Good Times & Sad Times

Brian’s 30th birthday was last weekend; it was a bit anticlimatic but I think he enjoyed it. Saturday he spent with JP working on putting new counter tops in the kitchen (which is still not quite done). I cleaned and did laundry, which was good. The weekend was just perfect for that. Sunday evening we spent at his parents house. They got Brian a super nice chair from Ikea and his sister got him a gift card to get some bike stuff.

Brian opened his gifts from me on his actual birthday on Monday; I got him a new camera (not a DSLR, but a fancy point and shoot that’s really thin). I think he’s pretty pumped. I also got him a big 6 window picture frame and letters from alphabet photography which is basically like 4 x 6 photos of shapes in our everyday world that look like letters. I spelled out our (or right now, his) last name. It was spelled out with a faucet, ladder, dandilion fuzz, hanging sheet, and I can’t remember the “A”, and a picnic bench arm for the S. Brian couldn’t figure it out at first, but he thought it was pretty cool. I had to get him something that he wouldn’t know about since the camera was a given; he had to tell me what he wanted.

I made him dinner, which was super impressive for me. I made cucumber salad which chilled most of the day, and then I improvised one of the recipes (it seemed too small; and Brian doesn’t like warm cherry tomatoes much so I switched it with asparagus). The dinner was (whole wheat) pasta combined with chicken (one of the few times I’ve ever cooked meat!), asparagus, mushrooms, onion, fresh oregano and basil with a light white wine and chicken broth sauce. Parmesan cheese on top. Then I made peanut butter cookies with honey for dessert. Yeah, it was impressive 🙂

While I was making dinner/cookies, my mom called once and texted. Turns out my grandpa passed away that afternoon. This was both expected and unexpected… he hasn’t been in good health and has had a lot of trouble taking care of himself for the past year. But he never had to be in a nursing home which he really didn’t want, and he didn’t spend time in a hospital which I’m sure he didn’t want either. I never figured on him even being able to come to the wedding even if he was still with us. So it’s tough.

Good times and sad times. 🙁

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Life Outside the Wedding

A short post on the other stuff I’ve been doing…

In early April, I went to the Ohio Genealogical Society conference and I had a blast! I was so impressed with myself, I normally don’t like doing a lot of things by myself that involve a lot of people, but this was great. I was certainly the youngest person there but no one said it haha. Someday I’m going to get certified… I bought so many books!!

Other than that, we’ve been doing a lot of house stuff. Brian had new basement windows put in just yesterday and he’s been transplanting all our hostas and some other plants out to the back or side of the house since the ones that were in the front will be totally bulldozed when we got the front yard done. Not sure what the timeline is on that.

We painted the kitchen the other day, that was a pain. We still have to paint back behind the fridge and stove and touch up a few spots, but for the most part one coat did it. We still have our old table, I think we’ll be getting rid of that in a few weeks. Brian and his friend JP are putting in new countertop laminate today. Between that and finishing the paint, the kitchen will be pretty much done! OH! And we also got a half size dishwasher last week, Brian found a good deal on craigslist. I’m so excited about it!

This past week I’ve been doing crazy amounts of laundry that I had neglected, and did a pass around the rooms with my new vacuum mom got me. It sucks so good! lol. I’m hoping the new carpet will go in next week, but it depends on Tony (Brian’s sister’s boyfriend) and what time he has available. We’re going to start hanging things on the wall again soon, we haven’t hung any since the living room was painted.

So what’s left? The front yard, a thorough cleaning of the basement, painting the “accent” color of the outside of the house to get rid of the bright green, painting the peeling paint outside the house, fixing the flowerbeds out front after the yard is done, re-cementing the outside porch area, and just maintaining an adequate level of cleanliness to make it easier on us next spring… I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting. Oh, a new garage door Brian wants to do, and maybe new front or back doors. Combining our offices into one in Sir Chewy’s, though that won’t be for a while because will strictly be when we put the house up so we can turn the one room back into a bedroom…

It’ll all be worth it 🙂 The house is becoming more and more pleasant to live in. That’s all for now, because I need to do some cleaning… ciao!

