Monday, September 19, 2011

184 days = six months of marriage

A List: The Things We've Learned in the Last Six Months
By Daniel and Julie.

Daniel's List:
  • A back rub goes a long way.
  • Julie does not like driving.
  • I never knew what Q.A. stood for until I lived with Julie (Quality Assurance).
  • If someone wants to do your laundry for you, it's best to let them do it however they want.
  • I’ve discovered that Julie owns some of the world's oldest and tackiest nightshirts.
  • My wife likes my hair better when I use a little hair spray.
  • I’ve learned that I need to leave the house half an hour before her plane is scheduled to land.
  • All the married guys were right about gaining 20 lbs during the first year of marriage; I'm halfway there at six months.
  • When Julie is happy, she hums.
  • I now know why they give you a year to write thank you notes after your wedding.
  • Julie forgets very few things that I tell her... and she often remembers more things than I remember telling her.
  • When I make a mistake, it doesn't just affect me anymore.
  • If you go to the mall with your wife, plan on being there two hours longer than you think you would if you had gone by yourself.
  • Julie is not as tough as she wants me to think she is.  Yet she is often tougher than I imagine.
  • Not everything is about me.
  • Piles of things will become permanent unless I say something.
  • Talk less, do more.
Julie's List  
  • The basic operations of an X Box controller.  
  • That no, he's not having a seizure, he's just almost asleep. (he's a real sleep twitcher)
  • If you want to talk to Dan about something important, it's best to catch him before 10pm.
  • Limes can be squeezed into pretty much anything and it will taste good.
  • How to drive a Prius.
  • How to play chess.
  • My husband would prefer if I didn't wear deodorant.
  • I've learned to accept that there will be some things that I do not understand: i.e. Fantasy Football. Dunk Ball. Call of Duty.  Cigar smoking.  Coconut Pineapple Juice.
  • Most of the time, Dan actually does know what he's talking about when I'm skeptical.
  • I’ve been exposed to so many bands I had never heard of and really like... and a few that I dislike...
  • Dan is capable of doing half the things I used to think you had to pay for.
  • Not all desserts have to have chocolate in them.
  • Dan is very particular about the textures of fabrics, especially on clothing and furniture.
  • (I'm still learning) how to pick up on sarcasm.
  • Daniel does not like to walk away from a project unfinished -- it's best if we don't start something unless we'll have time to finish it.
  • Skateboarding is difficult.
  • More often than not, things are not as big of a deal as I initially think they are.
  • That it can be done; we can do more than I think we can.
Our Together List:
  • How to paint a house: one room at a time.
  • How to fit two people's closets of clothes and shoes into one closet.
  • The right thermostat temperature to meet both of our needs.
  • How to push through a five-day juice fast.
  • That we really don't need cable (we have Netflix!).
  • We are most effective as a team when we divide and conquer.
  • It's worth it to wait for a sale or until you find the perfect bargain!
  • There is rarely much benefit in mentioning your exes. 
  • That all the cliches were right: never go to bed mad.  cut each other some slack, forgive easily.  laugh at yourself and your spouse.  it's a marathon, not a sprint.  honesty is the best policy.
  • That sometimes it's ok to order take out and watch five episodes of Mad Men in one night.
  • Hugs hugs and more hugs.

Happy Six Monthiversary to Us! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


This weekend, for the first time in my life (that I can remember), I got my hands dirty with some soil and potted some flowers.  The buddies are Geraniums, Marigolds, and Vincas, hanging out with their friends the Asparagus Ferns.  I feel a great sense of pride in these buds in their new little homes that are now adorning our back porch, patio and front pillars.  Dan and I also assembled our patio and porch furniture... which means we are almost officially ready for autumn evenings.   We are one barbecue grill away from having a fully functional backyard.  Here's what the patio looks like now.  Hooray!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Honeymoon Memories

Dan and I took over fifty short videos during our honeymoon in Canada, with great intentions to edit them all together when we got home.  Here's my first shot at a video glimpse of our honeymoon (the first three days of it, anyway).

All our YouTube videos can be found by searching "BeingTheGriffins".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

What's in a name? If you care to explore this topic philosophically, I found this article that will make your head spin. I didn't leave it feeling any more or less confident about my current state (and now I might suggest to Dan that we both change our names to "Maluma"), but it was interesting if you like that kind of thing. But I digress.

