Wednesday, July 25, 2012

wedding wednesday ~ getting stuff in the mail

Lots of more stuff happening in the wedding world!  Just about everyday last week I got something wedding related in the mail!  So exciting!!!  Even better, the invites have been mailed out and we're starting to get back RSVP's!  It seems weird to say, but I'm so excited that people are coming to our wedding!!! 
In the mail I've gotten our cake cutter set.  I'm thinking about getting it engraved.  But what would it say?
I've gotten a couple of surprises that we'll be seen at the reception!!! 
I got my wedding day jewelry.
I got a card box and our sand for our Unity Sand Ceremony.
The bridesmaids have gotten their dresses!!!  For my girls, I've also taken care of some surprises that they'll be getting on the big day!   
I've also engaged all of my aunts in hopes that one of them will have a white clutch for me to use as my "Something Borrowed".  I've gotten a couple of options, definitely 80's style, but that's better than spending $50 on something I'll most likely only use once. 

Purse option from my Aunt Kathy
I've also started work on our ceremony.
Last Monday we met with our Pastor, Pastor Ken who is going to marry us.  And this man is truly amazing.  I feel so blessed that he is going to marry Chris and I.  We met with him to go over the details of our ceremony, and to start our pre-marital counseling.  We've been given the task to read two books.  "His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage" by Willard F. Harley, Jr. and "The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts" by Gary Chapman.  Right now I'm reading His Needs, Her Needs, and Chris is reading The Five Love Languages.  And it's interesting.  In that past when I would attend weddings, I would think a lot about the bride and the groom and making such a strong commitment to each other.  And the type of conversations they would have to have with one another to put them where they are standing and saying "I do".  And these books are perfect things to probe those types of conversations.  Before we started reading these books Chris and I have had many conversations about the type of marriage we want to have and lots of other difficult topics, but these books just shed a different type of light on it and bring up different points that are great for us to discuss as we get ready to meet at the alter with our pastor and God. 
In the works:
Rehearsal dinner invites.
Ceremony programs.
Still working on Guest Books/Table Numbers.
Flower-girl dress.

Monday, July 23, 2012

the weekend

Chris and I playing miniature golf 7/20/12
 I don't really have anything special to cover.  I just want to remember the weekend I just had.  It was one of those weekends where everything was just great
Friday afternoon I picked up a simple dinner from the deli in the grocery store, and hugged Chris extra tight when he got home.  I could tell he was exhausted.  In general Friday was an emotionally draining day.  We spent some time talking, eating dinner, and watching the news.  As you can imagine nothing else was on TV.  All of our "regularly scheduled" programming was interrupted by the happenings of early that morning in Aurora.  When you watch news coverage like that, I think that there is definitely a breaking point of "enough is enough".  You don't want to watch it anymore, you need a break.  So we left the house for some miniature golf.  It was a good distraction and lots of fun.  Thankfully it wasn't too hot, and the course wasn't too heavily occupied so that Chris and I could take our time and enjoy the evening and each other.
The evening was an early one, I can't remember what time we went to bed, but if I had to guess I would say before 10pm.  So that created for an early Saturday morning. 
I was up and out for a morning run by 7:30am, while Chris worked on breakfast.  Later that morning I had a phone date with my cousin Nikki who lives in Nashville.  She's doing a reading at our ceremony, so we went over those details, along with regular life catch up.  Nikki is the one person I Skype with, and I always enjoy our conversations!!!  The rest of the morning was pretty lazy.  We took our time getting ready, doing some cleaning and laundry, before realizing that my furnace was leaking!
In general I feel like my house is falling apart.  I've been in my little townhome for more than 6 years, and I'm definitely ready for a move.  I won't go into too many details, but I want something else.  The space isn't ideal to bring a baby into, and so whenever I see something else go wrong with my house I just get frustrated.  But I'm SO thankful that Chris as welcomed home ownership and the obstacles that come with it.  We knew the leakage was coming from the AC running, so we agreed to turn the AC off, do our errands and deal with the mess later that afternoon.  We went and had some lunch, followed by a stop at Barnes and Noble.  This past Monday Chris and I started some premarital counseling with our Pastor from our church, and he gave us the task of reading two books.  So we picked those up, and then went to Walmart to go school supply shopping.  Our church is also collecting backpacks with school supplies and Chris and I filled a pack for a soon to be High School student. 
After our errands the leaky furnace was attended to.  Chris was quick to do a Google search and diagnose the problem!  The internet and my motivated fiance is a great combination to have when you have a household problem, that as a single woman living alone wouldn't have had known the first thing to do that probably would have cost more than $1k!  After lots of cleaning and draining the furnace is now no longer leaking!!!
That night we had a double date!  This was the start of probably the best part of the weekend. I've made a new friend at work, that I've mentioned.  Her name is Andrea, and she's getting married 2 weeks before me on 9/22 to her fiance Ryan.  We've quickly become friends and it's great having someone to relate to in the "we're planning a wedding" world.  So Saturday night we met Andrea and Ryan at Lola.  The restaurant is really nice and has an awesome atmosphere.  It was the perfect kind of dinner.  We had fabulous food, amazing conversation, and time just seemed to pass, from one hour to two, to three!  It seriously was the best!  We got home a little before 10pm, and continued our fun night.  We sat and cuddled on the couch for another 2 hours just talking.  It was one of those amazing conversations filled with every aspect possible.  We were serious, then funny, talking about anything and everything.  Our future, our past, our present.  We laughed and we cried, and we learned more about each other.  It was amazing, that in that conversation I fell in love so much more with my future husband!
Sunday we got up and went to church.  Church was a lot more occupied than normal, sad to say but that is what usually happens right after a tragedy.  At the front were 12 candles each representing those who lost their life on Friday morning.  I loved the symbolism and wanted to keep their memory alive by taking a picture and sharing it with you.  
The rest of Sunday was grocery shopping, more cleaning and laundry.  Overall a weekend that I would love to experience again and again, but since I can't.  I just want to tuck it away for me to always remember.

