Friday, May 27, 2011

Halfway Through the Traveling Season

Today, we continue the trend of spending every weekend away from the house. In April, it was two weddings that I coordinated. Even though they were both in town, I basically was gone the entire weekend.

Then we had a wedding weekend in Omaha and then last weekend’s graduation in Santa Fe.

This weekend’s destination in Dallas-Fort Worth. We’ll be staying with my mom and attending my cousins’ Eagle Scout ceremony plus a party for one cousin’s graduation from high school and another cousin’s graduation from middle school. We’re just putting everything together in one weekend to save us travel dollars. Nice of them to make the schedule work, right?

I’m just excited to see the whole family again, even if traveling the country for all these celebrations is getting tiring. We leave tonight and get to hang with the family for the whole weekend and come back on Monday. I’m definitely going to be lounging by her pool. It’s the best when you have a cold drink and can just hang out in the water!

Four day weekends with family are the best. Gotta love ‘em!

How are you spending Memorial Day weekend?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My New Drink Needs a Name

Ok, I’ll admit, it feels weird to be talking about alcohol at 8 am. But to be fair, I wrote this last night and am posting it tomorrow, for you know, to spread out the posts a bit.

A few days ago, Husband was making himself a gin and tonic – that’s his drink. He always hands me the glass when he’s made it and tells me to take a sip. And EVERY time I make a face and grunt and tell him how DISGUSTING gin is. EVERY. TIME. And yet, I still take a sip when he offers it to me.

Determined to help me find a drink that I like (we were out of my sweet and sour mix that I use for my amaretto sours) with the ingredients we had on hand, he came up with my new favorite drink. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

So here is what makes up my new favorite drink:

  • Triple sec
  • Peach schnapps
  • Tonic

Simple, right?

Add them in equal parts and ENJOY.

So now I just need a name. Husband has suggested “Mother’s Lover” but I’m not so sure about that one.

The drink is very summer-y and vaguely orange-y due to the triple sec.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Men Are From Mars, So They Say

The difference between many men and women is their communication. In my household, it’s just the same. I can even prove it to you.

I recently checked the phone usage on our iPhone 4. He got his right when they came out last summer, but I waited until September, for my birthday.

Husband has almost a day and a half of talk time on the lifetime of his phone. This doesn’t surprise me, as he is hardly ever on the phone. Texting, sure. Checking email, of course. But talking? He’s like most men I know – he says a quick hello and then completes his business and hangs up.

Me, on the other hand?

I have almost twelve times that on my phone.

My iPhone 4 has over THIRTEEN DAYS of talk time, and it’s two months younger than Husband’s.

Do I talk much on the phone? Sure do. Thank goodness for rollover minutes. Most of my friends are on the same network so I don’t have to worry about wasting minutes that way!

What would your phone usage say about you?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Graduation Weekend in New Mexico

Last Thursday, we landed in Albuquerque and were greeted with the most beautiful sky – it was going to be a great weekend.

NM Sky

We drove an hour north to Santa Fe, where Brother’s school is. We saw some wonderful mountains on the way.

A (1)

In the three days in Santa Fe, we ate our weight in chips and salsa, of course.

NM chips and salsa

On Friday morning, we went shopping on the Plaza, the traditional hub of activity in Santa Fe. In order to set up a shop in front of the Palace of the Governors, the artisans must get a permit from the government. When you buy things there, you are actually purchasing it from the artist, which makes buying things in the store later that much harder. It’s neat to hear them speak about their work – keeping their traditions going is a wonderful thing.

A (7)

C (3)

We wandered around for a bit and decided we needed something sweet.

D (2)

Kakawa Chocolate House was just the right thing. Sipping chocolate. In multitudes of flavors and chocolate intensity. YUM.

D (6)

I picked the Havana Rum and was SO happy.

D (9)

That little cup wasn’t nearly enough! It was so good, now I’m drooling just remembering it.


On Saturday morning, we got up early to save our eight seats somewhat near the front row for our big party.

