Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wedding Day Recap

I spent the night with my parents, in my old bedroom.  When my alarm went off, I forgot for a second where I was and promptly fell off the bed.  After checking for broken bones and bruises, I ran into the kitchen, where my parents were already busy at work on reception food.  It was WEDDING DAY!  I sat in the kitchen with them and made ham sandwiches (Hamlets) for the reception.  We had purchased black forest ham and honey ham, and some really delicious rolls to put the ham in.  We also had mustard and mayo, and slices of cheese.  So my dad and I did the sandwiches while my mom made the cheesecake tarts.  (Titus Tarts - not made of people.)  We talked while we worked, and my parents were very encouraging and positive about the marriage and about the wedding itself.  While I knew it was right and had absolutely no doubts whatsoever, knowing they "approved" still meant a lot.

We had a few things to finish up at the theatre that morning, so we planned to meet there and finish everything up.  I was fine with seeing him before the ceremony, as long as he didn't see me all dressed up and looking awesome.  So wearing jeans and my "bride" t-shirt, I went up to the theatre and we finished up all the small details we needed to do before the wedding could happen.  We went upstairs and started getting dressed about an hour before the ceremony.  I had my sound guy (brother-in-law Rob) start the pre-ceremony music and we started getting ready.  It was so much fun getting dressed and made up with the girls.  Our photographer came up and took some photos of the girls helping me with my hair and make-up, and then she took a few shots of me in my dress in the dressing room.  I'm looking forward to seeing how those turned out.  She took some detail shots of the dress, jewelry and wrap too, and I'm sure those are going to be gorgeous!

It was 2 p.m. before we knew it, and I wasn't quite ready.  Everyone went downstairs and I followed.  At the last moment, I realized I forgot my bouquet.  Hope ran back upstairs (in her heels) and got it for me.  She totally saved the day!

We all walked down the aisle to "Concerning Hobbits" from Lord of the Rings.  I've loved that piece of music since the first movie came out, and it was important to me to walk to it.  I have honestly never felt so beautiful or so happy in my life.  I think I floated rather than walked down the aisle.  Luckily, I didn't trip.  Walking with my dad, walking toward Jon, who was standing there looking more nervous, happy, and handsome than I have ever seen him, was a moment I hope I never forget.  Words cannot describe it.  I wish they could, because I want to have a record of this memory and I don't ever want to forget that feeling. But I'm at a loss as to how to describe it.  I know I couldn't stop smiling.  :)

We stood there while my cousin Bill said a few words, and then he went into the ceremony that included words we chose together beforehand.  The words meant so much because we picked them together, and they were exactly how we felt about the moment.  When it was time to recite our own vows, we got the scrolls we had written them on and began opening them.  But the seals were too good and it took a minute or so to actually break the seals.  I got mine finished first, but Jon was supposed to do his vows first, so I wanted.  It was a nice ice-breaking moment and we were grateful for it.  Jon's favorite moment was when the preacher offered his pocket knife to help.

His vows were... perfect.  I've never in my life had anything so beautiful spoken to me.  And funny.  He has such a fantastic sense of humor!  I almost felt bad that my vows were all sappy without much humor at all.  Although they did have some funny moments.  I'll post them in a separate post a little later.

The rings were beautiful and exchanging them was a nice moment.

Then it was time for the sand ceremony, which I was looking forward to and also kind of dreading.  My mom was to sing a song during it, and I really didn't want her to start crying while she was trying to sing.  I didn't want her to be embarrassed by that - I would have been fine with her starting to cry, but she wanted the song to be perfect and if she had cried it wouldn't have been perfect in her eyes.  But she didn't cry.  I was so proud of her for holding it together!  We poured the sand veeeeery slowly and managed to finish just before the end of the song.  We kind of softly talked to each other during that time and laughed a little as well.  That was pretty awesome too.  And we have a cool jar full of colored sand to display!

After that, the ceremony was pretty much over.  It only took 25 minutes and was hopefully entertaining enough that people didn't get bored.

We took lots of pictures after exiting the theatre (to the them from Pirates of the Caribbean.)  Lots of different combinations of people, and then some of just us.  We also had a little sword fight, which the photographer enjoyed taking some pictures of as well.  I can't wait to see those!

