Monday, March 30, 2009

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

B's Mom and I met in the kitchen early Sunday morning...

Me: I dreamed about the wedding!
B's Mom: I did too. It was a bad one. Was yours?
Me: Nope, mine was great. I dreamed that your dress came in and we watched it come off the rack and it was beautiful and fit perfectly.
B's Mom: I dreamed that friends of ours wanted to host the rehearsal dinner, so we were trying not to offend them and have the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner in Atlanta and still make it to Florence for the wedding.


Me: We need to drink less at night. Or more.
B's Mom: I know.

Bringing Libby Home

Ok, so there is no "Libby," but after all the effort and concessions made to this dress, it may as well come with a name (Libby, of course), personality (rigid, unyielding), and source of income (still waiting on that one).

I drove to Atlanta this weekend for my final fitting, which should have been simple, but the bustle had been "added" (as B likes to say) incorrectly. They assured me that they'd have it fixed, pressed, and ready to go the next day, as planned, so I headed back to B's parents house to enjoy a quiet afternoon.

The morning had been wild. I headed out the door around 9am, coming back in several times to a) turn off the air, b) turn off my alarm clock (you're welcome, neighbors), and c) grab a big glass of iced tea for the road. I anticipated having plenty of time to make it to my 1pm appointment. I'd factored in the time change and a 30-minute buffer, but I hadn't factored in Atlanta's crazy night/morning of storms. The bypass was closed off of I-20, sending me into downtown, and then all of Buckhead was without power, turning main stoplights into, at best, four-way stops and, at worst, death traps.

So thrilled I was to arrive at B's house, turn off their alarm system, and settle in on the downstairs couch with a Chick-fil-A lunch and some good TLC fashion-update shows. After a good break, I got to writing thank you notes and working on some wedding things before going out for dinner and wine and baking cookies before B's parents' got home from their vacation.

On Sunday, B's Mom and I ran around town, then ended at the dress store to check the bustle (done correctly!) and take the dress home. She had a moment of panic as we pulled up. "It's going in my car," she asked. I just smiled. "Yep." The look on her face was the same one I'd seen on B's when I'd asked him to drive with my niece in the car for the first time.

We hauled the dress out of the store and let it recline flat in the backseat. B's Mom and I looked at each other. "Your car looks kind of like a hurse now," I said, pointing to the rigid white dress bag that looked (and weighed!) suspiciously like a real person.

Heading home, she drove super carefully, stopping slowly and never slamming on the breaks. I reminded her that I had to take this white-cloaked bad-boy on a two hour interstate journey, but I appreciated her concern. Finally, someone else as afraid of the dress as I was! For once, I felt like I had an inkling of what it was to work for NASA when they move the space shuttle down the main road, driving at a 5 mph pace and stopping all traffic within a mile's distance. Clear the way! The dress is on the move.

We got the dress moved to my car and I headed home, stopping at my Grandma's to drop Libby off, where she'll live until the portraits, then go home with Mom to wait for the wedding day. I got back to my apartment around 9, only to discover that the door was unlocked. Like any crazy girl, I called the person that could do the least to help me: my fiance, who lives roughly 600 miles away. He stayed on the phone while I checked under the beds, in the pantry, on the back patio (in case he'd had a key made and was planning to let himself in from the outside), and, of course, behind the shower curtain. No intruder, only my (now turned dangerous) crazies. How did I leave the door unlocked? I always double-check the handle, a habit that drives B nuts (especially when I do it without thinking after he locks the door). I guess all the in-and-out got me distracted when I left Saturday morning. Still, back to double-checking!

We're at the 40 day mark. I can't wait!

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

Dropped the dress off at Grandma's last night, where it will live until the bridal portrait in a few weeks. My first thought? What if there's a gas leak and the house blows up and my dress is gone? My second thought? What does it say about me that my first concern in that thought was for my dress, not for my soon-to-be 91-year-old Grandma?

This wedding stuff, it makes you crazy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Thank You" Musings

As the big day draws closer, B and I have been suddenly (happily!) overwhelmed with such wonderful and thoughtful gifts from our friends and family. I love knowing that the cookies I make every Christmas will always remind me of a dear friend from college and her sweet boyfriend, and that each piece of my china is actually a physical representation of well wishes from close family friends. It's a neat feeling and, I'll be honest, I haven't actually let B write any thank you notes yet, because I'm so enjoying associating presents with the givers and thinking about what when and how we'll actually use their thoughtful gift.

The thing is, thank you notes can get tricky. Usually, when given a beautiful bowl, you'd say, "Thank you for the beautiful bowl," but it seems somehow odd to say that about a present you essentially picked out for yourself. "The bowl I picked out that you purchased sure is beautiful, eh? Boy do I have good taste!"

Granted, I've received many a wedding-related thank you note in my day and have never once thought, "well darn right it's a beautiful bowl, you picked it out!" In truth, I've loved getting thank you notes, which is probably what's sparked my insistence on doing them all to date. (B-- this doesn't mean you're totally off the hook, ok? I may punt at some point for help!)
So for now, I'm channeling my inner Miss Manners and writing greetings and heartfelt thanks and generally still feeling humbled that the people in our lives love us enough to go out and purchase such amazing gifts that will help us begin our own little home. Amazing gifts, of course, that I've preselected. Nothing like a beautiful bowl with a little pat on the back on the side...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Final Fitting

Ah, the thing about noting anything as "final" is that it almost certainly won't be. I went this morning to the dress store (in Atlanta, mind you) for my final fitting. Now, granted, this is also my second fitting, but because I'm not having any alternations or modifications save a bustle, then it should also serve as final. I put it on, they show me how to shorten it, I take it off, they press it, and I head back to the bustling city that is Birmingham.

Oh Seema, if only it would be that simple. I arrive in Atlanta to find the bypass closed off. Hm, that's no good. Probably a huge wreck, but possibly a death; otherwise, I have no idea why or how they could shut down such a huge thoroughfare.

So I navigate downtown and make my way to Peachtree only to find that Buckhead was completely without power. I call B's parents house-- no answering machine. That doesn't bode well. The traffic lights are off entirely, leading people to turn West Paces into some interstate access road, rather than a series of four-way stops. Seriously, doesn't anyone remember that page in the drivers' manual?

I call the dress store and they're open, so I shuffle along in the confused traffic (Note to self: if possible, stay home when power is out) and arrive with two minutes to spare at Priscilla's. I'm pretty sure my seamstress, Seema, double-booked herself, because she was with another bride, leaving me with another accent-sporting member of the Russian dress mafia.
"To try on bustle, yes?" she asked. Yes indeed.