Santa Fe Graduation Weekend (64)

We picked up a program and settled in under our blankets. It was so cold that morning!

Santa Fe Graduation Weekend (52)

When the ceremony started, there were lots of tears watching the brother get his hood and then his diploma …

Santa Fe Graduation Weekend (78)

It was great. Brother even wore Dad’s high school hockey jersey under his robe, so that Dad was with him on the big day. Which of course, brought Mom to tears when she realized it after he walked down the aisle.

Once we met up after the ceremony, there were lots of pictures, of course. This one of the graduate and my mom is one of my favorites because of the look on Mom’s face.

Santa Fe Graduation Weekend (114)

And in case anyone was wondering, I ended up in the black hat -

Santa Fe Graduation Weekend (146)

It ended up being a wonderful day, despite the cold and very heightened emotions due to who was missing at that very important ceremony. But we got through it and are so very proud of our graduate. My brother is a ridiculously smart kid and I was crying like a baby when he walked across that stage. He’s headed to law school and he’s going to save the world, he really will.

Santa Fe Graduation Weekend (135)

Congratulations to all the 2011 Graduates!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

All Hats and Nowhere to Go

Tomorrow, Husband and I will travel with my grandmother to Santa Fe to see my brother be graduated from college. It’s a big day. There will be many tears! I’m bringing my hankie.

In preparation for the day, Mom and I were discussing what to wear. Of course.

The thing is, this graduation is outside. In the sun, on the plaza or something at the school. A week ago, the weather was supposed to be extra warm and sunny so I was worried about getting burned. I really wanted a hat to wear, a la the royal wedding and Kentucky Derby. An outdoor hippy graduation ceremony would be the perfect thing!

So I checked eBay.

And I kind of went overboard.

I found a few hats that I liked and entered my bid. And ended up with both of them. That wasn’t supposed to happen!

This brown one is so adorable – big and floppy and sure to keep the sun out of my face. But it’s awfully big. I think I can fold it and put it in my carry on. I picked the brown one because it would match a bunch of my sundresses.


Then, I got to thinking. Maybe I wasn’t going to wear brown. Maybe I should wear black pants and a cute top instead. So that’s where this one came in. The ribbon and bow are polka dots!


This black one is a little more subdued, don’t you think? It’s also a bit easier to transport because it’s crushable.


Now, the weather is supposed to be cooler than normal and not exactly crazy sunny. So do I really need a hat? I don’t know. I’m thinking the sundresses won’t make it either.

So yeah, I still have no idea what I’m wearing and we leave tomorrow. I hate packing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Looking Back on a Special Wedding Anniversary

My parents’, that is.

Thirty one years ago today, my mother walked down the aisle to marry my father.

Mom and Dad

She was a beautiful bride, no? She wore the dress that her sister-in-law had worn a few years before. When I got married, I asked where the dress was because I thought we might be able to alter it and make it work for my wedding! Or maybe just the veil… Turns out that no one knows where that dress ended up! Oh well.

She says it was the best reception ever – cake and champagne. What else would you need? They were on a budget and decided against a full dinner. Everyone who attended got a little buzzed with the alcohol and sugar. Perhaps we should re-examine our ideas about long receptions with lots of cost involved. Sometimes smaller is better.

Today is their first anniversary where Dad isn’t there to give her flowers or tell her how much he loves her. So I’m putting this out there on the internet to remind her that he did. An absolute ton. So much love that it’s beyond words.

His presence is going to be missed a lot today. His marriage to my mother taught me how you become a partner – patience, care and a whole bunch of love. I can’t imagine what kind of person I’d be without his example over those many years. I’m glad I was able to experience true love in my parents’ marriage, when many people don’t have that luxury. I think it’s why I have such an awesome marriage of my own – I knew what to look for and how hard to work. Thanks for that, Dad.

Happy 31st wedding anniversary, Mom and Dad. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Hazards of Being a Wedding Planner and Attending a Wedding

1. I begin to cry even before the ceremony starts. Because I love Law School Friend and his fiancée that much. And weddings are so awesome.

