Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Re-Gift

So, a funny thing happened to me a work yesterday. At the end of the day, my boss came to my desk and asked me if Joe liked sports. I was all... "um, yeah... why?" He then handed me the EXACT SAME BOOK I got HIM for Christmas last year!

Yep, he re-gifted the gift I got him... back to ME!

I kind of looked at him funny and waited for him to crack a joke, but... nothing. He had no idea! Pretty annoying, right? But, in all honesty, I didn't think I needed to get him a gift and at the last minute (like the morning of the last day of work) I decided I should, so I went to the grocery store and picked this up for him. So, it wasn't like I put a whole lot of thought into it or anything.

And plus, Joe actually really likes it. So, really, it's like I bought it for him. I'm such a thoughtful fiance.

But really? I mean, come on! The lesson here - try not to regift back to the original gifter or that gifter may call you an idiot on the internet. Just saying.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I think Connecticut is said that my mom left because as soon as we hit the CT border after dropping her off at the airport, it started raining and it. hasn't. stopped.

Now, I know I'm supposed to be used to the rain, coming from Seattle, but I've quickly got un-used to it, and it can stop ANY minute now.

Although, on the bright side, we have our own little swimming pool in the back yard. Maybe when it warms up we'll add some sand and some lounge chairs, start practicing for our honeymoon. What do you think?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Hour in Boston

Yesterday ended my mom's week here in Connecticut. We had a fabulous week and got a lot done! I was sad to see her go, but she'll be back in June with my aunt and family friend, and I'm sure it will go by fast.

She flew out of Boston at 6:15 p.m., so Joe and I decided to drive her up early so we could spend a bit of time downtown together. We put 'Boston Common' in the GPS and got there fairly early. But then, of course, we proceeded to drive around the park for 30 minutes trying to find parking! I was driving and apparently making my mom and Joe a bit nervous, so we finally pulled into the very expensive underground parking lot, just so we could actually get out and walk around a bit.

I love this picture! I haven't spent a whole lot of time in Boston, but I just love the feel of it and this picture, with the park and the city skyline, just makes me happy. Good energy here.

Yes, I am a complete tourist. I insisted we go to the Bull & Finch (aka Cheers) for drinks. My mom had already been there, but Joe and I hadn't.

My mom with her beer and my large glass of wine. (Soooo yummy!)

Not the best picture of me, but oh well...

This next picture is on the way back home after dropping my mom off at the airport. We stopped at a gas station to get some water and Joe had to get some Hostess cupcakes. He was eating them and got chocolate all over his hands and was asking me to take the wheel but I thought it was so funny, I took a picture. Husband-to-be not so happy.


It was a fun trip, even though it was pretty rushed. One of these days, Joe and I will get up to Boston to really explore it. I think we will both really love it there.

Wedding Shoes!

The shoes for my wedding never really felt like that big of a priority for me. I just didn't see the reasoning behind paying $200 for a pair of shoes that you don't really get to see, because they are hidden under a big beautiful dress.

When I went shoe shopping yesterday, I admit that I started getting that 'spend, spend, spend!' feeling as I was looking at all these gorgeous designer high heels. But I'm happy to say that I didn't give in. I think most girls love the way they feel in high heels, and I'm no exception, but I knew from the beginning that I was going to wear flats so I didn't tower over my husband-to-be.

This is what I decided on:

They are simple, very inexpensive ($20!!) and I happen to think they are perfect. They are very comfortable and so cute and don't make my feet look like the huge behemoths that they are.

My mom happened upon these frilly little cuties while we were at the store:

At $9, I couldn't help but buy them as well. How perfect are they going to be for the pre-wedding festivities? I love them!

So, I stayed under budget and am really happy with my choices. What do you all think?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mom's Week

It's been so much fun having my mom here this week! We haven't really done a whole lot, so there haven't been many photo opps. I feel like a horrible hostess, since we should be going out and exploring and making the most of it. But, I'm poor and saving for a wedding, so instead I tell her I just want to spend 'quality time with her' at home, and she totally buys it. I don't seem like such a loser that way.

But since there hasn't been much to post on the blog, I made a point of taking some pictures today.

Ava doesn't like her gramma to work on the computer. Pay attention to me!

