Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Elusive Nativity Set.

Ever since I was little, my family has had a nativity set. The same one. It's a ceramic set - one of the old-fashioned, look-like-real-people kind of sets. It's complete - there's the holy family (complete with a baby Jesus that comes out of the manger - because he doesn't get put in until Christmas), shepherds, the wise men, camels, donkeys, and sheep. It's all set in an open faced barn, made out of real wood, with moss on the ground and roof, and an angel that attaches to the roof of the barn. It's beautiful. It was clearly my job to set it up too. My grandparents on my mom's side have a similar set - just a few years older (clearly). My dad's parents? They had a Precious Moments style (though not brand name) ceramic set with everything in pale blues, purples, and yellows, and the figurines look like children, all sans-barn (they always kept it in a winter wonderland, sparkly fleece on top of the piano).

But now it's time for our own set. A set we can't find for the life of us. Maybe I'm being overly hopeful - I want a set that we both like equally and fits us. Is that naive? Should I just buy what I like, and assume that Sean will learn to like it? In any case, we have pretty similar tastes, so it's not that difficult.

We know what we don't want. That's gotta count for something. We don't want child-like figurines. Nor do we want the life-like ones. We also don't want a fixed manger - the best part of the manger is getting to set it up, move it around, and add the pieces as necessary (Jesus at Christmas, and the wise men in January). It's really frustrating that we can't find one. In fact, it's driving me nuts.

I kind of really like the Willow nativity set, but alas, Sean isn't a huge fan. He'd concede to it, but he'd rather something else. Plus, it's expensive, and we'd basically have to add a few pieces each year to be able to afford it (and then of course, we run the risk of it being discontinued before we complete the set).

I can't seem to find the right one. It's important to me - it's always been part of my Christmas tradition, and I want to continue it. Hopefully I'll find it. Preferably in the next 20 years... :p

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.

You know, I'm really not sure on this one. I've never seen myself as an exotic pet person (though I desperately wanted a lizard as a kid!). We have our cat, Ella. One day we'll get a dog. Maybe we'll get a guinea pig or fish or something one day when we have kids.

I think I'd really really really love to have a bird. A parrot or a cocktoo - ya know, something I could teach to talk and be cute. But, at the same time, I'd want it to be quiet when I wanted to be.

Which is why I'll never have a bird.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful.

Okay, this is 3 days late. But everything I have to be thankful for, well, it kept me busy this weekend!

I'm thankful for our wonderful families. For my family, with their traditional, pass the bowl around the table and traditionally baked turkey, to Sean's family's buffet line with a deep fried turkey (for the record, I'm on Team Baked). I love our black Friday traditions - shopping with Sean's mom and sister, then meeting up with my mom for breakfast (my sister started shopping this year, but only lasted until 4 am - pretty good for a 10 year old!).

I'm thankful for Sean. He keeps me balanced. He loves me, unconditionally. I love that we don't have a fighting relationship - and we rarely bicker. It's just not our style. I love that he's working hard in school, even if it means that we might be going long distance for the summer, so he can get a good internship. I just love...us.

I'm thankful that we have a house that we feel safe in, and I can't wait to decorate it today.

I'm thankful that we have two working cars, and that we can afford to keep both of them well maintained and running.

I'm thankful I have a job that I love. The only time I don't want to go to work is when I don't want to get out of bed (and during those times, I wouldn't want to get out of bed for chocolate). But frankly, I love being there.

And I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful that just hanging out a few minutes is fabulous, whether it be in a steak n shake or at a football game. They're fabulous.

Life is good guys. Life is good.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.

Two years ago, huh? Wow. Two years ago, I was celebrating (and mourning) my last year at Mizzou. I was graduating. I was in full-fledged wedding planning mode. I was having a blast. I was partying, I was studying, I was rocking everything, I was in love. I kinda miss those times. But at the same time, I love who I've become and where I'm at now. Weird how that is.


(Marching Mizzou graduates received a rock from the Big M at their last home game, and get to beat Big Mo!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.

Okay, I've totally been failing at this. But here I go again!

I don't believe in one best friend. I think it's entirely necessary to have multiples. And I do. I have my main best friend, Sean. Yeah, cliche. But he's not my only one, because let's face it, there are some things that I prefer to talk to other people about. So I've got my best friend from grade school - we sometimes don't talk for weeks or months, but when we get together, it's like we never stopped talking. It doesn't matter what we miss in between, it only matters what's in the now - we're very much alike (as long as you look past the fact that I live in a world of country and rock and roll, and she lives with ranchero and reggaton). I've got my best friend from high school - we're a support staff for each other. Like high school, we'll always feed on pedis, coffee, and drama. Call it superficial, but we're close and that's what we love. I've got my college best friends. We're crazy and we're different - we don't always see eye to eye and we definitely don't agree on things, but we stay close with our ridiculous memories and jokes, and together we're whole.

(It was 19 degrees on our wedding day - this is us, outside, laughing at how incredibly crazy we are)
(Moni, Jess, me, and Tori - Moni and I have been friends since 4th grade, this is us senior year of high school in Mexico)
(Bonus shot! Moni, Me, Allie, and Rachel on the night of my bachelorette)
(This pretty much sums up who we are. Mizzou-obsessed, crazy, klutzy, and special. And awesome)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meal Planning.

I never technically meal planned. It seemed like too much work, and I've always come from a family where we had pretty much everything in the fridge, and if we didn't, we lived less than a mile from the grocery store. Even now, Sean and I live .6 miles (a 5 minute, round trip drive) from Hyvee. It's not a big deal if we don't have something, because we can just hop out and get it - faster than the beef can thaw in the microwave.

And then my schedule changed at work.

Now, I don't get home until 7 (on a good night). I don't want to swing by the grocery store on my way home, and if I don't have something in mind for dinner, we usually just have sandwiches. Which is kinda unfulfilling and, well, boring. Plus, it doesn't leave me left overs to take for lunch the next day. And so I will start to meal plan - in my own way. Basically, I'm going to have set options for meals. 4 or 5 options a week, and we'll just make them as we go. That way, if I don't get a crock pot meal on before I leave for work, I can whip something quicker up when I get home that evening. I think it'll work for us.

Today, I spent $108.00 at the grocery store. Keep in mind, there was a meat sale, so I bought over 5 lbs of ground beef to freeze, plus I stocked up on chicken broth, pasta, bacon, and coffee. But, in addition to that, I have food for the following meals:

-Stuffed shells and meat sauce
-turkey and cheese sliders with honey-dijion glaze
-tacos
-hawaiian bbq chicken
-spaghetti
-empanadas

Plus, a few hot pockets for those "I don't wanna cook" days. Aaaand because I spent over $100, I get 10 cents off my next 20 gallons of gas! I love PriceChopper.

It's the first major grocery trip I've taken in over a month, and hopefully I'll only need to pick up a few perishables for the next couple of weeks (I certainly won't have to buy meat or sides though!). We shall see - hopefully I can keep going and save myself some money!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date.