2. I have to sit on my hands during the processional, when the bride is coming down the aisle. I want to fluff her dress up just right before those doors open up.

S Wedding 01 

3. I don’t have anything to do during the ceremony except watch and cry. The hankie gets a lot of use.

S Wedding 02 

4. It’s not really a hazard, number four. It’s kind of an awesome point. I can show up to the reception and enjoy myself! I can take lovely pictures of me and my husband at the reception!

S Wedding 03

The Law School Kids and I head straight to the bar when we hit the reception. We were the first ones there and it was great. There were fried pickles along with the veggies and dip. What an AWESOME appetizer for a wedding.

5. Upon entering the reception room after the cocktail hour, I immediately assess the room. For this one, I totally approve of the decor, even though I don’t usually like chair covers. This one just looks so perfect for the bride. :)

S Wedding 04

The centerpieces were also really neat – some kind of orange lily and spiky purple thing, all tied together with the river rock in the bottom of the vase. So pretty!

S Wedding 05 

6. I didn’t have to release tables or worry about how much food was on the buffet. And when the cake was being cut? I could stand to the side and take pictures, and hoot and holler at the bride to push that cake into her new husband’s face. It was great!

S Wedding 06 

7. I had a wonderful time at the Law School wedding of the century. 17 of us took the big trip to Nebraska and we had a blast. A few drinks, some good food, and a dance party out there at the country club. I don’t think they knew what hit ‘em!

S Wedding 07 

I think I like attending weddings, almost as much as I like planning them!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Real Life Princesses

This post was supposed to go up on Friday but due to Blogger’s hiccup and me being gone at the law school wedding, it’s going up now. So yeah. Wedding recap coming up soon…

This comparison of the Royal Wedding to Cinderella was all over Twitter and Facebook this week. Since I love weddings and hate the princess’ headdresses, I decided to post it here too.

Royal wedding 1

Even though they photo-shopped Cinderella’s hair to a mousy brown to be somewhat similar to Princess Kate’s, I love this comparison.

But the real life princesses to Cinderella’s stepsisters are just PERFECT. I know that one of the princesses is selling her spindly hat on eBay for charity but still. Whoever came up with this side-by-side comparison – bravo, sir or madam!

Originally posted by Heat

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wishing Away My Life

Flickr - ~Duncan~

We have had a lot going on in the past few weeks. Two co-workers have said their wedding vows and I helped them run the day. That was a ton of fun. For one of the weddings, my mom was in town and acted as my right hand. That was awesome too.

Looking forward, I’m gone every weekend through mid-June. A law school friend’s wedding in Omaha, brother’s graduation from college in Santa Fe, multiple cousins’ graduations and other ceremonies in DFW, a college friend’s wedding in Cincinnati. Then, I get to hold my beautiful goddaughter when she is baptized sometime in June (my cousin called to ask me if I would take that honor a few weeks ago – SO excited!).

So yeah, the summer will be half gone before I know it.

I have found myself wishing away the day – I want to get home, to do whatever fun thing I had planned that night. On Tuesday afternoon, I’m wishing for it to be Friday so I can go on whatever trip we have planned.

But if I’m not careful, I’ll wish away my life and wonder where it went. I’ll wake up one morning, looking much older than I am now, aged somewhere in the 70s and wonder – how in the world did I get here?

So for the next few weeks, I have a new motto. I am going to enjoy every minute. That means enjoying cutting out nametags for an event at work, as well as making the coffee for meetings. I’m going to enjoy the traffic on the way to the office because I get to listen to another one of my podcasts on the way. I’m going to enjoy folding the laundry and packing for a trip.

I will not wish my life away – it’s too precious not to enjoy every moment of it.


Breaking Up with My Beloved Starbucks

NOTE: If you are squeamish, you might not want to read this post. The subject is kind of, um, delicate.

