Thursday, January 29, 2009

one down, one to go

I got the results of my southern girl bits test. Mild dysplasia. That's about the best we could hope for. So I don't have to have any follow-up procedure. I'm not dying. I can have babies. I just have to have 6 month follow-ups. I can handle that. Also excited that the results came back sooner than they told me to expect them. And that a hurricane didn't deter them from calling me this time.

Now we just have to wait a few more weeks to check out the northern girl bits. Hopefully that will come back quickly and positively as well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

hey, we have a wedding venue!

Praise tiny baby Jesus. I mean, really. Praise His little baby self.

We're getting married 08.08.09.

Here, where we met:

And then we're having the reception nearby, where they let you bring outside food. And booze. And Christmas trees, apparently.

Finally. FINALLY! No, it's not the little chapel but I really wanted to get married at HMNS and finally found a way to make it work where we can have both a location and food. And, no, it's not the Houston Garden Center but they wouldn't let us have booze. Or get married until Halloween. And that reception hall is a nice blank slate on this campus, where the streets look like this:

(photo from here)

would you like to know that...

  • I freaked out over the medical stuff and now I don't want to talk about it?
  • I won't know anything about any of it for two weeks (and then some) anyway?
  • we are halfway to having a venue for the wedding and reception?
  • our wedding date may possibly get moved up by about six weeks?
  • it's not due to pregnancy? :o)
  • I finally started real work on The Ugly Bathroom?
  • it's a little less ugly already?
  • I'm tired of this inconsistent winter?
  • I have the best fiance ever?

Friday, January 23, 2009

pins and their accompanying needles

I really wanted the next post to say, "Hey, we found a wedding venue!" Things were looking promising on Tuesday (after I made it through the excruciatingly long 3-day weekend that everyone had but me). I thought we'd found a place. Then it looked like we found a place as long as we made a few sacrifices and perhaps moved the theoretical wedding date up 2 months or back one... Then it looked like we had fewer options. Then, square one.

So yesterday things started looking good again but it takes FOREVER for people to get back with me and by then it seems that one thing or another has changed and what I was counting on is no longer an option. This has been very frustrating. Allegedly, for the millionth time, we have a plan that depends on nothing having changed with the availability of two locations within the last 24 hours. Please call me back, people. I'd love to have this settled before yet another weekend rolls around. And I'd like to have everything in stone before the month is over.

Also? I have a doctor's appointment in about an hour. I'm freaked out. My well woman exam came back abnormal so they're digging around in there to see what they see. Freaked. Out.

A girl shouldn't have to plan a wedding (with no parents) while being haunted by the thoughts of cancer or death or a no-baby future. And a lovely fiance shouldn't have to repeatedly talk her down. Or, it could be nothing. Everything could be fine. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

engagement pics ("outed" edition)

This is me. This is The Fiance. These are my favorite pics from Sunday's shoot. YEA! Some of these may end up being cropped for some close ups when we need that for things (like announcements) but I really love backgrounds in photos, too. And we may ramp up the colors a tad since it was so cloudy that day.

And we'll likely take a few more at the beach where he proposed. Those may end up a bit more traditional.

(And, yes, I ordered my wedding dress today. More on that later.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

engagement pictures

First, a gigantic "thank you" to our friend and photographer (and her lovely husband assistant). She took hundreds of pictures from all different angles and he carried my purse. No, really, it was fantastic and fun. Hopefully a few of them will hide how unphotogenic I am. We took some pictures in the building where we met and some nearby places:
(Photo from here.)

(Photo from here.)

(Photo from here.)

What do you think of that last place? They rent it for weddings, you know. I'll have to inquire.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a little somethin'

  • We are allegedly taking engagement pictures on Saturday. At the place we met.
  • I bought a lovely new dress for the occasion. I'd give you the link but it doesn't look as good on the model as it does on me. I've never said that (or thought that) in my entire life. Perhaps it's just a bad picture of the poor girl...
  • I've been turned down by a few possible reception places. Some places that are not very exciting really book up fast. Maybe it's because they're cheap.
  • We have found a few other possible options.
  • Those options kind of depend on whether or not we can score that cute church. I've left a voicemail for the priest. Yep, the priest. I can't tell you the last time I talked to one. It scares me a little. Maybe I should tell him that.
  • If he (please, God--literally) lets us use it, we could be so far under reception budget that I could probably score a fancy dress AND a good photographer. That would be fantastic.
  • I won a free engagement shoot and 90 wallet prints from a so-so photographer. We may do those just to use the prints for something. Thank you cards? Attached to favors? We'll see.
  • So things are moving along. If only that priest would call me back. If only he'd have pity on me. I cannot tell you how happy I'd be to use that place. And to have a date set. And to start making fun decisions instead of stressful ones. Sigh... A girl can hope.

Monday, January 12, 2009

mostly nothing

I got no work done on the house this weekend. The Ugly Bathroom is just waiting patiently.

I made no decisions regarding the wedding location this weekend. I've ruled out a lot of places. The Bridal Extravaganza! and The Brother's MIL had a few ideas that we're looking into. The Fiance tried to find out some info on one place. It may mean lying about religion. Is that a bad way to start a marriage? And can you go to Hell if you don't believe in it? Kidding, kidding. Sort of.

It was very nice to see my ladies on Saturday. It's also pretty cool that they have all met one another before. And they're all very helpful and fun and supportive. You know, what bridesmaids and close friends are supposed to be.

The Fiance's parents hosted a little gathering for us on Sunday. We got to meet several of their friends. Everyone was very nice and congratulatory. One woman said she got a good feeling about us just from our picture. I'm sure she thought so even more once The Fiance told how we met and how he proposed. The ladies sure seemed impressed.