Perfect first date huh? To be honest, it's really hard to answer this question. Sean and I never had an official first date - we kinda fell into dating one might say. We were just friends, and then...well, then we weren't.

But, my perfect first date would definitely be a combination of fun and romance. I think an amusement park, or a beach, or a lake we be awesome (or even a mini ski trip!), followed by a packed dinner and ice cream. Ice cream is essential for any date for me - even now.

Maybe it's not so much the date activities themselves, but who they're with?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 2 – A photo of something you ate today.

So I came home, made dinner, and ate it. Then, looking at the empty bowl, remembered I was supposed to take a picture. Whoops. I had grilled cheese and soup though - it was delicious!
It looked something like this...but not as perfect lol

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.

Today has been...a day. Lol. It started out being 65 degrees, and ended rainy and in the 40s. It's supposed to snow tonight. Have I mentioned that I work about 50/50 outside? Yea, sucks. I also have a huge work project that I need to finish. It's due tomorrow, but I was required to go over certain numbers with my district manager (mind you, I can't even access the numbers without him), and he wouldn't sit down with me until today. So tomorrow morning, I have serious work to do. It's 8:15, and I just put dinner in the oven - and it's not a meal I've made before, so it may have been all for nothing. Sean went grocery shopping, but he got all the wrong foods (seriously, anyone have any idea of what to do with an entire bag of frozen shredded carrots, other than an icepack?). He defrosted meat, but put it in the microwave for so long that it turned in to one big piece of rubber - and completely unusable. *sigh*

Things that are good? I have a job, and it supports us well. One of my BFFs is moving back to the midwest in roughly a week, and I have the entire week of Thanksgiving off. Another BFF is visiting right before T-day, and hopefully my SIL is visiting somewhere in there too. It may be gross and rainy, but the area desperately needed it. My house is a mess, but it's lovely at the same time. I've got a pretty darn good life.

And to be true to the nature of this challenge, here's a pic of me right now - at 8:30 pm, after a 9 1/2 hour work day, half of it in the rain. On a webcam. Rock on.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge.

So clearly I can't seem to keep this blog updated lately. I'm not really sure why. Part of it is that I'm just plain busy, but a lot of it is that it life hasn't been the best the last couple of weeks. And nothing interesting has really happened. BUT! I'm changing that. Hopefully. I'm doing that 30 day blog challenge thing (and hopefully finishing it). So I'm starting it tonight. Let's get this done!! lol

Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
Day 2 – A photo of something you ate today.

Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date. 
Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.
Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
Day 7 – Your dream wedding.
Day 8 – A song to match your mood.
Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.
Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat.

Day 11 – What’s in your makeup bag?
Day 12 – A photograph of the town you live in.
Day 13 – Your favorite musician and why?
Day 14 – A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
Day 15 – Something you don’t leave the house without.
Day 16 – Your celebrity crush.
Day 17 – A photo of you and your family.
Day 18 – Something you crave a lot.
Day 19 – Another picture of yourself.
Day 20 – The meaning behind your blog name.
Day 21 – A photo of something that makes you happy.
Day 22 – A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
Day 23 – 15 facts about you.
Day 24 – A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Day 25 – What’s in your purse?
Day 26 – A photo of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 27 – A picture of you last year and now and how have you changed since then?
Day 28 – Your favorite movie.
Day 29 – Something you could never get tired of doing.
Day 30 – A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past.


So here we go!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#58. Register to Becoming a Bone Marrow Donor

This one has been on my goals list for a while, and it's actually pretty silly that it's taken me this long to do it.

Today, I joined the Be The Match national bone marrow registry.


Here's the deal. Thousands of people need bone marrow transplants - people with leukemia, lymphoma, auto-immune diseases, and blood disorders. These are people where this might be their only chance of survival. Usually, family members have the best match - but not always. Maybe they're adopted, or only have half-siblings. Or maybe, they're like the weird ginger in a family of brunettes - it's a genetic thing, but sometimes strange things happen (disclaimer: there's nothing wrong with gingers!). There can be millions of people on a registry, and not one match for someone who desperately needs it. Maybe I'm that match.

Both my family and Sean's have been affected by cancers - and his cousin did  have a bone marrow transplant when she was 9. And she's a beautiful, wonderful, cancer free, college student now. If no one in her family had matched, where would she be now?

So after a particularly touching episode of Extreme Home Makeover, I got on their website, and I sent away for my free kit. I got it in the mail on Friday - it's just a cheek swab kit.

I followed the super simple diagram, swabbed 4 times, and bingo-bango I was done. That easy.

I popped it in the business reply envelope...and I'm registered. My genetic make-up is officially on record.

There's a 1 in 540 chance that one day in the next 37 years (you're only eligible until you're 60), I'll be called to donate marrow or PBSC. If so, it'll be a multi-step process that's completely paid for by the registry - I won't need to pay for anything. Ya know, cause I'm helping someone live and all.

I want to be able to know that I'm doing something. If someone needs something that only I can give, I want to be able to do that. If I'm a match, I'll know that I've done everything possible to save that person's life. And if I'm never called on? Then I know that I've done everything I can to make myself available.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sssaaaayyyy What?!

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/10-000-free-round-trip-tickets-japan-134142507.html

Sign me up please.

Free plane tickets to Japan (which probably cost upwards of $1000 each), just for writing about it on my blog/facebook? As in, what I would already do? Hot damn.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Back on the Wagon. Maybe.

I've seriously fallen off the blogging wagon. Like, horribly. It's been 3 weeks since my last post! What happened to blogging addict me who loved to share tiny details, lofty hopes, and big dreams with anyone who would listen? Erg. I'm really not sure.

I think a lot of it has to do with my unwillingness to blog about our honeymoon. I don't like blogging about vacations in general, to be honest. It seals the deal that it's over (even though it happened 2 months ago!), and I feel like it ruins it a bit for other people. I think everyone should have their own take on vacations - and discover everything on their own. So I'm saying goodbye to hopes of blogging about the most fantastic trip I've ever taken - you'll just have to take one on your own!

In other news...

-I'm being moved locations at work. I work at our branch, and I'm being moved up to the district location. I know that it'll be a completely new experience, but I'm really going to miss my branch. I do a lot of stuff at my branch, because there's only 2 of us (me and my manager) working there. At the district, there's 4 MTs (my position), a assistant district manager, a district rental manager, and an overall district manager. I feel like I'm going to be useless and bored. Hopefully it doesn't turn out that way, but I'm already secretly hoping this is a temporary move.
-Sean applied for a job! He interviewed for a research position with a professor. I hope he gets it, but I also know that it's kind of a long shot. There were a LOT of people up for the position.
-I'm finding it hard to have motivation to do anything lately. I'm not really sure why, but lately all I want to do is veg on the couch. I think it has something to do with the horrid allergies that are out.
-I've been super Halloween crafty though. Hopefully I'll get my latest project done this afternoon, and then I'll blog about them. I'm still looking to carve a pumpkin and maybe another thing or two, but Sean will want to be around for those.
-I think I can officially say that I don't have babies on the brain anymore. Weird? Totally. But with the amazing vacation we were able to take, and the way we've been living - I'm actually excited to not have kids for a while. Yes, I can't wait for the day when kids will come. But I know that right now isn't that time. I'm in love with being a married, young adult couple. (though, I'll admit I have flashes of babies every time I see a Mizzou onesie - baby tigers!!!)

