Friday, December 7, 2007

Some thoughts on wedding planning...

Now that the 'planning' stage of the wedding is coming to a close and we're approaching the 'Newlywed' stage, I wanted to share some thoughts on planning.

I am something of a control freak (surprise, Julie!) so I wanted to have my hands in everything. I made the invitations, the place cards, favors, etc (It helps that I could open my own paper-crafting store). I lovingly chose the flowers for everyone, searched to make sure the blacks matched in Bill's ensemble (cause it ALL has to be black), put together a Guest Book that can actually be used again, but by far the most enjoyable, touching part (second to Bill remembering the details of our first kiss, some 11-odd years ago) has been the music. Bill is something of a connoisseur (which is just a nice word for snob) when it comes to music. You'll get that with a dj, I guess. We picked every single song that will be played at the wedding. Well, he did most of the work and loaded a middle-school-mix-tape-worthy selection of songs to my phone. We've got the slow songs, the fun songs, and the Hockey Song! I have been listening to it at work, both to calm my anticipation and also to try and cry-proof the songs (I can't possibly cry if I listen to 'In My Life' eight million times).

In addition to the dj-ing, we have a friend who is a wonderful musician (Jason Deutsch of Original Low) who is going to be singing for us. Live music rocks. He'll be singing our first dance song and a few others. It should be pretty cool. I really did have fun planning. Sure, there was some stress, 90% of which came from family, but people *finally* decided what they were eating (we aren't naming first-born children here). It can be done easily in under 6 months (it can be done in under 3 months, and I am so glad we decided not to wait).

We're T minus 8 days at this point, and its really hard to sit still! I am super excited to see my guests, can't wait to pick up my flowers, wear my dress... the list goes on. I can't describe how I feel about getting married - it still seems a little surreal, but completely comfortable. I have been waiting to marry Bill for years, so its hard to believe that it is really happening.

I missed my walk at lunch today. We've had some snow here the past few days and I forgot my boots at home. I have been enjoying walking in the snow (it added that extra little something to spice up my walk- new leg muscles to work) but can't do it in tennis shoes. Some days, the only reason I come to work is for my walk. I have a nice 3-mile route that combines uphill, downhill, and flat areas. I walk past the Iceoplex hoping one of these days I'll catch Sidney Crosby heading to a practice or something. Or not. It just happens to be on the way.

Don't know why I felt like writing today, but that's all I can get out now. I am going to close up shop for the week and head out on some errands.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It wasn't my imagination! An article on this morning confirmed that the majority of Americans can't drive!

From the article: "Illinois, Georgia, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts were the least knowledgeable states overall..." It also said half of the people they tested didn't know how to properly use their turn signals! Pennsylvania was rated 46th overall for driving ability. I just feel so much better knowing that someone else knows. If only all those drivers that "would flunk their driver's test if they had to take it today" actually did have to take it today!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Do people even have to take a driver's exam anymore? I like to think of myself as a proficient driver - I have spent enough time behind the wheel to feel that I know what I am doing. And believe it not, I studied the driver's exam book before I took the test. You know, so I could LEARN the material? Like the LAWS of DRIVING? This is a constant issue for me. People do not know how to drive.

1. Use your turn signal. That knob isn't there for decoration.
2. Learn what 'yield' means.
3. Be courteous. You cause more accidents being a selfish asshole than if you would just let someone over when they signal (!) they would like to change lanes.

I like to think that it will get to the point where I can't stand it anymore. I will then put my plan of revenge into action by getting a job at the DMV to give Driver's Exams.

And thank you, Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center. Now that you have installed slot machines, not only does my morning commute have to put up with the normal asshole BMW, Audi and Hummer drivers going 25 miles over the speed limit, but I also have to put up with the blue hairs in their Cadillacs barely pushing 45. Thanks!

