Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Blog

So, I found a new identity and spot for my blog. Catholic Wedding Girl just didn't seem to make as much sense as an address. For the past few days I've been thinking about a new web identity, and though seemingly obvious, this address came to me last night right before I fell asleep (as all good ideas do). I'll be posting from www.nycnewlywed.blogspot.com from now on, and I hope everybody sticks with me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trekking around the City

The other day we were trekking around the city the other day, heading back to the Apple store, when we saw the FAO Schwartz store. Of course we had to stop in and take a tour, even though we didn't have any pressing toy shopping needs (otherwise the entire piano scene in Big would have been wasted). The ground floor is actually a little underwhelming: there are board games and stuffed animals, along with a candy store.
The true amazement hits when you go up the escalator to the second floor, where the wonderment starts, as off to the left, you see the Hogwarts store, where you can buy your own Gryffindor scarf or hat, which I jokingly threatened to do for my husband. The store seems to go on forever, there is a LEGO section (be still my dorky child heart), complete with giant LEGO sculptures, right next to the DUPLO and Playskool sections (which the husband had never heard of), which brought back tons of memories.
Through another doorway was the board game room, which contained every which board game ever known to man, including twenty-something versions of Monopoly. The next room was an even bigger trip down memory lane, as it was "the room with all the little plastic figurines." Probably not the actual title, but descriptive nonetheless. Now, I don't mean the little plastic figurines of farm animals that you could buy in the grocery store, but the somewhat higher quality, slightly bendable ones that came from somewhere else, apparently FAO Schwartz (and after some internet searching for photos, Target). What did we see on the shelves but these:
I couldn't believe that they still sell Smurf toys, and now I know that FAO Schwartz has them, and so does Target. Seeing them brought back so many memories. I loved the Smurfs, we even took Smurf vitamins at one point (my mom stopped when she realized that we didn't actually want to eat blue vitamins - I only wanted purple Gargamels).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time to Go to the Jeweler

It is official, I have to get my wedding band re-sized. In my poor ring's defense, it may be all the ring's fault. I may have gained some weight (apparently only in my fingers), maybe I'm just retaining water, or maybe the dog straining at the leash has permanently swollen my fingers.

As those who attended the wedding will know, the ring has always been a snug fit, causing my husband to hilariously give up while trying to put it on my finger at the altar, saying that "it would have to be good enough." While the deacon finished the prayer, I pushed it all the way onto my finger.

I blame the woman at the jeweler in Austin, who convinced me to go down to 5 3/4 from the 6 of the engagement band, because my "finger is the most slender at the base." Well, there is also a knuckle involved.

The fit hasn't really been a problem, until the other night when I wanted to take it off to avoid the discomfort that arises the morning after having a few cocktails. I used soap to help it slip off and not irritate my finger, and put it back on the next morning, also with soap. A couple of nights later, I realized that my poor finger had been irritated (red) by the soap under the ring, so I haven't had my wedding band on for the past few days. Maybe I'll try wearing it again now that my finger is better before I worry about getting it re-sized. Advice?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What??

I was on the food network earlier today, when I saw an ad on the sidebar for something that semi-shocked me. Rachel Ray now has a Rachel Ray brand of stock, that you can buy on the Food Network website. At first, I was a little shocked, do we really need branded stock?
I looked a little deeper, and it's actually not a bad deal - three 32 ounce boxes for $10, not including shipping.
Still, do I need to see her face on my stock?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Aren't We Cute

This morning I had one of those moments where you are just utterly content. Mine happened this morning as i was walking M out to the subway station with the dog. It works out well, I don't have a job yet, and the dog needs to be taken out, so her morning walk is over to the subway station at Penn Station, around the block and back. This morning was a little brisk, so I walked out in a pair of jeans, a shirt, and my favorite red trench coat. We walked across the street and the dog managed to stop to go to the bathroom only once and did not pull on her leash like something released from the zoo.
When we got to the top of the stairs to the station, M turned and gave me a kiss goodbye, which he does every morning. This morning however, one of the train porters started hooting at us and shouted "It must be love, I see you two every morning!" at which point I blushed.
Okay, you can stop being sick now. I just thought I would share one of life's simple pleasures.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wedding Pictures

As I was thinking about what I could do today, I thought that I would look through the wedding pictures and start putting a list together for the album, which reminded me that I haven't really posted any pictures on this, which is (was) supposed to be a wedding blog. So here we go (all pictures by Wei Han at Evoke Photography in Houston):


This is a view of the chapel (at Prince of Peace), which photographed so well, and just looked amazing in person. I am so glad we had the ceremony in the chapel and not the main church.


Here is a picture of me with one of the bridesmaids (I made sure to use one that would love her picture). As you can see, even though I used an inexpensive florist, my bouquet looked awesome. I was so surprised when I saw it, not what I imagined at all, but exactly what I wanted.


Next up, we have the cake, which I only got two bites of (downside to leaving the next day).


Here are the place cards that I toiled over before the wedding, which I think turned out well. If you would like me to make some for you, let me know. As I'm not employed yet, I have plenty of time on my hands.

Finally, one of my favorite pictures of the two of us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Hair


Here is the new hair, well the new hair on the first day. My hair never looks the same the day after a trip to the hairstylist. I think it has something to do with magic air in the salon, and my impatience with blowdrying with a round brush. So, it looks similar, just fluffier, but not frizzy, I haven't managed to frizz it out, yet.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Have New Hair!

Yay to new hair! After months of growing out my hair for the wedding, it has finally been cut into something that does not resemble a knot and necessitate a ponytail (I guess it didn't have to be in a ponytail, but I lived in Austin, and long hair is hot, and hate that sticky feeling on the back of my neck).
I contemplated getting my hair cut while we were away on the honeymoon, how dramatic would it have been to have it cut off while we were in Greece. Now, obviously, once I arrived in Greece, I had no inclination to find a hairstylist, nor did I think it was necessarily nice to abandon my new husband while I went and got a haircut.
Once we were back in Houston, I tried to get my sister to hook me up with her hairstylist, but that didn't work out. I did not want to use my mom's because, frankly, she has some odd hairstylists, that can give weird hairstyles to people who are not my mom.
Then, I contemplated having my hair cut by the woman who cuts my husband hair in his home town, until he got out of the chair and looked like he had been given a buzz cut.
Since we got to town, I've been trying to deal with the daunting task of finding a hairstylist in the Big Apple that doesn't require an Amex Black card as collateral. Luckily I found an ad on facebook that sent me to a website called Lifebooker.com, where you can book your appointments online, see reviews and get discounts for your appointments. This is where I found a hair salon that would cut my hair for only $65, and do a great job. Yay me!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thank You Newlywed Boy

I have issues with church attendance. I want to go, but I usually find some excuse to not go. I really dislike going to church alone, which I think goes back to high school. Back when I was in high school, I worked at the golf course, which meant that I had to be there by 7:30 am in the morning Saturday and Sunday. Aside from making my weekend schedule extremely nerdy, it made the only mass I could go to on the weekends the Saturday evening mass. Unfortunately, for various reasons, my family always went to the earliest mass on Sunday mornings, which meant that for two years, I basically went by myself, which is no fun.
Anyway, a lot of background for just a little bit of story, which is that I finally decided that I would go this past weekend (yes, even after the meatball). I ran it past the hubs, mostly to make sure that he would remind me to go, but he offered to go with me. What I had been avoiding turned into a lovely hour for both of us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ode to the Meatball

Oh, this long, extended weekend (how weird is it that half of New York shuts down for Columbus Day, which we stopped acknowledging long ago in Texas?), the hubby and I ate some really good food, sort of by accident (a really extravagant accident).
Saturday night, we ventured out with R & J, our couple-friends (who actually lived in the same building by design in Austin, and again here in NYC) to Gramercy Tavern for a night of good food and good friends. We went for a late dinner (left the apt at 8:30), and wound up not being seated (in the no reservations front room) at 9:30, which meant that I was ravenously hungry by the time we sat down with our menus. One item on the menu piqued my interest immediately - a stuffed meatball. I had seen Rachel Ray make a Gorgonzola "stuffed" meatball (more of a wrap-a-round) earlier in the week, so I was primed for the stuffed meatball at Gramercy. Oh, deliciousness! A meatball the size of a baseball was delivered to the table, and such a meatball I have never tasted. The meat was ground so fine, but not so fine as to be a ball of nothingness, and the spices were almost precisely interspersed in the meatball. The meatball was presented cut in half, and in the center was an ooey-gooey flow of cheese. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Yesterday, the hubby and I were out walking around Central Park (no, I couldn't convince him to row me around in a boat - because the water was scummy, uh huh), then we went tot the Apple store in an attempt to hook up his laptop to the television for optimal instant Netflix viewing (didn't work), when R & J emailed on the hubby's work pda to see what we were up to. A few minutes later, they were crossing 5th Avenue through the Columbus Day Parade to meet up with us for lunch. The hubby found out that Aquavit had a prix fixe lunch, so made a reservation and, lo and behold, one of the entrees was Swedish meatballs. I expected the plate would be smaller, with three or four meatballs, luckily (?) the plate came piled high with eight giant, tender meatballs. Thank goodness my hubby was so generous as to offer to eat one, after stealing the first one.

