Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I read too many blogs. Way too many. And they are (mostly) nicely and neatly organized in bloglines*. They have neat little categories, so that like is with like. I enjoy having everything sorted.
But here's the news: Most of the blogs I follow fall into the following categories: weddings, baking, friend-stalking, crafts, style, and fitness (and there are a couple of really funny ones too). I get a lot of inspiration from the blogs I read, and so, they tend to trickle into my life (hopefully, in good ways). The fitness blogs have actually been helpful in keeping me motivated to lose a little weight.
My goal was to lose about 45lbs. Which is pretty scary to me. I was not a particularly big kid, and the weight has just kind of slowly seeped on. I've noticed this trend for a while, but I've always just kind of told myself not to gain anymore. Well, now it's time not just to stop growing, but to take some of it off. I know it'll just get harder to lose it as I get older, and when I start having kids, and I know that I'm not happy with my current weight. So, I'm finally doing something about it. I'm running, and I'm tracking my food on Sparkpeople (and actually keeping to my goals).
I'm not perfect, which is part of the reason that I hesitated to broadcast that I was even trying. I don't always get in all my runs for the week (I'm working on a couch-2-5K training program), and I don't even bother tracking food when I'm out of town or on the weekends. And I have only actually done the weight training I want to do for one full week (and that was before Thanksgiving). But it's working. I can run about 20 minutes now (compared to the 30 seconds I could run when I started!), and I've lost 10lbs. In four months (well, I started running in September, but didn't start watching food until later). Not exactly record-breaking weight-loss. But I'm really proud of myself. And I feel like it's actually something I can keep up with.
*If you read more than 5 blogs, you really should use some sort of feedreader - I use bloglines, just because that's what I set up first, and I'm generally happy with it. GoogleReader is another popular one.
Monday, December 29, 2008
And it was nice to actually be with him for five straight days. Since I moved to Richmond, it seems like we get less time together (he's just under two hours away now). It's harder to get together in the middle of the week, and there are occasional weekends when we are running in different directions. Five straight days with him were just what I needed. (Now, if only I could get that with everyone that I miss!)
The Jefferson Lobby. Apparently, there was once a pool in the center, with crocodiles! I can see why they do a lot of weddings - it's beautiful!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Stepford fam last Christmas. There is no mistaking us for anything but family.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Last night I dreamt that I was getting married - right then. I was in my dress and about to walk down the aisle, but I was surprised by it. In the dream, Mr. L had said something offhand, like"we should get married" at some point, and I had blocked it out/not remembered, but here I was, and we were getting married. I was just about to walk down the aisle, but I had no idea what awaited me. I didn't know who was there, or where we were, or if we were even having a reception. It was strange.
I wonder where it came from? Is it from too much almost-planning, or feeling like too much is unknown and out of my hands? Or something else altogether?
Perhaps the strangest part about it is that I've been very relaxed lately, and non-obsessive. I've honestly just been enjoying his company and enjoying where my life is right now.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
But... I never imagined being walked down the aisle. Maybe I am an attention hog (or maybe this is the result of forming ideas with him not around, early on in life), but I have always imagined walking down the aisle by myself. And I like that idea.
I'm not opposed to having being given away, and I guess I just imagined that my dad (or maybe both of my parents?) would stand once I got the front, and then answer "Who gives this woman...". Or maybe not. I really don't have strong feelings one way or the other on that part.
However... I definitely always wanted a father/daughter dance. Even more so after I taught ballroom. Yeah, I'm actually a decent dancer (although not anything near what pros of the DWTS level can do). And I like to dance. And it feels very intimate to me. And I like the idea of having an intimate moment with at least one of my parents in the middle of an event that isn't very intimate (in all honesty).
But that isn't really an option. My dad's in a wheelchair, and has been for years. He's at the point now where even sitting up in the wheelchair is really hard on him, as is travelling. He came to my law school graduation (which meant so much to me), but it was really hard on him. So, I'm trying to confine location ideas to cities that he can get to in a day's drive (not ideal, but I am enough of a diva to say that there is no way I'm getting married in Fayettenam - yuck!). And, of course, I'm looking for something wheelchair accessible.
So what do I do? I want to include him (and my mom, who has always been there for me), but I don't know how. I'm not a huge fan of unity candles. And I sort of think that it should be something optional, so that if he weren't feel well enough, it wouldn't be detrimental (ie. I probably won't ask him to officiate). Maybe have him and some other close family members (mom and grandma) do readings? Or is there some meaningful way to involve him before the wedding, so that there isn't extra stress for him on a day when he'll probably already be exerting a ton of effort?
And then there is the other question - would it be inconsiderate to do a great-grandpa dance instead of a daddy/daughter? I'm so lucky that I still have a great-grandfather, and I would love to honor him somehow (and this would give me a moment with him and allow Mr. L a mother dance without it being awkward, AND give me another excuse to dance). But the last thing I want to do is hurt my dad's feelings.