I strip down in front of what must be the tenth member of Atlanta society and slide into the dress. As I remember, it fits like a glove. Seamstress #2 goes to hook the bustle and the problems start. She can't find the "invisible button" on the underside of the dress. Then, as she hooks it, I can tell it's the wrong style of bustle. And, believe it, I'm not being picky-- it's that my style dress won't hang properly with a traditional bustle. It doesn't need anything fancy, just a slight modification, which Seema admitted she must've forgotten. Of course, that was after I forced Seamstress #2 to go get Seema.

They're fixing it tonight and pressing it so I can pick it up tomorrow. They did get the blood out (another story) and, as far as I can tell, everything else is good to go. It's a little frustrating-- you pay for quality in both dress and service, then have to correct something, and something that we paid a rush fee on so I could get it this weekend for the upcoming bridal portraits.
The thing I keep telling myself about these small things that keep cropping up is a) things like this will happen; keep perspective, b) if these are the worst things that happen, then I'm very very blessed, and c) it's all relative. Well, all relative until the bustle breaks and I'm stuck hauling around my dress during the reception.

I guess there was a reason for having four flower girls after all...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

Mom just sent me the contract for the limo that will take B and myself to the reception after the wedding. Everything looks normal (no smoking, no illegal drugs) until you get to the extra fees at the end:

Regurgitation 100.00 each

Eeewww... Reminds me of an unfortunate cab ride through the streets of Atlanta a few New Year's Eves ago...

Math Wiz

My new name in binary:

01000001 01110011 01101000 01101100 01100101 01111001 00100000 01001011 01100001 01110000 01110000 01100101 01101100

Those of you out there in the know understand what a big thing this was for me. Or would've been if I hadn't used a text translator online...

And He's Just One Man

I was going to write about how I still have more days left to plan this shindig than days that Noah had to build the ark, but I've just realized that that's terribly wrong. Apparently, according to quasi-reliable internet news site A, it could've taken up to 120 years to build the ark and employed literal throngs of people. ...Unless Noah was selected to be featured on Extreme Home Makeover: Ark Edition, in which case the ark would've started as a run-down fishing boat that was sold for scrap then raised into the ginormous vessel we know of it as today in approximately six days. I bet the local tax guy (Mathew/Levi, yes?) even nailed the huge property tax increase notice to the mast.

Hello, Weekend!

I can't believe it's Friday again. Where are these weeks rushing off to? Don't get me wrong; I'm thrilled! Tonight I'm taking it pretty easy: taking a walk if the weather permits, working on the slide show for the rehearsal dinner, and making something low-key for dinner.

Tomorrow I'm off to Atlanta to pick up the dress! I'm going in on Saturday to make sure the bustle works/fits, then will give them 24 hours to press/steam it and then bring it home on Sunday. Somehow having that big dress in the car with me is going to make this all seem very real. Note to self: clean out car.

Last night I took one fabulous girlfriend to the home of another's for our first Pampered Chef party and, to be totally honest, we had a blast! I think because the host, our friend, wasn't the one doing the selling and she quite frankly couldn't care less if we made purchases or not. "Come and eat," she said. "She's cooking for us!"

So we went and ate and drank and played with the dozen kitchen tools "needed" to make a Mexican lasagna and just generally had a good time. My problem is that I can see why each and every one of those things is fabulous to have, but then I'd have each and every one of those things crammed into my tiny cabinets. I may order a baking stone. Pizza, cookies... what more could I want?

By the time I get back to work on Monday, there will be 40 days left until the wedding. Sign. Me. Up!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Love My Lily

There are currently two wonderful Lilies in my life, but I'm pretty sure there's about to be a third. Check out this adorable personalized card from the new Lily Pulitzer line. Love! It looks even better with my new name on it...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

As of yesterday's delivery, we've gotten 131 reply cards (not counting my parents, B, or myself), with 52 regrets and 79 "hell yes!"es. Ok, so the reply card doesn't actually say:

___regrets they will not be able to attend
___says "Hell Yes! See you in May."

...but it may as well have. That's how I look at it anyway. I do a little happy dance every time we get a card back, and they've been rolling into my parents house at the rate of about a dozen a day for over a week now. I was all excited telling B that if it kept up at that rate, we'd have them all by....mid-May. Deflated for a moment, I soon realized that that meant they'd start coming in at an even heavier rate as we spiral toward the deadline (April 8).

That or I'll be on here posting April 8th about how we've still only gotten 131 reply cards and that I'm no longer speaking to my other non-RSVP friends.

Camo and Denim and Wookies, Oh My

Ever dream that you had a chance to do your wedding over? Ever dreamed of seeing it awash in, say, denim. Or camo? Friends, here's your chance. J introduced me to Tacky Weddings, a website that features over-the-top crazy takes on the traditional white wedding day. That may be a kind way to say it.

An earlier feature in March shows a divorced woman wearing her big white dress to celebrate her 50th birthday party. Never mind that the once-groom is long gone, or that the tiara she's sporting looks, well, painful, this lady is ready to rock! Of course, she didn't stay in her gown all night; rather, she changed into a hoop skirt that featured pictures of herself growing up attached to the fabric with what looks like puff paint. Classy, indeed.

My favorite? This wedding cake. Seriously, it's a gorgeous cake! Just slightly to the left of sane, so far as the sentiment goes...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I have the best Mom ever. Nothing else I can really say. If I didn't already appreciate her just for who she is (that being the person I hope to become), the fact that she not only took care of two of my nieces this weekend so I could have a girls' night with my sister and one of my sisters-in-law, plus a ton of friends, but she also just told me "Don't worry," and you know what? I won't.

If I love her for nothing else (and that would be HARD!), I love her for her ability to have faith and trust. She is eternally hopeful, eternally faithful, and perpetually wonderful to me. She once told me that the Bible says the phrase "Do not fear" exactly 365 times, which fits nicely into the "once for every day of the year" prescription that so many of us need.

I love my Mom. And now I can go back to work. And eat lunch. And stop worrying that I might throw up on my keyboard.


After a series of unexpected wedding-planning blips, I'm taking a few meditative moments at work with the soundtrack from Slumdog Millionaire, Latika's Theme, in particular. It's perfect for deep breaths, calming thoughts, and just a few minutes of "this too shall pass." I'd say the blips are nothing to write home about, but of course I've already called him twice and emailed three times in the past 24 hours, so I guess that phrase doesn't really work in this case!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ode to Chick-fil-A

Anyone who has ever experienced a Sunday-based craving for the ultimate in sweet tea and waffle frees will understand and even love this Beatles spoof...