And finally, the pretty side of planning a wedding. I can't believe how hypocritical people are about religion. SO WHAT if I am not getting married in a church? I am still being married by a minister. Yes, my wedding will be blessed and YES I do believe in the 'sacrament' of marriage! I believe it is a PRIVATE agreement/relationship between a HUSBAND and WIFE that should remain private. No, I do not believe it is the money-grubbing scheme that the a) bridal industry and b) the Catholic church make it out to be. Yes, I love Bill beyond words. Yes, I want to spend the rest of my life with him. And frankly, our marriage would be no different if we got married at the JOP, in a chapel in Vegas, at the beach, or in a church. So :P

Don't pick up the sword if you aren't prepared to duel.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thank GOODNESS it is Friday. I am really looking forward to sleeping in a bit tomorrow morning. I started on my way to wellness this week and dragged my butt out of bed at 6 am to exercise. It has been 7 days and counting and I have only hit the snooze button once. I have an elliptical that Bill got me for Christmas last year that hasn't been much but a decoration for my stamp room. So I figured I was lucky enough to have one that I had better use it. I also found out my mom walks her dog at that time (she just lives down the street from me) so her and I and our doggies have been meeting at the ass crack of dawn (every time I say that I think of you, Julie) for a little walk. Its a nice warm up to my time on the elliptical. Sure would be nice to see some results soon. Other than my quads bulking up. My thighs do not need any more bulk to them. ETA: I think part of my motivation is that I have a TV hooked up downstairs that I can watch while I exercise. For the past week I've been watching Pirates of the Caribbean! Nothing like pirates first thing in the morning.

This week seemed to take forever. Even with a day off it seemed to drag. Work has been really blah, but at least today I have something to do. Music is a big helper too. Bill and I were going to try to go to Kennywood this weekend, but Saturday looks like its going to be a chilly, rainy day. Sunday is the last day before our tickets expire, and I've got a feeling that we're just not going to get there.

Today's picture is from a trip Bill and I took to Toronto last fall. We visited a place called the Guild Sculpture Garden in a suburb of Toronto. It is a collection of pieces of old buildings from downtown Toronto that were saved from demolition and put in a garden that overlooks Lake Ontario. I had visited here when I was a child and we went back to find it. When we were there, a wedding party was having their photographs taken here at the Greek Theatre. Kind of a gray day for pictures, but I bet it would be amazing. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Eugh. Starbucks Friday started out so good. Nothing like a Venti Skim (with Whip) White Chocolate Mocha to make my day. And then I had to venture off to look at my friend's wedding pictures. Now I keep giving my delectable drink a sideways glance. How many calories are left in that half glass? I hate the pictures. I hated the dress! (Katie, I hope you aren't reading this). Ok, the dress was beautiful. But not for a woman with a body like myself. Strapless dresses weren't made for short busty girls. 'Nuff said. I do have to say - I only get the White Chocolate Mocha skim so I don't need a spoon to finish it off. I try and convince myself that I am above this calorie-counting weight-watching world that we live in, but I refuse to have my own wedding pictures look like these ones. Good thing Bill is cute (and hates pictures)! Give me 2 or 3 good ones and I'll be happy. I don't need 800 to look through. This rant is going in a direction I don't want to take it. I could go on and on about weddings.

Instead, I will leave you with a picture that makes me smile every time I see it. This is my (future) niece Allison, who is the spitting image of her uncle when he was a baby. She is just the most charming, adorable little baby. Its times like these when I get started thinking about babies that I am glad I've got the body that I do! Happy Starbucks Friday! I'm off to finish my White Chocolate Mocha.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

*Yawn* After lunch nap time. Julie was tired of looking at my beach picture, so I guess I need to update my blog. Not too much new on the store front - we did get our reptile display case finally but it isn't going to work quite like we wanted. The top shelf is way out of view for a normal height person, so we are trying to figure something out. Ideally, we'd like to set up two sets of 6 tanks. Just think of all the froggies we could get in there. We also need to get jumping on getting some chameleons. Ours at home is so cool, I really think other people would like them. And they are easy to care for.

My picture for today is of my Juno. He is so funny. He gets all goofy when the camera comes out and at any moment can turn and jump at it. He's our 'shop dog' and when we're at the store, he cannot sit still. He knows that when he hears the doorbell that new people are coming in and so he rushes downstairs to see who it is. I was upstairs feeding and he was following me around everywhere. He finally laid down and I went to take a picture - look at those eyes - he's one second from jumping up. Its an 'I'm pretending not to look' look.

This is my favorite picture of Juno. You'd think he was my child the way I talk about him, but I don't care. He was just a puppy here, just about 3 months old. He's got that little black spot under his nose, I think it looks like a little moustache. He was so freaking cute I sometimes can't stand it.