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28 Days to Go

Less than a month to go, it’s a little scary (not because I’m scared but because of all the STUFF there is left to go). Here’s a short list:

Write thank yous for work bridal shower
Rehearsal dinner (this is almost done I think, Brian’s taking care of it)
Thank you tags attached to favors
Pick up altered dress (should be soon, call to follow up next week)
Finish guest book table numbers Still need to write something to put up at the main entrance to explain this
Centerpieces! Clean mirrors for centerpieces
Finalize DJ stuff (we picked the song we’re going to dance to, but nothing else)
Finalize cake details (I need a topper, I think I’ll just use some teddy bears I got from work, and buy ribbon)
Finalize flower details
Finalize ceremony details
Finalize food
Finalize photographer details (must take photos, etc. and just touch base)
Create day-of timeline
Schedule make up and hair and other salon stuffs
Create ceremony programs
Finalize ceremony music (I need to call an old lady which is not on my list of fun things)
Seating arrangement (can’t do this until everyone or most have RSVPed which should be very soon)
Create placecards for seating
Buy gifts for parents, both sets
Buy gift for Brian
Brian get gift for Hilary (let’s just assume this will get done ;))
Finish bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts
Pay for all the shit (payment due dates are all coming up)

I put some stuff in that we finished because I wanted to feel good haha. I bought myself a pair of nice gold/pearl earrings for the wedding. My grandma is letting me borrow a real pearl necklace which will be my something borrowed. The earrings can be the something new–I didn’t want to wear fake pearls with real ones. I found some really pretty at a good price. My engagement ring and band are white gold and the rest of the jewelry for the wedding is yellow gold, but I don’t really think that matters.

Here’s what the guest book table numbers look like, I realized I didn’t have any pictures of them posted here. I’m pretty proud of them 🙂 I don’t know yet how many more I need to do so I’m holding off a little bit. I have 15 done. They’ll go on each of the tables with “prompts” and they replace a traditional guestbook.

The registry is still pretty well stocked, but I’m going to watch it closely as the day approaches. I can’t believe how much stuff I got for the shower, everyone was really generous! Brian’s sister coordinated it all, I really thought it turned out really nice. We had it at Boston Township Hall in Peninsula. There was a little kitchen and bathroom attached and the day was beautiful so we had all the huge windows open. Table cloths and confetti. It was just great. Various people brought food–Lisa’s husband JP made pasta salad she brought, Giant Eagle made the sandwiches, mom brought cake and little cream cheese roll things, people brought chips and pretzels, Brian’s mom had jello and jello shots! and brownies were made… oh my goodness. We didn’t really play any games except a bingo for what gifts I would get–it lasted a lot longer than I thought. It was supposed to start at 1, I think we got started at 1:30 and it went til 4:30-5. Hollie’s kids (the ones we go to the zoo with each year) had a blast with the balloons and a lot more of my friends showed up than I thought would. My mom and sister and grandma came, and my Aunt Carol. Friends from school, old Centerville friends, new friends, and Brian’s family. I helped clean up and then I got Brian and we drove to his parents house to hang with his grandma and Aunt Terry. It was so nice of them to come all that way, I know how tough it was to get his grandma here!!!

Then I had a surprise work shower, and that was a total surprise. I had absolutely no idea. They had it all decorated with table cloths and confetti and banner and balloons. (Banner is still hanging up outside my cube and one of the balloons is still inside my cube). April made a nice summer salad with lettuce, strawberries, walnut pieces and sweet dressing. We had pizza, brownies by Jill and cupcakes made by Leigh-Anne, of course. Joni and Leigh-Anne I think planned most of it, but everyone contributed; they got me a nice sewing machine!! So I took the one off my registry, this one is much nicer, I’m really excited. I bought a pattern for curtains yesterday since they were on sale for $1. I also bought some fabric to practice straight stitching on first. I took a class recently so I can do the basics, with a different machine, haha. I don’t know when I’ll be able to break mine out of the box since we’re doing all kinds of housework and wedding stuff still, but after that I’m planning on doing this. Oh so crafty!!!

