A journey through my mind. Which is sometimes fabulous. Often not.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Projects and Deadlines.. OH NOES!

It's the first rain of the fall season. So far the house is holding up alright, but the skylight drips water every once in a while.

So the place is still unpacked! How embarrassing. So Ricklet and I are shooting for a holiday party to get our act together. And so, a new project is born! :) And of course an accompanying checklist of things to do, in order of importance:

* Replace kitchen sink fixture (it's leaking)
* Organize clothes
* Buy patio furniture cover
* Measure living room, hypothesize largest sectional sofa
* LCD 40"+ and media stand
* Measure dining room; buy dining room set - 6 chairs
* Lights and fans in bathrooms on different switches (3 sets)
* Clean out garage, sweep and organize. Buy garage shelving units.
* Bathroom accessories for bathroom #2
* Bookshelves and carts for craft room

Special subproject, bathroom #1:
* Replace sink fixtures
* Sand and refinish cabinets
* Replace lighting fixture
* Sky blue paint
* Furniture

I'll add more to this list soon.... Time for Beanie's birthday phone call soon... and maybe Dland tomorrow!

Monday, September 21, 2009

System Overload! Abort Abort!

Egads, it's almost October.

I start school today - two classes, working full-time, 3 hour daily commute. Fun stuff ahead. What am I taking? Foundations of Info Sys and Intro to Web Design for Info Orgs.

It's going to be hard.

Although that combats my principle that nothing is ever difficult; some things just take extra time.

Just thought I'd pop on in here and say hello, dear diary. Or dear dairy. I could go for some sweet Yogurtland right about now.... ;)

Toodles.... I expect to be an auntie-in-law in about 7 months...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Almost August?!

Holy hardcore. I can't believe it's been so long since my last post. Naughty me. Well, so much has happened! I almost don't even know where to start. So here are bullet points, in no particular order:

1. Back in school. Currently in Summer session week 6, one class. Just signed up today for Fall, 2 classes. I will be taking 2 classes each quarter until I finish. My social life is over.

2. I have a new title! I didn't find out about it until I looked myself up in the directory and saw Project Specialist listed under my name. Huh. I wonder what that really means and what my legal job description is.

3. I'm getting used to my "responsibilities" here at work and learning lots of new stuff. All this info sys stuff like UNIX and working with strange filenames and whatnot. I keep telling myself that content is irrelevant. Right? Right. Sometimes. ;)

4. Rick is now walking with a cane, but his knee is still swollen and he can't start physical therapy yet. He's supposed to be ready to go back to work on August 2. Which is at the end of the week. But I don't see how that's going to happen!

5. The house seems to be permanently unpacked temporarily. ;) When will it get done? In the words of Farmgirl Susan: "Soon." We still have to get furniture before any additional unpacking can begin. And I like to do things once and only once so a workaround unpacking is not an option for me. I'd rather leave everything in the boxes until they're ready to come out. I've got a bunch of catch-22s in the living room, so really, there's nothing left to do right now.

6. The commute is not so hot this summer, and I had hoped traffic would be lighter because of the season. Contrary to my wishes, there seem to be more tourists than expected that struggle with our messed up freeway system and change lanes way too late, causing mucho slowdowns at every interchange.

7. Bella is walking now, and pretty well too! She loves to dance, give lots of kisses (to anyone and everyone), and says, "mama", "dada", and "ah!" for auntie (me!). I can't wait for her to really start talking. Or maybe I can.... ;)

8. We joined Netflix. How did we ever live without it?! I love instant movies on my laptop in bed.

9. Transformers 2 disappointed me.

10. Got our wedding pictures and need to go get them printed. Soon getting enlargements and albums. The wedding feels like forever ago, when I thought it was the busiest I would ever be in my whole entire life. Boy, was I wrong!

I guess that's it for now.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blissful Days and Change

Life is good. We are moving to our new home this month, a lovely 3 bedroom, 3 bath condo in a wonderful neighborhood. I am being transferred to another department at work as an effect of the recent layoffs, where I will learn to manage new databases and applications. Oh, and I got married. Lots of change and all at the same time. Cousin Dorothy marvelled at dinner last night, "You're going through three big life events (marriage, first home, new career) all within the same month."

Yes, and life is good. God is good.

(Photo by Ashley Horne)

(photo by Ashley Horne)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Countdown: less than ONE month..!

I'm afraid to actually know how many days are left. I think I'll just say less than a month. Then it's not so scary!