P.S. - curious to see what kinds of ads pop up on this post, and what kind of people, searching for meatballs wind up on the site.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Weekend Together

Finally, the hubby and I get to do something together over the weekend where we can leave a 5 block radius of the apartment. The past few weekends have had work emails come in with a "stand by" message, so we've had to hang out to see if he goes in (no, he's not a doctor or a fireman, he's a lawyer). On the agenda so far are watching the Red River Rivalry, heading down to Chelsea Market, where I will get to show him around, then we're going to dinner with R & J. Tomorrow is up in the air, but a joint trip to the dog park might be in order, and perhaps a stroll along 5th Avenue. We still have to plan Monday, because, apparently, the city of New York actually celebrates Columbus Day, so the hubby won't have to go into work (unless there's some sort of legal crisis).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Things I Miss About Texas

1. Shorts (especially at Christmas-time)
2. Produce (why are the onions half the size here?)
3. Driving (but not paying for gas)
4. Fewer crazy people on the streets (maybe there are just as many in Austin, but they don't curse at you)
5. Sweaters are always on sale (because - when would we wear them?)
6. Grass, and trees (that's my dog's input)
7. Tex-Mex food
8. Wine Wednesday's
9. Beer for less than $6.00
10. Big grocery stores
11. Not worrying about stepping in puddles
12. Air not permeated by exhaust

There are obviously other things that I miss about Texas, most notably the people I care about that live there, but it should be obvious that I miss them. If not, and you're one of those people, I miss you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rethinking the Registry

So, one of the lovely gifts that we registered for was a down comforter, but knowing that we wouldn't actually be sleeping in a frozen tundra, we picked the lightest, or the 365-day, year-round duvet. We both like sleeping with a blanket, but I am seriously rethinking this duvet - it might have to be put in the closet until cooler temperatures prevail.
We've tried turning the thermostat down a few degrees, but it still gets ridiculously hot. I think that down is just too much of an insulator, especially for me, a person that sleeps next to a furnace. I really don't know how he does it, but my husband manages to exude heat, but once he gets out of bed, where he was laying is the coolest section of the mattress.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm in Love

I'm in love with my new jeans. The jean situation has been coming to a head over the last week. My favorite/best fitting pair of jeans has been heading down the path to being ousted for a while. There is a weird bleach "dot" on the right thigh, below the pocket, which hasn't bothered me, but at one point bothered my husband, but he forgot that it existed when I listed it as one of the reasons for getting new jeans.

Other than that, the jeans are becoming rather worn, to the point where they were once a little thinner than other denim, now they are paper thin, and I would freeze my tush off once it starts getting officially cold. In conjunction with the paper thinness, the color has started to wear out of them, so while they were once a more "formal" dark blue, they have officially passed into "casual" blue.
(from here)
My friend J and I went over to Chelsea Market the other day, where we happened upon a sample sale, where they were selling jeans - lovely jeans from seven, true religion, william rast (yes, justin timberlake's line), and a few other people. Not wanting to pass up our first sample sale, we popped in and tried on a pair or two each. After finding a pair that looked delightful, I wandered around with the $105 jeans in my hand, debating whether or not I should buy them. I eventually decided that, while I could probably spend more on this pair of jeans, they still needed altering, and once I get a job, I could always get another pair.
Cut to Saturday morning, and when my hubby asks what I would want to do for the day, I answer - get a new pair of jeans. His face falls when I add that I want to look at Old Navy. He does not yet understand that I was raised by a very cheap person, so I have issues wrapping my head around expensive clothes, while he tends to avoid buying anything inexpensive, because it means that whatever it is must be crap.
Anyway, I pulled 5 or 6 pairs off of the racks at Old Navy while the hubs wandered down to the basement, where the men's clothing section was (there are 4 levels to this Old Navy). For the first time ever, I think, the first pair of jeans I tried on was the winner. They fit so perfectly that I did not need to try on another pair. The lucky jeans are the "Flirt" cut, in dark blue, and they have flap pockets, and the teensiest bit of stretch.

(Here's the link)
PS - I'm a bit confused by the online description: "Throw them a curve when it comes to your choice in denim. Arched yoke with flap pockets in the back flatters your curves. Slightly higher rise in the rear keeps all your bases covered." What exactly are my "bases" and why would they want to pop out of the top of my jeans? Isn't the problem that they usually pop out the bottom, giving you two cheeks, as Stacy and Clinton would so readily point out?

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Have a Confession

I am seriously glad that I started writing thank you's before the wedding, but am not glad that there are still so many to go. I really do not like writing thank you notes. It is a bizarre sort of torture, for many reasons, that only other brides can understand.

1) Thank you's take a disproportionate amount of time to write in relation to anything else you would ever write. Case in point: I wrote one of my final papers, which required research, citations, critical thinking in about 12 hours. Somehow, it takes about 15 minutes to write the five sentences required for a thank you note, even though there are only so many permutations of the same message to use.

2) The ever-looming "3 month" deadline. While I initially thought that three months was rather a long time to get out thank you notes, I forgot to take into account the fact that I have deep issues with procrastination, which means there is always time to do them tomorrow.

3) Men hate thank you notes even more than women, not to mention that they're not exactly good at them, and their handwriting tends to suck. I offered to write out thank you's for my husband if he typed them out, he has written three. There are another three that he "wants" to write himself (they are for his old boss/coworkers). I mentioned it on Saturday. For the past two nights I have suggestively laid three thank you cards in front of him while he is watching TV. They are still sitting there this morning. Yargh.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Off-Registry Gift Cards

The one gift that I did not mind getting that was off-registry was a gift card. We had gift cards from Pottery Barn, Home Depot, California Pizza Kitchen, Kohl's, Starbucks, and of course Bed Bath and Beyond. One thing that I would suggest to all brides out there is to find an old wallet of yours or your fiance's to keep all of your gift certificates in. This way, they're not making your wallet so huge that you can't close it, but you still have them with you whenever you are out and about. This way, when you return something, you don't have to get a new gift card. Also, you're more likely to wind up somewhere where you have a gift card and have it with you, instead of having to make another trip later.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Football Widow

I'm not sure how many of us are out there, but I think that it is critical to find out if you will be a football widow before you get married. Not only does our television magically turn itself to football from Saturday lunchtime to Monday night, but my husband is a Buffalo Bills fan. Some of you may not understand that, but the Bills have been heart-breakingly awful the three seasons that I have known my husband. That is, until now, when they are undefeated through four games - the last time they were this good was in 1992.
The problem is that the Bills were never on television in Texas, but a quick trip to the wings restaurant or local bar with Direct TV solved that problem. We thought that there might be a few more games offered in NYC, since Buffalo is somewhat close, but there haven't been any yet, which means that it's four hours in a bar drinking $5.50 beers (one day I might get used to the price of beer here).
Anyway, my husband loves football, which is why the house went into panic mode when yesterday morning, the cable box went into error message mode. Yes, at 10 am on a Sunday, the box decided to crap out after three weeks of service. Loud expletives ensued. Calls to the support line were made. More expletives ensued when he found out he couldn't get a replacement box until Tuesday. I think we'll be ok, after watching the late games at the bar yesterday, but I think Mr. D was a little disgruntled about the lack of high definition.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Job Hunting, or Something Like It

My job hunting day:
This weekend, we're having our friends J & R, who also moved from Austin to NYC (also from the same building to the same building) over for dinner, so I pulled together an order of groceries last night. I asked J (who is also job hunting) if she wanted to come to the Union Square farmer's market with me to see if I could find any of the required produce, and she readily agreed.
Even when we woke up this morning and it was gross and rainy, J and I still went to the market, we just went via the subway instead of walking. Only about half of the vendors showed up, so I couldn't find most of the things I needed, well, at least not in the quantities I wanted.
Since it was such a quick trip, I invited J up for coffee, so we sat and had a lovely chat while we sipped on our coffee. We commiserated about job stuff and life stuff, and it was just a pleasant hour. Then we realized it was almost lunch, so J went to her apartment to do job search stuff, and I pulled up my laptop and applied to several jobs.
After lunch, I ran a couple errands and then came home to find a package, not expecting one to be there. It turns out it was from my mother-in-law and, since she just returned from Norway, she sent us a goody box from her travels. Included in the box was a lovely necklace for me (I hope), a bottle of cognac, and two boxes of chocolates. Yum! This, of course means, that aside from my job hunting exploits, I made a trip to the farmer's market, had coffee with a friend, went to the farmer's market, and ate chocolates on the couch. I think I'll need to have a martini or something in order to turn myself into a total "housewife," but I think I'll abstain in order to save myself from the stereotype.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Old Married Club

I dedicate this post to a-bla, because I too am an old married. You know, the kind of person who is perfectly content sitting at home on a week night, or even a weekend night. I mean, it's nice, though occasionally one party will need to tell the other party that they have to put the laptop and random surfing away and just sit with the other person.

