Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts.

I love my new background.

I've been to the gym two days in a row! WOO.

The Maids

We have decided on a bridesmaid dress for my wedding (dress subject to change- ha).

I found this dress online and I fell in love! I want it for myself to be quite honest.

I was originally going for something V-neck with tank straps, but this is much nicer and much classier.

Yesterday afternoon, two of my bridesmaids and I were on a mission to find this dress and to see it in person. Dress shop number one was closed on Mondays. Dress shop number two didn't actually carry the dress, even though they said that they did on their website.

Today, I smartened up and called before visiting. The dress shopped that was closed on Monday laughed at me when I requested the dress. She said, "We carry the line, but we didn't purchase that dress. Who actually wants to wear box pleats?"

Well you big biatch, I obviously like the box pleats considering the fact that I requested the see the dress.

I called one more place and I finally got lucky. They had the dress. The same two bridesmaids and I scrambled over on our lunch break to try it on (yay to no kids).

It's actually super cute on!



It's going to be this color (aubergine), but the sash is most likely going to be in latte (a champagne color) instead of black. I didn't want anything too formal (i.e. long) but the wedding has taken a turn to the fancy side (i.e. ballroom and in the evening) so I wanted something that was fun, cute, but still formal.

I've been torn about the dress color for the last two months. Espresso brown would go better with our fall color scheme, but I've been a fan of the color purple since I stepped (or fell, rather) out of the womb.

After much deliberation, mom and I decided that we would give our pumpkin centerpieces a gold crackle glaze to tone them down and find a way to incorporate the purple through the flowers and decor.

I think that with some bronze/light gold shoes, that this dress is going to be bangin'

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Post Holidays!

Whew, it was a whirlwind- but a fabulous holiday week.

The fiance and I started our Christmas celebration early and opened our gifts to one another on December 23rd. We lit a fire, drank some champagne, and celebrated. Due to our upcoming wedding, we were on a tight budget this year, but I managed to pick up some pretty good deals. I bought the fiance some snow boots for our upcoming ski vacation, two new games for the wii, a redskins tshirt and a UMD terps tshirt. The fiance bought me the cutest new (PINK) camera and a new board game (I love games).

On Christmas eve, we traveled to my parents, who live about an hour away. We had more champagne, feasted on shrimp, lobster, crab, mussels, clams and scallops and played sing star into the wee hours of the night. On Christmas morning we woke up and opened some presents (I got some sweet new clothes and more games) and feasted on a fabulous breakfast quiche.

At around 12, we left my parents and headed to the fiance's house about 40 minutes from my parents. At his parents we opened our gifts (we got a new 42 inch flat screen T.V. as a combo engagement/Christmas present YAY) and then ate a lot and celebrated with his extended family.

Before we knew it, Christmas was over. It went by incredibly fast, but we had the best time. I love spending time with my family and I get along really well with his family. It was a little weird to have to leave to go elsewhere on Christmas (my first Christmas having to share) and I was sad at first, but I guess that's what happens when you are an adult.

I'll try to get around to posting pictures sometime this week! I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as much as I did.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Kitty Santas Pictures, Images and Photos

Love,
Ashley, The Fiance, Oh Snap and Sage

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sage: 1 ----- Petmate: 0

It took Sage approximately 12 hours to figure out how to remove the top of the petmate automatic feeder and stick her head in the hole for an all you can eat buffet.

I mean, they always say, like mother- like daughter so I know where she gets it.

Unfortunately, I was hoping to outsmart her for at least a week.

I hate to do this (b/c it's going to look tacky and I'm all about keeping a nice house), but I may need to employ a little duct tape.

I wish my cat's IQ wasn't 180. I get the feeling that the duct tape isn't going to stop her either.

I'm getting Married...

I'm getting married to the most fabulous, funniest, & cutest best friend in the whole wide world in 10 months.

Actually, make that 297 days.

Yes, I'm still excited.

and yes, 297 days feels like forever.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Root Canal Update!

In case you were wondering-- penicillin is incredible and my tooth feels better than ever!

I'd like to hear a hell yeah for drugs, please!

Cat Week

Wow, this has been a cat filled week..

as in, I've posted about my cats waaaaaay too much.

However, I recently purchased one of those Pet mate automatic feeders for the kitties.

Why? (you may be thinking)

1. Because I was sick of Snap licking my head on the weekends at 7am.

2. Because I'll feel better leaving for Christmas knowing that they have food being delivered at a specific time.

So far, so good. It looks nice, it works nice, the cats are actually responding to it and eating from it.

However, I think they are responding to it a little too well.

Sage is trying (very very hard) to get more food. I can see the wheels turning in her head --- "But Ashley (mom), I can see all of that food in that big tub, why isn't it coming out?"

She's sticking her paws up the slot, she's pushing the entire thing around the kitchen with her nose (quite annoyingly) and she's doing whatever she can to get some more food.

Now I'm a little nervous about leaving her home this week with an unattended automatic feeder.

My Giveaway

You may remember that I hosted a Bloggerversary Giveaway a few weeks ago. A.D. from The Cat's Pajamas opened her gift and reported about it- so here's what she got....



1. Bonne Bell Lip Smackers in Dr. Pepper. First, Dr. Pepper is my favorite soda and secondly, I'm obsessed with lip gloss. In fact, I'm addicted to it (bonne bell only and bonne bell in particular). It's actually quite pathetic, but my lips flip if I leave home without it.

2. Cat toys! Duh, I love cats and lobster and crab are my favorite foods (If the winner wasn't a cat owner, I was going to keep them for myself =).

3. Trashy magazines. Enough said.

4. Thank-you notes. I love sending and receiving mail.

5. My favorite candies- Swedish fish and Sour Patch Kids

6. A magnet for every mood. I'm a psychologist, it's what we do.

I wanted to include other things in my swap package, but things became (work, life, etc) hectic, seeing as though it's almost Christmas and vacation time.