It's my day off today and I have actually a lot of errands to run. I was planning on picking up the candy order, but there's a huge accident on the freeway where I need to be. And then in the afternoon I'm taking my mom out to see the church, the hotel, and the reception site. So that will be fun. Oh, and if we can make it back in time for dinner with my sister, we're going to try to do that too.

But the real reason why I'm posting today is because it's time for another... no, not another to-do list, but another post similar to this one, a list of qualities about Ricklet that I love that really make us who we are. Sometimes we have it so good that we don't really realize that there are others (singles and couples) who don't have it as easy as we do, who have to work harder on their relationship, and sometimes who just aren't really compatible or have very different personalities that each partner must "put up with". Perhaps for some, that's as good as it gets, so the bickering and miscommunication is accepted, standard, and normal. For me, because I have Rick, that kind of situation is totally unacceptable.

I can see the question mark over your head. What in world is she talking about?? So let me explain. A few months ago someone from my past life found me on a social networking site and tried to add me to his friend list. I let the request sit for a long time before finding out that there can be different settings for different friends. So I set up a restricted list, accepted his friend request, and added him to this list. I guess the reason why I went through all the trouble is that 1) we're adults now, I shouldn't avoid my past in fear; 2) I was curious about how we'd reconnect; 3) I had others to add to this restricted list anyways; and 4) I didn't want him all up in my stuff on my page if I added him to my regular friend list. Privacy is important to me, and what comes in and goes out on my page isn't something I want the whole world to see let alone someone whom I've known and with whom I'd had a falling out. You never know who's going to turn out to be your next stalker.

So I accepted the request; I didn't say hello right away, I waited a few weeks. Finally, for some reason, of which I'm still unsure, I decided to post a hello. He wrote back and commented on my engagement photos. Those I'd purposefully left up while filtering more private life pictures of Bella and events we've participated in. I wrote back: thanks, we took new ones, and how are you? I'm fine, work is tiring, etc. He wrote back: saw your new pictures, they look nice, is that your baby, I listen to news radio. I wrote: sure, that's my baby, I don't like listening to news radio on my morning commute, I'd rather hear trivial gossip. And he responded: You haven't changed a bit, enjoying celebrity gossip. Your baby is cute, she sure is chubby.

I reacted. And I reacted badly. I haven't changed a bit since I was 12? Really. And he would know this from two short messages? How arrogantly assumptive. And because I choose not to listen to the news during my morning commute, I happily seek out and "enjoy" shallow and meaningless chitchat? Oh was I offended. I was mostly annoyed that he was nostalgically self-indulgent, patting himself on the back with the "you haven't changed a bit" feeling, like he intimately knew and still knows me. The truth is, he never knew me at all; he saw only what he wanted to see, and in my darkest hours, he had absolutely no idea what I was going through, and I couldn't handle a lollygagging puppet tagging along at my heels who was more annoying than harmful.

I know we were really young when we were together, but this behavior was exactly the reason why I broke it off with him back then. The unequal status between us irked the heck out of me; he fawned over me and in doing so, lessened himself. Within the idolotry was the perception that I was an angel who floated when I walked and had no thoughts of substance within my cute little brain. Of course, he didn't see this as offensive and there are worse perceptions of women than this; he probably treated all women he liked as little cuddly and sweet things, and is refreshed by their innocence and naivete, and therefore promotes it. I know that plenty of women would consider this guy a catch because he would adore her, put her up on a pedestal, and treat her like a princess, do anything to make and keep her happy. I, on the other hand, wanted to vomit on my keyboard. Some people just don't realize that when someone's put up on a pedestal and held high in esteem, the one who's up there is very lonely and maintaining that image by herself is tiresome. The fall from the top can be quite far, and if she falls, she will loathe herself and will want someone to speak the truth and sit on the ground with her for awhile. He will simply dust her off and try to help her get up on the pedestal again, assure her of his undying devotion and of her perfection, when she'll realize she doesn't want an admirer from afar. So she'll run off to join the rest of the village people, on solid ground, and she'll find a playmate with whom she can share her opinions and sit in the sandbox together for hours. He, abruptly abandoned, broken and purposeless, will curse her for all his best efforts to love her were not enough to keep her. She hopes that one day he eventually learns that one-sided adoration only leads to disappointment.

