mind right now and make sure that you don’t need my help.” she said as I pulled out my Blackberry so that I could call Stephanie to come pick me up. “I’m alright” I told her again, “I live right down the road and my fiancee will come and get me”. She must have felt like this was a good enough answer because with that she took off down the sidewalk and I called Stephanie so that she could come rescue me from this crazy situation that I had literally thrown myself in.

The Calls For Help
At this point I called 2 different people. First I called Stephanie and told her that I was in a bike wreck and that I thought that I had really hurt my shoulder pretty bad. She freaked out a bit and asked me what had happened and I told her that I wasn’t really sure yet, but that I was in some serious pain and that it was only getting worse. Despite the fact that I completely lied to her and told her that I got hit by a car less than a month ago, she said that she would be over as soon as humanly possible. The second person that I called was my homie Redg (who I had worked out with that morning) who’s girlfriend Liz is a nurse and who I hoped could tell us the best (and closest) emergency room to go to around our apartment. This phone call was pretty funny now that I think about it — I wish that I had recorded somehow. It went something like this:

Redg: Wudddup Hup? What’s shakin’?
Hup: Hey Redg (grunt in pain), how’s it going? I have a random question for you.
Redg: Sure man, what’s up?
Hup: Well, I’m sitting about a block away from my apartment and I just wrecked my bike and I think that I have broken my shoulder. So, I was wanting to ask you what ER you would go to around here if you were in my situation?
Redg: Oh man — are you serious? I’ll ask Liz where you should go and get right back to you.
Hup: Cool, thanks man — talk to you soon.

After this I sat there and while I waited for Stephanie to come pick me up I came up with what exactly had just happened and why I was sitting there with a dislocated shoulder and a wrecked bike. After clearing my head a bit, thinking about it and looking at all of the damage that had been done to me and the bike I finally figured it all out.

The Explanation Of The Wreck
So, what had happened was pretty simple, but oddly accidental. As I was peddling faster and faster my left foot slipped off of the pedal and as it slipped, the force of the missed peddling shoved my foot directly into the front spokes of the bike, which stopped the bike immediately. As all of you out there who took physics class know, even though the bike stops, that energy is still traveling through my body, which kept on going right on over the handlebars and onto the street. As I flew over the handlebars my foot was still stuck in the front spokes of the bike, which meant that I was actually dragging the bike behind me as I hit the ground. Luckily, all of the impact went directly to my right shoulder and not to my head, which would have probably resulted a much, much uglier and serious injury that I have now.

Just minutes after the wreck Stephanie came and picked me up, she threw the bike in the trunk, dropped it off at our apartment and rushed me to the California Pacific Medical Center emergency room (which Redg directed us to).  It was kind of funny how just a day before Stephanie was driving really timid around San Francisco and now that she was in ’emergency momma’ mode, she wasn’t taking any prisoners and was weaving in and out of traffic like a freakin’ champ. I mean, she had to get her baby to the emergency room, people SO GET OUT OF THE WAY!!

The Diagnosis
After getting a few X-Rays, meeting a couple of really cool nurses/doctors and hanging out at the hospital for a couple hours I was finally given a diagnosis that wasn’t too bad I guess. I had basically torn a ligament that holds my clavicle in place and it’s going to require surgery to get it all fixed up like I need it to be. It’s called an AC Joint Shoulder Separation and it seems like I have the wreck has somehow cause me to have the most severe case of  it. Awesome. Here are a few pics that can help explain exactly what I’ve done:


Yeah, not good.

What Good Has Come Out Of This?
So now the question is, what good could have possible come out of this, Hup? Your shoulder is all tore up, you’re in pain and now you have walk around with a stupid-looking sling on. I have a feeling that I’ll have more good than just these few points, but these are the ones that have stood out to me so far. More to come, for sure.

  1. I got some killer pain meds. You know, it’s not often that you can get high legally, but when they gave me some Oxycodone for my pain I knew that I was in for some dizzy times ahead. Those things do NOT mess around and I haven’t even taken any today because of the crazy effects that they have had on me. You take one and you’re practically knocked out. KO, goodnight.
  2. I realized just how much I love Stephanie and how much she really, truly loves me. It’s always great to know that your partner-in-crime has got your back and throughout this whole ordeal I could not have imagined Stephanie dealing with it any better. She is truly the love of my life and I have no idea how I could have gone through this without her.
  3. We might have found a Honeymoon spot in Australia? As we were waiting to get my prescriptions on Monday night, we met a guy named Ken Howard from Australia who has made tons of money developing board games and consulting for board game developers and inventors. Well, we got to chatting and before you know it he had offered us to use his mansion in Australia for our honeymoon and I’ve even emailed him since to confirm it. We’ll see if this turns out to be true, but if it does, it would be pretty sweet.
  4. Nic, my new roomie, had no problem helping me put my shirt on while I was in my underwear. I’m pretty sure this is a good thing?
  5. It made me feel good knowing that I had enough friends around SF that if I had an emergency that I could get it taken care of. It’s definitely a good feeling to have.