Friday, July 20, 2012

the news

I remember when I was 19, and the date was 4/20/99.  I heard of the subarb Littleton, CO for the first time.  At this point in time I had never been to Colorado, but knew that it was a neighboring state, and that Denver was a big city, and that Littleton was close to that city.  I remember feeling heartbroken.  It was just so sad.  At the time I was working on the phones at Victoria's Secret Catalogue.  A woman called in and placed an order, her address was a Littleton address.  I expressed my sympathy to her, and we spoke a little about the tragedy.  At the time I got the majority of my news from MTV and I remember one of the news anchors there covering the story, and that one day it was bright and sunny and the next it was snowing.  
I remember one of the first times I came to Colorado on a visit when I was 21, I wanted to go drive by that school.  
I suppose my point in all these is that we all have details of days that we remember.  Days that don't necessarily impact us, but impact others a great deal.  We of course all remember the details of our individual day of 9/11/01, and other historic days.  We each have our own perspective.
I've been bothered lately by the amount of people that I work with always looking forward to the weekend, or the next big vacation, or something other than today.  I think of my friend Sarah who puts so much emphasis on today, in her comments she leaves, and in the words she writes on her blog, and facebook.  
Why do we not look forward to today?  Tomorrow may be special but today has the chance to be just as life changing.  
For example, I can't wait until October 5th...truly, I have a running countdown in my head.  But does that mean I'm not going to enjoy everyday between now and then?  Or make every other day special?  No!  More and more I hear people say "Is it Friday, yet?!"  Yes, I realize the weekends are great.  But I think it's sorta important to enjoy the rest of the days too. 
Colorado has been in the news a lot lately.  I'm sure you've heard of the Colorado Wildfires.  About a month ago our state was literally up in flames.  We had fires in every direction of us except for East.  It was a Wednesday when a fire broke out in Boulder, in addition to the one if Fort Collins and Colorado Springs already burning.  I walked to my car and the smell was horrible.  That night was when the fire in Colorado Springs burned down 300+ homes.  I remember laying in bed, snuggling with Chris, watching these flames, and being so thankful to be in a house with a roof, safe and sound.
Lately it seems things have calmed down.  Nothing catastrophic has been in the news.  Their have been survival stories of the victims of the fire, but nothing too horrible.
While Chris and I were watching the news last night a story came about a cat that was shot and killed.  The story was probably about 3 - 4 minutes long...a long time for a news story about a family cat.  There were details about a memorial fund set up for the cat and everything.  Chris looked over at me and said, "Is this really the news?"  The next story was about a pit bull attacking another dog.  It seemed that the news was running pretty low on newsworthy stories.  I responded back to him, "Well as much as I hate to say it, I would much rather hear about a cat being shot, than a person."  He agreed, we said I love you, and went to sleep.
This morning we're up like a normal morning.  While saying goodbye to Chris I ask him if we're going to make it an early day.  We always try to leave work a little bit early on Friday's.  He says that he hopes so.  
Once I get in my car and hear my radio and hear the news for the first time today, I can tell something isn't right.  I only hear a small portion as I just have a short drive to the park 'n ride to catch the bus.  But I know a shooting has taken place and that innocent people have died.  
I get to work right at 7:30am, my phone rings.  It's Chris.  He tells me it will not be an early day.  That approximately 20 of the victims are at the hospital where he works.  
I'm heartbroken on so many levels.  For this senseless act of violence, for all of the people involved.  Of course the question, WHY? pops into my head.  A question we'll never know the answer to.  Not fully anyways.  
Today is special.  Make it so. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

