Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy (early) new year!

2010-10-17-E&J_224It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so just popping in quickly to say that 2010 turned out to be a pretty good year (with some great surprises along the way, i.e. unexpected job satisfaction, the occasion for the photo at right), and I’m hoping 2011 will be even better. There’ll be the Big Event in July, of course, but there are other great or at least big things to look forward to: getting to know a friend’s new baby, supporting another friend as she introduces her boyfriend to her parents and gets engaged, and perhaps some career changes next year as well.

I’m a little apprehensive about creating a detailed list of the things I expect to happen in the next year just in case they don’t happen or the year sucks or something, so I’ll leave with a snapshot of the good things happening right now: there’s a mug of ice cream in my belly, a glass of mulled mead is waiting for me to take a typing break, and I’m surrounded by some of my best and oldest friends as we celebrate the new year together. Good times.

Happy 2011!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year

Ah, December—the festive time when I come down with a voice-stealing cold just in time for a string of choir concerts; the magical days when I somehow squeeze Christmas presents, travel expenses, charity giving and the occasional treat for myself out of one paycheck; the joyous weekends when I ask my fellow drivers to please GET OUT OF THE WAY so I can finish my shopping and make it home before the snow starts and the roads become undriveable until Puget Sound’s three snowplow operators remember how their vehicles work and start sloooooowly clearing the highways. Isn’t this time of year *great*?

Annoyances aside, though, I really do like the holidays. I like that my office makes up for a lack of party budget by throwing a potluck white-elephant gift swap (even though I’ve yet to enjoy the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader audiobook[!] that I “won” last year), I love having an excuse to bake Christmas-colored cookies, and I enjoy figuring out which decorations I can put up that our cats won’t eat or otherwise destroy. (I learned to be careful when I returned after the holiday to find that Sabrina had batted every single ornament down from the tree. I was still finding them under furniture when I moved out of that apartment last summer.) The Boy’s workgroup is having a crazy-go-nuts holiday party tomorrow, and I’m so excited to break out my awesome (but not wearable at any other time of year) bright red plaid skirt that looks exactly like a wool blanket we had when I was a kid.

This time of year also brings back memories of Christmases past—buying what is to this day my favorite holiday album (Ren & Stimpy’s Crock o’ Christmas, featuring the classics “Cat Hairballs” and “The Twelve Days of Yaksmas”), playing “Carol of the Bells” in a handbell quartet on Christmas Eve on a couple of hours of rehearsal and very little sleep since I’d just flown back to LA after finals, wearing my most festive holiday headgear while singing (croaking…I was usually sick, remember) in the Yale Glee Club concerts, singing nearly every women’s part in my high school’s and college’s respective traditional holiday concert closing songs, stumbling across “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and/or “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on TV…yes, good times.

And then the rest of me realizes that it is only December *2nd* and it is very likely I will burn out on Christmas music by the 25th if I start listening to it now, so I’ll go concentrate on getting my voice back by Saturday’s concert. And also decide whether to wear my red plaid skirt to work tomorrow, or change into it closer to party time. Tough call.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dresses, obelisks and cake

I bought my dress!! I took a couple of mirror pictures with a sleeve option semi-attached (I need to decide by the March fitting whether I’m having them add sleeves or making my own shrug), but I will resist temptation to post them here. It’s a great dress, though, and now I just need cute but comfortable (and ideally blue) shoes to go with it. (I should also get these arms in shape. Yikes.)

I went to DC! The Boy and I spent Thanksgiving with his family in northern Virginia (also joined by my mom, so the families have finally officially met), and since my mom had never been to DC before we did some sightseeing. No captions on these photos yet, but here’s an idea of what we saw:

I made a cake! This has nothing to do with anything except that I baked and iced a cake for Thanksgiving dessert and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Boy and I tend to get our birthday cakes from the local Chinese bakery, and they’re beautiful and light and delicious but I’m thinking of trying to recreate them at home for the next occasion. Just what I need seven months before a wedding—a new reason to bake Smile

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Test post from Windows Live Writer

Let’s see how posting from this desktop app works. Do the fonts translate correctly? Ooh, and let’s also check out the photo options:Introducing The Boy to SML on our quick trip to CT in October

Text wrapping and the ability to actually choose a font and have my choice stick? Check. (Blogger and I have this feud every time I try to write a post.)

Interesting formatting options (or at least more interesting options than Blogger offers, namely “small,” “medium,” and “large”)? Check.

