Showering the Bride

September 14, 2016 at 2:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Holy hell, I’m getting married soon! To help me celebrate, my wonderful and amazing little sister threw me a Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party in our hometown this past weekend. And it was a success!

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My sister did ALL of this!

By success, I mean no one went to jail and I didn’t have to ride the Megabus with a MegaHangover the next day. Nothing got too crazy which is good considering how my mom, a couple of aunts and my cousins were all among the guests! I only have a handful of friends who still live in the area and they made it out too, which was great. There were also a few family friends and a few of my sister’s friends (whom I’ve known forever too) so we had a pretty good mix of people. As you can see, my sister really went all out decorating her new house and everything was so tasteful and tasty too! She made meatballs and queso (with veggie options for me!), vegetable pizza, food for the meat-eaters, fruit, veggies and tons of amazing desserts. Which included these cupcake cake pop things that were simply divine! There was also a mimosa bar with three different flavors, each one more delicious than the last. I was seriously impressed with her ability to throw a party. She’s a pretty great hostess and I’m counting on her to throw every birthday and anniversary party for both Scott and myself until the day we die. Ok, sis? Thanks.

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For some reason I can’t put this right-side up. But it looks even more racict when I do.

The Bachelorette Party was fun too and we did a wine and paint night at a local studio, which is something I’ve never done before. This is evidenced by my painting, which you can see here. I am not artistically inclined (at ALL) but I thought I did pretty good with this painting, considering I was drinking and whatnot. Until my mom told me that my fleur de lis looked like a Ku Klux Klan hat and now that’s all I can see any time I look at it.

Thanks, Mom.

But really, thanks to Mom and Sissy and everyone else who came out to help me celebrate. I’m lucky enough that Scott’s family is throwing me a Bridal Shower in the suburbs up here next month and my Chicago friends will be coming together the week after that for a Bachelorette Party that some of my cousins probably wouldn’t approve of. But it’ll be fun!

Then I get to marry my best friend! Bring on the rest of 2016, I’m ready!

 

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SpaceWhales Wedding Recap

June 1, 2016 at 3:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So I’m surviving Pilates and have lived to tell another tale!

The tale I tell today is that of one of my oldest and dearest friends and her recent wedding. Sarah and I met in the dorms in college and lived together in a pretty sweet house for a couple of years in that time between dorm-living and just-graduated-from-college-living. She moved to Chicago a little before I did and we’ve been able to reconnect up here, which has just made this city all the better. Sarah and I have been there for each other through tests, finals, toga parties, dance parties, relationships making up and breaking up, the birth and death of beloved pets, various family drama and the general navigation of college and emerging adulthood. She was an English major like I was and we bonded over great literature (especially Stephen King and Valley of the Dolls) as well as great television (Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal, I’m looking at you). We’ve been friends through Elizabeth Taylor tattoos, extreme Photoshopping and drunken nights of falling over air conditioning units and I am so, so thankful that she’s still a part of my life. I’ve watched her go from someone who only ingested candy, whiskey and cigarettes and once puked after a bike ride to class to someone who works out regularly and makes delicious vegan meals while painting something for an upcoming art show. In short, Sarah is someone I’ve always looked up to (figuratively and literally) and she’s just plain awesome.

And so is her wife, Betsy! These two women have so much in common and seem to compliment each other perfectly. They’re funny, creative, intelligent and supremely inspiring human beings who are an absolute riot to be around. They told me about their upcoming nuptials on Record Store Day, after we had all made some amazing purchases and were enjoying some fantastic vegetarian food. Even their casual announcement to keep an eye out for an email about the wedding they were having in two weeks was just about perfect! And Scott and I were delighted to attend.

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Sarah to the right, Betsy to the left. Khaleesi in the middle.