When I sent out graduation announcements, I just used my mom and stepfather's return address labels (because their place was my permanent address), and I think it really hurt my dad that it looked like they were coming from the step-father instead of him. And I don't want to thoughtlessly do something like that again. Help!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I tried pulling my hair back, but I don't think it's enough. Basically, I can't wait to get home and change. I'd feel better about my appearance if I were at home in sweats with my hair in a pony than I do right now. Yuck. I hate looking unprofessional.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
A) I am pre-planning because I enjoy planning parties, and I find looking through wedding blogs/magazines/websites/etc. inspiring. I think it's amazing how creative people are. And I do intend to use ideas that I've seen in the wedding context for other events (like an upcoming baby shower). It's mostly fantasy planning, and I really don't see myself as obsessed. I would never get married just to have the excuse to be the center of attention and to plan an incredibly expensive party.
B) I'm looking forward to engagement/marriage because I love the man I'm with. I want to have a life with him. This has been a sticking point for me - I am definitely one of those girls who falls hard and early, and I know that I can be blind to a guy's faults early in a relationship. I have had a series of long relationships, and I've been engaged once before and had another guy ask my father for his blessing (although I broke up with him before he ever asked me). I'm terrified of being one of those girls who has to be in a relationship (although, yes, I have had periods alone).
But I'm also a firm believer in marriage. I believe it is a commitment for life, and I can say with more certainty than you'd expect that I will not divorce a man unless there is infidelity or physical abuse. Some might consider it unwise, but this all-or-nothing mentality has kept me from actually marrying anyone yet. That's a big commitment!
I know that I've been a little marriage-crazy in the past, but people change. Knowing my past mistakes and the reasons behind them does allow me to make better decisions. Do I still have to fight to be objective about people I'm close to? Sure. But I think I'm ready. I think this is the guy, and I think that he deserves the kind of commitment that I want to make to him - and I think that he wants to make that kind of commitment to me. And I think he'll make an amazing father (and that matters to me).
Monday, December 1, 2008
Don't I have beautiful friends?! Hopefully she won't kill me for revealing this, but she was a three dress bride. She didn't decide until the day of which she would wear. I think this was a perfect choice - she looks like a Grecian goddess.
I couldn't leave out the aforementioned sweetheart! I love this picture, because it totally captures him!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Halloween 2008 - a lollipop tiara AND an awesome wig! And yes, those are amazing, glittery false eyelashes - another favorite that will reappear in some form for the wedding(minus the glitter, I suppose)!
Halloween 2007 - giant hat, and false eyelashes (again)
Horse Races - Is there any better excuse to wear a big hat?!
Another great horse race = another great hat!
I originally thought that I'd go with a traditional, long veil for the ceremony, and then a birdcage veil (easier to dance in, but even more dramatic) for the reception. Then it occurred to me - this is the perfect excuse to wear a hat! I still like the idea of a very traditional, long veil for the ceremony, but what about a birdcage veil WITH a hat for the reception!? Obviously, it couldn't be too high of a hat, because I still have to be able to twirl under an arm without knocking it off (these are serious considerations, people!), but a nice, understated hat - something like a fascinator+. Yeah, that's it. I really love my black cocktail hat - I wonder what something like that would look like in white?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Scott Hayne is one of those amazing photographers. He's based out of Norfolk, VA, and is kind enough to keep a blog to show off some of his amazing images. I've killed entirely too much time drooling over them since I discovered him this afternoon. And I'll keep drooling until I see the price list, I'm sure. A knottie used them and recommended them, and I'm just so impressed.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Here are the rules:
1) Link back to the fabulousness that tagged you and list the rules on your blog;
2) Spill 7 random facts about yourself;
3) Tag others, cause that's how the game of tag works (only I'm too shy to do this);
4) Comment to let them know they've been tagged.
Wow, seven whole things about me that I probably should not put on the internet:
1) When I was little, I was in an Oscar Meyer Wiener commercial. I was just one in one of many groups, and was probably only on tv for 2-3 words of the jingle, but I sang my heart out. More importantly, they gave me a giant blow-up OM wiener! I loved that thing, and took it to the pool almost every day for at least one summer, and was uber-skilled at jumping into the pool while 'riding' it. This sounds a little pervy now, but I was young and it was just cool to me then! I still remember how upset I was when I took it to the beach and some shells in the sand punctured it.
Ah, memories. This looks just like mine! I wonder if my mom has a hidden picture of mine somewhere.2) In law school, I'd only use green bic highlighters. I would buy them in bulk at Staples. And I did actually use each one until it had no ink left. I thought they were the best color by leaps and bounds (and I still do). Green is light enough that you can easily read through it, and dark enough that I could write actual words in it and read them without squinting.