Oh, and if you rrreeeeaaaallllyyyy want to see some honeymoon photos, here's the public links to them on my facebook! (and sorry, but the trip kiiiinda turned into the Catholic Tour of Europe - but the churches were absolutely beautiful)
Getting there and the ship
Day 1: Monaco
Day 2: Florence
Day 3: Rome and Vatican City
Day 4: Naples and Herculaneum
(day 5 was at sea!)
Day 6: Barcelona

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And the tale unfolds - Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust!!

So I know I haven't been bloggity lately, which is probably driving those of you who are waiting for honeymoon details crazy. But it stops now. I'm finally catching up! After all, I'm just chilling in the airport waiting for my flight (for my first business trip!)

As you've already read, we took a Disney Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon. We got engaged in Disney World, and we thought it only fitting to continue in the Disney tradition. Yes, it was a kid heavy cruise. But, for the most part, we didn't even notice them (and even if we did, we wouldn't have minded - you kind of HAVE to expect kids on Disney anything). There was a ton of on-board activities that ran from 7 am - 1 am on the ship, and it seemed like every soul under the age of 18 was either there or at the family pool. There was a separate pool, lounge area, and even a separate cafe for the adults of the ship - and it was much appreciated. We saw a Disney show every night (which were amazing), and went to a couple of other shows (a comedian, magician, and piano player) on other nights. We had late seating for dinner (which was kind of hard to get used to), so a lot of the kiddos were in bed. Even as it was, most of the kids weren't American (and let's face it, British accents are toddlers are ADORABLE). The only remotely annoying children were the Spaniards (and really, they were), but the adults were too.

At our table, we sat with 3 other adult couples. One was on the honeymoon like us, and the other two were celebrating their anniversaries (28 and 15 years). It was a really good mix of people, and we interacted really well together. I wish I could find them on facebook, but alas, it's not going so well.

We started our journey at the St. Louis airport. Why? Because we had to drop our cat off with Sean's parents (and I worried just a bit that Sean's not-so-cat-loving dad would throw her against the wall). We left at noon, and landed shortly after in Atlanta. We had a quick layover (and can I say how awesome the Atlanta airport is? Seriously. We got a meal at T.G.I. Fridays in TEN minutes).  And then.
On the plane!

Huge Airbus 330 planes

Then we got on the plane for the transatlantic flight. 10 hours in a plane? Suuuuccccckkkkksssss. We had thankfully upgraded to Economy Comfort. The seat leaned back more, and we had a TON more leg room. The funny headrests were awesome for me, but Sean didn't like them. And we got free drinks :) It was a pretty uneventful flight, but we did see a wicked sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.

Gorgeous

10ish hours after we landed, we were bussed off the tarmac (yup, bussed), and whisked away on a bus by a crew with giant white Mickey hands...the adventure was about to begin!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Snippets.

-I finally have an SDHC card reader. I'm uploading my photos to facebook, and then you can expect some blogs!! Get excited folks!

-We really need to work on the office this week. It looks like a disaster zone still, and Sean's parents are giving us an old desk in two weeks. We currently can't fit it in there.

-I'm dying to make Roman shades for the kitchen, and to bust out the sewing machine and make stockings for us this year. I also want to make a Mizzou wreath for the door (my purple wreath is there currently), and a Christmas wreath for this winter.

-We need to finish hanging pictures also. I'm contemplating above the TV...but I feel like that will be overbearing.

- We have a TON of left over food from Sean's parents' anniversary party - we're eating a ton of sliced meat and cheese now.

That's it for now. I know, it's not much, but work with me here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Contemplating Donation.

Lately, I've noticed that my hair is super long. I vaguely started growing it out about 8 months before the wedding (or at least, that's the last time I cut it), and now it's well past my shoulders. To be honest, it's been a long time since it's been this long. I've been considering donating it (and even put it on my 101 in 1001 list), but I never looked into it before. So, I wandered over to the website for Locks of Love.

According to their website, they take colored hair (which is awesome, cause I've been dying since I was 18...). And hair only needs to be 10 inches long. Check it out:


That's NINE inches, and it's practically chin-length still (don't mind the goofy face and the glasses - I scratched my eye last week). I've had my hair that short before, so that doesn't scare me too much. I'm probably going to keep growing it until next spring or summer, but then I fully intend to whack it all off. (Oh, and how cute is the new bathroom paint?! love it.) In any case, it's something useful to do. And it makes me motivate to NOT chop my hair off - quite yet.

I'm actually really excited to do this. It's gonna be awesome.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guilty.

We've been back from Europe for 2 weeks now, and I've yet to post a photo. Not to facebook, not to my blog, nowhere.

I feel so freaking guilty about it.

Why haven't I posted?

I can't figure out how to get photos from my new camera to my computer. (before I sound like a complete idiot, I bought a new SD card, and it's different from my old one, and now not compatible with my old reader).

Technology fail.

I promise I will figure it out this week people. Really. I do. I need to blog about our lovely new home also. I have so many posts, ready to go, but they need pictures. I'm getting on it now. My curtains are hung, my house is moved, the internet is switched over - I have the time now.

I just need to get on it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm baaaackkk!!

I'm back after a fabulous honeymoon in the Mediterranean. Here's some other things:

-I'm seriously irritated with how long it's taking to move our apartment to our house. Yes, it's just Sean moving, but we don't even have FOOD yet. Or plates to eat food on. Or curtains, or shelves. I have like 5 outfits, and that's it. Yesterday, he made one trip, for video games. And that's all he moved. It's driving me crazy.

-I'm also still jet-legged, which makes me cranky (as is obvious by the tone of this post)

-I can't upload honeymoon photos, cause we don't have internet yet. But clearly, the one who works during business hours (me) is the one who has to set that up. To write this I'm janking from a neighbor. I'm kind of avoiding getting internet, hoping Sean will do more work without it... >:)

-I can't eat another effing fast food meal. That's also killing me. Literally. I want to cook in my house, but I can't do that. Tonight, the kitchen will be moved, come hell or high water.

-I have the 24 hour on call phone at work. I only had one phone call last night at 11:00 pm, so hopefully the rest of the week goes as smoothly. But I'm not betting on it.

-I'm way behind on EVERYTHING. Reading posts, websites, everything. 

Sorry for the betch post guys. But it had to be done :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Here we go!!

Guys. It's that time. We've been waiting for EIGHT months, and now we're ready.

It's our honeymoon!!!

So. We'll be back in a week. Until then, we're be galavanting across Europe, with our Mediterranean cruise.