Odd formatting quirks, for example making the photo disappear when I perhaps got a little too excited with the “click and drag” feature (very difficult in Blogger’s web app, by the way)? …well, yes, but I’m willing to accept some of the blame here.

Quirks aside, I’m liking this blogging experience quite a bit. Sure, the future is in the web or “the cloud” or whatever, but if “the cloud” wants to give me a free download of excellent blogging software, I’m not going to complain. I can even select from a handy list of previously-used content tags, which the app automatically imported when it pulled in all of my blog settings. Well done, WLE team. I approve. (And sorry, Mac users—looks like you have to have some form of Windows installed to use this stuff. I’m sure you guys have some magic, pre-installed blogging software that runs on unicorn tears anyway Sarcastic smile)

Look at me, trying out relatively new technology and liking it. Go me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Off-topic: help me add this widget?

If anyone reading is more schooled than I in making Blogger templates and rogue HTML play well together, can you help me add the widget below (from to my blog template? I can't figure out a way to add it as an official widget, and I'm a little too green on HTML to try dropping the code into the template itself. Help!

Wedding Countdown Ticker

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Things are coming together

Trying to keep this on the short side, as it's been a while since I've posted and this could easily turn into a minute-by-minute recap of the past few weeks. I will not let this post get out of hand. Pinky swear.

Life update: I had a birthday (sigh...I mean, it's great that I keep having them; I just haven't gotten used to the fact that the darn number keeps getting higher). Our Brady Bunch of cats continues to not like each other very much, but blood has yet to be shed. Work continues as always, but I'm working on a sizeable project and solidifying some long-term goals. Christmas knitting has begun a bit later than it really should have, but I think I'm in good shape to have all projects completed by their respective gift-giving opportunities. (Whether they will be wrapped is another question.) I have an awesome new phone that doesn't make me want to throw it at the wall every time I interact with it. It has apps and everything!

Wedding update: We took engagement photos with our awesome (and awesomely-priced) photographer, and they came out really well. I had my third bridal store expedition last weekend and came away with two dress finalists, and after ruminating for a few days I think I've settled on one. It's one of the store's most popular dresses, but it's beautiful and it makes me look skinny and as long as I don't see it in a wedding between now and next July I think I'll be fine. I'm not even concerned about the copycat-ness of wearing the same dress as a friend; I'm more worried that the friend will come down the aisle and I'll turn to The Boy and say "hey, that's my dress!" before I can stop myself, and then the wedding day surprise will be spoiled. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Next up:

Time to figure out the bridesmaid dresses. I'm having what could be described as an existential crisis about dress colors (do they wear the very bright color that I like on paper but find a little overpowering in person, or do they wear a less-vibrant but still coordinating color and possibly make for unexciting photos?), but I'm heading back to the bridal store this weekend to spend some quality time with the color options. I hope to come away with either a single color (everyone picks their favorite style) or a collection of shades, so everyone can start making appointments to try things on a their local stores and lock things down in the next few weeks. There's technically plenty of time--it could probably wait until January--but the sooner I can stop worrying about this task, the better.

This post isn't too long, but it's threatening to get there and I can tell how boring it is, so let's run through the other open questions quickly: finalizing a design for the Save the Dates and getting them out the door before Christmas, staying sane/rested during choir concert season (which kicks off tomorrow), looking for flight deals for our Christmas/New Year's travel expedition (two weeks, three states, very few vacation days), wishing my right shoulder would just unknot itself already.

There. That should cover it. If you've made it this far, I'll reward you with a photo that may or may not show up in a later wedding-related communication:

Edited to add: and IE 9 beta do not play together well. I've tried to fix what I can, but apologies for formatting weirdness.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The search continues

...well, shoot.

Re: my previous post about wanting clean, simple dresses that my mom thought were boring? Well, I had one particular designer in mind when I wrote that. I'd wanted to go try on a few of his (simple, straightforward, wedding dresses go) dresses when I'm in southern CA at the end of October (no showrooms in Seattle, but one near LA), but my mom checked out a few designs and strongly suggested we go check out "fancier" dresses at a different store. I grumbled--I grumbled here on the blog--but then I took advantage of the company's shipping program to have my favorite dress (see previous link) and another, slightly sparklier one sent to me at home so I could try on samples. And you know what? My mom was right. I hate when that happens.