~all kinds of crazy~

i'm ADD when it comes to putting the plates away.
i like it sold plate, stripped plate, sold plate, stripped plate...
it drives me
nuts when chris puts the dishes away
and their are 2 of kind on top of
each other.


my latest snack are
pinon nuts
from albuquerque.
they are pain to get into,
but they are yummy.


when chris and i got our king size bed last year,
we had to get get sheets.
we thought we would be smart and get good quality
sheets at the
flea market
and the sheets are horrible.
i really wish that someone buys us the sheet we registered for.


we have fun
double date night
planned for saturday!


last week it was completely dry when i left work.
by the time i go downtown on the bus it was pouring rain!
no umbrella.
just from the short run to the shuttle bus, from the shuttle bus into starbucks (to take cover)
i was drenched.
arrived to work
completely soaked.
needless to say an umbrella
hasn't left my bag since.


someone stole a wallet size picture of chris and i from my desk.
along with a flower that i let dry out.


the farmer's market at
cherry creek
is awesome!


i've been getting a ton
of eye boogers lately.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lemon-Orzo Salad

 We interrupt this regularly scheduled Wedding Wednesday program for some delish food!  I realize it's been awhile since I've done a recipe, and I think that just because time got away from me, and cooking and taking pictures, then doing the blog, well it's time consuming, and I've been busy.
But I found this salad last summer, and have made it quite a bit over the past year, so I thought it would be perfect to share.  It's a Lemon Orzo Salad that I found here, and one thing I love about this recipe is that it's so interchangeable!  You can do just about anything with it.  I've only made it with the chicken once, as I usually make it as a side, I've also changed the veggies.  I've done tomato's, zucchini, squash etc...  This recipe works with just about anything!
I recently made this dish to bring to a birthday party, so I made a BIG serving.  And for this occasion I followed the recipe as is but with no chicken.  For a normal side you could easily cut this recipe in half (or more depending on the size of your family). 
What you'll need:
Orzo pasta, Lemon, EVOO, Minced garlic, Honey, S & P, Cucumber, Red Bell Pepper, Green Onions, Fresh Dill, and Feta Cheese. 

First things first.  Cook your pasta, as you need to give it time to cool.

All your pretty veggies!  I love a colorful meal!

Cut up your veggies.  I cut up a whole cucumber, a whole big red bell pepper, and 4 green onions.
Again for a normal portion, you only need 1/2 a cucumber, 1/2 a pepper, and 2 green onions.

Make your dressing.  I sorta just wing it and taste it to make sure nothing needs adjusting.
Some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, some Honey (we have some homemade honey from Chris' grandmother's ranch!, YUM!), lemon juice and rind, minced garlic, S & P to taste, whisk it all together.

Mix all your chopped up veggies into the cool and cooked orzo pasta.