I Became Julie Griffin
Today, the last pieces fell into place and I officially fulfilled the title of my blog in all functional areas of my life.

If you have ambitions to follow my path to changing your name, here's how:

Changing Your Name After The Wedding: Ten Steps
Step One: Get married. time: one year.
Step Two: Wait for Maricopa county to mail your certified "Record of Marriage". time: four weeks. When it comes, fix it and mail it back because the date of your marriage was illegible on the original and they need it re-submitted. tip: make sure you and your officiant print legibly on your marriage license the first time around.
Step Three: Wait for Maricopa county to mail your (legible) certified "Record of Marriage". time: three (more) weeks.

Step Four: Print out a name change form off the U.S. government's Social Security website and prepare/collect all supporting documents. time: two days.
Step Five: Go to the Social Security Office and submit the form and tell them how you want your new name to read on your social security card, which will be mailed to you within two
weeks. time: one hour. (while not thrilling [see photo], it was actually pretty painless, I think they've really improved their process!)
Step Six: Wait two days for the state computer system to update. time: two days.
Step Seven: Go to the MVD for a new driver's license. time: thirty minutes (also fairly painless, I guess I got lucky, I did not have to wait long at all. And my photo turned out pretty cute too :). Make sure you hold onto your old driver's license even though they hole-punch it because all your credit cards still have your old name on them.
Step Eight: Wait for your new Social Security Card.
Step Nine: Provide a copy of your new Social Security Card, Driver's License, and Marriage License to your employer and all financial institutions. time: this could take days, depending.
Step Ten: start using your new name and email address at work and for all other grown-up things. :)

Bitter Sweet
I felt a twinge of sadness as I turned in my old badge to the security office at work to receive my new one. My badge was my last photo I.D. that daily identified me as the person I was for the first twenty-seven years of my life; a proud carrier of my father's family name, the name on my old volleyball jerseys, diplomas, the signature I perfected when I first learned cursive. So many memories.

I shed no tears, but I did stop and reflect. 

I have a new NAME. I am having a hard time letting go of my old one. Dan understands, he said he would feel nostalgic too if he changed his last name... it's kind of a big part of who you are, it's your NAME. It feels so weird to say "oh, that's my maiden name. Now my name's...." I can kind of see why so many women hyphenate, although I have always felt conviction to take my husband's name, I think it's symbolic.

I don't want it to seem like I felt obligated, or that I'm not excited; I didn't, and I am. I just am being realistic about the mixed emotions that come with such a significant life change. It's one of many transitions that I'm experiencing right now, and they are all great, but great does not always equal easy.

Anyway, my new signature is kind of awesome. I love the symmetry of the "iffi" in the middle of Griffin, and I like how all the letters balance out. I am kind of a nerd about it. I practiced a lot before I got my driver's license. Typical.

Today also marks our second monthiversary. Have we really been married for two months?!?!? Last weekend we went to the first wedding we've ever attended as a married couple, it was a little surreal but very cool!

Monday, May 9, 2011

but I'm all the way fond already

Looking for silver lining about being out of town this week (marking the first time we've been away from each other for even a day since we got married, went on a honeymoon, and moved in together), Daniel offered the cliche about absence making the heart grow fonder. That might work for some people, but I don't think we could possibly grow any fonder for one another so I playfully rejected it.

So here I am all alone in our big messy house (don't get any ideas bad guys, Justin and Shane are just up the street!) trying to decide what to do with my night. I just ate a frozen burrito for dinner. Turned on the tv for some noise, only to be reminded that... oh we don't have tv. Sigh. So I turned on some country music, started a load of laundry, and decided to update my four faithful blog readers with some tidbits from our lives these last couple weeks. Mini blogs within one big blob of blog. Enjoy.

A wedding is worth a thousand pictures... Daniel and I re-lived our wedding day with delight as Jane Zarzynski walked us through all the photos from our wedding day. There are fourteen hundred, but we picked 250 and I arranged them in iMovie with some added narration. You can view this slide show masterpiece and re-live the day if you'd like at our YouTube channel: BeingTheGriffins. I think we have almost 100 views on it already! I kind of feel like a rock star, is that dumb?