The Fiance's grandma is going to write down memories of her wedding for us. This makes me very excited. Hopefully I'll be able to incorporate some aspect of it into ours.

Really, we mostly just played the Wii when not trying to figure out wedding stuff. I rock at the drums.

I may try on dresses this weekend. Nervous breakdown likely scheduled for Sunday.

I'm going to try to squeeze in at least one non-wedding-related post each week. I promise.

Really, this whole post is because I don't want to work today. Sigh, but I better get back to it.

Note: This is the place (if it's big enough) I'm willing to lie to get into:

Friday, January 09, 2009

12 years ago

It is the anniversary of my mom's death once again. (You can read about years 10 and 11 as well.) What's going on with me this year? I guess a few things...

I've been volunteering for over a year at a non-profit where I facilitate a support group for middle school kids who have faced parent death. There are times when this is very rewarding. There are also times when this is very frustrating. They are, afterall, tweens. They talk and joke and get off topic and sometimes do everything in their power to avoid talking about the deeper issues even though everyone in the room (including me) has gone through the same thing. They don't know that I've lost both of my parents. It takes everything I have sometimes not to tell them (which would be a selfish act that is discouraged since we're here for them, not the other way around). It also takes everything I have not to preach to them. To tell them how it gets easier until one day when it's not. How milestones are different. How you will always miss them. How this is just a part of who you are. And how, I suspect, one day when it's more commonplace for your peers to have also lost a parent you will want to scream, "But it's different! You had yours for 40 years! I had mine for half that!"

Sometimes I look around the big closing circle, where everyone is joined together, and am overwhelmed that all of those kids are going through possibly the worst thing they will ever go through. They are so lucky to have this place. To have each other. I hope they have at least a little awareness of that.

I'm also obviously thinking about my mother more with all this wedding planning. I hope that wherever she is she can either somehow see and know what's going on or else have absolutely no knowledge of any of it (because the thought of not being at my wedding would kill her all over again). I know she would have been so happy and supportive and proud. She would have gone along with all of my ideas even if they were kooky because she'd want the day to be exactly as I envisioned it. She would have walked me down the aisle. She would have known The Fiance.

It all breaks my heart--again and again--even if I'm not aware that that's what's going on. It makes me a little more stressed than I would have been otherwise. I know that day will be the single hardest one without her so far, maybe ever. I know that almost everyone in that yet-to-be-discovered venue will be thinking of her, too. All wishing she were there. For her. For me.

So my request this year is for you to find me some good quote or poem or prose that could be read before the ceremony so that we can remember her and all the other missing guests that day.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

weddings are expensive

That's what I've learned over the last few days. There are absolutely fantastic venues around here but you have to have a wedding budget of probably $30,000. I, sadly, do not. Actually, not even sadly. It seems nuts to spend a ton of money on one day when you could be spending it during your actual marriage. Especially in this economy. That said, my budget is probably higher than it could be. You know, if I eloped or got married in the ghetto.

What I need to find is this (photos from Martha Stewart, of course):

I'd like a cheap blank canvas. I don't want places to offer me packages that come with the cake and DJ and decorations and candles and officiant and everything. I want to be crafty. I enjoy being crafty. I want a wedding that doesn't blend in to every other one the guests have attended. I want people to think it was beautiful and romantic and quirky and fun. I want them to think that it suited us. Mostly, I want The Fiance and me to think those things.

If you have venue ideas in the greater Houston area (that are of the fewer-than-5-figure variety), feel free to share.

Monday, January 05, 2009


  • Since Friday was a relatively short work day for The Fiance and me, it seemed like we had a bonus weekend day.
  • Am pondering changing the blog up a bit and posting photos. With faces. Outing myself, if you will.
  • The Wii broke. I am devastated. Allegedly it can be fixed.
  • Made cucumber sandwiches and attended a tea party.
  • Productive weekend. Put away all Christmas decorations. Decluttered junk sun room. Organized the garage. Washed cars. Worked on the Ugly Bathroom.
  • I'm motivated to work on the Ugly Bathroom. Making progress. Excited to see the final product.
  • Perhaps motivation to work on Ugly Bathroom helps me procrastinate on wedding planning.
  • According to the wedding planning list, I am already 27 items behind.
  • Why would I want to procrastinate on wedding planning? I really am excited to start. And want to have a fun wedding and then be married. I think I'm just overwhelmed at the entire list. What we need to focus on now is the location. Having a location means you have a date. Which means you have a deadline. Which also means you know more about what tasks you have to accomplish and can more easily envision the event.
  • Will hopefully have lots of ideas after this weekend and the Bridal Extravaganza! that all my lovely ladies are attending with me.
  • Have decided that unless you are asked (and by a close friend no less) you should never give your opinion about someone else's wedding unless it is to blindly agree with whatever they say. People have different tastes. This is a big day. That takes lots of planning. Please don't ruin it by making that face or just saying, "huh."
  • That is all. I'm unmotivated today but am finally getting over these allergies. Again. Is it possible to be allergic to Texas? That, my friends, would be a tragedy.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 reads

17. Twilight
16. Son of the Circus
15. The Last Lecture
14. Unlocking the Sky: Glenn Hammond Curtiss & the Race to Invent the Airplane
13. To the Nines
12. Water for Elephants
11. The Secret Life of Bees
10. Loving Frank
9. things I learned about my dad (in therapy)
8. No More Lies
7. Happy is the Bride the Sun Shines On: Wedding Beliefs, Customs & Traditions
6. The Seduction of Water
5. Hard Eight
4. Seven Up
3. Hot Six
2. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
1. High Five