Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My neurotic packing skills

I have an admission to make. I hate packing. I despise it with a deep, deep passion. Why? I am a horrible packer. I never bring what I need to bring. Or I never know what I need to bring. Or I panic about bringing everything I need to bring, and I bring too much. Did you know that there is a weight limit for luggage on airplanes before you get charged? How do I know? Oh, because T and I both were about .5 pounds away from the limit the last trip we took. I probably brought a bit too much, but I didn’t want to be caught in a situation where I didn’t have everything I needed.

We’re leaving for Ireland in three weeks. In my head, I know I need to start planning what all I need to pack. I should probably make a list, but I’m much too lazy to start said list. But my time is quickly lapsing so I better get on it.

So now begins the process….when you’re me, and you have to pack for a long trip, you pack for all contingencies: warm weather, cold weather, rain, stomach aches, headaches, fever…you know, pretty much anything that could happen and/or go wrong. I basically pack the equivalent of a CVS pharmacy in my bag when I leave. Many of these medications are the ones I take daily, but I also take enough just in case something “bad” happens. (Yes, I’m aware they have stores in Ireland, and yes, I’m sure they sell these products there). What’s currently on my list: Advil, Lactaid (Yay, lactose intolerance!), GasX, Immodium, Pepto, bandaids, Neosporin…why all of this stuff? Because bad events have occurred to me in the past when I have been on vacation, and I was unprepared. (I recall an ill-fated senior year trip in high school where I actually got physically sick while in Senate chambers.) I swore to myself that I will never again forget a vital medication when on a trip like that. Heck, you should see my purse now. I’m equipped for any kind of natural disaster.

Then I wonder…what if I don’t bring enough jeans? What if the shoes I bring hurt my feet? How many shoes should I bring? Should I bring something dressy? What if we want to go out somewhere nice to eat one night? How warm does it even get in Ireland? Should I bring a jacket?

Am I over thinking this? Oh, that’s quite possible. However, I’ve already started. My goal is to have the suitcase packed by the Thursday before the wedding and have that ready to go. We leave Sunday afternoon the day after the wedding, and I want all of it ready and taken care of before the craziness starts.

This is my first time traveling overseas…for those of you who are worldly travelers, what recommendations do you have for packing for the trip?

Monday, August 30, 2010


So, I think it is well established that I officially lost my mind last week. With that, I lost any intelligence I had whatsoever while I was at my work, but, the important thing is, I made my admin laugh.

So up until July or so, I had this one assistant, Tish. I love Tish. She’s excellent at her job, always laughed at my jokes, and did everything promptly and correctly. But we had some staff changes recently, and I was given a brand spankin’ new admin, Tammy. I love her, too, so don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely good with this change. Both ladies are fabulous.

This story does have a point, trust me. Last week, whenever I would send Tammy some work, as I am trying to get my work taken care of before we leave the country in three weeks, I kept telling her that I was sorry I was giving her so much to do. Finally she told me that I needed to stop apologizing for her doing her job. She said I was just being silly, which I was, but I kept it up for good effect and it got a laugh.

On Friday, I spent most of my morning and afternoon in court, so this required me to put on my “out-of-office assistant” on my good old outlook email. It took me awhile to figure out how to even work this thing to begin with, but I figured it out eventually. So I clicked on my out-of-office and went on my merry way.

It was Tammy’s birthday on Friday, so she sent an all office email to everyone informing them that she brought in some kind of dessert. I wasn’t there, so of course, she got my out of office reply after emailing. So I get her email informing us about the cake and then one going “Wait, do I not know something? Is Tish your admin again?” Scratching my head, I go back and read my email. Doh. I never changed the admin’s name on “I’m not in the office. Please contact my admin, so-and-so for any questions at (insert phone number here).” I’ve had this up for a couple of months now and it’s been incorrect. I sure hope people weren’t contacting Tish for questions. So I quickly correct that and email her saying “doh! Sorry…I told you the other day, I’ve lost my mind. Can you email me your phone number so I can put that in there, too?” Right after I send that, I look at her email again, and what do you know? It’s in the signature line! Doh! So I email her back and go “Nevermind, you had it in your email. I’m going crazy.” She emails me back telling me that I’m cracking her up and she’s trying to not laugh in her cube so as to not disturb anyone. She then writes me back one minute later and goes “girl, it’s 8/27, not 8/20! You are too funny!” Oh, what’s that? I had the wrong date in there? Oh, look at that, I sure do…I’m a week behind. What is wrong with me? So I respond to her with this: (hangs in her head and shame) She writes back saying at this point, she couldn’t hold the laugh in anymore, and I reply to her that this is my treat for her birthday. No gift, no card, you just get my stupidity for the day. Happy birthday, Tammy.

I’m not normally this dippy, I’m really not. But my mind is all over the place. Last week alone, I missed a meeting by writing the wrong day down, messed up a court order, and apparently am sending out the wrong out-of-office messages. Go, me!

I’m thinking this might get worse until September 18th gets here. What do you think?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Footloose and tweeting

It's a bright and beautiful Saturday.....T and I are up and at 'em and headed to the last of three wedding showers before the big day.  This one is being thrown by my coworkers at my boss's house.  I feel bad for saying this, but, dude, I'm showered out.  Don't get me wrong - I really appreciate them, but I'm just ready for the showers to be done.  After the shower, we're having friends over for dinner for some baked spaghetti and a little movie called Footloose.  T is a very sheltered boy, and he hasn't watched a whole lot of movies growing up and in his formative years.  I would list them all that he hasn't seen, but that would take forever.  Needless to say, the boy has missed out on some classics.  A few months ago we introduced him to the story of Baby and Johnny in Dirty Dancing.  Tonight, we're going to show him just how well Kevin Bacon can dance.  (My personal favorite scene is where he is in that barn, all hot and angry and throws his beer bottle on the ground and breaks out into dance.  I don't know about you, but that's how I handle my stress, too.) 
Anyway, suffice it to say, today will be busy.  So I will need to post my Saturday Steal later this week, promise. 
I did make a huge step this week in the world of blogging.  I opened a Twitter account.  I have no clue what I'm doing, and I still flinch when I even read or hear the word "tweet" (I don't know...it just sounds dirty to me...)  I do have a few questions, though, for you more experienced "tweeters" out there (or is it "twits?") 
What does #FF mean?  How do you get your blog posts to be those short URLs when you post them?  Why do they limit how many characters you can use in your posts?  How much time do you spend on Twitter? 
Just curious...anyway, if you're on Twitter, find me @viewfromnain.  And if you're on Facebook, click on the link thing to your right and like my page, too.  It'll make me feel REALLY good about myself.  Trust me.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Taking a mental picture

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson

T and I have been planning our wedding for well over a year now, and we’re coming upon the last few weeks of the big wedding planning. One thing that everyone keeps telling us over and over again is that it all goes so fast and be sure to relish the moments during the day.

Well, that got me thinking….this past year has gone by pretty fast, despite the times where I’ve felt like it was crawling by and the wedding was never going to get here. Now it’s almost September, and the wedding is just three weeks away. So much has changed since last July when T proposed to me. We’ve gone through so much and grown so much as a couple, and it seems just like yesterday that we were flipping through a calendar and thought “yeah, the 18th sounds like a good day, what about this one?”

This last year we have been going to appointment after appointment, deciding on menus, invitation patterns, floral arrangements, pretty much going nonstop planning for this one huge day, the biggest day of our lives. Sure, it hasn’t been easy, and yes, I’ve been praying for the whole planning process to be over, but it’s almost here. We’ve almost reached the big moment where all of our hard work and planning reaches fruition.

I just want to make sure that when that day does get here that we actually take time to enjoy it. During the Jim and Pam wedding episode for The Office, during a conversation on their way up to Niagara Falls, Pam says that they should take mental pictures of all the special moments of the weekend. To signify these special moments during the day she pretends to take a picture when a particular sappy moment occurs.