The theme was SpaceWhales, since Betsy loves Space and Sarah loves Whales. I was lucky enough to meet Sarah for brunch before showtime and she even wore the blue scarf I brought along (it was something of mine she used to dress up with in college and covered the whole something old/something borrowed/something blue thing). The ceremony began with one of their friends leading the entire Thai restaurant full of people in a sing-along of the theme song to Golden Girls, of which roughly 97% of those in attendance knew word for word (yours truly included, obviously). This was the long version too, FYI. The ceremony went on to continue a reading from a passage of Moby Dick and a tribute to everyone from Liza Minnelli to Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Then Sarah spoke her vows, which she completely and appropriately made up on the spot. Same for Betsy, and both sets of vows brought tears to everyone’s eyes.

Then there was cake! Delicious, delicious cake. And Thai food, pictures in front of Wrigley Field and tons of toasting. Also a huge hat with many planets flowing around. And more delicious cake!

It was by far the most unique wedding I’ve ever been lucky to be a part of. Scott’s a little jealous that ours won’t be as laid-back but their wedding did get both of us excited to stand in front of our loved ones and exchange vows of our own. Of course, our wedding probably won’t have anything Moby Dick related but it will still be awesome. Especially if I can get everyone to sing along to the Golden Girls theme song with me.

Anyway. Congrats to two of my favorite women and may you both have a lifetime of love, happiness and SpaceWhales!

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Wild Wild Wedding Weekend

August 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Scott and I traveled to Houston, Texas last weekend to attend the wedding of one of my cousins. It was a great (albeit hot!) weekend full of family, friends and tons of fun. And it got me even more excited for my own wedding!

And a photo booth!

We didn’t actually stay in Houston as the hotel and venue were about a half hour drive north in a smaller town. Fine by me, we were able to walk to lunch and a nearby Walgreens for wine so we were set. The trip down wasn’t the best thing ever and we were late getting out of Chicago, which mean we were running through the airport in Minneapolis to make our connection. This was after some stupid twerp of a girl ran over my foot with her suitcase as she rushed to get off the first plane we were on. I said something to her (probably “Jesus Christ woman!” and she defended herself by saying she was trying to make a connection. Duh, so were we but now I got to run around half-limping as well. We made it RIGHT before they shut the gate so we were sweaty and tired but arrived in Houston on time! Luckily, we then had enough time to take a nap and relax a bit before some other family rolled in, after which we all stayed up way too late drinking wine in the bar of the hotel. The next day we had a huge lunch at some nearby BBQ place and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to find an entire vegetarian meal, even if it did mostly consist of salad and macaroni and cheese. That’s about what I live on anyway so it worked for me! Then we spent some time by the pool while the wedding party was spray-painted with make-up and shellacked with hairspray, after which it was off to the venue! There were huge shuttle busses to haul everyone around which was great, considering the wedding was open bar. The ceremony was a bit more religious than I had expected but was beautiful nonetheless and my cousin made a gorgeous bride. Her now-husband couldn’t suppress a “Wow” as she walked down the aisle and she did an adorable little excited hop as they were pronounced man and wife, so it seems they were both pretty thrilled. Which is all that counts, after all!

The reception was full of delicious food and beverages and my favorite part of the evening – the photo booth. I think those things are a blast at weddings and I’m glad we’ve reserved one for ours! We got some really cute family photos and had a ton of fun in the process. There was more hotel drinking after the reception ended and a nice farewell brunch the next day so even though the trip was a short one, I felt like we all enjoyed a lot of quality time. Plus, my mom was able to see some of my dad’s side of the family for the first time in over a decade and that was just plain awesome.

We had a nice 3.5 hour layover on the way back so there was no rushing to catch a plane, only me eating lots of greasy pizza to soak up the booze from the previous night. We got home late Sunday night and I was off of work Monday because I needed a vacation from my vacation and now I’m looking forward to my own wedding more and more, even if it is over a year away. Another Southern cousin will be getting married right around me as well and his wedding will be in Austin so I’m already looking forward to another great trip to Texas. You can’t mess with that!