She's used to me being on the computer.
We took a long walk to the park today and I got a couple random shots, but then we decided to take a real photo shoot because my mom needs some good picture for her pet-sitting business.

Pick me up gramma!

Jackson says "No more pictures, let's GO!"

Photo Shoot:

Of course, I had to get a couple shots of me lovin' on my sweet babies!

Is he not the CUTEST??

So, that's our day. It's really all about the dogs. Sad, I know. Time to go make dinner now. I'm such a good wife-to-be. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Gown-Shopping Weekend

I'm sorry to get this post up so late. Since my mom has been here, I've been slacking on keeping up with my online responsibilities. :)

My "gown-shopping" weekend was totally crazy!

First, my mom and my cousin Christi were supposed to fly into Boston around 5:15 p.m. on Friday. They were going to take a shuttle to the hotel and I was going to meet them there as soon as humanly possible. Well, around 10:00 a.m. I got a call that their plane had broke down and the airport staff searched and searched for another flight to Boston and could only locate ONE ticket that day for ANY airline. WTH?? When does that ever happen? I guess it was spring break and everything was booked. So, my mom got the ticket and my cousin had to stay home. I was soooo bummed she couldn't come. AND my mom wasn't going to get into Boston until midnight!

So, I took my time getting up there and when I got to the hotel, I was feeling kind of bummed, so I ordered a martini and turned on Comedy Central. I felt a little better. :)

FYI, the Chelsea Windham hotel serves the BEST dirty martinis!

When my mom showed up at the hotel, it was after midnight, but of course we started chatting and didn't go to sleep until around 3:00 a.m.!

We begrudgingly woke up the next morning to start our busy day of shopping.

The first place we visited was Vows.

Starting my gown shopping!

This place was highly rated on The Knot, but when I went in and looked around, I only found ONE dress I even wanted to try on! I tried on a few others, too, but didn't find anything that really wowed me.
Next we went to The Bridal Secret (no picture, sorry). I had high hopes for this place. I read through the website and the owner seemed like she really knew what she was doing. She emailed me a bunch before our appointment and she just seemed very friendly.

Well, she didn't really understand what I was going for and I didn't feel very happy there. I found a couple dresses that looked 'okay' and she kept telling me that she could tell I loved them. Yeah, I didn't.

We weren't planning on going to any more places that day, but I was feeling pretty anxious and decided to stop by a high-end shop in downtown Boston called "Pricilla of Boston". We didn't have an appointment and when I asked the sales lady if there were any dresses under $2,000 available, she basically turned her nose up to us and said we were in the wrong place.

When we left there I was convinced that I was never going to find "the one" (or that "the one" was going to cost me $8,000 custom made, which wasn't going to happen) and I found myself thinking I would either have to go back to The Bridal Secret and buy one I didn't love, or fly back to Seattle and get one of the super-expensive ones I found there that I did love. Neither option was ideal.

Both my mom and I were feeling kind of down when we went back to the hotel, so we went down to the bar for drinks.


THREE ROUNDS LATER (which is a TON of alcohol for us two lightweights), we stumbled back to our room and I fell asleep as my mom scoured the internet for other options.

The next morning we both woke up with hangovers and my mom announced she found a great bridal outlet.... in Ohio. We were actually contemplating how we were going to get to Ohio as we got ready to head out to our fourth and final store.

The final store we went to was The Wishing Well, in East Providence, R.I.

The BEST gown shop in New England!

As soon as I walked into this store, I saw a gown hanging up that actually looked like what I was looking for. When I went over to that one, I found two more that were my style. I started shaking because at that point I KNEW I was finally in the right store. It sealed the deal when I came across my pipe dream dress - the dress I found in a magazine when I first got engaged that I fell head over heals for and placed in the front of my wedding binder. I never thought I would get to even try on that dress, let alone think about purchasing it!! I was elated!

I tried on several dresses and can you believe it - I found a dress EVEN BETTER than my pipe dream dress! It's the same designer (Maggie Sottero) and very similar, but with just a few details changed that made it so 'me'. As soon as I put it on, I knew - I had that amazing, enchanting feeling and knew I found "the one". It was even in my price range. My mom was crying, I was crying, and everything was wonderful.