Stir in the dressing, some feta cheese, and chopped up fresh dill.
So delicious!!!
 That's it.  Pretty simple, and full of flavor.  It's perfect summer side as it isn't too heavy and very light, but again the flavor is plentiful!  Enjoy!

Here are the directions from the cooking site:

Lemon-Orzo Salad with Veggies and Chicken

Adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 C uncooked orzo pasta

1/4 tsp grated lemon rind

3 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp honey

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 C cooked shredded or diced boneless, skinless chicken

1/2 C diced cucumber

1/2 C diced red bell pepper

1/3 C sliced green onions

1 Tbs chopped fresh dill, or 1 tsp dried dill

1/2 C crumbled feta cheese

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta feels cool to the touch. Drain and place in a large salad bowl.

While orzo cooks, combine lemon rind, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, garlic, honey, and black pepper. Whisk to combine.

Add chicken, cucumber, bell pepper, green onions, and dill to pasta. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Divide onto 4 plates and sprinkle with feta.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wedding Wednesday ~ the MOT-B

just a cute pic of Chris and my Mom "riding" down the escalator in Ikea

This Wedding Wednesday Post is a montage to my mom: The Mother of the Bride, aka The MOT-B. Have I ever truly expressed how wonderful and cute and awesome my mom is?! She’s truly the best. It’s not a far stretch to say that she’s just as excited about my upcoming wedding as I am. And I think it hurts her immensely that we’re apart during this time, but she is understanding and has made it known many many times that if I need her here she’ll be here. I have a good grip on everything so I know that I won’t be seeing her again until the week of the wedding, but she was here over this past weekend to do (what else!?) all things wedding.

It’s quite the big understatement when I say my mom spoils me. When I first got engaged there was a lot of correspondence between my mom and I. Back in December when I went over all of the small details of what will go into this day, she immediately shot down just about every single one of them. A wedding planner?, no you will not have this. Your guest list will NOT go over 100 people. (those are just a couple of examples.) No, I don’t have a wedding planner, but I do have a Day Of Coordinator, and our guest list, well that’s almost to 200. When she was out here in January and we went to the Bridal Fairs, I’m the one that had to bring her down and say “No, Mom we don’t need that.” She wants it all. It’s cute and overwhelming!

We got a lot accomplished while she was here. We started our Table Numbers/Guest Books, and I learned that they are not going to come out how I want. But I’m going with it anyways, because I really love the idea. Making one not a big deal, but I’m making sixteen and I know they are going to be a pain.

A sneak peek of the table set up at the Chateaux
 Along with the table number’s we had a meeting at the Chateaux to go over our table settings and just so my mom could ask questions. The caterer also met us there, and my mom walked away getting to see the whole area and feeling a lot more comfortable and confident.

After the Chateaux we drove down to Park Meadows mall for our appointment at Nordstrom at the Wedding Suite. My mom as already found her dress but I thought this would be a fun experience to try on more dresses with a personal shopper. While we were trying on dresses Chris walked around the mall and got bored quick. He came to check in with my mom and I after about 40 minutes. He advised me he walked the mall and looked at wedding bands. He asked to see my ring, and went off again. I honestly didn’t think anything of it, because we had discussed what we were going to do for our wedding bands, but thought if he wants to shop around: whatever.

Once our appointment was over I called him, and he advised me to come down to John Atencio. Again didn’t think anything of it. As I walk in he’s leaning up against the glass, and I approach him and look inside the case and say “So what are you looking at?” He then reaches behind himself and puts a little black jewelry box in front of me. I look up at him and smile and say “what’s this?” he says “just open it.” After going back and forth like this a couple of times, I finally open it. Inside is my engagement ring with a band!! I was a little taken aback, because again this wasn’t what we talked about. I tried it on and discuss the piece with the sales ladies. My engagement ring is platinum, and the band is white gold, and I do plan on getting them soldered together. They say combining the two metals is fine, but it makes me nervous because they are two completely different metals. Then before I know it he reaches for another box…we banter like before, and when I open it, it’s his wedding band! Obviously he loves it, or he wouldn’t have purchased it. But I was a little hurt that it wasn’t me who picked it out and was able to present it to him. The lesson learned is that’ll be the last time I let him walk free in a mall again!

