Monday, March 30, 2009

breaking the very thin thread

Nothing can start off a week like a biopsy. Well, except maybe a biopsy combined with bad news at work.

Biopsies? Not a barrel of laughs but not as terrible as one would imagine. (Which I find is the worst thing...what one imagines.) I got to the doctor's office and decided to skip the vicodin. The Fiance seemed surprised when I told him I really can get a grip on my anxiety and calm myself down physically so that part wasn't a big deal. So you get to lie down on a massage-type table but instead of hanging your head through the hole, you hang your boob. Awesome. I think it's better that you can't see what's going on down there.

I got more details from the technician when we were done. They deaden your skin and actual boob (which burns a little, I won't lie). And then they basically jam a straw through your skin and suck out specimens. But, you know, instead of an actual straw it's a big, fancy, expensive machine. I had about 6 taken out and they were not the rice-sized ones mentioned in my online research. Then they put in a tiny titanium tag so everyone knows where the specimens came from. This helps if there really is something wrong and they have to go back in. Or if there's nothing wrong but it still looks like there may be problems--future medical staff will know it's already been checked out.

Apparently they don't sew you up or anything. I just have this hole that is supposed to heal. I have to wear a sports bra and take sponge baths for 2 days. No heavy lifting. Takes awhile for the bleeding to completely stop. Cold compresses off and on for up to 2 days. Prescription for heavier pain meds. So far, not too bad but I think I'll be sore.

Oh, I forgot to mention that after my poor boob went through all of that, they still had to take 3 mammogram-type images. During the second one, I felt like I was going to faint. For the first time in my life. Had to sit down and everything. Again, awesome.

So I got home and started going through my work emails. Right now I'm on two studies. One that will never end (and I hate) and another that ends in July. Now, the end of a study is the most busy and frantic (perfect for when you're planning a wedding and dealing with health concerns). Actually, it seemed like an ok time since the big wedding push will come in that last month. My supervisor had told me that she'd try to keep me off a new study until after the honeymoon. I would just help out here and there where needed.

Yeah, so this email. Apparently I've been submitted for another study. That starts, oh, in May and ends August 14th. The entire study. In 4 months. In the last 4 months before the wedding (including the wedding date). Good. Grief. So yeah. I had a minor little breakdown. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully things will turn out fine. Say some prayers, light some candles...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

the dress

I marked two things off the list yesterday. "Attend final dress fitting" and "Pick up dress." The only item I need for my attire is the veil--it's been ordered but allegedly won't be in until MAY! Sheesh, I hope that's an overestimate. Great shoes from DSW, borrowed bustier, jewelry from etsy, and 2 hair accessories made by me. I can't tell you how good it felt to have the bridal shop ladies want a second look at those (especially since I made two for a little more than 1/10th the cost of one you can buy at their store).

I don't think I really wrote much about the dress shopping experience. It took one trip to one store to find it. While many people have told me that I needed to be open-minded with dresses, that they ended up picking something they never would have expected, I knew that wouldn't be the case for me. I had particulars in mind regarding color, fabric, shape, straps vs. no straps. I tried on maybe 6-8 dresses that met the criteria (including a few that were a little different but my mind was open). The dress I ended up picking really is "the" dress. My lovely ladies and I pretty much knew as soon as I tried it on. It looked good, is comfortable, is different from the pretty standard wedding dress, and we all got a little emotional looking at it. Easy decision.

It was ordered back in January. Came in early. I went for my first fitting and then yesterday for the second. The alterations lady did a great job. The bustle seems easy to do and looks great! So now it's living over at The Brother's. I'm pretty sure I'll have to sneak peaks at it whenever I'm over there.

Monday, March 23, 2009

back to normal

The vacation is definitely over. But before I complain about real life, a quick recap...

Costa Rica really was great. Definitely recommend it to anyone but even more to folks who are in the middle of wedding planning and medical testing. It makes for a nice break. We were very fortunate to have this opportunity to go. The Fiance's folks were staying down there for a month so we just stayed with them in their condo. When you add in frequent flyer miles, it makes for a reasonably inexpensive vacation.

We stayed from the 12th-18th and pretty much just hung out for the first four days we were there. Spent some time on the beach, at the pool, on the balcony (soaking up the view and sunsets), wandering along the one street in town. We ate some great local food. We crossed the estuary at low tide to make it to the adjacent undeveloped beach, grabbed lunch, and took a water taxi back. We took naps. We hunted for seashells. The Fiance body boarded. I read.