I want that for us. I know that once September 17th gets here, and our families start to arrive and the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner starts, it’s going to be all systems go, but I want to take a few moments during the day to just look around and relish the moments. I want to relish in the fact that our family and closest friends are there to celebrate with us. I want to relish that look in T’s eyes when he first sees me walk down the aisle. I want to remember the moment when the priest pronounces us husband and wife and we kiss. I want to capture the feeling in my heart I have as T and I take our first dance together as a married couple. Knowing my Irish Catholic family and the way we “do” weddings, I want to relish all of the fun and laughter and dancing that are sure to follow during the reception.

I don’t know if you all are aware of this, from reading my blog posts mainly, but I’m a worrier. I’m an anxious person by nature. I tend to freak out about big events, and I focus so much on getting through it and anticipating what could go wrong that I miss the whole big event that I’m supposed to be enjoying. Well, I don’t want to do that this time. This is too important to me. So, as these next three weeks go by, and I drive myself crazy with worry, I promise to remind myself to stop, breath and enjoy what’s going on because I’ll remember these moments for the rest of my life. So I better pack my mental picture camera.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An expensive excursion

“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.” ― Erma Bombeck

This is a problem of mine. Whenever I have to go grocery shopping or need to make a run to Target, I’ll walk into that store, list in hand, but I’ll walk out with about 20 different things on top of the items I already needed. God help me if I walk in there without a list…

Last night, while T was at his guitar lesson, I decided to do a little excursion to Target. I knew in my head what I needed, but at the same time, I didn’t write a list. Epic mistake.

My problem is that the Target we have is a Super Target. Not only do you have clothes, cute jewelry, office supplies, etc., we also have grocery items. So I walked in there yesterday, no list in hand, a vague idea of what I needed and 45 minutes to waste. Bad combination, folks.

So I started my shopping excursion yesterday with a trip to the card aisle.  We needed to get a thank you card for both of our parents and for the priest for the wedding, as well as a handful of anniversary and wedding cards.  I'm a sucker for sending out a good greeting card.  I should take up stock in Hallmark with how many cards I purchase in any given year.  So I find my cards, believe it or not all of them, with success and head off, making my rounds in each area.  I pass by my first clearance area - "Oh look!  These candles are marked down for just $2.14!  That's a steal!  I mean, I do need a good Saturday Steal this week, don't I?"  I fight off temptation and put the candle back and head towards the toiletries area.   I purposefully avoid the school supply area just so I don't tempt myself with any new journal I find on clearance or pens.  I simply don't need that kind of temptation. 

So I make it to the toiletries area, and I buy the items I know that I need...you know, shampoo, deodorant, female "stuff," but as I'm turning out of the area and towards the groceries I see it - the travel section.  Hey, we're going to Ireland in 3 weeks, so let's just see what cute little travel things they have.  I mean, come on, the last thing I want to do is get caught without something I so desperately need while we're gone.  It's not like they have stores there anyway, right?  (As if I'm going to some third world country in the middle of nowhere)  I stand there awhile, examining my options, and I walk away with a travel size lint roller, in case I have a major lint emergency while overseas, travel container of Q-tips and travel Kleenex.  It's just $3, so what could it hurt, right?  As I'm leaving this section, I quickly spy hand soap, and since T goes through this stuff like it's running out of style, I quickly grab one and throw that in the cart, too. 

Heading to the grocery area, I know I need a few things - salad, salad dressing, so I get those first.  I see I have about fifteen more minutes to waste, so I decide to just browse until T is done with his lessons.  "Oh, I know!  I'll surprise with some nice steaks to grill this weekend."  So I saunter over there and pick out a few items to have for dinner this weekend.  Target meat is definitely not cheap, but it is sooo much better.  I feel pretty secure in my thought that T will be extra surprised with this little treat.  Walking past the meat aisle, I then decide to grab creamer for my coffee, milk and cheese for T.  Do we need any of these items?  Probably not, but what if we go low on them, and we're stuck without milk, creamer or cheese?

Now, knowing we'll be having steak for dinner sometime soon, I decide to grab a bottle of red wine before I head to the checkout.   I pick Barefoot because it's pretty cheap and just really good.  My cart now full, and it's about time to go so I beeline it to the checkout.  On my way there, I see that they have cereal on sale, and what do you know?  My favorite cereal is one of them!  I'll just grab a box for later...it's just $2.50, after all. 

By the time I reach the checkout, I've already added about three other items to my cart.  Things we could use definitely, and it won't go to waste, but are they necessary?  Probably not.  By the time the lady is done checking my items out I've quickly realized that my short little shopping excursion has cost me way more than I bargained for.  I won't say how much, but suffice it to say, I felt kind of bad as I left the store. 

I swear, the marketing people at Target must have made some sort of pact with the devil.  That place is dangerous...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's official folks....I'm losing it....

“There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it.”― Mary Wilson Little

Oh, how I wish I could take that mindset this week. I wish I could look at my “to-do” list and go “eh…it’ll get done eventually, right?” You know, pull a Scarlett O’Hara and say that I’ll think about it tomorrow? Well, I can’t. Yesterday I came to the sudden realization that “oh shit, this wedding is in 3 weeks and we have a ton to do.” I had this little realization while at work, which is, of course, the best of places to have a complete panic attack.

It started as something rather small. I got an email from T’s mom asking about the schedule of events the day of the wedding. Now, a good bride would have already done this and would have sent it off to family and the bridal party so that they knew where they needed to be and when. Well, yeah, like a slacker bride, I’ve been saying I need to do this for about two months now, and I have yet to do this. In my head I know where everyone needs to be, but I didn’t remember that people can’t read my mind and that most of my relatives aren’t psychic, so maybe I should get on that schedule and send it out. This is when the panic started.

Of course, in my mind, one thought immediately leads to another and then another and another until I’ve got myself all worked up into a full on panic attack, wanting to hide under my desk in the fetal position, rocking back and forth and chewing on my hair. I started to think, “Oh yeah, we need to give the reception place the menu next week,” which lead to “oh shit, we haven’t decided on the menu,” to “Oh no, we didn’t set up a time to meet with my parents to decide on the menu” to “what if I pick the wrong menu item and people talk about how god-awful my food was and hate me forever?” Rational? No. But no one ever said I was the rational type.

So your dear Nain spent the majority of yesterday completely freaking out. I’m not doing 100% better this morning because in addition to freaking out about wedding planning, I realized I need to start planning what we need to pack for Ireland and what all we need to take care of before we leave town. This then leads me to panic about the fact that I’m leaving work for more than a week and I need to make sure everything is covered and taken care of before I leave the country with no access to work email or a phone. Add that to a girl with a heart condition who already has pretty high blood pressure, and well…you get the picture.

So the question now is….is it too late to just get a plane ticket to Vegas and get married there?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Small Treasure Tuesdays!

It's another Small Treasures Tuesday with Chantel over at My Thoughts and Treasures!  My treasure this weekend is summertime festivals.  Every summer, T and I make it a point to go to as many festivals or events outside as we can, but unfortunately, this summer, because of wedding planning, we've had to take a step back from this.  It's sad, really, but we were able to fit in one this summer - it's an annual festival our town puts on called the WAMM Fest.  And no, we're not talking George Michael Wham, but WAMM stands for wine, art, music and microbrews.  All four things I'm totally down for!  We went to the first annual WAMM fest last year and had a great time, and we couldn't pass up another opportunity.

Now, the place where the festival is held is actually in a park which is walking distance from our house, but the weather wasn't looking too promising on Saturday so we drove over instead.  When you walk into the festival, what you see are booths lined up with local restaurants, breweries and wineries. You do have to pay for the food and for the beer, but the wine tasting comes for free.  They also have local artisans set up booths to sell their products, which I always love to check out.  We, of course, hit up the wineries for some free tasting, and then we each got a slice of pizza and a glass of wine to sit and relax, listening to some of the local music they had performing on stages set up in the park. 

I'm lactose intolerant, mind you, but this pizza looked so delicious, I couldn't pass it up.  So I took my Lactaid, crossed my fingers that it would work, and enjoyed it.  The pizza slice was almost as big as my head!  It was as awesome as it looks, though, in case you were wondering...


