Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quote of the Day: It's a tie!

I just cannot decide which of these is my favorite. I'm leaning towards the first one:

"Yeah, my mom is like really concerned about me finding a man and getting married" -student
"But you're only 18!" -me
"I know, but I want to have kids by, like, the time I'm 23. I don't want to be, like, old and decrepit." -student

Sigh. This is a good one, though, too, overheard from my desk:

"Do you think he's cuter than the guy I was seeing last semester?" -one teenage girl
"Ugh, you're so shallow!" -other teenage girl

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The people we love to hate

Yep, you guessed it:  Speidi.  I'm not exactly sure how this happened.  But, each week as I watch The Hills (on my computer, no less, due to our lack of cable), I despise Spencer and Heidi more and more.  This whole wedding business pushed it over the edge.  I loathe them.  And, on the other hand, how smart are they????  They are the couple we love to hate, and they are making millions off of us.  Spencer and Heidi EACH make $65,000 per episode, clocking in at around $1.25 million EACH annually.  Seriously????  

My girl LC is at the top of the salary scale, making $75,000 per episode ($1.4 million annually).  Spencer's formerly coked-out sister Stephanie gets the short end of the stick, at only $8,000 per episode - which still gives her $152,000 annually.  And, for someone who seems to do nothing besides go to fashion school half-heartedly, I think that a six-figure salary is pretty decent.  

I've made no secret of the fact that I love LC.  She's awesome!  Seriously - wouldn't you want her as a bff?  Without all the drama, of course, and perhaps she should consider waterproof mascara.  All that crying gets a bit embarrassing.  Hills girls I wouldn't want as friends:  Heidi, obviously, Stephanie and Lo.  I was totally on Team Audrina through the whole Audrina-Lo feud, despite the fact that Audrina is a little crazy looking and can't ever make eye contact.  But Lo is just...a bitch, right?  Who's with me?  

Anyway, as the 4th season finale is coming up, I'm about to go into a Hills withdrawal.  Thank goodness The City starts soon - anyone planning on watching?  I must say that I also wouldn't mind have Whitney as a bff, as she seems to be the only really sensible girl of the group.  Plus, hello!  She would totally get me a good discount at DvF, and I kind of LOVE those dresses.

Who's with me??

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holy Dyson!

Hello, lover.  I'm proud to announce that Matt and I will soon be the proud parents of a Dyson DC25 Animal Ball Vacuum.  Sniff.  Isn't she gorgeous?

Now, I know what you're thinking.  Shaina, you've completely gone off the deep end!  Excited about a VACUUM?  Talk about domesticity!  

But seriously - this thing's amazing.  As it should be, for $549!  Don't worry - thanks to my trusty Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon and several hundred dollars worth of store credit and gift cards, it only cost us a mere $70.  Clearly, it will be the best $70 we have ever spent.

For some annoying and frustrating reason, BB&B does not have this vacuum in stores.  Of course, they have it at Target.  And Sears.  And Best Buy.  Very frustrating!  Matt and I went tonight for the gazillionth time to see if it had arrived in the store.  It had not, but a lovely sales associate ordered one for us on the spot, coupon and all!  It should arrive to Matt's parents' house sometime around Christmas.  We are thrilled!  Well, okay, I can't lie.  I'M thrilled.  Matt doesn't have all that much to say about a vacuum, but I'm pretty sure he'll fall in love all over again when he flips that switch.

And the next time you come visit - there will be NO OSCAR HAIR carpeting the apartment!  Joy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Book Review: Lonesome Dove

Well folks, on Friday I finally finished Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry.  All I can say!  What an incredible story.  The book started out pretty rough.  It was extremely slow and I had to work hard to keep my interest.  However, I feel as though those first boring 100 pages were completely necessary, to set the scene for the next 845.  

The book is begins in the dusty little "town" of Lonesome Dove, Texas, right on the Mexican border.  This is a true cowboy book, and the story is centered around two former Texas rangers, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call.  Now that their rangering days are over, Gus and Call deal in horses and cattle.  The adventure begins when the duo decide to take three thousand cattle up to Montana to settle. 

I'm not usually one for cowboy stories, but this one blew me away.  The journey is difficult and claims several lives.  I have not cried this much while reading a book in a long time.  The book is full of powerful characters and emotion, and I was blown away by the storytelling and its affect on me.  