Ciao!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Making Changes.

I work in the trucking business. While I don't drive trucks for a living, I do have to drive them around our parking lot. Because of this, I have to be DOT certified - I need a medical license that's annually renewed.

When I got my job in April, the first thing I needed was a medical license. My necessary physical was minimal, but it still came up abnormal. I was referred to a standard practitioner. I figured it was no big deal, and treated it as an annoyance. But it turns out, I'm at a huge risk for heart disease.

I always have known it's something I'm going to have to worry about in the future. My grandma's heart stopped beating when she was 60, and my mom has already had blood clot issues at 44. But I didn't know it was going to be an issue now. I'm freaking 23 (or maybe I'm just ignoring my adulthood?). In any case, it's a wake up call for me.

Nothing is currently wrong with me. I was given the all-clear health-wise, but I now know that I need to change things. According to my doctor, I don't need to make any life-altering, hell-bent changes. I just need to change little things. I'm cutting out little things and switching them for healthier choices (eating wheat bread and getting rid of my daily bagels). I'm using sodium-free and low-sodium items whenever I can, and I'm trying to add veggies and more fruits into my cooking. I'm making more things from scratch - it makes me see how much is going into it, and keeps it healthier. I don't drink pop as it is, but now I'm watching the juices and other things I drink.

It's a really scary thing.

But at least now I know that I have the power to stop it. I can start changing my life now, and help prevent this from becoming a serious problem in the future. I want to have a longer future than my family has a history for.

But don't worry - for now, I'm perfectly fine :) This is just a kick in the pants.

Friday, July 22, 2011

We're not gonna be homeless!!

We have a house people! (to rent, not buy, sadly). We get the keys the night of July 31st, and I can't be more excited. It's a little tiny (in house terms, it's still bigger than our apartment) two bed, one bath bungalow, but it has a basement, a back yard, and a patio. And a driveway! And hardwoods.

The only added expenses (aside from an additional $200/month on our rent) that we're going to have to pay is trash, and we'll need to buy a lawnmower. We already have things like a snow shovel, so that's not a problem. I'm not posting a picture just yet though, because the owners are putting siding on it sometime in the next month. It'll be bothersome that we'll already be living there, but we're at work and school all day anyway, so no issue there. Plus, it'll mean the house is more efficient! Not to mention, we'll be above ground, so we'll have windows and won't need to use lights as much.

I'm really excited. I'll have a yard to do more outdoorsy crafts (like spray painting), and a ton more storage to buy in bulk more and do things like make my own laundry detergent (so I don't have to keep buying hundreds of little bottles of allergy free ALL - ugh). They're even leaving a spare table there, so I'll have a craft space! Plus, Sean's dad is getting a new desk, so we're acquiring the old, gorgeous, huge corner desk (Sean's sibs aren't big on hand-me-downs). I'll probably move down to the basement space while Sean takes over the office space. He's going to have an office at school, but 2L is supposed to be the most intense year - I'm glad we won't have to worry about our living space. It'll be great to really make this place our home for the next two years.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tiddly Bits.

To be honest, not much is going on lately. Really, it feels like the calm before the storm. But, I feel like it's my blogger duty to let you all in the minor things that are happening.

-It's finals week for Sean. Thankfully he's only in 2 classes for the summer term, but considering they're two 16-week courses crammed into 8 weeks, I'm not sure how much better it is. In any case, he's currently printing off a 44 page outline for his intellectual property final. I should buy stock in paper.

-We think we've found a place to live next year. I really really don't want to jinx it, because it's the perfect place if all goes according to plan. Please, T&Ps. And fingers crossed.

-It's miserably hot here. Like, 105 degrees today (not including humidity). I'd much rather it be hot than raining, but it's still incredibly taxing when you're in and out all day at your job (hence why I don't like the rain!). It makes it so much more exhausting going from hot to cold constantly, and I'm tired all.the.time. It sounds like a storm is brewing outside though, so hopefully it'll cool down a bit. Just out of the excessive heat warning range.

-I finally bought some wine glasses! I snagged 6 at Gordman's for only $8, and I couldn't pass it up. I love wine, and it's nice to not have to drink it out of tumblers ;) Plus, it's much more classy for the holidays.

-I've discovered Pinterest. It's actually quite handy. Instead of bookmarking all of my crafty inspiration, I can pin it to the site. I like being able to have the visual image of my ideas, as well as being able to directly link up to the original page. Love it. If you need an invite, just let me know!

-I'm trying to establish a network within Google+. I'm not sure if I'm a fan of it yet though. I majored business communications, with an emphasis in social media uses, so I feel compelled to learn the advantages of it. I'm really digging the conference video chat feature, especially for business meetings, family communications, and even online courses. The circle feature has advantages that other users can't see the circles you've put them in, and that you can share things with only certain circles. A friend of mine has likened it to a 3rd sock (you don't quite know what to do with it). We'll see how it develops.

All and all, things are going decently well. I'm really starting to fit in at my new job and take a roll (I ran the office for the past 2 weeks on my own!). Our little packing nightmare will being soon, but we'll tackle it like everything else. Life, it goes well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

30 Days.

30 days from now, I will be stepping on to a boat off the coast of Spain.

Spain, people! Eeeek! (can you SEE my excitement?)

It's got me totally freaked out though. I've never traveled overseas, so I'm worried about getting everything in order. I work the day before we leave, and the day after we get back - it's gonna be a crazy, exhausting time. We're leaving from St. Louis, so we have to worry about getting all of our stuff (and our cat, whom mama is watching) out there. I need to find a way to pack both nice dresses for cruise dinner, and cool, lightweight (but concealing) clothes for when we go ashore. Nice heels and casual shoes.

But there's more that I need to do. Like....

1. Find an apartment (this is a big one!). As of September first, we're homeless. We've had a terrible time finding a place to live. It feels like no one is renting. It's really frustrating and disappointing, but we'll get through it. We've got a couple more places to look at this week, and we're really hoping one of them works out. We'll need to move right after we get back from our trip, which makes the whole thing even more stressful.

2. Buy a new camera. I'm leaning towards the Fuji, because it's everything I actually want. The only thing that seems to hold anyone back is the brand name. And since I'm not really a believer in brand name loyalty, I keep leaning farther, mostly due to this post.

3. Pack. I'm not sure how that's gonna happen, but it's got to happen. It'll probably involve lots of googling.

Okay, really it's just the apartment fiasco that's got me stressed. No one will show places until 30 days before, and then they mysteriously get gobbled up before the opening of day 30. UMKC homes, I'm talking about you. We had a perfect place picked out, but we waited 12 hours after we were shown the place, and someone had already rented it out. Erg.

Sean's finals are also next week, which are stressful also. I think he's done with summer term classes. He's reading 250+ pages for each subject a week, because they're trying to teach him all of the material covered in a regular term, but in eight weeks instead of sixteen. He's really stressed trying to get everything down for his finals next week, so I'm just trying to let him stress and accomplish things. I'm trying my hardest to not stress about him stressing, but it's also hard keeping everything up without his help. Ah well.