What a relief!

We put half down and they ordered it. So exciting! (And now we don't have to drive to Ohio.)

I know you want to see what it looks like, but I don't want Joe to see it until the big day. So, I'll have to send you all individual links. Just don't show it to him!!

Such a big decision out of the way. It feels good.

This or That Tuesday

The Winey Mommy

My blogger friend over at The Winey Mommy has put together a weekly post called "This or That Tuesday" and because I like her so much, I thought I'd play along.

This week's question is pretty funny for anyone who knows me. It is:

Do you buy your makeup at a discount/drugstore or some type of specialty makeup store?

Yeah, I don't really buy makeup. I think the last two little jars I've used are hand-me-downs from my mother. I REALLY want to go someplace and have them tell me exactly what I should wear to make me look my best. I hate my skin and I never use makeup correctly to cover up all the badness... I've never really learned to apply makeup properly and I think we can all agree that I am in need of a professional. I'm hoping that at some point I can save some money to replace and replenish my makeup selection, as recommended by someone who knows what they are doing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Joe and I got dressed in green in honor of the day. (Don't you love his tie? His staff got it for him a couple weeks ago).

Everyone at Joe's work totally gets into the holiday spirit. It's awesome. This is Joe and one of the Chiropractic Assistants, Deb.

And of course, I had to have my annual green beer. Cheers!

Hope you all had a great holiday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Random Updates

So, there hasn't been any one big thing that has happened in the last few days, so I thought I'd just update you on the little things that are going on in our lives.

  • We went to a wine night on Saturday and had a lot of fun. It was a party thrown by a new friend of ours. We connected because she lived in Seattle for 14 years and is obsessed with Starbucks. So, of course we became friends!
  • On Sunday we went and saw the movie "Shutter Island". I had read the book on my flights to Seattle the other weekend, so I knew what was coming. Made it easier, since it's kind of a freaky movie. We both liked it. We also rented "The Hurt Locker" the other day because of all the Oscar attention. It wasn't as good as I would have expected. But then again, I'm not a huge fan of war movies.
  • For those of you who don't know, we took Ava back to the vet last week and he said the ulcers on her eyes were rapidly decreasing in size. Tomorrow will be her last day of medication, and then she should be all better. What a relief!
  • We paid off a credit card this week! We have been working really hard to get some debt paid off (all while saving for a wedding), and our first major credit card victory was this weekend. It's HUGE for us, and re-motivated us in our goals. Love this feeling!
  • My cousin and mom are flying into Boston on Friday to take me wedding gown shopping. I'm really hoping to find my dress this weekend! So excited!

Well, I guess that's about it. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

P.S. It's my future father-in-law's birthday today. Happy Birthday Joe!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Things I Love Thursday

Recently I started following a blog called "The Diaper Diaries". Ever since I worked at Birthday in a Box, I've been a huge fan of these 'mom blogs'. I used to follow them to keep up-to-date on what moms out there thought about birthday parties and such (for research)... and I guess I got hooked. I still follow a lot of them and I learn a lot from them. Plus, most of them post about coupons and money savers, and some even offer giveaways, and you know I'm always up for saving money.

Anyway, this new 'mom blog' I found has a weekly post called "Things I Love Thursday". She posts about something she loves and then asks her readers to do the same and link back to her blog.

I thought that sounded like fun, so here we go.

7 Random Things I Love:

1. Starbucks!!

I'm a true Seattle girl, I guess, because I really love Starbucks. Although, a lot of that could be because I have no access to a Starbucks where I live (well, there is one - but it's FOREVER away) and don't we always want what we can't have? Currently, I am digging Americanos. Joe and I don't allow ourselves too many trips to Sbux, but when we do, we savor it. (Yes, I got him hooked, so sue me!).

2. Modern Family
Have you seen this show?? OMG, it is the FUNNIEST half hour of my week, seriously. Joe and I love it. Every single episode makes us laugh. Especially the characters of Mitch & Cameron. Too awesome!

3. Wine
There is nothing better than starting the day off with an awesome cup of coffee, and ending the day with an awesome glass of wine. Joe and I found a super cheap bottle that we love at our local wine shop, so whenever we have an extra few dollars, we treat ourselves to a bottle of wine.