After Chris’ jewelry shopping spree my mom and I still wanted to shop for shoes! We went into Dillards and we both found our shoes for the wedding! Honestly I was a little bit nervous about shoes. The shoes that I had decided on and tried on with my gown at the bridal shop didn’t work because the heel was too high, and my dress wasn’t long enough! I was told I need a lower heel. Finding a nice formal, comfortable heel, with what I was looking for I knew would be difficult. The bridal shop suggested added a lace trim to the bottom of my dress to lengthen it, but I had a hard time visualizing what that would look like, and what if I didn’t like it?! It just seemed too much of a risk to have to pay for an alteration to chance that I might not like it, just to undo the alteration. Because of all of this wedding day shoes were weighing heavily on my mind. While my mom was trying on her shoes I kept walking by these shoes I really liked, but kept questioning if the heel was too high, and if I would even be able to walk in them or not. The style wasn’t what I originally had in mind, because I had it set I would need something to go around my ankle to help me walk, and these shoes don’t have a strap, so I just kept going back and forth about even trying them on. Finally I did, and I’m so glad that I did! They are perfect!!! Easy to walk in, comfortable, and beautiful!!! Once they were purchased, I was nervous about the height. But the next day mom and I went and tried on my dress, and it’s perfect! A stressful situation was easily resolved! Phew!!!

Another big check mark was the alcohol. A big plus with the Chateaux is you provide the drinks. This is a huge cost saver. We checked out a rather large liquor store and got an estimate for our party. What’s even better is if we don’t use all of what we buy the liquor store will buy it back from us afterwards!

Lastly, was my mom wanting to get her ears pierced! I had no idea this was something she wanted to do. But she wants to wear earrings on my big day, so we went and got her ears pierced. She had her ears pierced when she was young, but let them close when she was in her 20’s some 30 years ago! So now my cute mom is even cuter with some bling bling in her ears!

My mom with pierced ears!
 The trip was a fun one, and as much as I wish she was here for every single little wedding detail, I feel as though we take advantage of the time we do spend together so that she can feel like a big part of the day and in the planning process.  I know I say (type) it all the time, but the next 12 weeks will fly by and before I know it she’ll be back here ready to help celebrate (and cry {happy tears}) while I become Mrs. Sweat. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

10 years

Today is the day I moved to Denver 10 years ago.  It’s been quite the ride and looking back it’s difficult for me to not get emotional. Especially if I think of each year individually.  But I figure it’s important to document these milestones, especially as I’m so grateful for where my life is today and the blessings that I have. 
I headed to facebook under the “notes” category to find this survey that I thought would be appropriate to mark this occasion.

10 Years Ago 2002
How old were you? 22
Who were you dating? Nobody
Where did you work? Safeway Select Bank
Where did you live?  Apartments in Thornton off of 92nd and Huron
Where did you hang out? Flatirons Mall, random drives around the city
Did you wear contacts and/or glasses?  Glasses
Who were your best friends?  Tina, Michelle.
How many tattoos did you have? 2
How many piercings did you have? 1 in each ear
What kind of car did you have? 2000 Mazda Protégé

5 Years Ago 2007
How old were you? 27
Who were you dating? Nobody
Where did you work? Qwest
Where did you live?  A Townhouse where I still currently reside off of 136th and Huron
Where did you hang out? Out with Ginny.
Did you wear contacts and/or glasses?  Glasses
Who were your best friends?  Tina, Michelle, Kari, Ginny.
How many tattoos did you have? 3
How many piercings did you have? 1 in each ear
What kind of car did you have? 2007 Toyota Corolla

Yearly run down:

2002: I had visitors just about every 2 weeks when I first moved to CO.  So I was rarely by myself, which was good.  Four months after moving my HS friend Sarah moved in with me.  That same month I got laid off as the company I moved for/with went out of business.