After the photos, we entered the theatre again, where people were already eating and having some fun.  We did our first dance, and about halfway through, I invited everyone else to join us.  Quite a few couples came out and danced, including Hannah and Noah, which was adorable.  I danced with Noah too, after he danced with Hannah for awhile.  I can't wait to see that photo too!

We then cut the cake and did the photos with the glasses, but then it was time for the photographer to leave.  So we just hung out after that, eating cake and talking with our friends and family.  People started leaving at that point, so we hung around until everyone left and then we helped my parents pack some things up and left ourselves.

It sounds a little odd, the way things ended, but it was perfect for us.  Our friends stayed around longer than family members, so we got a chance to hang out with them for awhile.  And we managed to get on the road earlier than we expected, which was also pretty nice.

So that was the wedding day!  I'll have pictures soon, so look for those.  And once we have the photos, I will do some little step-by-step things describing how we DIY'd some of our decorations and things.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wedding Weekend Recap: Saturday

Jon and I woke up at 6:30.  We got the lasagna ready and in the oven.  This was actually a pretty fun activity - we love cooking together.  When they were ready, we took them out of the oven and put them in the refrigerator to take with us later.  It was time then to take the dogs to the vet to be boarded for the next couple of days.  We took them down there and said goodbye, and then got breakfast from McDonalds for us and our house guest.

While eating breakfast, I called the tux place to make sure Jon's tux was ready for him to pick up, and then paid for it over the phone so I could go ahead and get to the theatre.  We loaded some stuff into my car and I drove to Fairhope.  Jon and Russell got Jon's SUV loaded then and came after me.  When I got there, Chris was already there, as was Michelle, one of my awesome theatre friends.  She's the one who did the head pieces for the wedding, and she's a master gardener, so she was there that morning to plant some flowers and bushes around the grounds of the theatre.  She set up the head pieces in the dressing room and they looked gorgeous!

We got right to work, first unloading stuff from my car.  Nicole arrived and asked what I planned to do with my hair color - because we had talked about that previously.  I told her I hadn't had time to do anything yet, but that I had a box of hair color that I was planning to use the next morning.  She was having none of that.  She called Timothy, our friend from theatre, who happens to be an awesome hairdresser, and got me an appointment for later that day.  She even paid for it, which was so nice of her!  I had Timothy match my roots and dull the reddish color I had put on there previously.  He also put in some highlights, something I've never had before.  It looked so nice!  My hair took two hours, so by the time I got back, the arch was decorated, the tables were in place and pretty much finished, and people were attending to minor details.  Jennifer and Chris worked on the arch while I was gone and I think it turned out really beautiful!  We had freshly-cut ivy, lights, blue flowers, a big bow, and six peacock feathers!  They made it beautiful and became friends too!

Jonne Thornton, another theatre friend, had set the lights and instructed Rob (my brother in law) on how to use the light board and the sound.  Jon and Rob ran through the lights with me, and it all looked great.  My mom had also practiced her song a few times and felt more comfortable.  She had previously asked if she could sing it from the light booth because there was a microphone up there, but I really didn't want her to have to do that.  She did it without a mic at all, on the stage where she belonged!

We put the finishing touches on everything, and by that time it was time for the rehearsal.  People started arriving for that, and we got started.  We talked through what was going to happen, then we walked through it once.  Then we went through it with the music, but the timing was wrong.  I had everyone do it again, only slower, and that worked much better.  After making sure the timing was okay with the processional, we walked through the rest of the ceremony, spotting minor problems along the way and correcting them.  It went very well and I was really happy with almost everything - the lights were a little off - they didn't light enough area.  Luckily, Jestina (who did our wedding video and knows everything about theatre tech!) arrived and fixed the light plot to give us some more light in the important spots!

After we finished with the rehearsal, we brought in tables and chairs to have the rehearsal dinner.  We served homemade lasagna, (that my mom took home and warmed up prior to the dinner) salad, cookies, and various drinks.  We all sat down to eat and enjoyed some time together.  We gave some gifts out to the bridal party and parents, and then we finished dinner and just relaxed for a bit.  We removed the tables and chairs and finishing up some final touches for the next day, some of us went over to McSharry's, a local Irish pub, for a low-key, co-ed bachelorette party.  It couldn't have been a better evening.  We all just sort of hung out and chatted.  So many of our friends didn't know each other, so it was cool to watch them interact and get to know each other.  They are all friends on facebook now!  lol.