I have a soft spot in my heart for Chick-fil-A. It started in college, when it was one of the two places in a 100-mile radius to serve sweet tea. And, if you went late enough, they'd give you the leftover sweet tea for free in the big gallon jugs. Leftover sweet tea? you ask, well yes. Up North, the sweet nectar isn't as hot a commodity and there were often several gallons leftover at closing which, ironically, was just when a college student needed a sugar rush. The other sweet-spot on Route 1 was the Cracker Barrel, a far too dangerous option when considering the proximity to apple-cinnamon dessert goodness and homemade chicken and dumplings.

While my time at college ended, my love of the home of the famous chicken sandwich did not. Their billboards called to me. Their ginormous helmeted cow-people at football games and local dealerships wooed me with offers of free chicken minis. Then my niece fell in love with the chain and, I have to admit, she's got some valid points. Best playplace around. Nicest people (refills brought into said playplace!). And they even split milkshakes, which comes in handy when you're sharing yours with a backwashing two-year-old.

Oh Chick-fil-A. I believe, too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. Dancing on stage with the band to a tailored version of "Jessie's Girl"

2. Lunch with my sister on Friday at P.F. Chang's. Just us. So fun.

3. Louis the fedora-wearing shuttle bus driver

4. Pink "Girls Gone Wild" caution tape on the door at the shower

5. Green feather boa, riding crop, man-shaped cookies. Enough said.

Girls Gone (a Little) Wild

Saturday kicked off with a bang. I met up with the girls, about 11 of us, for a sunshine-filled brunch on the outdoor patio at Jackson's. Never having had brunch there, I was shocked to see such a huge, and refreshingly inexpensive, menu loaded with French toast, biscuits and gravy, and every omelet combination you could think of.

We indulged in mimosas, cheese grits, au gratin potatoes, and delicious main dishes underneath the umbrellas, looking forward to a really great day. After brunch, the local girls headed their own ways to enjoy the perfect March day while my sister, my college roommate, a dear Birmingham friend, and I headed to a neighborhood park stocked with sweet tea, blankets, and enough magazines to fill an entire week in a waiting room.

Sidebar: The weekend had some amazing moments, but I have to say that a few of my favorites were in the downtime: lunch with my sister on Friday, reading with my best girlfriends in the park, and traumatizing the Wal-Mart bakery lady.

After we'd had our fill of sweet tea and gossipy news, the group headed home to get ready for the main event of the weekend: Saturday night. My former roommate and her new roommate hosted a fabulous shower filled with all thing honeymoon-related. (I tried to write that thought for about 10 minutes, keeping in mind that both Moms, as well as many of our friends, keep up with this blog. For those that need an alternative ending, just pretend it was a spice shower, rather that a spicy one.)

The girls really outdid themselves. Aside from the cookie cake (which ended up with the fortuitous inscription of "Bachelorette Today, Bride Tomorrow, Party Tonight!"), the girls stocked the shower with yummy dips, an amazing bar, and little man cookies with the card, "Don't Bite Their Heads Off!"

My sister did a fun thing, asking all the girls to write me notes with either a sweet memory, an encouraging thought, or just a little advice, so I loved watching the colorful box fill up with little notes. At the end of the night, she also dropped a camera, loaded with incriminating photos, in as well. Can't wait to see those!

After a few rounds of drinks, we got to the gifts, which are unmentionable in all senses of the words, but let's just say I've gotten my payback for the naughty/nice gifts I've handed out in the past. Gotta love the girlfriends!

At the end of the shower, Louis, our driver for the night, showed up in his party bus and took all the girlfriends, plus out cocktails, to one of my favorite Birmingham restaurants: Sol Y Luna. Louis, an older black man in a smashingly fabulous fedora, had only two warnings about being on the bus: You can't smoke, and don't forget that there are cameras on board. Eek! As he dropped us off at dinner, we promised him some cheese pizza when he made the return trip.
We celebrated with an amazing tapas dinner, with a side of sangria that was even better than I remembered from last time. Maybe it was the green boa, the light-up ring, the "Bachelorette" sash, or the flashing "Bride-to-Be" button...

After dinner, we headed next door to the Rare Martini for a night of drinks, dancing, and just general merriment with the Nashville-based band and the other lucky club-goers.

We headed home late, arriving safely thanks to Louis. As we settled in with jumbo cups of water and a few snacks, I broke out the pizza, prompting the pizza-promiser to run out in the front yard long after the shuttle bus was gone and shriek, "Lewis! You forgot your pizza!" I'm sure the neighbors loved us last night...

This morning, my saintly sister got up and make a delicious brunch of breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, and mimosas to close out the weekend. Sitting around, sharing highlights from the past few days, I remembered how lucky and blessed I am to have such great girlfriends. I napped most of the day away after everyone left, then decided to take a wedding-planning break and enjoy a night off. As Scarlett would say, I'll think about that tomorrow...

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

My Sister, K: Do you have any cookie cakes we can buy?

Wal-Mart Bakery Lady: Sure we do, right up front.

K: These all say "Happy Birthday," do you have any blank ones we could write something else on?

Bakery Lady: Sure, what's the occasion?

K: A bachelorette party.

Bakery Lady: What do you want on it?

K: What are you willing to do?

Bakery Lady: They tell me this is a family place and I can't do nothing like that.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Girls, Girls, Girls

My bachelorette weekend got underway on Thursday night when my sister arrived at the apartment. Exhausted from the delays in her travels, she powered through and we hung out until about 1 in the morning before both collapsing into beds.
We got a jump-start on the day on Friday by hitting Wal-Mart for supplies, shopping a little at the Summit, and having a pretty fabulous extended lunch at PF Chang's. I know there will be many favorite parts of this weekend, but I have to say that I know for sure that that lunch will be one of them. It was such a treat just to be with her and hear about her life and tell her about my work and wedding planning and, well, everything.

Last night, all the girls got together for a welcome dinner and, I have to say, it was truly humbling to see so many people that I love hanging out in the same place together because I had brought them together. The feeling, I can only imagine, must be a tiny slice of heaven.
We leave in an hour for brunch, then Day 2 gets underway!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

B: Why are you going to Atlanta next weekend?

Me: To pick up the dress.

B: Don't you have to try on the bustle?