All in all, things have been really good. I feel a little overwhelmed with wedding stuff and house work right now, so I’m avoiding what I can. Don’t worry, just like school it will all get done in time… 🙂

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More Wedding Fun!

Where did the time go? I didn’t post at all this month, I can’t believe it’s the end of February. Okay, so I have quite a few things almost done… like, invitations are almost done. There was some minor drama when I took them to the post office to weigh two of them and the guy told me that the bows I had put on them would cost 20 cents extra. 20 cents! 78 * 20 = $15.60 extra. On top of… 13 * .59 = 7.67 (that’s the ones that have actual mail in RSVP cards, there’s only 13 of them), 65 * .42 = 27.30… so I’m already paying $40 to mail something, no need to add $15 more.

So I switched the ribbon to kind of band–it’s glued together so that it will slide off the invitation. I’m hoping it doesn’t look tacky to glue ribbon together like that but if people are just sliding it off and getting rid of it, it should be fine, right? I keep debating about putting some kind of paper over the ribbon edges so people don’t see it. Hmmm…

Anyway, here’s pictures of the invites before I decided not to do the bows… In one of those pictures you’ll see some colored edges on the inserts; I’m not actually going to do that anymore due to the time involvement, that was just a sample. I heat embossed in the center of the invites, that gold swirly flowery design. I also embossed the outside of the paper–a different kind of embossing that creates a raised design in paper. You can see it if you look closely, the paper is patterned. That was a pain in the neck (literally) and I spent months on that, no joke. The rest of the invite process has been pretty painless.

Invitations 1

Invitations 2

Invitations 3

So I am really excited that that is almost done. I even have enough of that salmon colored paper left to do wedding programs with it, so that’s pretty exciting!

In other news, we met with our pastor, Jason, who was my old boss (and also worked with Brian so he knows us both really well). It was different meeting with him in that context, but he gave us a paper with a sample ceremony so we’ll be tweaking that. I thought a little about ceremony music, we have an organist that comes with the church. About a month before the wedding I’ll probably have to call her, I’m not looking forward to that because she’s older and I don’t know, I just don’t like calling people as it is. Anyway, I’ll probably be pretty traditional and stick with what she knows.

I found a florist, finally!!! I had gotten quotes from 4 different places… for the flowers I had wanted, they all wanted like $800, and one of them took a month to get me a quote and that was the only one I had requested carnations in some of them just to see if the price would come down. It went down to the $560 but that wasn’t the flowers I really wanted. So this lady did my cousin’s wedding and has actually worked with Stacey outside of her wedding on a couple occasions, and also she works out of her home so she doesn’t have the same overhead that florist shops do. She is over my budget (my original budget for fresh flowers for all the people flowers was an outrageously low $200, that was before I realized it wasn’t realistic; I then raised it to $500); she came in at around $650 when all is said and done but I get the flowers I wanted. Roses and hydrangea, to match my fake centerpieces of course! Her name, should you want it, is Joanne with Petals at Ivy Hill.

Our cake lady also works out of her home; we went to 3 places to try cakes. Our cake will be square and two-tiered with scrollwork that doesn’t cost extra and maybe a ribbon around the tier. The rest will be sheet cakes. Judy’s Sweet Sensations is what she’s called. I really like her and she’s really knows her stuff and had lots of inspiration pictures for us to look at though in the end I went with a picture I found online. This lady is the lowest, but again over budget. My budget was just unrealistic, I guess. I’m really afraid that we’re going to be way out of budget for the DJ… we’re over by a couple thousand dollars already, I don’t want to make this ridiculous. We don’t have our DJ yet, that’s next on my list.

