Today was a big day at work.  A very big day. 

Throughout my entire career (all 6 years of it), I’ve never been super happy with my work.  Never really felt satisfied.  Sure, here and there I had some good moments, but at my new job, I feel good most of the time.  Such a great improvement.  It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m working in-house now, rather than for an agency.  After my first job, I always thought that would be the route I wanted to take, but I got stuck in another agency because it was a good opportunity (or so I thought) at the time.

Anyway, I’m working on one specific project now.  Back in November, we started pitching some major national consumer magazines.  Southern Living, Woman’s Day, Better Homes & Gardens, etc.  If you’re not familiar, magazines, especially large magazines like these, work on very long lead times.  Anywhere from 6 months to a year.  So all this work we were doing was in the hopes that they would be interested in the story for an April or May issue, because it’s the best timing for the project. 

We’ve been calling and emailing and been getting no where.  The story is a perfect item for the “news brief” sections that a lot of these magazines have.  (This is hard to explain without telling you about the project.  Although I’m not very anonymous on here, I don’t want to reveal my employer)

We’re not asking for a lot.  I want them to list one thing fr0m our project and I’d be happy with them just crediting us in the caption – though if they wanted to include a blurb about our work, that would be ideal.

This week we started a final push.  I made several calls today, and everyone thinks the project is interesting, but they only want to feature the ultimate outcome of our project, which is about 5 years out, and don’t feel like they can fit the current activities anywhere.

My colleagues has had the same luck, and our boss is so surprised (as we all are) that no one has bitten.

I picked up the phone and called another editor, expecting to get turned down or another voicemail.  When she picked up, I introduced myself and where I was from and gave my brief intro on the project – like I always do.  And then she said “I’m sorry, can I stop you?” – like so many do.  Damnit.

“I believe we’re planning on including this in the May issue.  Check with XX, who coordinates that section.”

I’m sorry, WHAT?!

She gave me the other editors contact info and I thanked her.  I made the next call to another nice woman who confirmed that, yes, our project would be included in the May issue (barring any editorial cuts). 

HELL F-ING YEAH!!!!!!!!!

Not only that, they are including the item we want them to include, a photo AND a blurb about the project.  This could not have been more perfect!

The magazine?  Family Circle.  Circulation? 3.8 million.  YES!

I got off the phone and immediately went to tell my boss, who let out a loud “WAHOO!” while waving her arms in the air. 

Though it will look small in print, this is by far one of the biggest hits I’ve had.

Sure, I’ve had items in the NY Post, NY Daily News and some major trade publications.  But from a circulation standpoint – this is my biggest.  And the fact that my boss was actually excited, that’s just the icing on the cake.  Not that she wouldn’t be, but I’ve worked for people who would have just brushed it off – even though we haven’t had any luck up until now.

She’s so excited, in fact, that after I left her office, she sent an email to our team saying we need to go out to lunch next week to celebrate!  So fun.

This was a huge achievement and it makes me feel good. 

Oh, and you better believe that I’m going to buy like 6 gazillion copies of the magazine when it comes out – and it will have a spot right up front in my portfolio.

Quite some time ago, probably around the summer of 2008, I was reading Weddingbee as a pre-engaged gal and found a post by one of the bees (perhaps it was Miss Pineapple – I can’t really remember) who had gotten a painting of her parent’s dog done as a wedding gift for them. Where did she find the artist? On Etsy. This was my first introduction to the website. I loved the painting and contacted the artist and had one done of our puppies for L for Christmas that year.

I soon realized that Etsy was an amazing place and have since ordered many things from different sellers. Earrings for Christmas gifts, custom-made jewelry for my bridesmaids to wear, my “something blue” for our wedding, amazing etched beer glasses  for groomsmen and Christmas gifts and so much more.

As I continued to read Weddingbee, still as a pre-engaged gal, I realized that a lot of the Bees made their own paper goods for their weddings. Hmm, I could do that! It would allow me to get things exactly how we wanted and perhaps save some money since I knew that when the time did come for us to get married, we would be working with a smaller budget. So I decided to start buying some tools (embossing heat gun, bone folder, paper cutter, etc.) so when wedding planning time came, they wouldn’t have to be taken out of our budget.

But I couldn’t be the crazy girl who bought stuff for her wedding before she was even engaged. (Clearly, obsessing over Weddingbee and other wedding blogs for more than a year before I was engaged did not make me that crazy girl) So I decided to set up my own Etsy shop and sell some items there so that the tools were actually for that and when wedding planning time came along, I coincidentally already had a lot of what I needed. I’m sneaky, huh?😉

And so, Over A Paper Moon was born.

I started off with some embossed notecards – and even made two sales. Considering I didn’t do much to market my Etsy shop (aside from posting that link on the left side of my blog, which few people read), I didn’t think that was horrible. Then I got laid off and couldn’t really spend the money to buy more supplies. And then we got engaged. And well, all bets were off then. I did wedding planning pretty much 24/7.

But now, the planning is done. The wedding is over. We’re back from our honeymoon. And the holiday craziness is passed us. But I miss all the crafting I did for our wedding! I made EVERYTHING. Pocketfold invitations from scratch, our save the dates, a Swarovski crystal cake topper, programs that opened into fans, everything. I think it’s high time I get back to the Etsy world and maybe give this shop another go.

On Saturday, I spent a few hours making some Valentine’s Day cards and listed them in my shop. Take a look! And tell your friends. And have them tell their friends!🙂 More will be coming soon. Since everyone that saw my work at the wedding told me I need to do this as a career. I plan on adding some invitations, cake toppers and other elements that got a lot of feedback from our wedding.

Let me know what you think – and if you are looking for anything specific – I’m always open to custom orders!

I have the weirdest dreams ever.  No really, I do.  L’s standard response after I detail to him my strange, twisted, and ridiculous dreams is “you need professional help.”  The stories often start similarly:
So we were at our house, but it wasn’t really our house.  or  I was in college, but it wasn’t [the college I went to] etc., etc., etc.
 