The lighting's not great and the mirror needs cleaning, but for the most part what you see is what you get. The first dress made me feel dumpy; the second one was a bit more exciting but the only sample they had available was a size too big. (If you're looking for my other hand, it's clutching the back of the dress so the bustline doesn't gap too much in the photo.) Conclusions from this little adventure: I definitely need something more exciting happening on my dress--even with a bright-colored sash, #1 would be boring, and the jeweled empire waist on #2 helps but still isn't enough to be interesting. I know that some of the issues I had with the fabric come from these dresses being used as samples (what you don't see in the photos: fabric filled with snags, small rips, and makeup stains from past tryers-on), but compared to the more structured dresses I tried on a few weeks ago at David's Bridal these just felt flimsy. I'm sure they'd be great for naturally skinny women with little to hide, but I've seen my stomach and it needs structure. And shinier fabric. (That last part isn't required; I just think I'll like it more.)

So know we know: I'm ready for fancier. I'm ready for sparklier. I may even be ready for a few sequins. (I may still consider some other designs from this company for bridesmaid dresses.) I'm not thrilled that the style I thought I'd love didn't work out--this means I still have lots of trying-on ahead of me, oh joy--but it doesn't feel as overwhelming if I think of it as having crossed a whole genre of dresses off the list. Boring is out! Bring on the shiny!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where does the time go?

Not much new progress to report on the wedding planning, but we have a meeting with the wedding coordinator this afternoon so I expect her to get us thinking more seriously about the little details that I've been avoiding. And, well, I guess by "not much new progress" I mean we haven't chosen (or seriously considered) any new vendors since picking our photographer a couple of weeks ago, but I suppose we've talked some about colors. I like cobalt blue and a nice heather/charcoal gray, and The Boy recommends adding a brighter third color so maybe yellow? We need to go to a hardware store and hash this out in the paint chip aisle, but at least we've started talking about it.

I'm also trying to nail down times to try on dresses--I keep forgetting to call J. Crew for an appointment in late October (the first time the local bridesmaids and I will be in the same city and not otherwise occupied), and I'll probably try to squeeze in a David's Bridal appointment for the same day. I may visit another DB the prior weekend when I'll be in southern California (it'd be nice to try on at least one dress in front of my mom), and I'm taking advantage of a small designer's try-on program to test out a couple of dresses next week. (Short version: the designer doesn't have showrooms in Seattle, but I love one of his [inexpensive!] dresses and for $15 they'll send you the dress to try on at home.) This is probably both my most and least favorite part of planning so far--the dresses are pretty and they're built to make me look good so I'm not anticipating body-image issues, but I already hate making decisions and this seems to be the biggest, most impactful decision I'll make for a while. I've got my mom telling me that the simple, clean dresses I'm drawn to aren't "special" or "stunning" enough for my wedding day (it seems the guests spend money coming to the wedding for a show, and if I don't look extra-special then it'll be a letdown), and all of the websites and catalogs and magazines are pushing sparkly dresses that don't speak to me at all but seem to be the standard for weddings. I realize that this is our party and I'm paying for this dress so the final decision is mine, but I don't want to choose something disappointing, and I'm terrified that the dress I love now will look boring in our photos. But anyway, all of this is to say that I think I have a good idea of what I want, but if there's a chance that I'll fall in love with something sparkly then I will go try on some damn sequins.

That was an unexpected rant. Quickly finding something good to report: work, I got to hold a baby (still not interested in having any just yet, but boy do I like holding them), lots of traveling and fun times have been had these past couple of weeks, and this morning I made a lot of arrangements for the next couple of trips. And then I'll have a birthday and then Thanksgiving (more travel) and Christmas/New Year's (*two* desinations for that one! I apparently *heart* the airline industry) and then it'll be 2011 and the wedding will be just around the corner! Yikes!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A sea of pink

Things are kind of slowly starting to come together! All of the grown-up attendants have been confirmed, the parents of one flower girl have signed off (and I'll work on the second when I have some time at night to send her mom an overdue email), and my stack of bridal/wedding magazines continues to grow. We're getting married!

I've been too preoccupied by moving out of my apartment to focus on wedding planning the past couple of weeks, but now that the vast majority of my stuff is in the new house (if not unpacked) I'm getting back into planning mode. We spent about an hour at a wedding expo on Sunday (this was apparently the mini-expo--the "real" one in January takes over the entire Convention Center and I hope to be mostly done with planning by then or else my head will explode from all of the choices) and came away with a stack of brochures, postcards, and even more magazines. Our primary goal was to pull together a list of potential vendors and then spend the next few weeks researching our options, but when we compared notes that night we realized that we'd found our photographer!