On Monday we took a day trip inland. We saw rainforests (and a few animals along the way) and met indigenous tribal folk. We went to some hot springs at a new resort in an isolated area. It was stunning. The view of the volcano was amazing (even though it was cloudy and you couldn't see the top). It's their dry season now and the Pacific coast is brown but does have lovely weather. Inland, it's a bit more rainy but oh. my. gosh. It's so green and lush. Beautiful. It was a long day but totally worth it.

Due to the unscheduled nature of this trip, we ended up doing a day trip on Tuesday as well. The Fiance, his sister, and I went to Nicaragua. We visited some markets and wandered through a few towns. We saw more volcanoes and a huge crater lake as well as Lake Nicaragua. We had a little boat ride on the lake where we got to meet some monkeys. One of those monkeys gets fed by people on the boat so she walked on all of us to get to the food. She hung out on The Fiance for a bit.

We got to see iguanas, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, a coati, giant termite nests, tons of birds, a blue morpho butterfly, and lots of cows on the side of the road (in Nicaragua anyway). I came back only a little sunburned and with a slightly injured booty (because of that darned water slide at the hot springs). Good times...


Now that I'm back, wedding planning is again in full swing. If all went well with the alterations, I should be able to pick up my dress on Wednesday. We ordered invitations (to take advantage of a sale), booked our wedding night hotel room, and finally decided on the honeymoon location. There was a little groomsmen snafu but I think that worked out fine...crisis averted. The biggest things (still) on the To Do list are to pick that freakin' photographer and get our cakes taken care of. Having those done will definitely make me feel better but I've got to tell you. I'm a little stressed. And overwhelmed. 138 days to go, 100 To Do items...

Friday, March 20, 2009

where i'll be mooning my honey

Has anyone been to Ireland? Any tips on what to or not to do there? I'm pretty sure I'll take thousands of pictures if it really does look like this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

costa rica

Ahh, back from vacation. I don't think I've ever wanted to work less... It was a really good trip--right amount of relaxation and sightseeing. I'll have to write more about it later but I thought I'd post some pictures.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

to tide you over while i'm gone

Even though it's a short work and wedding-planning week, I still got some things marked off the list. Yesterday, I ordered my veil. That means I have every piece of attire and accessory needed for the big day. I go in for my second (and hopefully last) fitting on the 25th. I can't wait!

We have someone to marry us. For sure. And he's ok with us writing our own vows. He also mentioned readings for the ceremony which got me to thinking that I hadn't been thinking about them. I've found a few I like.

I received the order for part of our favors. They look good!

I sent out the engagement announcement for the newspaper.

I forgot to mention that I reserved our chairs for the ceremony last week.

I've finished my hair pieces and maybe have finished revamping the garters. I may come up with some fabulous additional idea later, though.

I bought paper for the programs and for those cute little paper flowers I showed you before. Yea for Hobby Lobby sales! And while I was there I also got flower containers for the centerpieces (also on sale). I still need a few more so I'll be stalking Hobby Lobby later today.

We now have 150 days till the wedding, and I have the To Do list down to 109... I think I deserve this vacation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


You know those pictures they put on posters? Or on computer wallpapers? The ones you look at longingly and wish you were there instead of wherever you happen to be? We're going to be there from Thursday until next Wednesday. You know, if I get all my work done in time and pack and stuff. Look out, Costa Rica!

(photos from here)

Monday, March 09, 2009

big, grand post

I feel like there should be one but this isn't it. I feel like there should be something thought-provoking (at least to me). But, again, this isn't it. Maybe you'll get something fabulous like that after I'm back from vacation...

The weather this weekend was fabulous. Lately, we've had a series of those rare days where you can drive with the top down and open all the windows without running the heat or air conditioning. Where you can do yard work without feeling like you're going to die. It was awesome. The Fiance mowed the yard (and ditch!) and I cleaned the house and planted some vegetables. We're going to try our hands at some gardening. I also started some seeds last weekend and most of them are springing up now. It's so exciting to do that. There's so much visible progress in the little seedlings in just one day.

Other than that, we mostly just rested and did a few low-key things. It was a good weekend.