This recently came to light when my brother (in med school) and two of his friends I actually cringed when the guy behind us at the stadium recommended a place that was "a crowded frat party," especially when the guys practically cheered. Now, Stan's is exactly the place that I did go to in Houston before Astros games, and it is nice to just go to a place where you can grab a beer (although $6 for a Bud Light is getting old quick), but a loud, body-to-body frat party just doesn't hold the same appeal as it used to. Yes, it was fun after I found a spot where I could stand AND breathe, and the music was pretty good, but I don't know if I would ever actually desire to go there.

The past weekend was much more my speed. Friday was a bit dicey for planning things, since the hubby was at work late and thought he might have to go back in, so just a quick dinner at home. Saturday, we were invited to a "Pig Party" at our friend's brother's apartment, which involved meeting some really nice people, a lot of ribs, and some really delicious pies. The kind of night that goes by quickly because you're having a good time.

Best Show Ever

Alright, our honeymoon and subsequent trip up to New York have really interfered with our television schedule, which is tragic, I know. It really wasn't a problem for anything, until we were cruising for something to watch during the football commercials last night. We saw that our guilty pleasure show was on: "The Hills."

Now, our Monday's have been somewhat free for a few weeks, so it was kind of disappointing to find out that last night was episode 7 of the show. When we turned the "last week's episode" on, we discovered the most amazing new marketing tool. During the episode, user-created comments were displayed on-screen - it was fantastic. I had to stop uploading the wedding photos to Kodak to watch the comments, which were hilariously snarky. MTV - you guys are geniuses.

I'm not sure if all the re-runs have the backchannel comments, but the Monday night pre-episodes definitely do. To compete, users log on during the new shows and enter and vote on comments posted by other viewers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More on the Name Change

I had been putting off calling the credit cards to change my name, because I thought it would involve faxing things. I also didn't want to have issues with using my cards and having a different name on the account, which proved to be an issue when I changed the address (finicky Metro card machines).

Changing my name on my Discover card was super easy. I called the customer service number, and (after I verified my identity) they issued me a new card. I went to my online checking account and all I have to do is mail a copy of my marriage certificate to the bank, which is not that bad. Since we're consolidating our accounts, I only have one card left to go, and the others just get canceled.

The biggest problem has been switching out my email address. Luckily, gmail let's me forward the old to the new, but there's still a bit of a delay with that. Now it's just time to email all the relatives so that they can note the change, but still use the old address anyway. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Stranger in My Bed

Well, strange thing in my bed, rather. I woke up last night at 5 am and my toes were burning. I scratched at them, not knowing what was going on. Several possibilities (all so, so rational) went through my head:
- an extremely strong sudden-onset case of athlete's foot
- some weird rash from my shoes
- a scorpion
- boils (seriously, these were huge bites)
- tetanus (I nicked myself with the box cutter breaking down boxes that morning)
- hives ( I have allergies)

Finally, I got to the rational explanation of a spider. Then I realized that cortisone cream was maybe one of the three first-aid items I didn't throw away while moving, so I went and got some. Then I put on socks, so the spider couldn't get me again. Then I realized he got me on my finger where I was itching, so I obviously needed more clothes, so I put on the equivalent of mummy pj's.
Next I turned on the light (hubby did not even stir, but poor puppy did), and pulled the covers back to find the offending spider, but no go. I moved the dog and looked under her (I woke her up with the light, poor thing), but I still couldn't find it.
Not wanting to be covered in bites, I decided that the most obvious way to protect myself was to sleep on top of the covers and with the light on. Needless to say, not an easy night's sleep.

Where the heck did that spider come from?

Crate & Barrel Registry

So, the first of our two furniture orders from Crate & Barrel came yesterday, and I am still not done breaking down the boxes - yargh. We got a dining table and 4 chairs (yes it fits, and now we finally have an eating surface aside from the coffee table), and a bar cabinet. What is even better is the good deal we got on the furniture.

Now, our salesperson told us not to tell everyone about this, but he/she said it with a wink and a smile, so I don't feel so bad. While we were at the store picking out the furniture, I casually asked if we would be able to use our completion coupon on the items. Our friendly salesperson let us know that he/she could add them to the registry and then we could use the coupon. Now, this took a while because the computer system didn't update, so I suggest doing your homework and adding the items, then ordering later that day or the next.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Program Note

I forgot to mention the money-saving idea that our printer had for the programs (it could also be a "green idea" now that I think about it). A friend of my husband's parents owns a printing shop and offered to print the programs for us. He sent us the swatch books for the different papers, and we selected a card stock with a green marble-y finish.

Instead of printing the programs on the expensive, patterned paper, he scanned the image of the paper into the computer, and added the wording to the top of the paper. Then, he just printed the program onto a lighter, glossier paper. I was a little worried about how it would look when he was explaining it to us, but they turned out fabulous, if I do say so myself.

Some things are better kept private

I would like to voice a complaint that has been in the back of my mind for months, but I've just kept forgetting to write about. When I started perusing a certain website that caters to brides (I'd rather "not" say in order to "not" have the followers of said site accidentally finding this post through Google), I would go hunt around through some of the blogs and message boards to see what I was getting into, and I would like to send this message to some brides.

Dear message-posting-bride,

While there is a forum to voice your concerns over sex and romance (preface - I did not venture into this particular forum, but a particular post showed up under "recent posts"), I believe this was a forum for general, relationship-type questions. Please refrain from including descriptions of various bodily fluids; this is a topic of conversation that should be shared between close friends or your physician, not a virtual room of strangers. It is quite a shock to open your computer and read your post, especially when I was just looking for a post on finding a florist.

Thank you,
Catholic Wedding Girl

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Hunt Begins

And today the official hunt for gainful employment begins. I don't know if there is anything less pleasant than job-hunting; it's almost painful, especially when, well, always. Baring your soul to the (often) nameless, faceless hiring manager, who will look at your resume and decide whether or not to put your bio into the "I'll consider this one, when I actually decide to look at things, because finding a new person is my least favorite thing to do."

I think part of the difficulty is that I have been in school, so it's been two years since I've been employed for longer than a three-month stretch. Going to school was fun, and going to back to work seems a bit daunting, and almost alien. Not that I don't miss working. I miss the rush of going into work everyday, running around like crazy, talking to clients, and leaving after what feels like only a couple of hours.

Being a stay-at-home wife is fun for a little while, as I found out over the summer. I spent the morning cleaning up the dishes from the night before, straightening up, and getting dinner ready. I made a lot of homemade pasta in those days. Of course, even staying at home gets old quickly. There are only so many days that cooking and cleaning are fun, and as I soon found out, our dog apparently sleeps all day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My New Name

My new name is finally somewhat official. My social security card came really quickly, it was here when we checked our mail the first day we were here. I had to wait until Saturday for my driver's license to come, but both the Texas and New York licenses came on the same day, which was a relief - I've been carrying around my passport for the past week in case I got carded. I must say I am quite impressed with the photo for my NY driver's license, I think it's the best identification picture I've ever taken, and it even has the atrociously long wedding hair which, of course, is the length of hair that arises for growing your hair out over a year and not having it cut nearly as often as it should be.