I've never really been a feminist, nor do I believe that we should set social roles that differentiate between men and women. I suppose I'm simply an equalist, an equalist with certain exceptions, of course. ;) And most importantly, this is about attitude. One may think, for example, that men should make more money than women, and that's fine as a personal opinion; but I have a few select words for the one who thinks that women CANNOT make as much or more money than men. The thought of limitation is what makes my blood boil. I hate being limited, told that I can or cannot do something. But most of the time, it usually has nothing to do with the issue/task at hand, but the intangible, indescribable perception of my abilities or capabilities.

So back to the story. After I virtually vomited on my keyboard, I shut down the computer and went to bed. I couldn't sleep and thought about all the nasty things I could write back. Of course, this was hardly mature, and if he was baiting me, I'd be giving him exaclty what he wanted: more chances to think he knows me and knows what I'd say. I could be honest with him and tell him that actually I've changed quite a bit; but that would be justifying myself to him, and I don't believe I owe him any explanation or insight to who I really am. Just these few messages over the internet sent me reeling, and I thought, Geez that relationship never would have worked out. Imagine all the fights we'd have and how many times I'd be offended by his condescending adoration. Then I thought about the traditional Christian wedding vows: the woman promises to obey the man, the man promises to love the woman as Jesus Christ loved the church. I've never had problems obeying Rick, but that's because he's never been a demanding tyrant or sacrificing martyr. He is willfully independent and has a strong sense of self, and doesn't idolize or fawn over me; it is easy to follow someone who knows what he's doing and is doing it for the right reasons (not doing it all for me). I turned over in bed and snuggled close to Rick. And all my feelings of love for him flooded me, and I held him tighter.

Rick has:
* never treated me like an unequal, or assumed I can't do something
* nver treated me like a princess (although he calls me HIS princess), meaning his position is never as my servant, and he'd never do everything I say just because I say so
* never rolled-eyes-edly said, "yes, dear" to anything and everything I want
* never coddled any of my bad behavior in efforts to keep me happy
* never gone down without a fight, especially when I'm wrong
* never been fake with me
* never participated in the group bashings of women or marriage that are so disrespectful that I loathe to even hear bits of
* always talked to me like an equal, never being above me or below me (certain touchy subjects are an exception)
* talked to me like we're both knights (in keeping with the royal metaphors) fighting together for our king (whatever goals we make) against our enemies (whatever obstacles we need to overcome)
* put me in my place too many times to count
* allowed me to take control of whatever I want, but will honestly tell me when I'm doing something "wrong" (heehe)
* happily gone shopping with me, not to please me, but because he wanted to
* has shown me and others his chivalry by opening doors, but not every time, and for men and women alike

Despite what this sounds like, we are not a platonic or same-sex couple!! The balance we achieve by being a team and respecting each other is what makes us super strong. Even if I tried, Rick would not take well to having his spirit and freedom roped in. I believe in personal accountability and choices, and have very little desire to control Rick and tell him what to do. And we do share similar he-said, she-said sort of behavioral quirks that are inherent in hetero relationships. But Rick is different in that he doesn't talk to me the way other guys who have "liked" me have. Very early on in our relationship, he didn't let me get away with something that would have been easy to pass through with other guys, and I thought, WHAT? NO ONE talks to me like that!! Not that he called me names or was abusive, but he drew his boundary lines. And in that instant, he earned my respect. And as time went on, I learned I could trust him with the deepest parts of my inner self, parts that even my mother or sister haven't seen. I feel like I truly have a partner, not a servant or a caretaker.

Coincidentally, as I was working on our table names for the reception, I stumbled across an old song from the musical that Rick and I worked on together, when we first met. My White Knight, from The Music Man, is sung by the stodgy librarian (ironic, isn't it?) who falls in love with a con artist. The lyrics, which are appropriate for this post, go like this:

"My white knight, not a Lancelot, nor an angel with wings
Just someone to love me, who is not ashamed of a few nice things.
My white knight, who knew what my heart would say if it only knew how.
Please, dear Venus, show me now.

All I want is a plain man
All I want is a modest man
A quiet man, a gentle man
A straightforward and honest man
To sit with me in a cottage somewhere in the state of Iowa.

And I would like him to be more interested in me than he is in himself.
And more interested in us than in me."

Meredith Willson was a genius.