I stayed with my parents that night, so after spending a few hours out with friends, I drove over there.  I slept in my old bedroom that night "for the last time as a Havel" as my mom said.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wedding Weekend Recap: Friday

I spent most of the day Thursday and Friday cleaning up the house and getting ready for guests.  On Friday afternoon, Chris came over and we had a great chat.  We caught up on each other's lives and had a wonderful time just remembering things from the past and telling each other about the present.  It was so nice to have a few moments of calm before the crazy weekend really started.  Jon and I made lasagna for the rehearsal dinner, so my job on Friday was to stir the sauce.  It had to be done every 30 minutes for about 7 hours, so I set the timer each time to make sure I did it right!  Poor Chris - he had to deal with me jumping up every 30 minutes to stir the sauce!

Jon's bachelor party was that day, so he was gone most of the afternoon.  After it was over, some of the guys came over and we grilled hamburgers and just sat around and talked for awhile.  Jen came over too, and we ended up sitting on the couch while the guys sat at the table.  It was good to catch up with her too!

At about 10:45 that night, Jon realized he hadn't picked up his tux yet.  He had a moment of panic, but we decided to pick it up the next day and the crisis was averted.

The previous day, Jon's work gave him a party and gave us some great gifts.  Here's a photo of two of those gifts, the really pretty wall sconces!  We put them up the day we got them! And check out the extremely clean living room!  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Journal Topic: Going Back

I am not going to go back to ___________again, because

Jersey City.  Because it was horrible.  And that's all I have to say about that.  

You need more?  Okay, I'll set it up for you.  My research led me to believe if we drove into Jersey City and took a ferry to Liberty Island, that we would be able to hang out with the Statue of Liberty for awhile and get some nice photos of the NY skyline while we were there.  I was with my parents and nephew.  My parents were not keen on the idea of us driving in New York City, so we were trying to avoid that.  So we followed the maps that I had carefully printed out and still got lost.  We stopped at a McDonald's to get directions and were told that we would have to buy something in order to get directions.  We bought a coke.  My mother and nephew needed to use the restroom, but in order to get the key, we were told we had to buy something.  We bought two more cokes.  We ended up buying another coke after that for some other reason - I think my dad had to use the restroom too - but I am certain they did that to us because we were obviously from out of town and had southern accents.  

So aside from that experience, the roads were horrible, we got lost trying to find our way around, and we got to the ferry after the last one had already gone.  So yeah, I have no desire to go back there ever again.  Next time, I believe I will brave the streets of NY and just deal with the traffic and the expensive parking, because that was the worst day of our entire vacation. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: My Backyard

My current backyard is great - I truly love it, and can't wait until we buy the place so I can do all kinds of cool stuff out there.  We have fig trees, kumquat trees, blueberry bushes, and flowering plants.  We have some awesome bamboo that grows along the fence line where the two next door houses are.  They provide an awesome barrier for sight and sound.  There's plenty of room for the dogs to run and play, which is one of the reasons we wanted this house to begin with.  There are bird feeders on many of the trees, and a perfect spot for a garden when we buy the place and I can plant one.  The best part, of course, is that the back fence has a gate, and if you go through that gate and down a little path, you get to a beautiful creek that is on protected land.  It's clear and cold and there's a waterfall that always produces the most lovely sound.  There's a fallen tree that makes a perfect bench.  I like to go down there and just sit and listen to the water and nature around me.

But the magical backyard will always be the one from my childhood.  I grew up on an 80 acre farm.  All of that land was my backyard, and we always played outside.  We had fields of soybeans and hay, and sometimes corn.  There were cow pastures and pecan orchards.  There were forests of pine trees, one of which had a hidden surprise, a little pond, nestled in the small gathering of trees.  I had many adventures, both real and imagined, on that land.  It is part of my soul in a way I can't quite explain.  My favorite part was this tree in the backyard.  It had vines climbing all over it, and one of the vines, for some reason, grew down and then up again.  It created a perfect swing.  I can't even begin to calculate the hours I spent sitting in that vine swing, reading a book or writing in my diary.  I'm sure this explains why I love being outdoors.  I haven't done enough of that lately - just going out to sit and commune with nature.  I should get back to that soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wedding dress and wrap

Got my wedding dress back yesterday.  I tried it on and it fit like a dream.  It's very slimming now that it actually fits, and the hem is perfect.  You can just see my sparkly gold shoes when I walk in the dress.  I hope I don't trip over the small train, because I opted not to have a bustle.  I hate how they make your butt look huge!     I put the completed wrap on to see how it looked with the dress and shoes, and it was magical.  No, really.  I've never seen anything so pretty.  Soooo excited!