Now, I know I’m not the only one who has dreams like that.  But mine are always so long and involved.  And a lot of times, scary.  I often wake up and my heart is racing or I’m sweating and clutching the blankets.  It takes me quite a while to kind of calm down and realize that whatever it was that I was just dreaming, is not real.  If L is home, I usually try to wake him up and get as close as possible.  Unfortunately, for someone who is used to getting woken up in the middle of the night, when he’s home, he’s not so easy to wake up.
 
In highschool, the teacher that taught my junior year psychology class told us that dreams are how your brain “dumps” information it doesn’t need anymore.  So all those random factoids you pick up or things you see on TV, they get purged through some sort of dream.  Definitely seems to make sense in my life.  As these crazy dreams are something I’ve had my whole life, my mom often says that my mind is full of random crap that just spins round and round and round and every now and then, it spits something out and that’s what I dream about.  I think she’s right.
 
It gets tiring though.  I go through phases where I will have a (or many) whacked out dreams every night for weeks.  And then for weeks I won’t have any (well, I’m sure that I do, I just don’t remember them).  I specifically remember a time when I was at my last job and I kept having these stupid dreams and would wake up in the middle of the night and not want to go back to sleep.  I was so tired, but I felt like my brain was too “busy” when I slept.
 
The other night, I had a kind of dream that I only recall having one other time.  I woke up and I was mad at L.  SO. MAD.  I was mad because in my dream he did something that made me very mad.  And when I woke up, it took me awhile to not be mad at him.  I kept telling myself that it wasn’t true and never happened, but I was still mad.  Have you ever had a dream like that?
 
The first time was probably a couple years ago when I dreamed he had cancelled plans with me bc his best friend’s girlfriend (who is now his best friend’s fiance’) was coming into town and he wanted to go out with her instead.  (that’s the short version.  Trust me, when I told the entire dream to L, it probably took me a good 10 minutes – no joke).
 
This time I had a dream that L and I were laying in bed, each smoking a joint.  It supposedly was the first time for us and I asked him how long it was going to take before I felt high.  He said he didn’t know.  Then through a conversation about the pot, he admitted that this was not the first time that he had done it and that he had done it several times – and many were when we were “together”.  I got so angry at him.  So, so angry.  1. He had lied to me bc he always told me that he had never done that before, 2. because he had done it when we were “together” and didn’t tell me and bc he felt he needed to to make it better and 3. Why the hell would he risk his job by doing that?  He can be drug tested randomly any day.  Is he stupid?!?!  I got out of bed (in my dream) and laid on the floor to go to sleep.  He started poking me telling me it wasn’t a big deal and I should just get over it.  I went on and on about how I couldn’t trust him bc he was a liar and what was I supposed to do because we were already married, etc., etc., etc.
 
I woke up and was slid halfway down the bed, not using any pillows (typical).  I looked to my right and L was laying there, sleeping.  Heat grew in my face bc I was so mad at him for lying to me.  I looked to my left and there is Shep, laying next to me like another person (those dogs are so spoiled).  I tried to get over my anger and crawled up closer to L telling him that I just had a dream that he was smoking pot and I was mad at him.  He mumbled something I couldn’t make out, said he loved me and rolled over.
 
I fell back asleep for a couple hours before my alarm went off and when I got up, I was still a little mad.  It wore off before I left the house.  I guess because it finally sunk in that it was a dream and it wasn’t real.  I told him about the dream later that day and he said he remembered me saying something about pot and then promised me that he has never done it and never will – he’d really like to keep that job of his.
 
What’s even weirder about all of this?  As I’m telling him about the dream again, he says, “Oh yeah, did I tell you I got popped for a test at the vollies yesterday?”  The volunteer FD in our town that we’re both members of randomly selects a group of people each quarter to be drug tested and L’s name popped up this time – but he never mentioned it.  Maybe I’m a prophet! haha.
 
Am I the only one that experiences the wake-up angry dreams?  Or are there others out there (God, I hope so!).

Lily, of course.

But hey, maybe when I’m contacted by the lawer of a very rich, dead man that I didn’t know was my uncle to tell me I’ve inherited a large sum of money, this will be hanging in my guest bathroom.   One can only hope.

I grew up in New England.  Connecticut, specifically.  You know, the land of lots of snow.  But I never heard of snow cream until I moved to NC for college.  I was intrigued.  Many of my NC native friends said they looked forward to snow storms so they could make this mysterious concoction.  It was always such a treat because NC doesn’t really get all that much snow (unless you’re in the mountains, obviously).  And when they do get snow, it’s rare that they get enough to cover the grass.

The gist I got from CR, was that you put some fresh, clean snow in a bowl and mixed it with some stuff and it turned out to be an ice cream-like treat.

I never actually tried it though.  Until today.

We got a pretty big storm (for here, at least) today.  Almost 8″ at our house and the freezing rain is now moving in that will inevitably turn all the roads to a sheet of ice.  I sat on the couch and attempted to work from home, easily distracted by watching the puppies play outside, making chicken soup, following the hype on the news, etc.

I went out to play with the puppies for a little bit and the snow was so pretty and fluffy.  And then it dawned on me – I should try making snow cream!

I googled the winter weather treat and found a few different recipes, but they were all pretty similar.  I grabbed a bowl, a cup of sugar, a cup of milk, my spoonula from Crate & Barrel, and some vanilla extract.

To the yard Iwent, where there was some untouched, clean snow (stay away from the yellow stuff!) and I put about 10 handfuls into my bowl (the recipe said 8 cups, but other recipes said to just put snow in a bowl, so I guestimated).  I poured in the sugar, then the vanilla (the recipe said 2 tablespoons, but I didn’t have that much – I don’t know how much I put in though – maybe 1 tablespoon?) and stirred it a couple times.  Then I added in the milk and continued to stir until it was all combined.