We spent the rest of our time there just walking around, checking out the booths and of course, grabbing a bite for dessert.  (I hate to admit it, but I fell off the diet wagon briefly this weekend.)   It was also interesting to just sit and people watch.  I found myself a Plan B in case this marriage thing with T didn't work out.  I spotted a silver fox, pony tail down to his waste with some really tight dasiy duke jean shorts on and a tucked-in gray wifebeater.  Whoo, let me tell you...it was hard not to notice that dreamy guy.  T was ok with it, so long as it was only a Plan B.  (I'm not sure he felt too threatened...)
We had a great afternoon!  It was nice to just get away from all of the wedding planning craziness and have fun and do nothing for a change.  We definitely plan on coming back for more next year!


What are your small blessings for this week?

Monday, August 23, 2010

An encounter of the awkward kind....

I like to keep things interesting.  Keep them fresh.   One can't yourself too seriously, and a good awkward encounter can make life interesting every now and then.  It makes you laugh, it reminds you you're human. 

And it can frighten your neighbors. 
I don't mean to be so vague.  I'll tell you what happened to T and I on Friday night, shortly around 8:30 p.m.  It was funny in retrospect, but I'm not sure our neighbor will come back and see us again. 

So we have this neighbor who is a pretty religious lady.  We met her back in June when we had our garage sale.  She seemed sweet enough.  She bought a lot of our stuff, so I really appreciated that.  She actually came back several times and brought even more family members to buy more stuff.  She was a tad judgmental, though...several things she found out about us, she didn't really like.  1) T and I are living together BEFORE marriage.  In sin, people, in sin!  2) We're Catholic.  God forbid!  3) We're Catholic AND living together before marriage.  We've seen her a few times since then and every single time, she says "So are you married yet?"  When she introduced us to her husband one evening so went "They aren't married."  That, and when she was going through my sister's box of old clothes she was trying to sell, she held one particular dress up, turned to my sister and went "Sweetie, did you put on weight?"  Who says that?  Seriously?  Luckily, my sister took it in stride.

But I digress.  She does mean well.  I think she's trying to save us, though, because a few days after meeting her, she put a pamphlet for her church in our hands.  I guess the had some picnic where they were baptizing people in rivers.  Not my cup of tea, but it was sweet of her to think of us.

Where is this story going?  It has a point, trust. me.  So it was shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Friday evening, and T and I had finished dinner and had gotten into our comfy clothes to relax for the rest of the evening...basically, pajamas.  I was in one of T's old t-shirts and my Guinness pajama pants.  And I was ready for bed, so certain things weren't "supported" at the time, if you catch my drift.  We're sitting at our kitchen table, wasting time on the Internet when I look out the window and notice our neighbor friend.  We see this lady walking down our street and she makes a turn into our driveway.  Our kitchen light is on, and our blinds are open.  I look to T and goes "shit, is she coming here?"  We both jump up from our chairs and run out of the room, but at this point she's seen us.  I debated pretending we weren't home, but we were past the point of return at this point.  I did laundry earlier that day so I had items of clothing hung up around my living room, so I grab my wet jean jacket that is drying on my bedroom door and throw it on.  (Note to self:  don't put on a soaking wet jean jacket again.  It feels icky.)  But....I had to cover up the girls so I was desperate.  T runs into the bedroom and throws on jeans over his pajama boxers.  She rings the doorbell, and I'm the first to answer it.  She gives me the up and down look and goes "oh, were you getting ready for bed?"  I replied with something about me being sick all day or something, a complete lie...I'm not sure if I am destined for eternal damnation if you lie to a religious person, but I wasn't thinking at the moment.  She did give me her sympathies for being sick though so that was sweet, right?  Anyway, she had a question about T's work or something, a friend of hers wanting a job.  I'm not sure why this was a pressing issue at 8:30 at night, but, she did.  And it was awkward by all accounts.

So not only does my neighbor think I'm a Catholic slut having premarital relations with my cohabitating boyfriend, she also thinks I'm alcoholic (hence, the Guinness PJs).  Yes, I'm scoring points, people! 

After we closed the door, I turned to T and said "you know, she probably thinks we're heathens now...I should have just said she interrupted us in throes of passion." 

But she did ask when we're getting married, so I don't think that thought would have shocked her much.  I should know better than to wear pajamas before ten or to leave the blind open in the evening, right?


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chaos, I tell you, chaos!


Yay!  I got another award!  I love awards!  This one came from my new blog friend Cori at Cori's Big Mouth.  I knew my life was a little bit chaotic, but I didn't know that my daily blog posts gave you a daily scoop of chaos :-)  (And mind you, when I say my life is chaotic, I don't mean like Britney and Kevin chaotic because that was just disgusting and annoying.) 

So I need to answer some questions that she's asked of me, and tag people.  I'm not going to tag anyone this time around because I just did an award, and I don't want to tag the same people and have you guys get irritated that you keep having to answer questions for me.  So suffice it to say, if you read my blog, I read yours, too, and consider yourself tagged!  So come pick up your award and answer these few questions.  It's exciting!

Cori's Questions She Asked About Me:
1. What is your signature color?
I would say red.  I love red and I did go to Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) so I have to be loyal to my alma mater.
2. Your most embarrassing moment?
Wait, I need to pick just one?  Really?  Because I've hit six parked cars, and I'd say those are all equally embarassing. 
3. Would you ever get anything pierced other than your ears?
Nope!  Not gonna happen!
4. Are you a social butterfly or a homebody?
I'm a mix of both...I love staying in, but I also like meeting new people.
5. Are you done having babies or do you want more?
I haven't had any so I can't say I'm done yet...
6. Are you loyal to your hairstylist or are do you tryout every salon in town?
Oh yes, Angela is the best!
7. How many times have you moved in your life?
This one is hard...let me count...18.  Yes, 18.  This last time we hired movers because I think my parents are going to go on strike if I ask them to help me move any more.
8. If you could plan your dream vacation with just you and your love where would it be?
Um, Dublin?  We're going there in less than a month! 
 Enjoy answering and hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Diet vs. fair food

Over the next month, I'm kicking it into high gear with eating right, drinking lots of water and exercising.  Granted, I have totally been doing this for a long time now, but it's game time, baby.  Gotta look good in that dress.  (Yes, T is probably reading this going "but you'll already look good in that dress") but that isn't the point.  I want to feel good in that dress.  So yes, I've been eating very healthy lately, and well, it kind of blows.  When I have a craving for a snack, I pull out a handful of grapes or a plum, but let me tell you, I was thinking "man, I wish this were a Snickers bar..." 
Right now, the Indiana State Fair is going on.  This is basically a breeding ground for unhealthy eating.  I work about two miles from the fairgrounds, so I can basically smell the food when I'm walking into work.  I'm not a big fan of the state fair for several personal reasons, but the food sounds intriguing.  One of my coworkers went to the fair just last night, and she was telling me all about the interesting things she found there.  Now, these aren't things I'd necessarily eat, nor would I pay to watch someone eat it, but...it was interesting.  And it makes me realize why other countries resent us. 

Let's see...my favorite was deep fried butter.  Yes, you read that right.  They apparently take a stick of butter, roll it in sugar and deep fry that sucker.  While other countries are struggling to feed their citizens, we are eating deep fried lard, rolled in sugar.  Yum.  Another one is a burger that instead of a bun they use a sliced Krispy Kreme donut.  I guarantee you my doctor would totally go for me eating that.  Then you have your staples - deep fried cheesecake, deep fried Snickers bars, deep fried Twinkies...why is everything deep fried, I ask you?  I'm pretty sure if I went to the fair, consumed a few of their delicacies, I wouldn't even be able to fit into my dress.  It just amazes me.  And we wonder why childhood obesity is an issue in our country? 

I'm not trying to slam the fair here, by no means, but what I don't seem to understand is how we can create an even worse food every year.  It's like we try to one up the fattiest thing would could possibly dream up, and say "yes, this sounds like a great idea!"  Oh, I did forget the chocolate covered bacon.  Now that one is intriguing to me.  It sounds disgusting, but what if it's oh-so-good. 

It's things like this that make sticking to my diet hard.  Well, not hard, but it sure frustrates the whole point of a diet, doesn't it? 

What's the weirdest fair food you've heard of?  Was it actually good?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Under pressure...