So now that the big things are done, I just have to change my name on the credit cards and bank accounts, and my passport. The passport just irks me, because I had to get it renewed right before the honeymoon, but I couldn't do it with my new name, so now I have to pay for it again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Since Wednesday night, we've had our first batch of guests in NYC. My
brother and two of his friends from medical school are crashing on our
floor (they actually got here before we did on Saturday). They're in
school in Galveston, so we spent most of yesterday trying to convince
them that there wasn't anything we could do about their stuff from
NYC, so they should just have fun.

We had tickets to the Yankees game last night, which would have been
fun - we even went early to watch batting practice, but it was
raining. We waited it out until 8:30 (it was little bro's b-day), but
they postponed the game until today. Bad for us - good for Yankee
stadium concession sales.

Then to Stan's across the street to drown their sorrows, and then to
one closer to the apartment. The hubby and I went to bed, but the
boys went to the corner store and grabbed some 40's to play drinking
games while watching Geraldo's storm coverage (drink every time you
hear surge).

Luckily we heard from my sister this morning, and her house is OK,
just no power. The parental units are out of town, but hopefully
she'll get a chance to go over there - maybe to raid the hurricane
supplies again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Settling In

It's been a while since I've posted, mostly because we've been moving in. We got in to NYC on Sunday night (more about that fiasco on another day), and have been unpacking and finishing out apartment.

Monday was mostly about waiting for the movers to get here. At our new building, they are extremely anal about reserving the service elevator, and we had told the moving company that we had the 10-1 slot which, of course, meant that they didn't show up until 11:30. Then we started surveying the damage they had done. Both of the bookcases had holes in the back - I mean, they're IKEA, but a little care would have helped. I could have overlooked the bookcases had our coffee table not been scratched up all over the top (and that's not IKEA - it's a table that was passed from my brother-in-law's parents to my brother-in-law to me). While the movers were unloading everything, my MIL and I taped off the trim and the walls, because we wanted to paint. Luckily, only the bookcases, the coffee table, and our simple human trashcan were damaged by the movers.

The movers wrapped up around 1:45, so we called down to my FIL, who had been sitting/standing down by the truck on the back street. Yes the whole time (from 10-2). He's afraid of heights (a lot more than anyone thought or he had mentioned), so he couldn't bring himself to even get in the elevator. Anyway, we all wanted to get lunch and my husband had his sights set on 'wich craft, Tom Colicchio's sandwich place, which he had seen on the food network, and it looked like fun because you ordered from a computer screen then brought to the table.

Unfortunately, the one we found was 10 blocks away (bad for my FIL's bad back), and was just in the lobby of an Equinox gym, so there wasn't anywhere to sit down (even worse for my FIL's back). We started the walk back to the apartment, and stopped at a little park to sit down and eat the delicious fare. After we got back to the apartment, we parted ways with the in-laws (at the truck) and went upstairs to get painting. We managed to finish off the bedroom before we started digging into some boxes.

Later, we met up with J&R (R came from work considerably later) at Les Halles for a delicious dinner (meant to be enjoyed with the in-laws, but they had to leave early for lack of truck parking in NYC). After wrapping up with a delicious dessert, we headed back to the apartment, and realized that what we really needed were lamps.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

NYC

I will write about moving in, but it seems rather inappropriate to do so today. I feel like I'm intruding on New York today. I wasn't here seven years ago, so I don't feel the same way about it as people who were here then must feel now. What happened was more distant for me - when my roommate woke me up, I couldn't even comprehend what she was saying. We spent the day watching the news in disbelief in our dorm room. I still don't even know how to comprehend how people in New York must have felt.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Payable To: Mr. and Mrs.

Since we're moving into the new apartment today, I wrote this one in advance (and while I was thinking about it). A word of advice for all the yet-to-be-married's and about to send a check for a gifter's: have someone put out the word that when friends and relatives are writing a check as a gift, they should make it payable to John or Jane Doe, not John and Jane Doe. This is a nit-picky little detail that will drive some bank tellers crazy and that some will be nice enough to overlook.
The first time that we went to the bank to deposit a check, the teller made both of us show ID and sign the back of the check. Prepared, both of us went to the bank the next time, but the teller didn't have a problem with it that day.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New York Reception

Last night, my husband's parents hosted a post-wedding reception for us at their home in New York (western, not NYC). His mom decided to have a "Mexican theme," which I was a little bit wary of, because, umm, people up north don't always "do" Mexican well, but the party was great.

Lots of my husband's relatives came over, so did his friends from high school, as well as friends of his parents. We had tacos and beef and chicken fajitas. My husband made the beef fajitas, and I made some guacamole, so we had a few things that registered as spicy for us (because we tend to see mild salsa as tasting like ketchup), and some delicious mock-fried ice cream for dessert (roll the ice cream in crushed up corn flakes mixed with cinnamon and sugar).

After everyone ate, my FIL almost set himself on fire while setting up a pyrotechnics show in the yard behind the house. Luckily it had rained that morning, because several of the shots had showers of sparks falling on the roof.

A good time was had by all, except for my husband, the best man, and me when one of my husband's five-year old cousins a couple removed made me play "I Spy" with her. I blame the candy (form the pinata) that she was eating at 8 in the morning.

Later today we're going to make the last leg of our journey over to NYC (6-7 hours with the in-laws and our dog in their truck - some prayers might be needed).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Police Involvement - Reception Drinking

While my husband and I are visiting his parents before we head over to NYC, we've been talking with them about everything that happened at the wedding and reception. They were somewhat mortified at the amount of drinking that went on at the wedding. I was not - my family is Irish Catholic, my friends know how to drink, and so do my husband's.

The worst that happened is that my brother and brother-in-law were doing shots, so they were, as we say in the biz, hammered. They both had rides home, though my brother had the keys to my parents' car in his hand when he went outside so was stopped by the security guards/police officers. I think my husband's parents were more embarrassed by the fact that the best man fell down the grand, curvy staircase (only about half of it - and after we left). In my eyes, this is tame.

Let us review the facts from my sister's wedding that led to the police being involved three times:
1) After the rehearsal dinner, everyone was at the hotel hanging out at the pool having some beverages. This apparently intimidated the desk staff, so at 10:00 they called the police to come and tell us that the pool area was closed.
2) Also the night before the wedding, one of my second cousins had been drinking and then went to the casino down the block (wedding was in St. Charles, MO). One of the police officers at the casino decided he was too intoxicated to make responsible gambling choices (MO watches out for you when you gamble and will cut you off). J mouthed off to the policeman and was escorted downtown to be bailed out by my dad and his uncle.
3) One of my brother-in-law's relative's car was stolen out of the hotel parking lot (including the two car seats for his kids). (Not really scandalous police involvement, but a black-and-white appearance nonetheless)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Program Idea

I just had a thought for programs that I wish I would have had (kind of, because it would take quite a bit of work) before the wedding. I was inspired by this bride who decided to put a crossword puzzle on the back of hers.

I think most of us wish that guests would write us a special note in the guest book (I did, but I have a feeling that my mom was standing there hurrying people along, since the guest book's primary purpose is to "make a list of people who came to the wedding so that you can figure out who a gift is from in case you lose the tag." Riiiiiight). I have seen bride's who put little cards out and then later affix them in a book in case they get someone who writes "Elvis was here" on their photo matte (really happened, heard about it last week). Wouldn't it be a good idea to put the card into the program? You could just slip a card (with instructions) into the program, and while everyone is waiting for you to come down the aisle, they could write a lovely, funny, sweet, or at least non-alcoholically-influenced note for you, the happy couple.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rehearsal Dinner Hijinks

I'm still going back to the list of things that I thought about at the airport after the wedding was over. One of the things that I still want to blog about, but haven't done yet is the rehearsal dinner. Let this post serve as a warning to all brides that have a ham for a husband, talk about how you will present gifts before the rehearsal dinner (if that's when you are doing it). [Quick background on the hubby - he's going to be a lawyer, was in the Future Business Leaders of American (ha ha) in high school, and when he gave his valedictorian speech, he sang it** - I should have known what would have happened]

I envisioned the two of us giving a somewhat general thank you speech to everyone and then handing out all of the presents at the same time. My husband started out with the general speech, and as I thought he had finished, I started handing out the bridesmaids' gifts. I was shut down - "Aren't we handing these out one by one?" he asked. And, master of extemporaneous speech that he is (at least he better not have written these beforehand without telling me), he proceeded to give a short, witty speech before handing out gifts to each of the groomsmen. Everyone was laughing and just loved what he said to each of his friends.