Wife in the fast lane...Getting back to the daily grind after the honeymoon was rough, especially the first couple weeks, but we've been gradually settling into the routine of being a married couple in the real world. We've also been carpooling almost every day which eases the blow of the 22 mile commute from the burbs, and will save us between $1400 and $1700 a year if gas prices stay the way they are. And it means Dan gets to drive in the fast lane when otherwise he'd be with all the single-occupant suckers in the regular lanes. Best part is it also affords us less time apart between our AGONIZING goodbye every morning and our elated daily kiss every afternoon when we get to FINALLY see each other after work. We hold hands and talk cute-talk the whole way too.

Born to Run... nope, not quoting The Boss. On our Easter weekend drive to California, we started listening to the audio book of Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. This fascinating nonfiction tale inspired me to buy "those weird toe shoes", which I have been sporting around the neighborhood and to volleyball practice, and Dan to order a pack of chia seeds online and start drinking them with a big glass of water every morning. You should read it. Non-runners too. It will blow your mind. We just have one chapter left and it is killing me to have to wait for Daniel to come home on Thursday night so we can finish it!

Waking up with the Joneses... the little ones that is. We got to spend a night with the Jones kids while mom and dad Jones were on vacation at la playa. Kid-friendly cool activity of the night: juicing. Each of them got to pick one fruit from Costco and we made juice with The Griffins' super duper juicing machine. Then we drank the juice (strawberry grape watermelon orange) with breakfast the next morning. The closest thing to motherhood I've felt in a very long time came at 5:30am when I awoke to a whisper at the side of my bed: "Jooohlie. Jooohlie.... Joooohlie... um can you make me breakfast now" . Four-year-old Carsyn in her pink jammies and bed head. I felt such tenderness and love towards this little being who depended on me to meet all her needs (that morning anyway), coupled with complete and utter disorientation and denial that I had to wake up that moment, an hour earlier than I had planned (which was already an hour earlier than I usually wake up, pathetic I know...). It was a good experience for Daniel and I to be pretend parents for sixteen hours. And apparently the kids had fun because they have been asking when they can come to our house ever since.

One last boom with our Dynamite ... Regionals was our last volleyball tournament with our sweet ten-year-olds in spandex, the EVJ Dynamite. They played their little hearts out. For the first time this season I felt a twinge of remorse that we (collectively) opted out of the extended season which would have taken us to a post-season tournament in July... how much more we could have taught them with another six weeks! I cried at the end. Dan didn't understand why. I guess it's a girl thing. Glad we have a team party in a couple weeks so I get to see them again!

"Death by Ikea"... as Daniel calls it. Yes, we endured our first trip to Ikea together. Items purchased: 1 hotdog, 1 slice of pizza, 3 mini trash cans, 1 4x6' rug. Time spent: 3 hours. We've been doing some pretty intense furniture research/shopping since the day we got home from our honeymoon and literally drove straight from the airport to Thomasville to look at bedroom furniture. Our current search is for the perfect kitchen table & chairs, couch, coffee table, window treatments, and custom kitchen island. Oh and did I mention we also get to landscape our entire backyard? I guess the HOA is tired of seeing the dirt and weeds that have been doning the lot for the last five years. Ikea has some pretty cool plant pots...

Vocations Class... Through a random chain of events, Daniel and I were volunteered to go to Seton Catholic Prep to talk to the senior vocations class about relationships and marriage and natural family planning. We came unsure what to expect, equipped only with two boxes of Duncan Donuts' munchkins and my NFP chart. I was thrilled at how Daniel came alive talking to these eighteen-year-olds as we together offered our life experiences and advice to them, from
our newlywed perspective. I was even more thrilled at the percentage of them that were actually listening and engaged. They were shocked that we didn't kiss for over a month after we started dating. Daniel came up with some incredible analogies too, the best one involved one's likelihood to go to the beach every day while living near the beach vs. living far away from the beach but visiting it periodically. Pretty genius I think. This scratched an itch that we both have to minister to teenagers in some small way. I hope Fr. Will will ask us back next semester.

Dan the Installah Ballah... My husband not only knows how to install cabin filters to his wife's 4Runner, he also knows how to install drawer pulls, clocks on stone fireplaces, cable boxes, and even Reverse Osmosis systems. He is so impressive! And now our drinking water tastes so good! He's my hero. Have I ever mentioned that acts of service is my love language? And Dan in a white t-shirt and jeans makes me squirm like a 1960's teenaged girl watching The Beatles on television. All this house stuff is kind of a big deal for me.