Stress management:  a topic I struggle with on a daily basis, a subject I actually took as a course in college and earned a B minus in, mind you. (Yes, I got a B minus in a class called "stress management."  How does one manage this?)  I'll tell you...you have to be me.  I'm at a constant state of stress.  I'm the girl who was tested for an ulcer at the young age of nine years old because of my anxiety.  I'm the one who worries about everything.  This does not bode well for my current situation, let me tell you. 
Today finds me in a termination of parental rights trial.  While I'm ready and I've prepared the hell out of it, it's still always a situation that brings a bit of anxiety, no matter how ready you are.  Before each trial, I try to go to our church's Adoration Chapel and pray for peace, patience and wisdom before a tough trial.  It gives me a sense of calm and brings me back to my center before a tough day.  This week, I feel like I could have gone to the Adoration Chapel on a daily basis. 

The tough thing is when you're juggling too many balls at one time:  wedding planning, work stress, money stress, family stress, etc.  It's hard to handle it all, to give each the effort and time that it so desperately deserves.  For the past few months, I have been doing a pretty decent job of doing this, but over the past week, a few of these "balls" have started to fall.  I can't do it all. 

Luckily, I have T, my anchor, to be there for me when I need him the most.  I can call him after a horrendous morning in court and cry to him.  I can vent to him about wedding pressure.  I can lay my head on his shoulder when I'm so tired I can't take much more of it.  However, it's too bad I can't carry him in my pocket at all times for when I need him the most.  Kind of like a "T in my pocket."  That would make my days so much easier.

I know I need to find better ways to manage my stress and keep things in balance.  I know that I shouldn't let myself get to the point where I was yesterday where I could feel the stress tightening my chest, where it was physically taking its toll on me.  When you have a heart condition like I do, you kind of have no choice but to find ways to deal with it.  However, I'm struggling with finding the time to find ways to manage my stress.  How do all of you do it?  What techniques work best for you.

I know that I'm not alone in struggling with stress and anxiety, and I know that my problems pale in comparison to those of others.  I see this on a daily basis when I read about children and families in horrible situations, near poverty or facing abuse and neglect.  I wish that I could keep that in perspective when I have those moments where I feel I cannot take any more.  However, I know I'm not perfect and that this is a constant struggle I must face. 

I know I'm normally your lighthearted Nain with a joke here and anecdote there, and I promise to come back Friday with all that and more.  But for now, I need to get this off my chest.

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can't change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One more month

One month from today....
One month from today, I will be waking up alone in my bed, because T will have spent the night at the hotel after rehearsal dinner...

One month from today, I will be waking up with the realization that in just a few short hours, I will be getting married to my best friend and the love of my life...

One month from today, I will likely not eat a thing for breakfast and will be barely able to stomach my coffee, as is typical for me when I have a big event...

One month from today, I will be heading to the hair salon with my bridesmaids to get ready for the big day...

One month from today, I will likely be sitting there, with anxious knots in my stomach, watching the girls get their hair done and wish that time would go by just a little bit quicker and that 2:00 p.m. would be there...

One month from today, I will be sitting in my seat, watching my hairdresser tease, comb and curl my hair in a fog of hairspray...

One month from today, I will be sitting there, thinking about what T is doing and what he is thinking this very second, wondering how he is feeling, too...

One month from today, I will be putting on my makeup, with the help of my sister, of course, as I will be too nervous to actually apply mascara and eyeliner without poking myself in the eye....

One month from today, I will be heading with my bridesmaids to the church, entering in our designated entrance, making sure we don't run into T...

One month from today, I will be slipping on my wedding dress, making sure everything is perfect and ready to go for pictures...

One month from today, I will be posing for pictures with my family and bridesmaids in the church, trying my best to smile naturally and not look like a total goof ball....

One month from today, I will be sneaking back into the bride's room, anxiously awaiting the time to hit 2:00 p.m....

One month from today, I will be hugging my bridesmaids and flower girls before we head out of the bride's room and towards the church...

One month from today, I will be grasping my father's arm tightly, excited with anticipation but also a bundle of nerves...
One month from today, I will kiss my father on the cheek, tell him that I love him and jokingly ask him to make sure I don't fall down as we walk down the aisle...

One month from today, I will hear music playing from the church and will let my father pull my veil over my face and take a deep breath, reminding myself to breath...

One month from today, the church doors will open, and I will step to the back of the aisle, waiting for my cue to start walking...

One month from today, I will be focused on one thing and one thing only, as I make my way down the aisle - I will be focused on the look in T's eyes. All of my nerves, all of my butterflies will fade away as I have been anxiously waiting for this one moment, the moment where I say "I do" and begin my future with the man I love, my soul mate, and my best friend.

One month from today will be the happiest day of my life, and I couldn't be more excited. I only wish that day were today.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Small Treasures Tuesday

It's Tuesday!  One day closer to the weekend and also Small Treasure Tuesdays with Chantel.  My treasure this week is my best friend, my one and only, T.  I would actually say he is a big treasure in my life because I feel blessed to have him in my life every single day.  Tomorrow will be marking the one month point until our wedding, and I truly feel blessed to have him by my side.  Throughout all of this madness, he has been there for me.  God knows it hasn't been easy, but he's always my biggest fan and my support when I need him the most.
These past few weeks have been particularly stressful with work, money, some crises in my family, and wedding planning.  I've been teetering on the brink of completely losing it, and T is always there for me, whether it be through a hug, some chocolate or a joke to make me laugh.  I can always depend on him. 
You probably didn't get this from his guest post, but T's a bit of a goofball...I think that's why we get along so well.  When we first met, he wasn't exactly the talkative one in our relationship, but that's just because he can come across as shy.   However, as we've gotten closer and closer, he's definitely become the talkative one in our relationship. Some days I can't get him to stop.  I have to admit, sometimes I'm not always listening to him rambling, but when I do, it's always interesting what he's saying.  Take this conversation for example:
While watching Cake Boss last night on TLC, Buddy was making a wedding cake for these two grooms.  It was an awesome cake, as most of his cakes always are, and Buddy was talking about how in love these two guys are.  Without going into detail, let's just say that T and I support the equal right to marry no matter what your sexual preference may be.  So I had to stop and do a double take when I hear T say this:
"You know, if I were gay, I'd want to be married, too."  (T to me)
I'm not sure if heard him right so I go "what?" 
"Yeah, but I'd have to find the right guy.  I wouldn't want to end up with some douche." 
I wish I could say this was the only time he said this during the show, but sadly, he repeated himself at least two more times, as is typical in T's conversations.  See, if you don't acknowledge his statement, he'll assume you didn't hear it and will repeat it until you do acknowledge it.  This is why I love him.  Whether he realizes it or not, he never ceases to make me smile or laugh. 
He may be a goofball, but he's my goofball. 


Monday, August 16, 2010

The world of online dating

Last week, I participated in a rather interesting discussion, started by Erin at Life of Ann James on Blog Frog, about online dating. She was posing a question since one of her friends is looking into online dating, and she wanted to know the pros and cons of the whole thing. Having dealt with online dating in my past, I gave a little input, but as we started conversing back and forth, I realized, "Man, I have a lot to say on this topic! Maybe I should write a post on it!"

As you all probably know (or some of you may not know), I met my husband-to-be on an online dating site, Catholicmatch.com.  Side note:  I hate telling people that because I worry that we'll get judged for meeting each other online. There is a stigma of "oh, so you couldn't meet a man on your own, you had to resort to the Internet out of desperation?" kind of thing that is oftentimes, and unfairly so, associated with online dating. My response is that it's no different than meeting a total stranger through a set up with friends or at a bar. In fact, in online dating, you get the chance to really get to know the person before you even meet him or her. You just have to be smart about it and be realistic. Just because you signed up for eharmony, and the commercials guarantee you a perfect match does not necessarily mean you will find that perfect person. Sometimes it's all a matter of luck and timing.

