Friday, June 25, 2010
So, about 6 months after I moved into his little one-bedroom apartment, we bought our house! We were so. happy. Seriously, life could not get any better than it was. Then we started talking about getting married. I was so ready to marry this man. I had never loved anyone more, believed in anything more, wanted anything more than to be his wife.
And then. The Summer of Weddings. The summer of 2008, we were invited to 11 weddings. Including my little sister's. I was her maid of honor. I helped with lots of the planning. I treated (some of) it like it was my own wedding. And I was so. excited. So combined with the other 6 weddings we attended (we had to decline some due to scheduling conflicts and travel issues), it felt like it was all wedding, all the time. We talked about weddings constantly. And despite the fact that he had told me that he was planning to propose by the end of the year (but not until after my sister's wedding, so as not to steal her thunder), I think it got to him. He panicked.
Needless to say, things happened, and we broke up. I moved out of our house. I'm absolutely convinced that the day that I packed up my 1/2 of our house and put it into a moving van and moved it into a pathetic 1-bedroom apartment with my parents' help....hands-down the worst day of my life. No contest. It was absolutely awful. But we kept talking - we had to because of the house. And also, I think neither of us were ready to let go. To give up on what we both knew was the best thing we'd ever had. Finally, after a few months of painful, horrible, awful, awkward conversations, Matt finally realized that his life without me in it totally sucked (um, DUH!), and we got back together. I stayed in my apartment for the full lease, even though Matt offered to buy me out of it so I could move back into the house. But I thought it would be better if I stayed. It forced us to appreciate our relationship, to enjoy our time together, and to remember why we had fallen in love and decided to live together.
Finally, my lease was up. There was absolutely no question that I would move back into our house and start rebuilding our home. 3 months after I moved back in, Matt dropped to a knee and asked me to marry him.
As painful as our breakup was, it was really quite good for us. Our relationship is stronger and we appreciate each other and our relationship so much more than we had before. Our communication is better than ever. I have never been so certain of anything in my life. I love this man, and I cannot wait to marry him.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Matt and I both grew up in Chocolate Town, USA, aka the Sweetest Place on Earth, aka Hershey, PA. We went to school together, and even though he was 2 years older than I was (well, still is, technically, but you know what I mean), I definitely knew who he was. Not only was I in the same class as his younger brother, but I also had a big old crush on him (Matt, not his younger brother). And by big I mean "use-to-just-freeze-in-place-when-he-would-walk-through-the-cafeteria-while-I-was-eating-lunch-with-my-friends" big. I even met him once, when he came over to say hi to the captain of my cheering squad - she introduced us, saying, "This is Erin. This is the one I've been telling you about." They were really good friends, and she'd kind of taken me under her wing, and apparently she'd told him about me?!?! Oh. My. God. Not that he remembers any of that, of course. He had no idea who I was, not then, and not 8 years later when we actually met "for real." Basically, I drooled over him for the 2 years that we were in high school together, until he graduated and left me with no real eye candy for the next 2 years. *sigh*
Ok, fast-forward a few years. One of my best friends (and BM) Steph started dating a guy from Hershey. A guy who just happened to be good friends/college roommates with Matt. I went to visit Steph several times at college, but every time we went over to their apartment, my Matt was never there. Steph and her Matt kept dating and got engaged, and yet Matt and I never crossed paths, despite multiple nights out in Hershey and State College; somehow we always just missed each other. In 2002, Steph and her Matt got married, and Matt was a GM. I was asked to be a BM but couldn't because my cousin was getting married the same day. Missed each other again!
Fast-forward 2 more years, to the inaugural Annual Labor Day party at Matt and Steph's place (then in Boston, now much closer to us, yay!). I made the drive up to Boston one night after work, and didn't get there until about midnight. On the way up, I called Steph to help keep me awake because it was a good 7-hour drive from Hershey to Boston. She spent the time telling me who was there, and made extra certain to mention that Matt was there and had been asking about me (he denies this to this day). The party was in full swing by the time I got there. Steph came to greet me at the door and led me into the basement, where all the partiers were hanging out. I distinctly remember coming down the stairs, Steph announcing my arrival ("Emma's here!") and seeing Matt turn around and smile at me. Seriously, I can still picture it. Anyway, Steph led me over to the bar, where Matt and her Matt were sitting, and told me to "catch up!" So I stood there for a bit with the 3 of them, having some drinks and chatting away. Matt and I were introduced and talked for a bit, until I wandered off to say hello to some of my other friends who were at the party. Later that night, as everyone was going to bed, Matt and I ended up staying up and talking for a bit longer. We spent the rest of the weekend together, and at the end of the weekend, we exchanged phone numbers and he promised he'd call. Here we are, that very first weekend:
And he did! He called, I called, we emailed, and I went to visit him in Philly. So it went for 6 months, when I finally got the itch to "define" what we were doing. Were we just hanging out? Were we dating? Were we friends? Were we exclusive? I didn't know. So I asked one night. And I got the answer that I wasn't looking for: "Why can't we just hang out and have a good time?" Look, buddy, it's been 6 months of hanging out and having fun - what's the point? He wasn't really ever able to commit to an answer (at least, not one that I liked!), so I said that the visits were going to have to stop so that I can protect myself from getting hurt. So we stayed in touch, still, through email and phone calls, but that was it.