I, on the other hand, only attempted short, witty speeches (I am notorious for putting my foot in my mouth in these sorts of situations). Each one flopped, although one I don't think is my fault. I really only remember two, but I vaguely remember saying something nice to my brother-in-law that everyone liked. For one of my bridesmaids, I said, "This is for K, who actually met M before I did, but luckily, he still picked me." I meant that in a nice way, not sarcastically, but present company (my family) decided that I must have meant to roast poor K. K understood that I was trying to compliment her, but maybe that's just because we lived together for 6 years.

The other slip-up was completely my fault. One of our readers is one of my good friends (who is actually also moving to NYC) who is in a relationship with one of my husband's best friends. When it came time to say a little about her, instead of saying, "J, who happens to be R's girlfriend," I said, "J, who happens to live with R." Whoops. I think I should have been cut off sooner. Or maybe just have known to prepare something! Thank goodness J had a good sense of humor about things, and it was only the 30 people at the rehearsal dinner and not at the wedding reception or anything.

Bottom line: Don't assume that you and your husband(to-be) are planning the same sort of gift presentation (because honestly, you wouldn't want him stuck not knowing that he should say something).

**his parents gave us a DVD copy of his speech, so I do have proof

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Have Car Butt

I am tired of driving (or at least being in the car). We left at 5:30 Sunday morning - good old hurricane Gustav decided to throw a wrench in our plans. Our original plan was to leave Tuesday morning, until Gustav came along. The weather people were not sure where Gustav was headed, but we knew we didn't want to try and leave in the middle of an evacuation or when it was pouring down rain, since the trip would take almost double the time (at least from Houston to Dallas), so two days early, we packed up and left.

We drove for 14 hours on Sunday to arrive in St. Louis at 7:30 that night. While I did my share of driving, my husband drove for at least 60% - 70% of the time. Our poor dog was so depressed - the longest ride she had done was 6 hours, so this was near torture for her. Luckily our hotel in STL was dog-friendly and we found out that our dog was hotel-friendly.

Monday morning we met up with my grandparents at the house of one of my aunts (none of them had been able to come down for the wedding). They had never met my husband, but everyone seemed to get along well and by lunchtime, we were on the road again. Seven hours later, we arrived at another aunt and uncle's house, who had offered us a place to stay.

We woke up this morning and finished off the rest of the drive to my husband's parents' house, which meant a 4-hour drive. We pulled in before lunchtime, and I have been vegging out all afternoon, trying to get back to reality. I am not looking forward to Sunday, when we make another 6-7 hour drive to get to Manhattan - when we will have a home - I am tired of being homeless!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Great M&M Deception

Once upon a time, my then-fiance and I decided that we did not need to have favors at our wedding - we have never kept anything that was a favor from a wedding, or, if we did, it always ended up in the trash pile the next time one of us moved. On the other hand, my mom was really attached to having M&M's at the reception, since both of our names start with M, they wouldn't even need to be personalized.

My issue was that I thought that the M&M's would look like a last minute addition if we just used the ones as they came in the bag, so I requested that my mom get only green and yellow M&M's, because I thought they would just look perfect. I found some favor boxes at target that were cute and cheap, thinking that I would just tie a green ribbon around them when I got to Houston. My mom was not sold on the green and yellow M&M's, saying that it was silly to spend the extra money when no one would notice. She suggested that we buy regular M&M's and then sort through them and take out the ones I "found offensive." I told her I thought that was gross, and that we shouldn't take the time to sort through the M&M's.

What a surprise I had when I got to Houston and my mom showed me a plastic bin filled with small ivory boxes (nicer than the ones I had picked out) tied with cream, green, and yellow bows. I was very impressed. "Can I open one?" I asked.
"Sure, just grab a cream-colored ribbon, I like those the least." I opened the little box and inside were green and yellow M&M's, and only green and yellow M&M's. Perfect. Just the way I had envisioned them.

Fast forward to the day of the wedding. We're in between the ceremony and the reception, and the groom wants a snack. He goes down to the foyer where the extras are stacked next to place cards and brings back a couple of boxes. He opens one and starts laughing - they were just regular M&M's. My mom had just made a few boxes with green and yellow to throw me off the scent.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Begining of the End

Yesterday was the beginning of the end . . . of my maiden name. The mail came yesterday afternoon, and in it was the certified copy of our marriage license. Yay! We're official! (At one point I was worried, because we never signed it, but you only have to sign when you get the license in Texas).

On our way into town to return a gift at Crate & Barrel and then meet some people for dinner, we stopped at the Social Security office off of 290. Before we left, I printed out the form and grabbed my passport (just in case I had a mean person at the counter who didn't want take my driver's license). We got to the office around 3:00, and I checked in at the computer and told it why I was there.

I remember the waiting room at the county clerk's office, where we got our marriage license, as being a much happier experience. I guess part of it is that there, we were probably in a more excited mood and our form stated that we were getting married! People are at the social security office for a multitude of reasons: changing a name after a divorce, getting a social security card, responding to a notice, or finding out about their checks. Which, all in all, means that most people at the SSA are not that happy.

Luckily, the SSA people are very smart, and depending on the transaction you want to complete, they put you in a different line, so it really moves along quickly.

Now, I just need to get my driver's license and passport done so I can take care of everything else.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Reception Hall

What happened at the reception hall was clearly the biggest snafu of the wedding day. When my mother met with the on-site coordinator at the reception hall, she asked what time we would be arriving at the hall. When you reserve the hall, you have it from 10 am until 2 am the next morning. Since we were paying for it, we decided that I would get my hair and makeup done at the reception hall, and we would need to get to the hall at ten in the morning.

Fast forward to the week of the wedding, when the on-site coordinator has called all of the vendors to tell them they need to be at the hall by 10 am.

Fast forward again to 10 am, August 8, 2008.

9:55 - My dad drives my sisters and I to the reception hall. The doors are locked.

10:00 - My hairdresser and the makeup artist show up.

10:05 - The other hairdresser (for the bridesmaids) shows up. Some guy who introduces himself as an architect getting ready to do work on the hall shows up.

10:10 - an employee of the reception hall shows up to the hall, but left her keys inside with the setup crew, that has since left, and we are all locked out. She starts calling people. Meanwhile, the other bridesmaids show up (only late because the hotel shuttle driver is a "recent appointee to the position").

10:15 - the employee tells us that "someone" with a key is only ten minutes away and will be there shortly

10:20 - my hairdresser hops into the car with me and the girls, which is idling in front

10:25 - the person with the key still isn't there

10:30 - the architect walks to the back of the building, shimmies open a window, sets off the alarm, and unlocks the front door so that the employee can turn off the alarm

10:35 - we're finally settled upstairs getting ready

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Pushy Videographer

On with the list.

I seriously have a grudge against the videographer. I understand that I need to just let go, but it seriously might take some therapy. To begin with, I did not want video coverage of the wedding, I think it's just weird to watch yourself on film, and I doubt we would ever watch the video. For these reasons, and the sake of the budget, we didn't get a video crew. Then, my grandparents decided that they wouldn't be able to travel for the wedding, so my mom found a videographer so that they wouldn't "miss the wedding."

Umm, videographers are awkward.

1) Videographer spent the half hour before the wedding at the church trying to get in the dressing room to get "getting ready" shots. Which, A) I didn't care if there were or not and B) didn't make sense because the only thing left to do at the church was put on the dress, which I was waiting to do so I could sit down without wrinkling the dress.

2) Videographer kept staging "special moments," such as the bride and groom feeding each other parts of their dinner. Which, sometimes we do, but not when we're sitting at a table with 14 other people.

3) It's weird having your first dance filmed when you're not the best of dancers and you have a video camera on wheels following you around. Thank goodness my husband decided to turn it into a funny moment by dancing us towards and into the lens of the camera.

4) I love my brother, who, since the videographer decided to film the groom and I going through the buffet line (again, why would anyone want to see that), gave a play-by-play of what I was selecting (she's got the crab cake, but will she go for the sauce?)

Since we were booking only a month or two in advance of the wedding, we didn't have much of a choice when choosing a videographer, especially when squeezing it into the budget. If I were giving myself advice, it would be to talk to the videographer beforehand about what he usually includes in the video and ask to see one of his other videos. I can't wait to see our own cheesy extravaganza.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just Married!

Here's one of my favorite shots that my cousin B took during the wedding (he's only 11, so he gets mad props for his photography skills). He took an amazing number of shots, quite the little professional. We just got back to my parents' house yesterday, so I might take the rest of the day to veg out and just not do anything.