Laundry... ding!

Friday, April 29, 2011

our photo booth story

It was a magical day! Captured here in images from our photo booth (other wedding photography to follow!)
images by Jane Zarzynski photography.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

wifery and a man with tools

Tonight Dan installed knob/pulls on our bathroom cabinets. How I love watching him at work, so cute in his paint-covered jeans and five o'clock shadow. After he completed the task, I watched with intrigue as my husband became mesmerized with determination to synergize two devices, #1 the mini electric screwdriver my father gave him for Christmas, and #2 the hard core Dewalt (sp?) power drill my cousins gave us as a wedding gift (Dan proclaimed "I am now a man" when we opened it). Sitting on our bathroom counter, device #1 in his left hand, device #2 in his right, Dan carefully enclosed the nose of the smaller drill into the mouth of the larger drill, then spent several minutes intently working to figure out how he could get it such that he could pull both triggers simultaneously without having to move the drills (so that they would be spinning in unison). Did he realize I was watching him? I think he's still doing this at this very moment actually.

I have to say, all that stuff about the life of newlyweds being so giddy and blissful and fun... it's all true. I have loved every minute of it. Shacking up, moving furniture, painting, waking up together in the mornings, having our clothes in the same closet, riding our tandem bike around the neighborhood. I still haven't gotten used to saying "my husband..." which is kind of cool because every time I am about to refer to Dan and then suddenly I remember that he is indeed my husband now, the excitement ignites all over again.

I'd prefer to refrain from any existential debates here, but I've decided to keep the blog title as is because no matter my marital status, I will always be in the state of "becoming" Julie Griffin. I look forward to doing the work to grow and grow into the role of Dan's wife. It feels so right.

Speaking of work, I'm due to go check on a load of laundry in our basement :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

weather forecast

march 19th... high of seventy one and sunny... if this holds, we could not ask for a better day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Memory Story: How We Met

I have something special to share today...

Today marks one year since Dan sent me a message
 All you social networking nay-sayers may be rolling your eyes right now, but as small as it was this marks the beginning of our relationship. 

Back story: my mom and dad bought a car from Dan's cousin, Shane. Through the car-buying process, Shane and my mom immediately became BFF's and started scheming that her daughter needed to go out with his cousin. OK, Shane did more of the scheming and my mom did more of the accomplice-ing. But nonetheless, it was a concerted effort on both parts to get us together, despite much resistance on my part and obliviousness on Dan's part. I think they even decided that we should get married before Dan even knew I existed. After about three weeks of persistence, I finally agreed for my mom to give Shane the OK that Dan could 'friend' me on Facebook if he wanted to contact me...

and that night he sent me a note...

Daniel Griffin March 11, 2010 at 9:54pm
Apparently when your mom picked up your sister's new car from my cousin, she got the upgrade package that included a blind date.
Now, I wasn't aware that such an option was available when purchasing an automobile, but I would love to meet up for coffee, if you're interested: say when.

Julie Cole March 11, 2010 at 11:46pm
Hi Daniel,
Yes, apparently there were some negotiations on the side during the car purchasing activities. I'm up for coffee, or hot chocolate in my case. What's your schedule like?

Daniel Griffin March 12, 2010 at 8:55am
Good Morning Julie,
I'm leaving for a weekend in California today to compete for the highly coveted title of "Uncle that drives the furthest to watch 3 of his nephews." So we will have to meet up next week sometime. My work schedule typically is 8:30-4:30, anytime after work would be just fine for me. How does Monday sound?

Julie Cole March 13, 2010 at 12:22pm
I coach volleyball on the side and we have practice Monday and Wednesday evenings, and this week I have band practice on Tuesday evening after work... a busy week for extra curriculars I guess you could say! What about Thursday?
I hope you are having so much fun with your nephews!!

