Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Well, Hello Again

It's been a while. I realize I've been completely neglecting my blog and while I'd like to say it's because I've been insanely busy, the truth of the matter is, I've just kind of lost interest. I decided to stop on by Christy's blog today and read her most recent post of closure and can't help feeling the same way. Blogging was like second nature while Matt was deployed - it was a fantastic outlet for my feelings and even gave me an extra little bonus by getting me published (see Military Bride). It was even easy to continue to blog after Matt returned home because we had the roaring emotions of post-deployment to deal with, not to mention our upcoming wedding (and let's not forget about the Jetta). Now that the wedding has passed (and I'm driving a fully functional car), I find I have very little to post about. It's a return to normalcy, and it's nice. You can still find me on my myspace page where every now and then I post silly nonsense on my blog, so anyone reading this who's a fellow myspace nerd should add me as their friend. I leave you all with pictures from our honeymoon to Cabo San Lucas. Thanks to everyone who's supported Matt and I - some of you have been around since the beginning of Military Bride and some of you may even remember the blog I had before Military Bride that the army made me delete :) Everyone keep in touch!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Happily Ever After...

Okay, I AM going to actually post about the wedding eventually, but for now I thought you'd all be happy to know I finally got to sorting through and resizing photos, so you can view the album here. Most of the photos are from our photographer, but some are not... Anyhoo, ENJOY!! I promise I'll post soon. Really!! LOL.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm BAAAAACK

Yes, yes, I'm totally utterly and completely slacking with updates, but I have lots of pictures to post and lots to tell...unfortunately I also have LOTS to catch up on at work. The photographer gave us a few discs with ALL the photos on them so I have to sort through about a billion photos and resize the ones I like for the website, so I PROMISE I'll have them posted no later than the end of next week. Until then, here's two already resized photos to hold you over for the time being!! :)~

EKW_6210 EKW_6219

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Going to the Chapel....

Well, here we are. After a 20-month engagement - a 14 month deployment right smack in the middle - seemingly endless planning, sleepless nights, dreams of missing photographers and dreams of stolen wedding gowns, our much anticipated date of August 5 is nearly upon us. 3 days away, to be exact (well, that's if you don't count today, natch). I remember going to a wedding last October and basically scoffing at the bride who told me, "It'll come up quickly." What did she know? In October, I still had more than 5 months of a deployment left. But it DID come up quickly - alarmingly quickly, actually. I remember (and many of you have also recalled in my comments) when my wedding counter was in the 500s, and yet here it is, down to the teeny tiny digit of 3.

It's been a lot of fun. Oh, I know I've complained a good deal, sworn off wedding planning for the rest of my life, come close to tearing off my ears from listening to Matt complain about the hoops the Catholic church makes you jump through to be married in their religion, but all in all, I've thoroughly enjoyed it (even moreso now toward the end since Matt's gotten incredibly excited - it's very contagious). At home I have a box full of framed table names (each table is named after a part of Lake Tahoe, i.e. Emerald Bay, Crystal Bay, Sand Harbor, etc), a box full of gifts for our wedding attendants (wrapped beautifully by yours truly, I might add despite Matt thinking they look "gay"), a guest book, framed photos of our parents from their wedding, fake wedding rings for the ring pillow, the real wedding rings for the vows, a basket full of programs, a topper and ribbons for the cake - all the fruits of our labor, all waiting to be taken up to Tahoe tomorrow.

I thought last week would drag by and was quite surprised when all of a sudden it was Friday and Matt and I were sharing drinks and talking excitedly of how "a week from today..." And now here we are. Not "a week from," but rather, "this week," this Saturday, 3 DAYS. This is my last day of work for 2 glorious weeks, which means this is also my last post until I return to the office on the 17th (at which time - or shortly thereafter - I'll have a plethora of pictures to post). Then I'll officially be Mrs. Matt and all the time spent doodling my new name all over my desk calendar will have paid off when I no longer have to sign my tremondously long and difficult-to-pronounce maiden name.