I don't think I'm doing a very good job of selling this book - or even properly explaining what it is about, because to be honest, the storyline is far too complex to summarize decently.  As previously mentioned, Lonesome Dove is lengthy - my copy was 945 pages - but I whipped through it.  On Friday, I sat down and read the last 400 pages in no time - I literally could not put it down.  

Please, read this book.

Monday, December 8, 2008

No, I'm sorry, THIS is the Quote of the Day

"Ugh, I eat all the time and I don't even know what it feels like to gain weight. Sometimes I wish I did, just to know."
-one high school girl to another, sitting outside my office.

Quote of the Day

"He thinks he's like, like God. And I was like, God would never be, like, brothers with you."
-one high school girl to another this morning, sitting outside of my office.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Restaurant Review: Japanee

This afternoon, Matt and I went to see the matinee performance of the Nutrcracker at IU.  We had an absolute blast - the tickets were a Christmas gift from my parents...from last Christmas.  The original gift was for us to go see a concert at the Kennedy Center.  Sadly, with Matt being in the Army and having a totally unpredictable schedule, it never happened.  And then, we moved to Bloomington.  We had been wanting to catch the Nutcracker the past couple years, but it just never happened.  

We decided on the matinee so that we could go out for a relaxing dinner afterwards.  Of course, it's been so long since I've been to a matinee that I had forgotten who mainly goes to these performances:  children.  We were absolutely surrounded by the little buggers (the people in front of us had EIGHT CHILDREN all under the age of 5 - this one is still a mystery to me), who definitely did not understand how to sit quietly and watch the pretty ballet.  Oh well - we had a great time nonetheless, and afterwards, decided to give a new sushi restaurant a shot.

Now, I'm sure you know how crazy Matt and I are about sushi.  We have a fierce relationship with Yamazato which, sadly, is in Alexandria, Virginia.  Far, far away.  We have never found a sushi restaurant even CLOSE to Yamazato - everywhere is always a disappointment.  However, since we can no longer go to Yamazato, we're trying to be adventurous here in Bloomington to find a new main squeeze.

My boss (also named Matt) told me about Japanee, and we decided to give it a try.  All I can say is - FINALLY!  It's definitely not Yamazato, but it's likely the only place that will come close around here.  I started things off with a seaweed salad, which tasted delightful and had a little surprise of sliced cucumber at the bottom.  I can't even remember all the sushi we ordered, but some highlights were:

A tempura California roll that came ON FIRE - literally!  Flames at the table!

A roll with salmon (I think?), cream cheese and avocado, topped with tuna and mango!  

Fried sweet potato!

Well, that's all the fun stuff - the other rolls were pretty normal.  Eel, Philadelphia, Spider, and some truly delish salmon and tuna nigiri.

All in all, Matt and I were very pleased.  Not quite as pleased with the price was pretty expensive.  Thankfully, we had a $40 Visa gift card which helped immensely!  

So, that's that.  We still plan on trying the other popular sushi place, Domo, but...we are probably not going to eat out again until my birthday thanks to our current budget.  Stay tuned...I should have another restaurant review in 2-3 months!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Post Script

Okay, in an exciting turn of events, I just found out that a movie was made of Bonfire of the Vanities in 1990!  Starring Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis!!!  I'm so excited.  I just added it to our Blockbuster Queue, along with the Kite Runner (which Matt is currently reading).  Excellent!

Book Review: The Bonfire of the Vanities

Now that the wedding is over and I have a life again, I've started getting into normal-people know, laundry, reading, etc.  Those of you who knew me as a young lass probably know that I was quite the reader in my day.  Then came college, and grad school, and I didn't really have time for reading for pleasure for about 6 years.  Boo.  
Since I moved to DC, I have been reading pretty voraciously, although Matt makes fun of me and claims I start reading several books and never finish any.  This is not true!  Case in point, I recently finished three books (okay, two of them I read at the same time).  I thought that, now that I am also free to BLOG about anything I want, that it would be a great time for a book review of my latest conquer:  The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.

I highly recommend this book.  This was my first Tom Wolfe novel, and if you've never read anything by him before, please note that he has a singular style.  It was a little difficult for me at first to get into the book, as his style threw me off a little bit.  Soon, I realized that I had read 100, then 200 pages, and at that point there was no putting it down.  The book is just over 600 pages and I read it in about 3 days.  It is a fabulous social commentary, and although it was written (and set) in the 1980s, there are a lot of sentiments that still hold true today.  