Here's to not stressing, and St. James Red Velvet wine being on sale :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's here! Our wedding album!!

Part of our wedding photography package was that we got an album - the promise was a 20 page, hard-back, image-wrapped photobook.We got 30 pages (for the same price!), and couldn't be more in love with it.

But let me tell you, picking photos for that book was hard. We parred our fabulous, rockin', 18 hour wedding day into 72 photos. Seventy Two. That's it. Our photographers gave us over 1,200 photos - not all of them were fantastic of course, but most of them were. That means we could choose only 6% of our total photo quota. Yikes. And then of course, we wrestled with the ideal of what we wanted our photo book to be. Did we want an elegant book? Did we want fun images of our loved ones? We ended up with a combination of both - fun, artsy photos, and pictures of our families having a great time.

So what did we get? Here's a look at our oh so fabulous wedding album!

 Our front cover
 First page - detail of my dress, shoes, and rings
 Gorgeous shots during our ceremony
 Beautiful solo shots on historic Main Street (and yes, the cars stopped for us)
Reception shots!
 And it came in a gorgeous, hard case to protect it

Many many thanks to Adler Photography for the gorgeous shots!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On The Other Side.

The past two weekends, Sean and I have had the pleasure of going to not one, but two weddings. They were gorgeous, outdoor ceremonies, and fantastic receptions (one more so than the other). There were completely different from each other and from ours, but wonderful nonetheless. One wedding was to the tunes of bagpipes - the other, to Autobots and Star Wars. They were great.

But it was so weird.

To not be part of the planning. To not be the one with butterflies. To not be reveling in all of my own hard work.

They're the first weddings we've been to as a married couple, and it was so much sweeter than any wedding I was at before my own. To have my husband sit next to me, squeezing my hand as certain parts of the ceremony occurred, and smiling at each other, knowing exactly how they feel up at that altar. It's beautiful people. Just beautiful.

I can't wait for the 2+ others we have this year!

And because we're terrible at taking photos of ourselves, here's one from our first wedding we went to!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Frosting.

Ever get in one of those moods for some rich, smooth chocolate?

This icing will solve that.

It's smooth, chocolatey, and super super rich. It's fantastic. Not a frosting fan? You'll like this one.

I discovered this lovely frosting in college, because I didn't have any on hand, and, well, too lazy to go to the store. I did, however, have powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and evaporated milk (what can I say? My best procrastination was spent baking with Lyndsey).

Make it. And love it.

Homemade Chocolate Frosting
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbsp butter, softened
5 Tbsp evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa - set aside

In a large bowl cream butter until smooth. Then gradually beat in sugar mixture, alternating with evaporated milk.

Blend in vanilla, and beat until fluffy.

Adjust consistency with evaporated milk or sugar, if needed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blog Funk

I've been in a bit of a blogging funk lately.

I'm not really sure why, but I'm sure that there's a multitude of reasons that are contributing. I love my new job, but it's physically and mentally taxing, and while I'm still getting used to it, I'm just exhausted when I get home. My energy goes towards dinner, cleaning, and crafting - though I'm not blogging about it :p. I have however been doing some crafts. I have a huge project on my hands, and I'm really excited about it. I seriously can't wait to blog about it, but it's going to be a little while. I also have another project I'm looking to do, but that's another post.

We're moving in August. We don't know where we're moving to yet, but it's a definite. We're looking through the school's housing program, but it's still a very iffy situation since we're 3 months out.

It's wedding season! We went to a wedding yesterday, and we have another one next week. Yesterday was Chris and Aubrey's - the ceremony was wonderful. It was outdoors, she was bagpiped in, and the weather was perfect. There weren't enough chairs, but it was only about 20 minutes. The reception was a little rougher though. Cold food, only beer and water (not even soda!) were served, and one of the speakers blew. Oh, and the DJ racially insulted one of the law school kids. Not cool. I'm just hoping the bride doesn't find out - I would have been mortified!! I'm really excited for next weekend's though :) (JLINNNNNNN)

I'm also looking into a new camera for Europe. I don't want to take the plunge for a DSLR, but I'd still like a camera that I can take quality photos with. I know I definitely want a camera with optical zoom, and I'd like adjustable shutter speed also. I know I don't want an ultra-compact one - I rather have something a bit heftier. Probably in the $200-300 range. I really need to just look at reviews and such, but anyone have any suggestions for a DSLR/compact hybrid? I'd appreciate it!

Anyway. I'm off to work on my little project. I'll have pictures about it in a while!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anticipation.

Guys.

59 days.

That's less than two months.

And we will be on one of these
To our honeymoon!!!

We're flying out of Atlanta, on a Delta Airbus. We took the plunge and ponied up $60 extra bucks a person for "Economy Comfort"- basically, free booze and more leg room. It's basically half-way in between first class and coach, but as Delta doesn't have first class on international flights (only Business Elite), it's our best option. 

But, in any case, we're super excited that we're under the two month mark for our trip! I'm looking into buying a new camera, and we're also looking into prepaid international cell phones as a just in case scenario. And of course, we're scouring the internet for any previous Disney cruisers - we know that it's different than any other experience out there!! 

We're planning on doing all of the areas except for Florence by ourselves - and that's only because Florence is TWO HOURS from the port. We don't want to risk getting "left behind". The rest of the excursions are far too expensive for us, and we know that we can get by just fine. We'll of course get a guide book, but for the most part, we're just winging it!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

TGIF. 5 Questions!

Okay, I've totally failed lately at blogging. Apologies. It was a busy, hectic week. This weekend my best friends were in town, we had a blast, and dealt with the chaos of my apartment. Our apartment is finally put back together, though this weekend they're coming in and making sure there aren't any other water problems (we're pretty sure there IS a leak in the wall). Luckily we're going home to celebrate my brothers' graduation, and we're taking Ella with us to avoid any problems with her. I've been opening at work, and therefore my days start around 5 am (except for today, clearly).

Enough of my rambling. Let's get on with those questions!

1. Do you apologize to your kids?
I clearly don't have babies yet, so I really can't answer this one. I don't know what my parenting style is going to be, so who knows?

2. What color are your nails right now?
Their natural color. I work with trucks people. I don't paint my nails. And to be honest, I haven't really painted my nails since I started color guard (wasn't allowed) my sophomore year of high school.

3. When you were growing up, how difficult was it for you to stay home from school sick?
For the first 3-4 years, really hard. I went to school no matter what. And then, every time my parents sent me to school with an upset stomach, I puked. And I NEVER made it to the bathroom. From then on, it was easy :P

4. When is the last time you bought a new comforter for your bed?
Two years ago. Sean and I got our alternative down, microsuede comforter on sale at black Friday. Best 3 am ever.

5. Favorite website?
TBH, I don't know. Probably Facebook, because I can keep in touch with everyone. Love it! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pride.