They say after you get married, you have to start putting the other person first before yourself; I say that will just cause resentment, especially if the sacrifice is not appreciated. I say that you should have already started thinking about doing what's best for the both of you, and not to lose yourself in the process. I am, after all, whom Rick fell in love with in the first place; for him and for us, I can't afford to lose myself.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Countdown: 38 days

This week, I'm holding it all together. I'm not sure if it's the sickness that's hit me over the head that has made me realize (again) that the wedding will not be perfect and that I can't control everything, so I should just relax and go with the flow. That, and/or the fact that we've gotten lots of things crossed of the list, so I can relax just a bit. Here's what's left of last time's list:

DONE * details appointment
DONE * engagement photo shoot (they came out awesome!)
* finish Snoopy's tux
DONE* buy rhinestone pins for bouquets
* wash scoops and tongs, tie ribbons
* IKEA for tea lights and candleholders
DONE * order gift cards for bridesmaids
* NASCAR cars (Target)
DONE * baptismal certificate
DONE * marriage license (that's a whole 'nother dramatic story)
CROSS OFF * embroider hankies for bridesmaid bouquets
* order candy and arrange for pickup
* fill restrooms baskets (trip to Walmart)
* kids' packs (Walmart, Michaels, OTC...)
* buy flower girl's dress and Bella's dress
* find picture of me and mom, rick and his family
* scan/color copies of photos for photo montage. make photo montage!
DONE * order personalized informals, buy generic Thank You cards for use until then
PSEUDO DONE * reserve rooms for attendants
* not to mention all the paper details: programs, escort cards, menu cards, signs, instructions, etc.

And to add to the list:
* finalize music for ceremony (gotta call Patrick! GUH!)
* confirm and finalize reception centerpieces and payment (gotta call Sheri! GUH!)
* order more cardstock for the programs
* consultation with the DJ
* buy letter charms for the bouquets
* buy veil

Today I'm going in for my trial hair and makeup. Was supposed to do it last Tuesday but I was sick as a dog and wasn't feeling the least bit sexy or pretty. So now that I'm on antibiotics and can kind of function now that the bugs are being killed off along with everything else in my body, I can continue on the daily track of getting things done. Or just thought about. Heee.

This morning Ricklet and I were discussing certain wedding things, and he kept saying, "Stop worrying about that." I said, "I'm not worrying, I'm just talking about it. Because it needs to be decided upon and then carried out. Someone's gotta think about it, make the decision and then follow through so that it does get done. Who's worrying? Not me." But of course, the Ricklet says, "but when you go into so much extremes and details you sound like you're stressing about it." It's been so long that I've been planning the wedding (planning, by the way, means thinking and weighing options and deciding, not just the actual physical courses of action) that I don't even know what it means to BE stressed. Every day is like this, I sleep and breathe thoughts about silk flowers and paper and when to start making things, think about reminding myself to buy this or that, or call so-and-so by this date... all these very minor little things add up so it's one big great stressball.

Just you wait, I'll one day soon blow up and cry about a misplaced scoop for the candy buffet. Just you wait and see.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hello, March!

I recently received an RSVP to the wedding whose subject line was: "RSVP to 54 days and counting!"

It pretty much freaked me out. There is still so much to do and although I'm ahead in some tasks, I feel behind in others. I mean, I haven't even spoken with the DJ yet! And I still don't know how much left I owe on our flowers! All these phone calls... really, that's what's been keeping me up at night.

It's difficult finding time to do anything anymore. At work, I can't concentrate on work. I keep thinking about what's up ahead for the weekend, what else I need to buy, what I need to finish crafting, etc. And although I have lists, I have many of them in different spots with unsynchronized information on them. Rick just reminded me that we still have to buy NASCARs for the cake! It had totally slipped my mind! And then tealights and candleholders from IKEA! I forgot about that too!

So now it's already March, and I finally bit the bullet and contacted a makeup artist for a trial run. I don't know what keeps me from doing these things in a timely manner... inability to commit??? I think so.

We ended up deciding to do fake flowers after all. (I know, I know, *GASP*). I spent so much $ on floral stems at Michaels to make the pomander ball, but I had so much fun doing it. I thought it looked beautiful and real. Then as I did a bit more research into making our personal flowers, I discovered a website that got a lot of good reviews for their fake stems. And they had green cymbidium orchids too!! So I ordered a sample, and liked most of what I got. They looked so much better than the ones I got at Michaels, so now I can tell the pomander ball looks really artificial. Oh well. So I put in the whole order for all of our bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. It probably came out to about $200 for everything, but I'm returning some stuff and buying some extra stems. I don't know what the heck I'm doing as I'm crafting these bouquets and stuff, but I think they're coming out pretty good!! Here's what I've done so far:

Bridesmaid bouquets: green confetti rose, green cymbidium orchid, onion grass, and rose leaves.