Fast-forward 6 more months, and we're back at Steph and Matt's house (closer, yay!) for their 2nd Annual Labor Day party. We talked, but I played it coy, spending more time floating around the party and hanging out with other people. Finally, after a few hours, Matt confessed that he wanted to be in a relationship, with me, and was ready to commit to that. I swear, I thought my heart exploded! From that point forward, we were dating long-distance, until a few months later I finally got a real social work job offer, and moved to Philadelphia.
Oh, but it hasn't all been butterflies and rainbows since then! Stay tuned for the continuation...
Monday, June 21, 2010
Four months from our wedding day, and I'm already considering mine.
Say you: I thought you already had short hair?
Say me: I do. But I'm considering going a bit shorter. (eek!)
Ok, a bit of history. 2 years ago, I actually did have a PWC - after my sister's wedding. My hair was really long before her wedding. This picture was taken 2 days before her wedding (that's me with my brother-in-law):
I know, right? It was soooooo loooong. I look back at those pictures and I'm shocked. Because now, my hair is like this:
This picture just taken this past weekend, at a friend of mine's baby shower. So 2 years ago, after Callie and Anthony's wedding was all said and done, I set out to chop off my hair. It ended up being about 7 inches, which was (unfortunately) not enough to donate to Locks of Love, but it was enough to cause me sit in the chair right before Rachel snipped it and think, "Oh boy...do I really want to do this?" As soon as it was over, though, I was SO glad I did it!
I love, love, love my short hair. What's even better, is that Matt loves my short hair. Every now and then it gets on my nerves. Like when it's 100 degrees out and it's tsicking to my neck but I can't pull it up because it looks too weird. Or like when the curls don't curl just right and it ends up looking like this weird bumpy mess. Otherwise, I think it's a very flattering style and I had no intention of growing it out.
But then Matt slipped that ring on my finger and all of a sudden it was like "Oh my God, I'm gonna have to get my hair done for the wedding! I shoudl start growin it out so I can have that perfect updo!" It was like a little moment of panic. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought, "You know what? No. This short hair is so much of who I am now. To have long hair juts for the wedding wouldn't feel natural." So...it's staying short.
And yet, I'm still considering the PWC. I'm thinking about going even shorter than it is. Something like this:
WHAT?!?!? Like I said, I'm considerig it. I doubt that I'll have the nerve to go through with it. Plus, since my hair is naturally curl-vy (it's not quite curly but it's definitely more than wavy). I'm not sure this cut would stand up to the weird shapes my hair tends to take. Unless I straighten it every day, which I'm not totally sold on doing. Straightening my hair adds about 20 minutes to my morning routine and, um, I like to sleep. So the PWC may not be a part of my after-wedding ritual, as it seems to be for many brides out there. But we'll see. I may surprise all of us!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Anyone else? No? Just me? Well, I am a Broadway nerd, so...somehow I'm not surprised.
There's an awful lot of tradition in weddings. However, I think it's safe to say that Matt and I are not exactly traditional people. Not that we don't believe in traditions - we do! But we also like to put our own spin on traditions.
Something Old, Something New...
You know the old saying - "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." I also recently learned that it continues with "...and a sixpence for her shoe." So, my something old - my mom gave me my grandmother's first engagement ring, which I'm going to have JDK tie into my bouquet wrap. My something new - my dress, hair clip, bracelet, etc. That one was easy-peasy. Something borrowed - I haven't figured this one out yet. Got something you want to lend me? And I'm totally in love with my something blue. I'm planning to have a mani/pedi with my sister/MOH on the day before the wedding at the wonderful Chocolate Spa at the Hotel Hershey. I'm going to have the pedicurist (?) paint my toenails blue! And, I'm going to have my girls all sign the bottom of my shoes with a blue sharpie marker! When I told my mom, she asked if we were having communion - would people see that if we had to kneel down during our ceremony? We're not, and this is the only reason I wish we were! And the "sixpence" for my shoe will be a 2010 penny that I'll tape into the bottom of one of my shoes. Although, knowing me, I'll have to put one in each shoe, because having it in just one will probably drive me crazy.