Greece was amazing! I'm still in the process of editing the photo gallery (how many shots of the Temple of Zeus do people really care about? - we'll find out soon!) before I email friends and family about it all.

New York was good too, though we were still suffering from jet lag while apartment hunting, we held up pretty well. We signed our lease on Friday and got an earlier flight home, which was also good.

More tomorrow. . .

Sunday, August 10, 2008

To come (but only because we're stuck in Newark)

It's done. We're finally married! For those of you readers who
attended the wedding - if I didn't have the chance to tell you last
night, we both really appreciated that you were all able to come into
Houston for the wedding.

A few things I wanted to jot down before we got onto the plane to go
to Santorini (note - this is not officially honeymoon time since we're
in a really long layover for Greece and we're tired of drinking the
free booze). I was thinking about how wemetinabar (I think)
wondered where bride blogs to, and I realized I hadn't seen any "post
wedding" blogs.

Here are things I'm thinking about:

1. My brother was smashed
2. Fighting with the pushy videographer through the church coordinator
3. The "Great M&M Deception"
4. Talking with my dad before the ceremony
5. Are we really married?
6. Talking with my dad during the first dance
7. The Subway fiasco
8. Why the reception hall wasn't open when they said
9. Trying not to cry
10. The rehearsal dinner
11. The ring that wouldn't go on
12. Why the president's club might be worth $45

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Wedding Jewelry


Three days left. . .

I have been agonizing about the jewelry I am going to wear for months. The options, of course, were many: I could wear something of my own, I could borrow from my mother, I could buy an inexpensive set of jewelry, or I could rent something from www.bagborroworsteal.com.

1) I do have a gorgeous set of pearls that my fiance gave me for Christmas, but I feel like I should wear something extra special for the big day.
2) My mom has some very nice jewelry that I would love to wear. The problem is that it is all yellow gold, and I almost never wear yellow gold, and have told everyone else to wear silver.
3) The problem with buying inexpensive costume jewelry is that it is roughly the same price as the next option, but doesn't look quite as good.
4) I have been searching the Bag Borrow or Steal website for the jewelry set that is just right for our wedding. Things became a little more difficult when the traffic increased after the site was featured in the Sex and the City movie. The problem was that I only wanted to borrow the jewelry for the wedding, so I couldn't borrow it until this week, because I didn't want to needlessly pay for multiple weeks of borrowing.
I logged in over the weekend to check out the options, but my favorite necklace had a wait list. I put my name on the list and selected a "backup" option, in case my favorite didn't become available. Today when I logged on, not only was my favorite still on wait list, but so was my "backup." Luckily, my sister (the MOH) and I were able to find an awesome pair of earrings to substitute (shown here).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

4 Days Left. . .


Today has been a whirlwind of activity, centered around finishing the place cards, breathing a sigh of relief as Eduoard passes Houston, and waiting for the DJ to call to go over everything.

Here is the picture of the finished place card. To make the bottom layer, I used spray adhesive to affix wrapping paper (by Anna Griffin, no less, available at The Container Store) to white card stock. To make the crease, I used the X-Acto knife and lightly cut on the outside of the fold (but my friend Sara says a bone folder would have been easier). I cut the card stock to 4"x4", so that the tent was 4"x2". The next layer was a 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" piece of textured green scrapbook paper. For the names, I mail merged the seating assignments into a custom label template in Word (3" x 1") and printed it on ivory card stock. To affix the top two layers, I just used plain old craft glue.

My mom is a bit of a weather nut, so the place cards were a bit of an issue, as she has bugging me since Saturday to print them "in case we lose power during the storm." My answer to that was that we actually had to sit down and figure out where to put everyone.

Supposedly our DJ was supposed to call us before the event, which one would assume would be know, but he hasn't yet. I sent an email right after lunch, but it seems like the office is closed for the hurricane (non-hurricane that didn't even hit), since they have their away message up.

Did I mention the in-laws get to town tonight?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Manicure Time

For months I have been attempting to keep my nails looking decent in the hopes that I would not "need" to have fake nails for the wedding (there are an awful lot of close-ups of hands). I love having fake nails while they are on, but taking them off leaves you with gross, thin, damaged nails that take even longer to grow back. I was doing quite well, and my nails even had some length, when disaster struck.

In the last week, as a result of moving I have:

  • scraped my hand on the tape dispenser
  • scraped three knuckles on boxes while packing them
  • torn 2 nails
  • put some sort of weird "cleaning crease" on my knuckles from when I scrubbed the bathroom before we left
Stupid moving. Solar nails, here I come.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dress Obsessed?

Once thing that I am most frustrated about at this point is that I left my dress in Houston at my parent's house. I really want to try it on to make sure it fits, but I can't, so now I occasionally have freak-out moments where I think the dress won't fit. This is compunded by the fact that this week a friend of ours is staying in our apartment, we're packing, and I had an upset stomach this weekend so I won't be able to get to the gym at all this week (Wine Wednesday at Spec's clearly trumps going to the gym). In reality, this stressful week of packing will probably "allow" me to lose weight, so I should be fine. I guess I'll find out Saturday when I get to my parent's house exactly how many cheeseburgers I'll be allowed to eat. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hey Mr. DJ

Whoops! I tried to log into the DJ's website to put in some songs that I had wanted on the playlist, but our login has expired! Luckily, I can still submit things to the DJ by email, and they're supposed to call us at some point to discuss everything. Honestly, I'm not that worried. Months ago, I was thinking that I would have a massively organized list like skywalker's, and despite my not wanting to dance to the Cupid Shuffle, I just didn't put the time or effort into it. I've come to terms with it though. I just want people to dance and have fun, and if that means the Cupid Shuffle gets played, I probably won't even remember it twenty years from now. I just have to email to say no to rap and no to country (apologies to my future brother-in-law, but I am the only woman in Texas who doesn't know how to two-step, so we're just not playing it).

Registry Stalker

I'll admit it, my fiance and I stalk the registry almost religiously, and I am not ashamed about it. It's fun to see what people are getting you. I really don't see the problem with it, for many reasons:

1) if someone gets you something from the registry, the gift is not going to be a surprise anyway
2) none of the guests will watch you open your presents after the wedding, so you don't even have to act surprised
3) if you know someone purchased something, you can watch for it in the mail so your completely unhelpful leasing office doesn't leave it in their mailroom for it to rot
4) if you are moving right after the wedding, it is helpful to know what of your old stuff you can give to Goodwill (maybe this is just specific to us)
5) again if you are moving right after the wedding, you'll be able to tell just how many things have been shipped to your mother's house (after the "cutoff date") that are going to have to get shipped to your new apartment (when you finally figure out where that will be)
6) one morning you will wake up and check the registry and there will be a whole bunch of things "fulfilled" and it will feel like Christmas twice (once when you see that they've been purchased and once when you actually open them)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Am I Still Excited?

Several people have asked me if I am still excited about the wedding. I think there are really two answers.

Yes, I am excited to be marrying the man I love, and I can't wait to be Mrs. D. On the other hand, I am completely exhausted with planning and moving. I have a feeling that once everything is packed (by t-minus 7 days until wedding) and we're in Houston, the excitement will start to build, but until then, I just really don't want to think about the wedding.

I take that back, because I remembered that several times this week I found out that my mother and sister have changed a few things with the layout of the reception hall. They decided not to tell me because it would stress me out. Right, like showing up at the reception hall thinking it was going to be setup a completely different way wouldn't stress me out either. Whatever.

I do think that I am going to be calmer than I anticipated. Before I found a temporary job for the summer, I remember watching "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?" and getting all teary-eyed and weepy and thinking how I would bawl my eyes out on my way to the altar. I'm not so sure that will happen now. Not that I won't be ecstatic, I think Ill just be less likely to out-and-out cry (because I am NOT a pretty crier - runny nose, red face, the works).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Catering Fiasco

I am ready to cry. There is too much going on, so on top of selling my car, packing the apartment, and having lengthy conversations with my mother about how many and which M&M's to order (despite my thinking that we had already discussed this), my caterer emails me to see how things are going. Even though she told me I don't need to have final numbers to her until next week, I told her the new numbers and some of the general layout then said I would get back to her next week.

She emails back that she will have to adjust the per person pricing, because those numbers are based on the higher number. Isn't that what per person pricing means? The amount that is charged per person? Much less, at what point can you change the terms of an agreement? I told her to send the forms and I'll send them to my parents. She upped the rate by 30%, and somehow the total was exactly the same, despite the food price being different. I called and asked, and she explained that food costs more when you order less (should this be my problem?) and that he calculations must have been wrong on the tax and gratuity (should I have to pay for her math class?).