Groomsmen bouts: mini green cymbidium orchid, rosemary, and onion grass.

Grandmother corsages: open antique rose and pink beauty bud, onion grass and rose leaves.

I started the matron of honor bouquet that is similar to the bridesmaids' bouquets but includes calla lilies, the mini green cymbidium orchids, and white open roses that will be used in my bouquet as well.

Things to do to add to the List(s):
* finish Snoopy's tux
* buy rhinestone pins for bouquets
* wash scoops and tongs, tie ribbons
* IKEA for tea lights and candleholders
* order gift cards for bridesmaids
* NASCAR cars (Target)
* baptismal certificate (gotta go downtown)
* marriage license
* embroider hankies for bridesmaid bouquets
* order candy and arrange for pickup
* fill restrooms baskets (trip to Walmart)
* kids' packs (Walmart, Michaels, OTC...)
* buy flower girl's dress and Bella's dress
* find picture of me and mom, rick and his family
* scan/color copies of photos for photo montage. make photo montage!
* order personalized informals, buy generic Thank You cards for use until then
* reserve rooms for attendants
* not to mention all the paper details: programs, escort cards, menu cards, signs, instructions, etc.

March 10: Trial makeup/hair appt

March 13: Details appointment at reception site!

March 28: Bella's bday party!

April 4: Bachelor/Bachelorette parties

So... lots to do.. this weekend we'll be visiting my paternal grandmother and giving her the invitation in person. I just hope no one's beat us to the punch since all the invitations went out.. and she thinks we're not inviting her or something. Well. Just two more days... then we can get that taken care of.

And then start the workweek all over again.... when wedding plans have to be put on hold all day..

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Congratulations (!) and Another List

First off, I'd like to say a big fat CON-FREAKING-GRATULATIONS to Annetterpee and Brian (aka Briannette) because they're engaged! A romantic proposal on Friday the 13th. What could be cuter?! At least it didn't end in any chainsaw massacres from any rejection. ;)

Now it's time for another checklist. Well, I suppose I should sum up how the past few weeks have been. From where I last left off:

Jan 24: We met with Andrea, the church wedding coordinator. She went over a list of rules and regulations, then said she'd be sending us the 6 page list via email. I'm still waiting.. and wondering if she's either forgotten to send it or it's just too soon to do so. I'm not sure. Two things I do remember from that meeting is that pre-recorded music is not allowed, and I have to wear a jacket or sew in straps on my strapless dress. I'm a bit confused by this because I've seen pictures of brides at the altar (of the same church) in their strapless dresses. I wonder if this rule is enforced.. and if not, should I even pay heed to it... and would I feel guilty for purposefully ignoring a rule?

Jan 25: Rick's surprise party. It was a hit! There were some minor confusions, anxious waiting... but when he walked through that door and we all shouted SURPRISE! it was all worth it. Thanks to Raul and Kathleen for opening up their home for us. Now we have all these cowboy and rockstar decorations we don't know what to do with. ;) We also have tons of Oreos left over from the favors. And I still have to find a frame for the signage board where people wished us happy birthdays.

Jan 30: Rick's birthday. I treated us to a couple's massage at Pho Siam, his first time. It was amazing and relaxing. Then we had a fatty dinner at The Boat, which has now reopened after a few years of being out of commission from being moved down the street.

Feb 7: The boys went in for their tux fittings. Rick went to pick up his junior groomsman, and the appointment was for 1pm. Guess what time he left? 9:45am. My man likes to be punctual. Early punctual. ;) Later in the afternoon I get a picture text of the jacket they all chose together. I freaked. They chose a shawl-style 1-button jacket. It reminded me of an awful 80s movie, and I told Rick as such. I didn't mean to be a hater, which totally caught me off guard, but I really just didn't like it. I couldn't see Rick wearing it on our wedding day. Of course, being the cool guy that he is, said we could go back and change the jacket just for him. I felt a bit guilty about this, since he doesn't get a say in what I'm wearing, why should I get a say in what he's wearing?

Feb 13: Cake appt at Rossmoor Pastries. It rained hard all day, but we went out for lunch, then headed over to Friar Tux so I could take a look at the jacket in person and decide together if we liked it. Ricklet put it on, I gave it 5 seconds to sink in... and said, OMG no. Please take it off. It's strange how a jacket can make a person want to vomit. This jacket just really rubbed me the wrong way, and I still can't say how other than I just. Didn't. Like. It. So we ended up choosing a traditional tux with notch lapel, 2 buttons, and no flaps on the pockets. When I told the salesman these details "we" were looking for, he smirked in a way that only a man who's dealt with detailed women before smirk. It wasn't a mean smirk, but a humored "this girl is one of THOSE kinds who knows what she wants" smirks. I wasn't offended, rather proud that I had the power to illicit such a knowing smile from a salesman. And from that point on, he told us detailed information about the different kinds of jackets that (some) guys just don't think to ask about.