You have to do it quickly because the snow melts quickly.  And a few places said to just bring the bowl and ingredients outside with you, which I did.

I thought that it would be liquidy, but it really wasn’t.  The more you mixed though, it did get thinner.  I popped it in the freezer to refreeze, but before I did so, I tried a spoonful.  And OH. MY. GOD.  It was SOOOO good!  Sweet and creamy.  I can’t really describe it other than amazing!

I can’t believe that I went almost 28 years without this!  After it was in the freezer for awhile, I tried it again.  It just gets better and better.  One article said you could add ingredients (choco chips, cookie dough, oreos, etc.) to mix in, or even hot chocolate mix to make chocolate snow cream.  I did the latter and that was freakin amazing, too!

I wish I had more vanilla so I could make more because who knows how long it will be before we get another snowfall like this.

My amazing winter treat:

During some down time at work yesterday, I created a schedule for the evening for myself. You see, I work an hour away from home and I’m the kind of person that needs sleep so I like to be in bed by 10 or 10:30, which leaves little time to get a lot of things done when I get home.

The plan was to go home, feed the puppies, go for a run (starting at just 1 mile since it’s been awhile), have dinner, prepare some of tonight’s dinner so there is less to do, finish writing thank you cards for the wedding (hey, ettiquette says we have a year!), clip my coupons from Sunday’s paper, take a shower, research some recipes for my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker and then hopefully get to just “sit” for a little while before bed.

It all got done except for the thank you cards – maybe I’ll tackle those Saturday afternoon. My run though? My run was awful.

I mentioned that I had cut my foot pretty badly back in August. The experience was less than pleasant and as I was holding L’s hand, crying while the doctor phsychian’s assistant stitched it up, L mentioned that it might be a good idea to start saving our money – “I hear adoption is expensive.” Hey, I’ve always told him I was a baby. And I’ve never had anything like that done before.

Anyway, the hospital I went to doesn’t have the best reputation, but I was just going for some stitches, not because I had a stroke or something. It’s not a bad hospital – there are just better ones around. But it was the closest one and when this all happened, L was three hours away and one of our friends (also an EMT – it pays to know all these people) was the one who came over, wrapped my foot up and took me to the hospital until L got there (yes, L got to the hospital from 3 hours away before they even began my stitches – and we had gone as soon as I cut my foot).

As L was watching them stitch up my foot (I obviously had my eyes closed and would have passed out if I had not been lying down) he wasn’t too impressed with the work. He thought one of them was kind of loose and he also thought I should have had 1-2 more – and maybe 1-2 internal stitches because it was so deep. But the PA thought it was fine and I was bandaged up and set on my way to limp out of the ER.

Truth be told, I probably walked on it much more than I should have in the days following. I couldn’t help it – I had things to do – our wedding was in three weeks! Because it was on the inside of my left foot, kind of on my arch, I walked on the outside of my foot. It took much longer to heal than I had thought it would or than the PA said (perhaps bc I wasn’t too good at staying off of it). L had to clean it for me (I almost passed out twice in the process) and when I went to the Minute Clinic at CVS to have them removed ($70 to remove stitches with no insurance!), I almost passed out there too. I was still afraid it was going to pop back open, so I continued to walk on the side of my foot.

Fast forward to the last couple weeks. I initially started running again at the beginning of December. I was determined to train in time to run a half at the end of February. The first day was awful, as I knew it would be since it had been about 7 months since I really ran. By the time I got to day 3, the outside of my left ankle was beginning to hurt. Something I had never experienced before. It was then that I realized I was running on the outside of my left foot. Apparently I have been doing this all along, just not as severly as when I hurt my foot. I looked at a pair of flats I wear to work all the time, and I can see where the side has been rubbing against the ground.

Damn. There goes the half. This was going to take work to start running in correct form again.

So last night I went out and did just that. It was the first time I ran since day 3 at the beginning of December. I made sure to really focus on running correctly on my left foot. And unlike the last times I had run, I felt good. I made it to a half a mile in just over 5 minutes (that’s good for me). But I noticed that my foot was starting to hurt. And it hurt more and more with every step. Not my ankle like last time, but my foot where the scar is.

I didn’t even make it to 3/4 of a mile before I had to stop. It was awful. And even as I walked the rest of the way to the car, it hurt so much it made me want to cry. Although, part of the tears were partly due to frustration as well.

I’m hoping that it’s just because I have been favoring the outside of my foot so much and that I just need to build the strength (and tolerance) back up for the inside part. I have been trying to be more mindful of how I walk in general and notice how easily my foot rolls to the side. This all seems to explain why my foot gets so sore when I wear heals now (which is very infrequently – bc of the soreness) – it’s because I can’t as easily roll my foot in those as I can in flats or sandals. That’s my diagnosis anyway.

My goal for tonight was to run 1.5 miles, but I’m just going to do as much as I can. I don’t want to overdo it, but I have to keep going.

2011 Goal #1 is to lose weight and become more fit.  And really, to try an maintain it for more than a year.  I did not begin on January 1 though – I felt like that would be asking for failure.  The pressure, you know.  Instead, I spent the day sleeping until 1pm (went to bed on the floor at our friend’s house at 3am, got up at 6 with L so he could go to work and I could go let the dogs out, went back to bed at 7:30 and slept till 1), which I hadn’t done in, well, I can’t even remember.  I vegged on the couch recovering from the night before – more due to exhaustion than a hangover.  (I remembered to take my multi-vitamin before bed which is the hangover cure.  Seriously wish I knew about that in college.)  Rather than joining the rest of the south in eating greens and black eye peas for good luck in the new year, I ate my most favorite meal one last time to get it out of my system – mac & cheese with hot dogs mixed in.  Yup, I’m a 6 year old at heart.
 