My across-the-street neighbor (the shirtless wonder) got married on Saturday. I didn't even know they were engaged (not that we chat that much), but she does seem to be the best in his string of ladies (he wears shirts more now) so congrats to them. They were back home yesterday afternoon and were doing a little yard work. That got me thinking that one day we'll just be married. Crazy stuff. We're not sure where we're honeymooning and are pretty sure we'll have to wait about a week before we can leave, but I guarantee you we will not be working in the yard the next day.

Obligatory wedding planning update:
  • I think we really have someone who is going to marry us.
  • The invitation sample came in and we still both like it.
  • All the Save the Dates are out except one.
  • All the ladies and I have a date for bridesmaid dress shopping.
  • I stumbled into Garden Ridge on Friday and totally scored all the plates and cups we'll need for the reception for half price.
  • A few random internet-ordered items have come in.
  • I ordered part of what we'll need for our favors.
  • I've started a more specific-to-our-wedding To Do list.
  • We narrowed down the engagement announcement pictures to two so hopefully I'll send that out before the month is over.
  • We made progress on what we'd like for Thank You cards.
  • And Hobby Lobby is having a good sale this week so I'm going to take advantage of it today.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I've been in Austin the last two days. In addition to listening to great music on the radio, I've enjoyed it because the weather is nice and the trees look like this (and the flowers smell like grape Kool-Aid):

(photo from here)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

holy moly

I woke up this morning having to potty about 45 minutes before the alarm was set to go off. (Did I mention that last week I suddenly had a terrible UTI and had to go to Urgent Care in California? Yeah, that was fun. Better now.) So, I couldn't fall back to sleep until about 10 minutes before the alarm went off. Sigh... So I guess I've been up since about 4am.

It was a productive day at a site I'm very behind at... I break for lunch and can't find a parking place. Park in a tow away and thankfully didn't get towed.

I leave the site to head to the hotel and traffic is terrible. The GPS gives poor directions. She might as well say, "You have to turn in 0.2 miles but I'm not going to tell you which direction in hopes that you're in the wrong lane and have absolutely no way of making it over all those lanes in all this traffic." It took almost an hour to make it not enough miles to justify that length of time.

I get to the hotel just now and it's a little cold in here and smells like cleaning products. I opened the sliding glass door to bring in fresh, warm air. I'm sitting here at the computer and a pigeon flies onto the balcony. I barely got the door closed before I had a little visitor. Quite startling. Not a pigeon fan.

It was just one of those days. On the verge of being worse but mildly amusing instead.

Monday, March 02, 2009

sneak peak

I look at a lot of wedding websites these days. And read many wedding blogs. All these people post all these ideas (which I love because I steal them and put my own spin on them). But I think, "Will anything be a surprise the day of the wedding? Do the guests even need to attend or will they feel like they've been there, done that before the day even arrives?" That's why I'm not spilling all the beans ahead of time. Here's a little glimpse, though.

I made these for all my ladies. It makes bridesmaid duties official and also gave all the girls everyone else's contact info. Apparently this has already come in handy at least once. This was back at the very beginning when we still thought the wedding would be in the fall.

We finally ordered Save the Date magnets once it appeared that we had a venue and the odds of me having cancer were decreased. The left side has our names and city of the wedding. Sorry about the terrible photograph...perhaps we need to register for a new camera.

The whirlwind of things in my head are finally starting to take shape. How cute are these paper flower? I made them last night. We're going to be using them in some undisclosed way. But I think they're fun and cheap and we can totally do these way ahead of time. I say "way ahead of time" like we have a year to go instead of 5 months and a week.

Those are the projects. I'm also revamping the garters (found them for $3.99 this weekend but they were a bit too much for my taste). Also are reworking my hairpiece because I couldn't find one I loved and it feels crazy to spend $150 on one. I got one for $2.99, bought a few beads, will change it from a clip to a comb and will come in about $140 under bridal store prices.

So I realized a few weeks ago that we're getting married under this:

I mean, I knew there was something decorative above us (very high ceilings) but notice anything about the colors? Green and orange... I picked those colors before we even had a location.

DJ is booked. Spoke to people about rentals. Narrowed photographers down to 6 (from maybe 40).

I'm trying to figure out the engagement announcement photo. It will be in the small, local paper where I grew up. Here are the options I'm leaning towards.

Which one do you like? Please ignore any graininess since I just slapped these up here.