Matt's best man, Brian, is driving into town tonight. They've known each other since Matt was 12 and Brian was 10 and tonight will be the first time I meet him. They're waking up bright and early tomorrow (4:30 a.m. - yikes!!!) to go fishing and in the meantime, I'm getting my pedicure, my new set of nails, and going to Tahoe to go over ceremony music, to drop off cake decorations to the baker, to meet with the photographer one last time before the Big Day. I can't really believe after all this time it's really here, and it really did "come up quickly!" I'll be back soon with plenty of pictures from pre-wedding events, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding and reception, and of course, the honeymoon. Bye for now!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Attack of the Momzilla

My mom is an interesting character; I always think that if I were to ever write a book, my mother would be the ideal stuck up socialite antagonist. Her actions are innocent enough - I genuinely believe that this is just the way she is and that she can't help it - and I certainly wouldn't call her "stupid" (though I flung the word at her like crazy when I was a teenager), but perhaps "careless" would better describe her, and despite how this post might sound, I do just adore my mom (most of the time).

When I refer to my mom as "careless," I don't mean it the sense that she's flakey and unable to sort out levels of importance in her priorities, but rather that she literally could not care less - she doesn't care what others think of her, she's somewhat thoughtless, she says things that obviously she didn't thoroughly think through before saying them. Case in point: when Matt and I first got engaged, we went up to Tahoe to go to church with my mom (she's part of the parish of the church we're getting married in) and ran into an old girlfriend of mine from high school and her newly engaged fiance. My mom, never one to be outdone, kept nudging at the couple throughout the mass insisting that they "meet my fiance" and "look at my ring." When they finally complied and looked at my ring, my mom remarked loudly to me, "That can't make her fiance feel too good, seeing how big your ring is compared to hers." She didn't mean it maliciously - it's just part of her careless attitude - and while I desperately wanted to crawl under the pew away from my mother's somehow scathing, yet somehow innocent comments, she didn't even seem to notice she'd said anything wrong.

My mom is also highly social; I can't even count on my fingers and toes how many close friends she has, and I would list "throwing soirees" as one of her all time favorite hobbies. With her deep primal urge to throw one hell of a party, she has, unsurprisingly, thrown herself full-heartedly into planning the wedding. If soirees are a pleasure, surely throwing a party for 150-some people must be heaven. However, somewhere in the middle of all this, the "throwing a party for 150-some people" somehow surpassed "giving her daughter a beautiful wedding." Sometimes I think she's completely forgotten just exactly what the primary reason of this "party" is and could care less about any factors underlying the fact that she gets to hostess a really big party. She ran by me the other day the speech she's going to give at our reception, and while I foolishly expected to be moved to tears by some beautiful rendition of how my mother and I had managed to move beyond the tumultuous relationship we had during my teenage years to become such good friends and how happy she was that I was now bringing into the family a most wonderful man, I instead got a run down of how many and what states our guests have travelled from. My mom has pushed aside any notion of this wedding being mine and Matt's and has developed an awful tendency to be extremely over-sensitive to being said no to in regards to anything involving the wedding. With that said, I give you a pretty humorous list of the incredibly mundane things my mom and I have fought about with the wedding only a matter of days away:

1. The Rehearsal Dinner Seating. Before I fully get into this, it should be noted that, per tradition, Matt's family is paying for the rehearsal dinner, so naturally you would assume that this would mean they'd get first say in everything. The dinner is going to be kind of a big event since a lot of our guests are coming from far away - it would be a shame for them to travel all that way for one day - so there will be appoximately 70 people at the rehearsal dinner, which means we need to figure out an appropriate seating arrangement and everyone needs to be assigned a seat so the waiters know what meal goes to what seat for the sit-down dinner. This has turned into one gigantic headache. When Matt and I went to Sacramento for the wedding last weekend, Matt's mom and I took some time to draw up a nice diagram and tentatively work out seating assignments. A month or so ago we decided on 8 people per table - it would keep things nicely spaced and comfortable and the coordinator told us that that was probably about the max you'd want at a table anyway. We pushed the limit a little by putting 9 at a few tables (mostly because Matt and I want all our wedding party together and there's an odd number of them with their dates), but we figured that would be okay. When Matt's mom faxed the diagram and our contingent seating assignments to my mom, my mom found it fitting to change the entire thing, to add 10 people at a table where she damn well pleased. She completely eliminated a whole table and decided to put our entire family at the front tables closest to the head table, pushing Matt's family all the way to the back (nevermind that this is the marriage of two families and Matt's parents are the one paying for the dinner - I'm sure they'd have been thrilled that my mom thought it appropriate to demote everyone of importance in their life to not as important as our family). Thankfully, she sent her changes to me first, so Matt's mom never had to see the horror of my mom patronizing her family's importance. When I told her ever-so-nicely that she couldn't have 10 people at a table, she, like a whiny 10-year old throwing a tantrum, pointed out that was SO unfair because I had a table of 9 and she absolutely could not separate so-and-so from so-and-so. She would not. She wouldn't even try. She preferred to pout in a corner about not getting her way, so I spent mind numbing hours figuring out the perfect combination myself. Of course, this wasn't good enough for my mom (who was still fuming over the awful unfairness of Matt and I having a table of 9), so she emailed the coordinator and asked her for the dimentions of the tables as PROOF that she couldn't fit 10 at a table (I wish I were joking, I really do). Then, and only then, was she able to accept that she really couldn't have 10 people at a table.