No photos because I don't want Jon to see me in it before the wedding.  Hey, did I post a photo of the completed wrap?  Did I?  If not, here it is!  If I did already... well, too bad, you're gonna see it again!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kaylee: Escape Artist

My name is Kaylee and I'm an escape artist.  Yesterday, I greeted my mommy at the door when she got home from work.  Now, normally, this would be normal behavior for a canine-American like me, but mommy and daddy keep little brother Simon and me in crates during the day so we don't destroy the house while they are gone.  They always come home for lunch and let us out to run and play for an hour, but when they have to go back to work, we go back in our crates.  They are really nice crates, bigger than we really need and right beside each other so we can talk during the day.  We usually nap most of the time.  But yesterday, daddy was in a hurry to get to the bank and back to work and he didn't lock the bottom lock all the way.  I saw immediately that I could get out with just a little effort.  And that's just what I did.  I had the run of the house for several hours!  And here is how I spent my time.  I tortured my little brother because he was still locked in his crate.  I tried to tell him I didn't have the proper hand dexterity to unlock his crate.  I stood outside his crate and looked at him for awhile, but when it became clear that I was only upsetting him (he pushed the bottom tray of his crate completely out of the crate itself out of frustration) I decided to explore the house alone.  I walked around, enjoying my newly discovered sense of freedom.  The humans had closed all the bedroom doors, so that was sad, but mommy left the bathroom door open. Awesome!  I drank from the toilet.  Sweet nectar!  Then I got in the bathtub and noticed some hair in the drain.  It was just a little, but I thought it would make a great snack.  I was wrong, because I threw it up later.  I drank from the toilet again, and then somehow fell into it.  I managed to get out, but then I was all wet.  So of course, I decided to roll around on the dining room floor for awhile!  I knocked pillows off the couch and went to the corner of the living room where my bed was, and rolled around on it for awhile.  That's when I threw up.  Yuck.  After that, I just rested for awhile.  Mommy came home later than usual because she got her hair trimmed.  I was waiting for her, looking out the window through the blinds.  I greeted her at the door and she freaked out.  I don't think I was supposed to be out of my crate.  She put me outside with my brother and I heard her on the phone with daddy.  I still felt a little queasy from the hair and soap I ate in the bathtub, so I ate some grass.

All in all, it was a glorious day filled with adventure and fun.  I can't wait to see if I can escape again sometime.  Maybe from the fence in the back yard.  I've done that before too...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Journal Topic: Who Would Play Me?

I have always wanted _______ to play me in the movie about my life because

I'm loving these topics recently!  So much fun!  The actress I would choose to play me in a movie, assuming I couldn't play myself, would be Drew Barrymore.  One reason is because I'm often told I resemble her in some small way.  I can see it, especially in this photo.  But another is because we talk similarly, if that makes sense.  We form our words the same, and our voices are similar in quality.  I love when she plays dorks, like in Never Been Kissed, because that's when she's the most like me.  :)  But I admire her free spirit and her "who cares what everyone else thinks" style.  I love that and wish I could be more like that sometimes.  Oh, and we're nearly the same age, so that would work out well too!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: You Are Here

I'm going to start trying to do Sunday Scribblings more.  Maybe not every week, but as often as I can.

Today's scribbling prompt was a photo of what looks like part of a map with the words "You Are Here" written on it. Here is the photo.  To me, "You Are Here" is about living in the moment, something I've blogged about recently.  It's also about knowing where you are and what you can do about your surroundings and circumstances.  In some cases, it's about making the best of your "Here" until you can get to a better place.

I've heard a lot of people talk lately about how much they hate their jobs.  Well, in this economy it's not really possible to just go out and find a new job because you don't really like the one you have, with a few exceptions.  But it IS possible to take a "You Are Here" attitude and understand that while you are there, you should make the best of it and do something positive.

So make a difference where you are.  Because, like it or not, "You Are Here," at least for the time being.  Do what you can to make "Here" a great place to be.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Total Insanity

This is my schedule for the next two weeks.  It's completely insane.