Me: Well, kind of.

B: But it should be attached by then.

Me: (silence) Um, it should be. Do you know what a bustle is?

B: Yeah, it's the thing that tucks the dress up.

Me: Kind of.

B: The pocket.

Me: Pocket? Not exactly.

B: It's the thing that attaches to the back of the dress and picks up the skirt where you can dance. Is that correct?

Me: Yes.

B: Do I need to know any more than that?

Me: You don't even need to know that much.

B: Ok then. We're solid.

Me: Mom asked me last night if you knew what it was, then said she bet you'd googled it.

B: Absolutely not.

Sister, Sister

I can hardly believe it-- My sister gets in tonight for a full-on girls weekend in town. I can't wait! It reminds me of being back in college when I'd take the train to visit her in Boston for long weekends over the winter break. She taught me to cook apartment-style meals for big groups (calzones, anyone?), rented fabulous movies (old black and white classics that I never knew I loved), and generally just bonded. Looking back on those visits, which likely totaled about 12 days across the four years I spent in New Jersey, they were some of my best, brightest memories.

Now, things have changed. She's married to an amazing guy and has two beautiful little girls. I actually get to see her more often, as her family lives in the city where B attends law school, but now it's different. We bake cookies and celebrate birthdays and it's wonderful, but every once in a while we still sneak in sister-to-sister conversations that I just love. Makes me feel special to have such a great sister that I can go to for, well, anything. And I do mean anything.

So this weekend feels a little like a throw-back. Our Mom went to stay with her little girls so she could come down here and have a girls' weekend with me. I can't wait to just hang out, run errands she needs to get done, and just enjoy hearing about what all she's been up to. (Did I mention she's starting the final year of her PhD studies? Yep, amazing.)

She arrives late tonight (ee!) and then tomorrow, the festivities begin. Since about October, she's been working to pull together a fabulous girls' weekend in town, including a welcome dinner, a fun brunch, a shower, dinner out, and going out with my bridesmaids and hostesses. I think my Florence-based sister-in-law might even make it, which would be amazing!

Needless to say, I've got some great ladies in my life. And I can't wait to see my favorite tonight!

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

The wedding website counter hit 500 today. And it only counts hits to the Welcome page. I know those can't ALL be me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

Me: Hon, we need to figure out where we're going to have the low-key dinner the Thursday night before the wedding. The dutch-treat one for whoever is already in town.

B: I thought we said Outpost or Newburn's?

Me: We did, but Mom thought someplace like Logan's might be better, because it's a chain and it's faster.

B: I don't know, I really like Outpost. It's really good barbecue.

Me: And it's in an old gas station!

B: That too. What about Newburn's?

Me: Well, if you don't like fried catfish, you're out of luck.

B: That's true. And Outpost has really good sides, even if you aren't crazy about barbecue. Hey, what about that Chinese place in the old Shoney's?

Me: No.

B: Why not?

Me: They serve cat there!

B: But think how impressed people would be with the wedding reception after that.

Me: No. We could do Rosie's.

B: Absolutely not. Asking people to eat cat is one thing, serving them yellow cheese dip is another entirely.

Me: Sooo... Outpost it is?

B: Looks like.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Toot and Puddle

Flat Stanley is an old friend of mine, but this Toot character is definitely new. A friend of mine got Toot in the mail-- Toot is a little pig with a natural desire to travel and see the world. He has a buddy, Puddle, that would rather go we-we-we-we (pun-intended) all the way home.

Let's get something straight: This might be the most awkwardly-named duo ever to exist. Toot and Puddle? I'm betting the story originators thought this bad boy would never get off the ground. Turns out, it's huge! PBS, National Geographic, etc...

Toot came to me via my friend, whose 5-year-old nephew selected her as his recipient for the class project. Toot comes with a disposable camera and a journal, where he writes about his travels so that he can share them with Puddle, and the rest of the class.

So today, Toot came to work with me and we visited the test kitchens here at the magazine. The ladies there weren't satisfied just letting Toot sit on the counter. No, they styled him with a pink mixer, a cookbook, a rolling pin, and a spatula. It seems that Toot got to make some cookies today. Here's to having a family-friendly, fun-loving group of people at the office, and indulgent aunts with good friends. :)

Tonight Toot is off to visit Vulcan and a few other Birmingham hot spots with my friend, then he's off on more adventures until he returns home in May. Love it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Want My Brownies Back

One of my hostesses and at least two other guests (that I know of) haven't gotten their invitations. Luckily, two of them (but still not the hostess') got returned to the house today. According to my Mom, the addresses are perfectly correct and legible, only now they have a huge red "RETURN TO SENDER" stamp across them.

What gives, Post Office? I pay for your stamps. I even pay extra postage for the invitations. And yet you refuse to deliver them? I want my brownies back, Enricho.

The hard part is knowing that some people don't have invitations, and we won't know who they are. Mom said we could call after the RSVP date just to make sure anyone that hasn't sent their card in did actually get an invitation.

Weirder yet, none of the Save the Dates came back, and we mailed using the same list. Who knows. For now, I've told the hostess that she's not actually invited. She's done so much work, I've "upgraded" her to vendor status. Congrats, honey!

It Fits!

Sunday I finally got to see my dress. After six months (and several episodes of Say Yes to the Dress in which the brides forgot what their dresses looked like and hated them upon arrival), I was thrilled to get to see my dress. I packed up my traveling support group, this time including my Mom, B's Mom, B's Granny, my aunt, and my cousin, and headed to the dress store for a 1pm appointment. We were quite the entourage, me and my crew plus a huge box of shoes and jewelry to try on during the fitting.

The dress appeared in the room in an appropriately fluffy bag and, I have to say, it's perfect. Exactly as I remember, only better. Mom loved it. I loved it. The seamstress loved us, because the only thing it needs is a bustle. No hem work, thank goodness!

We tried a few variations and additions, things I thought I had wanted when I had originally tried on the dress, but it turns out that, like Mr. Rogers, I like it just the way it is.

I did learn that this alterations gig is a tough business. The lady stuck herself and left (I kid you not) a sizeable dot of bright red blood on the back of the dress. Mom and I froze, but Seema was unfazed. "No problem. It happen all the time. Have special liquid to get blood out, just for times like this." Thanks to Seema, I can honestly say that blood (hers), sweat (the makers), and tears (from the entourage) definitely went into the dress!

I go back in two weeks to check the bustle and bring it back home. Now to install a ceiling hook to keep it off the floor...