So that’s all I have for you right now — sorry for the long explanation, but I didn’t want to leave anything out. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress as time goes on, but everything is getting better as time goes on and today is the first day that I can type AND put on my clothes by myself. Sweet! :)

The Powers of Flowers

Last night I decided to surprise Stephanie with some flowers (which I try to do on a regular basis), so I thought that it would be a great topic to shoot a quick video about. Hopefully we can do more videos like this that are based more around our relationship and what makes it so freakin’ awesome. Of course, not all of it is easy, but the harder times are what makes you both realize just how great it is to have a relationship with someone that you truly love and want to be with for the rest of your life.  Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. :)

Check out the video below or over here on YouTube and please let us know if you have any thoughts on the Powers of Flowers!

The story of Hup and Steph Part 2: The Fun Begins

Well, it’s getting late and I’m ready to crash after taking the midnight train back to Palo Alto tonight. Stephanie and I headed out in San Francisco tonight to one of our friends place’s to watch the BCS college football championship game. It was a great shindig and there were all kinds of people there hanging out. It’s truly amazing how many great friends we’ve made in the 9 months we’ve been living out here in California – we’re very blessed to have each and every one of them.

Yesterday I posted up the first part of the video that I showed to Stephanie before I proposed to her over the holidays. I went ahead and uploaded the second part of the video and posted it below and on YouTube so that you can check it out as well. It’s called ‘The Fun Begins’ and is all about the time after we first met and started dating and hanging out together. It was definitely the beginning of our fun together and it’s just seemed to keep on going ever since. Enjoy and I’ll be posting up more videos soon.

The story of Hup and Steph Part 1: They First Meet

As most of you probably know by now, Stephanie and I are now officially engaged. Yep, I asked and she actually said yes – pretty sweet, eh?

Since we’ve been back here in California most of our friends saw our official relationship status change on Facebook, so they’re well aware on our intentions to get hitched. But, even the people who know that we are engaged still ask how I proposed and how all of it went down on Christmas night when I popped the question.

I thought that it was about time to finally let all of you know exactly how I proposed to Stephanie and what my overall plan was to surprise her. It all started before we left for Indianapolis when I told Stephanie that I wanted to put a video together that would fill our family in on some of the details of the awesome relationship that we’ve had over the past year and a half. She thought that it was a cool idea so we both sat down one night and we interviewed each other about the major stages of our relationship together. Stages such as how we first met, what it was like when we first started dating, why we ended up moving to California, what it’s been like since we’ve been out here on the west coast and what we thought our future was going to be like together going forward.

I then turned the interviews into a bigger video that included videos, images and other random digital snippets that I could find that had to do with what we talked about while interviewing each other. Even though I told Stephanie that my intentions were to show our family the video once we got home, my real idea was to sit down with her to watch this video together and then to end it by proposing to her. I’ll get into more details later, but that is basically how it went down and I’ve got some video of me proposing to her as well as both of us talking just minutes after she said yes. You’ll see more of that soon enough.

But, to kick all of this off I first wanted to split up the video into smaller sections so that all of you can enjoy it as much as we have. After seeing these videos you’ll know way more about us than you ever wanted to find out about, but it’s really cool to see it all packaged up into one fluid story. After creating this I started thinking how other couples would probably love to have something like this, so who knows – maybe I’ll start doing this for other people, too? You know, with all of this spare time that I have these days.

Check out the first video below, which I have cleverly called ‘They First Meet’ or check out it out over here on YouTube.

An appointment at the jewelry store

Me and Stephanie have plans to stop by and see our girl Beverly at Gleim Jewelers tonight.

Can anybody guess why?

OK, I’ll give you a hint (scroll down)….

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More details coming soon. :)

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Well…not really. At least not out here in Palo Alto it isn’t, and that is absolutely alright with me and Ryan. These past few months it has really started to sink in that moving out to California was truly a fabulous choice. There are many, many reasons why this is true, but one reason in particular is obviously the weather! The mere fact that as I type this, our friends and family back in Indiana are already battling the first few inches of snow this season is reason enough for me to shout for joy one more time tomorrow when I drive to work with the sunroof open and smile in the warmth of the sun :) I’m not bragging…no…I’ll get my fill of below freezing windchills and dirty slush when I’m home for Christmas in a few weeks.