 

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This is The End

April 1, 2015 at 9:45 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Well, I have an announcement.  I’m going to quit writing this here blog.

I know, I know, you’re devastated. I don’t love the idea myself but I’ve just been too damn busy to keep up with it. Between work, volunteering at the museum, working part-time with various programs at the museum, writing my freelance magazine articles, volunteering at the food pantry, sitting on a new committee at the food pantry and now planning a wedding, my plate is just too full.  Added to that is another announcement that I feel I should reveal – I’m pregnant!

It’s not exactly on the time frame Scott and I had in mind but we’re thrilled nonetheless. It’s going to be a crazy time and we’re freaking out in the best way possible but I have to kind of start focusing on this baby growing inside of me and oh god I can’t keep this up because it’s all a bunch of bullshit. Happy April Fool’s Day!  I imagine you may have picked up on this prank as I feel the pregnancy bit was taking it a little too far but I just couldn’t help myself. Although to be fair, if I really was pregnant I probably would quit with the blog but that would mostly be because I’d be crying in the corner of the one and only closet in our apartment, wondering how to fit a crib in the dining room. Thankfully, that is not currently a concern!

Nothing’s changing and I’ll try to continue posting as much as I can, when I can. I’ll be out of town all weekend celebrating Easter and looking at a potential wedding venue (my list of things keeping me busy was actually pretty accurate so maybe I’m the fool) and I’ll be offline for a few days. That said, I hope everyone has an April 1st void of vicious or embarrassing pranks and an Easter full of chocolate and deviled eggs. And I promise, that combination is not a pregnancy craving!

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I Don’t, Anymore!

June 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

WEDDING SEASON IS OVER!

Well, for me.  Finally.  Today marks the last day of a month where I’ve attended three weddings on three different Saturdays. I was a bridesmaid in two of these weddings and all three were out of town.  It was an honor to be a part of so many special days but I’d be lying if I said I was sad to see this month draw to a close.  If I never see a taffeta gown, bright pink bridesmaid dress or professional photographer trying to choreograph candid shots, it’ll be too soon.

Check it out!

The first two weddings were for my two best friends from high school and so they were obviously exciting affairs.  I knew a lot of people in attendance and even though I spent hours and hours having hair, nails and make-up done while smiling for the cameras, it was a pretty fun time.  I just realized that there are many people out there who think spending hours and hours getting hair, nails and make-up done while smiling for cameras is the exact definition of a good time – alas, I am not one of those people.

Which made the wedding this past weekend even sweeter – I wasn’t in it and didn’t have to do a damn thing other than show up, watch, drink, eat and dance.  All of which I did without abandon.  I honestly didn’t even really know the bride and groom as the bride is a cousin of Scott’s who even he barely speaks to.  It was all very nice though and there was an open bar so I really didn’t have anything to complain about.  Still, weddings eat up time and money and I’m looking forward to pocketing a little more of my paychecks over the next few months.

I told my sister she’s not allowed to get married for at least a year and I hope she realizes I meant it.  Scott and I have talked about taking that plunge ourselves and after spending these past weeks basically being immersed in wedding culture, we’ve figured out a lot of things we don’t want to do.  I wish The Field Museum would just let me get married in their great hall but I’m pretty sure that renting that place out costs about three times as much as I’d be able to spend on a wedding to begin with, so there goes that idea.  Do people have weddings where they ask guests to pay for things like chairs and flowers instead of giving gifts?  Can I do a pot-luck thing where everyone brings a vegetarian dish and I provide the booze? Can I do an entire wedding over Skype? Why can’t it just be easy and cheap, much like the bride and groom?  Seriously the wedding industry is such a racket and I will gladly do everything I can to subvert that when my own time comes.  And yes, I know Vegas is a cheap and easy option – trust me, we’ve talked about that.  The thing is that if I were to get married I would want the people I love to come out and celebrate and the party is the expensive part.  I’m all for having a big bash that has a brief 15 ceremony somewhere near the beginning.  I don’t need 10 bridesmaids, sequins, glitter, jewels, veils, huge churches, fake eyelashes, fake boobs, Spanx and Hummer limos that blare Snoop Dogg.  Not that that stuff isn’t fun – it totally can be – and if that’s your idea of a great wedding then more power to you.  I’d personally like to be barefoot in a park but things like rain and dog poop will probably render that impossible.