3) I hated my nickname growing up, and finally pitched enough full-blown, only-child tantrums about it that my entire family completely stopped using it. Now, I kinda like it, and wish that I had a nickname in the family. But that ship has sailed, and I was the one navigating.
4a) I was a college drop-out. I graduated high school at 17, and had no idea what I wanted. I tried college, but was incredibly unmotivated, and ended up dropping out/failing out. Yuck! So I moved in with my boyfriend-at-the-time, and worked low-wage jobs. Although he was by no means the reason that I was so directionless then, breaking up with him has become completely connected with getting my life together in my memories. When I left him (because he was cheating on me), I went home, went back to school, and was focused. I graduated 2.5 years later with my B.A., and three years after that, I graduated from a top 25 law school (and yeah, I'm proud of that).
4b) I was a ballroom dance instructor. After I dropped out of undergrad, I was looking for a job, and totally tumbled into a position at a local Fred Astaire studio. I walked in with no experience, and they trained me. I was actually pretty good (but no where near ready for any national pro competitions). I had several students who won local and regional competitions though. I actually really loved it, but the co-workers can be pretty shady, and the costs (of costumes, shoes, etc.) far outweigh the money you make.
Sadly, this is about the only picture I have of me dancing.
5) I can't dance. Not freestyle, out at the club dancing. Seriously. It's BAD. the fiance (then boyfriend) of a friend once videoed us dancing at a law school event. After I saw it, I swore I'd never dance in public without a partner again. That lasted about 6 months. I just enjoy dancing too much! I dance around my apartment. I dance in the car. And when I think no one is looking too closely, I even dance on the treadmill. A few weeks ago, I did a mirror maze, and I danced the entire way through that (and then through a game of mini golf).
6) Pump It is on my ipod workout mix. And every time it comes on, I want to box. As in, while I'm running on the treadmill, I really want to punch the air in front of me - usually just a basic jab, but sometimes an uppercut or hook. And usually, I let myself. I try to conceal it as just runner arms (you know, bent at the elbow, swinging back and forth in opposition to my legs), but there are loose fists, and there is some extra ooomph coming forward. And sometimes, when I'm in the car, I'll punch to the music to keep awake (but, of course, I'm careful not to punch the windshield... hard).
Maybe if I did more punching, I'd look like this. ...or not.
7) I love to climb things! I don't think a vacation is complete without climbing something - trails, rocks, sculptures, trees, signs... whatever is nearby. I have tons of pictures of me in trees. And I think that's awesome! (And I wear flip flops whenever possible. This means that I do a lot of climbing in flip flops. And I think that's awesome too).
Notice the Rainbow sandals on my feet here.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
And they're only $.33 - that's a big point in their favor. But I worry that they are too obviously cheap. And that people won't slip into them because a) the flimsiness will make them uncomfortable, b) women wearing hose won't want to deal with the toe thong, c) they won't be obviously noticeable, or d) people just won't have a problem with dance barefoot/sock footed.
So, in the end, is it worth doing half-way, or should I just commit to full fledged flip flops or nothing?
Now that it looks like it will really happen, my friend brought it up again, and her parents said that they'd be happy to help us get access to the Mart. Now, the next show isn't until January (OMG, that requires patience), and I had to actually broach the subject. In general, I think we can talk about anything, but he's avoided talking directly about this sort of thing, so I've been trying to dance around it (not that he would agree with this statement - he'd likely say that I've been very blunt and confrontational). But for him to know that this was an option, I had to actually bring it up myself. I was terrified!
But I did finally bring it up. I tried once and backed down, but the second time, I actually made myself say it out loud. And he responded perfectly. He asked a few questions to make sure that he understood what I was really talking about/offering up, and then said he'd think about it as a possibility. So, I'm stuck still guessing (for all I know, he may have already bought it - he did have all day Tuesday off) if and when and how. Which, honestly, I kinda like (although it is driving me a little crazy). And lets me relax too. I can tell myself that it's probably not going to happen yet, because he's probably waiting to get the ring that way. So it's win/win (at least for me).
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I really want to do STD magnet postcards. I imagine a postcard that's a magnet - STD info on the front, and a mailing label stuck right to the magnet on the back. And according to the USPS hot line (yes, I called), they do still only require 27 cent postage. Rock! They'll be amazing!
So, I've been checking out the usual online culprits for cheap printing, and it looks like vistaprint comes through with the cheapest on this one - for 100 (I have no idea how many I'll need, but this seemed like a fair estimate for price comparison's sake), it's only $49.99 for regular postcard sized magnets (that's .50 each, for those of you who are as math challenged as I am - I double checked on the calculator). (Plus $4.95 to upload the image.)