Yesterday was not the beginning of the goal either.  L and I spent the day running some errands and window shopping and eating our last bad-for-you meals together.  We did come up with a menu for dinners this week and went grocery shopping to get everything we needed (Goal #6 – cook more meals at home).  While we were out, I also picked up two newspapers so I could start clipping my coupons (Goal #5).
 
Our house is for sale (yay! now someone please buy it. soon. for what we’re asking. at least close to it.) and we were lucky enough to have two showings in the past week.  But we had to do a major clean up in a short amount of time before the last one and we were both scrambling.  We knew we had to get the house back in show order this weekend to avoid that in the future.  So once we got home from our day-long outing, that’s what we did.  Cleaned out the fridge and cabinets while putting away groceries and then cleaned the rest of the house, put away laundry, etc.  It is spic and span now. 
 
In the process, we took the time to weigh ourselves for our official starting weight.  Normally we would do this in the morning and not at the end of the day after a big meal.  But by doing it then, we felt like it gave us a head start bc obviously there would be some change between last night and this morning already.  No, it’s not cheating.  And, oh holy hell, I almost died when I saw that number on the scale.  I even stepped off and stepped back on to make sure.  You know how I told you I’ve seen numbers I’ve never seen before?  Yeah, take that and add about 7lbs!  What the hell have I been doing?!  Once that was done, we took some before pictures.  I was going to post them even though I knew they would be bad and embarrasing, but then I saw them and decided there was no way in hell I was doing that.  Did I mention we did them in bathing suits?  Yeah, about that.  Not pretty.  Maybe when I met my goal and I feel better about myself, I’ll post them in conjunction with the after pictures.  Maybe.
 
We didn’t go to bed until at least 12:30.  No good.  Which made getting up this morning difficult.  But I prepared what I hope is a halfway healthy lunch (or at least not as bad for me as what it could be) and headed to work after 11 days off.  Tonight, I’ll go home and get a run in too.  If I wasn’t motivated to succeed at this goal before, I sure am now after seeing those pictures!

Last night I got to do something for the very first time – I got to kiss my husband at midnight as we rang in the new year together.  The beginning of the first full calendar year as a married couple.  And how wonderful it was.  I think it’s fitting that L is the only “real” person I’ve kissed at midnight.  That sounds weird, doesn’t it?  I’m sure there were random people I kissed at midnight – perhaps – but I don’t really remember a lot of those nights.  L is the only one that I kissed that I wanted to kiss.  That I looked forward to kissing.  That ringing in a new year with a kiss with him meant something.  And now he will be the only one I kiss.  Until there are little humans around our home one day and we kiss them, too.

We celebrated with some of my best friends, something we hadn’t done the last two years as we had hung out with a different group of friends.  It was a low key night at a friend’s house, but so fun.  Lots of food, beer, champagne and laughing.  We had lots to celebrate – the first of my close knit friends is expecting twins in July; mine and L’s marriage along with another good friend’s marriage; and E’s engagement – yup, she’s getting married in May.

We’ve come a long way from the days of going out downtown and staying at a hotel.  Nobody got “lost” this year, no one walked 15 minutes from the bar to the hotel barefoot and almost through shattered glass, no one brought any random guys back.  We’ve definitely grown up.  There were babies at the party! (sort of)  There were wedding rings on!  There was talk of buying new cars and new homes and when they planned on “trying”.  It’s amazing to see how we’ve grown.  And how we’ve grown together.  Adding in new members to our circle (husbands and fiances).  It was a wonderful night.

I never make very original resolutions.  Mine are usually the cliche lose weight, get in shape, etc., etc., etc.  This year I’m making goals.  Maybe changing the term will take a little pressure off.  Some are cliche, some aren’t.

1. Lose weight (cliche) 
Last year I had done so well dropping the pounds between January and March for the Cooper River Bride Run.  I lost about 20lbs, but it easily inched back on.  And at our wedding, I wasn’t quite as hefty as I was at the turn of the new year, but I wasn’t as skinny as I wanted to be either.  And since then, I’ve definitely packed them on.  Dear Lord, I have seen numbers on that scale that I have never, EVER seen before.  And I would like to stop seeing them.  The goal is to lose 25lbs by E’s wedding in the middle of May.  When I ring in 2012, I would like to be back at the weight I was when I first did Weight Watchers out of college – that means I have to lose 50lbs.  I hope I can acheive that before next new year’s, but I’m keeping my goals realistic.

2. Improve my time for the CRBR
Last year I ran the race in 1:06:30.  Not too shabby considering I ran a mile for the very first time only 6 months prior.  This year, my goal is two part.  I want to at least run it in 1:03:30 – shave off three minutes.  My ultimate goal, which is a lofty one I know, is to finish in 59:59.  I just want to say I was able to do it in under an hour.  That’s a lot to shave off in three months though – especially since I have to work on my form because I’m running funny on the foot that I cut over the summer.

3. Run a half-marathon
I was hoping to be able to run one this year, but wedding planning kind of got in the way.  I want to be able to run one next fall.  There are some in the late spring that I could try for, but I want to make sure I’m really ready.  L is going to do it with me and we’re going to chose one in a destination so we get a mini-vaca out of it too.  I’m pretty sure I can talk E and LM into it as well.  There are races in Savannah, the Outerbanks and Kiawah Island in October/November that I’m considering.

4. Take better care of my skin
I usually take a shower at night, but when I don’t, I need to be more diligent about taking off my make-up.  Using a better moisturizer and maybe some anti-aging stuff (nothing hardcore).  I hear all those grocery store products actually work, but you should start before the problems actually begin.  I was going to do this around my 26th bday, but never got my act together.

5. Start Couponing
Several of my friends are those crazy couponers that get $100 worth of groceries but only pay $15.  They’ve begun to teach me their ways and now I just need to actually start trying it.