The book follows a millionaire investment banker who lives in an amazing 14-room apartment on Park Avenue, an assistant DA in the Bronx, and several other characters who all seem to focus on, well, their vanities.  In the end, the material things they all hold so dear contribute to their demise.  

I don't want to give too much away, because I hope you'll read this one!

The next book review, if I can ever finish the book, will be Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.  I started this book three days ago and I'm only on page 53.  Both my husband and my father-in-law have informed me that the first 100 pages are incredibly boring...and after you get through that chunk, it will fly!  Which is probably good, because the book is 945 pages.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wedding Recap

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we did it! We finally got married. I thought that it was time for a brief wedding recap - not sure why, since the two people who read this blog were a part of my wedding party and probably remember what happened. But, it's mostly for my own edification, I suppose, and an excuse to post some super cute photos.

The wedding went swimmingly, with nothing (that I know of) going wrong - with the exception of my dress kind of "bursting" when I got the reception and bent down for my first hug. The hook and the top button broke, but luckily for me, it stayed zipped and upright anyway. Extra thanks for MOH Jennifer, who happened to bring her little nail scissors (?) and cut off the offending pieces of dangling fasteners.

The wedding day began with a fabulously fun trip to the salon, where myself and my lovely ladies primped. Remember my gorgeous half-up, half-down wedding hairdo? Well, I scratched it. The weather forecast was rain, rain, rain for the wedding day, and my hair gets kind of crazy if there is any sort of weather going on. I went to my awesome hair lady at Flip in Ferndale, Irene, and we tried a new up-do that was still very loose, natural and romantic, and I absolutely LOVED it. Here is my finished product on the morning of the wedding. What do you think?

Afterwards, we headed to the Royal Park and primped some dressed, stared in the mirror, nervously applied and re-applied lipgloss...wait, that might have been just me. I was feeling a bit nervous at around that time! We decided to settle down and celebrate with a bottle of champagne, clearly a fabulous idea.  I wanted to show the photo below plus a great shot of the whole group, but for some reason, blogger won't upload the champagne toast photo.  Please use your imagination.

Then, it was go time. When all of my amazing bridesmaids left the hotel room to go downstairs, it was just my dad and I. And my wedding planner's assistant, whom I had never met before. This was about the time I realized that I was getting married, and started freaking out a little bit. In a good way, of course. But the tears kept creeping up and I was trying desperately to make sure they didn't ruin my pesky false eyelashes (don't ask). Before the girls left, Lisa got a photo of me touching up my lipgloss that I absolutely LOVE...but for some reason, blogger won't let me post that one, either.  

Dad and I eventually got the signal that it was time to head downstairs to walk down the aisle. As we were about to round the corner, the wedding planner made us stop and hide where we were. Dad kept peeking around the corner, and I suddenly realized that we were stopped a few feet away from 4 tables of ladies with hats having tea at the hotel. They were all staring at me, mid-sip. One of them asked me if I had just gotten married, or if I was on my way to GET married. I replied that I was about to get married. I later wondered if they thought my dad was my new husband...?

Anyway, we finally got the green light and walked down the hall and, eventually, down the aisle. The Conservatory where Matt and I got married was down this little corridor, and I was fighting some pretty serious tears as we headed down the way. At one point I looked up and realized that my future brother-in-law, Kelley, was directly in front of me, video-taping the whole thing! He was totally into it. It was pretty funny, and I'm looking forward to watching that video!

Matt and I had the most fabulous wedding ceremony; we were married by my former professor, Dr. John Rubadeau. He did a really incredible, amazing ceremony that made me laugh so hard that I cried again! It was hysterical, and totally impossible to recap here. You just had to be there.

And then, ta da! We were married!

What followed is a bit of a haze - I remember thinking at the time that I had to savor every moment, you know - remember everything. I'm really struggling now. On Monday, when Matt and I were on our way to Costa Rica for the honeymoon, we looked at each other and said....did that even happen??? It seems so distant, even now, and I realize that it was only three and a half weeks ago! But anyway, judging from the photos, I had a fantastic time. Here are a few of the amazing pro portraits. I'm absolutely in love with all of the photos, thanks to Patrick Abel at Special Moments Photography. Please contact me if you're interested in hiring him - I cannot say enough amazing things about him!