We got to our cake appointment a bit early, but headed in. When we walked in, it looked like a regular bakery, with the giant glass-encased refrigerators, filled with sweet treats, and especially red and pink ones for Valentine's Day. The Wedding Cake Studio was off to the left, and we walked through the archway and saw lots of activity at desks where couples were having their consultations. It was nice to see that the place wasn't deserted. That means this place is good. We got seated right away and Maribel came to help us. She started filling out a form with all of our information, and pulled out a binder for us to look through of the different designs. It didn't take us too long to decide. We knew we wanted something simple without the "curtain" look in the frosting. Then we got to choose 4 different flavors in their lineup to taste. Rick chose them, and when Maribel brought the samples out, we dug in quietly but quickly. Mmmmm. We ended up going with something called the California Sunset, a lemon buttercream with raspberry filling. So tart and sweet compared the other flavors we'd requested to sample. When I spoke up about my Transformers toys that I wanted on the cake, Maribel just stared at me. I could see she was hootin' and hollerin' in the back of her head. But on the outside, she said, "ohhh... kayyyyy...." ;) Hey, it's OUR cake and I want toys on it! ;)

We were still too full for dinner, even though I'd planned on trying out a place called the Crab Pot. So we headed back in Friday rush hour traffic in the rain. Fun stuff. We made our way downtown and then headed through Chinatown, where we stopped to stretch our legs and buy those scoops and tongs for our candy buffet. We'd seen them before in the store but it seemed to early to buy them at the time, especially thinking about storing them somewhere with the other incoming wedding things. But now it was time.

Feb 14: Valentine's Day. I had planned to stay in and work on wedding stuff when my sister called me the night before and asked if I could go over to help babysit the Bihon girl so she and her hubby could go out for a Vday sushi lunch. I suggested even a massage too, and I wouldn't mind playing with the baby. :) Who would? She's such a good girl. I also needed to take a look at the shower favors and see what I'd need to do with them. And I need to pick up Jen's dress at the Alfred Angelo. To sum up, it was a pretty long day. I got home around 6:00pm and I don't even remember what Rick and I did. In-home dinner and movie? Most likely. :)

Feb. 15: Pajama Day. Since I was out all yesterday, I decided to stay home and really do crafting. I worked on the favors literally all day, stopping only to have a quick TV dinner lunch. Rick went to play golf and watch the Nascar race at his parents' house and didn't get home until after 6pm, and I was still on the floor doing stuff. Oh wait, no, by the time he got home, I was quickly but carefully putting labels on the candy buffet bags. And I was still in my pajamas from the morning. Rick was so not turned on. ;)

Coming up:
Feb. 21: Wedding shower. It's going to be about 70 people with a Hawaiian BBQ theme. We're having a whole lechon (roast pig), Margarita man, and the colors are aqua and brown. We're also going to try to go to Montana's afterward and kick up the dance floor, if we're not too tired. Also going to hand out invitations so we can save $30 on stamps. :)

Feb 22: Take gifts to condo. (shh)

Feb. 23: Final fitting at Alfred Angelo at 3pm. Which reminds me I should ask my sister and Carina if they want to come meet me there.

March 7-8: Mom wants to go to SD. No reason, she probably just wants to have a last trip with me before I'm a "woman" and she can give me a bit of a lecture (she calls it guidance) before the big day. She's changed this date a few times already so I haven't booked anything just yet. It might just change again.

March 14:
Details appt, Reception Site, 6:00pm

March 28: Bella's Bday party
March 29: Bella's FIRST birthday!!!

April 4: Bachelor/bachelorette parties

April 11: Passover Seder, 4:30pm

April 15: Final Appointment, Reception Site, 7:00pm

April 23: Church Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, 5pm

April 25: OMG!

There will probably be more things to do... but for now, that's all that's on my calendar. And it's good enough.

Things I still need to do:
* Make personal flowers (we're going the fake route no matter what y'all say or think)
* Get marriage license
* Assemble kids' favors
* Get started crafting menu cards, escort cards, signs, and programs
* Buy flower girl's dress
* Contact DJ
* Order candy for candy buffet

This was a long post. Now I gotta get to work!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Autobots, roll out!