2003: I started the year off unemployed.  Finally got a job as an assistant manager at the fine jewelry department at Foley’s in Cherry Creek in March 2003.  Sarah and I really bonded and became great friends.  We checked out various churches and that summer got season passes to Water World.  That summer we also moved into a 2 bedroom apartment.  I disliked my job and in October started work as a Customer Service Representative at Qwest.  During training I started working out and for the first time that I had remembered at the time was under 200 pounds (198).

2004: On January 6th I met Aaron, who would be first adult boyfriend.  I spent most of my time with Aaron this year.  That fall I moved into a 1 bedroom apartment. 

2005:  I started off the year on a cruise with my mom for my 25th Birthday.  We went through the Caribbean.  That summer my cousin Charlene got married in RI, and my cousin Nikki got married in NM.  Aaron temporarily moved in before his move in MN.  In September Aaron moved to MN and we tried long distance. 
We spent Thanksgiving together and then broke up.

2006: I was depressed.  Very rarely had any sort of human contact and didn’t care.  Ballooned up 265.

2007: I slowly came out of my depression, made friends with Ginny and TC at work.  Would go out and be social.

2008: I was looking for a change within my job.  Found the job I currently have (although it is completely different) and made the transition from Customer Service to Administrative Assistant in May.  That summer I had my 10 year HS reunion.  I don’t think I ever felt or looked so big.  That fall I started my workout routine and when I joined Lifetime Fitness.

2009: I continued my workout regimen, but still mostly kept to myself.  I had become friendly acquaintances with Sarah at the gym.  I lost 40 pounds.

2010: I started the year with a girls trip for my 30th birthday to Savannah, GA.  In March I started Slimgenics, and lost an additional 50 pounds by October.  This summer was definitely a party summer.  Going out dancing, meeting new people, and eventually dating.

2011: The dating search continued and I was happy and content.  On May 21, 2011 I met Chris.  And well I think we all know what happens next.

2012: The planning of my wedding taking place on October 5th!

It has been quite the ride, and I’m thankful for all of my experiences.  I’ve cried a lot and I’ve laughed a lot, and I like to think I’m a much more well rounded person compared to the 22 year old that moved up here from 10 years ago.  Who knows how much longer I’ll be in Colorado, but it definitely created that perfect stepping stone of being close to home but away from home.     

Monday, July 2, 2012

week 3: the unexpected

Fireworks from the Rockies game 6/29/12

We're pretty cute @ the Rockies game

I had a super rough week. It was that TMI and my craving for chocolate took over. A co-worker has a not so secret stash of Mini Reese Peanut Butter cups, and well I made a visit Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week! Plus I went to a happy hour on Thursday and a Rockies game on Friday. Once Saturday came I was 100% expecting to see a gain, and be completely frustrated with myself. But somehow the unexpected happened. I lost a pound! 182. Who knows how that happened?!, but I’ll take it. Not where I wanted to be at the end of June, but I’m focused and reenergized. 6 pounds lost about 20 more to go and 13 weeks until I get married. Totally doable. Although this coming week will be another challenging one. My mother arrives on Wednesday for some more wedding festivities and planning. We’ll be out of the house a lot, but I hope with some prep work and planning her visit won’t steer me too badly off course.

Our weekend in general was a low key one. Friday night we did go to the Rockies game. Our first of the season. Got to see some fireworks after the game, which was nice. This is our first 4th of July together since I was in RI last year. And it’s great to spend this holiday with my future husband.

Saturday morning I got up and went to the gym, did some cardio and weights for my back and triceps. My back and arms are definitely focus areas in which I want to tone up for the wedding, and I was sore yesterday and am sore today! It’s a good kind-of pain! We spent the rest of Saturday morning and early afternoon cleaning house. Later that day my friend Sarah and her family came over to go hang out at the pool. Totally wish I would have taken pictures of these cute kids! Ian just turned 2, and Chloe will be 4 in August. We had a great time swimming around and playing.

After the time in the sun we came back home for Chris to grill up some hamburgers and hotdogs. Sarah brought these super good zucchini fries and a fruit salad along with leftover birthday cake, and we had ourselves a pretty yummy meal. It was great to have a family over.

Sunday morning we went to church then came home and worked on our July Wedding To-Do list. Did laundry and grocery shopping.

Happy July!