So, that's about it! Matt and I retired to our room at the Royal Park for the first serious night of sleep I have had in probably the eight months since we got engaged. It felt fabulous! We woke up the next morning, stared at our wedding rings, and realized - HEY! We're married!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dedicated Thanksgiving post

Seeing as how tomorrow is Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday!), I thought it would be fitting to take a moment and reflect on all the things I am thankful for.

1. My brand new husband. What can I say, he's the best!
2. My wonderful family. I wouldn't be who I am without their influences.
3. My wonderful new family. Looking forward to spending my first holiday with my in-laws, whom I love!
4. My fabulous friends. They are scattered all over the world, from Chicago to Tennessee to NYC to North Carolina to Washington DC to Michigan to California to CHILE! Even though they are so far away, I think about them all the time and value their friendship tremendously.
5. My job. I love what I do, and am so thankful that I happened upon such a great job so easily!
6. Our dog, Oscar. I can't help that we have the cutest dog ever.

Perhaps not as serious, but I'm also thankful for...

1. Motherbear's Pizza in Bloomington. Delish deep dish!
2. I have had a love-love relationship with this website ever since we first registered at Crate and Barrel. I can't help it...I could stare at their pages of flatware and holiday plates for hours!
3. Google Reader. I discovered the google reader in September, and ever since have spent time compiling all my favorite blogs on one webpage. Love it!
4. Yamazato Sushi and Spice in Alexandria. We may be more than a 20 minute drive away now, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for the restaurant where Matt and I had our first date, got engaged, and celebrated every birthday/holiday/occasion in between.

The list could go on and on for forever, but you don't really want to read that, do you? That's all for now. Stay tuned for a recap of my first Thanksgiving with my in-laws (and I'm actually cooking some stuff!), and...oh yeah, the wedding and the honeymoon!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happily married

Well, I'm back!  It's been just about a month since I've blogged, and in that time...Matt and I finally got married!  And went on a killer honeymoon to Costa Rica.  We just got back to our apartment last night, and have been trying to unpack, reorganize, etc.  

We were so happy with the wedding!  It was an amazing, incredible and perfect weekend.  And now, life is finally back to normal for the first time in eight months.  Yay!  

I won't post much today, as I'm about to go in the kitchen and use several of my new fun kitchen machines and utensils to make Matt some cookies...but just wanted to let you know that I'm back, post-Smith!  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fond memories of South Beach

**I seem to be having some issues uploading photos on here today. I apologize for the awkwardly cropped photos. And sorry, Jenn, about the one where you are completely cropped out. I will fix this, but...not tonight.**

I was thrilled to see that Lisa uploaded some photos from our Miami trip on facebook today. I thought that I would share some of the highlights with you (for those of you who aren't on facebook, of course!). We really did have a fantastic time, and looking back on these photos (and the amazing dvd that Lisa made me!) really took me back to our short, yet fabulous, weekend in paradise.

When we first got to South Beach, we immediately found a sidewalk square that had some important initials in it.I know it's hard to see, but yes - the sidewalk does indeed say "S & M." And yes, I know that our initials are unfortunate. But, I can't help it.

Here's a cute one of us celebrating our arrival in South Beach with some champagne:

Sadly, the weather wasn't quite as paradise-like as it should have been, and our one excursion to the beach looked like this:But that's okay, the water was super warm. That night, we got dressed up and looked fabulous, clearly:

This is the part of the evening when, while eating at Gloria Estefan's restaurant, I was forced to wear a veil covered on condoms. What can I was a bachelorette party. And to be honest, I don't look like I minded very much. We had downed quite a few mojitos by that time in the evening.
The next morning, we recuperated with an amazing buffet brunch at the Rusty Pelican on Key Biscayne. Unfortunately, none of us felt like taking advantage of the all-you-can-drink mimosas. Oh well - there's always next time!
Thanks again, Jenn and Lisa, for a totally awesome weekend in South Beach. We clearly had the best time! Can't wait to see you again - only 14 days away!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The clock is ticking

As I think back on our engagement, I remember thinking - our wedding is six months from today! In July, Jenn sent me the fabulous "your wedding is 100 days away" card. Then it was three months, then two months, then one month. Now it's 19 days. How crazy is that? I wonder if I'll be counting up after the wedding? We've been married one week. Two weeks. 19 days. Two months. Three months. 100 days.