Saturday 10/15
- Breakfast with a bridesmaid who has been out of town a lot and we haven't had a chance to catch up in forever
- Reception for my cousin's wedding.  They were married on Oct 8 in Boston and are having an Alabama reception for family here.  They had a medieval wedding.  We are having a Shakespearean wedding.  I'm a little worried my family is going to think we copied them.  I swear I had no idea what their theme was when we picked ours!
- Back home to let the dogs out and do some stuff at home
- D&D at a friend's house - our usual Saturday night activity

Sunday 10/16
- Homecoming at my old church, the church where I grew up.  I'm excited to see everyone again
- Shrimp Festival (eating very naughty food, looking at kitchy art, and hanging out on the beach!)
- Home to hopefully work on my wedding wrap, because I really need to get that thing done!

Monday/Tuesday 10/17-18
- Work
- Work on wrap
- Work on other wedding details

Wednesday 10/19
- Final fitting for wedding dress
- Work on wedding details

Thursday 10/20
- Work
- Get marriage license
- Work on wrap (if not finished)
- Wedding details

Friday 10/21
- Jon has a work function we are going to after work (looking forward to it!)

Saturday 10/22
- I have a work function that we have to go to (a BBQ cook-off, so at least we will be well-fed!)
- Bachelorette party!

Sunday 10/23
Theatre 98 Annual party (50th Anniversary Celebration!)

Monday 10/24
- Work
- Panic Attack
- Final wedding details
- House cleaning for guests

Tuesday 10/25
- Work
- Sit in a corner, rocking back and forth
- Final wedding details
- House cleaning for guests

Wednesday 10/26
- Work
- Nervous Breakdown
- Pack for Honeymoon
- Get the guest room ready

Thursday 10/27
- Off Work (yay!)
- Cleaning and doing final details
- Take some stuff over to the theatre
- Shopping for food we need for rehearsal dinner and reception

Friday 10/28
- Jon's Bachelor Party (which of course I'm not invited to, but I wanted to include it)
- Put together dinner for Saturday night so all it needs is to go in the oven beforehand
- Cook out for some friends
- Last night at home before the wedding!

Saturday 10/29
- Decorate venue
- Lunch with everyone who is helping
- Decorate some more
- Make sure food is taken care of
- Rehearsal
- Rehearsal dinner
- Staying with the parents
- Sleepless night

Sunday 10/30
- Wedding Day
- Get up early
- Freak out because something was forgotten
- Let mom calm me down
- Argue with dad about his need for a tie
- Get to the theatre at 10 a.m. to go over final details
- Beg someone to work a miracle on my face to make me pretty
- Get dressed
- Eat cake
- Drive home
- Go to New Orleans for the wedding night

Monday 10/31
- Get on the boat and enjoy the cruise!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Dog's Life

My name is Kaylee.  Jon got me when I was a puppy. My mom had puppies and her owner couldn't keep all of us, so she gave me to Jon.  He lived in an apartment by himself, and I think he wanted company.  I'm convinced he picked me because I was the same color as his carpet and all his furniture.  No, seriously - everything the guy owns is the exact color of my fur! Of course, it's a pretty awesome color!  Jon thinks he taught me a lot of tricks, but really, I taught him to be a great pet owner!  I'm pretty sure he loved me right away, I mean, I'm pretty lovable.  I have tons of energy, and in that small apartment sometimes I just went a little crazy.  I would run around and around and around... but he would just laugh and let me do it.  Sometimes he would encourage it by shining a light around for me to chase.  It was awesome.  (he still does it a lot and I still love it)  One day, he had a visitor.  She was nice and let me lick her face.  I climbed onto the back of the couch and licked her ears.  She laughed and rubbed my head.  I liked her a lot and really didn't mind when she started coming around more.  She moved in with us eventually and spent a lot of time with me while she didn't have somewhere to go during the day.  Even though she seemed sad, I know spending time with me was fun for her.  I tried to keep her cheerful by being silly all day while she was home.  Jon started calling her "mommy" to me, so I guess she's my mom.  He's my dad, so that works for me.

We moved to a new house after she found somewhere to go during the day again.  The new house is big and pretty and has a big yard I can play in!  I jump off the porch and they both throw my favorite toy across the lawn for me to catch and bring back.  I make sure to get a lot of slobber on it so they can see how much I love them.  I bring it back and place it at their feet.  If they don't pick it up right away, I push it closer to their toes with my nose.  They eventually get the hint.  Sometimes people are slow.

