Sunday, August 31, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • my mother's concern for my happiness
  • Chick-fil-a side salad with nuggets and light Italian dressing
  • how her black lab Francis wiggles with excitement when she sees you
  • re-watching Ocean's 11 on cable
  • freshly highlighted and blow dryed hair

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence:
serving its purpose without obstructing the view.
Sophia Loren

I'm headed home to my momma this weekend for three days of!

I have meetings set up for the cake and church music. Most importantly, a dress fitting! Last time I put it on it was all pinned together but now it is actually sewn and ready for me. We have to add the bustle today and make sure everything else fits well. I can't wait to see how it has progressed!

My matron of honor, Casey, is meeting us there so I'm happy she'll be there to see it too.

Have a lovely long weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me.
Anna, The King and I

Just because it is fun to talk about yourself and read about other people too...

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was 15 years old, in the summer between my freshman and sophmore years of high school. I worked as a lifeguard at a local community center with a huge day camp where I also taught swimming. I loved that job and I haven't been that tan since.

Favorite Snacks

Stacy's Pita Chips, whole natural almonds, sharp cheddar cheese slices, pretzel twists

To Do List
Today or forever? I make a lot of lists...but today I need to empty the dishwasher, clean Bella's litter, do laundry and find an outfit for Nick's brother's wedding rehearsal dinner.

Jobs I Have Had
Lifeguard (as noted above), camp counselor, after school care program assistant, university tour guide, graduate assistant extrodinaire, secretary in a state senators office, PR maven in training

Places I Have Lived
Florida and Florida. Hmmm... yeah, that's about it.

Bad Habits
I am impatient and I am an agressive driver (I won't cut you off, I'll just yell at you although you can't hear me!). Both bad habits go hand and hand!

5 Random Things People May Not Know
- I can give my self a salon quality French mani/pedi (I look high maintanence, but I'm not!)
- Unless I'm with Nick, I have to sleep pillows down each side of my body
- I iron my blue jeans
- I have to use dye-free body wash and laundry detergent
- I clean my engagement ring with a toothbrush

CDs I would want if stranded on an island
I'd bring my iPod thankyouverymuch

What I’d Do if I Were a Billionaire
What wouldn't I do?! Here's what first comes to mind...
- Do what is necessary to make sure my mother, Nick's parents and my future children are taken care of the rest of lives
- Buy a fully restored 1965 cherry red Mustang
- Give money to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and The Humane Society
- Get Nick a vacation home in Del Mar, California so he could go whenever he wanted
- Set up endowed scholarships with my high school, university and sorority

I would love to see anyone else that wants to post this too!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed.
Sid Caesar

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with my friend, RaeAnna. Her 24th birthday was on Friday and we had a wonderful time dancing the night away at a country bar - I love to line dance (even though I don't know most of them!). My future sister-in-law, Leah, who also lives in Orlando joined us too!

Ready to dance, dance, dance!

With Leah!

We also took advantage of Orlando theme parks and went to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Rollercoasters are one of my favorite things and with short lines we were able to do them over and over!

Pretty views at Islands of Adventure

With the "Cat in the Hat" at the Seuss Landing area of Islands of Adventure

These guys were so scary and chased us down the steet at Universal Studios!

Lisa and Bart outside the new Simpsons ride at Universal Studios

Bye-bye Universal Studios!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Work while you have the light.
You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel

I have a crazy work week ahead so I'll be MIA for a few days (but checking other blogs while I am on hold with a vendor or shoving my Lean Cuisine down at a quick lunch break!).

Hope all is lovely in each of your worlds.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
Oprah Winfrey

After work this evening I'm heading to Orlando to celebrate with my friend and old college roommate RaeAnna on her birthday.

At her nurse pinning ceremony in 2006

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!

Looking forward to a fun evening tonight and the rest of the weekend too!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Long, beautiful, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen... I adore hair!
James Rado and Gerome Ragni, Hair

With all the tropical-a-storming that has been going on around here, it is a quick reminder how much my hair drives my crazy.

I have thin, fine and wavy hair. Not straight, not curly. Right in between, looking downright crappy. When I dry my hair naturally (which is, um, never) Nick calls across the room, "I'm not crazy! I'm not crazy!"

Really, it looks all frazzled and I look like a crazy woman.

So I either have to make it curly with a diffuser and curling iron or blow it out with a round brush. I've tried every product in the world to make my hair "just stay" when it is blown out. They either don't work or make my thin, fine hair a greasy mess.

That was until I found my friend John.

John Frieda that is. His new product line is called WeatherWorks and the creme is sent from the heavens. It is light (just run through my hair right out of the shower) and my goodness... IT WORKS.