I firmly believe that I’ve gotten a really good deal on a lot of things and I’m making a lot of stuff. Those invites have cost a fraction of pre-made ones, and so have the centerpieces. But let’s face it, I don’t have to have a DJ and I don’t have to have fresh flowers and various other things, so I’m starting to feel a little guilty about the cost. My parents have dedicated a certain amount, and that won’t change; Brian’s parents are paying for the alcohol and will do one other contribution. The rest, all that over budget-ness, will be paid by Brian and I.

We’re booking our honeymoon this weekend, and a part of me is almost more excited for that than the wedding, haha! The honeymoon will be in Punta Cana, Domincan Republic, and will be at the Majestic Colonial. We looked at Iberostar since that’s where we stayed in Mexico and we had such a great experience; but the hotel pictures looked the same as Mexico! I wanted a different look and feel; the Colonial is super classy looking. It will be all inclusive; the rooms have room service and a jacuzzi and we’re looking at either the ground floor which has direct access to the pool, or the third or fourth floors which have private balconies with jacuzzis outside too! Both are unbelievable options and I’ve left it to Brian to decide. It will be for 9 days. I’m so excited, I can’t wait!

So that was super long. I’ll have to post another day about non-wedding stuff, haha 🙂

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Wedding Progress Post–150 Days!

I bought my shoes! I got a Coloriffics Andie Sandal in ivory. It’s super traditional, nothing exciting here, but I have a narrow heal and needed a strappy sandal with a small heel so I don’t trip over myself. It fits all these requirements and matches my dress perfectly so I’m happy!

I also purchased all the materials for my centerpieces; my test one turned out great so I committed and found 5 X 5 X 5 glass cube vases at Flower Factory for about $3.80 or so apiece ( I got a quantity discount too), plus I got a big thing of green foam that Brian will cut for me. The quality of the vases is not like Jo-Ann’s, but I saved a ton of money since I had to by 20 of them! I also went to three Jo-Ann stores to round up all the roses since they were on sale. I also bought all my hydrangea from and they came a little packed too tight so I’ll have to spend some time spreading them out. So I just need to round up a few of my girls to put them all together beforehand and come Friday, June 19 we’ll be putting them all together with limes!

Test one:

centerpiece test

centerpiece test

Linens will be yellow, with ivory table clothes. Food is still TBD, but we have a caterer. We don’t have a DJ yet, that’s next on the list. We do have a first dance song though! We will be dancing to Johnny Cash’s version of Rose of my Heart. I almost despaired of finding a song we both could dance too because we have a different tastes. We like a lot of the same things, but we LOVE a lot of different things. Anyway, I’m ambivalent about Johnny Cash, but I love the lyrics of the song so it’s perfect!

So recently I’ve been searching for a veil. Since I bought my dress off the rack, I don’t really have an opportunity to try on veils with the dress itself. Soo… I think I’m going to David’s Bridal just to try some on without the dress and I’ll probably buy it online since it’ll be cheaper. I’ll just have to hope it looks good with the dress… I’m thinking it’ll be elbow length with a satin trim around the edges with a cascade cut (so it has some waves to it).

For table numbers, I want to do something like this, except with top opening sketch books which will be cheaper. If I can find ones that don’t have a wire spiral at the top…

Cake is going to look like this, except that it will only be two tiers and the color will be salmon. We’ll do sheet cakes for the rest. I have one quote, I need to check out another place, although I really liked the place we went to. I am okay with the price, it is, however, above our budget and we’re already over our budget by quite an amount so I need to think about it.