One day, sometime after we moved, they took me to a place that smelled like a lot of dogs and cats.  They brought out a puppy and we said hello.  He was okay.  A little small, and he had a LOT of energy.  I vaguely remember having that much energy once.  They brought him home with us that night.  They called him Simon.  We started playing immediately and I decided I loved him.  He needs a lot of instruction, though.  Maybe I can help him out a little.

My name is Simon.  I had a mother and two sisters. We were abandoned by our owner and found wandering on the side of the road together.  We were brought to a local shelter and my mother and sisters were adopted.  I was not.  I started to wonder what was wrong with me, that nobody seemed to want me.  I was sent to a rescue shelter, someone said it was no-kill, which sounded good to me.  I went to several adoption events and watched a lot of my friends go home with humans.  But I didn't get to go.  Even when I looked at them with my sad puppy eyes.  Don't get me wrong, I loved the people at ARF, and I loved my furry friends there, but I wanted a home.  One day, two people came to ARF and said they saw my picture on the internet.  They wanted to meet me.  They brought another dog with them and we played on the lawn for a few minutes.  She was nice - bigger than me and a little bossy, but we still had fun.  I hoped so much that they would take me home!  We went back inside and stayed there for what seemed like forever while the humans passed paper back and forth.  They took my collar off and the female held me in her arms.  They took me to their car and we drove away.  I didn't get to say goodbye to my friends at ARF, but that's okay.  I had a new family!  We went to the pet store where I had been to several pet adoptions.  They put me in the basket and picked out a bunch of things - toys, treats, a new collar and leash, and other stuff too!  When we checked out, the cashier gave me a treat.  I felt like a king!  They renamed me Simon.  I had been called Enzo for most of my life, but I didn't care.  It only took a few times for me to get used to the new name.  I had a hard time with going to the door when I needed to go to the bathroom at first, but they were very patient and calm with me.  These people are so loving and affectionate!  I love lying beside them on the couch, with one of the humans on one side of me and Kaylee, my big sister, on the other side.  The other human is on the other end of the couch when we do this, so we both have a human to pet us and love us.  I also love to climb onto the back of the couch onto the pillow that mommy likes to have behind her head, just like in the picture!  I like to lay my nose beside her cheek.  It's how I tell her I love her.  And how I can watch what she's doing!  She likes to knit, and I like to watch her fingers move with the string and the sticks.

They have a big backyard and Kaylee and I love to play out there!  They are growing bamboo, and I have discovered I love to chew on the pieces that have fallen to the ground.  I also love to dig holes in the yard.  I suspect something burrows down there and one day I will find it!  Kaylee teaches me things, like how to sit by the door when I want to go out and how to get mommy and daddy to do things I want them to do - like give me a treat.  Sometimes we do things we shouldn't, but we are overall very good doggies.  We're pretty sure our humans think we are their children.

One day, mommy and daddy took us to the pet store again.  There was a pet adoption event, and I got to see some of my old friends.  They couldn't believe how big I've gotten and how healthy and happy I look.  "It's love," I told them.  "Don't worry, someone will love you and take you home too - then you will be as happy as I am."  I really hope that happens for all my friends, the way it happened for me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hello World!

I have a little stat page that tells me how many people visit here on any given day and what posts they are reading.  I've noticed since I've made more of an effort to post here, I've had an upswing in my page views!  Just goes to show you that content is key.  Lol.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi to all the new viewers out there!  Please feel free to become a member through the link in the sidebar and follow my posts.  If you follow me, I'll follow you!  Also, feel free to comment or click my buttons (I've noticed a few people have clicked "cool" and "agree" lately and that's awesome!)

I'm looking forward to blogging more about my new married life after this month is over, and looking forward to constructing many posts about our special wedding touches in case anyone else ever wants to rip off our theme.  (And you are totally welcome to rip it off, I promise!  We had so much fun coming up with everything!)  I plan to get back to writing and blogging about writing and knit blogging as well, and will most likely blog about the many crafts I want to try in the coming months: mosaics, jewelry, sewing, and more) and some of the other activities I want to pursue (disc golf, regular golf, tennis, etc) and my attempt to lose some weight so we can be healthy when we start our family!