This weekend, my brothers graduated high school.
(James, me, Kevin)

Did you know me before a year ago? If so, you know that I used to only have one brother.

My biological brother, Kevin, is 5 years younger than me. He's a pita most of the time, and a smart ass all of the time. To be honest, we've never been really close (that happens when there's 5 years in between you). He was diagnosed with severe ADHD a few months ago, and we've become closer in those few months of him having meds than in 17 years. Crazy how that can change a person.

James is my new brother. He's a friend of Kevin's, and was kicked out of his house when he found out his mom stole his identity (great lady, huh?). He had been couch hopping his entire senior year, and consequently, failed. As he prepared to start senior year for the second time, Kevin asked my mom if he could stay at our place for a few weeks while he saved for an apartment of his own. The situation when great, and he ended up staying. I think he goes to more family events than Kevin does now, but I completely see him as a sibling. He's a great kid.
 (The whole family)

The two of them are part of the first class to graduate from FZE after 4 full years. They represent Lion Pride. They've both struggled through school, but they've made it through. They've beaten the odds, and proven that hard work will get you through, as long as you fight for what you want. Next year, Kevin will be headed towards UCM, and James will go on to Le Cordon Bleu.

And I wish both of my brothers the best of luck in their futures.

Congratulations to the Class of 2011!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 Question Friday.

So I'm posting this from the floor of my bedroom. Why? Because it's the only place in the apartment not covered by stuff or wet. That's right, our apartment flooded AGAIN. This time, the culprit was a rusted pipe from the wall to the toilet (and of course the emergency shut off wouldn't work). So my place is yet again a heaping mess, and since I have 3 fabulous friends coming into town, it looks like we'll be renting a hotel room. Because clearly, they can't stay here. At least I don't have to clean before they get here? Still. Erg.



1. Do you and your spouse go to bed at the same time?
Yes. It's actually a "rule" at our house - we always get into bed at the same time at night. Clearly, that's if we're both home - we don't wait up on each other. But, if one of us isn't tired, the other reads, plays on the computer, whatevs for a awhile.

2. What kind of facial hair do you like on men?
None. Except in the case of Sean. I hate Sean without facial hair (he looks like he's 12) - he sports a goatee that I love. Generally, I prefer clean shaven though, or just soul-patch. Except with Sean.


3. What's the worst vacation you've ever taken?
The last vacation with my parents. Sean and I went to Tan-Tar-A with my family one spring break. Now my siblings are all really far apart (we're 23, 18, and 9), so it's really hard to cater to all of our tastes at once. But we were expecting to be able to do something that we enjoyed... However, we spent the entire trip at the indoor water park. Four FULL days in a steamy, kid-riddled, sauna room. With pirate ships. It was cool the first day, but after that, we were done (but my sister was not). Yet we stayed, and continued. And the moral is? We will never go on a trip with my family again.

4. What's the first-ever blog you followed?
Road to the Aisle (and now I follow the after-married blog, Heather Drive). I found it when I was just in the beginning stages of wedding planning, and this blog was seriously my wedding model. I looked up to it SO much, even though Heather was married 2 years before me. It was SO incredibly helpful. And I love her new blog, and new baby!

5. Do you enjoy amusement parks?
Yep. I LOVE roller coasters, and the greatest thing in the world to me is ballpark monstrous hot dogs and ice cream in waffle cones. I'm not a full day at the park person though (my mom would go from open to close!) - I'm done after about 6-8 hours.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Donuts.

I love cake donuts. Love them. I would eat a cake donuts every day if I could. While I can appreciate fresh baked, warm glazed donuts, nothing is as good as a fresh cake donut.

One of things we registered for was a deep fryer. Sean was really skeptical about it, but my nagging persistence paid off. We actually got two, but in any case, it's one of my favorite appliances. We make french fries, potato chips, and now, donuts.

People. These donuts are heavenly. Especially still warm. They've got a cinnamon spice thing going on, and the sugar coating on the outside makes them one of the best things ever. They take time though. Since my deep fryer is uber tiny (space saving in an apartment y'all!), I could only fry one at a time. Next time, I'll probably break out my 5 qt pan and just fry them on the stove. As a prewarning - this recipe makes 20-24 donuts, plus holes (!!!). I had no idea when I started making them, and now I'll probably be sending half with Sean to school tomorrow.

Donuts
3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk

Cinnamon Sugar topping
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar together until fluffy.
Add in eggs, one at a time. Blend throughly.
Alternating adding in flour mix and milk, until a sticky dough forms.
Roll out dough to 3/8" thick. Using biscuit cutters (I used a glass and a shot glass ^_^) cut out donuts and holes. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
While dough is cooling, heat up oil in deep fryer or pan to 350 degrees (if you put a drop of water in it, it should pop and sizzle). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Take dough, and drop into oil. The dough rings/holes will sink to the bottom, then rise to the surface. When bottom is golden brown, flip over and cook the other side. Using tongs or a heat-proof spoon, remove from oil and set on paper towels to absorb the oil.
While still warm, toss in cinnamon sugar.

Of course, cinnamon sugar could be replaced with any sort of preferred spice, jelly, or even chocolate frosting. Sounds fabulous, right?! Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Five. Five Question. Five Question Fridaaaay

As a conclusion to a fantastic week (I did, after all, start a new amazing job), I will yet again do 5QF! I'm so proud of myself! Also, as a special note, in one week some of my best friends ever will be coming to visit. I'm super excited to have them here (and plan on sending Sean back to StL, or out with the boys often at least). I'm in a very good mood, to say the least. 


1. Tube socks, calf socks, crew, ankle, none?
Ideally, non. I hate socks. Hate them. But if I have to wear them, I will only wear ankle socks or knee highs. I blame years of uniform wearing that only let us wear high-than-our-ankles socks. Gross.


2. Was your childs (children's) name a mutual decision or was it a debate? If you don't have children, do you plan on giving your spouse a say, or do you have a name you MUST have, regardless if your other half likes it or not?!
We don't have kids yet, but we have come to an agreement on this one. I won't name a kid without Sean's approval (and not begrudging make-the-wife-happy approval, real liking of the name). It's half his, right? Luckily, there's only one girl name that I have my heart set on, and he whole-heartedly likes it. After all, there's no sense fighting over that stuff before babies are even thought of.


3. What is your favorite type of weather?
Sunny, breezy, and hot. Honestly, 85-90 degrees is my favorite temperature. It's warm enough for shorts and capris, but also cool enough that I can wear pants if I'm not going to be outside all day. Breezy to keep the humidity down. And sun because I love it so much. I'm always happier when it's sunny out. 


4. If left to your own devices, what time would you wake up every day?
Around 8 am. Maybe 9 at the latest. I'm definitely an early bird. With work though, I wake up between 5:30 and 6:15 each day, depending on when I need to be in. 


5. Have you bought your cemetery plots yet?
Nope. And frankly, I'm kinda weirded out by the thought. I know we're gonna need them eventually, but we don't know where we're going to end up yet. We'll probably be more likely to buy them in our 40s or 50s. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My New Job!