I purchased the favors, which I won’t share here. They’re useful, traditional, and I’m okay with them. I was going to do either these or food, and these won out for cost reasons. We can’t have everything we want 🙂

Flowers: I am meeting with a lady that did my cousins wedding on Monday evening who works out of her home. I have some ideas of what I want; I’m thinking fresh hydrangea with roses (like the centerpieces). Maybe some lily grass? Mine would be bigger and their girls would be smaller. Nothing too fancy there! Bouts would be a rose with lily grass or something similar. Brian would have a salmon rose and the groomsmen would have ivory. Flower inspiration board:

flower inspiration board

We also did hotel blocks; We also registered for tuxes at American Commodore. The tuxes will be under $100 which is REALLY good. They’ll have ivory shirts and vests with coral ties (close but not the same exact shade as the girls’ dresses). Brian will be in all ivory. The fathers will be in black shirts and vests with a tie that matches whatever the mother’s wear. Screw them matching with coral ties, I’d rather they matched the moms! We have to go pick out the shoes for the tuxes but otherwise that’s done. The girls dresses are all ordered!

Also, I’m going to try my hand at another brand new craft! I’ve now done heat embossing and flower arranging, and I’m going to try another! I’m not going to say what it is, but I am excited about it and it involves the girls. You might be able to guess but I will neither confirm or deny.

Oh, I can’t forget the invitations. I FINALLY finished the outside pockets for the invites, now I need to start on all the inserts..

That’s about it for now… DJ, picking out food, getting the florist booked are top priority. Then veil finding and scheduling hair stuff and finding a tailor to add the bustle and hem my dress. Then guest book and getting the materials for the table numbers… so much to do, so little time!

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Engagement Photos!

Okay, this is long overdue; we had a friend / professional take our engagement photos. The deal was that I could take all the raw files and process everything myself… soooo I finally did it and here they are!

Aside from it being freezing cold, it was fun. It’s pretty cool because we got our engagement photos taken in the same location we’ll get our wedding photos taken. The church is right across the street.

I’m pretty partial to the one with us in the field, that was totally my idea 🙂

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I Got It!

I got the new position!

It’s a lateral move, so I’m not making any more money (which I knew going in). Hurrah! I’m super pumped 🙂

I am now a Planning Specialist for the .com team. I will be planning product website and email promotions.

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Happy 2009

It’s a little weird for me to say that it’s 2009 because at work, we go by a fiscal year, our fiscal year starts in February and is a year ahead… so it’s been fiscal year (FY) 09 for 11 months for me. For one short month of January, we will be the same fiscal year as the actual year. It’s just weird… and we use FY09 in almost everything we do.

For New Years, Brian and I went to Hibachi Wasabi for a second year in a row with JP & Lisa (couple we went to Mexico with, both are in the wedding). We also went with JP’s brother and girlfriend. It was a blast as usual! This places pours saki down your throat! We requested the wild guy we saw taking care of another table and got him! He was hilarious. I had the best scallops I have ever had–they were so tender. I just love the sauce that goes on them! We went back and the girls chatted while the boys played Wii until ball drop time, then we all went downstairs to play Wii games. We tried out Ravin… Rabids, those creepy wacked out rabbit games that I always see commercials for. That’s a crazy game. I drove us home and we got back around 3:30 and crashed. I woke up around noon, I can’t remember the last time I did that! Yesterday then I can’t even remember what we did, I was so lazy. Brian made us pork roast and saurkraut, stuffing the pork with garlic. Oh my goodness… not a big pork fan, but this was tender, juicy and amazing!

Today, Brian’s old friend Hollie and her three girls came over. We gave them cute crafty gifts from Jo-Ann’s. We went to the Winking Lizard where they go to see a real live lizard! And came back and played games on the Wii and chilled.

So 2009 is going to bring some great things for me! We’re getting married, and hopefully we’ll be moving by the end of 2009, and maybe even a new position… I’m excited for all the wonderful things coming my way! I’m not doing resolutions this year, because a) I never remember them, and b) I don’t even think there will be time to remember them! We have a house to get ready to sell (living room and kitchen still need work, basement needs reorganized… redecorating… ahhh and of course, wedding stuff which has caused me to dream a couple times now crazy wedding dreams. I dreamed a few weeks ago that one of the bridesmaids died and I was worried about whether to leave an empty chair in honor of her or to pick a new one!