4. Loungewear

I really wish I was the type of girl who got all dressed up to go to the grocery store and had the perfect makeup on all the time. But I'm not. I'm a hop-into-my-sweats-as-soon-as-I-get-home type of girl. I love nothing more than my loungewear. Sorry, Tim Gunn.

5. Naps
I tell everyone that sleeping is my favorite hobby. I CANNOT stay awake if I'm tired. I can sleep anywhere and anytime. I just love the feeling of curling up and letting that blanket of sleep come over me. Which is the number one reason you should never let me drive longer than about an hour on road trips.

6. Books
I have always been a bookworm. I was the girl in school who read during recess and missed her bus stop because she was in the middle of a chapter and didn't look up. And I continue to be a bookworm. My favorite books are written by Stephen King, but I do dabble in other books as well. Someday I'll have my own library in my home, and I can't wait. I have tons of old books from my gramma (who I inherited my bookworm-ness from) and someday they will all be displayed as they were meant to be.

7. Woot
I just found out about this site from a friend of mine in the Italian Greyhound world. And although I haven't allowed myself to buy from it yet (saving for a wedding after all) I look each day to see what they feature. It's SUCH a cool site!

So there you have it. A few things on my 'love' list. Tell me a few things on yours!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

This Family Loves Us Some Sunshine!

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful and today was absolutely beautiful! And I think all four of us realized how much we needed some sunshine! It lifted all of our spirits. It was so nice out that I took a chair out in the front yard, hooked Jackson up to a long leash tied to the bannister, and propped open the front door. I sat in the chair, Jackson rolled around in the grass with a huge grin on his face, Joe kicked back on the front steps, and Ava sat right inside the front door. She just couldn't muster the courage to actually join us OUTSIDE but she laid in the sun and got some fresh air. (We did take her for a nice walk today, so she did get some exercise!)

I know I look totally weird in this picture, with that hat and all, but I just woke up and I wasn't that concerned about my appearance. I was only concerned about the warmth I was feeling!

Okay, she looks a little pathetic, but she really was loving the sun. We kept trying to coax her out with us, and she did spent a little time curled up on Joe's lap, but she felt much more comfortable here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jackson's Monthly Playdate

Finally - a beautiful sunny day!

Today was great. I just got back from taking Jackson to his monthly playdate with the Bethany Friendly Dogs Meetup Group. He had a ball! It was sunny and warm and a tons of dogs showed up. And although Jackson kept mounting this sweet little Aussie mix named Hobbs, it was a pretty successful playdate.

And he needed this. He has had cabin fever BAD over the last few weeks. And I spent most of the afternoon just turning my face up to the sun and soaking it all in. It's amazing what a little Vitamin D will do for you!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ava Can't Catch a Break

We were back at the vet yesterday. Yep, Ava just can't catch a break. Although, I'm pretty sure she did this one to herself...

On Wednesday night Joe and I noticed that her right eye was all squinty. It brought us back to when she last had an eye issue, so we kept a close eye on it. I tried to wipe it clean and look around as much as I could. We decided if it wasn't better in the morning (Thursday - Joe's day off), Joe would take her to the vet.

The next morning that eye was pasted shut! The poor girl couldn't even open it. I helped pry it open and told Joe he would need to make an appointment.

Of course, by the time I was leaving for work, it seemed fine. It didn't look any different from the other eye and she wasn't squinting it at all. I considered not taking her in, but figured we'd better be safe.

It's a good thing we took her! The vet spent quite a bit of time rooting around in her eye and found two small ulcers AND pulled out a wad of nasty red gunk. It was definitely material of some kind and we realized that it must have gotten in there from her spending much of her day burrowing under our (many) fleece blankets.

The vet sent us home with ointment we have to put in her eye three times a day, and as soon as we got home we stored all the fuzzy blankets and brought out the few quilts and other blankets we had that would be safe.

Poor baby!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Man

Yesterday was a pretty special day for Joe. He finally received his Bachelor's Degree in the mail! He finished all his credits months ago, but he's been waiting for that all-important piece of paper that just verifies it all. He is so proud of himself, and I am so proud of him, too! Even though he earned his doctorate, he had the drive to finish his Bachelor's as well. I honestly love him for that.