A Chance of Showers

I headed to Atlanta this weekend for a couple of reasons, but the main point was to attend an Entertainment-themed shower thrown by B's Mom's friends. They started the whole event off by sending out the cutest invitations I've ever seen (and, having been in 9 weddings, I've seen a lot of invitations!).

So I knew going into Saturday's soiree that it was going to be an event to remember and was I ever right. A steady misting rain didn't stop the ladies from coming out in full force. One of my favorite images from the day was as Mom and I were walking up. Several of the neighbors had been invited, so everyone was just spilling out of their homes onto the street with their colorful umbrellas and pretty packages. So fun. So 50s (though that may have been the short circle skirt dress with cap sleeves that I chose to wear talking). I want to live in a close neighborhood like that!

B's favorite lady, basically his second mom, opened her house for the shower and hosted the event with four other women that either helped raise B through the years (and have sons B's age) or have been a dear friend to B's Mom. I knew these ladies had gotten together to plan and plan they did. Every detail, from the gold rings in the petit fours to the collage at the front door showcasing our Save the Date, invitation, and announcement, was gorgeous. Beautiful flowers, light music in the background, mimosas flowing (it was a noon shower, after all), and about 25 friends of the extended Atlanta family, plus my Mom, aunt, and cousin... I call that a fabulous party.

We lunched on rice salad, fresh fruit, muffins, quiche, green salad, cheese straws, mints, and cake, then settled in for the gifts. I have to tell this part, because I loved it. Instead of having me sit and open the gifts, the hostesses instead passed out gifts to everyone, so each lady was able to open a gift at the same time. Then we went around the room and read the card we had and showed the gift. It was such a fun way to open the presents. I got to appreciate them from across the room and actually listen to the meaningful cards, rather than think about what I was going to say in response to opening the gift itself. It really kept me in the moment and, I think, made it more fun for the other ladies.

After a couple hours, we called B over to say hi and help move the gifts into my car. This whole wedding process has been interesting for me. I'm sure I'm not the first to feel this way, but I have to say that of all the emotions I expected to encounter, being humbled wasn't one of them. Yet time and time again, I find myself almost in tears as I think about the people taking time out of their lives to send notes, plan a trip to the big event, attend showers, or send the most lovely gifts. It really is humbling to think that people do really care about you and want to celebrate your joy. What a wonderful reminder for me, especially during what could easily be a very self-centered time.

All I know is that I'll always cherish the memory of sitting in that room surrounded by women that love B and are willing to welcome me into the fold just because we've chosen to be with each other. It's the best support of all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wonderful Week

B and I had a fabulous time on his spring break. I picked him up a week ago on his way back from a bachelor weekend in Destin and we spent Monday through Wednesday just enjoying normal life in Birmingham before heading out for a long weekend with his parents.

But first, before Atlanta, we had to meet with the priest, so we spent a few nights working out the details of our ceremony then packed up on Thursday morning and headed to the Abbey, about an hour away. About half way there, I realized I'd forgotten to print our much-worked-on wedding ceremony lineup, and about three-quarters the way there, we realized the Abbot had never told us where exactly to meet him. I was picturing a one-building set up, but, when we arrived, we found ourselves smack in the middle of a campus.

We drove around the main roads, noticing a hooded man in front of the church, a handful of ladies, and a lot of high school kids in school uniforms, and finally parked in a visitors-looking lot and started walking around. We bypassed the kids and asked the ladies where we could find our Abbot. They directed us a few too many turns away and, as we left, it was clear we'd missed the boat. Then we ran into the hooded man, and B asked him where we could find Abbot Victor. "That's me," he said. "Don't you recognize me? I saw you driving around. Come with me."

As he turned to walk us inside, B and I exchanged "You've got to be kidding me" looks and followed along. We first met our Abbot in September, when he was living alone in the parish home in Florence. He was nice and kind then, but now, in retirement, he seems to have an extra pep in his step, plus the rosy-cheeked glow of a diet with three-square meals surrounded by friends and peers. He looks so happy! It made us both happy, and he joined our happiness when we left him with a box of homemade chocolate goodies.

He approved our ceremony and sent us on our way. En route to Atlanta, we stopped at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a beautiful cathedral located in the rolling fields of Cullman, complete with cloistered nuns. We actually heard them singing when we entered the gold-covered church. Amazing. It's rare that B and I take time to pit stop just for ourselves, so it was really neat just enjoying something together. First, Cullman. Next, the world!

We headed to Atlanta from there, arriving in time to have dinner with his parents at our favorite all-things-ethnic restaurant, then got an early start of Friday by ordering the groomsmens' gifts, picking up his Granny at the airport, then heading to Macy's to get B some honeymoon must-haves, like a swimsuit and comfy shoes.

Friday night we had a great dinner with his buddies at Paul's and even caught the end of a few amazing basketball games before heading home. On Saturday, B's Mom's friends threw me an Entertaining shower, so I spent a few hours at a fabulous event with amazing food and the best hostesses ever. I had more fun hearing stories about B and just getting to know these amazing women in his Mom's life. My Mom was able to come, which made it extra special, especially when I opened the engraved cake knife she'd had made in my silver pattern (a heirloom given by my great aunt).

Saturday afternoon I was pretty worn out (part wine, part from the fun of bringing B over at the end of the shower), so we ran a few more errands, then got take-out for the family at home. We got through most of one of the Rambos and a little of Constantine before I gave out.

B had to leave this morning, but I got a special treat: trying on my dress for the first time. More on that later. Now, it's dinner time.

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

At the monastery, B flagged down a black-robed priest and asked him, "Excuse me, have you seen Abbot Victor?"
The hooded man nods and replies, "Yes, that's me."

What are the odds?  We forgot what our priest looks like... Does this stuff only happen to us?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not-So-Ladies Lunch

One of the best parts about having B in town is getting to escape during lunch every day. Normally I just eat lunch at my desk, in part to save time, in part to finish the day a little earlier, and in part because the black bean soup leftovers never feel like they deserve to be reheated, taken outside, and consumed in one of our super nice dining areas.

But, when B's here, it's a great excuse to get out and, honestly, it makes all the difference during the day. I'm more efficient in the morning, because I have something to look forward to, and it's easier to buckle back down after lunch, because it's clearly defined and there's fun stuff waiting for me when the day is over. Walks! Cooking dinner! Watching a movie! All with B. All very fun.

Today we escaped to Homewood Gourmet, where I talked my sandwich-loving fiance into a local favorite: the pesto chicken sandwich with the baby blue salad. But, that wasn't without great thought...