I may or may not have had one giant bag of Utz Crab Chips (they are fabulous)- direct from Maryland-- to include in the package. My fiance's best friend may or may not have opened the crab chips the night before I sent the package to help him sober up.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snap Felt Left Out

Not to be outdone by his sister, here's a little about Oh Snap



1. My full name is Oh Snap. Mom usually only calls me Oh Snap when I get into trouble. Usually, it's just Snap, or Snip-Snap, or Snippy, or Snappy, or Snippy Snap. Or, dad's particular favorite, Snnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnap.

2. Everyone and I mean everyone thinks that I'm the sister. Just because I'm smaller than Sage and am Orange/White doesn't mean I'm a chick.

3. I am outgoing, I'm the first to greet you and anyone else at the door, but I only tolerate cuddling for 3 minutes-- tops-- unless it's under my conditions.

4. Although I don't sleep with mom and dad very often (unless it's by their feet), I like to wake mom up at about 7 each morning by purring very, very loudly in her ear while licking her hair. For some reason, I let dad sleep.

5. I have the loudest purr in America. Seriously, it's ridiculous.

6. I'm super cute, I'm the runt, and I'm a daddy's boy-- except when I punk out, which I do quite often. Mostly recently, I am scared of the automatic water dish mom bought us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh Snap (not my cat)!

I didn't realize that you could import people into your blog roll via google reader.

What an invention.

I was doing it manually and not very often at all, b/c lets be realistic it was manual labor and I figured-- who reads blogs by actually visiting the blog?

It's all about the reader.


ETA: wait.. that makes me wonder... what is the point of having a blog roll if no one visits my actual blog?

Kitty Tag

Gwen, ahem, I mean her cat Fritz tagged Sage for this meme.

Here are the rules...
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

For your viewing pleasure, here's Sage and Mom about 1.5 years ago. What a sweet little kitten.


1. My name is Sage and I answer to Sage, but mom also calls me a million other names including, but not limited to, Sagey Muffin, Muffin, Muff, Muffy, and Sassy Sage Pants. The fiance a.k.a. "Dad" hates when mom calls me Muff and often imitates her in a sing song voice.

2. I enjoy taking up at least half of the bed, while cuddling with mom- ensuring that dad has about 1 square inch of space each night.

3. I'm obsessed with food and I love to eat popcorn. In fact, if you keep my cat food in a cabinet, I'm bound to open it up, find the bag and tear into it.

4. Everyone thinks I'm a sassy, except for mom. I usually am a bitch, to everyone except mom. I like people that ignore mom and don't talk to her. Anyone that tries to steal her attention is on my shit list (that includes my brother).

5. When mom isn't sleeping, I can usually be found sleeping at the very top of mom's closet. I like to leave hair all over her sweaters-- so she'll remember me all day long-- every time she picks a hair off.

6. I have mitten hands-- everyone thinks they are so cute, and I love when mom cuts my nails (seriously, can you believe that?!?!)

Okay, Sage tags.....


Blue from The Cat's Pajamas

Mason from Darth Mama

Zoey from My Mid Mid Life Crisis

Mittens from Framboise

Sorry, I know it's not 6, but she doesn't get out much.

Wedding Shoes

Before I got engaged, I used to imagine my wedding- bot obsessively or anything, but the event crossed my mind every once in awhile.
 
I thought that I would be funky.  I scoffed at traditional things- I wanted a snow cone machine and I could not imagine wearing traditional wedding shoes.  My imaginary bride-self always wore red shoes.
 
But now i'm torn.  The snow cone machine is no longer appealing, and I'm kinda down with the ivory shoes.
 
Do I want traditional wedding shoes (my dress is quite fancy)?...
 
or do I want something funky that matches the bridesmaid dresses?
 
Someone weigh in here....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Biggest Loser

No spoiler here.....

but I'm so glad that you know who won the biggest loser!

It almost motivates me to get off my ass and remove the Cheetos from my mouth.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Super Sweet Camera Pics

Look what came in the mail today!

I love them- they are sage green with the cutest little pink monogram.

However, am I supposed to wait until after the wedding to use them? I would assume so since that's not really my name.



Unfortunately, my wedding is still 10 months away.


...and now, the anorexic Christmas tree.



That's what you get when you buy a $24 dollar tree at Target.

So, I lied.

The root canal itself-- a breeze.

The aftermath of said root canal-- sheer hell.

I can't decide if my mouth sucked worse before or after the root canal.

Before: Sharp nerve-like/ish pains radiating throughout my entire mouth. Not localized in any way. Woke me up in the middle of the night. Sucked a$$.

After: Localized dull ache in the upper right hand corner of my mouth. Very localized in every way. Can't chew without dull ache. Wakes me up in the middle of the night. Sucks ass.

See, it's hard to determine. Both suck-- and both are totally different pain-- yet equally excruciating.

Of course I read all about it, and they say that if your mouth hurt before your root canal, it sure as shit was going to hurt after it (excuse my french- I've been on advil for about a month now).

I felt crappy (tooth related) all weekend and considered calling my dental surgeon. I didn't- I felt bad about screwing up his weekend.

I finally called today and they are starting me on a round of penicillin. I get to take four today. Sweet. I haven't taken an antibiotic in about 15 yrs, so lets hope this goes well.

In other news, despite the shiteous tooth, I did manage to enjoy my weekend. On Friday, the fiance decided to be super romantic and forego wings and beer for a trip to the Christmas tree shop.

We had a tough time deciding between real or fake (we both prefer real- we just live in a small apartment inhabited by two wire-eating cats). We went with the fake, came home, ordered in chinese food, put together our tree and cuddled. It was marvelous.

On Saturday, we headed down to Northern Va to party like one-year-olds for his goddaughter's first birthday. We bought her a huge bouncy castle which was quite the hit.

We finished off the afternoon at the mall (sheer hell- nothing is worse than the mall during Christmas).

We were supposed to go to a party on Saturday night, but my tooth was aching worse than ever and we decided to stay in and watch a movie.

Sunday, we watched football, all the livelong day. I'd like to congratulate my other boyfriend's for winning the AFC North. You go boys.

I'll try to post pictures of the tree soon, but my camera appears to have taken a turn for the worse and every picture comes up looking fuzzy and/or dark.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sup Yo

Root canals are surprisingly painless.

All that hype and and it was nothing. In fact, it hurt less than a filling.