And look for more posts about the furbabies.  Just because I can.  So anyway, welcome to my blog!  I hope to see you back sometime!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Journal Topic: Sharing

What are some of the things you would not share with anyone, no matter what?

As usual, there are at least two different ways to answer this question.

Firstly, there are many things I wouldn't share with anyone, and the reason for that is always hygienic. I would never share my toothbrush, my deodorant, or my contacts. Eye drops are also very bad to share with others, but I have done it when a friend really needed it. Lipstick and lip gloss are very bad things to share with others. Basically anything that was meant for a single person's use, I wouldn't want to share with another person. I tend to have extras of these items in my house in case people come over and forget them. I also don't believe in giving away someone else's stuff, so if someone let me borrow something or if something belongs to someone else, I wouldn't share it with anyone.

But the other way to answer would be when someone shares something with me, when would I share it with others. I've thought about this a great deal in my life, because people tend to tell me things I really shouldn't know. For some reason, people think of me as a trustworthy sound board, someone they can just tell secrets and opinions to, and I won't reveal these things to others. This is true, of course. If someone shares a secret with me, I feel honor-bound to keep that secret. And with the exception of a couple of times when I was very young and a secret slipped out before I thought about it, I've been very good about keeping secrets. I can't stand a person who goes off and shares something that I've shared with them in confidence. And since this has been done to me several times in my life, especially in my career (I still don't believe adults behave that way) I am very careful about not doing that to other people.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Stopping and smelling the flowers

In the midst of all the wedding planning and finishing up final details, I think somehow Jon knew I needed a moment away.  He suggested we go for a walk early Saturday afternoon with the dogs, and we decided to go to a local botanical garden that is literally less than a mile from our house.  I took my camera and we took the dogs, and had a lovely time walking around, looking at the fall blooming flowers and enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Of course, during the walk, I was also texting and emailing people about wedding details, but it helped to be in such a peaceful environment.  And it was very peaceful.  And lovely.  Here are some photos from the day:

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Journal Topic: A Romantic Evening

Describe the perfect romantic evening.

This requires two answers.  A "going out" and a "staying in."

Going Out:
It's an early fall or spring night.  Being presented with flowers.  Getting all dressed up and going out to dinner at an intimate restaurant with candles and soft music.  Going to a play - something romantic or funny.  Holding hands while watching the performance.  Taking a walk along the beach afterward, stopping at the swings for a little fun, and having a picnic dessert on the beach while looking at the stars.  Talking about everything... and nothing... for hours, and then going home.

Staying In:
Preparing dinner together at home, stopping for a little good-natured food fight.  Eating dinner by candlelight with the dogs sitting around our feet.  Enjoying conversation and just being together.  After dinner, snuggling on the couch while watching a movie while dessert is baking in the oven.  

But the more important issue is how these things change as people change.  When I was younger, the "perfect romantic evening" would have been a completely different scenario.  It most likely would have included dinner and dancing... and I have never been able to dance.  So that's a bit silly.  And it certainly would have included a serenade of some kind, perhaps involving a guy with a guitar singing a song he composed for me. But that's a bit silly too because it's not a measure of love or devotion, just a measure of talent and ability.

These days, I find the smallest things romantic - sitting together on the couch playing video games or watching something on TV, working on some kind of craft project together, snuggling in bed before going to sleep, when he makes dinner and brings me my plate, when he makes my lunch to take to work and writes a little note that says "I love you," etc.

I think that romance is most certainly unique to the person giving and receiving the romantic gesture.  What's romantic to me may not be romantic to someone else.  And that's why I think this is an interesting question, because it's different for everyone.  

Monday, October 03, 2011

At the top of the roller coaster

So here we are, at the beginning of the Wedding Month. I feel as if this event has taken over my entire life, and I'm not really sure what is going to happen when it's over. I know one thing - I plan to do some detailed blog posts about planning a Shakespeare-inspired wedding so that if someone else ever decides to do what we did, they will have some info to use as inspiration! We have had to do so much of the research ourselves! (Okay, so that was one of the fun parts of the planning process, I won't lie.)