DFW Wknd 01

Yesterday morning was a coffee morning. I stopped by my  favorite Starbucks with a drive thru and picked up a wonderful skinny Cinnamon Dolce latte light whip – but forgot to ask for the sugar chaser that Mom reminded me cuts the bitterness of the skinny latte. Still awesome, but not as it could have been on an early Tuesday morning.

In any case, I sipped on my yummy coffee all morning while checking emails.

And then it happened – my stomach started to revolt. I rushed to the bathroom, which made me realize that me and the morning latte didn’t so much get along.

My mom reminded me over the weekend that caffeine is a diuretic – that’s why you have to pee so often after drinking coffee or something similar. But this? It wasn’t just that. There was a yucky feeling along with it.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. I think I have to admit defeat – I can’t have coffee. It’s a hard thing to swallow, because I *LOVE* my coffee. My weekly trip to Starbucks is the highlight of my week. I wonder if it’s all coffee or just an ingredient in the cinnamon dolce latte mix or maybe Starbucks beans.

Have you ever been faced with giving up some item of food that you REALLY love? I don’t know how I can deal.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Impromptu Date Night that Turned Out Not to Be So Much a Date but Studying Instead

I wanted to be here tonight…

Chase Park Plaza

Even though we were supposed to be studying.

I realized we had a Groupon about to expire, and with all our trips in the coming weeks, Husband and I didn’t have another evening free until the expiration date! So impromptu movie night it was.

We got cash from the ATM, parked in the garage across the street from the movie theatre and walked over. Wandered through the hotel’s banquet spaces until we got to the concession stand to buy our tickets (it’s an old building with LOTS of different things under one roof).

I waited in line while the lady in front of me argued with the clerk about what movies they had showing.

Finally it was my turn.

I stepped up and asked for two tickets to “Thor” at 7:45 pm please and use this Groupon!

We were all set until the clerk said, “Oh. I’m sorry. That Groupon is not eligible for 3D movies.”


Not a huge deal really because we didn’t want to see it in 3D anyway. Life is in 3D, so why would I want to see a movie that way? I don’t need Thor’s hammer coming at my head. No thanks.

So now we’re back here.


Him studying. Me writing. Like we should have been all along.

I’m thinking of taking a friend to Something Borrowed tomorrow night while he’s taking a final. That’s totally a fair bargain, yes?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

Today, I’m thankful for…

  1. My mom. She’s coming in to town this weekend for Mother’s Day, and while she’s here, we’re going to eat, garage sale shop and run a wedding. She’s going to be my assistant for another work friend’s wedding that I have on Saturday. SO. EXCITED.
  2. Thursdays. Because that’s almost Friday. And that’s when Mom comes in – see above. :)
  3. Shopping for Mother’s Day cards on the Tuesday before the holiday. It wasn’t very crowded, we found cute ones at Borders and didn’t have to mess with the big lines at Target. For the win.
  4. Cinco de Mayo. Because I’m pretty sure that gives me the right, nay, the obligation, to pig out on chips and salsa tonight. RIGHT?!
  5. Snickerdoodle lattes. Husband and I were hanging out at a coffee shop last night while he did some studying and I blogged (I love writing them ahead of time!) and I found that on the menu of our favorite shop. Combined with beignets, it totally undid my calorie budget for the day – but it was worth it!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Love at its Most Pure

Someone sent me a link to this StoryCorps video yesterday and I absolutely broke down crying watching it. It was that moving.

For those that haven’t heard about NPR’s StoryCorps project, everyday people are asked to tell a story about their lives. Sometimes there’s a theme and sometimes there’s not. NPR usually airs them on Friday mornings, at least they do on our local station.

This one is about Danny and Annie, a married couple in Brooklyn. There were two interviews – one a few years before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and another one closer to his death. In fact, the story aired on NPR the day that Danny died.

The way they speak about each other and their love is simply amazing – it’s what everyone aims to have. It’s what we aspire to. Can you imagine leaving a weather love note? This shows that the little things really do add up to a lifetime of love.