B: The special today is the monte cristo... I wonder what it is.
Me: You love the monto cristo. Isn't it ham and turkey and buttery bread?
B: Not always.
Me: Just get it, I bet you'll like it.
B: (to waitress) Excuse me, what's the monte cristo sandwich?
Waitress: It's ham and turkey...
(Me smirking)
Waitress: ...with strawberry jelly...
(Me confused)
Waitress: ...on two pieces of french toast...
(B agape)
Waitress: ...topped with powdered sugar.
B: I don't think I'm up for something that rich.
Waitress: We can tell them to hold the powdered sugar, if you like.
B: I'll have the pesto chicken sandwich with the baby blue salad.
Me: Make it two.

Martini Mondays... and Tuesdays

After a woefully difficult martini-making escapade on Monday night that featured B trying to make an Orange Thing without a shot glass, a juicer, or a martini shaker, we decided to head to our Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market to get some supplies. It was a fair request--On Monday, he'd been forced to double the recipe and measure the amounts in my nalgene (the only thing in the house with ounces) and shake the ingredients in two jumbo plastic cups. All this while I was trying to make dinner and managed to run out of both ketchup and mustard while making the meatloaf sauce... it wasn't a good night for food and beverages at my house!

So we wandered in the Market, which we love because it's clean and open and fresh-feeling. It didn't occur to either of us that the Market, with its focus on family and neighborhood, might not carry shot glasses or martini shakers. The closest thing we could find was a turkey baster (complete with ounce measurements on the side) and a rice scoop. B wisely refused to let me purchase either, so our martini mayhem continues on, unimpeded with crazy things like exact measurements. In the end we both decided that a Neighborhood without shot glasses or martini shakers was not a Neighborhood where we wanted to be.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fun Times with B

I love having B around. He takes good care of everything in his life, including me. His to-do list (half given by me, half taken-on by him) so far has included: getting the bug I killed out of the bathroom cabinet (mine), installing my printer (free in 2007) on my computer (mine), securing my TV on a power strip so it won't blow up if the apartment gets hit by lightening (his), setting up my new VHS/DVD player/converter (his), making the cords all go the right way through the back of the desk (his), and stocking the fridge with more things he wants me to try, like pudding (his).

All this while I was at work... then after work yesterday, we went for a run on the trail by where I work. It was amazing--I haven't run more than a mile since college, so I was super proud of myself for actually sticking with him. He's like a one-man Nike Fit; I can tell him what pace I want and he can actually set it for me. This is super important, considering all I ever ran in high school was sprints.

More later, for now I've got to finish work (another crazy day) and then he's picking me up for a walk, dinner at our favorite little Mexican place in Birmingham, then off to visit Vulcan, the place it all happened that night in August.

Only 60 days to go. I can hardly believe it!

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

The room blocks at the hotels are filling up. And we've already expanded the blocks. Twice.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Busy Monday

I got up this morning and made it to the gym, no small feat after the crazy night last night. I picked up B in Montgomery then, at some point during the night, I heard a faint but shrill beeping. I got up, bleary-eyed, thinking it was someone outside, or one of my neighbors, but it was too close. I woke B up as I stumbled through the apartment (how he was still sleeping, I'll never know) and he, wisely, discerned that it was coming from, you guessed it, the closet o' stuff ready for charity.

I felt like Phoebe in that Friends episode where she can't figure out how to make the fire alarm stop going off. B grabbed the bag that the noise was coming from, yanking it from the closet and began to untie the top. I stop him and simply rip the bag open, hauling out the guilty little alarm clock which, apparently, was still running on battery power and had somehow gotten one of its alarms turned on. To whatever time it was. "Dark" is my best estimate. I certainly didn't check! I just plugged it in and turned it off, so now there's a little trail of trash bag, random books, and evil alarm clock in my guest room.

Despite that, I did make it up this morning, sneaking out the door to make it to the gym in time to meet the girls. I got back in time to do step 2 in making my Grandma's famous yeast rolls: rolling out, cutting into rounds. B and I are having meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and red wine for dinner tonight, so her yeast rolls seemed like a natural fit. I still can't believe that it was a year ago yesterday that she died. I was visiting B over spring break. We were at his beach house in North Carolina. I can't believe how much has changed since then. She always loved B, especially because she knew he had a fondness for roses. I know she would've loved seeing the wedding!

So tonight, we'll toast Grandma and over-indulge on her perfectly sweet and salty yeast rolls. But for now, it's just a really busy Monday morning!

...Case in point? I'm just getting to publish this, following a fun lunch with B. Where is the day going? Quicker return to the rolls and meatloaf, I suppose!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


B's here!  I picked him up in Montgomery after a weekend getaway with the guys in Florida and, well, it just couldn't be better.  I loved him in the apartment before, but now that the apartment is officially mine (ie, purged of all random stuff that wasn't mine and/or wasn't useful), it really does feel like home.  I can't wait to actually have him live here for five weeks this summer-- amazing!

On a side note, having a boy in the apartment does change things.  For instance, this morning, I shut off my heat officially (even though it'd been set at 60 all winter) and, just this evening, actually had to turn on my air conditioning once B and I got home.  They say having heat/AC days means you're definitely in Alabama.  At 78 degrees, I'd agree!

Fabulous day.  My weekend is over, which would normally be cause for sad, but it's not, because it's just the start to a fantastic week.  I've got B here for a whole week, I'm taking two days off this week, and, to cap it all off, I've got a shower and a dress fitting in there too.  Yea!

Springing Forward

Certain experiences, sights, tastes, and smells conjure up memories.  The smell of creamed corn cooking in a skillet always makes me think of my Grandma.  The smell of stale beer and lingering cigarette smoke reminds me of the first night I knew I really liked B.  He, of course, smelled of neither of those things, but it was college and, let's face it, everything smells like stale beer with a hint of cigarette smoke mingled in.  I'm not going to lie (and I've never told him), but one of the times my heart misses him most is when I'm out with my girlfriends and I catch that key mixture of scents and remember back to the days of nerves and butterflies and, well, new-love excitement.

So today, when I started thinking about daylight savings time, my mind instantly shot back to B's baseball career.  During spring training, he would report to Arizona where, mind you, they are above the rules of daylight savings time.  So he was an extra hour behind, which doesn't feel like much, until you realize that night games end around 10pm his time, plus time for tarping the field or just getting cleaned up.  We had a lot of fuzzy phone calls that I don't remember in which I likely told him all my secrets and my bank account pin number.