6. Cook more meals
L grew up eating out a lot, so our habit of hardly ever eating at home is nothing out of the ordinary for him.  For awhile, we did good coming up with menus and eating at home all the time.  We need to get back into this, both to save money and to eat better too.  This will hopefully go hand in hand with the couponing.  I hope that we can cut back to eating out only once or twice a week.

7. Do something about grad school
I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to school for quite some time.  For awhile it was for a career change, but now that I know there is a job out there that I like in my field, I want to proceed with getting my master’s.  My alma mater has a pretty good program, but because of my grades from undergrad, it will be difficult for me to get in.  It’s amazing how making a few mistakes your freshman year can affect you for so long.  I think I’ve got a shot, but we’ll see.  I want to at least look into it more, make sure we can afford it, perhaps apply.

8. Walk the puppies more
We FINALLY finished fencing in our backyard so the puppies get to run around a lot and they love it.  But I would still like to walk them more.  It’s hard because they don’t walk very well on a leash, and I think that’s what deters me from it, but they’re never going to learn if we don’t try.

9. Remain dedicated to my husband
L’s schedule can be trying sometimes.  It’s hard for me when he’s away at work and always busy.  I know there are people out there who have it way worse than me – all the military families serving our country – but it’s still hard.  I want us to continue to work to make our relationship and marriage the best it can be.  Because marriage is work, and we’ve got a great one. 

10. Begin researching our family tree
I had to do this once in elementary school and I’m always fascinated by history.  When at the beach for a friend’s bachelorette party this past spring, some of the other girls were talking about how they are very into their geneology and all the different things they have discovered while researching.  I was intrigued.  While watching TV the other day, I saw several commercials for ancestry.com and decided to check it out.  I tried their free trial.  I brought the idea up to L about working on his too and compiling them now that we’re married.  He liked it.  Although a website like ancestry.com isn’t necessary, it definitely  helps.  It’s rather expensive, especially to get the global version which I need more than L since my grandparents came through Ellis Island.  This will obviously a long-term project, but the goal is to get it started.

2010, you have been one hell of a year.  One that I will never, ever forget.  L and I will always celebrate you.  But 2011, watch out, I’m coming at you!

I want to get back in to blogging.  And when I read Jess’ post, I thought this would be a good way to get back in the flow.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Got Married!  Travelled out of the country with L.  Got a job that I like (so far), ran a 10k

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I’m not sure if I made any actual resolutions.  I know I wanted to lose weight for the wedding – and L and I did pretty good.  In conjunction with training for the Cooper River Bridge Run, I lost about 20lb from January – April.  I wanted to keep losing, but I just got off track and busy wedding planning and lazy and ended up gaining it all back.  I wasn’t nearly as skinny or in shape as I wanted to be for the wedding, but in the end, I’m still happy with the way I looked.  I also had the goal of running the entire CRBR and I did it!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not anyone super close, but a couple of friends and aquaintances had babies.  And now one of my very good friends is pregnant with twins!  She is the first of my close friends to get pregnant.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandmother passed away in April.  To be quite honest, it was kind of time.  She wasn’t in pain, but she wasn’t really aware of her surroundings at all and hasn’t been able to speak for quite some time.  She basically just laid in bed in a nursing home.  She didn’t even always know when people were there visiting her.

5. What countries did you visit?
Cabo, Mexico for LM’s 30th bday and L and I went on an absolutely AMAZING honeymoon to St. Lucia

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A more stable bank account (having a job and not relying on unemployment should help) and a new house.  L and I have our sites on one and ours is currently for sale.  So fingers crossed it all works out.
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
September 5!  The day I married my very best friend!!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Becoming a wife – officially becoming a family. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
This is a tough one… I’m not sure I would categorize it as a failure, but I need to work on my approach to some things and realizing I can’t always get my way.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Ugh, I dropped a huge glass vase that we used for the centerpiece on our head table at the wedding while I was cleaining it.  It shattered and cut a deep 3″ gash in my foot 3 weeks before the wedding.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have inusrance at the time (Cobra was just getting too expensive and when I stopped paying it, I only had a month till I was covered under L’s and didn’t think it was a big deal) so the 6 stitches I got ended up costing us about $2000!  The dr. told me I would be fine by the wedding and I was for the most part, but my foot was still very swollen and I could only wear my pretty pink shoes for the ceremony.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmm… not that it was one thing that we bought – but our wedding was definitely a major expense, but so worth it.  We ended up firing our band 2 weeks before the big day and hired a new one – in the process we lost about $500, but it was one of the best decisions we made.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Although we had disagreements at times, L did a pretty good job working at his full-time job, part-time job and helping to plan the wedding.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Some of my family who didn’t come to our wedding for selfish reasons.  And well, I’ll say it, L’s mom.  She did quite a few things that we specifically asked her not to do and some of it really hurt my feelings.  IE – we told her one thing she could help us decorate for the wedding.  She did it and it looked very nice.  She then took it upon herself to decorate our guest book table with a collage of photos.  It would have been nice if I were in the pictures.  Instead there were more than 15 pictures on the table and I was in 1.  Yup.  Why would you do something like that?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Our wedding.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hmmm, I’m not sure. 😉😉 ;)  OUR WEDDING obviously!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
“You are the best thing” by Ray LaMontagne – it was our first dance — or “Tonight’s gonna be a good night” (or whatever the actual name of that song is) by the Black Eye Peas
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
a) Definitely Happier
b) After some yo-yoing – about the same or a few pounds heavier😦
c) I wouldn’t say we’re “richer” but we’re definitely better off now that I have a full-time job again.  We still have some big expenses (paying off that hospital bill and repaying some money to savings that we borrowed), but it’s not quite as bad as it was last year.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Blogging, time management when it comes to wedding stuff – my plans of doing nothing the week before the wedding failed big time and there was some important stuff that didn’t get done as thoroughly as I had hoped.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinating.  Worrying about little things.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
L and I got to not only spend our first married Christmas together, but we got to spend our first Christmas ever together.  As luck would have it, he got all the holidays off this year (just the way the schedule fell).  We drove up to CT on Dec. 23 and spent Christmas with my family until Dec. 28.  It was so wonderful.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
I fall in love with that boy over and over again every day of my life.  We both have our faults and some things we need to work on, but I don’t think there is anyone out there more perfect for me.  Seriously.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmm… I watched a lot of Gilmore Girls reruns :)  But I guess Army Wives, Law & Order SVU, Grey’s Anatamy and Parenthood would top my list

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Our wedding photographer.  Full report coming on that soon. 