His was one of the first tables we visited, which normally would be a reason not to book him immediately, but none of the other photographers we met there matched his enthusiasm and he just seemed like a really great person to work with. (The advice we got from the venue coordinator is to choose someone who clicks with you, and this guy definitely did.) His portfolio is solid, his online reviews are stellar (best of The Knot 2010), and it didn't hurt that a hefty "you visited my booth" discount brought his price way under anything else we've seen online or in person. He does the standard formal photos (bride's hands holding flowers, couple smiling at each other, flower girls looking cute, etc.), but what sold me were the party photos. He finds people at their happiest and makes them look good (as opposed to red/sweaty/drunk, all of which they probably are), and those are the memories I want.

Anyway, we've tentatively booked him over email (contract to be mailed and signed in the next week or so), and it feels really good to have one big item checked off the list. The next big hurdle is going to be the dress, and I have a couple of dates penciled in (David's Bridal and J. Crew with local bridesmaids, possibly an LA-based studio with my mom when I'm there in October) but I'm still trying to psych myself up for this search. I already don't like making decisions, and according to our venue coordinator the dress style will set the tone for pretty much everything. Pressure, much?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy belated to me

I wasn't planning to do a workiversary (work + anniversary. I made up the word, but the concept is big here) post this year since I've been feeling less than cheery about my livelihood lately, but today's annual performance review changed my mind a bit. It turns out that the people I work with--the ones whose projects I help make happen, whose problems become my problems, whose prose and spelling I constantly correct to make things customer-ready--actually do value me! In an official (involving money) way, even! The money part's not the point (I'll take it, but unless I win the lottery I'm not paying off my student loans anytime soon); it's that my record now shows that folks at this company think I'm doing a good job and expect me to continue doing well. To someone who thrives a bit more than is probably healthy on the appreciation/approval of others, this is a big deal and has been the cause of much smiling this afternoon.

I don't love what I do every day any more than I did before, and I still want to take my career in a different (but perhaps related) area someday...but man, it's nice to know that the time I spend here isn't a waste of time. Phew.

I'm celebrating tonight with a trip to the gym (where I'll listen to my new favorite podcast), followed by Korean barbecue and catching up on new episodes of my favorite web series, then going to sleep early. Me = lucky, lucky girl.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Oh, those summer nights

Who am I kidding? Seattle's summer nights are pretty much like nights during the rest of the year--considerably colder than the daytime, and either foggy or downright rainy. Today's high was low 60s and it rained this morning. August here is very confusing.

But I *did* do a lot of fun things this summer, and lacking the motivation to write a more involved post, I'm just going to drop in some photos of highlights from the past couple of months.

This actually happened a few months ago, but dude! It's Mario Batali! Signing a book from which we have since cooked!

We joined some friends to go clamming in early July. It was cold and muddy and my quads hurt for days from all the squatting, but the clam chowder we made that night was AMAZING.

Lots and lots (and lots) of lavender at the Sequim Lavender Festival. Fun girls' weekend with two future bridesmaids.

Traditional group shot from this year's awesomely awesome amusement park trip. (This is the Alamo, not some incredibly authentic-looking olden days roller coaster.) Lots of future wedding participants in this photo. And finally...

This is where we're getting married next summer. Behind us is the main clubhouse that I'll walk out of and down the stairs, and the little stage area is where the ceremony takes place. (The plywood in the background is early construction on one of the stages for the yearly golf tournament, but the coordinator assures us that our wedding date will most likely fall before any visible construction.)

And I suppose a quick life update: thanks to a small crew of surprisingly strong movers, the vast majority of my remaining stuff (after an embarrassing number of trips to Goodwill) is now cohabitating with the fiance! I'm writing this from my new office with one kitty asleep in the chair next to me and The Boy computing in his own office about twenty feet away. The new place is many miles removed from my old apartment (and work, and downtown Seattle, and most of the places I normally go), but it's huge (distant suburbs = more for the money) and I'll get used to the distance and we're happy to be together full-time, even if our respective cats have yet to fully embrace each other. I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back in the habit

I was doing so well about posting regularly, but then I went on vacation and lost steam. Whoops!