Although it may not look like Christmas outside, it certainly looks like Christmas inside our cottage. I had been eagerly awaiting the day that Ryan and I went to pick out our lovely Christmas tree. We decided to go to the Palo Alto Kiwanis Club Christmas tree lot to find our beauty. On a beautiful sunny day, Ryan and I set out to find “the one”. It wasn’t long before we made out decision and brought home the lucky tree.

I decided to go with a red/silver/little bit of gold theme for the tree this year. Luckily Target supplied me with almost all of my decor and I think the tree turned out pretty nice this year if I do say so myself :) Ryan and I had a great time decorating it too. We turned up some of Pandora’s finest holiday music and spent the afternoon decorating and admiring our first Christmas tree together. It was pretty special and we’re looking forward to many, many more years of decorating our tree together.

So even though it may still be around 70 degrees and sunny outside, I haven’t lost one bit of my Christmas spirit! I absolutely love Christmas time and I’m even excited to go back to Indiana to have just a little bit of snow for Christmas…because I know that I’m coming back to sunshine when it’s over :)

Check out the video below or over on YouTube to see how our tree-hunting/decorating adventure went:

Stephanie’s roomie gets hitched, are we next?!?

Now as far as I know, I haven’t popped the question yet to Stephanie, but according to the results of the bouquet and garter belt toss at her old college roomie’s wedding reception last weekend, it shouldn’t be long. Yep, Stephanie caught the bouquet AND I caught the garter belt. What are the odds of that, right? :)

Of course I got the entire thing on video, along with some other things that caught my eye and if you’d like to check out how everything went down feel free to click here to check out it out on YouTube or watch it below now. More posts and pics coming in the next couple of posts – talk to you all soon!

It’s the little things that mean so much

As I was getting lost in a complete computer nerd zone while typing away on my laptop last weekend, Stephanie surprised me with a homemade display of her love for yours truly(as shown above). It shows not only her love for me, but her love for the warm weather of Spring as well. It was actually over 60 degrees for the first time in months, but Indiana quickly reminded us that we’re not out of Winter yet with an awesomely bad ice storm today. Yay for living in the Midwest.

He asked… She said yes!

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One thing that really excites me is getting that special phone call from a friend of mine upon which i answer and she squeals, “I’m engaged”. After the initial screaming and giggling for a good couple of minutes we settle down and end up in a lengthy conversation involving intricate details of the entire proposal scene involving the events leading up to the proposal, her initial reaction, and the happiness shared by the two after her sweet answer of yes. For those few moments my friend tells me all about the very moment that every girl dreams about in her life, and she describes it in such detail so that I feel as if I were right beside her when it happened. It’s like a girly movie that all of us girls can get together and talk about as we laugh, cry, and converse about the past events that have led up to this very moment of the couple’s relationship. Cue the boys… “gag”! I had the opportunity to enjoy this very thing with my dear friend/roomie in college, Holly. Holly and her boyfriend Ryan were engaged on February 16, in Chicago, IL. Although according to Ryan, things didn’t go quite as planned, as you can see here in their engagment story, that the end result was of course fantastic and they are planning to exchange their vows this summer in June.

The engagment period, it’s such a crazy time in a couple’s relationship. Months and months of excessive planning and preparation for 8 hours of wedding. Although it seems like a bunch of trouble for nothing, I’m sure that it’s all worth it for the memory and significance of that special day. Knowing Holly I’m guessing that this will be one beautiful wedding – she is quite the graphic designer and has many tricks up her sleeve when it comes to art/photography/web design/you name it. In fact, check out their website here. Prepare to be impressed.

Back to the engagement, it’s amazing how relationships work. The awkward phase at the beginning, the time of confusion when you’re left to figure each other out during the getting to really know you phase, and the sweet bliss of finally being in love, real love, the kind that you say “yes I want to marry you and spend the rest of my life with you” love. The kind of love when you know that you would do absolutely anything for your partner no matter how hard it may be, or the kind of love that says we believe we can stick this out even though things won’t always be perfect, and of course the kind of love that says there is no other person in this world that I would rather cherish and love for the rest of my life other than you. That’s the kind of love that we all seem to be searching for. The most ironic thing is that you never really seem to find it because this love actually seems to find you when you least expect it. Dare I say that this very thing has in fact happened to myself and my boyfriend Ryan? Without any reservations I can in fact say yes, it has… but don’t get all crazy on us yet… geez it’s only been 7 months:)

I just want to take the opportunity of this post to congratulate Holly and Ryan on their special Engagement and the excitement that will follow them in these next few months, and eventually years as they grow as a couple together in their journey through life as husband and wife. I love you guys and look forward to seeing you two become the new Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Gauper.

Also, be sure to check out their sweet ‘Gettin’ Hitched’ online wedding journal when you get a chance…I told you that Holly has skills.

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