24. What was the best book you read?
I didn’t read too many books, but I did finally read Shopaholic and Baby when I realized that I never had when Mini Shopaholic came out. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Cee Lo Green. There, I said it. And yes, this is on the basis of his one profane song that I LOVE SO VERY MUCH. — I have to agree with Jess on this one.  I love that song!

26. What did you want and get?
I wanted to have a perfect wedding day with my best friend – and I did!  There were some minor things that went wrong and if I could go back and do it all over again, I would never hire our photographer – but everything else was so, so perfect!

27. What did you want and not get?
I was hoping to have sold our house already, but if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be so we’ll see where it goes from here.  Just send happy house selling thoughts our way.  Our goal is to sell it by February to make some other things work out – we know that’s a pretty ambitious goal!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don’t really remember seeing many movies this year…

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27 years old.  L and I went to a training group run for the CRBR in the morning, then he took me to a lovely Italian dinner and we met friends out for drinks that night – it was a lot of fun!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Marrying L made it pretty freakin’ perfect.  Selling the house would have been great though.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
I favored big white dresses ;)  Umm, casual and comfortable, like usual.  This year stuck out because there was a lack of “business casual” in my life.

32. What kept you sane?
L and our puppies

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have no idea

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The whole debacle with unemployment.

35. Who did you miss?
I miss living closer to my mom.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I think becoming closer to some of my friends is the equivalent to this.  Also, though I probably won’t work with them again, the band we ended up hiring was fabulous to work with and were incredible and helping us get everything together in such a short amount of time.  It made up for the previous band we had hired and their poor customer service.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Things will work out the way they need to work out.  Don’t depend on other people’s research for something that is important to you.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I’ll take a few lines from our first dance…
“Baby, we’ve come a long way, baby/You know, I hope and I pray, that you believe me/When I say this love will never fade away/You are the best thing/You are the best thing/You are the best thing that ever happened to me”

For anyone who might still be out there…

We’re totally married!!!

Oh yeah… and we had a pretty sweet send off!

 

More than two months ago I wrote a post telling you all (if there is anyone even reading this) that I was coming back.  I lied.  Big time.  And I’m sorry. 

Let’s have some bullet points to catch up as best we can, although I know I’ll miss lots of things since it’s been so long.

– as of today, there are 36 days until our wedding. THIRTY-SIX. DAYS.  Holy shit.  My plan of getting everything done ahead of time is slowly fading.  I’m still trying my best to make it happen, but our super long to do list is overwhelming at times.

– You may remember that we booked a trip to Cabo last year for LM’s 30th birthday.  As it turns out, all the boys backed out for various reason, but L was going to go with the rest of the girls anyway.  Then plane tickets were about $800 and we just couldn’t do two.  Or one, frankly.  Luckily I had some airline miles and purchased my ticket (direct both ways and first class coming back!  Why was it less miles than a coach ticket? Who knows, but I wasn’t complaining).  13 girls went and it was amazing.  We were all pretty depressed that it was over when we came back.  I’m sure L would have had a fun time, but it was definitely a girls trip.


Part of the group shopping in town one day

Our invitations went out the last week of June.  I wanted to send them out the week prior, but it just didn’t happen.  I made these babies from scratch and was so happy with the way they came out.  There are definitely some imperfections, but I’m sure few people will notice.  I blew my budget on printing costs though because when I called Kinkos to find out their price for color laser printing they misquoted me and I didn’t find out until I printed all 300 sheets one day.  I couldn’t do anything about it because I didn’t have the quote in writing.  Then I realized that our logo was off center and had to reprint parts of it.  Oh well, we love them.


Rather than using an inner envelope, we used these personalized oval tags to write out the informal names of everyone invited from the family

If anyone wants a tutorial, I’m glad to give one (and I promise I’ll post it in a timely manner, if you ask :)  I’m not going to lie, they were time consuming, but not all that hard.

One note… we used a post card for our RSVP to save on postage.  I’m just letting any detail oriented bride out there know that they only make one postcard stamp design for the entire year.  This year’s?  A polar bear.  Yup.  For the entire year.  It looks like the coca-cola bear, minus the coke.  We ended up going with it because that was the whole reason we chose the post card – it would have been easier to make a regular RSVP.  Just letting you all know.

– At one point, we took some more engagement photos with our photographer.  We’re a little disappointed with him because as it turns out, he’s not very creative and needs a lot of help.  L’s sister used him too for her wedding and they missed some key moments that would have made great photos.  Too bad photography was the one thing I wanted to splurge on and now we’re not happy.


One of the more creative shots

I’ll give credit after our wedding🙂

– We went home to CT to get some baby pictures for a slide show and also had a shower for my family up there.  We got lots of great stuff including all of our ‘every day’ plates from Crate and Barrel. As it turns out, most of my family won’t be coming to the wedding which really bums me out.  And it’s not even for good reasons.  We have received very few ‘no’ rsvps and all of them except for two are my family, one is from the woman who did our premarital counseling and the other is a friend of both L and I, but was actually on L’s list.

– We also had a shower thrown by L’s family.  It was huge, around 50 people.  His mom wanted to make it into a “pre-rehearsal dinner” or “mini-wedding” so some of his family that we didn’t want to invite, but had to would feel like they were at the wedding and wouldn’t come.  That’s not what we wanted.  We didn’t want anything to overshadow the wedding.  There were some elements that we didn’t like, but overall it was nice.  We told her over and over again that we didn’t want dancing and she had loud music and a dance floor anyway.  Luckily no one actually danced.