No pictures yet available of said (awesomely awesome) vacation, or even of the place where we are officially getting married on July 17, 2011(!), but I'll upload them soon and probably do another photo-filled post. (Mid-packing means that camera and USB cable are rarely in the same house, and when they are I'm too tired to use them.)

It's the beginning of what promises to be a busy work (and life) week, so rather than launch into a full-fledged discussion of life stuff, I'll do a quick list of what's on my mind:
  • Moving. Sucks. The outcome will be wonderful--streamlined stuff! living with my fiance!--but I've never been a fan of sorting through clutter (which is how I accumulated so much in the first place) and the weather isn't cooperating. I'm glad the Pacific northwest remembered that it's summer, but packing in an un-air-conditioned 5th floor apartment when it's 90+ degrees outside is a bit much.
  • Third workiversary!...Yeah, so I hit the three-year mark while on vacation, and I thought briefly about doing a milestone post but then decided it wouldn't be much fun for anyone. I still love this company and I believe in its mission and products, but I'm much less enthusiastic about what I do every day than I was last year (or two years ago, and certainly three years ago) and I'm feeling stalled/stuck in a role I wasn't actually hired to do and losing the passion I need to convince the people who matter that I'm capable of something different. I could do a whole series of posts on this, but I won't.
  • Holy crap we're getting married! Last Thursday I chatted with a friend who's planning a wedding for the week after ours next summer, and they've already picked their colors and are arguing about invitation styles. Um...The Boy and I like blue? We'll swing by the local wedding expo in a couple of weeks, but after the rush to find a venue and lock down a (hopefully) sunny date, I was looking forward to chilling on the planning for a few weeks. I hate feeling like I've fallen behind. Sigh.

Anyway, time to get to work. Photos of my recent travels are forthcoming...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So close!

The coordinator checked her email earlier than expected, and we have verbal confirmation! We're waiting until money changes hands (or at least when arrangements have been made for money to change hands) before we announce for sure, but it looks like The Boy is getting a wedding for his birthday...

Home stretch, maybe?

After a ton of math and rationalization, we called a venue and told them we were ready to put down a deposit. The coordinator won't be back in the office until Wednesday, though, so we won't know until then if our chosen date is still open. Now we wait...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Did you ever have to make up your mind?

This'll have to be quick since I'm supposed to be, like, working and stuff. We just had the third of three (scheduled) visits, and...crap.

After being totally floored by The View on Saturday, I figured today's venue (The Garden) would be a token visit to confirm that we'd already found the best venue, but no, not so much. The Garden has many good things going for it--beautiful garden with blooming flowers, relatively low rental rates, a whole house at our disposal for preparing and lounging--and nothing we saw was clearly better or worse than The View; it was just...different. Where The View was all about elegance and service and well-manicured lawns (it is on a golf course), The Garden has simple beauty (rustic yet clean!), flexibility (choose from eight caterers!), and flowers for days. The Boy is going to crunch the numbers on this one tonight since we didn't get a full estimate, and if the cost difference is substantial (even including a hefty catering estimate and the potential stress of doing all the planning ourselves) then we might have a winner.

Now, if the costs work out to about the same (unlikely, but possible), we'll have a different question on our hands. Do I want pampered elegance (the Sunday wedding package at The View is literally called "Pampered Bride") or DIY? I was kind of looking forward to letting my crafty side out to make decorations, place cards, centerpieces, etc., but now I'm worried that they'll look shabby at the swanky place, whereas they would probably look great in a colorful garden setting. To what extent should the surroundings reflect our personalities, and at the same time how much do the surroundings say about who we are? And how much does it matter if the venue is swanky, even if we as people aren't?

Anyway, I'm hoping that a lot of these questions will answer themselves soon--either there'll be a clear winner on costs, or the magical July date at The View (the only one that doesn't conflict with a major golf tournament) will disappear. I know we'll be happy with whatever we choose, but this part is so frustrating...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Coming down the home stretch?

I don't want to use any absolutes yet, just in case something goes wrong or we change our minds entirely, but the place we saw yesterday? SO nice. So very, very nice. We are thisclose to pulling the trigger (especially since there are only 3 dates left next summer--yikes!--one of which will likely be in the height of Seattle's summer), but we're seeing one more place tomorrow and I'm waiting for another place to return my call to schedule another visit.

