Thursday, May 28, 2009

role models

I'm not a super religious person. I was raised that way but I think life events and education have turned me away to some degree. I believe you can be a good person without attending church weekly. I think that how you live your life is more important than that one hour each week. But whatever works for you, that's great. I won't try to steer you in my direction and I like it when you avoid trying to persuade me as well.

So when it came to deciding on who would marry us, I was unsure. I don't have a "go to" religious figure. The Fiance does have a church he fairly regularly attends (and I've frequented a few times) but it's so big that I feel no connection to the minister. And he bashed the election of our current president. In church. Yeah, no connection.

After a bit of thought, some emails, some discussion with The Fiance, and ultimately deciding we didn't want someone we know marrying us via a certificate from the internet, we decided who we wanted. About a year ago (before we were engaged even), we took a day-long marriage preparation course. It was taught by a couple and the husband just happens to be exactly the religious figure we were looking for. I also really like that they teach practical marriage advice. So it seems like we're getting the best of both worlds.

I really liked them a year ago, and last night we joined them for dinner. It was like seeing old friends who didn't really know us very well, if that's possible. We got to tell them a few more details about how we met. We discussed the strengths of our relationship and what we got out of their class. There was talk of what marriage can be like down the road, the ups and downs, parenting. And then we got to share the vision of our wedding and the actual ceremony. We still have to hammer out some of the details but I really couldn't be more pleased with our choice.

While all of that was nice, the best part for me was being able to see our relationship through the eyes of these people who teach folks how to have a successful one. They were very complimentary. They said we were a cute couple, that they were very much anticipating our wedding, and that we just needed to keep doing what we were doing to have a successful relationship. That's pretty awesome. I think, like many things, when you're so involved in something it is helpful to take a step back to fully appreciate it. I think our wedding will be great and our marriage even better.

Friday, May 22, 2009

and i would drive 500 miles

And I would drive 223 more... It was another trip across Texas this week for work. I'm very glad to be home. This concludes my crazy 4 weeks of travel. Instead of celebrating with a dental appointment, I'm on an annoying conference call. Dentist will have to wait (apparently till July 3rd--sheesh). Now begins about another week or two of crazy office time. I'll need to work over this alleged long weekend. I'll need to sift through my now 125-strong inbox backlog. At least I'm home.

I'll also need to be working on invitations this weekend. I bought stamps this morning. Most exciting stamp purchase ever! I have three weeks to get them assembled, addressed, stamped, and out the door. Can you believe it's already time to send invitations? 78 days...

No other big plans for the weekend. You? I imagine we'll end up doing a little yard work. I may do some shopping on Monday (take advantage of those weekend sales). Anyone want to feed me BBQ? Anyone?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

how does your garden grow?

I love my house. I love spring. There has just been so much progress in the yard these last several months. You should come over and see. Or just look at the pictures.

Here's the front bed. This one is for the butterflies. And hummingbirds and happy little bees. The potted plant is the new lime tree. It won't end up living there but will go in the only bed we haven't finished prepping. I'm very excited the flag is up again. That crazy tornado-like storm we had awhile back ripped it and the holder off the porch.

Still the front of the porch. I love how this garden blends from one plant to the next (except in the area shown above--things are still filling in there). The little purple ball flowers in the foreground are new this year. They like it here. In the picture after that, the purple flowering bush is new, too. That one has probably quadrupled in size since I planted it probably around February. I love it. I think I put in several new purple plants because that seems to be the dominant color of San Diego flowers. I'm easily influenced.



Then we have gardenias. These flowers smell great and are obviously blooming but the plants themselves don't look too hot. I'm thinking the soil needs to be amended. And maybe I'll hack them down to be short little guys after they quit blooming. I love them outside because they greet you on either side of the front steps but their smell is a little too overwhelming for my allergies when I bring them indoors. I did use several of them in my bridal portrait bouquet which was pretty cool. (The pics that I've seen so far have turned out fantastic. I wish I could share.)


When I moved in to the house there were tons of overgrown herbs in the back part of one of the beds. We ripped all of that out and now have these guys. Much more manageable. I used some of them for the first time this weekend.


Last year we planted two tree babies. One of them isn't doing so hot. This one is doing great! He's still little but we took his "training wheels" off this weekend because he's probably tripled in height since we got him. Most of that growth has been this spring.


And the most exciting part is that we put some vegetables in the ground. Tomatoes, squash, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, strawberries, carrots, cantaloupe, watermelon, and corn.

The tomato plant has done great! These will be our first harvest.


I tell you, I'll be so excited if the corn grows. Their tiny little selves all in a row makes me pretty darn happy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

bridal portrait day!