Daniel Griffin March 14, 2010 at 3:38pm
Wow, its weird how quiet things are after a weekend with the big guys. I have so much respect for my sister now, how she watches 4 boys day in day out is beyond me. Although I had a blast with them, it's nice to be headed back home. I think I'll be back in town about 7:30. What does your night look like? I'd like to meet up, providing you don't mind hanging out with someone whose been driving all day and changing diapers all weekend. If not thursday will work just fine.
Enjoy your Sunday,
Sent via Facebook Mobile

Julie Cole March 14, 2010 at 9:43pm
Hi there,
Diapers? That's very impressive. What a great uncle driving to CA to be with them for a weekend! I myself got home from church a little bit ago and am now in my sweats and catching up on some laundry. Sorry I just got your note about meeting up tonight so I think Thursday will work best. Thoughts?
Have a great night!

Daniel Griffin March 15, 2010 at 10:16am
No worries about last night, it was a last minute thought as i was driving home. Thursday after work? 5ish? I think the Barnes and Noble at Tempe Marketplace would be a nice meeting place in case one of us got there before the other. Plus, there is a tea place right there that I have been looking forward to trying out (I'll bet they have your hot chocolate too.)
so, band practice? what kind of music?

That was the beginning
...And the messages go on and on for the next week until we finally got together at Tempe Marketplace on March 18th. One year and one day before our wedding.

Monday, March 7, 2011

this weekend

^ works in progress!

We also got some sun by the pool Saturday and went hiking Sunday where I broke in my new hiking shoes!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Groom's Last Pre-Wedding Haircut

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that for the last nine and a half months, the thought of Dan's pre-wedding haircut caused me a great deal of anxiety. I mean, this is probably the most important haircut of his life. One bad haircut for a guy is not a big deal most of the time, 3-4 weeks and it's completely grown out. (And Dan has had a couple of bad haircuts since I've known him). But this haircut, if it was too short, or crooked, or too whatever... it would be forever preserved in our wedding pictures!

So, I've noticed that Dan has adopted a practice of increased tolerance for any neuroticism I might exhibit within a month of the wedding (I suspect based on the advice of a few married men). So he was very sweet and compliant when I asked him to get his hair cut this week, as opposed to any later (because you don't want your hair to look like you JUST got a haircut on the wedding day!), and this morning on the phone he told me he'd made his appointment for this evening asked me EXACTLY how I wanted it. I'm sure the flies on the wall were laughing hysterically at the word exchange. Anyway, I had so much anxiety about the whole thing that he lovingly just asked if I would like to come along... so I did.
Turns out (as could have been suspected) I had nothing to worry about. Brett at Mood Swings in Tempe gave Dan a fabulous haircut, and was super understanding and cool about me being there, he even came and talked to me as Dan lay with a hot towel around his face, and told me exactly what he was going to do and how it would grow out for the next two weeks. I felt like I was talking to a doctor who was about to operate on my child, explaining to me how the procedure would go. Kudos to Brett for his patience and humor in the whole situation. Don't worry, I didn't supervise... I was doing things on my phone most of the time I was there... or whatever I need to say to make myself feel better about the whole thing after-the-fact... neurotic. I know.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Justin was shocked not only to learn that Dan was going to "the inspection" with me this morning, but even more so when Dan asked him if he'd like to come along to see. He didn't realize Dan was talking about the house, and thought for some reason that the "inspection" had something to do with our NFP preparation classes, like a two-week girlie preflight check something. Funny story.

We did have an inspection this morning, of the house that is. It went well, and it was so fun to measure all the rooms and make lists of all the things we want to do to the house if it becomes our own. And we did have NFP class tonight, but there was no "inspection" involved. Just the last bits of data and follow up information.

Daniel and I went to Marshalls tonight before NFP class and inspected about 20 difference pieces of luggage. We are thinking about investing in some before we pack for our honeymoon this weekend, but decided to hold off and sleep on it. You would not believe the smoking deals Marshalls has on luggage! And everything else! Now I know why Daniel goes there about three times a week.

We both vowed to get a good night's sleep tonight in preparation for a productive and wedding-centric weekend starting tomorrow after work. Team Dan and Julie is in crunch time! So I'd better get to bed :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

houses and hiccups

Our wedding to-do list is a little overwhelming and this coming weekend is the last free weekend to get stuff done so I am going to pack a lot into these two days. I'm trying to stay organized in my brain but some of it is turning to mush and I'm having to rely on written checklists and my mother and wedding planner to remind me things. I'm pretty excited to pack for the honeymoon.