I went in, laid back back in the chair, numbed up, and was out within half an hour.

When I got home my tooth felt fabulous! Then the Novocaine and pain killers wore off.. but still, it was nothing compared to the pain that I was experiencing pre-root canal. Unfortunately, my temporary filling fell out sometime last night, so today was not quite so enjoyable (I swear, can anyone have worse tooth luck?), but I swung by the dentist on the way home to have it patched up.


The lady doctor on the other hand was not quite as easy as the root canal. In fact, I had to spend an hour in the waiting room anxiously awaiting the moment that I would have to drop trou.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

M.I.A.

I know that I've been M.I.A. for a few days (ha 2, but that's a lot for someone who posts A LOT)... but my tooth hurts like a @#$%#$@&^%&#$^@$ and I'm popping Advil at an alarming level.

Tomorrow is D-day. As in dirty dismal dipshit day. The day of the lady appointment and the root canal. Wish me luck.

In other news, we should find out if the photographer we want is available on our wedding date tomorrow! We went to a showcase tonight and found someone that is fabulous and super affordable (considering the fact that we live in the DC metro area).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Input Please!

I have a request for all of my married lady readers...

As you all know, I've been actively researching photographers, videographers, florists, bakers etc! Although it's super fun, I'm still trying to determine what I actually need, and what I should focus on.

If you've been married, please answer these few questions....

1. What did you do that you could have lived without?

2. What would you do differently if you could relive the day?

3. What would refuse to compromise on?

4. Any other planning/wedding advice?

Thanks in advance!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Perfect Timing

Mari just sent me a picture from last night, taken immediately after they opened their cards.

Here's Mari (holding hers), Noelle (holding hers), Me, and Alli

The Bridesmaids!

I finally asked all of my bridesmaids to "head" down the aisle with me!

I asked my sister to be my maid of honor the day that we bought my dress.

I asked my best friend from high school (Alex) to be my bridesmaid via mail shortly thereafter.

I asked the fiance's two sisters to be bridesmaids on Thanksgiving.

and last night, I was finally able to get together with the other three girls and asked them over dinner at P.F.Changs.

I spent the few weeks following our engagement trying to figure out a fun and creative way to ask my bridesmaids to be my bridesmaids. I know that some people do cupcakes, some just call them up, and some people do cards. I liked the cards idea, especially since one of my girls lives in Connecticut. However, I didn't want to do a plain card so when I was looking for pictures of me and the girls together, I came up with a plan.

I headed straight to Walmart and picked up all of the newest bridal magazines. Then I went to work finding pictures of a bride and bridesmaid standing next to each other. That task was much more difficult than I had anticipated, but with a little creativity, I was able to find something that would work for each girl.

Next, I designed my own card (with construction paper, ribbon, and glue) and made it pretty, pink, and green.

I pasted one bride and bridesmaid minus the head to the front of my cards, and then cut out a picture of me and my bridesmaids' heads to "attach" to the bodies. It's supposed to look silly, and I think that they turned out fabulously. The girls all loved them and they appeared to be a big hit.

Here are five of them, pictured below...



On the inside of each card, I wrote "Will you head down the aisle with me as my bridesmaid/maid of honor?"

Here's my friends Alli, Noelle, and Alex.

Alli survived internship with me, we applied for jobs together, and we bonded over the summer. She's my shopping partner and I couldn't spend a staff meeting without her.

Noelle has been my neighbor and closest Maryland friend for almost three years. We've spent many nights outside on the patio sipping wine and talking about anything under the sun.

Alex is my best friend from high school. We met when we were 13 and we're still close friends 14 years later. We went to high school together, we babysat together, and we had our first beer together (sorry, mom).



Next up is my friend Mari and my sister, Erinn.

Mari also works with me, she commiserates with me school psychology style, is a frequent lunch/shopping partner, and has been a great friend to me for the last three years. In fact, when I was applying for jobs two years ago, I think Mari wanted it for me more than I did.

And of course my sister- the girl that I've known for 25 years and that I've shared barbies, clothes and drinks with ever since.



Unfortunately, I was waiting for the fiance's mom to provide me with pictures of his sisters and I had to make their cards at my parents house before Thanksgiving. As a result, I don't have pictures of their cards, but they looked exactly like all of the others.

I'm very happy to have my new "sisters" in my wedding! It's especially fun because they are almost as excited about the wedding as I am.

Later, I wrapped them all up in a bow and this is how I presented them to each girl.
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Wedding Shoes

So I've been looking for wedding shoes. I think it's a little premature, but my dress designer says that I need to bring them to my first fitting, which happens to be in January.

I mean, come on, my wedding is 10 months away and I'm a total chick. Committing to shoes ten months ahead of the game is a hard, hard task.

I have managed to find two pairs that I like.

Please weigh in!

The first pair is cute- they have 2 3/4 inch heels (which is a bit much for this flats wearing girl), but I'm sure it's doable.



The second pair has only 2 inch heels.



Both pairs are under 100 dollars. Advice please! Oh, and if you hate them both- feel free to tell me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Cards and Other Stuff

I ordered photo Christmas cards for the first time in my life about two weeks ago. The fiance was very against them (his family has a thing against people sending pictures in/as Christmas cards- I don't get it), but I actually enjoy when others send pictures.

As a result, when boyfriend (crap- I'm still getting used to this one month later) fiance was in the shower, I got on Snapfish and whipped something up!

Sorry to those of you that are going to receive a card in real life, but here's a little preview for those that may not.



Basically it's this picture, a cute Christmas-y border, and a message from Fiance Last Name and the soon-to-be Mrs. Ashley Fiance's Last Name.

Yeah, Yeah I'm totally cheesy. Don't be jealous.

I actually love that picture of us. It's a tad bit old (last Christmas), and I'm up about 10 pounds, but I'm in the process of remedying that.

In other news, after learning of my horrible, no good gyno/root canal date next Wednesday, the fiance and I decided to take a little trip to Macy's last night for some registering.

I've spent the last month dreaming about running around a department store with a scanner and an on cloud nine look on my face but -let me tell you- this registering business is hard work.