I've had several encounters with online dating, I'm afraid to admit. It started in law school when I joined match.com. Actually I've been on match several times, but this was the first time. I did date a guy on there for awhile (a little shy of 8 months). He was alright, kind of weird, a little clingy and cried a lot. Definitely not my type. (I'm not into criers.)  So it wasn't a match made in heaven. I did try match.com again post-law school. I met two different guys there. The first one was a total player. I thought he was one of those really sweet funny guys but nope, it turns out he was out for that one thing most guys are out for. (Try and guess what that is...)  So yeah...that didn't work out. The second guy, I wasn't completely sold on when I met him, but I gave him a chance mostly because I wasn't getting too many bites. The ones I were getting were from guys who saw I was an attorney and thought "Cha-ching!" in their minds. I was with this guy for 8 months, and things were....ok. We said we loved each other, but now that I know what REAL love is like, it's hard to compare that to how I feel now.  BUT, it turns out he was still on match.com while we were together and still talking with other girls. I had no clue, and when I did find out, it broke my heart.  Lesson to learn from match.com...some of those people on there are totally NOT single. Some are just jerks. Enough said.

Fed up with that, I tried myspace for awhile. I didn't outwardly try it or use it as a means to find a man, but someone emailed me on myspace and I thought "why not?" This one was a real smooth talker...thought a whole lot of himself and thought the whole world should, too. Turns out myspace is also a breeding ground for the stalker/crazy types. Maybe not all of them, but in my case...yes, yes he was. A month into dating, I figured this out, a little too late, but I figured it out. I quickly deleted that myspace account because, yeah, I don't need any more crazies in my life. I have enough, thank you.

I have had friends try the eharmony site, some with success, some not. The trick about that is you have to fill out an eharmony profile to find compatible matches. They do ask a lot of questions about your ideal mate, and personally, I'm not sure I know how to answer that question. Up until I met T, I didn't really have an ideal mate in mind. There wasn't a blank for "someone who isn't like the other losers I dated?" So if you don't answer the questions correctly you may or may not get matched up with people who really don't match your personality. It's a tough one. But that isn't to say the site isn't without success. It's a little more reputable, in my opinion, than others. 

I chose the Catholicmatch.com site because my faith is something that is very important to me, and honestly, I wanted to find someone who shared my values and beliefs and was just an all-around good guy. That, and I have to be honest when I say I thought for sure I'd find a lot less creepy stalker guys on this site than others. I was totally right, too. The guys on this site were a lot nicer, more sincere and really genuinely looking for a life partner rather than just another conquest.

All of this being said, a lot of what you put into online dating really revolves around judgment. Don't take someone at face value. Don't assume that everything they tell you at first or on their profile is the real truth.  Really get to know them before you let them in, because what they say about themselves online quite possibly could just be for show. Also, a lot of it truly does have to do with timing. T and I happened to join the site within weeks of each other. Had one of us joined at a different point in time, we would never have met. It was purely chance, or fate, if you will. And, please, take it slow. T and I communicated via email for about a month and then phone conversation for 2 weeks before we met at a neutral location, in broad daylight and during the week. We were smart about it, and it really worked out for us in the end.

So, if you are thinking about online dating, I say go for it! Definitely research your options and think about what you want to get out of it, but it can be an excellent resource for those of us who aren't about trolling the bars to meet a guy and don't just have a whole slew of guy friends at our beck and call. Also, please try to think a little higher of yourself when starting out.  Don't think that just because you can't find any matches the first few weeks/months you do it that you should just take the first thing that comes along.  Really look for quality first.  Some of my tips may not apply to you, but from someone who got a whole lot out of the experience, I say the most important thing is to go with your gut. And be careful, too! (that's the maternal instinct in me, sorry)

So thanks, Erin, for inspiring me to talk about this and for a lively discussion on Blog Frog!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kreative Blogger Award

I feel so honored...I've been dubbed a "Kreative Blogger!"  It's so creative, that they've spelled it with a K!  Thank you to Chantel at My Thoughts and Treasures for honoring me with this cute award. 
I totally don't consider myself a "kreativ" or creative blogger by any means.  I always felt like that title goes more towards those bloggers who do cool crafts, make awesome etsy shop things, and those who are just generally...well, creative.  The lawyer in me doesn't find myself to be creative in the slightest.  So I was definitely surprised when Chantel sent this to me.  Very awesome.
So awards do not go without rules, and it's always good to pay it forward, too, so here are the rules:
1.  Post the award.
2. Thank and mention the person who gave you the award.
3.Pass the award to seven bloggers whom you think embody the spirit of the Kreativ Blogger Award.
4. Name seven things about yourself that others don't know.
5.Don’t forget to notify your seven Kreativ Bloggers about their AWARD and post links to their blogs.
Seven Kreativ Bloggers:
1.  Megan @ Best of Fates - She cracks me up and can put a funny spin on anything.  I always love reading what she has to say on a daily basis.
2. Erin @ Life of Ann James - I came across her blog through Blog Frog, and so far I've loved what I'm reading - definitely check her out, too!
3.  Bink @ Wicked Sweet Tea - I've recently discovered her blog, too, and aside from our shared work in the law and love of wine and shopping, I love her sense of humor.  She cracks me up!
4.  Cori @ Cori's Big Mouth - I've also recently discovered Cori and have quickly become a follower.  I love her posts and the cute cute pictures of the kiddos she nannies.
5.  Chloe @ My New Life as a Housewife - Not only was she my second facebook follower (after T who was my first), she also rocks and I love her blog so check her out.  She, too, is in the throes of wedding planning.
6.  Erin @ Oh Honestly Erin - Erin cracks me up.  She definitely embodies "kreativ-ness" at its finest.  Definitely check her out.
7.  Life of a Doctor's Wife - I love her posts, because she always puts things in perspective for me when it comes to love and marriage.  That and she shares my fear of all spiders/bugs, irrational though it may be. 
Ok so things about me...
Seven things you don't know about me: 
1.  I get bored easily.  I think I've developed A.D.D. in my old age, but I can't keep focus on one thing for too long.
2.  You all may know by now that I'm a terrible parker, but...I do have a bit of road frustration (I don't say rage because that sounds mean, but I have been known to curse on occasions)
3.  I'm scared of pigeons.
4.  I microwave everything I make, even after it just came out of the oven.  Never fails.  No matter how hot the food item is, I will nuke it.  T thinks I'm crazy, but I just like really warm food. 
5.  I used to have a southern accent.  I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, but I've lived in Indiana for 15 years or so.  It's faded away with the years, but when I was a kiddo, I had one strong accent. 
6.  I love Winnie the Pooh.  I had a ton of them in high school, but they were all given to me by an ex-boyfriend so I got rid of them after we broke up.  T's slowly replacing my stuff, the most recent being an Easter Winnie the Pooh.  So cute!
7.  I love candles.  I must be burning a candle in my house at all times when I'm home.  No, I'm not a pyro.  I just really like the smell of a good candle.
Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!  I'm watching some Indianapolis Colts football currently - Go Colts!  Go check out these bloggers, too!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Steals: I love Target

Like many red-blooded Americans, I have a love for Target, an undying love that burns like a flame deep within my soul.  Target calls me like a Siren in the night.  I can't help it.  I can't leave that store without spending at least $50.  It never fails.  I'll have a list, I know what I need to get, but then I pass a clearance rack or an end of an aisle with things marked down, and I just have to buy a little extra.  I think that's their ploy, if you ask me.
This week's Saturday Steals, brought to you by Camille at Archives of Our Lives comes from a Target shopping trip I had the other day.  One thing I always do when I go to Target, aside from checking out the Dollar Spot, is to browse the purses and jewelry.  I love costume jewelry, especially cheap costume jewelry.  Target always has the best deals if you know where to look.  I always hit up the clearance purse area because they also always hang up jewelry there, too, that has been marked down majorly.  This last Thursday was no exception:
Aren't these adorable?  The necklace only cost me about $3.00, and the earrings were some really odd price like $1.84.  For $1.84, it would be a crime not to buy them.  And for those prices I don't have buyer's remorse at all.
Oh, Target, you never disappoint me...