Anyway, think I will be calling some florists and/or bakers tomorrow, and heading out to Great Lakes Brewery in the evening… then to a bar or two and finally to see one of Brian’s play a show! Good times. The long weekend is going by too quickly for me.

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The Family HIstory book was a hit! My grandma absolutely LOVED hers and spent hours pouring through it. Said it was the best gift she’s ever received! My parents liked theirs as well. I got a new white-light lamp which I like to use for crafting, because my old one was from Big Lots and dying. I also got the little box die cut templates I want to use to make favors, so that’ll be nice, as well as some random geeky stuff from dad, like a little plasma ball that plugs into the USB port of the computer. I brought that in to work, haha 🙂

It was a nice Christmas visit, aside from the long driving time (from picking up Grandma, adds almost 2 hours onto the trip that’s already 3.5 hours). I think my mom enjoyed it more than she thought, because she was upset earlier that I wasn’t coming down for Christmas and didn’t come down for Thanksgiving and missed Christmas last year… she was feeling neglected. But Brian and I spent quality time with them, we played some board games and watched movies and stayed up late.

I worked today, wrapped gifts tonight and had a wonderful roast meal cooked by Brian (since he didn’t work today, he made a nice dinner and did a lot of house work). Oh! We finally got our bathtub refinished, it looks like a brand new tub, it’s amazingly white!! So the bathroom is finally done being remodeled… now just to keep it clean.. haha.

And, for the wedding update: So the bridesmaid dresses will be from Forever Yours, The color is coral with an ivory sash. The coral color isn’t really like the one they have on the site, it’s actually closer to this which is ginger on another brand. They sent me a swatch so now Brian and I need to go around and find tuxes that come close to that color since this brand doesn’t have a tux line.

So far, we’re on a tight deadline for getting the dresses in in time. If we order by beginning of January, they’ll come in late March/early April which should be enough time for any alternations needed for the girls. It feels like time is just flying and Brian and I are really behind! But I think we are actually okay, and pacing ourselves okay.

I’m researching florists right now so I can see how much it would cost to have them do something. I’m actually leaning towards a square vase now with lemons and/or limes lining it with some short flowers. But I’m flexible, all depends on cost. Other next steps are the DJ and cake person, and then we get started on detail work.

I began working on invitations. I have 20 pocket folds done (the inserts will come later, after we finalize all information). I’m pacing myself at around 15 per week so I’ll be done in January and will be able to do the inserts and get them all out in a timely manner. I’m afraid I may be over 1 ounce though which means extra stamps.. but since we’re having most people RSVP online it might be okay.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

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Quick Wedding Update

I finally finished all 55+ of my Christmas cards! It was rough this year, because people who I normally would not send Christmas cards to got ones so that I could stuff in my Save the Dates. Which only went to people who would have to make travel arrangements. Because there are so many pieces to the invitations, I need to start the outside pocket early so by the time all the information is finalized, I still have time to put the inserts together.

We got a photographer! His name is Dale Kincaid and he’s experienced with shooting photos in Cuyahoga National Park, which is where the wedding is. He has also done one other wedding in our church, which is a bonus. We’re excited because he’s done quite a few photos out by the covered bridge, which we like. Among Brian’s few requests/preferences were great photos, so we were looking some in a higher price range than I originally expected. However, this guy is fantastic. He’ll be providing us the RAW digital files (we’ll to pay an extra fee for that), though we’ll still be having him print a lot for us, because he does some great artistic work. He’s also very friendly and talkative, which is a plus at a wedding where you need to get people smiling and not be too intrusive!

I’m waiting for one of my bridesmaids to return from vacation to give me her opinion on some bridesmaid dresses that we looked at the other week. After that, I’ll be making a decision and hopefully everyone will be able to get sized and ordered by the second week of January. I also need to see a florist (have to start making a list), a DJ and a cake maker! Then I need to get shoes and find someone to alter my gown… then… well, one step at a time.

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