It's finally here! And I'm excited! It's a nice change from being stressed and bitter about work. Bygones...

Everything went much more smoothly yesterday than I anticipated. Last week I got home from Atlanta at about 9:30pm on Friday. Then I had to turn around and fly to California on Sunday afternoon. I wasn't expecting to get home until after 1:00 this morning. But! I finished work early and was able to get an earlier, direct flight (instead of one stop plus one layover). I was home a little after 8! Woohoo!

Well, not home. I had to stop to pick up some flowers so I could make my bouquet last night. I have to tell you, this is the beginning of the end of my perfectionism. Bring on the "it's good enough!" There weren't a whole lot of orange and green flower options at the local grocery store. Good thing the gardenias are blooming out front. They provided nice filler. So here we go. My first attempt at bouquet making (less than fantastic pictures).



Also? Because you know you want one, a tiny sneak peek at wedding invitations combined with another gratuitous ring shot.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

c list

Traveling for work has its perks. Free airline miles. Free hotel stays. Spotting celebrities like this and this.

Today I was leaving out of our more ghetto airport on our bargain airline and who is a few folks ahead of me in line to check in and again at security? Who did I almost bump into when we were both leaving our respective restrooms? This guy.


Keeping it real. I noticed him because he was dressed a little too nice for the ghetto airport. Then I thought, "Hey, I know that guy. Wait... Um, no, I don't. I just recognize him from tv." It's been a long couple of weeks, people.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

miscellaneous updates

Man, am I tired. I had a very disturbing dream last night/this morning (which was not the first one of its kind and a person doesn't have to be Freud to figure out I'm overwhelmed). This time, it was suddenly August 7th. It dawned on me at about 10pm that, "Hey, we're getting married tomorrow." Thing is, I didn't have any more done than I do right now on May 6th. Huh. Not good. I was a little stressed in said dream...

I have bridal portraits next week. I'm very excited about them. I look forward to wearing my dress with hair and make-up done. For the first time! And for The Brother to see the dress on me in person. And to work with our photographer whose work I love so much. Of course because now is the time to be careful with myself, all sorts of injuries and accidents are happening. Between Thursday and Sunday alone, I got a burn about half the length of my forearm, busted my lip, cut my right index finger, and have been attacked by mosquitoes and fleas. Sigh... So this coming weekend I am doing no work. Well, nothing that requires labor. Who am I kidding? I'll be spending all my time getting my eyebrows waxed, whitening my teeth, evening out my weird gardening tan lines, and hopelessly working out my guns.

Don't tell anyone but I really need to get my car inspected. And the oil changed. And the registration sticker put on the windshield. And take in dry cleaning.

It's nice to have someone whose presence makes you feel better. Thank you, Fiance. Just keep doing what you're doing.

Monday, May 04, 2009

dear world,

I'm sorry for being a nightmare lately. I'm really stressed. Work isn't great right now. So when I'm snarky, don't take it personally. (Unless you're that one person from work--and maybe that one other. You should take it personally.) Hope to be back to normal soon but you really shouldn't expect improvement for another 3 weeks. And if you're curious, I'll be celebrating coming off of a month-long road trip nightmare with a trip to the dentist. Rock on.

Sincerely,
cjh

the non-ugly bathroom!

First, you must go here to look at the before pictures. The Ugly Bathroom was the first one I discussed. I mean, what the heck...that bathroom was ugly. After that post, The Brother fixed the door so that I could close that room off while all the other rooms got pretty. I'll be honest. I ignored it for quite some time. I also waffled quite a bit on a lot of different aspects of it. Finally, over the last 3 weekends it became this.

The Brother came over and added beadboard:


I guess the not-pictured first step (oops!) was me putting down a new floor. Um, and then painting the ceiling, trim, door, and cabinets. With the addition of the beadboard, the bathroom was less than half as ugly as it was before. At this point, I left the door open. It made me excitedly motivated. Next up? Paintable wallpaper. I picked a kind that looked reminiscent of old tin ceilings.


And so it was not The Ugly Bathroom. It was the totally white bathroom. Like I could have a white room in my house... While I was picking up the paint on Friday, I realized that this solidifies it. I am not afraid of color.


Yep, the Black and White Bathroom. We still need to do a little caulking, put up the trim, and finish the floors but woohoo! I'm very excited. And The Fiance didn't hate it. (He was quite skeptical of black but I told him it would be great and that I'd repaint it if he absolutely hated it. Granted, the bathroom would lose square footage due to the numerous coats it would have taken to paint over black...) Here's the nearly finished product and a few details.