So if you couldn't tell from my last post, I got a new job.

I'm so excited. It's a management trainee position, which will open sooo many doors for me (both within the company and outside of it). I've only been there 3 days, but so far, I'm loving every second. It pays so much better (like $6 an hour better - which translates to FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR), and it's much more rewarding.

As always, I won't share my company name, but I'm working with trucks (big trucks - semis and rentals), so it's way out of my area of expertise, but I'm loving learning about it all. I love that I'm moving around, checking them in, and figuring out what's going on with each one. I'm one of very few females, and I love that I get to joke around with the guys and there's no drama (or very little). Most of the people I work with are in their 20-30s, so it's a young crowd. And everyone has their degree! One of the things that really frustrated me with my old job was that I was working with people who never went to school (and it showed in professionalism, learning style, and communication style) yet getting paid that same thing. At my new job, a Bach is required, so everyone is on the same level as me. It's so refreshing! Everyone is upbeat and positive, and it's clearly not a dead-end job. And I still get to work with people. I love it. Seriously.

Though, I do need to go buy better shoes. We have to dress business casual, but the only suitable shoes I have are heels. I need either wedges or better fitting heels, as climbing in and out of semi cabs all day is not easy with heels. I feel like I'm making a mockery of myself! Thankfully Famous Footwear is having a sale, so I think we're gonna head over there tonight. My feet will love me so much after I get new kicks!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Doing the Debt Shuffle.

Rich people shuffle money to make more of it. Poor people shuffle money to pay less.

With my new job, we'll have a lot more money coming into our lives. Enough money to actually start paying down our debts - not just paying the minimums. It's really exciting for us, because we're both determined to have most of my debt paid off before we start a family, and if my debt is gone, my credit will be good enough to purchase a house (which is also a personal requirement before kiddos).

Sean gets plenty of extra money to shuffle debt around - we're paying off his student loan and my loans with it. The idea is to get all of the student loans compounded together. His law loans don't accrue interest while he's in school, so we're actually saving money. By paying off my loans, we're eliminating all of our interest until he's out of school. My new income will go towards my car payment. Sean's car is paid off (and only has 70,000 miles on it - it will definitely last a good 6+ years longer), and we'll be able to pay my car off hopefully by the end of next summer (and it'll only be 3 years old!). Plus, of course, we'll be able to eat better and I'll be able to join a gym.

We're staying in our crappy apartment for now though. We're going to save all the money we can here, so we'll be able to buy a house right away in 2 years (um, have I mentioned that I'm married to a 2L now?!).

Guys, my paychecks are almost going to double. Double. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Question Friday.

What's this? I'm doing something two weeks in a row?! Crazy talk. It's been a busy few days, and I'm so glad it's Friday, but here's my 5QF!




1. Have you ever had a roommate?
Oh yes. In my life, I've lived with Tanya, Lyndsey, Maddi, Jayme, and Allie (in that order). And now Sean, but since he's a husband, I guess he's not a roommate. Tanya was my dorm roommate freshman year of college. We were randomly assigned together, and actually worked perfectly. We both had boyfriends (who were long distance in the second semester), we were slightly messy but mostly clean, and we had our own lives outside of our room - there was no drama. It was easy for one of us to say "Hey boy is coming in this weekend, can you make yourself scarce?", and there was no offense taken. Lyndsey, Jayme, and Allie are my best friends. We lived together off and on (though I lived with L for three straight years) all through college, and I can say they were the best years of my life. I really miss living with my best friends. Seriously. (Oh, and Maddi was just a nut job)

2. How many names do you/your children have?
We don't have kids yet, but Sean and I both have 4 names. As Catholics, we're given a self-chosen name at our Confirmation - we were both 14 and in 8th grade. Mine is Anne, after Mary's mother and my own grandmother (the one whose ring I wear today). It's also the name of my aunt, who was my sponsor. Sean's is Michael, after the archangel. We have pretty traditional names, but there were people in our class who chose things like Gemma and Ada. My brother has Gregory. The only rule was that it had to be after a saint.

3. Did you watch the Royal Wedding?
Nope. I didn't care to be awake earlier than I needed to be. I did picture stalk though ;)

4. What is the messiest room in your house?
Our office. It's the catch-all room, which houses the things that a basement would (if we had one). It has boxes, wedding stuff, books we can't fit on shelves - SO much. Hopefully I'll get through it one day.

5. What is your ideal Mother's Day?
I'm not a mother, so I can't really answer that from that perspective. But from a child's - one that was without guilt. I feel like I'm always being guilted by our mother's because we don't see them enough, or that we spend too much time with one and not the other. I feel like I need to keep a time card with them.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Religious Intolerance

Ah good old religion. It's something that's affected our world for thousands of years, and it is religious intolerance that brought along many the world's greatest events - both bad and good. Slavery in Egypt, destruction of paganism, crucifixion of Jesus (though, depending on your tolerance, it can be debated), burning nations due to the plaque, the Crusades, witch hunts, WWII - the list goes on. It happens at every level of society, in every religion, and it's something that seems to be unavoidable. 

It's not surprising though. The very premise of religion insists that one must believe that their religion is the best. After all, if it's not the best, why would practice it? Why would you believe in the rituals, which to an outsider look absurd? The world order is based on becoming moderate - if you stick out too much, you can expect to be eaten (um, or persecuted, jailed, etc). Religion is a method for an outsider to feel included, and to be protected within his or her realm. Don't feel comfortable with something? Join a group of others like you. Then try to convince others to join. 

I'm Catholic. I can nail you to any point as to "why my religion is better than yours" - but so can you. My religion, for all honesty, is no better than yours. It's simply different. I can also name a million different ways as to how our religions are parallel, and how they contrast. And that's okay. It's why I practice mine, and why you practice yours (or don't practice any at all). To me, religion is not so much about the belief system - it's about the community that surrounds it. Every religion has different people, and different communities - Catholics act differently than Wiccans, Baptists, and Mormons. We're all raised differently, we find different things acceptable, and we entertain ourselves in different ways. It's a culture. 

My family went to a wedding this weekend. The B family is incredibly involved in our church. They sing in the choirs, they head up at least 2 of our annual volunteer committees, they're liaisons with the archdiocese, and all of the kids went to Catholic school. Their oldest daughter, A, went away to college, met, and got engaged to a man. But not a Catholic. A practicing member of the Mormon church. She converted, and they were married in the temple in St. Louis. In my opinion, it's a lovely way to incorporate two cultures. Maybe it's partially the fault of the bride and groom - they made no effort to let Mr. and Mrs. B know that they were welcome to come to the temple for pictures, and that they could wait outside or in a vestibule. Mr. and Mrs. B felt unwelcome, and as so, didn't go to their own daughter's wedding. There are no photos with them and the couple. My parents did nothing but talk terribly about the reception - but considering that the Bs came to my (big Catholic) reception, they felt like they had been shorted. It was mess - and no one was happy in the end. There was absolutely no compromise on either end - even though the guests were split half and half. 

