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!