I ran through the rain to my car at lunch and although my hair didn't look completely perfect it didn't frizz or curl or go flat. It just sort of, stayed the way it was supposed to. Fabulous.

Me and my cute hair just had to share.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us,
more potent, nay, more present than the living man.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Six years ago this evening, at 8:08 p.m., my father died.

Sometimes when I think about the time that has passed, it seems like a lifetime ago, like he was never really here at all. Other times, it feels like he just walked out of the room.

I've written about it before, but I really do feel that both my mom and I have a strong handle on his death, and really death in general. He is now free of pain, discomfort and angony that the cancer caused. Free of worrying about his company, the bills to be paid, what to cook for dinner and if his family was safe.

He is at total peace.

Just stinks for us who are left! But I know that he hasn't really missed the milestones in my life, like graduating with my master's degree, he saw it all (and didn't have to wait in the Florida April heat for the arena shuttle bus).

He was an avid golfer and always tried to get me to play with him. We often joke that he sent Nick, a golf professional, for fun so I'd be around golf the rest of my life! I know he knows Nick, how much he loves me and will have the best seat in the house at our wedding.

Nick is so much like my father, his dry sense of humor, kind heart and calmness that keeps me grounded. Now I'll have to get him to wear argyle socks all the time like my father did!

We recieved a piece from my mother's friend when he died that I still read often and pass along as often as I am able. I'd like to share it with you and hope you'll do the same.

I have only passed on to the other side.
I am me, and you are you.
What we were to each other, we still are.
Call me the name you have always called me.
Speak to me as you always have.
Don’t use a different tone.
Don’t be solemn or sad.
Keep laughing at the things we used to
laugh at together…
Pray, smile, think of me, and pray with me.
That my name will be said at home,
just as it always has
Without emphasis, without a trace of a shadow.
Life still signifies what it has always signified.
It is what it was always been;
the thread has not been cut.
Why should I be out of your thoughts?
Simply because I am out of your sight?
I am not far away,
just on the other side of the path…
You see, everything is okay…
You’ll rediscover my heart;
you’ll rediscover my pure love.
Dry your tears,
and don’t cry if you love me.

St. Augustine

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start
a conversation if it didn't change once in a while.
Kin Hubbard

Hello from Tropical Storm Fay!

View from my lanai this morning

Monday, August 18, 2008

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too
often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
Patrick Young

Here is a very "you are here" moment (I'm somewhere between Early Tue AM and Tue Afternoon in the red cone):

Please pray for a wimpy storm that causes just enough wind and rain to give everyone a "hurricane day" off!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:

  • Crane & Co. stationary for thank you notes
  • Calistoga Bakery Cafe for Pazzo Chicken Focaccia sandwich for lunch
  • Full epsidodes of TV shows online
  • Watching Olympic swimmer Cesar Cielo cry when they win the gold - I would too!
  • Receiving the final proofs of the wedding invitations!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Won't you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.
Richard B Sheridan
And, just because it is the cutest house in St. Louis (okay, I am biased), here are some more pictures from my last trip up there:

I have rose bushes! Two actually. Maybe I'll become one of those rose-growing people and have matching garden clogs and rose clippers (a la Annette Beaning in American Beauty).

Cute entrance to the house from the street. I love that we get our mail right on the front step instead of in a mailbox by the street.

More of the front entrance - so excited to call this our first home

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal.

This past weekend while in St. Louis, Nick and I had a few "let's go there" places on our to do list in between buying window shades and getting Dish Network installed.

One of them, I have heard of forever (I watch a lot of Food Network specials!) so I was excited to visit. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is a local icon of Route 66 eateries. The location we visited in South County has been there since 1941.

We went about 9 p.m. so I thought we'd be sitting alone in a nearly empty shop but much to my surprise there were police on the street directing traffic! There were so many cars parked all over and hundreds of people waiting in line and standing around enjoying their treats. It was a mob scene but delicious! Nick had his with chocolate syrup and I chose their special Hawaiian Delight (pineapple, banana, coconut and macadamia nuts).

Of course, I am technically still a tourist so I had to get my picture taken!

And I've added it to our "if you come visit us in St. Louis we'll take you here" list!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.
Ruth Ann Schabacker

Our first wedding gift arrived on Nick's front step in St. Louis last week.

Gleaming in all it's white and black Crate & Barrell glory I made Nick wait until I got there on my most recent trip to open it. I knew that it was from my dear friend Ashley and her fiance. She has a crazy busy work schedule over the next few months and called to tell me she bought it now and to expect its delivery.

The funny thing is that her gift was one of the only things that Nick insisted on adding to the registry. I am the coffee drinker (it makes him too jittery) so I registered for a fancy schmancy Cuisine Art coffee maker with all the bells and whistles.