It took us three hours to pick out our CHINA.

Well, actually we picked out our china in about ten minutes, but before you can add it to your registry, the folks at Macy's must make up a table and show us coordinating glasses, flatware, linens etc.

Did you know that the folks at Macy's like to try to convince you that the only glasses that will go with your fine china are the 65 dollar a stem glasses?

She practically vomited all over the desk when I told her we'd stick with something a little simpler (read: more affordable).

After three hours choosing nothing more than stemware, china, and flatware, the lady let us go off on our own with the fun scanner.

The scanner is fun, but trying to pick one of 23234324 different pots and pans can become a little overwhelming. We're going to do a little more research before we pick up the scanner again.

The Winner is Announced!



At 6:00pm we picked a winner for my first annual Blog Anniversary Giveaway!

I took the simple route (read: technologically challenged) and copied all of the names on paper, and then stuck them in a hat.

Disclaimer- sorry it was a Redskins hat, I was too lazy to find one of my much cooler, much more appropriate Steelers hats.



John closed his eyes and picked the winner.



.... and the winner is....










AD from the Cat's Pajamas!

AD- Please email me your address and I'll mail all of your goodies within a week!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Woe is Me

My tooth has been been hurting, killing, throbbing for the last 4 days.

You may remember all of the Dental Drama that I have endured as of late.

I finally decided that a diet of one Advil every 4 hours isn't that cool, and visited the dentist again.

Guess who needs a root canal?

PICK ME, PICK ME!

It's scheduled for next Wednesday afternoon.

Have I mentioned that I have my annual visit to the lady doctor next Wednesday morning?

WORST. DAY. EVER.

Monday, December 1, 2008

JCrew is a Pain in my A$$

30% off sale for Cyber Monday and your site is down.

Did I mention that your site is down for the 35534534634 time this fall?

Jerks.

Now I must Marry..

I did it. I bought something with my new monogram

(or the monogram that I'll be adopting in October of 2009)

Neiman Marcus is having an incredible sale tonight on their Ralph Lauren Lawton towels.

I just purchased two and I cannot wait to receive them. They monogram for free, so I went with "sweet pea green" towels with a pink monogram.

I just told fiance that he can't get out of the wedding now, I have towels on the way.

In case you want in on the deal as well, THIS is the link and use the code NMSHIP for free shipping! Enjoy

Sweet Christmas!

I finally changed my background!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Giveaway

Mrs. Guru is having a Christmas themed Giveaway.

Tell her that I sent you

Anniversary Post

I know that I said that I would chose a winner on Sunday night (a.k.a. tonight) but because I was super busy this week and quite under the weather, I'm going to postpone picking a winner until Wednesday night!

This will give me some more time to pick up some more goodies to add to the package!

The best part is, is that you have more time to enter.

Click Here if you would like to try your luck.

*For those of you who have already entered once.. "Advertise" my giveaway on your blog (leave me another comment to let me know) and you'll be granted 2 additional entries!

It's Been Awhile

Wow, I haven't posted in forever.

I was feeling a little Debbie Downer this Thanksgiving- due to the fact that I was seriously sick this Thanksgiving AND plagued with the exact same cold last Thanksgiving- and I had to give myself a swift kick in the ass because......

I'm engaged to a fabulous man, I have an incredible family, my wedding plans are all falling into place, I have a good job, I have supportive friends, and I'm blessed.

Yeah, yeah, I couldn't breath out of not one, but both nostrils, despite insane amounts of Advil Cold and DayQuil, but things could be a lot worse.

I'm lucky that my only health problem at the moment is related to a cold. I am thankful for that (and if you've been reading for awhile, you know my hypochondriac self is in overdrive 24/7 worrying about some type of ailment).

Anyways, so the run of the events included:

Time with my family on Tuesday. I spent the night, tried hard to breath, and tried on bridesmaid dresses with my sister, who will be my maid of honor.

On Thanksgiving, the Fiance and I spent some quality time with my family, I tried to eat as much as I could, I tried to have a glass of champagne, and then we were off to the Fiance's holiday party about 30 miles up the road.

We were able to spend some time with the Fiance's family and while there, I asked his sisters to be my bridesmaids (seriously, my bridesmaid asking idea is super cute, and I'll share soon- I still need to ask three girls though).

On Friday, we vegged out at home and ran some errands. We managed to pick up all of our save the dates, invitations, and thank-you cards for under 200 bucks!

(God, I am blessed, this wedding planning stuff really is all coming together).

We decided to forego the 1,000 dollar invitations and will be using a super cute set from Michaels instead. 99% of our guest are going to throw the invitation away within the next year, so I see no point to shelling out more than a few hundred for invitations.

On Saturday, we spent the entire day in D.C.- first meeting with a priest and finding the church that we are going to use on our wedding day (yay), next visiting the shop John bought my ring at (they stole it for the next five days) and lastly, decorating his parents' house for Christmas and going out to dinner for his grandmother's 98th birthday.

Today, I've been sitting my ass on the couch watching football. GO STEELERS!

I am DREADING work tomorrow! I want my vacation back- although I was busy, I was feeling like crap 90% of the time so a redo would be quite nice.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How Fabulous...

I went to bed feeling slightly shitty last night -- and woke up this morning with a full on cold.





JUST in time for Thanksgiving.

Did I mention that it is my first year splitting Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 24, 2008

An Election Poem

This was sent to me by my future sister-in-law and I had to share....
 
Post  Election Poem
 
The election is over, the talking is done.
My party lost, your party won.
So let us be friends, let arguments pass.
I'll hug my elephant, you kiss your ass.

One Year Blogger-versary!




I have been blogging for one year today!

In honor of my one-year anniversary, I will be hosting a giveaway!

Granted, I may not be as popular as Oprah, the winner of this giveaway will receive a package that includes some of my favorite things.

You have until Sunday November 30, 2009 to enter! All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment and tell me which of my posts was your favorite. If you do not have a blog, you can still enter, but make sure that you include a valid email address so that I can contact you for your address if you are the winner.

(Don't get too excited, you're not going to win a Wii or anything, but who doesn't love little presents) ?

GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I've been M.I.A.