Pretty damn cool. Congrats honey!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Whirlwind Weekend Trip to Seattle

I had the BEST weekend!

My friend, Heidi, flew me out to Seattle for the weekend so I could celebrate my engagement with all the people I love. And she took very, very good care of me all weekend. We were both running around like crazy women with no time to really sleep or eat, but somehow it was one of the BEST times I've ever had!

I flew in on Friday night. Heidi picked me up at the airport and we headed to her house in Edmonds. We chatted until midnight when we both crashed into bed.

The next morning we got up and headed down to her favorite neighborhood coffee shop for breakfast. They knew her by name, which was pretty cool. Her husband, Scott, met us for breakfast and then we parted ways as we headed out for my first time wedding gown shopping!

What an amazing experience! The first place we went to was very fancy and the consultant was so good - she just seemed to 'get' me and my style. She had me tearing up as I stood in front of the mirror, looking at myself. I have seriously never felt that beautiful in my entire life. Unfortunately, her dresses were way out of my price range. :( By the time I left, though, I was pretty much willing to serve all of you oatmeal during the reception and honeymoon in my own house just so I could afford that dress. But Heidi talked me out of it and reminded me we had two others places to go that day.

I did find some great (cheaper) options at the other two stores, and although I didn't end up buying a gown that day, I have definitely solidified my 'style' and I couldn't be more excited!

Also on Saturday, I got to see our wedding venue for the first time! Everyone was waiting with held breath to see if I liked it. And of course I LOVED it! It's absolutely perfect, I couldn't have asked for anyplace better. Joe's family came up early and met us at the venue as well, and everyone agreed it was perfect.

That night I had dinner with the soon-to-be in-laws and then my soon-to-be sister-in-law drove me down to the airport so we could pick up my mom, who was flying in from Maryland. By the time we all got back to the hotel we were staying at, all of us crashed like a ton of bricks!

The next day, Sunday, was a relaxing morning. We woke up, had breakfast, and then my mom and I hooked up with a friend of mine who had driven up from Wenatchee. We all hung out in downtown Edmonds, walking along the water and catching up. It was great!

All of the above, and I got NO pictures. Serious fail on my part.

Then on to the bridal shower! The shower started at 1:00 and Heidi's in-laws graciously allowed her to host the party at their house. And I have to say, Heidi and her mother-in-law completely outdid themselves. They made so much food and pulled out all the stops. I have never felt so special... seriously.

About 15 of my closest friends and family came to celebrate with me. Some people I haven't seen in years and it was just SO nice to see everyone! And everyone had a great time. Luckliy, my mom and cousin took some pictures, so at least I have evidence of this spectacular party!

No, this was not a baby shower! haha My dear friends Ed and Jessica recently had TWINS (!!) and brought them to the shower so I could meet them. Jacquelyn and Abigail Smiddy are seriously the CUTEST little girls and it was so nice to meet them. My mother (pictured above) pretty much kidnapped Abigail as soon as she came through the door. hmm... is she hoping to be a gramma again soon?? One thing at a time, mom! Geesh!

Jacquelyn and me.

My aunt Kathy, me, and my mom. (Oh, and my Starbucks, heehee)

My cousin Christi, me, and my dad (who just returned from 6 weeks in the Cayman Islands!)

Apparently, something interesting was happening near the door...

My cake! Isn't it beautiful??

I love the way Jessica (far right) is looking at her daughter in this picture. To think she can still look at that little girl with so much adoration, even though she and her sister have pretty much eliminated sleep from their lives. haha

Joe's sister and niece being the gorgeous women they are!

My friend Janet from Wenatchee, her boyfriend Kenny, and my kindred spirit Amanda (a dog trainer in the Seattle area.)

My soon-to-be in-laws, Joe and Connie! I got lucky with these two, trust me!

Janet and Kenny

Christi, Kathy, and my Dad.

I just can't thank everyone enough for such a wonderful weekend. I'm still trying to catch up on sleep! Can't wait to see everyone again - hopefully this time with Joe so he can celebrate as well!