As everyone knows, the Transformers 2 trailer aired during the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl last Sunday. Revenge of the Fallen. Freakin AWESOME. I'm going to be one of the crazy nerds standing out there waiting for the midnight showing on June 26. I can barely contain my excitement. And I realize that by June 26, I will have married, moved, gone on my honeymoon, and re-started grad school. Lots to do before I sleep on the sidewalk with fellow Autobots. And lots more sleep to lose too! But for now as I rot away in the chair that could potentially not be mine any longer come May 30 due to fiscal year budget cuts, I leave you with a picture that will distract you from your own uncertainties.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Freakouts and The Best, revisited

So. We met with our reception site florist in Murrieta to select our flowers for the reception that were supposed to be part of the package. Unfortunately, the centerpieces that come with the package are only covered up to a $25 value. Huh. Do you know what you get for $25? A square tub with a handful of roses. For a table that seats ten. That wouldn't do at all. In addition, the owner of the store was out sick, but didn't call to reschedule the appointment so we dealt with one of their designers instead. He was nice, but didn't know how much things cost and didn't really help us with alternate flower types when we realized we couldn't afford what I wanted. What did I want?

Green cymbidium orchids
Green hydrangeas
Green and white peonies
Green Ranunculus
Green lisianthus
Purple calla lillies
Seeded eucalyptus
Hypericum berries

and apparently, in a pave style.

But what did I get for $79 per arrangement?
Bells of Ireland
two types of roses
Green spiders
Green button poms
White stock
Fuschia stock
Hanging amaranthus

in an airy style so more greenery will be used.

Hmm. Seems like a bunch of filler greens, don't it? Oh well.. it's not like we're going to be bringing them home and taking them to bed with us. Expensive taste with a small pocketbook. That's me.

So in my quest for what kind of flowers/arrangement we liked so we could show the florist, I conveniently kept my eye out for I wanted for our personal flowers. We can't have fillers for that. So I wondered what my cheaper alternatives would be, since a bridal bouquet with white roses, green cymbidium orchids, and "other green/white flowers" would come out to $230 (!). I refused to give up the orchids. I was hell bent on paying up to $20 per green cymbidium boutonniere for the groomsmen. I wanted The Best, as discussed in this previous post. Good Enough just wasn't going to make the cut this time. The boring all-roses bouquet that the rest of the world's brides want for its simplicity and classic elegance just wasn't unique enough for me (despite that I love roses and would have wanted an all-roses bouquet if you asked me a month ago, particularly because it was classic and elegant). My head swirled of tart green cymbidium orchids, expressive white phalaenopsis orchids, lush and romantic peonies and ranunculus, and hydrangeas as fillers. HYDRANGEAS AS FILLERS! (yes, I have a budget of $10,000 for flowers, sure.)

Rick, on the other hand, when presented with a minimum quote of $500 for our personal flowers (with mostly white roses when I wanted green cymbidiums), said:

"We can just get fake flowers. At least for the guys. I mean, we're just going to take off our jackets anyways. And they won't care if it's real or fake."

Then when I told him that our reception site coordinator no longer works there and there's a new hire who responded to my email, he went ballistic.

"OH SH*T!!! WHY?!!!?!?!?!?!!!!"

"I dunno. Maybe she got a better job or something. Why are you freaking out?"

"Because it's just our luck. Now this new girl's going to F everything up."

"?? What do you mean? We have everything written in the contract. Everything."

"Yeah, but she doesn't know that. She's going to get everything wrong since she's new and hasn't worked with us and has to learn all the rules over there."

"Ohhhkkayyyy.... well.. we still have two more meetings with them over there when we'll discuss details. They do weddings all the time and have a manual. And it's not like we're getting married this weekend and she's still learning. She'll be settled in when it's our turn, I'm sure. And maybe she came from another Wedgewood company, there are like 8 locations around here. Oh, and I'm sending out the second payment tomorrow."

"See?!!! And she doesn't even know how much we owe and when we owe it!!! OMG!!"


For a while there, I almost laughed out loud. In his freakout, I saw myself and the irrational, totally inconsolable behavior of which I have also been guilty. And then when he said:

"The reception is more important than the ceremony. It's where we're going to spend the rest of the evening with everyone!"