It’s kind of crazy how even though I’m so sick of thinking about everything wedding-related, my stupid brain automatically starts planning my own non-existent shin-dig.  It should get better with the more time and distance I put between myself and any other wedding festivities and if it doesn’t – well, I’m an adult and I can have my own open bar any damn time I want!

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Brides, Babies and Blasted Boots

March 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Everyone sure is growing up (and don’t worry, there are no major life announcements pertaining to me in this blog post.  Other than a little blurb about shoes).  In the last few weeks, I’ve been told news of a family member having another baby, attended one baby shower and received an invite for another, attended one bachelorette party and received an invite for another and received three bridal shower invites.  Right now, I have weddings to go to in three of the four weekends in June – and I’m a bridesmaid in two of those.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it but I know it’s like a trillion times worse for those who are actually getting married and having babies so I’m trying to keep it all in perspective.  Still – damn.

How scary is this?

I guess I got lucky in that I’ve not really had years like this before.  I know my sister has been in more weddings than I want to try to count so I’ve managed to escape all that so far.  It just seems like when it rains it pours, but such is life.  The two weddings I’m in this June are being thrown by my two oldest and dearest friends from high school, who are also standing up in each others weddings (like I said, it’s way worse for them).  This means that both weddings are in my hometown so while it’s not a cross country flight or anything, there is some travel involved.  However, the second bachelorette party is actually being held here in Chicago so that’s pretty convenient.  I know the bride-to-be wanted to hit the beach one day as they’re coming up over Memorial Day weekend and that’s when the beaches open so hopefully the weather warms up a bit between now and then.  Yeah, right.  At least it’s sunny?

As for babies, one of my closest friends up here is due in the next few weeks with her first.  It’s kind of crazy to watch her transition into being a mom and it’s the first time a close friend of mine has gone through all this.  She’s been telling me some things I could’ve done without knowing but I guess if I ever want to embark on that path myself it’s better to know what I could be getting myself into.  Of course, I’m still not convinced that growing a small person and then popping them out of my most sensitive body part is a good idea, so there’s that.  But I will say this – those newborn onesies are just too damn cute!

Now, onto the big, life altering even that has been consuming my time – the everlasting search for a new pair of stupid boots.  When I went back home last weekend for one bachelorette party, I devoted a good deal of time to scouring the mall, shoe stores and even the outlet malls in search of that perfect pair of boots.  Still haven’t found them.  I even did the thing again where I bought a pair and walked around for a bit before deciding I didn’t like those, either.  I’ve taken all this as a sign that I should just hang on to the ones I have and to hell with the rest.  I’ve also decided that if I’m having this hard of a time purchasing a  pair of boots, it’s a really good thing I’m not planning a wedding!

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Love is in the Air

February 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

My heart is just so full of happiness and mush that it could very well burst and spew gooey redness all over the place!

Why?  Well, my best friend since freshman year in high school just got engaged!  Her ahem fiance organized a flash mob with a local radio station this morning and surprised her outside of her office with a song and dance routine.  It was ADORABLE.  And it couldn’t happen to a better girl.  Both she and her man spent a few years battling a serious addiction problem but they both came out on the other side and are doing better than ever.  It seriously makes me want to cry when I think about what she’s been through and how much better off she is now.  I couldn’t be prouder of her and the relationship she’s in has endured a decade’s worth of addiction and illness (even cancer) but thankfully they are both sober and healthy and now they’re engaged!  I’m about to vomit from the cuteness.