Unity Candle/Sand Ceremony
Lots of couples do this at their ceremonies. We're skipping it. We just decided that we would like to keep our ceremony short and sweet, and although this is a tradition that we appreciate, it's not one that we felt was absolutely necessary.
Flower Girl/Ring Bearer
Another tradition we're bucking. Ours is a child-free wedding. We know lots of people with kids that we could easily include in our wedding - Matt has a niece and nephew, and I have 2 nieces and 4 nephews. But...ok, here goes a major confession. That cute little ring bearer in his adorable little tux, or the precious little flower girl in her fancy little dress? I don't want them stealing my spotlight! I mean, really, how many times can you remember being at a wedding and those little cuties do something really cute or funny and totally steal the show? Yeah, not at my wedding! All eyes on me! Ahem, I mean, us! All eyes on us!
I hate this tradition. I've always hated it. There is nothing more humiliating than being called out for being single, and being forced to compete with other humiliated women to catch a bouquet and be told, "You're next!" if you catch it. Especially if you truly are single. Or if you're in a relationship with a guy who has absolutely no interest in getting married (which is what happened to me a couple of years ago...before Matt came to terms with the whole marriage thing). I also hate watching the groom dig up the bride's dress for her garter. That's always felt a bit voyeuristic and creepy to me. And it's even worse when the groom tries to be funny and pulls out a pair of gigantic underwear...or when he takes the garter off with his teeth. Dude, your grandmother is watching. Have some class. So, needless to say, we're not doing this. I am considering doing something with my bouquet - perhaps handing it over to some special lady to honor her. But I'm not totally committed to that idea. I might just want to keep my pretty bouquet all for myself!
So that's it. Just a few of the "normal" wedding traditions that we're either not partaking in or changing to make them our own.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Like most brides out there, I've started a workout routine for the wedding. I don't necessarily need/want to lose weight. I just want to tone up. I want to look slim and tight on our wedding day. I want to look hot in my bikini on our honeymoon.
Matt and I joined a gym near the house a few months ago. It's a great gym - they have plenty of equipment, classes, a huge weight room...and, as an added bonus, we get a free round of golf each month!
Sounds great, right? Yeah, there's only one slight problem. I hate working out. Like, with a passion. I used to tell people that working out is against my religion. And it's funny to me that I'm so anti-working out. I exercised a lot when I was younger. I was a cheerleader all through high school, which consisted of running a mile and doing about 100 crunches and pushups every day, before practice. I also took tap for 12 years. And I was a synchonized swimmer for 10 years, which meant that we did 20 minutes of deck warm-up, then swam about 10-20 laps, and then started choreographing/learning/practicing our routines. Tie all of that together and I was in fantastic shape...and I didn't mind it (too much!). Now? The thought of going to the gym, well, it's like telling me my eyes are going to get dug out my skull with a spoon. So. Not. Fun.
Say You: Ok, so why not take a dance class? Or join a gym with a pool so you can swim?
Say Me: Dance classes won't work - they're too expensive and I don't have a car to drive to a dance studio. And while Matt worked at LA Fitness and I could in free, I tried the whole pool thing. Still not enough motivation. Plus, now it would cost me money, and I'd need a car, and...well, see above excuse.
Say You: Wow, you are lazy. And full of excuses...
I know! It's awful. I hear myself saying all of this and I'm like, "Geez, woman...get over it!" But I can't. I don't know what it is about working out, in a gym, with people around, that I dislike so much.
Nonetheless, I did join this little gym near our house. I try to go 3 times a week. Sometimes I get on a roll and go 4 times a week. Last week, I was feeling really great and I went 3 times plus I went for a run around the neighborhood on Saturday! I went into this week thinking, "Ok, now if I can keep that momentum up, I'll get into a routine and hopefully it won't be so hard!" No dice. Haven't gone yet. And it's Thursday.
The funny thing is, when I do go, I feel great. I feel like I accomplished something. I have more energy. As an added bonus, I've noticed that I get fewer migraines when I work out fairly regularly. I try to remind myself of that when my alarm goes off at 5am and I don't want to get out of bed. Sometimes it works. Sometimes...not so much.