Most of you are going to be quite shocked by the amount of wedding related details that we have completed in the last week. We didn't mean to do everything so soon, but everything seemed to fall into place (which is a considerable difference to how things were going the week prior).

On Wednesday, we viewed a venue in our town (the same place where we had our first date). The view was incredible and we were able to meet a fellow blogger (who also happens to be the wedding coordinator at said location). We were hoping that things would work out at this location, but like I've said before, there wasn't a Saturday available in September or October (besides Halloween, but I wasn't quite feeling a Halloween wedding).

On Thursday, we met my father downtown to view a venue in Washington D.C. My mom said that I would love it, my dad said that the price was right, but I wasn't convinced. However, once I got there, I fell in love. The ballroom that we are going to use is gorgeous, and the wedding planner was super nice. The wedding package includes an open bar for 5 hrs, a fantastic five course meal, custom linens and several other little extras. Additionally, we're able to block rooms for our guests for less than $90.00 a night (regularly upwards of $250.00 a night). It would have been stupid not to have our wedding here.

So that's that, it's official. We're getting married in Washington D.C. on October 17, 2009.

We still need to find a church in the area, but we have a few leads and we're meeting with a priest next weekend.

In other news, I have purchased my wedding dress (I know, seriously, WTF?)

I stopped by a local wedding dress boutique on Friday just to look around. I purposely wore a black bra so that I couldn't try anything on. I just wanted to look, since I envisioned myself wearing at least 50 different wedding dresses/styles.

I looked around and the consultant persuaded me to try something on (apparently black bras don't matter, you need to strip down naked to try anything on anyways). I ended up trying on 6 dresses and fell head over heels in love with the last one that I tried on.

I called my mom, and set up an appointment for Saturday so that she and my sister could see it on. On Friday night, I couldn't sleep. I had butterflies and was so anxious to put that dress back on.

On Saturday, mom and sister came up, viewed three dresses, and cried when they saw me in the winner. Mom wasn't in love with the top of the dress, but was obsessed with the skirt, details and bustle. Luckily, the designer of my dress also works at the boutique and we were able to make some pretty significant changes to the top dress. In the end, we were all happier and I'm even more in love with the dress. My first fitting is at the end of January and I cannot wait to see how it all turns out.

I wish that I could tell you all about it, but the fiance is an avid reader and I don't want him to know a thing.

The only bad part about already buying the dress is the fact that I can't try anymore on. That was, in fact, the best part of this experience so far (minus the engagement of course). I am a little bit sad that I can't go try on fifty million more. Overall though, I'm happy with my choice and I cannot wait to wear it. It's perfect for fall and perfect for the venue.

In other news, I cannot believe that it is almost Thanksgiving! Where did the time go?

And.... I still promise to write about some non-wedding related details soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday, Thursday

I am exhausted. I should be asleep, but I want to make sure that I catch every second of the Steelers whooping some Bengal booty tonight.

The fiance and I have been going non-stop since our engagement. I need a honeymoon tomorrow. We've visited several venues, called 5,000 priests and have been trying to piece something together (I know, I know, I said we would wait, but I'm anal).

We visited a fabulous place yesterday, right in downtown Annapolis with a fabulous view. Tonight, we visited a hotel in D.C. and also fell in love. My dad happens to work at the place in D.C. so the discount is quite nice and we can have a Saturday night wedding.

It is/was such a hard decision--- go for the gorgeous views (also where we had our first date) and a Friday wedding or go for a better wedding package, fancier ballroom, and Saturday wedding for a better deal (due to a discount). At this point, the Saturday wedding appears to be in the lead.

(I promise I don't have Bipolar, although I could imagine that I sound like that as of late. It's not my fault, wedding planning is not all that it's cracked up to be)

.... glance down at shiny ring--- okay, I'm better......

Dad's running the numbers tomorrow. If everything goes as planned, we'll be getting married on October 17, 2009. Mark your calender if you know me in real life.




***** I'm sorry this is turning into a wedding blog. Expect other topics soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blizzard, Please!

It snowed for approximately 5 minutes today. It was very beautiful and I look forward to many snow days this season. Since the brief snow storm, the temperature has dropped to about 2 degrees outside (not seriously, but it feels like it). We actually had to suck it up and turn on the heat tonight because it was 58 degrees in this place when I walked in after work. Sorry kittens. So much for saving some money.

I've spent the last two days at a cultural proficiency meeting for work. It was mandatory-- if not, I totally would have skipped. I don't hate culture, but I've participated in about a million in services on the topic and took a class about it in grad school. I'm over hearing the same thing over and over again.

Two days at an in service means very little access to internet and even less access to a telephone. Frantic bride to be plus no access to the outside word= frustration.

On the wedding planning front, getting married should be easy, but we've experienced our fair share of hiccups.

We aren't discouraged, but when one thing appears to be going our way, we'll find out that the place we like is booked every night for the next three years. When we finally settle on a Friday wedding we find out that our church won't marry us on a Friday.

Seriously, why won't a catholic church marry us on a Friday? I'll be pondering that thought tonight.

Back to the drawing board.

On a more positive note, we are visiting another venue tomorrow night after work. I'm hoping that this one goes well, because it's the exact place that the fiance and I went on our first date. Wish us luck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Free Stuff

Please tell her that I sent you! If you win, I win too! Just think of it as my engagement present! =]

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lots to Update!

On Friday, my friend Mari was hosting a girl's night at her apartment. It was the perfect occasion to announce my engagement and to have a toast. Champagne was had by all.

Kristin, Alli and I



All of the girls after Mari's toast



The party quickly turned into dance party USA (little known fact in blog world- I'm actually quite outgoing and take any opportunity to make an ass out of myself). See, that's why fiance loves me.

Dance Party USA turned into a full on dance off. Kristin and I were lucky enough to beat out Mari and M.J. in the Hip-Hop, Freestyle, Modern, Ballet and Cheerleading competition =] We went head to head, and they gave us a run for our money. Luckily, 15 years of dance classes paid off.