Yargh and double yargh.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Missed Payment

I knew it would happen. I just knew that something would fall through the cracks. I was on the phone with my mom last night (in response to one of the many text messages that I had been sent), when she decided to go through the list of upcoming payments that would be due. I told her that the only ones left were the caterer, reception site, and the cake baker, unless we wanted to increase the time we had set aside for the DJ, in which case we would need to add an hour of fees to his time.

"What about the church people? When do I have to pay S for the cantors and musicians."

"That was due July 12th. We needed to pay them $400."

"I don't have any record of that, but I'll check the internet to see if I made a payment. . . No, I paid the church $400 in March, but that was it."

So, even though I had called her after the Google Calendar (that she has access to) sent both of us an email reminder the week before the payment was due. She claimed she had "no record" of me telling her about this - which makes sense, since she deletes all of her emails as they come in.

Luckily, she emailed the music lady, who was very nice about the whole thing, and is taking the check over today.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guest Count

This post is for all of you who are where I was a year ago. I thought I desperately wanted a smaller wedding, with maybe a hundred people in attendance. Ha ha. Such a wedding was not in the cards, and my fiance and I watched as our guest list went from 200 to 250 to 300 to 370 guests (picture me with eyes popping out of my head). My parents and I guessed that we might have to accommodate 250 - 275 people at the most, which narrowed down the venues quite a bit (while my fiance protested that not even 200 people would come). Another factor is that the church is Prince of Peace, which is located out in the suburbs of northwest Houston.

When we went looking at reception sites, There were three in the original group that would have held everyone without breaking fire codes, but one would involve a large tent and portable air conditioners (bye-bye budget) being erected. The other we shied away from because we didn't want my fiance's relatives to think we were complete Texas fanatics and there happens to be lots of Texas "paraphernalia" on the walls. The third was the Chateau Polonez, which not only fit size of the wedding we might have, but is also gorgeous.

Months went by and we sent the save-the-date cards to everyone, and then months went by again, as we sent invitations out to all 370 guests (which was really 350 guests, then 20 more as the "declines" came in. And here we are, with 19 days to go, and a guest count that is currently going to be around 150, as many of our friends and family apparently have better things to do with their lives than witness our nuptials (I know it sounds bitter - shocking - but it's not, they really do, like go on mission trips to Africa and move to Madrid - and yes, they're not bad excuses, they're real, I checked).

The moral of the story is that my fiance is right. No, no, that can't be it. The moral of the story is that everything works out for the best. Even though I considered eloping, the guest count is actually close to what I had envisioned, and if we hadn't thought that we were going to have 275 guests, we probably wouldn't have even thought about the Chateau Polonez as a venue, and it really is fantastic.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Various and Sundry Items

This week I thought I would enjoy it if I logged onto the knot and looked at everything I've already done for the wedding. Hmm, it is not fun knowing that with only three weeks to go everything on the list is now supposed to be done within the month. And there are 40 some-odd things left on the list. To be done in twenty days.

Some of the items on the list are "done," but I will not check them off because 1) I am a habitual procrastinator and 2) I keep thinking that I might tweak something. Example: the guest book, which is a photo book, has been ordered and received, but I might try to make it look more "our weddingish" before the big day.

Other items on the list are just silly and I should just check all of them off now. One of the ones in that category is "write you thank-you notes," because after the wedding there is little to no chance that I will ever log onto the knot again, unless I become a wedding planner in my next life (but then I would have to work weekends, and we all know how much fun that is). Another one that I need to just check off now is the "relax and enjoy the day," because in my current state of stressedness, I don' t need the website telling me to relax.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

RSVP

Seriously. Does anyone RSVP anymore? Over one half of our guests did not RSVP to the wedding. Even though I allowed two weeks between when the RSVP's were due and the date that we had to give the final number to the reception hall, my mom is freaking out. I am just aggravated. I must admit that I have been bad about RSVPing in the past, but in my defense those were the wedding invitations that I got from distant relatives when I was 18. I think at that point, they should have included me on my parents' invitation.

The people that I am particularly peeved at are (with the corresponding reasons):

1) my fiance's entire family - the only people that RSVP'ed were his grandparents. There are 15-20 some-odd invitations with his family's name on it that we did not get RSVP's for. My fiance is unconcerned, saying that none of them are coming anyway, but it would still be nice if we knew for sure.

2) good friends from business school - who I think are coming, assured me they were coming, but I have emailed a few of them, and one of them has said she now cannot come and the other I haven't heard from at all. Very odd.

3) a friend that recently got married - this is irking me because she bugged me about getting my RSVP before they were due, when I was in the wedding party. Yes, I should have been more on top of it, but she knew I was going to be there.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bachelorette Party

This weekend I think I had the best bachelorette party a girl could ask for. My lovely bridesmaid sister offered to plan the whole thing and just wanted to know what I wanted to do. Since I live in Austin, I thought it might be fun to either head to one of the lakes or go down to the river in New Braunfels. After a little hunting, we found a really great set of vacation condos right on the Guadalupe river. The condos (Waterwheel Condos) were pretty inexpensive and were pretty new, so not completely trashed. There were two pools and three hot tubs to accommodate everyone.

I had the most fun. There were cakes and jello shots in the shape of naughty bits and very lovely gifts of lingerie. My favorite part of the whole weekend may have been the hat that I wore on the river, which my sister and cousins made. They took a yellow straw hat and added a pair of panties with a veil on the back, then attached condoms all over the brim. A very cute and useful accessory on the river (especially when our own beer supplies ran out on the river and we used my bachelorette status to obtain pity beers). A great time was had by all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Selective Amnesia

Last venting post for a while, I promise (and by promise I mean, unless it gets really bad, because venting is fun and the people who read about venting think it's funny or at least get to experience shadenfreude).

My mother has developed selective amnesia when it comes to planning the wedding. Specifically, I have two points that will perfectly illustrate my point.

1) When I was researching to try and find a caterer, my mom put me through the ringer and kept telling me to call her to get references, even though I had heard/seen nothing but good things about her. Like all of the vendors, we also had to run her through the Better Business Bureau website. Despite all of this, when there was confusion as to which menu she signed the contract for, and when she didn't remember, she also said she had not made a copy of the contract. Boo.

2) The reception site sent a form to us a few months before the wedding asking us the basics of how we would like the event set up (linen choice, how the bride and groom would be served, did we want coffee or tea). My mom made a big deal over making sure that she got to keep a copy of the form at the house. I also called her while I was filling it out online. Yesterday, at the on-site meeting, our on-site coordinator went through the list, and my mom thought that it was so great that she just knew all of this information.

Yargh

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I win!

The contest that I have won is getting my wedding party gifts before my fiance. To be fair, he has a few more to pick out than I do (4 groomsmen and 3 ushers to my 4 bridesmaids and 1 reader), but he has only purchased two so far. I finished yesterday, if you count finished as having ordered everything.
I cannot take all the credit for myself, though, as I did have help. I wanted to get my bridesmaids some jewelry that they could wear to the wedding. My sister suggested that I get everyone something different, so they didn't look like clones. I wanted to get everyone a pearl-y necklace, since I thought that would look nice and be a little more special.
Right. Pearls are expensive. There are several inexpensive sites that I looked at - the most unique designs are at www.cathaygems.com, and I liked unique, since I thought a plain pearl strand might be too boring. I started looking around on overstock.com, and they had a lot of necklaces that were what I was looking for, as well as earrings to match, that were near my price range. A few were a little more than what we had budgeted, so I was waiting for them to go on deeper discount. Then, magically, I read an article on the New York Times online, and there was a 10% off coupon for your entire order on Overstock - definitely worth it.
The problem with winning this contest is that now my fiance has removed himself from the responsibility of getting gifts for my brother and his brother, so the hunt starts again.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Google Wedding - What About Me?

Alright, so I have hinted at how I may be a little obsessed with Google and how I have been using it to plan the wedding. I thought that I had used every Google feature possible but, that is not the case. Here is a link to a Google blog on a couple that is much more obsessed than I (or maybe just more in the know). Despite losing out to these superstars, I thought I would add some of my own tips on how I used it to plan the wedding.