Tomorrow morning first thing is the inspection at the new house, which is super exciting. We usually drive by the house once every couple weeks or so just to see it, and last night Dan and I went for a walk in the neighborhood and we walked through the park next door to the house, and down the street that the house is on, but I haven't been inside the house itself since early December when we made the offer. Tomorrow it will be great to be in there with the mindset that it's actually going to be our house (hooray!) instead of just this random house that we wanted to buy. I'll be bringing my measuring tape and my camera! There's a slight chance we will be closing escrow two days before the wedding... which is insane... but kind of awesome. Someone once told me that I have a chaos addiction.

I typically get the hiccups about once a day, but today I had the hiccups five times. The really debilitating violent kind where you don't even want to breathe because if a hiccup catches you mid-exhale, it's twice as loud. One time today I hiccuped mid-cough and I actually got dizzy and lost my balance for a second. That pretty much sums up my day in a metaphor. (I don't really even know what that means but it sounded profound.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Madness

This fine Tuesday marks the beginning of our wedding month!!!  I can't believe it's finally March... the countdown, the one that used to be ten months, then was seven months, then was sixty days... is in the TEENS!

The Bach- Parties

This past weekend was our bach/bach-ette parties. Oh what a time we had!

 The guys went to Las Vegas (buffets, go-carts, and dancing), and us girls got together in Gilbert (sushi, scavenger hunt, and general silliness) and crashed at Dan and Justin's house!

Beyond all the silly fun and peer bonding with our best buds, when Dan got home from Vegas Sunday night and we caught up about our weekends, both of us reported feeling an overwhelming symbolism to the events of the night before. I never before realized what a rite of passage the bachelor/bachelorette party can be. And with the timing for us being three weeks until the wedding, it seems to have kicked off the official "go time" of wedding preparations!

Wedding Planning Continues...

Dan was over last night with me and my parents after volleyball practice and we started the task that I've been told by every single person in the wedding industry is the toughest of all of the tasks... piecing together the table assignments for our seating chart. We've got a pretty good start but nothing set in stone yet.

In other "projects"... my mom dug up the goblets that she and my dad used at their wedding 35 years ago!! Each of them has engraved on it John or Cristy and their wedding date. Dan and I are going to drink out of these at our wedding too and my mom is going to add our names and wedding date to the engraved part, how cool is that! The "project" part? Polishing off the tarnish (see below before/after picture)... thanks Mom for putting in so much elbow grease!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

back away from the Girl Scout cookies

The modern version of tying a string around your finger, my iPhone background:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

this and that: Valentines and More Wedding Planning

Dan and I had a lovely first valentines day together. I have historically been pretty disenchanted with the whole valentines day thing, and I still insist that flowers not be purchased at inflated February prices on my behalf. But this year wasn't so blase'. It almost felt as though we were an old couple sharing an anniversary... lots of love in the room, but nothing to prove. We had a ordinary car ride (he picked me up from work) followed by an ordinary volleyball practice and then we shared some ordinary chinese take-out and then some ordinary hang-out time at his house. But all these ordinary things felt extraordinarily romantic because we were feeling special about it being our first valentines day. I guess it's all in your mindset.

Tonight I just had a nice little quiet evening with my mom where we went over the wedding stuff to-do list and invitee list over delicious tuna melts (which I prepared all by myself, thank you very much those of you out there who think I don't know how to cook anything).

I was mortified tonight when I went to check our registry and found that several larger items we had registered for, which were on sale when we registered for them, are now back to full price. Three hundred dollars for a pillow?? how did I miss that... I guess Macy's was having a giant sale the weekend we registered, bummer I really liked that suitcase at the clearance price... Anyhow, I was able to find comparable items for cheaper on Amazon. Gotta love internet registries.

My parents both have been dreadfully sick this past week, I've never seen my dad miserable like that. But today my dad was back and work and my mom doesn't sound as much like a frog, so I'm feeling like everything is right in the world of Cole house. On this fine Tuesday, we are 32 days out from the wedding, and I am feeling surprisingly... serene. Still lots to do but it will all get done. No word on the house yet but I was already (somewhat) mentally prepared for that. Still crossing our fingers for a contract this week so we can get the keys before the wedding!