You get one shot from the dance off, I don't want to embarrass anyone else (besides myself)



It happened though- here is Kristin and I admiring our moves (Noelle was snapping pictures)


The party was really fun, and I drank a little too much. At some point in the night I knelt down on Mari's patio and was either punctured by a nail and/or stung by a wasp. I spent the next hour contemplating going to the ER for a tetanus shot.

{I didn't and I am alive to tell the tell......... so far}

On Saturday morning, boyfriend and I decided to do something really crazy (we were both hungover and exhausted) and went to check-out a venue on the Eastern Shore. It was incredible and we're 100% in love. Now, I just need to convince my parents that it's the place to seal the deal.

There is a lot to consider though. Although boyfriend and I dream of getting married on the water, my dad works at a hotel in downtown D.C. I never dreamed of a D.C. wedding, but it may be worth the savings. The rates at dad's hotel are astronomically high, so we're waiting to see what kind of deal we can get.

In other news, if we get married at our dream spot, I think that we're actually going to go with a Friday night wedding. I wasn't feeling it at first, but that savings would add up to at least 5,000 dollars. I see no need to pay an extra 5,000 based simply on the day of the week that we get married. Plus, after some careful consideration- I think that the people that love us and want to share the day with us will be willing to take a half and/or whole day off to celebrate and be by our sides.

In addition, those traveling to our wedding would have to take at least one day off of work anyways. No final plans have been made. I really wanted to put if off and take some time to enjoy our engagement, but we quickly learned that if you don't book a place at least a year in advance, the likelihood of you getting anything semi-decent is slim. I'm hoping we can book the place within the next week, settle on a date, and then take a month or two off to relax and enjoy being engaged.

On Saturday night, my parents met the fiance's parents. We all met down at my parents house for dinner and drinks. Although I was worried, and was afraid that I would have several horrifying stories to tell, the whole thing went fabulously. They got along great, and they weren't even on their best behavior. Luckily, our parents are quite similar in every area except religion and a love of wine, but we were able to get past that and enjoy the evening.

When we got there, my mom had bought this cute little cake and we toasted with champagne (again). Seriously, I love that cake topper. I don't think I'll use it in my actual wedding, because (gasp) we don't want a wedding cake, but I'm sure that it will make an appearance at the bridal shower and/or rehearsal dinner.



I think that is everything! I have worked out some of the wedding plans, but it's mostly in regards to decor. Not everything that I want has been met rave reviews (Fiance's mom and my sister are not feeling my chocolate brown bridesmaid dresses), but my mom seems to be on board (or at least pretending). She went out today and bought fifty billion fall decorations at Michael's because she knows that I want a fall wedding and fully intend to incorporate berries and twigs and pumpkins. Isn't she sweet?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Be honest..

The fiance and I are looking into wedding venues.

How do you feel about Friday weddings (BE HONEST)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meme Time

(bold= true)

Appearance:
- I am 5′4 or shorter.
- I think I'm ugly.
- I have many scars. (I run into walls on a daily basis)
- I tan easily.
- I wish my hair was a different color.
- I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
- I have a tattoo.
- I am self-conscious about my appearance.
- I have/I've had braces.
- I wear glasses.
- I'd get/have gotten plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free, scar-free. (Duh)
- I've been told I'm attractive by a complete stranger.
- I have had more than 2 piercings.
- I have had piercings in places besides my ears. (I guess not really, I just took it out)
- I have freckles. (Fiance loves them)

Family/Home Life:

- I've sworn at my parents.
- I've run away from home.
- I've been kicked out of the house.
- My biological parents are together.
- I have a sibling less than one year old.
- I want to have kids someday.
- I have children.
- I've lost a child.

Embarrassment:
- I've slipped out a "LOL" in a spoken conversation.
- Disney movies still make me cry.
- I've snorted while laughing.
- I've laughed so hard I've cried.
- I've glued my hand to something.
- I've laughed till some kind of beverage came out of my nose.
- I've had my trousers rip in public.

Health:
- I was born with a disease/impairment.
- I've had stitches.
- I've broken a bone.
- I've had my tonsils removed.
- I've sat in a doctor's office with a friend.
- I've had my wisdom teeth removed.
- I've had serious surgery.
- I've had chicken pox.

Traveling:
- I've driven over 200 miles in one day.
- I've been on a plane.
- I've been to Canada.
- I've been to Niagara Falls.
- I've been to Japan.
- I've been to Europe.
- I've been to Africa.

Experiences:
- I've been lost in my city.
- I've seen a shooting star.
- I've wished on a shooting star.
- I've seen a meteor shower.
- I've gone out in public in my pajamas.
- I've pushed all the buttons in a lift.
- I've been to a casino.
- I've been skydiving.
- I've gone skinny dipping
- I've played spin the bottle.
- I've crashed a car.
- I've been in a play.
- I've met someone in person from the Internet.
- I've caught a snowflake on my tongue.
- I've seen the Northern Lights.
- I've sat on a roof top at night.
- I've played chicken.
- I've seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- I've eaten Sushi.
- I've been snowboarding.

Relationships:
- I'm single.
- I'm in a relationship.
- I'm available.
- I'm engaged.
- I'm married.
- I've gone on a blind date.
- I've been the dumpee more than the dumper.
- I have a fear of abandonment.
- I've been divorced.
- I've had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
- I've told someone I loved them when I didn't.
- I've told someone I didn't love them when I did.
- I've kept something from a past relationship.

Sexuality:
- I've had a crush on someone of the same gender.
- I've kissed a member of the same gender.
- I've had sex with someone of the same gender.
- I've had sex with more than one person at the same time.
- I am a cuddler.
- I've been kissed in the rain.
- I've hugged a stranger.
- I have kissed a stranger.
- I have had sex with a stranger.

Honesty/Crime:
- I've done something I promised someone else I wouldn't.
- I've done something I promised myself I wouldn't.
- I have lied to my parents about where I am.
- I am keeping a secret from the world.
- I've cheated while playing a game.
- I've cheated on a test.
- I've driven through a red light.
- I've witnessed a crime.
- I've been in a fist fight.
- I've been arrested.
- I've shoplifted.