– I had a makeup trial with a girl from my sorority who offered great prices, but I looked like a street walker when I was done.  Instead, I’m using the same girl L’s sister used.  More expensive, but worth every penny.  I would post the before and after photos, but I want it to be a surprise for L.

– I finally had a hair trial.  I was having a hard time finding someone since I don’t know the area where we’re having the wedding.  My makeup girl contacted a photographer she’s worked with a lot and got a name.  The girl did a great job and I’m excited.  I’ll save those photos for post-wedding too – or maybe just in a password protected post.

– let’s see, let’s see… what else?

– oh yes! my bachelorette party!  Five friends and I went to Savannah and had a great time.  My camera pooped out, so I don’t have any photos yet, I’m waiting to get them from everyone else.  Two of my friends from high school were not able to come and that made me really, really sad.  It was a smaller group, but a fun one, none the less.  Good Lord, I was even put on stage at the deuling piano bar.  I definitely wish I had had a few more drinks before that happened, but it was fun anyway.  Despite the fact that everyone said my face was the same color as my hot pink dress.

– We’re still trying to put our house on the market and had the realtor come over one day to do photos for the listing, but then it was too dark inside and we haven’t had her back yet.  L is debating waiting till after the wedding but I really dont want to do that because I spent so much time working on house stuff when I could have been working on wedding stuff and then I wouldn’t be so far behind now.  We’ll see what happens.

– I took my dress to be altered on Thursday.  It won’t be ready until Aug 23-25.  Yikes!  I’ve got faith in the lady though, she came highly recommended from my friend and she’s pretty reasonable too.  For a bustle and to recut the top (which requires removing beading, cutting it and then adding it back on), it will be $100.  Not too shabby.  I wasn’t sure she would be able to change the top at all, let alone for a price I could afford, and was so excited when she could. Now it is absolutely perfect and what I wanted.

– I think that’s about it for now!  Just more wedding, wedding, wedding!  I’m going to be damn bored after the wedding if I don’t have a job. Speaking of which, today marks the one year anniversary of that fateful day.  Although, I must admit, there were several months where I didn’t really look for a job as hard as I should have because planning our wedding was way more fun!

Hi. Hi. Hey. Hello. Hello? Heelllooo????  Is anyone still there?

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen (if any of you still exist), I’m back.  To be honest, I’m not really sure where I went.  I still haven’t found a new job, but for an unemployed gal like myself, I am very busy!  I originally started this blog to remember the little things in life and at times it makes me sad that while L and I plan a not-so-little thing (ie our WEDDING), I have majorly failed at the blogging thing. 

We’ve wrapped up many major and non-major details of our big day – including finally finding a church that we both agree on and like very much.  The plan is to write a recap post – or maybe series of posts in case any of you are still out there and care to read them.

In the meantime, we’ve been looking at some new houses.  L wants to buy something before the market seesaws back the other way and doing it before we’re married is probably the best idea (since my credit is not so great due to some student loan difficulties a couple years ago).  Anyway, we found one that we love that the builder forclosed on.  What is normally a $350,ooo+ house is on the market for $230,000.  However, that is still waaaaay beyond our price range.  We’re working with a real estate agent that a friend of ours works with who suggested our first offer be significantly lower than the asking price.  Significantly lower.  Basically, if they went for the price, we would be getting a house more than DOUBLE the size of our current house for almost the same price.  Crazy, I know.

But, it’s all dependent on a lot of other things working out.  So fingers crossed, because I’ve sort of fallen in love with this house and we’ve already talked about the different ways we would like to decorate, etc.  I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high though, because it would be the story of my life to be thinking and talking about this house so much and then not get it.

When out with the agent, we brought her by our house to get her point of view on what things we should change before we put it on the market.  She mentioned a few things here and there, but said that the first things that needed to change were the countertops in the bathrooms.  They are this really ugly dark green/white marble.  They make me want to puke, so I’m not surprised that she mentioned they needed to change.  Luckily, the cabinets are fine so it’s just the top that needs to change.

While searching for different ideas, I perused many different sites for some ideas.  I found some beautiful bathroom vanities at this one site.  They’ve got lots of great stuff, including the Indocraft Atlantis bathroom vanity that would look great in a half bath.  This site is part of the CSN stores (they have more than 200) and I’ve gotten a mirror from them before.  The quality and service is great, so I would expect nothing less from Just Vanities.

Well, off to more day dreaming about the house that may or may not be ours one day and moving on to some more wedding tasks.  I’m going to be bored after our big day!

Our engagement photos were yesterday.  I’ll give you a full up date next week, but let’s just say the weather was less than stellar.  Cloudy, rainy and 45 degress.  With that in mind, here’s a sneak peek of one our photos.  Our photographer has gotten them online already.  I’ll share more when we get the disk in the mail.

That water was DAMN cold!

Actually, it’s more like wardrobe dilemma, but I like alliteration too much.  Back in October, shortly after L and I got engaged, we headed out to Wilmington, NC to look at some potential venues and check out our first bridal show.  As you know, we chose a venue that is in Winston-Salem, no where near Wilmington or any other part of the coast.  But, while we were at the bridal show, we won a free engagement session – no strings attached!  When it’s all said and done, we’ll receive the disc with edited photos and rights to print.  All for free!  How awesome is that?!

The other great part is that we can do it anywhere in the Wilmington area.  Since we were so torn between a beach wedding or not a beach wedding and subsequently ended up with the latter, we love the option of doing our engagement pictures at the beach.  It’s a nice compromise. :)  So that’s what we decided to do – and the big day is Thursday.

You know what?  I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!  Thus, I need your help.

We’re able to have a couple of outfit changes and I think we’re going to start the shoot out by some little beach shops and then move on to the actual beach.