Check out the other steals at Archives of our Lives!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Racing Against Domestic Violence

Tomorrow morning, T and I will be getting up bright and early and heading out in the heat and humidity to race against domestic violence.   We will be running/walking (T will be running, I will be walking) in a 5k race on the campus of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in downtown Indianapolis that annually is held to raise money to support awareness against domestic violence.   Despite the early time and the muggy conditions, I couldn't be happier to participate in this race. 
This cause is one that is very close to my heart for several reasons.  Without going into details, I will just suffice it to say I that several people who are close to my heart have been affected by domestic abuse, both physical and emotional abuse.  Further, as an attorney for the Department of Child Services, I run into this issue on a daily basis.  In my cases I see a series of different types of neglect and abuse - child born testing positive for drugs, parents addicted to drugs, deplorable living conditions, etc.  But the ones that really touch me and affect me are the ones involving domestic violence and sexual abuse.  These are the cases that I have a truly difficult time not bringing home with me, the ones where it breaks my heart to hear about these women and children involved in such horrific situations.  It breaks my heart even more when the women don't recognize the abusive relationship until it is too late.  While there are many who are fully aware of the issue of domestic abuse, there are many still out there who don't recognize the signs, don't know their options, and don't comprehend the consequences of staying in these toxic relationships.  So it means a lot to me to take part in a public event that outwardly opposes such a tragic issue.  I only wish I could do more.  
A fellow blogger friend of mine, Suzie, has dedicated her blog towards educating others about domestic violence.  She appropriately titles her blog "I Married a Moron and Survived."  Calling these perpetrators "morons," in my mind is quite an appropriate description but also one that is much nicer than it could be in describing perpetrators of such violence.  I encourage you to visit her blog and read her story as well.  It's an inspiration to all who have been touch by domestic abuse, and I fully support her in her quest to educate everyone about these "morons" and inform everyone about what options and resources are out there for the victims.  
So tomorrow morning,   as I drag my tired self out of bed, get dressed in my workout gear and head out in the August heat with T, I will be thinking all of those friends and family I love who have been scarred by domestic violence and I will be walking for them and for all of those unnamed victims out there who don't have a voice.  To me, it's truly an honor and the least that I can do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baby steps, people...

My friends, I'm branching out.  I've thought about and thought about it, and I've made the decision.  I made a Facebook page for my blog.  Dramatic much?  Yes, quite possibly.  But, see, this was a big decision for me.  Yes, I have a personal facebook page that I use, and I've tossed around the idea a few times of "should I create one for my blog?  Would people even like it?  What's the point? Why am I talking to myself?"  (Sorry, I have these conversations in my head...it becomes quite heated up there, trust me...)
So, following my new site debut, thanks to Seven Thirty Three Custom Blog Designs, (which I absolutely love) I've decided to create a Facebook page.  I thought I would create a Twitter account, too, but honestly that is just way too much technology for me at the moment.  Considering how long it took me to figure out how to create a Facebook page, God knows how long it'll take me to figure out Twitter.  (Plus, there's the anger and frustration to consider...poor T got to hear me bitch and moan through the whole Facebook process.  I'm sure he's looking forward to the frustration and cursing that will inevitably come from starting Twitter.)  I first created a whole separate facebook account, but then I figured out that I didn't even need to do that but rather could just create a page through my own personal account.  So I deleted the first account I created and created this page.  This took me a few hours to figure out, of course, but I got there, and that's all that counts. 
So a few exasperated hours later, I had a page.  The trick was then putting the icon ON said page.  I somehow managed to figure that out, so if you look to the right of your computer screen you will see my fun new icon.  (Exciting, isn't it?)  And, if you should feel so inclined, you should "like" my page (Thanks, Chloe and MJ!), or whatever that means.  All I know is the more people who "like" my page, the better I will feel about myself as a person and the easier I will be able to sleep at night.  So, my self esteem and self worth rest in your hands.  Don't feel pressured, but I might cry myself to sleep tonight over it.  (I feel the tears currently welling in my eyes...) 
Anyway, I'm actually pretty proud of myself for taking this next step.  That, and I'm still marveling over the new page.  Every time I open up my blog, I have to remind myself that this is my blog I'm looking at and not someone else's.  It's all very cool, and I'm still extremely happy with the work that was done.  (Thanks, Kim!) 
Aside from my new Internet conquest, the day has been quite productive.  T and I took the day off to get our marriage license, meet with our DJ, pay the church and do all sorts of wedding stuff.  It's getting closer and closer, people!  We're official now, too, with our marriage license application in hand.  (I should note that part of it does have white-out on it after T wrote the wrong thing in the blank for the place of his birth, but I won't...oh wait, I just did...)  Nevertheless, it feels really great to get more things checked off of our list. 
That, and tomorrow is Friday, so it doesn't get better than that!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dreaming of a vacation...

Lately, with all of the stress from work and wedding planning, I've been dreaming of a vacation. We have our Dublin honeymoon coming upon us soon, and I've already started looking forward to this by setting up a clock that shows what time it is here and what time it is in Dublin on my cell phone so that I can say "Hey, if I were in Dublin right now, it'd be evening..." (I'm a dork, yes, this is true). But, you should know that I'm also very inpatient, and I could SO go for a vacation now. Stat.

One of the traditions T and I have talked about with starting a family of our own is that we want to establish the tradition of having a little vacation somewhere every year just us (well, us plus kiddo(s) when we procreate) but you know what I mean. We have one in mind for next year, but we also talk about other places we'd love to visit. One of those places is New York City. We've also mentioned heading to the Jersey side as well, while we're there, to check out the beaches there and of course, visit my good friend Buddy from Cake Boss. (And have a cannoli and a lobster tail, of course!)

What I would really love to do is just relax on the beach with T for a few days. We toyed with the idea of going somewhere warm for our honeymoon, but since we've both had our hearts set on Dublin, we didn't toy with that idea for too long. Nevertheless, I think it would be great to just rent a house and relax for a week. Nowhere to go, nothing to do but enjoy each other's company and the beautiful scenery.   It sounds like heaven to me!

I've done a little research on different beach locations, and one I've come across is the Jersey Shore.  Sure, you get the whole "but you might run into Snookie" thing but the place is actually very beautiful.  I did find one place in my browsing that offers great deals on rental properties.  The local office is Diane Turton Realtors, and they have a lot of great houses for sale and for rent for vacation purposes. You can view the different Jersey Shore Homes available to buy or rent by clicking on the hyperlink. Personally, I've spent a little time today just checking out the homes, daydreaming about the possibility of another vacation after our honeymoon. Oh the possibilities...

Where would you go if you could take a short vacation?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Small Blessings Tuesdays: New changes and new stuff!

It's Tuesday, so that means its time for Small Treasure Tuesdays with Chantel! I have 2 different treasures to share this week...

The first one involves positive changes. Now, I know I've shared this before, but I did start my blog in May of this year as a way to spring board myself into writing again, leading hopefully to my first published novel. (Hopefully in the near future, I must keep my momentum going!) I've enjoyed blogging immensely and treasure the friendships I've started to develop in the process. Blogging has also reignited my passion for writing, amongst other loves I have, and I can't wait to see where this road will take me. That being said, while I'm satisfied with the direction my blog is going, I'm definitely not satisfied with the look of my blog. I'm not exactly technologically-inclined, and the idea of writing html code to design my own blog terrifies me. When I started my blog, I just sort of picked a template design and said "eh...this will work..."  So, I was inspired by Chantel's newly-designed blog, done by Kim at Seven Thirty Three Custom Blog Designs, and the awesome work they did for her, so I checked them out myself. She has awesome ideas and really reasonable prices, and I couldn't be happier with how the work is going along so far! I can't wait until everything is up and ready to go, so be on the watch for updates soon. I hope you guys like them as much as I do. Also, I have decided once the new designs are up to venture out into other social media, so look for a "View From Down Here" facebook page coming up in the future, too!

My second blessing comes from this past weekend. Saturday and Sunday were spent cleaning the house and also unpacking box after box of wedding shower presents and reorganizing my kitchen. We have a pretty small kitchen, so there's not a whole lot of cabinet space for all of our cool, new stuff. Anyway, it was a successful day, and I feel like we have a whole new house. New bedspread on the bed, new towels and shower curtain in our bathroom, new plates in the kitchen, new coffeemaker, new wine glasses, napkins, place mats, etc. So on Sunday, I decided to break out the new stuff and have a nice dinner, just me and T. We grilled out steak, had some homemade hash browns, green beans, salad and a pudding pie for dessert. I felt just like Martha Stewart. (Seriously, when did I become so domesticated? What happened to me?) It was delicious, if I do say so myself.

