Friday, October 29, 2010

holidays are apon us

Dan and my first Halloween together... Brilliant idea... check. Costumes... check. Tonight we are carving pumpkins... check. It's exciting. This represents the beginning of the season commonly referred to as "The Holidays" - our first cycle of holidays together, which also includes both of our birthdays. It's very symbolic. And very exciting :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

reality tv goes bridal, and my hunt for accessories

I've been on another business trip since Friday and in my down time I have been watching maybe a little too much TLC in my hotel room... particularly Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings. Mediocre reality tv goes bridal. Has anyone seen the episode of Four Weddings where the one lady kept toasting to herself at everyone else's wedding? Ha ridiculous!! I knew it was time to leave the premises when I found myself on TLC's website almost signing up as a candidate for our wedding to be on the show. Step away from the computer Julie! (I went for a long walk!) As silly as the show is, it's really fun for me to see the variety of real-world weddings, what things work, what things I like, what ideas I might not have thought of; and NOT have it be in the context of some magazine editor trying to influence me or some wedding website trying to appease its advertisers.

I've also been thumbing through some bridal magazines for inspiration (as though we hadn't already picked our colors and I hadn't already bought my dress...). But I'm staying totally focused and not back tracking. Five months out, we are well into wedding planning, all the real big things are pretty much done, now we are working on details. One of those details is my own accessories. The bridal magazines are cool to flip through but some of the fashion accessories are a little bit ridiculous for me. I wish I could pull off a giant bird's nest hairdo complete with fake bird and nest and giant peach pearls but... oh wait no I don't.

I'm pretty sure I've picked out my vail, but I'm not sold on any particular jewelry/accessories. I was thinking that it would be really cool if one article of jewelry or hair accessory that I wear on my wedding day could be my "something borrowed" (anyone want to accessorize me?) -- not anything sentimental, just something that successfully polishes the look that I am going for, that happens to belong to somebody I know. I mean it would be cool if it were sentimental too, but I can't play favorites and oh man if I were to wear a sentimental piece of borrowed jewelry from every woman I love, I would be a little TOO bedazzled I think! Plus the last thing I would want is for someone's feelings to be hurt if I chose not to wear a sentimental article they offered to lend. So maybe I shouldn't go there. I'll just keep looking.

I am kind of freaking out about shoes... My feet blister very easily and I have ankle and back issues, so they've GOT to be comfortable if I'm going to wear them for 9 hours. My fiance is 6'6'' = I really want to wear heals (plus my dress really looks better with heals!) but I don't walk well in heals. I was thinking a wedge might be the safest option but I'm not really finding any wedding-worthy-wedges that I like or that go with my dress. Hmmmm.... just keep looking.

P.S. Dan booked our honeymoon! I'm not sure if he wants me to broadcast the exact destination, so all I'm going to say is it's going to be amazing - it will involve mountains, and snow, and seclusion, and snuggling, and snowboarding, and hopefully a fireplace and a bear rug. Pretty sweet, eh? ;)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the way to a man's heart is through his stomach

Over the last seven months, the times I have prepared food for Daniel he has always received and consumed it with gratitude, never expressing disappointment... but I'll be the first to admit that cooking is not currently one of my specialties... and anything I've ever cooked for Dan has been mediocre at best; nourishing, but not impressive in the least.

Don't worry, we spent a good four hours at Crate&Barrel examining and selecting potential kitchen items to register for (what a peculiar experience, the whole registering thing). So with some cool gadgets, a hungry husband, and an amazing mom just a phone call away (man she can cook!), I'll have all the tools I need to become a great chef of a wifey next year.

But for now, I'll stick to what I know how to do.
Bake. Chocolate chip cookies to be exact.

I'm not trying to brag or anything but in some circles, my chocolate chip cookies are somewhat of a legend. I'm very proud of them. A long time ago I perfected a recipe to produce cookies that are exactly how I like them, and I still make them to this day with the same hands-on perfectionism as I did when I was in high school.

Today Leslie asked me to bake cookies for her to take to school tomorrow, and it hit me. Daniel's never had my chocolate chip cookies! I have not once baked since I met Daniel. I think I told him about my cookie recipe once, but was discouraged when he speculated that they could never compare to his Aunt Cheryl's cookies. And it never came up again.

So tonight, I baked. You know how some batches are better than others, well tonight's is a real good batch. A real good one.

I made up a plate of cookies for Dan and his roommates and will hand deliver them with love tomorrow, anxiously awaiting approval, holding my breath for that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when someone tells you the food you prepared tastes good. If Dan and the boys don't like them, I don't know what I am going to do with myself! I say this in jest, of course, but there is a tiny bit of self-worth and identity at stake here.

Hopefully my cookies and I will find the way a little deeper into to Dan's heart. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In Loving Memory Mrs. GP

I have spent the last couple of hours reading the wall of a facebook event wherein one alumnae organized what turned into thousands of former students to together wear pearls one day in honor of our favorite high school teacher, Mrs. Grimes Priebe (Mrs. GP), who joined the angels last week at age 36 after a fight with cancer. I attended the memorial mass yesterday and was so blessed to see a few of my high school classmates and former teachers and be in community with them during this time. Among others, her husband gave a beautiful eulogy. Her children (so little) are beautiful. Everything was beautiful. She was beautiful. I can't believe she's gone.

The wall of this facebook event has become somewhat of a virtual eulogy, friends and students of hers sharing memories of stories she told and "Pearls of Wisdom" that she gave to us every day. Pages and pages of it. The admiration that we students had for Mrs. GP was beyond words, she epitomized what it meant to be graceful, strong, smart, feminine, loyal, wise, a good friend to all who knew her. It was almost intimidating how amazing she was, like you wanted to present the best version of yourself each time she called on you, not out of obligation but because you just respected her so much and felt honored that she knew your first name. I remember signing up for classes before my senior year with such anxious anticipation to find out if I had gotten into her class, knowing it was my only chance to experience the legend of Miss Grimes. I remember how engulfed I was as I copied the content of her beautifully scribed white board into my notebook every day, awaiting her presentation. The next two semesters were no disappointment - quite possibly the most captivating class I've ever taken. She taught AP Psychology by curriculum but taught us so much more.

Missing her and grieving that I never got to know her better, or became more like her, has been a great source of perspective for me these last few days. What's important. I wore my mother's pearl earrings all weekend. I don't really want to talk about the wedding right now. Just wanted to say rest in peace Mrs. GP and thank you for so much that you humbly offered the world, we are all better because you were in our lives.
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