When I think about springing forward, I don't think about flowers and late-afternoon walks.  Oh no, I'm right back to baseball, long-distance, and the sweet, sweet reminder that soon the eight hours between us will be gone and he'll be wishing for relief from my fluttering, snuggly self. Did I mention that I get to see him today? It's been a month.  I can't wait!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Miss Clean

For the first time since I moved into my apartment (in 2006), I can shut the door to my closet.  Usually it stayed open, mostly to hide the pile of magazines growing behind it and also because I normally have clothes hanging on the handle or the frame.  Not anymore, friends.  The closet door is closed and the bedroom is officially clean.  As is the second bedroom, the linen closet, the coat closet, the kitchen, and the dining area.  By this time tomorrow, I hope to have finished off the bathroom, living room, and vacuuming (and of course hauled the final three bags of trash out of here).  Yea!

Also by this time tomorrow, I'll have B here for the week.  Now that's a huge reason to get excited.  He's been in Destin since Thursday with the boys and I've been good... haven't called him once, though I have gotten a few calls from him.  Love it. He's very good.

This week, B and I are tackling a few things (like breaking the news to the priest about the 4pm wedding time), but mostly just planning to hang out and enjoy each other.  I can't wait to make meatloaf and mashed potatoes, open some wine, and just celebrate a low-key night in.  Real life. Sign me up!

Plus, the family is back from Mexico today, which is oh-so fabulous.  I gave Mom the brief status report tonight and, by the time she gets back to Alabama, the wedding invitation should be waiting at home for her.  

I keep wanting days to go by faster and, for tonight, I get my wish.  Spring forward, friends!

They're Gone

Yesterday I took my two packed file boxes full of invitations to the downtown post office to meet a nice man named Enricho or, as I think of him, guardian of the most important paper I've been trusted with to date.

I arrived downtown and pulled the boxes out of my truck. A really nice man offered to help me carry them in, but I told him they weren't heavy, but I would appreciate help with the door. As I walked by him, I rolled my eyes and said, "Wedding Invitations." He put on a serious face and said, "I see you've only invited close family." Love it.

So I had Enricho paged and waited for him to arrive. This wasn't Enricho's first rodeo-- he came out with a handler, I assume in case the amount of invitations I had necessitated two people. I gave Enricho the brownies, which he handed over, stipulating that a) the brownies were for sharing among the team and b) that these invitations weren't to be run through any machine and were to be very carefully handled from here on out. It could've totally been Enricho's usual "bride-ready" talk, but it took care of me just fine. For all I know, my invitations went out back where they were promptly dumped in with the regular mail. As I see it, I tried!

I walked out of the post office and, I swear, I almost threw up on my shoes, which happened to be cute black flats. I was lightheaded and queasy for the next two hours, having to repeatedly stop and take deep breaths as I ran errands around town. I stopped in a package store to pick up some martini ingredients for some of the cocktail recipes B and I are testing out and all I could think about was, how often do people throw up before they purchase a large amount of alcohol?

To be honest, I think it was just such a relief and a shock to the system that the invitations are gone. Mom and I have been working on them since the beginning of February, they've been sitting in my living room floor for the past two weeks, and now they're gone. I feel like a nanny that just willingly gave her charge away. My Mom and sister in Mexico and B's on his bachelor trip, so I called B's Mom and told her they were gone and she understood-- Everyday it's getting more real and that's exciting, but also, well, big.

I met up with girlfriends for dinner and told them about my visit with Enricho and they laughed, shocked that the post office would actually take baked goods.

L: I thought you'd end up in jail.
Me: Well, I tied them up with a cute little ribbon and, besides that, it's not like they don't know where I live. It's printed on the back of every invitation.

So they're gone and I'm thrilled. One more thing to mark off the list. 63 days left!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

Me: Hello?

B: It's me.

Me: Hey, um hi. Um, is it legal for you to call me while you're on your bachelor weekend? Will they kill you?

B: No. Well, I don't think so. On second thought, I gotta go.

Planning a Wedding Reception Menu

Further blurring the lines between work and wedding madness, I wrote on the work blog about planning the food for the wedding reception. What am I learning? I need to work on my food pronunciation. Lucky for me, "Martini" is an easy one...

"Really? Really."

Inspired by SNL's take on the Michael Vick drug-smuggling case in which he (allegedly) carried weed through airport security, these smugglers have taken it to the next step by actually fracturing a smuggler's leg and then making a cocaine cast. Sneaky and perhaps a touch brilliant (with bonus points for the actual fractures), the crooks were in part foiled by suspicion raised when scanners discovered other drugs in their belongings, including a six-pack of beer that was full of Coke, and not the bubbly kind.

Ok, if you're going to try to sneak drugs through security, don't you think you should at least adhere to the limited-ounce rule? At what point did they think, "hey, no one will check this six-pack of liquid." It'd be like smuggling fake money in a 2-liter bottle then being shocked that the 2-liter couldn't make it through security.

I feel safer, and yet not.

80 Cents, a Box of Brownies, and a Man Named Enricho

The invitations go out today! I'm heading to the downtown post office at 5pm to get them hand canceled and then they're on their way. It's so nice knowing that, after today, they'll be out of my hands! I have 80 cents in my pocket (hopefully enough to cover the meter) and a box of homemade brownies in the car tied up with a blue bow, so hopefully that's bribe enough to get this nice man to hand stamp alllll of them.

Think of me at 4:30 when I'm doing some heavy lifting. The invitations, taken out of their protective boxes, completely filled two file boxes. You're welcome, post office system. Now will you please stop raising the price of stamps?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Macy's: 1, A: 0

An hour passed and no update on the registry page, or lack thereof, I suppose. Check your time stamps--after 30 minutes on the phone with the registry department, I was told that there was a problem with "several" of the registries and they'd have to put it into their tech department and it should be fixed in 48 hours. And if not, you guessed it, call back.

The best part? Betty, my lady of the hour at Macy's, put me on hold while they tinkered with the site, which allowed me to hear a bevy of the store's selected call-waiting music. My favorite? "I'm Not Going Anywhere." Seriously? Besides "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," I can't think of a song I'd rather hear less while on hold. Two points for whoever put that one in the hold-music play list.

Fighting with the Macy's Registry Department

Got a call from B's Mom, who said that a friend told her our registry was no longer showing at Macy's. What? I check. Sure enough, no registry. And of course I haven't printed it out. Ooph.