Also, another close friend of mine will be getting married in exactly 9 days in Florida.  Scott and I really want to be there but since it’s not in the financial cards for us right now, we’ll be sending our well wishes from afar.  I spent a few hours last night helping the soon-to-be-bride with some wedding stuff and I’m super excited for her as well.  Insert more gooey sentimentality here.

Seriously though, it makes me happy when those I love are happy and that’s all I want for my friends and family.  And while I’m in no hurry to walk down the aisle anytime soon, I know I’m lucky to have someone in my life who genuinely wants to listen to how my day went and will clean the toilet if I ask.

Seriously

ALSO – Illinois is voting to legalize gay marriage TODAY!  If this happens, my heart might legitimately explode.  And I’d be happy to let it!

And here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is more enjoyable than cleaning toilets!

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Homecoming

October 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Apologies all around for the lack of a post on Friday – dropping Catsby off for boarding entailed a little more than I thought it would and I pretty much ran out of time for anything extracurricular.  I was on the Megabus by 6pm and pretty thrilled about leaving on time – then we hit I-65, which was down to one lane due to construction.  Why?  Who knows, but it probably involved moving a road divider two inches to the left.  Our driver thought it would be a good idea to get off in Gary and use residential streets until we passed the traffic.  This basically resulted in us driving around for an hour and a half while going perhaps all of 30 miles in the right direction.  Add to that a screaming child right behind me and the truly awful elevator music they were playing over the PA and you get a dissatisfied me arriving in Indy 2 hours later than scheduled.  At least we made it.

My late arrival did not put a dent in my plans, as two of my besties and I stayed up til 4 drinking, eating pizza and dancing.  The entire weekend took place in a similar fashion.  I was able to have brunch on Saturday with 5 old friends, then visited with a couple others before getting ready for the wedding that I came in town to attend.  The bride looked absolutely gorgeous and my eyes couldn’t help but well up as she walked down the aisle.  They had a harpist playing the music (I thought this was a very nice touch) and one of the bridesmaids did a reading before I read a poem that the couple had requested.  The ceremony was beautiful, tasteful and elegant.  There was a cocktail hour between the reading of the vows and the actual reception and they served these fried artichoke and cheese balls that were incredible – seriously, I was quickly on a first name basis with the server who had them.  The actual dinner was very good as well and we took advantage of the open bar that is so gloriously associated with weddings (I wound up on a first name basis with the bartender too but that’s a different story).  There was also a photo booth that would take six pictures at a time – half of them were immediately put into a scrapbook for the couple and the other half you got to keep.  I thought that was a pretty cute idea and it’s one that I will likely steal if I ever do the whole marriage thing.  Their wedding went as one should go and I’m still thrilled that these two souls have found companionship with one another.  I know they’re doing the right thing and that’s not always something I’m able to say when I watch two people get hitched.

After the wedding came more visiting with friends and that went on well into the night.  Sunday was full of lunch with my mama, more friend time and pizza for dinner.  I’m incredibly lucky in that I got to visit with pretty much everyone I wanted to this weekend (all 10-15 of ’em).  The entire three days pretty much just consisted of eating, drinking and chatting, which was everything and more than I could’ve hoped for.  Bloomington is a pretty city any time of the year but it’s especially gorgeous in the fall, so I’m thankful I was able to enjoy that scenery as well.  It was also Homecoming Weekend this weekend, which I was not aware of until about three days before my trip.  It didn’t affect my weekend much though and other than listening to people bitch a little more than usual about our football team, I hardly would’ve known.  I was still able to hit all of my favorite restaurants and breweries so I’ve got nothing to complain about!