On the upside, I still get a pretty fair amount of exercise in, even when I don't go to the gym. I take the train to work, and have to walk 8 blocks from the train station to the hospital, and 8 blocks back in the afternoon. And, sans car, I have to walk home from the train station every evening, which is a full mile. So, every day, I walk almost 2 miles. And I wear those Sketchers Shape-Ups shoes [well, I used to - now that it's summer, I'm all flip-flops, all the time] So, needless to say, I get pretty good exercise on a daily basis as it is. I (usually) eat pretty well - balanced meals, appropriate portions. I try to avoid snacking, especially after 9pm. I'm going to also cut beer out of my diet. At least, a little bit. I love beer, so this one may actually be kind of hard for me. Not that I'm a booze-hound, sucking back a six-pack a night. But on weekends, and the occasional weeknight, I do like to enjoy a few yummy beers. One of our favorite things to do is go through the distributor and pick out a new case of beer that we haven't tried yet. But, I'm going (try) to cut down on that until the wedding.
My goal isn't really to lose much weight. I think my weight is a pretty good number. I really just want to tone and tighten. I'd like to be able to wave to people from the trolley and not have my arm keep going after I've stopped. I'd like my arms to look toned in my wedding dress. I'd like my legs to keep me on the dance floor all night long. I'd like my butt and stomach to look flat and tight in my bikini on our honeymoon.
I'm trying. I really am. But I'm finding it to be a bigger struggle than even I thought it would be. But I'm getting there. People around me have started noticing that my body is changing a little bit. So even though I don't see it (because, really, when do women ever see good changes in their body?), other people are, and that feels good. And I feel better about myself. And hopefully, even if I don't end up with perfectly toned abs and tight thighs and non-wiggly arms, maybe feeling good about myself will be enough.
Outside my window... they told me it would storm (severely) all day. It's bright and sunny outside!
I am thinking... I would strongly prefer to be outside in the lovely sunshine
I am thankful for... my cousin called me back this morning!
From the kitchen... Southwest chicken casserrole?
I am wearing... my "skinny pants!" cuz all my working out is finally starting to pay off!
I am creating... discharge plans for my patients
I am going... to one of my favorite people's baby shower this weekend!
I am reading... Chuck Klosterman. I love him.
I am hoping... that I get to talk to my cousin tonight
I am hearing... my colleague on the phone behind me
Around the house... our gardens are looking fabulous!
One of my favorite things... sleeping in (and skipping the gym)
A few plans for the rest of the week... Matt and I are meeting with a mortgage broker to get a better deal on our mortgage!
Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
Monday, June 14, 2010
First things first. I came across Mrs. Dolphin's wedding on Weddingbee the other day. I loooooooove her dress. This is exactly what I hope I look like in my dress, cuz it's very similar. She's a gorgeous bride, isn't she?
So that's it. Some of the many photos that I've tucked away as inspiration for our wedding day. Working out a way for them to maybe make an appearance on our special day, but in our own special way.
Friday, June 11, 2010
So how did we do this? I downloaded the template for the cootie catchers here. I copied it and created 3 separate slides in powerpoint. We came up with some trivia questions, and each slide had slightly different questions for the trivia on the "petals" of the catcher. I went through each slide and made all the inner lines invisible, but left the outer square there so we'd have a guide for cutting them. We printed them on some ivory paper (think resume paper), and cut them using my new rotary trimmer (one of my most important investments for this DIY process!). Once they were all cut, we started folding. As our guests approach the place cards table, they will be greeted with the cootie catchers looking like this:
But they'll have a card in them stating the guest's/couple's names and their table assignment. Once they get them to their table and start playing with them, they'll reveal some fun trivia about me and Matt. There are some questions about me, some about Matt, and some about us as a couple:
The answers are under the flaps, of course. And when the cootie catcher is fully opened up, they'll see their menu for the evening!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Ok, well, aesthetically it's not going to be all that special. It'll be something like this:
And boy am I glad. She started us off with...well, honestly I don't remember. We tried a few, but the first one that really stuck out was a turtle cake, which she'd just made specially for a bridal show she was doing later that day, but she let us try a piece. It was good, but...meh, not quite what we were looking for. Next she brought out a french vanilla cake with raspberry ganache. It was all downhill from there...and I mean that in a really good way. Man, that cake was awesome! Then she gave us the pink champage cake with strawberry whip filling. It was all. over. Holy crap, that was honest-to-goodness the best thing I've ever tasted in my life.