Something tells me I won't be doing this. But - the countdown has been so much fun! I feel pretty calm with only 19 days to go. Of course, this doesn't really surprise me. The problem, of course, is that my stress rears itself in other ways. Take, for example, the absolutely crazy
wedding nightmares I've been having! None of them make any sense, and most of them involve someone forgetting to take me to the actual wedding. This is probably pretty unlikely. Sunday morning, I awoke after a really, really nice long night of sleep and said to Matt, "I had a million wedding nightmares last night." And you know what he said? "Me too."

Now, that's how you know things are getting out of hand. But only 19 more days, and this will all be over! All the planning, the fun, the blood, sweat and tears. Plus, I get to wear my new ring! In case you don't remember how fabulous it is, it looks like this:

Sigh. Gorgeous. Anyway. Another exciting thing about being married (besides, of course, being married, which is pretty exciting in itself) is the fact that we are going to freaking COSTA RICA!!! Three weeks from today, we'll be there. It has been pretty hard to think about because thinking about the wedding takes so much time. But, feast your eyes on THIS:

In case you're wondering, these are photos of the suite we are staying at for our honeymoon. The hotel is called Gaia Hotel and Reserve, recommended by my good friends Cassie and Dave, who honeymooned there in June of 2007. It is in Manuel Antonio, on the Pacific coast of the country. On Monday, November 10th, we will fly from Detroit to Miami to San Jose, Costa Rica, where a nice hotel driver will take us (in his air conditioned van!) the three hours to the hotel. I've been told that the drive goes through lush rain forest and then hugs the Pacific coast for the last two hours. I'm pumped, even though I'm pretty sure we'll be completely exhausted by that point. Thanks to our slightly more forgiving return flight schedule, we'll get to take a tiny plane from Quepos to San Jose when we fly back to Michigan.

In other news, I went for my final fitting today and the dress looked amazing! I am so thrilled. I also got to pick up my Spanx, which was definitely an experience. I tried them on with my dress and everything looked great. Not really sure if they make that much difference, but my main concern was the fact that you could see the little dip of my belly button through my dress. No thank you. Add some Spanx Power Panties, and...voila! No more belly button!

So, that's that. Things are wrapping up. I guess after the wedding I'll have to change the name of this blog to something more appropriate, and - since I'm pretty sure I won't be able to stop blogging, you'll have to read about my mundane life. Start preparing yourself life returns to the mundane in only a few weeks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Indiana bridal shower!

This weekend, Matt's mother's friends threw us a beautiful shower at their church. My mom came down, and Jenn came up, and we had a great time. I wanted to post some photos of the event because it really was fabulous. I had never met around 98% of the women there, and they were just so generous and kind! I also got to meet Matt's paternal grandmother (I had only met his maternal grandmother, Gran) and several aunts and cousins, which was great. Unfortunately, his sister Meleah wasn't able to make it, but his other sisters (Michelle, Micah and Mindy) were there and we had a great time! My new little nieces, Jaylanne and Jessie, were also there in adorable matching outfits. My mom took these photos, and since we moved so quickly opening presents, there are only a few that aren't blurry. Enjoy!

The loot before we opened presents. Wow!!!
New luggage!

New knives from my parents! I'm pretty sure that I am insanely excited in this photo, while Matt pretends to throw a knife across the room. Standard.

A good shot of some presents. Please note the super duper amazing Kitchen Aid mixer, which was a gift from Matt's sisters, and the handmade blanket that was crocheted by one of the Smiths' church friends.

Two of my new sisters-to-be, Micah and Mindy, with my two nieces-to-be, Jaylanne and Jessie

An end-of-shower photo of Mom, me, Matt and Jill

The end!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bachelorette recap, upcoming shower, and more!

Wow, I feel like there's a lot to blog about tonight. Let's get started!