Monday, February 14, 2011

for my valentine

These are things I love about Dan.
I’m no poet but I love my man.
How to share it was making me fret,
So I decided to use my alphabet…

The way that he truly believes in Affirmation. I know this will be a wind that carries us
some times when our wings get tired. He really loves to build others up. • How well he
knows his Bible stories. • The way that all Clothes look good on him. I love his style. I
also love how he helps me with my style. • I fall in love with him one hundred fold every
time he Dances. With me or alone, fast or slow, the way he moves exudes freedom and
confidence and expression that makes me want to be a part of it. • He has so much
Energy for life and activity. • He loves Food. He has a passion for food, eating it,
preparing it, and hopefully some day we will grow food together in a Garden of our
own. • The way that he gives Hugs, not only to me, but to everyone. He really has the
most tender embrace I’ve ever experienced, and he has plenty to go around. • All things
are Interesting to him. He’s fascinated with the way things work and why things are. •
He loves Julie. • I thought I could say kisses, but to not be unoriginal, I choose Dan’s
Knowledge for the letter K. He is so full of information and constantly impresses me.
One of the things I remember most about our first date is how stimulating the
conversation was. • He has the greatest Laugh. From the little smirk chuckle to the belly-
out mouth-open infectious explosion of “ha’s” that everybody knows so well. • Man oh
man you’re my best friend. I have this lyric stuck in my head often throughout the days.
He loves music (another M of course). • He’s genuinely Nice all the time. • He is an
eternal Optimist. His cup is always half full and he perpetuates this perspective. • He
Paints, and every one of his paintings are an expression of him at the point in his life
that he painted it. I love to secretly watch him paint in his garage, with earbuds in his
ears, turning a piece of wood into a depiction of life, wearing his dirty jeans and a slightly
sweaty t-shirt. • His Quirks. All of them, I love. • He gives Really really really really
really amazing foot rubs. • His Scent. After he shaves, with two or zero sprays of
cologne, after he plays golf or goes for a bike ride, I love the way that he smells. • Dan is
incredible to Talk to. He is gentle and smart and reflective and caring and really knows
how to listen and to contribute to meaningful dialogue. • He is Understanding of
others with a rare type of compassion. • He is my Voice of reason in times of
irrationality. • Dan’s Worldview is different from mine and he challenges me to explore
new things, new ideas. • He knows a lot of scrabble words, even odd ones that use the
letter X. • He will always be Young at heart and is amazing with kids. • His Zeal for life.

I love you Dan.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

little triumphs

Yesterday our volleyball team won not one, but TWO matches, the first victories of the season. Not only did they win though, they had lots of little triumphs... several girls got their first serves over, and things we've been working on in practice are translating to what they do in games.

And, follow up to my frustration episode with the whiffle ball bat... we are one step closer to getting the house. Please cross your fingers for us that interest rates hold down.

More in little triumphs, we (finally) decided our first dance song!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Memory Story: trying to buy a house.

A short narrative from special guest blogger Dan Griffin:

On most Wednesdays Julie and I come from volleyball and Justin from class to convene for dinner at the Coles' house. It is becoming somewhat of a tradition.  "Wednesday Dinner".

So there I am with Justin in the kitchen talking to Julie's mom, Cristy. Enters Julie, carrying a plastic bat, with a not-joking look on her face.  She proceeds through the kitchen to the back door. 

"I'm just going to blow off some steam". 

 Cristy turns to me and mouths the words "what happened? something at practice or on the way here?" 

 Back door shuts. I clarify, "No, this is about the bank. She's mad at the bank, and the situation with the house." 

She turns the corner and we can't see her anymore through the window. 

Then we hear the banging. 

 Me, Justin and my future mother-in-law. It's really quite comical, and surreal, as my fiancee takes the opportunity to let it all out on the back yard. We are talking about it and laughing and then I say sh sh sh because the banging stops and I think Julie is coming back inside. 

 Nope, more banging, some frustrated grunting. 

 Justin, intrigued, "does she do this often?" Cristy, contemplatively "no this is the first time she's ever done this." I stand up for her "She's got a lot of stress in her life right now. She's getting married. She's got two jobs. Lives in her parents basement..." 