I want to grow old with my dear husband and have a lifetime of those kind of memories to look back on. And I want to have fun making those memories with him. Because those little details are what marriage is all about.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You Pass Along More than Just DNA

Do you ever wonder what little neurosis you’ll pass along to your children?

The other day, I almost caused my husband to swerve into another car next to us because I thought the car was coming into our lane. I hate being in the passenger’s seat – I’d rather be driving. At least then, I would have control over where the car went. He hates it when I yell in the car and I can’t blame him.

I know that some of those little things can be passed along to your children because I’m living proof of it. My mom has a pretty severe fear of wasps and bees and anything else with a stinger. When she was little, she stepped on a nest and ended up getting stung over and over and over. The doctor told her and my grandmother that if she were ever to be stung again, she could have a major reaction because of all the venom that she had received.

So as a kid, whenever we heard that tell-tale buzzing sound of one of those insects, I would freak out because Mom freaked out. I don’t blame her – it’s good to have a healthy dose of fear of those things. After all, I’ve never been stung by a wasp and maybe that was why! I always freaked out when I heard one.

Now I know my mother feels awful that she passed this fear on to her children. She’s told me so. But I don’t blame her for it. Fear is something that’s hard to temper your reaction to.

So I wonder which one of my crazy tendencies I’ll pass on to my children. Will it be my OCD when it comes to flower arranging? Will it be my need to color-code my closet? Will it be my obsession with reality television? Because all of those things are me – and maybe my children will be happy they can get some of those things? I don’t know. But it makes you wonder what a child might pick up from me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Weekend Full of Celebration

Well, I have been surrounded by wedding celebrations for the past few days.

Last Thursday, Husband and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. We had dinner at a lovely local steakhouse, thanks to a Groupon we had purchased weeks ago, and spent the night at a great hotel. I love sleeping in fancy hotel beds! They’re the best.

The next morning, I woke up veeeeerrry early to cry during the lovely Royal Wedding. They say it’s going to affect wedding trends for the next twenty years. I just hope it brings back modest wedding dresses – because it’s so desperately needed! The dress, the flowers, the pageantry, it was all so wonderfully perfect. A real life fairy tale.

Once we got done with that wedding, I headed out to B’s wedding cite. B is a friend at work who asked me to help her coordinate her big day – and I was so happy to oblige! We had to set up the tables and centerpieces and sketch out exactly where the rows of chairs would be for the ceremony site.

I was able to corral the wedding party of 18 (including the bride and groom) and all the parents quite effectively. I have this “You Must Listen to Me” voice and somehow, I got everyone’s attention. ;) We had a great rehearsal and then they went off to the rehearsal dinner, while I went home to rest. It was an early morning, after all.

The next day, I was out at the site, to get the flower and cake delivery while the bride was getting dressed upstairs.

B's Wedding 01

Her flowers were a beautiful wild flower mix – it was one of the biggest bridal bouquets I had ever seen, but B is a tall lady and we wanted to make sure the bouquet matched her.

B's Wedding 02

B’s wedding theme was “love birds” so she found these adorable little birds on Etsy and had to have them. They were so cute on top of the cake!

B's Wedding 03

B’s roommate is a master cupcake baker and so we had to have some of them at the wedding as well. The “F'” toppers are for her new married name.

B's Wedding 04  

My view of the ceremony was perfect. She had all her paparazzi there, of course. The whole event took place at Klondike Park and we set up the ceremony for the cliff in the background. It was so picture perfect – not a drop of rain the entire day! We had kept our fingers crossed for weeks.

My favorite part of the decorations, which I don’t have pictures of yet, are the wicker pomander balls that we tied up with purple polka dot ribbon and added it to the end of each row. SO cute. I’m hoping the photographer got some detail shots.

I plan events for a living but there is something about planning a wedding... The stakes for my events are always high (I want to do a great job for my employer, of course), but a wedding – that’s the day that the bride, groom and all the families will remember forever. And I want every detail to be exactly right.

This bride and groom told me afterwards that they loved every minute of the day and it was perfect. That’s all I can ask for!