1. My amazing bachelorette trip!
Well, it's hard to find the right words to describe our awesome weekend in South Beach. And sadly (or maybe for the best???), I don't have any photos yet to share. But that's probably good, because I'm not sure I want you to see them. Well, ALL of them. The weekend started with me driving to Clarksville, TN, where fab MOH Jennifer lives. I got to see her brand new house (adorable!) and then we left early Friday morning for the Nashville airport. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale, rented a car, and immediately drove to the Miami airport where we picked up Lisa, fab bridesmaid. It was too early to check into our hotel room, so we ate a killer deli lunch here:

Jerry's Famous Deli. Delish! I had a half corned beef sandwich and some fabulous matzo ball soup. Mmmm. I could totally go for that right now. Anyway! We walked around a bit and then drove to our hotel, The Palms. Very chic! Here are some photos from their website to tie you over until I get the photos off of Lisa's camera:

And this is pretty much the exact view from our room, a killer corner suite:

When we checked in, we spent some time hanging out in our room, drinking champagne and opening a special box of bachelorette-themed items that Lisa put together for me (i.e., I can't talk about that here because I'm not sure who is reading). Needless to say, it got a little out of hand. We then got dressed up and went to dinner at Emeril's. Yummmmy! I got a great lobster tail, and we all drank mojitos. Delish. That was an early night, as we were all tired from traveling.

On Saturday, we woke up to discover that it was raining. Not that much of a surprise, since I had been checking for the forecast about every 4-6 hours. We ordered a sumptuous room service breakfast (french toast? yes please!) and ordered a movie on our flat-screen tv (one of TWO in our suite!). We later decided to venture out into the rain, and went to the beach to frolic a bit. Then...we were too wet, and gave up on outdoor activities for the day. Instead, we got in-room massages! Lisa swore here masseuse was trying to kill her, and mine definitely slapped me around a bit, was still pretty amazing. We got ready and then went out to have some Cuban food at Lario's. We read pretty mixed reviews of this place, but our concierge recommended it, so we decided to go for it. We also discovered that it's co-owned by Gloria Estefan, which was...weird. But - great mojitos, and a great Cuban steak. Yummy. Of course, I'm not sure if Adrienne would have agreed with that - we also read that Cubans think it's kind of like Applebees. Oh well. Thankfully, we don't know any better.

It was at this point that Lisa and Jenn made me don my hairpiece for the evening: a veil covered in condoms. Embarrassing! But not so much after a couple mojitos. We made lots of friends, and successfully gave all the condoms away. We also met some colorful characters, for sure - mostly at the ridiculous bar we went to afterwards, called Mango's. This was recommended by the football players sitting next to us at dinner. I did a google image search for Mango's, and found this photo. It seems to sum up what the bar is like, although I don't remember the ladies looking so much like strippers...check out the one in the fishnet shirt. What is that???After that rough evening, we woke up Sunday morning, checked out, and went to an amazing buffet brunch on Key Biscayne at a restaurant called the Rusty Pelican. Yummmmmy! They had all you could drink mimosas, but I don't think any of us even finished one.

And...that was the end of the weekend! It sure was fabulous. The only way I could possibly have had any more fun is if my other two fabulous bridesmaids, Catherine and Anna, could have made it. They were sorely missed! But, don't worry ladies, I have a small souvenir for each of you! ;) ;)

2. Indiana bridal shower
This Saturday is my Indiana bridal shower, hosted by several of my almost-mother-in-law's friends. I'm so excited! I haven't really met any of them, so this will be a great time to put faces with names from the wedding invitations. My mom is driving down tomorrow for the weekend, and Jenn is driving up. Can't wait!!!!

3. New job
So, I'm a few days into my new job now, and I love it! I know it's really early, and everyone loves new jobs at first, but I really do think it's going to be great. First of all, I have an OFFICE, so that's pretty neat. I've never had an office before! I started seeing kids yesterday, and saw a lot more today. It's been totally great so far. I'm thrilled to be working in a school, where the schedule is a little more forgiving than my last job - plus, I get to work part-time in the summer! How cool is that???

Well, I think I've blogged long enough for tonight...time to read a bit before bed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I thought the day would never come...

...when I'd be able to say, our wedding is ONE MONTH from today!!!

I can't believe we only have a few weeks of single-dom left.  I am so excited, and ready for the big day to be here.  

I'm not feeling great tonight, so I'm going to save my big post on the MOST AMAZING BACHELORETTE WEEKEND EVER for tomorrow.  Needless to say, we had the greatest time in South Beach, despite the rain.  