However, if I do a STD magnet that's business card sized, and rubber cement it to a postcard, that may end up cheaper (although that makes me wonder even more about the postage changing - USPS is sneaky!). I can get the magnet from vistaprint for 17 cent/each (assuming 100 again), and the postcards themselves (or really, regular 3.5x5 prints) from adoramapix for 15 cent/each (or $.19 for matte instead of glossy, which may be worth the upgrade) - that brings the new (kinder, gentler) total to $.32-.36 per postcard (+rubber cement and mailing labels, and time to assemble).
Here's the easy summary:
big magnets: $.50/each
little magnets attached to postcard-sized prints: $.32-.36/each
So what to do?! Still assuming 100 STDs needed, that's a difference of only about $14-$18. So really, not enough of a price difference to really lose sleep over. And the bigger ones would be easier and look more like they were intended to be postcards (because they were)... and be less likely to fall apart in the mail. But would people prefer the smaller magnet?
And honestly, there's not even anything particularly outstanding about it. I'm sure I've seen essentially the same ring before without the heart palpitations and nearly careening into the car in front of me. (Although the billboard photo was straight-on of the side, and I think that makes the tiny side stone stand out more, and generally makes it all more dramatic.) Part of it was that the billboard proudly proclaimed that this ring was called "the Crown" (and who doesn't like that!?), but after a google search to try to find another picture of it, I realized that there are lots of engagement ring settings called some variation of crown, and none of them made me melt like this. Basically, I can't explain my obsession.
And my first thought (after I regained my ability to think), was that this was awful! I'm not planning to pick out a ring with him (I imagine that he would prefer to surprise me, and I completely trust his judgment), and I half expect him to pick out an estate ring, rather than something new (which I am completely on board with). So the chances of me actually getting the ring that caused me to melt are slim to none.
But after a moment, I realized that what this really meant was that I'd get to have two separate time-stopping ring experiences. I know that no matter what ring he picks out, it will make my heart skip a beat too, because it be so much more than a piece of jewelry. It reminded me how much I want that surprise, and I know that my heart will go aflutter every time I look at my hand and see the ring that came from him, and that the Scott Kay setting will stop inducing butterflies as soon as I have a ring of my own.
And right now, the price goes down even more (to $76) with code FANDF at checkout!* Sadly, there is no way for me to justify making wedding-related purchases yet (other than manicures - just in case).
*Thank you, shop it to me sale emails.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I'm already imagining it with a cute little bolero to cover their shoulders (if they want). Sigh.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
And then nothing happened this weekend. But I was still pretty zen. And then I got an email from him this morning in which he was fantasizing about us actually being in the same city... and part of this fantasy was that I could move back in with an (amazing and perfect) old roomie. Mind you, I can't move until next September because of my work situation. In my mind, I would be getting married then, and moving into a house with him.
His email completely killed me! I know I'm being way emotional, but I read that to mean that he doesn't really want to marry me ever! I was/am devastated. Sure, it probably just means he doesn't want to rush. And sure, that's probably a good thing. But really, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. And I can't even blame hormones.
So right now, I don't want to think about planning or pretty dresses. I just want to kick him. And that's not very nice.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Totally gratuitous picture of Barboursville
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Finally, I desperately want a picture of us together with me holding a gun, pointed at him. I had the dubious reputation as the girl with guns in law school, and frankly, I think it would be a way to laugh at how silly I'm being right now, desperately hoping that he'll eventually actually get me a ring. ;) I think this would be perfect on the trail that I always walked in law school - the Chessie Trail. It was a rails to trails project, and it's all wooded, with a river on one side and fences on the other side. It was perfect for walking Hershey without having to keep him on the leash (but don't tell, because there was definitely a sign posted (which no one paid attention to) that said pups needed leashes), and it was so relaxing. It was sheltered from the wind, and shaded in the summer. Pretty much perfect.
Monday, October 27, 2008
For instance, plantations. How can you not love the grandeur and sprawl and sense of history that a well-restored plantation evokes?! So... I've been looking for plantation wedding locations. And I found the perfect one. Seriously! It was moved to Virginia brick by brick and rebuilt near Richmond. And it's amazingly beautiful! Can't you tell?! I WANT IT!
I even convinced myself that it wouldn't be too expensive since it's not as well known as the Biltmore Estate, and is owned and operated by the historical society. Right? A quick perusal of the website yielded no info on renting it out - it just said to call. I called, and there was a menu option for special events - I pressed it. The recorded voice had the audacity to tell me that they no longer do weddings!!! What does that mean? When did they? Why don't they now? Would a very grumpy woman yelling at them convince them that they wanted to deal with that kind of crazy again/more? My dreams=dashed.
Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
*Honestly, if I could have anything I wanted, I'd have the ceremony in the Library of Congress and the reception at the White House. But I can't have everything I want. Sad.