Then Julie whirls back into the house, hair all over face... kind of embarrassed. Smiles. Trying to play it off like she DIDN'T just take a whiffleball bat to the entire back yard. She silently walks back through the kitchen and puts the bat away in the garage, returns to the kitchen where we all stand, watching, silently, waiting... No one talks about it. The only concrete evidence is the tuft of hair hanging down in front of her face.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Dan and I went down to the superior courthouse today where we applied for and obtained our marriage license. First we had to sign a statement swearing four things: 1. Our addresses; 2. Our ages; 3. That Dan and I are not related; 4. That we are aware of educational literature that Maricopa County provides about STDs. (...?) Then we wrote a check for ninety-eight bucks. Now we're allowed to get married. The paper has a gold seal on it with Abe Lincoln's profile. Dan was excited about the Abe depiction. This spawned a very brief conversation about the real motives behind the civil war as we walked back to our cars. The weather was beautiful.

Tonight we celebrated having newly obtained our marriage license with a luxurious dinner at the finest eating establishment known to man (Outback Steakhouse).

More in wedding planning, we registered for sheets.

Thirty nine days to go!

Monday, February 7, 2011

forty day countdown theme song

Girl, To Be With You Is My Favorite Thing Uh Huh. And I Can't Wait Til I See You Again Yeah Yeah. I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes. Just To Boogie With You, Yeah. I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes Just To Boogie With You, Uh Huh. I Want To Do It 'til The Sun Comes Up, Uh Huh, And I Want To Do It 'til I Can't Get Enough, Yeah, Yeah. I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes. Just To Boogie With You, Yeah. I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes. Just To Boogie With You Uh Huh, Yeah Yeah. I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes.
Just To Boogie, With You, Yeah. I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes. Just To Boogie With You, Yeah.
(greatest dance song ever?)

Friday, January 21, 2011

the festivities have begun...

Long time no blog! I wish this thing had a mobile application so that I could blog from my iPhone as things are happening... but alas, I sit down at my computer to update the world on our wedding and marriage preparation activities now that we are eight weeks out!

This month we started NFP practice, which means I am now actively "charting"... some of you know what that means. What an amazing thing to be so aware of what your body is doing all the time. I have yet to figure out the best way to take my temperature without fully awakening my body and throwing off my basal temperature, but I am slowly getting used to stabbing the underside of my tongue with a metal probe first thing when I wake up.

Last Saturday I had my hair and makeup trial at Zolton's Salon in Scottsdale. I'm taking this opportunity to put out a shameless plug for my hair stylist Kerry M., and Jamie from Arizona Makeup Professionals ( For something as huge as my hair and makeup, they did a wonderful job not only on creating my "look" but also at pacifying any anxiety I may have had going into it. (I had been having nightmares about a hair and makeup crisis on the wedding day, some of them very vivid and very hilarious). Now I am so excited and have no more fear about what will go on the morning of the wedding.

Dan and I had a nice double date with my parents this past Tuesday night for our "tasting" at the Scottsdale resort. What a fun time! They wined and dined us like we were royalty and we got to taste all the menu selections we are considering for the wedding. The best part was at the end, the head chef Frank who is going to be overseeing our dinner came out to meet us and he was just delightful! My only disappointment was that there was no cake tasting at the end, but I misunderstood the planning and later learned that we get to go back in a month for a completely separate cake tasting! Yippee! I will probably eat all the cakes and Dan will probably make lots of jokes about being the cake boss.

They made littlematchbooks as a garnish for our table, which say Cole & Griffin. Such a nice touch!

Yesterday was my first fitting in my wedding dress. It was far from painless... while the bodice fit me perfectly, the craftmanship of the actual skirt part was subpar (I think it was made on a Monday!) and it was crooked and too short! It was a little frustrating but they are going to completely rebuild the skirt, and we have plenty of time before the wedding, so all is well. It was amazing to see the dress that was made for me and put it on for the first time.

My mom and our dear friend Cindy have been cooking all week for a bridal shower luncheon that my dear aunties and cousins are hosting tomorrow for me. I am so excited! I feel so honored and blessed that these amazing women are putting in so much work and thought cooking and preparing and planning.

People keep asking me if everything is all set for the wedding... and I just laugh and tell them that we've still got a two page (size ten font) To-Do list that we are slowly tending to. But it's all happening! 57 days to go!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

[no click]

[nothing to see here... this is where I host some images... bush league, I know.]


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