So those are my blessings for the week...what are yours? Stop by Chantel's blog and check out what other people have to say this week!

Monday, August 9, 2010

All dressed up and nowhere to go...

This last weekend was one full of wedding preparation.  Well, at least Saturday was.  I got up bright and early Saturday morning and headed out to my wedding hair trial run.  My good friend Angela, who owns her own salon, is doing my hair and my bridesmaids' hair the morning of the wedding.  She always does an awesome job when she cuts my hair, so I definitely trust her for the whole wedding "do." 

I have really thick hair.  I mean REALLY thick hair.  I'm like a Chia Pet, basically.  At one point in time in college I grew it out to donate to Locks of Love (exactly one year from the day my Grandmother died from cancer as a tribute to her) and I donated 11 inches of it.  And man, that was a huge ponytail.  Anyway, I digress...I've been growing my hair out since about December so that I could attempt to get at least part of it up for the wedding.  (Getting the entire mass of hair up in one up-do is not possible...trust me with this one.)   So we decided to do a half up, half down thing.  I was so happy with the results:

And from the side:

I'm wearing a veil, and it'll clip into the back where all the curls are.  I'm old-fashioned, and I've always wanted to do the veil in front, the Dad lifts it up to kiss you on the cheek thing.  I'm sure there is a formal, special name for it, but...I think I made my point abundantly clear last week that I'm not a wedding planner so I don't have my terminology down.  (Sorry!)

So I got this done around 10:00 a.m., and I had my hair all done up for the rest of the day.  I sent a picture of it to my mom and sister (the MOH), and then in typical Nain fashion, while talking to my mom on the phone on my way home, I go "yeah, I'm planning on doing my normal routine today...you know, work out, clean the house..."  She thought I was insane for wanting to work out with my hair looking like this.  As soon as I got in the house, I realized that, yes, I am insane for wanting to work out with my hair all done up.  So I changed my mind and texted her and said "yeah, not a good idea..."  She said it was probably for the best and that I could enjoy being a princess for the day.  To which I responded, "more like Cinderella...I need to do some cleaning around here."  She responds with a "OK, Cinder...say hi to Prince Charming for me."  And you bet your butt I sure cleaned my house with my hair all done nicely for the rest of the day.  We also headed to a tasting at our reception hall and church that evening.  My hair stayed in place ALL day.  I think that's a success!

Speaking of Prince Charming...he loved the hair! Having my hair all done like that just like it will look on my wedding day definitely has me getting more and more excited for September 18th.  Plus, it was just nice to have my hair look nice all day.  Now I understand how people with a team of hair stylists feel on a daily basis. 

And it feels good....

Saturday, August 7, 2010

True love....

I'm sorry to say I don't have any Saturday Steals this week, which is ok because Camille is out in NYC enjoying the BlogHer conference (and I am incredibly jealous, but whatever, I'm going to Ireland soon..ha), so instead I'll regale you with tales of my premarital bliss...this is an interaction T and I had yesterday:

In our house we have a window seat in our front window in the kitchen. It faces the street right outside our front yard, and it can be kind of busy. Sometimes I just like to sit there and stare out the window. Back in the spring, when things were still alive and pretty and not dead from the summer heat, I'd sit out there and stare at our yard and marvel at our hard work in making it look so pretty. Not so much now, but it's still peaceful to sit and watch. So today, I force T to go outside and turn on the sprinkler to water our dying plants, and after he turns on the sprinkler, I just sit there and watch the water from the sprinkler run down from the window as it waters our flowers. T says to me, "You're so cute.....You look like a deep thinker," and I say "yes, as I sit here and ponder the meaning of life, watching the rain hit our window (I know it's not rain, but I'm pretending that it is rain and I'm listening to some 90s ballad song playing in the background, all deep-like)." T says "yes, except every drop of water that is hitting our window is costing us money." I then snap out of my daydream.

He's such a positive thinker, isn't he? That's why I love him. Such a realist. Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Guest post: A Man's Perspective

TGIF everyone!  Since I had a termination trial yesterday and was busy with that, T has graciously offered to guest post for me today.  (Isn't he the best?)  So without furter ado...
Hi, everyone out there in Blogland! I am T, the future husband of Nain. Many of you liked her idea of a guest post from me, so I decided it might be fun to give this a try. Besides, I always look forward to reading Nain’s posts everyday, so I figured I would give her a break for a day and take the reigns.

First, I will tell you a little about me. I am an engineer for Cummi
ns here in Indiana. If you are not aware, Cummins makes diesel engines for many different types of vehicles. I work in the on-highway heavy duty engineering department. I help develop engines for the large semi trucks you see on the highways. I work as a combustion / performance / emissions engineer. That means I work on developing the calibrations that control the fueling and air handling of the engine. The engines have to perform and meet emissions laws in all environments and the calibration helps it do that. Because it has to work in extreme environments, we take test trips to some strange places. Right after I started there, I took a trip where we drove three trucks from Indiana to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories of Canada in the middle of February! Needless to say, it was the first time I got to experience an air temperature of -30 degrees F! It was cold! That summer, I was on a trip out to Frisco, Colorado for altitude testing. Frisco is about 70 miles west of Denver in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. I will tell you that is some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. I am including a couple pictures I took when I was out there. I have not made the trip to Death Valley yet, but there are trucks out there right now. I hear the temperature is 125 degrees F out there right now. That would be interesting, as well! I love my job and couldn’t be happier with it!

Now, on to the topic about which everyone wanted to hear. The bachelor party, or as we called it, “The party to end all parties, the moment in time that will go down among the most important events in the history of humankind. The bachelor party.” My dad and brother made the 5 hour trip from Michigan to join in the festivities. I was very excited to see them! Around 3:15 on Saturday, everyone arrived at the house. You have got to love a meeting of a bunch of men that don’t know each other too well. We were sitting watching TV having a very painful and awkward conversation about weather and other awesome topics. But, if you know men, that is how they are. We are not always the most social of creatures.

We left for some go-karting. Nain’s brother planned it, but was a little unsure of how it would go. Truth be told, we all thought it might not be the best. But we went. I will say it turned out to be a lot of fun so I have no idea why we were all worried. We raced four separate times on three tracks. We did the hardest track twice to test our skills. There was some serious male bonding taking place. We then headed to Oaken Barrel for dinner. Oaken Barrel is a local microbrewery around where we live, and the beer and food are awesome. After our round of beers arrived at the table, Nain’s dad gave me a really nice toast. I had two IPA’s with dinner. If you don’t know, an IPA is a strong beer, around 7.5% alcohol so needless to say, I was already buzzing at this point. Once dinner was complete, the men of ill repute headed off for a night of pub crawling. We met a couple of our friends at the Chatam Tap, which is a British pub. We ordered our round of beverages and watched the cricket and soccer on TV. There was also men’s only discussion. We then headed to the Biergarten at the Rathskellar. If you don’t know about the Biergarten, it is an outdoor bar with live music. That night was a Santana cover band that was pretty good. Nain’s brother bought me a tall beer. Now a tall at the Rathskellar means a glass of 32 ounces of frothy goodness. At this point in the evening, I was feeling really good. We finished the night at McNiven’s Tavern with a specialty beer that was 10% alcohol. I was really feeling it at this point. We came back to the house and Nain’s brother and I were up talking until 3:00AM. He left to head home and I crashed into bed. It was an epic night by my standards. The next morning, we woke up around 9:30 and my dad made some strong coffee. I was still dizzy, but not too bad considering the amount of beer I drank that night. We went out to breakfast and my dad and brother hit the road. I was sad to see them go, but my dad said the big day is only 6 weeks away. Overall, it was a great weekend and I got to experience something I had not done too often in college.

So, to conclude, I wanted to let you know that Nain is truly my best friend. I now know that soulmates do exist. I now understand why a man would want to give his everything to his wife and care for her as if he was caring for himself. I love you Nain!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Very superstitious

"Writing's on the wall...." I have this song in my mind because this week's Spin Cycle topic, brought to you courtesy of Jen at Sprite's Keeper is superstitions or old wives tales. This is a tough one because I couldn't come up with that many off the top of my head. I don't consider myself to be extremely superstitious. I've broken too many mirrors, walked under way too many ladders and have had black cats cross my path all over the place. It possibly could be why I have some bad luck, but who can really tell? But I'll talk about a few that I do practice or have dealt with currently...

