Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Only, for those of you who know me, not much of one.

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

Christmas with the fams

Mr. L (and the Hershey-pup) did the rounds with me, and then I went with him to see his family. It was actually pretty wonderful. It wasn't nearly as stressful as I feared; everything just seemed to fall into place. His family had a later Christmas dinner, and mine started on Christmas Eve. Sure, it would have been nice to have a little more time with some people, but I got to spend some quality time with everyone, and I never felt truly rushed. We always had time to talk with people and sit and eat meals - we even fit in a Christmas eve walk with my parents and a date night on Saturday. It was perfect.

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!

Now, it's back to work for a couple of days. NYE will be with him at a very cool hotel in Richmond - The Jefferson. I can't wait! It sounds like he has quite the night planned! I've been promised a bottle of champagne in the hotel room, brunch at the famous La Mer restaurant in the hotel, ball-dropping in Carytown, and a wonderful dinner out.

Very cool new site launched

The peeps at Totally Tabletops are launching a great new website! I think it's a brilliant idea, and I can't wait to see how it grows. It's called 12 too many, and it's basically like craigslist for party stuff! This sounds much easier than checking the listings on every wedding website, ebay, and craigslist to find those perfect vases or table runners. And you can search locally, so no worries about crazy shipping charges that make second-hand stuff more expensive than new. I'm excited!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The family rounds

For as long as I can remember, holidays have meant going to several houses. When I was younger, we did Christmas eve and morning at home, with my mom, then Christmas brunch at my uncle's, and Christmas dinner at my grandma's. Once I could drive (and my dad had moved to the same state as my mom), my dad was added to the mix. As I became close to my BFF, her house was added on as a stop. So that for the last few years, I've traveled to my mom's, my dad's, my uncle's, BFF's, and usually, my grandma's every Christmas. Usually over about 3 days - Christmas eve, day, and the day after.
But this year is my first year as a real working stiff. I (thankfully) work for the government this year, so I get 3 days off for Christmas and 3 more off for the new year (because of the wompy Thursday holiday timing). But I'm at work today, and won't be able to drive down to stop no. 1, my mom's, until tomorrow morning. But, I'm used to juggling it all.

But this year, Mr. L is coming with me for the Christmas whirl-wind tour. I'm not sure he really realizes what he's getting himself into. I'm used to it, and I still need a couple of days to recover once it's all done. And, this means that Saturday morning, we'll be headed to see his family for the weekend. (Hopefully, it looks like his family might do Christmas that night, which would work out perfectly for us, but that's still up in the air.)

By New Year's Eve, I'm pretty sure we'll be ready to relax with a bottle of champagne on the couch and watch the countdown on tv.

The Stepford fam last Christmas. There is no mistaking us for anything but family.

After all the logistical details, here's my problem. Last night, Mr. L called me up and told me he was going to Richmond (where his family is) today to shop and see his family, and he won't be able to meet me in Roanoke (where I am) tonight, so that we can be ready to go first thing in the morning to Charlotte (where most of my family is). I had originally put off driving down tonight in order to make it easier on him, so that he didn't have to rush right down the moment her gets off work. He assured me that he'd get up however early he had to for us to leave on time, but I feel a little cheated. I already get very little time with my family (not his fault, but true), and I'm a little jealous that he can take the day off to go see his family. It's not logical, I know. And I'm trying to shake it (and, I admit, my ire is fading), but I can't quite get rid of the feeling that I'm somehow being shafted. I know I'm being childish and bratty, but I'm not sure how to un-train that kind of thinking.

Monday, December 22, 2008

wedding dream

Aren't you supposed to wait until you're engaged and have been actually planning to have wedding nightmares?

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


I love my father. He wasn't really around for most of my life, but now he is, and I believe in the power of blood (at least for me; I totally respect people who have cut off ties with their blood relatives for any number of reasons). So, of course, I want to have both of my parents be part of my wedding in meaningful ways.

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

Location, location, location

I admit to having spent a good amount of time looking at knot reviews and vendor recommendations, and other websites, trying to find the perfect reception location. We both love history and architecture and, well, old places, so I have searched high and low for historic locations in and around Richmond.

But then I saw photos of a wedding at the Carnegie Institute in DC. And I realized that I could really have a wedding anywhere. I am not really confined to Richmond. And now I'm paralyzed. There are too many things to look at, too many places that could be perfect. Sure, most of his family is in Richmond, but mine is all over NC. And I'm in Roanoke, and he's in Harrisonburg, and DC is still pretty close, and easy to get to for everyone (and full of beautiful buildings... although you cannot have a wedding in the Smithsonian. Which sucks). What to do!? I guess I actually have to wait until I can talk to Mr. L about it.

An un-stylish day

I'm just having one of those days. My hair is limp and gross and is getting too long. The new dress that I'm wearing in a desperate attempt to save me from total frump is ok, but the requisite jacket (for work) over it makes the outfit practically unbearable in it's outdated-ness. I just feel like I look like I don't pay attention to my appearance.

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

Oh! Monique!

I love this veil! Weddings Fresh posted this picture from the ML fall collection. I'm completely smitten with with veil - long over the face with a substantial trim. I would never have imagined it couldlook this perfect.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another boring reflective post

I feel the need to make a few points clear:

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

C+D wedding!

A good friend of mine married her high school sweetheart this summer! Her wedding was one of the most perfect that I've ever attended. It was in her parents' backyard, overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains. It was so perfect, and so perfectly her (and she planned it all while studying for the bar!). The view was spectacular, and the sun set just after the ceremony, so the reception was lit by hundreds of overhead lights and paper lanterns. The food and drink were catered by a local barbecue restaurant over in the left tent (they had the fryer set up right there and were serving up fried green tomatoes!), the dance floor was between the tents, and the right tent held tables and chairs (as did part of the right tent).

One of the tables, ready to go, with a beautiful arrangement of hydrangeas.

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!

The place cards were pinned to a toile-covered board. I thought this was a lovely touch.

This little guy totally stole the show! Here he is playing with one of the gamillion paper lanterns she had strung about. They were absolutely beautiful.

They let me make the cupcakes (I was so honored)! They had two layers of real cake, and 3 kinds of cupcakes underneath - chocolate nutella, carrot, and lemon with raspberry filling. Those are little fondant bluebirds on top of each, to tie into the natural blue decor of the real cake. (Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of the finished cake table!)

I hope she doesn't mind that I want to steal every detail of her wedding! I loved it!!!
*all photos courtesy of KempMillsFant, except the last one (obviously), which is from my personal collection.