2. The Ring Bearer. I don't think I've mentioned it - or if I have, it hasn't been often - but the ring bearer at our wedding is going to be our dog, Tommy. He's a big part of mine and Matt's life, and while Matt wasn't initially enthused about the idea, he finally admitted to me last night that he's "glad Tommy's in the wedding." Anyway, I digress. Everyone has adored the idea of us having our dog in the wedding. I got him a harness to make him easier to handle for our friend who we've given the title of "Ring Bearer Usher" and plan to stitch velcro to the top of the harness and the bottom of the ring pillow to make it work. I also got him a bow tie so he'll fit right in with wedding party (though he is thrilled neither about the harness nor the bow tie). My mom wrote me an email today asking why don't we put Tommy in a top hat. In response, I wrote:
There's really no feasible way we could put a top hat on Tommy - he already hates the bow tie enough!! Plus, none of Matt's groomsmen are wearing top hats, so I'd like Tommy to "match."

To which she replied:
Sorry about the “top hat” suggestion! I can feel your disgust for what I said through your e-mail!

Did I miss something here? I read my email over and over again for hints of sarcasm and could find none. Probably because I wasn't feeling particularly snarky when I told my mom Tommy wouldn't be wearing a top hat, and it's not so much that my mom minds that he won't be wearing a top hat, but rather, she's upset due to the fact that she thinks he won't be wearing a top hat just to spite her - she thinks I turned down the idea not because I didn't like it, but because it was her idea, which is, of course, absolutely insane (incidentally, I've been using that word a lot lately to describe my mom).

3. Picture Frames. As somewhat of a rip off from my brother and his wife's wedding, I decided that at the table where we'll have the guest book, I'm going to put framed 8x10s of Matt and I, my parents at their wedding, and Matt's parents at theirs. Matt's mom sent me home with their entire photo album to pick out whatever photo of theirs I wanted to use (she's been such a Godsend throughout this - it's nice to have at least ONE mom maintaining her sanity). I told my mom to pick out an 8x10 photo of her and my dad from their wedding for me and that I was then going to get three matching frames. I got an email from my mom today letting me know that she'd picked out a photo and asking me if I wanted her to get a particular frame for it. I told her no, "please don't frame the 8x10. I'm going to get three matching frames," and she must've sensed some level of "disgust" in that email as well because her response was, "Fine. I'll be happy to let you spend your money on a frame."

I don't really know what it is about the wedding that has brought out this highly sensitive side of my mom. She has, on some level, always had a tendency to take everything personally, but not like this - suddenly, everything is a personal insult or attack aimed at her. Matt thinks it's because she's having mixed feelings about "losing" her daughter, and if that were the case, I wish she'd release her emotions the same way my dad has by watching all of our old home videos from when I was a little girl. Regardless, nothing can seem to deter my excitement for the wedding and our Mexico honeymoon. I've discovered that if I force myself to speak slowly, deliberately, and monotonously to my mom, it prevents me from getting angry at her for her recent actions and for the most part, I've just ignored her over-sensitivity. I suppose if I get angry at her for getting angry over the ridiculous stuff she's gotten upset over, it doesn't make me any better. In just 11 days, this'll all be behind us! :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm Already There

When my alarm went off this morning, the song playing over the airwaves was Lonestar's "I'm Already There." And I started crying - crying over the deployment is something I haven't done for a long time now, but as I lay there listening to the lyrics that strike so many familiar chords (Matt had already left for work so I was alone), I couldn't help but remember what a long, lonely road we'd just trekked down. We've been so busy since Matt got home - something always to do, one thing after another - that thoughts of what we've endured have been pushed to the backburner. Out of sight, out of mind. It's hard to believe that it's been 4 months now that Matt has been home; it's hard to believe because those months went by so quickly and I remember 4 months seemed like an eternity when Matt was gone.