There are a lot of old wives tales about weddings. Like, getting married on a rainy day brings good luck. Then there's that whole wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. (Incidentally, I DO have all of my bases covered for that one.) One recently has come into play at bridal showers. Did you know that for each bow you break on your presents that's how many children you will have? Does this make sense? No, not at all, but boy, oh boy, do people like to see how many you break. And I'm not Mrs. Duggar. My poor heart physically couldn't take too many children, so I've been pretty careful when opening gifts. I'm sad to say that I haven't broken a single bow (Much to my mother's disappointment, sorry!)

Another little superstition I do...well, I'm not sure if it's actually a superstition but I'm not sure what category it would fall under is something I do with my straw wrappers. I've done this since high school, and I honestly can't remember who taught me this. What I do is after removing the straw from the wrapper, I slowly tie my straw wrapper into a loose knot. It's important to keep it loose because you then pull it fast and try to break the straw wrapper with the knot not be in place. If the knot comes loose, then someone is thinking of you. I used to do this with my friends in high school, of course, hoping that a boy would be thinking of me, but 9 times out of 10 I'm sure it was just my mother. I''m not sure the reliability of this technique, but I still do it to this day. I'm sure on my first few dates with T, he thought "what in the world is this girl doing with her straw wrapper?" But hey, it's always nice to think someone is thinking of you, right?

So stop on by the Spin Cycle at Sprite's Keeper to see what other old wives tales people have to share! What are some of yours?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lessons learned

Now that T and I are getting closer and closer to the big day, we're getting more excited for the huge change that's about to take place in our lives. Neither of us can wait to say "I do." We've been waiting for this day for well over a year.  And, if we both want to be really honest...and this might come across as bad to others, but it's the truth....we are really stoked about wedding planning being over. Yes, it's true. I, Nain, am not a wedding planner. Not in the slightest. This past year and one month have taught me many many lessons, and I want to share those with you today. Those of you who are already married might chuckle and say "yes, yes, I remember this!" and this is a lesson for those of you who haven't planned one yet. Keep these key things in mind. (Because I sure wish I knew these ahead of time.)

Lesson Number 1:
You WILL upset people. Oh yes, you WILL upset people. (I say in my best Wayne's World impression). See, I'm a huge people pleaser. I hate making people sad, mad or hurt. And I have quickly learned that when it comes to wedding planning, you cannot do everything right. Throughout the course of a year of wedding planning, I have upset many people, I am sure. And made many angry. I'd like to say that I haven't always cared how people have felt when I've had to make certain decisions, but that's totally not true.  I care a whole lot.  I don't want to tick anyone off or hurt anyone.  But decisions had to be made.  Who is in my bridal party? Will I upset this person  if I don't ask them to do something during the ceremony? Will I upset my friends who have kids if I don't invite kids, because, let's be honest...food for weddings equals a lot of money. That was one of the reasons behind my decision not to invite past or current coworkers.  Too many people, and I don't want to pick and choose at the risk of hurting others.  Decisions had to be made. And I'm not going to lie...many of them have sucked. They just have.

Lesson Number 2:
Sometimes the things you want, you just won't get to have. I'm not going to go into what these things are exactly, but let's just say the little pieces during the ceremony that I thought would mean a lot to me have been vetoed by those who will not be named. Same with the reception. I personally wanted Buffalo Wild Wings to cater the reception with a keg of Guinness and my cake being Duncan Hines yellow moist with chocolate icing...but....that didn't happen.

Lesson Number 3:
Dude. Weddings are expensive. It is one hell of an industry they have. Everything costs money. Everything. Did you know there is a fee to cut the cake? Seriously? Wouldn't one assume that if you buy the cake from somewhere, they'd just cut it for free? No, no, they don't do that. It'll be $75. The dresses, the food, the postage to mail the save the dates, the postage to mail the invitations, the postage to put on the RSVPs that people don't seem to want to return...it all costs money. My parents are actually footing the bill for this ceremony, and I feel so so bad about it. It's a lot of money. I feel like they should just take this out of my inheritance or something because it doesn't seem fair to them. That, and it seriously makes me question my career choice. Possibly I should have considered something in the wedding planning industry. It seems pretty lucrative.  Oh wait...that's right...I hate planning events. Scratch that.  I'll keep my job.

Lesson Number 4:
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has been to a wedding for so-and-so's son or cousin, and they think that you should do it this way, or play this song, or you shouldn't have a receiving line or you should have receiving line or you shouldn't have a receiving line. Oh you should have chair covers, or no, you shouldn't. It kind of goes to the same lesson #2 that you don't always get what you want. I wanted to walk down the aisle to the Ave Maria, but I got that one nixed several times by several people because that's not what they played at this person's wedding or so-and-so's wedding. It's quite frustrating.

Lesson Number 5:
The ceremony is about you, but the reception really is about your guests. This one took T a bit of learning...coming up with what we wanted to do at our reception, I kept reminding him that we are throwing this reception as a thank you to our guests for coming to our wedding. It's about them, not us. The ceremony and the honeymoon...those babies are ours and ours alone. Yes, we'll have a blast at our reception, but I really care more about others having fun at the reception and remembering our wedding as a fun and beautiful night. (Do I think they'll remember the chair covers? No, I don't...but that's another story for another blog post)

Lesson Number 6:
I have more I could come up with, but I'll end with this one. It's the most important one. You must never EVER let the wedding planning take away from the whole point of it all. It's about the love you share. You must never lose sight of the fact that you're doing this, you're taking this huge step in front of all you love and care about, because you love each other so much you have decided to say, yes, I will spend the rest of my life with this person. Sure, there have been moments in the midst of this planning where T probably thought I was crazy, and yes, there were probably moments when I said "why doesn't he care what color the ribbons are that go on the chair covers? Why doesn't he care about the font on our invitations?" But through it all, I think T and I have been good at keeping the eye on the prize, which is each other. Every time I'm going nutty, he tells me "think of Dublin" and that calms me down. That will be us...we will just get to spend a week together, no worries, to take a deep breath, step back and revel in the love that we share. I think too many brides lose sight of this and focus only on that day. I want to focus on everything that follows that day - the rest of our lives together. That's why I'm saying yes to this man. And that's what truly matters.

And that's what I've learned.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Small Treasure Tuesdays

After this last weekend, I feel compelled to participate again in Chantel's Small Treasures Tuesdays. My small treasure this weekend is actually a big treasure, my family. This last weekend, while T was partying it up with the boys, I went home to spend the weekend with my family. It was very reminiscent of my college days, packing up a bag and staying at my parent's for the weekend.

I got a nice home cooked meal on Friday night and had a slumber party with the Roo, who was staying the night with my sister since she had a work commitment the next morning. Roo and I played a little and cuddled on the couch. I read a few books to her and her stuffed animals, of course. We had a great night. Saturday morning, I got up with her, ate breakfast and watched cartoons before going shopping for Nainy's dress for the rehearsal dinner. She was quite helpful. I was impressed with the kid's style sense. "I don't like that dress. Oh that one is cute." We got her a dress for the rehearsal dinner for her, too. I spent the night with her and her mommy, playing Barbies until the wee hours of the night. It was a great time. I haven't played Barbies in forever.

Now, I do have a slight problem when talking with my nieces and nephews. I tend to be just a bit too real. Too honest. Case in point...I'm in the car with my parents and Roo. I start talking to Roo about how Nainy's not looking forward to her week. She goes "why?" I say "well, on Thursday, Nainy has a trial." She looks at me, obviously having no clue what I'm talking about and asks "what's a trial?" So I try to explain..."well, it's when Nainy gets all dressed up in a suit and she makes people say things they don't want to say on the stand." And she goes, "like what?" So I try a little more, "well, this one man is a sex offender..." That is when my parents stop the conversation. Hey, she was asking about what a trial was. I can only tell the truth. It's best she learns these things young....right?

God help me when I have children....

So anyway, I digress...my small blessing this week is my family. I love them all, and I'm glad I got to spend some great quality time with them this weekend.