L will most likely be wearing nice khaki shorts and a button down shirt in some sort of blue. 

We’re going for casual, but nice.  So I’m thinking of a cute dress and then maybe pants.  Not sure.  Here’s what I came up with after way too much shopping in my closet and at the outlets I went to today.

Shoes are a big concern.  L is taller than me, but when I put shoes on, the difference is very slight.  If he’s wearing dress shoes or winter shoes, it’s not so bad because the slight ‘man heel’ or thicker sole help, but he’ll be wearing Rainbows, so that means I can’t really wear heels.  Especially the heels that go with some of these dresses because they’re about 3.75″ high.  He says it makes him feel short when I stand next to him.  And I feel like a giant.  I just don’t want to look stumpy with flats on.  And I don’t have any heels that aren’t super high that will go with any of the dresses – and I don’t want to buy new ones.

For dresses:


For the longest time, this is the dress I was planning to wear.  I bought it last year to wear to L’s sister’s graduation and our trip to Savannah.  Then I put it on again this year and hated it.  I took the time to iron it today and try it on again and I liked it much better than the other day.  Here, I have it on with beaded green flip flops. 


Same dress with the shoes I wish I could wear.  I love the way my make my calves look better. (Please excuse Shep’s tail in the photo).  Maybe I could bring the shoes for any photos that you won’t be able to tell how tall I am.  I like when photographers cut off the couple’s head.


Then there’s this dress I bought at the end of last summer.  It’s a dark purple color and I’m wearing the same flip flops as above.  (Also, I couldn’t help the sun coming in and this is the only mirror I can take pictures in)


Again, with the amazingly lovely, tall, tall shoes.


I found this one in Target today for $20.  It’s a darker pink and has a little more red in it.  I guess I would go with the same green flip flops.

And now for the second outfit.  This is basically the same outfit with slight variations.


Navy chinos from J. Crew outlet (on sale for $39!), a very light blue tshirt with knotted front and yellow cardigan.  I think the yellow is too bright though – I thought it was more pale when I bought it.


Same, but with a white cardigan.


Same with a slightly off white ruffly cardigan.  I’m just not sure if the ruffles go with the shirt.  Do you think they compete too much with the knot?


Same, but this white cardigan fits a little smaller, which I think I like better if I’m going to keep it open.


Just so you can see what the tshirt looks like on its own.


If I wore this on the beach, I thought it would look cute to roll up the pants and walk through the water.


Here’s the ruffly cardigan with a dark pink shirt. 

So here’s my question – which dress?  Or do they all suck?  I really want to wear pink because it’s my signature color.  Seriously.   But also want to choose what looks best. And what about the pants/cardigan option?  Blue shirt underneath or pink?  White cardigan or ruffly cardigan? (I’m pretty much eliminating the yellow bc I feel like it’s too bright – unless you think it looks fabulous).  You can’t really see it in the photos, but I have pink sandals on – so I still get a hint of pink in there.  Plus, I feel like you can’t get much more beachy than navy and white.

Thoughts?

L and I were talking last night and he said something that made me stop.

We both want kids one day.  Two would be good.  One day.   Not tomorrow, not a year after we’re married, but one day.  We’ve discussed in the past that five years or so after we’re married would be a good time range to shoot for.  I was happy with that.  I don’t feel as though I could be responsible for another human being at this point in my life.  It’s not that I’m irresponsible, I just don’t know that I’m ready for that task yet.

I’m just not a baby person.  They’re cute.  And I want a couple one day, but I’m just not a baby-obsessed person.  I never have been.  I don’t fuss over my friends’ babies, I don’t long to hold one.  And in fact, when my friends have had babies and there’s the obligatory first visit and you feel you have to hold the baby, I swear that I have a panic attack because I’m afraid I’m going to break the baby.  Once they’re to the point where they can hold their own heads up, I’m better, but you get the idea. 

Then there are the older kids.  I just am never really sure what to do with them.  When I was in highschool I babysat, but really only for two or three families. When we’re around a lot of the kids at the volunteer FD, I never know if I should tell them ‘no’ or stop them from running around because they’re not my kids (the answer is yes, it’s kind of collective parenting at that place, apparently).  I’m always afraid that I’ll talk to a kid on a younger level than they really are.  Maybe it’s because I’m an only child, or perhaps it’s because I don’t recall my mom ever being baby crazy.

L, on the other hand, is different.  He loves playing with the kids at the volunteer FD; he always riles them up and they run to him when he walks into a room.  Even one of the really young kids who is just learning to walk.  He would teeter totter over in L’s direction and L would put out his hand to help him get around.  It’s really adorable.

A few months ago, I was with a group of women from the volunteer FD when one of them said that they were pretty sure that L would be ready to have kids before I am.  I wouldn’t be surprised, but we’ve always been on the same page about this 5 year thing.

Until last night.

While talking about a variety of things about us, the conversation turned to this:

L: I think the girls might have been right.

Me: Right about what?

L: About me being ready to have kids before you are.

Me: ::stares blankly at him, my heart may have momentarily stopped, jaw hits ground::  Umm, ok.  Well, uh, so, yeah, when are you thinking?  I thought we were good with 5 years.

L: I don’t know, maybe 4 years.

Me:   ::to myself, phew, ok, that’s not TOO bad.::  So, is this the only time you might change your mind or are we going to slowly reduce that number? 

L: I don’t know, I think that’s a good number.

Me:  ::to myself, that’s what you said about 5 years!::  Because I’m soooo not ok with a honeymoon baby.

L: Um, yeah, no.  Me either.

He surprises me with this stuff sometimes.  It’s no surprise that we want kids, we talk about what our family will be like in the future, but sometimes you just wouldn’t expect it from him.  And then a conversation like last night’s happens.  Or when he brings this up out of nowhere.

I think he’ll be a good dad one day.  And I can’t wait to see what our family is like… one day.