Drugs/Alcohol:
- I've consumed alcohol.
- I smoke pot.
- I regularly drink.
- I've taken painkillers when I didn't need them.
- I've taken cough medicine when I wasn't sick.
- I've done hard drugs.
- I've been addicted to an illegal substance.
- I can't swallow pills.
- I can swallow about 5 pills at a time no problem.

Mental health:
- I have been diagnosed with depression.
- I shut others out when I'm depressed.
- I take anti-depressants.
- I have had an eating disorder.
- I've slept an entire day when I didn't need it.
- I've hurt myself on purpose.
- I'm addicted to self harm.
- I've woken up crying.

Death:
- I'm afraid of dying.
- I hate funerals.
- I've seen someone dying.
- I have attempted suicide.
- Someone close to me has attempted suicide.
- Someone close to me has committed suicide.

Random:
- I can sing well.
- I've stolen a tray from a fast food restaurant.
- I open up to others too easily.
- I watch the news.
- I don't kill bugs.
- I hate hearing songs that sacrifice meaning for sake of being able to rhyme.
- I swear regularly.
- I am a morning person
- I paid for my mobile phone ring tone.
- I'm a snob about grammar.
- I am a sports fanatic.
- I play with my hair.
- I have/had "x"s in my screen name.
- I love being neat.
- I love Spam.
- I've copied more than 30 CD's in a day.
- I bake well.
- I don't know how to shoot a gun.
- I am in love with love.
- I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
- I eat fast food weekly.
- I believe in ghosts.
- I am online 24/7, even as an away message.
- I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room.
- I am really ticklish.
- I love white chocolate.
- I bite my nails.
- I play video games.
- I'm good at remembering faces.
- I'm good at remembering names.
- I'm good at remembering dates.
- I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Thanks Ladies

I appreciate all of the super sweet comments. I'm still on engagement high, and I'm more than a little bit excited about marrying this man.

In other news, being engaged makes it hard to blog. I don't have much to tell except for sentences that include the words, YAY, hooray, awesome, romantic, engaged, married. I'm trying to spare you all.

I'll try to be more creative soon. In the meantime, I'm drinking some beers and relaxing with the fiance.

On tap for the weekend, the parents meet the in-laws. This should be entertaining.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hot Damn

Engagement shock has not warn off!

Ladies, any and all engagement, marriage, wedding planning tips are welcome and encouraged.

We haven't done much in regards to planning yet-- obviously, but the questions are coming in a mile a minute.

When, where, where's the honeymoon? My head is already spinning.

Tonight we made dinner together and watched a movie. We're trying to enjoy the fact that we're engaged, and riding out that high before things get too stressful.



Oh, and yes. I'm still blinded by the bling.

An Engagement Story

Back in June, John decided that he wanted to marry me (of course-- he didn't tell me). He bought me tickets to the Steelers/Colts game in Pittsburgh for my birthday in August, and the game was planned for the weekend of November 8th. Apparently, John had a major plan, and had previously decided that he would propose while we were there.

The following was all a major shock for me. Of course I knew we were going to get married and we had discussed it, but I did not think that it was going to happen now-- or in Pittsburgh. John was super sneaky and planned everything without me knowing a thing. I thought that this would be the perfect time to propose, but I didn't think he had the money to buy a ring. He misled me greatly by telling me that it would be at least another year before he could afford a ring!

{To those that are confused, I'm from Pittsburgh and I love Pittsburgh}

He booked a room for two nights in one of the fanciest hotels in Pittsburgh, the Omni William Penn. John made me pose in front of the hotel (love my pose) to document the trip.



John let me pick where I wanted to eat dinner, and the answer was Sesame Inn, no question. It's my absolute favorite Chinese restaurant in Pittsburgh and it's located right in Station Square. We walked around, bought a bunch of steelers gear (for me) and ate, and ate, and ate-- as you can see below.



John was cool as a cucumber, which convinced me even more that he wasn't going to propose. He was acting normally, drinking the local beer, and eating like a boy with a huge appetite. Not to mention the fact that he took a nap before we went out to dinner. Seriously, the boy was hours from proposing and slept like nothing was happening.



After dinner, John mentioned that we should go up the incline to Mount Washington. I was more than happy to because it provides a gorgeous view of the city and my prom pictures were taken there back in high school. My camera sucks, so the picture quality isn't great, but this is what we saw when we got to the top.



If you look closely, you can see the Steelers stadium in this picture, and if you look to the left, you'll see the exact balcony that John proposed to me on.



Anyways, we walked over to the balcony, took pictures, talked about how beautiful it was and then John said, "Okay, are you ready to go?" (he was trying to throw me off). The next thing I knew, I turned around to grab him and he was pulling something out of his pocket. Seconds later, he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I started freaking out, cried for about 1.25 seconds and then kept asking him if he was serious. I think I asked about 10 times before snatching the ring from him. The second thing out of my mouth was, "did you ask my dad?" He did, apparently dad was in on the entire thing for months.

It was so incredibly special and beautiful. After the proposal, we called our families and then looked at each other and said, "now what?" haha.

After celebrating via cell phone, John told me the speech that he meant to say as he was down on one knee, but that he was too nervous to get out. Either that or he was distracted by me yelling, "you are kidding" over and over again.

Here's a picture of us riding the incline down, only minutes after getting engaged.



It's almost impossible to get a good picture of the ring, but here it is! I'm in love! He designed it himself and I cannot stop staring at it. I look like the most conceited person in the world right now, because I stop whatever I'm doing once every five minutes to admire the sparkle.



After dinner, we went out for some champagne in station square. Doesn't he look excited! Seriously, we haven't stopped smiling for days.



When we finally got back to our hotel room, my parents had a bottle of champagne waiting for us in the hotel room. We spent the next 12 hours sleeping, and looking over at each other calling each other fiance every few minutes.

On Sunday, we woke up, and went to the Steelers game. It was absolutely incredible, despite the loss. John did not agree to be in any of the following pictures because he did not want to be seen with Steelers gear on. I was more than happy to pose for a few pictures.



I met Steely McBeam!



The atmosphere in Pittsburgh is unlike anything else during a Steelers game. It was incredible to see/hear all the fans. People go all out, unlike anything I have ever seen.