But he insisted that a French press was the only way to drink coffee (granted, coffee that he doesn't drink!). When it arrived he then proceeded to make it known that HIS gift was the first to be sent! Of course, I added the huge coffee cups (ala Friends).

Yippee - it's official, now we have to get married or return all the stuff!

I kid, I kid.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if
God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.

Does anyone else get on a specific food kick once and a while? I get into these obsessions with a certain type of food that will last a few weeks before I find something new. It isn't that I eat a lot of whatever it is but rather it is just all I crave.

I've done navel oranges, Multi Grain Tostitos with black bean salsa, this awesome chicken salad from my local organic grocer, edamame, Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burgers... I love food, especially when I find something that I just can't do without!

Now my new thing is Stacy's Pita Chips (thanks to Casey who actually has the Cinnamon Sugar ones in her bag!). The "Simply Naked" flavor are crisp with a sprinkling of sea salt. Drag them through roasted garlic humus and I'm a happy girl.

The last two nights I have had pita chips and humus for dinner. I can't resist!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:

  • Bella's never ending love for catnip.
  • Sleeping with my head on Nick's shoulder again.
  • Fresh heirloom tomatoes from the Kirkwood farmer's market.
  • Direct airline flights with no connections in the bottomless pit of Atlanta's airport.
  • Dewey's pizza.

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's finally Friday, I'm outta control
Forget the workin' blues, and let the good times roll.

George Jones

Courtesy of Friday Fill-Ins:

1. You know you're old when the bagger at the grocery store calls you ma'm.

2. My heart is divided between Florida and St. Louis.

3. A sour cream doughnut to dunk in my coffee is what I need RIGHT NOW!

4. I have felt the comforting warmth of love, I have known the depths of trust.

5. Gah, won't these people stop asking stupid questions.

6. Register to vote as soon as you can!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to flying to St. Louis to see my Nick, tomorrow my plans include waiting for the cable guy to come at the new house and Sunday, I want to walk to breakfast in our new neighborhood's downtown!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

There's nothing to match curling up with a good book when there's a repair job to be done around the house.
Joe Ryan

Nick has now moved into our darling little house in St. Louis. Granted he has no furniture and the gas hasn't been turned on yet (which means no hot water!) but it is all going well. Poor guy has to take showers at the club before work. There isn't much fixing up to do exepect we need shades on all the french doors in the back and the windows in the kitchen. He says it is like living in a fish bowl!

But it has been great that he has handled everything with the house so far - I plan a wedding, he plans the house!

I'm headed up there tomorrow evening for my third long weekend trip and the best part is it will be my first time in our place! I can't wait to get in there and get some measurements to start shopping and "nesting" as Nick jokes.

Can't wait to see my Nick (and our house!) tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A dog is a dog, a bird is a bird, and a cat is a person.
Mugsy Peabody

Anyone who has a cat, certainly can relate to how quirky (and well, downright weird) they can be at times.

My Bella is no exception of course.

The last thing I do in the morning before work is my hair. Now, she is not a fan of the hair dryer (sounds too much like a vacuum, I suppose) but she is so ever helpful when I use my curling iron.

Under my arm, wrapping her tail around the cord, laying lengthwise across the counter. Now I know why I find little singed areas on her fur.

At least she understands the importance of good grooming.

Monday, August 4, 2008

You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.
Georgia O'Keeffe

I spent the weekend with my mom and checked two big wedding "to dos" off of the list:

Met with the florist, who was great. I had the look I wanted but don't have my heart set on any specific flower. He was able to really break down what was important and base it around what is in season in November. Just an overall great meeting!

I should be getting a proposal this week. Considering we are only using a florist for bouquets, boutennaires and corsages (no centerpieces, church decorations, etc.) I have to hope that it doesn't break the bank. I'd really like to work with them as a vendor.

Rehearsal Dinner
This has been the bane of my existance since all the wedding planning started. I am not an indecisive person... I know what I want, so when I see it, I go for it.

The problem was that we couldn't find a location that could hold a large group (nearly 80 people at this point because we are including all out of state guests as requested by Nick's parents) and wouldn't be more expensive per person than the wedding. Nick's mother has been so great with the planning and literally said, "Just pick whatever you want."

We looked everywhere and finally stumbled across the private room at Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse. Great food, great prices, great atmosphere and perfect! It compliments the wedding without having the situation of two receptions back to back. Yes!

Such a great feeling to cross those off of my list!

Friday, August 1, 2008

99 red balloons
Floating in the summer sky

People, people.

Big news.

We're in single digits now.

99 days until we get married.


It is more fun to say it n i i i i i n e like in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Ed Rooney: "So far this semester he has been absent nine times."

Ferris' mother: "Nine times?"

Ed Rooney: "Nine times."

N i i i i i n e t y - n i i i i n e.

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