Not much else is new. Bill and I were going to go to Kennywood tomorrow after work, but they are only open on the weekends now. I knew I shouldn't have bought those tickets with our crazy schedule. So, we'll try for the weekend. That's all for me. I'm tired and don't have much to talk about. Julie, I promise I will try to give you different pictures to look at so you're not stuck looking at the same for 2 weeks :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It feels like is has been raining here non-stop for weeks. It has only been 4 days or so, but all of a sudden it feels very fall-like. Not the temperature, mind you, we're still in the high 80s, but my world just has that 'feeling'. I think its the back-to-school chatter that is going on. This time of year will always have that anticipatory feeling for me.
Today I'm sharing a photo taken last year during our beach vacation. The family changed things up and went in October - I will never go in the summer again after that. The temperatures were in the perfect 70s and there was barely any humidity. As close to paradise as I've ever felt. I purposely took this photo so that in the future, when I wasn't at the beach, and if I concentrated real hard, I could put myself in the picture. This year, we didn't get to the beach. Bill took all his vacation during the store transition, and we really can't desert the place for a week (*I* could with barely any guilt, but Bill doesn't feel the same way). I thought I'd be ok with no vacation but I lied. I am cranky and feel jipped. We took a weekend trip last month, but it honestly left me feeling more stressed and pressed for time than before I left. I'm concentrating, but I just can't feel the sand between my toes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Boy, I'm really on top of this blog thing. I intended to post this weekend, but was busy. I did have some time to stamp, though. I will share that project tomorrow as I haven't photographed it yet. Until then here's something that I did a few months ago.

Stamps: Carte Postale and Leaves a la Carte from Stampin' Up! Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip, and Whisper White; patterned paper is from Basic Grey. Ink: Chocolate Chip and Pretty in Pink from SU! The scalloped punch is from Marvy. This card lifts open and the inside slides into a pocket created by the bottom of the card. It is a great design for when you're giving someone a gift card. Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Here I am, a blogger. I've got lots of stuff to talk about and share, just a little unsure if I will be able to update as regularly as I'd like to. My little profile up there doesn't allow much room to get detailed, so I'll start my first blog post with a little bit more about me. Some of you reading (hopefully you're reading) know me well already, but for those of you that don't (again assuming you're actually reading...) this is for you.

Eight days shy of 28 years old, I work for a consulting firm doing environmental stuff. I do a lot of different things, some of it cool, most of it boring. I've been contemplating a career change for probably close to a year now - I would really actually like to do something beneficial for the environment, but its hard to break away. I live with my boyfriend (boyfriend sounds so.. casual. Serious boyfriend? Fiance'-to-be? Anyway, we're in it for the long haul) Bill who was my high school sweetie. We have a puppy, Juno, who I talk about probably more than I do Bill. I'd be lost without both of them. About a year ago, I picked up paper crafting after a decade hiatus - school will do that to you - and fell in love all over again with rubber stamping. I discovered Stampin' Up! and signed up to be a Demo. Its been great, and I found I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to buying stamping and scrapbooking products.

More recently, Bill and I took the plunge and bought a tropical fish hatchery and retail store. It had been a place in our neighborhood that we had frequented since it opened. When Eric wanted to close, I told Bill that he should buy it and he actually did (what a time to pick to listen to me!) It has been our all-consuming project since April. It is a great place - we carry fish that you can't find at your local big box store. We hand select (literally - we net the fish ourselves) our fish from our distributors and quarantine them to make sure they are healthy before we sell them. Our store is by no means flashy, but it is hard core. We have over 600 tanks and they are set up to be functional and easy to maintain, not pretty. We love to have customers who are new to the hobby as well as very serious about fishkeeping. The entire second floor of the building is our hatchery, which is closed to the public. Bill is pretty proud of it (it is impressive), so lots of people get 'tours.' We have just as many, if not more, tanks up there than on the sales floor. We breed and raise a number of different things up there - some things that only a handful of other places in the country have. Staff members from the PPG Aquarium shop there! Its a pretty cool place. The Pgh Post-Gazette even did an article on us, too.

Another thing I like to do is take pictures - Bill monopolizes the camera on most of our trips, but I get to use it once in a while. I am going to try to share a photo with you every day. It will either be a photo of something from the store (which would look SO much better in person - hint, hint!), some project or card I've created, or something we have seen while on our travels. For today's post, here's a picture of what has sort of become our store mascot. This is a Goldy Plecostomus (L-014 for you Pleco geeks). Don't let the picture fool you - this guy is over 12" in length. He likes visitors - come see him!

That seems like a good start for now.. if you happen to have any questions or comments, ask!