I was talking to my dad not too long ago about the wedding (constantly reminding everyone how many days are left until the Big Day has become a habit of mine - I even end my emails with it), and he had a good laugh about how many things in my life I've waited for and how they always came quicker than I imagined they would: waiting to turn 16 to get my driver's license, waiting to graduate high school, waiting to move out of my parent's house and into the dorms, waiting to turn 21, waiting for Matt to come home. But I simply cannot group in the deployment with all the rest of the periods of waiting in my life - everything else I've ever waited for never involved those awful deep feelings of loneliness, never involved that sick feeling of worry when a relative story breaks on the news, never involved eagerly anticipating phone calls in the wee hours of the morning, and while in retrospect it's easy for me to shrug off 14 months with a simple nonchalance, I don't think I'll ever be able to say that those months went by quickly nor could I ever belittle their significance by saying looking back they don't seem "that bad." I remember the weight I carried with me every single day Matt was gone, and even though I don't constantly think of the days of our deployment anymore, I won't ever forget the wait.

We went to Sacramento this past weekend for a wedding. The bridezilla in me said that the only wedding I'll go to this year will be mine, but when Matt's mom told me that she'd already RSVP'd for us, I was struck with the dilemma of not wanting to go because I'm slightly stuck up or going because I know how much it would bother me if someone RSVP'd and then didn't come. Of course I went for the latter. I've been so annoyingly exact about every teeny tiny detail and I know, while it wouldn't have directly bothered me the day of the wedding, I'd be steaming later when I found out we'd paid for someone who hadn't even bothered to show up despite saying they would. I even sent out emails to all mine and Matt's friends who said they were going to RSVP for 2 people "just in case" and told them I'd personally kick their asses if they RSVP'd for 2 people and ended up not finding a date. Oh yes, I've been a peach. After idle threats, I nicely informed them that it's much easier to add a person to our list than to subract one.

Anyway, I digress, and really, this post isn't so much about the wedding we attended this past weekend as it is about our drive to it (and why I should possibly invest in a horse-drawn carriage and save everyone a headache or two). As most of you already know, I had quite the saga with my Jetta up to and including the day I sold it. If you've just recently tuned in and don't know, you can either read my past posts or take my word for it that this car and I were terribly mismatched. What most of you DON'T know is that regardless of being a mechanical dream, the Toyota I owned before my Jetta suffered quite a bit of wrath while in my ownership. Mainly dents and dings and all the telltail signs of a real good driver.

Now that I'm in possession of the Honda, I've been doing everything in my power to take the best possible care of it since it's not my car. I still have minor issues with how slow it is to get going from a stopped position, but truth be told, the fact that I actually can not speed in this car is probably a good thing (I always call it my golf cart with a govenor and every time I remind Matt that I want a V6 when we buy a new Camry, he rolls his eyes at me; we both know it's a terrible idea, that I'll rack up more speeding tickets in a year than most people do in a lifetime, but we also both know that I'll get my V6 because it'll be "our" car for the next 10 years). When the Honda's steering wheel started vibrating around Thursday of last week, I noticed right away because it's very important to me that we return this car in the same condition we received it (which is already impossible thanks to the asshole who hit us in a parking lot. Damn you, karma!!). Of course, I didn't think anything of it because, well, the car is so OLD. Sometimes old people shake, so can't old cars shake too? In my defense, I did mention the shimmy to Matt and check the tire pressure (and by "check the tire pressure," I mean, I pushed my thumb against the tire and thought it felt okay).