Seriously, it was a great weekend and I’m thrilled with how everything went.  If you were one of the many friends I had the privileged of seeing, thanks for coming out and visiting.  If you let me sleep on your couch or air mattress, gave me a ride at any point or just generally put up with my sassiness, thanks for that.  If you drove 1.5 hours to have a meal with me (I’m looking at you, Mom), I appreciate that as well.  I’m lucky to have all of you in my life and if you want to come to Chicago I’ll do my best to return the favor.  Just don’t all come at once.

**Disclaimer: I wanted to add a few more photos but either WordPress is acting up or the computer gods and goddesses don’t want me to include a scenic photo of downtown Bloomington.  If this issue fixes itself I shall add another picture or two but otherwise I will shake my fist in frustration at the internet and then try to move on.

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White Wedding

June 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Traffic prevented me from reaching my cousin’s wedding on Friday, but I did manage to make the reception.  We all know the reception is the best part anyway so I guess I shouldn’t complain.  My cousin looked beautiful in her huge white dress and all of the other members of the bridal party looked equally elegant and dapper.  My free wine helped me reflect on some of the other weddings I’ve been to in my day and on Saturday I spent some time with an old friend who also got me thinking.  Her sister is getting married later this year and has dropped an INSANE amount of money on the dress, ring and wedding in general.  IF (this is a big if) I ever drag myself down the aisle, here are some things that will not be a part of my ceremony.

  • A huge, frilly white dress that I can only wear once.  It wouldn’t need to be white (because who am I kidding?) and if I had any train whatsoever I would be almost guaranteed to trip and fall.  My friend’s sister spent more than $3,000.00 on her dress and that made me throw up in my mouth a little. Any dress of mine would definitely be practical.
  • Strict religion.  Sorry, Mom, but if I ever get married my ceremony will be lacking a traditional priest and a church.  I will instead have a gay pastor who usually spends his or her time preaching to groups of ethnically and spiritually diverse populations, and I will be married in a place with little to no religious affiliation.  Hmm, unless the person I’m marrying has an opinion on this.  I could also have a friend get ordained online and marry me as my wedding gift (I’m all about spending more money on the honeymoon than the wedding itself).
  • A buffet with ham sandwiches.  My wedding would be completely vegetarian and I would serve all kinds of food my family would furrow their brow and turn their nose up at.  Okay that’s not entirely true, I would have something for my meat-eating guests but I would also have quite the spread for my veggie friends.  We herbivores always get shafted at the wedding buffet.
  • Birds of any kind.  I’ve seen footage of a wedding where doves were released at the end of the ceremony and there ended up being bird crap all over the place.  Funny to watch but probably not so funny to live.
  • Monogrammed anything.  I can’t even imagine how pricey it is to get initials or names printed all over napkins and plates and it all ends up in the trash anyway.  Maybe I’d give my cousin’s kids some crayons and let them go to town on decorating, but that would be about it.
  • Music that includes any sort of choreographed dance.  This means no Electric Slide, no Chicken Dance and no YMCA.  My wedding will have swing and ballroom dancing only.  Again, that might not be entirely true, but I am dead serious about the Electric Slide.  I freaking hate that song and I’m a little peeved at myself for writing about it because now it’s in my head.  Boogie woogie, woogie.  Damnit.

This doesn’t mean my imaginary wedding wouldn’t be fun.  Things I would have include: an open bar, non choreographed dancing, different music for when the grandparents go home, strippers dancing in boxes (grandparents might actually enjoy this), a hot air balloon, camels to ride down the aisle, one of those Rent-a-Photobooths, recycling, a small group of people to constantly walk behind me and tell me how pretty I look, an organ, circus performers, one hundred thousand roses and an ice sculpture specifically designed to drink liquor from (I might be being facetious about a few of the things on that list).  Of course, these are just random thoughts.  I’m sure any person lucky enough to marry me would have some of their own awesome ideas to add as well.

Good thing the possibility of me getting married is, at the very least, many years away.  From what I’ve heard those Rent-a-Photobooths can have quite the waitlist.

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