Google Calendar: Since I am planning the wedding under the ever-watchful eye of my mother, I used Google Calendar to keep track of appointments with vendors, so she could know which ones she wanted to attend. I also used the reminder service to track the dates that the payments were due, sending the reminder a week in advance to both of us gave us plenty of time to send it in.
Google Docs: I also used Google Docs to create the guest list, and it was really easy for my mom to update. When she input the accepts/declines on the list, I could look at it without her having to call me with an update (not that she didn't still call me).
Google Page Creator: I created a wedding page here that gave everyone the hotel reservation info, schedule of events, and other details.
Google Maps: I hadn't realized I could create my own map, like the Boyle's did, so I used a web application called Wedding Mapper.
Google Analytics: This application lets you stalk your guests and see which people from which cities have been looking at your wedding website and which pages they have been viewing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bridesmaid Dresses (Really?)

One of the things I love about having a gmail account are the "personalized" ads that run across the top of my screen. Most of the time, the ads can be helpful - if I email my mom about favors, a website that has cheap favor boxes will show up in that bar, and I won't even have to search for it. They can be silly though, as well; one time my mom emailed me my brother's floor plan in college (can we say obsessive :) ), and the ads that came up were for satin sheets, which is slightly creepy, or at least weird.

Recently, as I was emailing my bridesmaids about something, a website popped up that advertised a very common company that is now offering a line of bridesmaid dresses. This was not for Ann Taylor, who had previously bid the most for these ads, but no, the new line of bridesmaid dresses is from Victoria's Secret. Curious, I clicked on the link (Click Here) - what would these dresses look like?

The dresses are nothing new, Victoria's Secret has just grouped all of their same-old, jersey knit, slightly slutty to slutty dresses on one page and called them "Bridesmaid Dresses." I would like to say that I would advise most people against jersey knits for their bridesmaid dresses, unless you are getting married in some tropical locale. I mean, jersey just never looks as flattering in real life as in a magazine, it might show more pantie lines than unlined satin. I really just can't describe how "wrong" I feel about these dresses.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Things my Mother has Worried About

Now, to address a subject that I am sure many of the other brides have dealt with, and if not, I fear it may rear its ugly head in the future. As the title of the blog suggests, as you plan your wedding, your mother will, no doubt, call you and ask you the most bizarre question you have ever heard. Do not bother telling her it is bizarre, this will only result in hurt feelings (if she doesn't think about these things who will?), and possibly raised voices. The issues that she calls about will not be is the caterer going to provide a vegetarian alternative to the buffet or do you have a cake topper, these issues would seem legitimate, I believe, by anyone's standards. Here are the questions/reminders my mother has chosen to ask:

  1. "Be sure to ask the hairdresser if she needs us to bring bobby pins." The story behind this is that her hairdresser is going to be doing my hair, even though she "retired" a month ago, so my mom wasn't sure she would have "access" to bobby pins (??) or wouldn't be able to bring all the different colors of bobby pins (again ??). I tried to tell my mom that if she couldn't bring bobby pins, we should find someone else, since the last thing we needed to worry about on the day of the wedding was remembering to bring bobby pins.
  2. "Maybe you should do 'family place cards' instead of individual place cards." She made the point that we would "obviously" seat entire families together (I think not, since most of my cousins are of the age where they can sit with other people their own age). The reasoning behind this one is that she and my dad cannot remember the names of one of his friend's significant others, and doesn't want to call and find out.. I told her that we can easily call and just ask how it is spelled, but she's still not convinced.
  3. "Don't you think we need to bring extension cords to the reception site." I actually laughed out loud when she said that one, but she was, in fact, serious. She thinks we need to bring them for the hairdressers (I know, she's really hung up on this), despite the fact that we went and looked at the bride's room at the reception site specifically to count the number of outlets in the room (there are 8 sets of outlets and only 4 bridesmaids).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Organization, Finally

This weekend, my fiance and I finally had a chance to unpack the presents I received at the shower the week before.

Thank goodness. I was so tired of walking into the living room and thinking that I was in a garage. One corner of the room had a pile of boxes, that had been somewhat consolidated before I came back to Houston, but most of the gifts were all packed by Crate and Barrel in boxes that were much too huge (I have no idea why 4 cheese spreaders need to be individually wrapped in a whole issue of the New York times and put into a shoe box).

Saturday we finally unpacked a lot of it, ran it through the dishwasher, and found places in the cabinet for it. Some of the items were replacing old3er things that one or the other of us had bought when we were in college, so we also packed up a couple of boxes to go to Goodwill with.

The living room was looking more or less like a living room again, when UPS, Fedex, and the postal service each delivered a wedding gift to the door. Time for another trip to the dumpster...

Note: I realize that the above post may sound ungrateful. I am not bemoaning the fact that we are receiving generous gifts from our guests, merely the fact that C&B and BBB insist on using giant boxes to ship gifts.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wedding Invite Snafu's

Now for reason #5 that you need to have a professional wedding planner.

You mother should not be in charge of addressing invites (or for that matter save-the-dates).

I don't know how many of you are addressing your own invites, but I had dreams of being able to lovingly address each individual invite. They would be artistically calligraphied and treasured by those who received them. My mother had other ideas, namely that she would be the one addressing the invitations, as it was tradition (whose I don't know - or why that is a "tradition").

A month or two after we got engaged, my mother offered to send out save-the-dates, and one of my sisters offered to design them, as I had done the same for her when she got married. Luckily, my fiance and I paid a visit to my parents house after the save-the-dates had been addressed, but not sent. We found several mistakes, doctors addressed as Mr., weird family configurations (a father and son addressed as a couple), and names that were just wrong (John instead of Josh). I admit that some, as my mother pointed out, may have been from the "confusing" guest list I made on Google Docs, but others (the John/Josh debacle) were not. My fiance and I convinced her (it was surprisingly difficult) to re-address some of the mis-labeled save-the-dates.

Fast forward to addressing the wedding invitations, a duty I gave up to my mother, since I decided that I did not really have time to address 350 invitations, much less in calligraphy. After the invites were mailed out, a few came back, one for one of my fiance's friends. I emailed my
fiance to have him obtain the guest's address information. He emailed, and the guest had moved and forgotten to tell anyone. I emailed my mom the new address and she sent the invite.

Last week, I hear that the invite has come back again. Weird - until I ask which address she sent it to, and she replied that she sent it to the one I had updated in Google Docs. Unfortunately, to avoid confusion, I had emailed her the new address, so a month later, the guest will get his invite. Luckily, we sent them out almost 10 weeks ahead of the wedding, so he should have plenty of time, and I had my fiance send him the address for the website so he could begin to make travel plans.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stress

I honestly cannot wait for the wedding to be over. Like many brides, I would guess, the wedding is not only "big event" happening during that time. Here is everything that will happen in the next 3 months:

Week before wedding: Movers pick up everything in Austin (which means everything has to be packed)
After the movers come: Get in the car and go to my parents' house in Houston to stay for the week up to the wedding
Wedding day: Get married
Day after wedding: Leave for honeymoon
Ten days after wedding: Stop on two-day layover coming back from the honeymoon to look for apartments in NYC
Twelve days after wedding: Go back and spend a few days with my parents
A few days after that: Start driving my fiance's car back up to his parent's house (and sometime before the wedding sell my car)
One month after wedding: Move into new apartment in NYC

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Frustrated with the Reception Site

Here is the sequence of events that has made me greatly dislike my reception site (ladies don't say hate):

June 3: I email the reception site to set up the "big meeting" which is supposed to take place about a month before the wedding (August 9). I ask to have the meeting on June 13 (since I am planning on traveling to Houston that day).

June 4: I get a response saying that June 13 is much too early; I won't know a lot of the little details (no indication what those might be).

June 17: Having returned from previously mentioned trip, I try again to schedule the meeting, this time for June 27th. Now that I have found the perfect part-time job, I only have Fridays available to go to Houston, and I have two other appointments scheduled for that day.

June 17 (after arriving home from work): I am told that the month of June is extremely busy for them (duh) and they have many Friday weddings. I am given a list of days and times when we can meet. Of the 10 or so days, one is a Friday (July 11), which happens to be the day of the bachelorette party. The coordinator expresses that she understands that it can difficult to plan a wedding from out-of-town, and maybe I could send someone else. At the meeting we will go over the timeline, the table setting, and other details.

I, upon reading the email, become irate. 1) I could have had the timeline ready for the last meeting. 2) How can I entrust such a meeting to my mom, who was flustered at the florist when asked her opinion of the bouquet? 3) Yargh.

After 15 minutes of venting/fuming to my fiance, I decided to ask my sister and my mother to go and they can call me if they have questions.