Our seats were way up there in the 527 section!



All in all, the weekend and proposal were absolutely perfect. We hit one minor snag on Monday when we tried to get home. John's car was dead. We tried to jump it, but couldn't get it started and were stranded in the parking garage for 3 hours waiting for a tow truck that could get down to the bottom level of the garage. I cried, but then I looked at my ring and all was well again in the world.

The rest of the day was a bit of a pain in the ass, we ended up having to have his car towed to the dealer, looked at, and finally fixed up.

I like to think that it was a test of our upcoming marriage, and we passed with only minor bickering. =]

Hey, at least it will be a good story to tell the grand kids.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big News!

I know that I have been M.I.A. for awhile now..

but I have good reason..

as of Saturday, boyfriend is no longer my boyfriend...






he is my fiance! YAY!


I promise to tell the full story and details soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

All that you're going to get from me...

....regarding the election is a few sentences.

I'm not outspokenly political.

I suppose I should be, considering all of my A+'s in college came from Political Science classes, but that's besides the point.

I'm certainly not super conservative and I'm certainly not a liberal.

As a result, I guess I kind of have to give anyone/everyone a chance (whether I voted for them or not).

I like to call it.... innocent until proven a socialist.

Time will tell.

I'm the meantime, I'm snorting Zicam and going to bed.

Posting at Work Again

But I had something exciting happen to me last night.
 
....
 
 
 
.....
 
 
 
 
......
 
 
It involves Oh Snap-- (you can stop reading if you're not into cats)
 
Sage is always cuddling.  If I'm lying on the couch, she's right there with me lying on my stomach (9 times out of 10).  At bedtime, I sleep on my side and 9 times out of 10, she's curled up right in my side, putting her nose under my hand so that I'll put my arm around her.
 
Snap is super friendly and outgoing around strangers.  But he's not my cuddly cat.  He will tolerate approximately 1 minute of cuddling before he runs away.
 
Last night, Snap actually came up to me and slept right next to me.  He even tolerated my arm around his waist. 
 
Progress people!

Actual Conversation During Arrival

Setting: The Hallway
 
Who: A group of African American 3rd graders
 
Child #1: Oh my god, I'm so happy Obama won! 
 
Child #2: I heard that McCain was going to cancel summer vacation.  He said in his speech that brain cells would die if we were allowed vacation.
 
Child #3: I know!
 
What the #@%$#$@#?
 
Where do kids get their information?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Heck Yeah, to the Steelers

Lets get two things out of the way...

1. Yes, I voted.

2. 10 Halloween pictures and no one has anything nice to say about them? Humph.

Last night, Boyfriend and I went to my first MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL game. It was the Steelers vs. the Redskins. Everyone thought we would lose (except for me), but we blew them away. By a lot.

I worked all day long on Monday (obviously), and had quite the busy day, so I'm looking a little sad/beat-up/ragged in all of these pictures. Oh well...

Here I am in full football attire.




If you click to enlarge, I actually made myself a matching headband.



Not to be outdone in the posing department, boyfriend puts on his best frown-face and practices his QB moves.



Look, all my boyfriends are practicing. Aren't they beautiful?



It was the prefect night for football- breezy, 50 degrees, with a clear sky. Tailgating before the game was fun, especially since half the crowd appeared to be dressed up in Steelers gear. The only downfall was one drunk Redskins fan who decided that he was going to be king of the porta-potties. He wouldn't let Steelers fans in, and I had assured boyfriend that I was okay to go to the bathroom alone. Ooops. Luckily two chicks started screaming at him and I was able to go to the bathroom. I am forever indebted to the two girls that roughed up the porta-potty king.



This picture was taken before the Steelers scored 23 points. Boyfriend didn't talk much the rest of the night.


Anyways, it's Tuesday now, and it's been one hell of the week. I haven't been home for more than an hour or two since Thursday (except for Sunday- but we were entertaining, so it's just as hectic), and I've blown my nose approximately once every 2 minutes today.

I have another election party to go to tonight, but at this point, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to make it and if I do, I may need an entire box of tissues, one heating pack and a cot to nap on. To be continued......

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Twist my Arm..

Here are a few more Halloween Pics

Boyfriend's Costume. All that worrying and I think they turned out better than anything we could have bought.



My mom and dad- The Arsonist and Fire



Another picture of the prom king and queen.





Halloween Weekend!

What a weekend! As you all know, I love Halloween and we celebrated quite hard.

On Friday night, Boyfriend and I suited up and headed out for a night on the town with some friends. We hit up a local bar, drank too much, and had a fabulous time. Here's a picture of our costume on Friday night. We changed it up a tiny bit for the party on Saturday (which you will see below).



On Saturday, we slept late, recovered and headed down to my parents' house for their annual Halloween Party. While there, we got to meet their newest dog, Zuri. My parents are now the proud parents of 3 dalmatians. Sammy, who we've had for years, Lil' T who was adopted from a dalmatian rescue and the newest, Zuri. Poor Zuri was hit by a car and her owners didn't want to take care of her. She has a long road ahead of her and needs to go to the vet 3 times a week to work on her leg. She's come a long way and she's absolutely adorable.



Boyfriend wanted in on the fun as well!



After hanging with Zuri and the family, we got dressed up and ready for my parents' Halloween Party. That night we added fake blood to my neck and the corsages. I actually made the corsages and our sashes. A little red paint completed the package. For boyfriend's costume, we picked up an old suit at goodwill, slashed it to pieces and covered it in blood. They came out fabulously.



Me and my sister, the German Girl



My parents go all out- Unfortunately, the fog machine makes it hard to see, but here are some of the decorations..



More Decor...



Boyfriend and I at the end of the night. We won the scariest costume, but my parents may have been biased.



This morning, we woke up to this sweet girl (my mom painted our back porch, I wish I were half as crafty as she is).



Today we rushed home and hosted dinner for Boyfriend's family. They had yet to visit our new apartment. We had a pot roast cook off (boyfriend cooked one, I cooked the other) and hung out.
I am absolutely beat to say the least.

I've got to rally too, we're going to the Pittsburgh game tomorrow! GOOO STEELERS!