As a huge fan of roller coasters, I love to use them to describe the anticipation of a big life event. I feel like the past 6 months or so, we've been standing in line, getting into the car, and making the slow climb toward the first drop. Right now, I feel like we are waiting on the top of that first hill, sitting in the first car, just waiting for the drop. Final details are being taken care of, people are doing their RSVPs by phone and through our website, and parties/showers are being planned. I have to admit, I'm pretty excited about the whole thing. Part of me wants to go to sleep tonight and wake up on October 28 (the start of our Wedding Weekend) and another part of me wonders if I will have enough waking hours to do everything I need to do as it is. I think that's pretty normal, but not really a consolation when I wonder if I'm going to finish the wrap I'm making and the bouquets and about a thousand other tiny details!  I will say this: the decision to do things ourselves has paid off Big Time.  We have saved thousands of dollars on flowers, food, etc, by doing it ourselves rather than hiring professionals.  In fact, the only "wedding professional" we actually hired was a photographer, because I wanted to be sure we had great photos.  After all, in this world of digital photographer, blogs, twitter, and facebook, the motto is "pics or it didn't happen!"

So this begins our roller coaster ride.  We will start the descent into the first drop of the coaster on October 28, and will finish the ride completely when we get back from our honeymoon on November 4.  Maybe then life can get back to normal!  But for now, I'm going to enjoy the anticipation and the final days of planning.  Because this is the last wedding I'll ever have, and I couldn't be happier about every detail!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Journal Topic: A Letter

Write a letter to yourself as a child

Dear Young Anita,

There are so many things ahead of you, even though it doesn't feel like it now. You will go through a lot of difficulties, but you will also have a lot of happiness. Keep pressing on, and you will succeed and be happy. A few words of advice to make the road easier:

- Always treat your parents with respect. They really do know better than you do, even when you are absolutely sure they don't. Your mother will become your best friend one day. Enjoy your relationship with her and make it as great as you can, and you will reap the rewards in adulthood. She has so much to give - so much love and wisdom to share. Take her advice always because she will never lead you down the wrong path. Your dad really is the superhero you think he is. Trust me - the man can leap tall buildings. But never forget that he's a person too, and deserves to hear as often as possible that you love him and that you appreciate everything he does and everything he is. You will not believe it right now, but one day you will marry a man who is a lot like your dad. And you will be very happy about it.

- Your sister is an incredible person who will overcome some huge obstacles and will still be an amazing mother to the most special kids in the world. Become her friend early. Don't wait until she nearly dies to realize how much she means to you. You will wish you were closer to her one day if you don't become friends with her now. A sister is a special kind of friend.

- Make mistakes - but always learn from them. You absolutely don't want to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. That just makes you feel awful about yourself and it makes you look kind of stupid.

- Speaking of looking stupid, just say no to the apricot hair color when you are 16. It is not flattering.

- Express yourself creatively and do more theatre and music. You will start a love affair that will last a lifetime and will eventually lead you to the love of your life. Yes, it's that important. Write more. Keep your diaries forever, they will be fun to look back at one day.

- It doesn't matter how many people sign your yearbook. It's better to have a few very close friends then a million who don't really care about you.

- When the "popular" kids tease you about your glasses or your clothes that came from Walmart, hold your head high. These people do not deserve your notice and they certainly don't matter to you in the present or the future. Superficial things like that are not important in the long run, and are certainly not worth the tears you've cried over them.

- Be nice to everyone. Your mother was right, it doesn't cost anything at all to be nice. And the rewards you will receive will be countless. It's always good to be well-liked because of what a great person you are!

- As you grow older, you will find yourself saying "my mom was right" about 95% of the time. So really, just listen to her now and avoid a lot of bad situations.

- Stay active - in body and mind. Study harder, but also remember to have some fun. Keep doing sports and other things that will keep your body active. Avoid all the sweets you will start eating in high school. You will want to be in good shape for adulthood.

But most of all, enjoy your childhood, because it's a beautiful time that you can't get back. When you are old (if 34 can be considered old) and thinking about the children you will be having someday, you will want to be able to think back and remember the great things about childhood so you can recreate those experiences for your children. Don't forget what it's like to stand under the wisteria bush when the wind blows, showering you with fragrant petals. Don't forget how it feels to cannonball into a swimming pool filled with other kids. Don't ever feel like you are too old to swing as high as you can on the swing set, imagining your feet can touch the clouds if you go just a little bit higher. And always remember to stop and appreciate the beauty of the world with the childlike wonder you have now. It will make your adult life so much better. I promise.


Adult You - Who sometimes still feels like a child!