So I call Macy's and get the registry people on the phone. Cathy pulls up the registry just fine, even though I can't access it online and no one can see it in-store. She transfers me to tech support, where I meet Susan, who can't see my registry at all. She can see the Crate and Barrel one, but nothing on Macy's. I'm sent back to Cathy, with instructions to tell her to turn off the "web accessibility" and then turn it back on to (fingers crossed) reset it. At this point, I'm glad that I work for a website, because I'm able to understand and, indeed, invoke phrasing related to company firewalls and the like. Scares Susan a little, perhaps why she sent me back to Cathy.

I'm suppose to give it until 4:30, and then call back and ask for a supervisor. B called a few minutes ago, en route to his bachelor weekend, and I told him about the problem.

B: I'm sorry, baby. That's no good. What will we have to do?
Me: I guess reregister there, if they can't get it to work.
B: That's terrible, when will we do that?
Me: I know someone with a lot of free time next week.
B: Oh that's right. Oh no. Ok, just give me the gun.

Alright, Macy's, you've got 52 minutes left to hold that registry hostage, then we're coming for you.

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

We are so en vogue. A few of you know that B and I may end up taking over his parents' basement this summer. They have generously offered up their newly remodeled ... hm, "basement" doesn't really do it justice, but calling it an "in-law suite" would just be ironic so we'll go with "space"... for us to move into for the summer. Thanks to a crazy situation where we're paying rent in both North Carolina and Alabama for three months while we live in Georgia, it just seemed, well, insane to pay three rents while B is still in school.

Little did I know, we're super in style, at least according to CNN's "The Upside of Moving Back into Your Parents' Basement." Granted, B isn't one of ten children, but still. There are correlations. Just when you think you're original...

Wedding Planning Moment of the Day

Had a fabulous catch-up lunch with J:

Me: It's March. Yea!
J: I know! March, April, Married!

Couldn't have said it better myself...

Retirement Ready

If our wedding was a woman, it'd be a mom of three currently eligible for Medicare/Medicaid. That's right, we're down to 65 days! Granted, it's no round, even number on the countdown, but it's rare to have a number of significance. Honestly, the next one I have is 40... as in how long it rained when Noah was on the ark with all the animals. Until then, you'll have to deal with my slight stretches. 65!

As the pace picks up, I find myself fixating on little things. I spent an hour yesterday researching programs (Seriously? We're not even positive about the name of our priest just yet.). I could've been doing anything (working on the video, converting VHS tapes, cleaning up the mountain of bridal magazines that has become my guest room), but I decided to fixate on one of the few things I can't tackle just yet. I don't know the order of the ceremony, the number of programs needed, or, like I said, some of the finer details. Oh well, I think I can still bill it as "progress."

Today is a big day, though. B finished his trial last night (yea!) and got excellent feedback from the mock jurors (double yea!), so he's feeling fabulous as he heads into his (dum dum dum) bachelor weekend in Destin. He leaves tonight-- have fun sweetie!

While he's enjoying a few days of sun, golf, and visiting local churches to distribute gospel material to blind children (What? That's what he told me.), I'll be home getting ready for next weekend's shower, baking brownies to bribe both the mail room guy (please hand cancel for me!) and the priest (please still marry us at 4pm!), and doing more apartment purging.

Case in point, last night the kitchen met its match. I went through all the cabinets (except the scary one under the sink that the Wal-Mart bags have taken over) and cleaned everything. I got halfway through the random condiments in the fridge when I realized I could barely lift the trash bag, so those will have to wait. That "spare" closet I once had? Let's just say it's almost entirely full with give-aways bound for charity. Here's hoping they need a juicer...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crying Games, Part 2

Remember when I told you I was sappy before? The sap continues to flow freely around these parts. I know it's nothing wedding-related, as I usually find myself tearing-up on average about three times per viewing of the Today Show, but it's comical none the less. Some times are justifiable, like this weekend, when I was stopped in traffic in front of a church while six men carried a casket out to a hearse. Did I know the (wo)man? No. But still, tears.

Then today, I was reading a MSN Money message board post about a solider that returned from war. Nothing sappy, mind you, he was just saying he was glad to be back on American soil. And tears.

I don't cry while reading books or almost ever when watching movies, but message boards and TV segments, they get me every time... Maybe B should invest in Kleenex. Or extra shirt sleeves.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cleaning Mode

I'm so ready. Ready to try my dress on (12 days). Ready to mail the invitations (2 days). Ready to ... just be married, really. In lieu of being able to actually hang out with B just yet, I've taken to my second vice. Vice number one (baking) wasn't an option. I've sent so many packages to B that he's put a moratorium in place for a few weeks: no baked goods, and I didn't want them hanging around my house, so no baking.

In its place, vice number two (compulsive cleaning) has taken hold. Those of you who have visited my apartment know that this isn't an overly neat issue, it's more of a fixation on a specific place. Last week, it was the bathroom baseboards. Last night, it was the linen closet. I now have the cleanest linen closet known to man (and a lot of spare sheets, blankets, and pillows en route to the Salvation Army). The thing is, my apartment is small, so there are only a few places left to exert this energy on, namely the kitchen, my bedroom closet, the coat closet, and the bookshelves. And I can't clean the living room, because the invitations are sitting there, boxed up and waiting for me to take them to the post office on Thursday. Cleaning around them would likely drive me nuts, and make them smell like bleach. (OCD, anyone?) Like I said, I need to vacuum, my counter needs to be wiped down, but darned if I don't have the cleanest linen closet you've ever seen.

The good news? My "to charity" pile grows, literally, every day. The bad news? I have no idea when I'm going to take it all down there (oh the curses of an extra, empty bedroom closet).

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Love Bug"

Ok, I admit it. Sometimes I call B nicknames. Mostly it's the normal stuff... "Hon" "Sweetie" and the like. But when I'm feeling really sleepy or really ... fluffy, then it's "love bug." It's rare and, well, confusing, for B anyway.

I, of course, had no idea this was a weird thing until B finally asked where, exactly, "love bug" came from. I had to tell him that I'm pretty sure I have no idea, but that Mom may have called me that when I was little. Either way, it feels warm and happy and sometimes it just slips out.

So imagine when I stumbled upon a new friend on Z's blog: Kelly Marie or, as I shall call her from now on, card guru. KM, it seems, makes the most adorable cards, including this gem featuring, you guessed it, love bugs! Thanks KM, for validating my affectionate nicknames. I'm sure B will thank you himself later...