I thought, this is it. We need to re-prioritize. We need to take out our Engaged Encounter booklets and re-read WHY we are getting married in the first place. We need to look each other in the eyes and remember that we are supposed to become the Sacrament of Marriage and demonstrate qualities of a healthy and supportive couple. Making drama about a new coordinator and feeling like a hapless, pathetic little child who doesn't get the flowers she wants hardly demonstrates good, rational character.

So tonight, we will talk. And from this day forward, I will not get drawn into the hoopla about the wedding or demand that we spend more than we should. I will listen to the underlying message when he freaks out and says, "Let's just use fake flowers" and not call him cheap and other impolite names, but compromise on a practical and cost-effective solution. After all, isn't event planning for 170 people so far the ultimate test of our relationship and our communication?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Confessions of a Moocher

Another month goes by, and finally another post. I've been sick for about 4 weeks with this super stubborn cough and I'm getting really tired of it. And being tired and frustrated just makes me have a little less patience and a shorter fuse than usual with all other aspects of life. Not good. So I WILL get better. When? Soon. I hope.

This past weekend as I was doing some more wedding research, it came to my attention that I'm a moocher. I take advantage of everyone else's info, blog postings, forum Q & A's, and pictures of weddings. All of which help me with my own plans. And I don't give back to the online community with my own info, helpful advice, things I've come across in the process, lessons learned in certain shops, DIY things and how to do them, etc etc etc. How inconsiderate of me. So one of my New Year's resolution is to be more vigilant in posting, and posting useful and pertinent info, not just ramblings of my active mind. Part of me is hesitant because of online privacy issues; I found other people's blogs only because they posted names and venues that I searched for. But perhaps I will be more open to posting and posting pictures once we've gotten married and the day is over and I won't have to worry about any hiccups that are the result of any internet stalkers or misbehavings. After all, the internet IS an archive.

So. I finally got Rick to sit down with me, synchronize our calendars, and we called (mostly he called and I sweated anxiously) our vendors, including: the church coordinator, the florist (for reception flowers), the bakery, and Friar Tux. It was such a relief to get those calls out, leave messages or make appts. *whew* I'm NOT that far behind! And perhaps even a bit too soon for some vendors. I mean, sure, 3 months is usually a good "first consultation" time, but I suppose there isn't a rush because these people will be doing quite a few handfuls of weddings before ours.

I suppose what I can share is what I did this past week. I drafted and sent out to select guests little maps with "what to do between the ceremony and reception" ideas. Rick helped by xeroxing 50 copies double sided and buying stamps. :) I used Wedding Mapper to help draft the maps, and from their sample of "upgraded" mapper, created my own personal map in a Word document, using Google Maps as a template and drawing the freeways and locations of pertinent sites. I'm hoping some people will stay at our hotel with us and have breakfast with us the morning after the wedding. :)

Also during the winter break we got the bridesmaid dresses ordered!!! We ditched the Alfred Angelo store in San Gabriel and met up with the sweetest, friendliest salesgirls at the Alfred Angelo store in West Covina. The type of girls who don't push you to buy today, actually talk with you and help you find a dress for your shape, and spend a lot of time getting to know you like it's social-hour-watercooler-time regardless of whether or not you're going to buy something that day. My bridesmaids (minus one) and my FMOL all tried dresses for hours, chatting, playing, making jokes, and finally put in their orders before leaving the store, happy, unrushed, and content. What a good day that was.

Coming up:
Wednesday, Jan 14: My birthday! Going to Disneyland!
Thursday, Jan 15: day off to work on wedding stuff. :)
Friday, Jan 16: meet with our florist in Murietta. Where? Murrieta. Where TF is that?! south of Lake Elsinore. EEEESH! It's 90 miles from us. But hopefully will be worth the trip, and our one and only trip out there.
Saturday, Jan 17: rest. rest. rest.
Sunday, Jan 18: flea market with the grandparents (maybe).
Monday, Jan 19: MLK holiday!!!

To be followed by:
Saturday, Jan 24: 2nd deposit due to reception site
Sunday, Jan 25: Surprise bday party... shhhhh.... ;)
Friday, Jan 30: Ricklet's 30th birthday!!!!!!! OMG!
Saturday, Feb 7: Tux fittings (I'm not going, but it's on my calendar ;) )
Friday, Feb 13: Bakery consultation (in Long Beach)
Monday, Feb 23: 2nd (and hopefully final) fitting!

Appts to make:
Church wedding coordinator: ???
Florist (personal flowers): ???
Engagement session: ???

Now I'm getting anxious again. Eee.