Weddings are supposed to be happy. If someone's belief is different from yours, suck it up and at least pretend to be happy. And if you're converting or marrying someone from a different faith, be respectful of ALL of the cultures and religions involved. Don't just stick your nose in the air. 

::Steps off soapbox::

Friday, April 29, 2011

Five Question Friday.

It's been forever since I did this. I've only actually done one. But I keep meaning to do more! Let's try and do this again - regularly!





1. If you could buy any car, money not an option, what would it be?
A refurbished 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 in burnt orange, with a white canvas convertible top. Specific enough for you? I can't help it. The angles. The color combo. The one-of-a-kind year model. The song. It's an absolutely beautiful car. Can you blame me?


2. What was your worst first date ever?
Oi. It was a blind date. My friend Dawn set me up with her boyfriend's cousin. We were...from different parts of town is a good way to describe him. I don't think he showered, he was overweight, and his teeth were six different shades of yellow and crooked. He was a hick, which would be fine, but we had nothing in common. It. was. awful. 

3. How old were you when you fell in love for the first time?
I thought I was in love my freshman year of high school. Chris. It was my punk phase, and he was definitely part of it. He wore Vans and big baggy pants, always dressed in black. He could paint (yes paint) his nails better than I could, and (if it could get any crazier) he was a cutter. We met at a battle of the bands concert - but he lived in Saint Charles. As two freshmen, we couldn't see each other often. We broke up. It was a calm, cool one - it was quick. Until 3 months later (and 3 months after that, a few months after that, and finally again my junior year) when he would call me day and night for a week. Threatening harm to himself. *sigh* It was rough couple of years, which is why I never had a serious boyfriend after him until Sean. 

Sean though. This is real love. I knew it before we even started dating. I knew it when he knelt down in front of my 3 year old sister and had a 15 minute conversation about The Land Before Time. I knew it when my grandpa died the day before a band competition. I was sitting by a tree while everyone else hung out - everyone kept coming up, asking if I was okay (of course I'm not okay, but I'm not going to tell you that). Sean came up, sat down, and let me cry on his shoulder. Never said a word. He didn't need to. Perfection. 

4. When was the last time you reconciled your checkbook?
Honestly, I've never balanced a checkbook. Ever. That's what online banking is for. 

And let's face it - I only write checks for rent anyway. :p

5. If you were going to fashion a "Wanted" Ad for a best friend, how would you word it?
No idea. You can't request best friends.
But, the person would have to have a marching background. It's a brain thing - it's how mine works. I need someone who has kids or desperately wants them in the future. One who believes in the goodness of love somewhere. And one who is willing to make standing dates (because I won't call you "out of the blue" to "catch up"). 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Truthfully.

So I've spent the evening perusing Facebook. Stalking, if you will.

Checking out old grade school classmates, people I haven't spoken to in years.


And you know what? I don't care.

I love the people I've met, the friends I have, the husband I wed.

And truthfully, I'll never look back.

[but I kind of want to brag about how awesome I think my life is]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Latest Project (brought to you by wedding day left-overs)

Check it out!!

We had quite a few bits and pieces of wedding lying around, so I decided to use some of it to fill an empty poster frame. The ribbon on the top and bottom edges are actually the wraps from my bridesmaids' bouquets, and the paper is stuff I had lying around. That brings the total cost to this project to absolutely ZERO! Love it!

I'm still to this day in complete love with my invitation suite. I designed it myself, and Sean's cousin printed it up. I can't put together enough words to say how glad I am that I did this. It. was. worth. it. And now, these gorgeous invitations and programs will be proudly displayed in our home.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easter!!

One of the worst parts about living away from our families is that we miss the holidays. I work on holidays too, so often times we celebrate them weird. We have so many holidays crammed into one day, trying to see everyone, and we have to drive 7 hours roundtrip for it. That leaves us cranky, annoyed, and probably not the best company.

This Easter, family is coming to us.

Sean's dad will be in South Korea (he's working on a new project there), so Sean's mom, grandma, brother, and sister-in-law will all be coming to see us here in KC!! We're super excited to host family. Sean's mom is the only one who's been to our new place, and Sean's grandma and sister-in-law haven't even been out here. We're really excited to host too. We can't wait to see everyone, and I'm having a blast prepping for it.

Today, I spent most of the day cleaning. I know this week is going to be really busy, so I want to get as much as I can done this weekend. I've done seven (!!!) loads of laundry, and cleaned the crap out of our bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathrooms. All that's left is the living room (which is mostly folded laundry), the office, and the floors.

I've also made a grocery list for our spectacular (and first) Easter dinner! We have to celebrate on Saturday, since I work Sunday (boo), but oh well. Since everyone will be in town, we're figuring we won't want to be in the kitchen all day. I've picked out super simple things we can make the day before!

Our main course will be a Parmesan-Sage pork loin, which is all crock pot, and has potatoes, carrots, and pears. We'll also have green bean casserole, which we prep the day before and just pop in the oven. Of course I'm going to make cheesy garlic rolls, but I'll just make them on Friday and pop them in the oven before dinner to warm them up! Hopefully we won't all be too full to drag ourselves to Easter Vigil mass at 8:30...we'll see though ;)

I still need to decide on a dessert though ;) I'm thinking of a pretty cake that can sit in my cake stand! Teehee.

Man. I'm such a nerd.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dining "Area" Glory

Sean and I have one of those apartments with the "open" concept - we have a kitchen/living room/dining room area. A breakfast bar (and tiled floor) separates the kitchen, but our living room/dining area is all together. We usually just push our couch back to nearly where the table is, but Sean's mom is planning to come in for Easter, and we needed to do some sprucing.

I've been looking for a fun craft, and I came across the Etsy page of ItzFitz, and her gorgeous yarn wreaths.

Um, hello craftspiration! I've been looking for you lately :p

I found the perfect tutorial over at DanielleBurkleo, and with some left over yarn, I made a gorgeous wreath. For $6. Fan-freaking-tastic.


First, you'll need a foam wreath. I bought this one for $5 at Hobby Lobby. It doesn't matter if it has nicks or anything, because you'll be covering them. I wanted a multi-colored wreath, so I divided my circle into 10 parts - don't worry about measuring. In this, perfection isn't necessary.


I hot glued the first piece of yarn to the wreath. To prevent it from slipping around, I thumbtacked the first piece of yarn down. And then, you wrap. Here's what it looks like two sections in:


Pretty soon, you have a gorgeous wreath. I added a few felt flowers from the tutorial for good measure.


And then I hung it up on our wall using some ribbon that was hanging around



I love our little set up (please disregard the laundry). Thanks to our new table runner (which don't hang off the table like any other runner, because ours is so massive), it's really coming together! Now I just need to find something to go in that cake stand when there's not a cake. I'm also planning on adding a bit of lace or something to the votives. And maybe, you know, actually hang those pictures.