When we left for Sacramento Saturday morning, the vibrations were no worse, but there was a noticeable shimmy after 70 mph. Real noticeable - it felt like the car was about to fall apart. Matt sighed exasperatedly like he always does when he's about to lecture me on taking care of my things, and as expected, went into a really long diatribe on how I have the worst luck with cars (it's something I can't really argue with either. I mean, I really don't have the best track record when it comes to cars). I'm sure you can only imagine how much it drove the point home when not 10 minutes later the front passenger tire blew up. I always imagined a blow out being much worse than this one was (and to be fair, I'm sure the seriousness of a blow out varies with every circumstance). I heard the tire blow up and I felt the car drastically jerk, but it didn't really register. I yelled out "Oh my God!" more due to the shock of a sudden deafening sound than the sideways pull of the car and probably would've kept on trying to drive if Matt hadn't said, "Pull over."

The passenger side fender is RUINED. The blow up of the tire managed to rip off part of the siding of the car, dismantle part of the bumper, and leave hideous black rubber marks everywhere. This did nothing for my defensive argument to Matt about how I do not have the worst luck with cars, and after Matt put on the donut (which really made the car look like a golf cart), we drove the 2 hours to Sac in complete silence. It was tedious and long (we couldn't go over 50 mph with the donut) and gave me a lot of time to think about the benefits of just giving up on cars and using a horse and carriage for all my transportation needs. But then I figured, knowing my luck, the horse would probably break a leg walking up a hill or something. As it turns out, the tires on the Honda were not much younger than the Honda itself. We had to get 4 new tires in Sacramento and were told that the tire that blew up looked defective because of the way it blew up. Besides, I don't think it's possible for cars to have problems because of the luck of their owners - the car had been sitting in a garage undriven for God knows how long.

Anyhoo, no new wedding updates because everything is pretty much done - now it's all about waiting and anticipating. 15 days!!!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wedding Updates

I know, I know. I've mildly (ahem) flaked on updates. But I've been busy, things have been hectic...excuses, excuses. Unfortunately even this post isn't going to be much of an update, but I've been feeling a little guilty about neglecting my blog so I thought I'd do a little picture posting to make myself feel better.

I had a practice make-up go-round a few Fridays ago, my final dress fitting last Wednesday, and a practice hair appointment this past Friday, so things are getting down to the wire. I myself can't quite believe the wedding is just a month away. I keep thinking how far away it seemed when Matt was gone and now I can make the statement that our wedding is next month. Holy cripes!! If only time had flown by this quickly while Matt was deployed - I would've shrugged it off with some nonchalance like Matt being gone was no-big-deal. After all, it sure went by fast (uh-huh....).

Anyway, my last few weeks have been filled to the brim with last minute details. The wedding coordinator at the casino we're having our reception at just up and quit - no email, no warning, no nothing - so we had to get in contact with her replacement to pester and make sure that everything was okay in the contract and set to go off as planned. Getting all Matt's groomsmen (who are scattered throughout the western United States) to get into a Men's Wearhouse to be fitted has been a project all its own. We had a handful of guys who were hurt that they weren't Matt's groomsmen (I know, I thought that was more of a girl thing, too), so we gave them small duties and put them in tuxes for the sake of feeling important. We have 13 (!!!) people in tuxes, which will end up amounting to about 10% of the guests. I find it humorous when Matt makes references to its similarity to prom when he's the one who decided to make a penguin of nearly all our friends. Regardless, I wouldn't care if we were picking up bums off the street to wear tuxes at our wedding so long as they went in to the store to be fitted in time.

Apart from the expected glitches and minor obstacles, planning has moved forward relatively smoothly. Nerves have started to set in mostly because I have very little faith in people's ability to do things that are asked of them and to do them in time (yeah, I'm one of those people who would just rather do everything herself, but unfortunately I lack the capacity to become another person and go into the Men's Wearhouse to be fitted for their tux for them). Well, I'm sure everything will go just fine, and if not, what're ya gonna do? Best to just smile and shrug it off rather than ruin your day, right? To wrap up the post, I have a few pictures of all of the fun "getting ready" things I've been doing these past few weeks - make up, hair, dress fitting (yes, there's dress pictures!). You can check them out here. I'll try to be better about updating, but no promises as I have a feeling time is going to be tied up primarily in the wedding for the next 33 days (and then the honeymoon).