That's all for now...more tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm still here

I know I said I wouldn't blog until I get home from Miami, I am.  Jenn told me that we can call our "fun time trip" an official bachelorette trip, so that's fun.  We recently found out that Jenn's husband Ryan (also Matt's co-best man) will be deploying to Iraq tonight.  This is a bummer, obviously, for so many reasons.  One of them is that he'll miss our wedding, which we are really sad about.  But, we kind of expected it so it's not that much of a surprise.  Tomorrow will be "cheer up Jenn" day when I get to Clarksville, and then our awesome weekend will begin!

In other news, I started my new job today.  I think I'm going to love it!  Plus, I get my own office.  I've never had my own office before!  So, that's pretty exciting.  

Okay, that's all for now.  

We love you, Jennifer and Ryan!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's almost time...

...for my fun time trip!  Through a series of events, I have found out that we are going to Miami.  However, the rest of the details are still unknown.  I'm so excited!  I will be driving to Nashville after work on Thursday to stay the night with Jenn, and then I believe we are flying down to Miami on Friday morning.  Can't wait to tell you about what I know will be an amazing trip when we return!  

I also start my new job tomorrow - exciting!  I'm really looking forward to it.  Look for a report on the job and Miami early next week!  

Monday, September 29, 2008

DIY flower girl basket

Mom had a flower girl basket that was used in my aunt's wedding - many, many moons ago. We thought it might be fun (and cheap) to take the gross 20 year-old floral foam out of the basket and redo it! Sadly, I didn't think to take a before photo, but - thanks to some new floral foam and about $10 worth of silk leaves and flowers from Hobby Lobby, I have a flower girl basket for Jaylanne to carry down the aisle!

One important shower gift to note

I initially didn't post this photo because I look so heinous. However, I really wanted to showcase the fabulous "something blue" that my mom made for me. She and I had discussed a wedding day hankie, but what she surprised me with was more than I could ever imagine:

I'm not sure how easy it is to read the embroidery, but - on the left, it says 11-08-08 (our wedding day!) and on the right, "sLm to mSm" (obviously, our monograms). I love this!!! It is safely waiting for the big day in what I have nicknamed "the wedding closet." The walk-in closet in our second bedroom is full of wedding stuff - my wedding shoes, wedding makeup, wedding earrings, Matt's wedding suit, china, toasting flutes, and...well, pretty much everything you can think of that has to do with the wedding, including some wedding gifts that we won't break out until after the wedding. My wedding dress was hanging in there, too, until I took it to the alterations place last week.

Anyway - just wanted to share!

Bridal hair fun

Two weeks ago when I was in Michigan for my bridal shower, I got my hair cut and colored, and did a half-bridal-hair-trial. Why half? Well, my new hair person (Irene, owner of Flip Salon in Ferndale, which is fantastic) wasn't planning on doing a hair trial that day, and neither was I, so we both kind of ran out of time.

I didn't really like it, and this totally bummed me out. However, I booked a second, REAL hair trail for this past Saturday. I absolutely love what Irene came up with. Here are some photos at every angle. Thoughts?

I love it even more looking at these photos. I really wanted a loose, romantic look - but I had to get the hair off of my face. I know it would drive me crazy the day of the wedding. I have a makeup trial the week of the wedding, just a few days before, so I have to start compiling some nice makeup looks that I like!

More shower photos and detail shots

Hello, friends! Great news - my computer is now stealing internet successfully! You know what that means...I can finally post more regularly! Yay!

I have lots more shower photos on my computer, including some great detail shots that my mom took. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure.

A great photo of some of the tables set for lunch. Gorgeous!
The bride and the mother of the bride
Some shower guests and a lovely cupcake and tea tableDelicious and pretty!Clearly discussing something extremely important
So, that's about it - those were the main photos I wanted to post. Absolutely LOVING having internet on my computer again!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alterations Appointment

On Monday, I had my first alterations appointment for my wedding dress. It seems weird to finally get it altered, seeing as how I've had it hanging around for about two months. Most brides have their dresses altered right away, but I chose to take it home, knowing that I was moving to Indiana at the end of the summer. I didn't want to start alterations in one state and finish in another...besides the general hassel, I would have had to pay two different alterations fees! And that's not good. So anyway, I held onto it until we arrived here in Bloomington, and made an appointment at a bridal shop that's attached to an alterations place. It's called "Golden Stitch." Hmm. That sounds promising, right?