So, we decided to do the following: a sheet cake of chocolate cake with peanut butter filling (this is a favorite among many people in our families/friends). Then, the bottom tier of the "real cake" will be the french vanilla and raspberry ganache, and the top 2 tiers will be the pink champagne and strawberry whip. All of them will be covered in Linda's white chocolate buttercream icing, which is for-real to-die for.
On a side note, we decided to skip the whole save-the-top-layer-and-eat-it-a-year-later thing. It just sounds absolutely disgusting to us. Plus, we save a ton of money by not having her make a layer that is just going to look pretty and then sit in our freezer for a year. We decided we'd rather go out and get a nice dessert somewhere in the City. Don't get me wrong, I understand the appeal of pulling out your wedding cake a year later, remembering how pretty it was and how awesome the day was, but...that's what pictures are for. I don't need to eat stale/frozen cake to remember how fantastic our wedding was. I'm fairly certain that October 23, 2010 is a day that I will never forget.
Monday, June 7, 2010
The Simple Woman's Daybook was created, it seems, back in January. People post their own daybook entries to their own blogs, and then link them back to the main site. I love this idea. It really gives you a chance to even further reflect on your moments and appreciate where you are.
So, with no further ado, my daybook for the week (I will try to do this weekly, but I make no promises):
Outside my window... blue skies, green trees
I am thinking... so far, it's been a good day
I am thankful for... Matt getting up to drive me to the train station, even though he has the day off
From the kitchen... Matt's simmering a pot of his homemade meatballs today for meatball hoagies for dinner
I am wearing... a green shirt with white dress pants - I love that I can wear white pants now
I am creating... a thousand (ok, 90) cootie catchers for our wedding
I am going... to try harder
I am reading... wedding blogs. I should expand
I am hoping... that Matt's "surgery" goes well this afternoon
I am hearing... the noisy air conditioner in our office
Around the house... we got a lot done this weekend!
One of my favorite things... when Matt and I sit on the couch and make silly faces at each other, just to hear each other
laugh, and then talk about how if other people saw us, we'd surely be committed
A few plans for the rest of the week... Friday night I'm having my own "girls night in" while Matt is away
Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
I saw this little guy hanging out outside the window of my apartment last year. On that day, he and I were totally in similar states of mind - I had just gotten back from lazying around the pool at my apartment complex.Enjoy!
People are going to cry at our wedding. I mean, not to sound, like, whatever, but they will. It's been a long time coming, we've been through some serious stuff, and people are crazy happy that we're finally taking this next step. Not that people aren't usually crazy happy about people getting married, but...whatever. You get the point. Not to mention, we have friends/families who are really emotional. I mean it. My mom and I cry at commercials. It's sick. So yeah...there will be plenty of tears during our ceremony. People might as well have something cute to cry into, right?
I echoed most of what Miss Frog did. After looking at both Michael's and A.C. Moore, I decided that I should also check out ebay for the glassine envelopes. I ended up getting them there, ordering 3 sets of 20, for about $4. I honestly didn't think I'd use them all, but I thought, "Well, it'll be good to have extra." And I got ribbon from Michael's - I ended up using 2 spools each of brown and green - only $2. I found the tissues at Target - I bought 2 packs of 60 tissues for $2. I also picked up address labels at Target - 10 pages of 80 labels for about $5.
I stuffed 2 miniature tissues into each glassine envelope, then tied a ribbon around it (like a present). I put the bow on the side where the envelope is open, so people can open up the ribbon and easily open the envelope without having to deal with the sticker. I printed the stickers with a cute little saying I came across on another Weddingbee post (I'm a little bit, possibly unhealthily, obsessed with that blog) - "Tears of joy, tears of laughter, tears of happily ever after..." I placed one sticker across the "intersection" of the ribbon. Finished product:
I mean, not to toot my horn or anything, but...how cute are they? I'm planning to put them in a basket draped with ivory or navy blue fabric - whatever I happen to have readily available (it just might end up being a pillowcase....shhhh....). They'll be at the front of the church, so people can grab a packet as they're heading into the wedding. I can't wait to see people tearing into them during our ceremony, and wiping away their tears of joy...
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Remember those wine glasses? The ones that were my inspiration for the color scheme of the wedding? Well, I contacted the seller and told that she was my inspiration, and asked her to set up a "registry" of items for us. And she did. She created (custom-painted) champagne flutes as well as salt and pepper shakers. They were purchased for us by Matt's fabulous aunt and cousins. Wanna see?