It was so fabulous putting on my dress again! I haven't had it on since I picked it up in July. It still looks amazing! I cannot wait to wear it for AN ENTIRE DAY, rather than just a couple of minutes here and there. Thankfully, the dress basically fits perfectly and needs very minimal alterations. I'm getting cups sewn into the bust, a slight tucking of the straps (they are a little too big), and the most fabulous French bustle you have ever seen. The length of the dress is perfect with my fabulous shoes, so the dress doesn't even need to be hemmed!

This weekend, Matt and I are heading to Michigan for another busy weekend of wedding stuff. Here's our weekend schedule:

8:00am: Leave Bloomington for Michigan
2:00pm: Arrive in Pleasant Ridge
2-5:00pm: Give Matt a tour of the area, including the Royal Park Hotel and the Village Club. I think it's time for him to finally see where we're getting married!
6:00pm: Hurried dinner
7:00pm: Wedding cake tasting at Holiday Market
10:30am: Meeting with Carolyn, our fabulous wedding planner
3:00pm: Bridal hair trial with Irene, my new and awesome hair person
7:00pm: Dinner with Matt and the parents at Sweet Lorraine's, to pick out a rehearsal dinner menu
11:00am: Engagement photos in Ann Arbor
12:00pm: Lunch at Zingerman's to celebrate Matt's official last day in the Army
1:00pm: Meeting with John Rubadeau, our officiant extraordinaire, to create (?) our wedding ceremony
2-3:00pm: Drive back to Bloomington
8-9:00pm: Collapse, exhausted, in our apartment

Yikes, I'm getting tired just thinking about it. I'm hoping I'll be able to fit in some college football watching on Saturday...fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wedding Rings!!! could I forget to post about our brand new purchases? Matt and I picked up our wedding bands today! It is TOO weird having these things in the house. We got home and immediately put them on, you know, just to try them out. It is really odd seeing a ring on Matt's finger! By now, I'm used to having a ring on my left ring finger, but at the same time...adding that band still feels a little weird. Thick, maybe?

Anyway, of course I had to take a photo of my fabulous band with my engagement ring. What do you think? Please ignore the fact that the picture is crummy and blurry, my ring finger looks weird, and oh yeah, we're not actually married yet.

So, what do you think? It looks so amazing and sparkly on my hand in person! I am dying to be able to wear it. According to my countdown, only 46 days until it will be permantly on my finger! Matt and I are taking the rings to Michigan this weekend and leaving them there until the wedding. Just one more thing we won't have to think about when we're packing for the wedding week. I'm starting to get pretty excited!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Shower photos and other excitement

Happy Saturday! I finally uploaded some of the shower photos onto Matt's computer, although there are some great detail pics and other fun stuff still stuck on my computer. Oh well. Hopefully soon we'll have real internet and I'll be able to share them with you! Until then, here aer a few fun shots from last Saturday's shower:

Getting ready to open presents!
What's in here???

A totally awesome little tea press!

Fancy new tupperware!

A nice shot of my mom and me with the wonderful ladies who threw the shower.

Two of my lovely bridesmaids, Lisa and Jennifer

Trying on a fun antique veil on display at the shower!

In other fun news, I was offered the job that I had the second interview for on Thursday! I'm thrilled to be employed again. I will start October 1st, and will be "headquartered" at Bloomington North High School. Stay tuned to find out how all of that goes.

I also finally made an appointment to have my wedding dress altered. It will be nice to have it out of the closet! I also forgot to mention in my previous post that when I was in Michigan last weekend, we also did a food tasting at the Village Club and nailed down the menu. If you're curious, here's the details:

The beef entree will be prime rib, the chicken will be a champagne chicken (with a champagne and mushroom sauce, cream-free, of course), and the vegetarian will be a delightful portabello mushroom thing. Trust me, it's tasty.

Oh, and did I mention that the invitations went in the mail on Monday? You probably know this already, because I think almost everyone has received them. I have received two responses in the mail, so, that's fun! One yes and one no.

Anyway, that's all for now. The next few weekends will be mighty busy - next weekend Matt and I are in Michigan for a cake tasting, meeting with our wedding planner, I have a bridal hair trial, then we're getting our engagement photos taken on Sunday AND meeting with our officiant, John Rubadeau. Whew! The weekend after that is my FUN TIME trip, and then after THAT is my Indiana bridal shower. So much excitement! Have I mentioned that the wedding is a mere 49 days away??? Lots of fun to come!