So, yesterday's venue: Beautiful. Just...beautiful. I call this one "The View," and even though it was too foggy during our visit to actually see the view, the grounds were beautiful. It cost...well, about as much as any other similar place around here, but the estimated cost includes food, drinks, all of the tables and chairs we'd need plus setup and tear-down, AND--this is the kicker--a wedding coordinator. She gave us a tour yesterday, and as soon as she started describing how she meets with the couple throughout the year to do a floor plan, settle on the menu, make sure all of the details are covered, etc. I was pretty much sold. And there were lots of great-sounding details, too, like she strongly recommends holding the rehearsal dinner at least two nights before the wedding so everyone has a day in between to relax, and there's a whole choreographed procession from the dressing room to the entryway where the mom sees the bride for the first time, out to the lawn where her dad (or, in my case, probably the fiance) sees her for the first time, and the whole thing sounds very emotional and of course is all captured on film. I'm sure she uses this detail to get the bride all misty and imagining her own wedding day in that very location, and it totally worked.

Anyway, The Boy and I are big fans of the all-in-one package, especially since there's a person whose entire job it is to keep track of our planning and help us make decisions. We can handle all of this stuff on our own--I have wedding magazines and offers of help coming out my ears, and I'm so grateful for that--but man does a coordinator sound awesome. And now that I'm getting more comfortable with the magnitude of wedding costs, I'm even willing to go along with his philosophy that it's okay to pay a bit more for peace of mind. Regardless of whether this place works out, though, I think yesterday's visit gave us a really good idea of what we want in a wedding venue. If we don't get this place, we'll at least have something to aim for in subsequent visits. Fingers crossed for a decision soon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

One down, two to go

Well, "two" is a bit gracious. I initially scheduled three wedding venue visits within a few days of each other, but if none of these feels right then I've got a whole list of other places to try. The possibilities are awfully close to endless, which thought simultaneously thrills and terrifies me.

But anyway, we saw venue #1 of 3 (...scheduled visits) this afternoon, and it was...well, nice, I guess. If I give our three current options cute little nicknames, this one would be called "Seattle Urban." (The other two are now deemed "The View" and "The Garden.") It's a yacht club on the shores of Lake Union (the lake surrounded by Seattle, as opposed to the lake surrounded by Seattle and its suburbs, and different from the other lake surrounded by Seattle), and while the view of the sun setting over the water was very pleasant, that was pretty much all it had going for it. The room was dark even with the maximum amount of sun streaming through the wall of windows, and even though it was supposed to comfortably hold our projected number of guests, I could just see everyone tripping over each other to get to the buffet, bar, and even smaller patio. Oh, and did I mention that it was located just underneath a highway overpass? The noise wasn't deafening, and there'd likely be less traffic noise during a Sunday afternoon ceremony, but it was another turn-off.

The recommended catering company sounds great (and we may try to hire them for another venue), but it just didn't feel right for the amount of money they were charging for the full package. The Boy and I decided out in the car that this was a pretty definite no, and it feels good to cross an option off of our list but I'm hoping that something feels right soon.

Coming up on Saturday: The View. (Also a friend's wedding shower, a choir barbecue, and another friend's housewarming. Saturday will be busy.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010


That's been my response to pretty much every question I've been asked so far about the wedding. "When is it?" Shrug. "Where is it?" Shrug. "Where's your honeymoon?" Shrug. Lots of shrugging going on. (Also, the word "shrug" has lost all meaning to me from typing it so many times. Shrug shrug shrug. Funny word.)

We have some ideas so far: Summer 2011, ideally late July (when summer officially begins in these parts) or August. Probably on a Sunday to save money. (This may also save the out-of-town guests some money since they can travel on Saturday and Monday. Everybody wins!) Somewhere in the Puget Sound area, ideally close enough to Seattle that the travelers can fly into the major airport and easily transport themselves to a chain hotel that participates in their chosen travel points program. But when exactly and where exactly? Shrug.

(I DO have bridesmaids and the officiant all lined up, though. Priorities!)

But anyway, I was inspired to write this blog post by a different type of shrug. I have...issues with my upper arms, and from what I've seen so far something like 90% of wedding gowns (and 100% of the ones I've seen that I would consider wearing) are sleeveless, if not strapless. This poses a problem with my...issues. (Long story short: fast weight gain as a kid + dark skin = scars that no amount of weight loss or tanning will remove. If I could go back and tell 8-year-old me to put down the milkshake, I totally would.) So barring a major personality change which renders me totally at peace with my body's quirks, I will be in the market for a short-sleeved sweater-type-thing. In other words, a shrug.

So, thought #1: I'm going to look for a shrug to wear with my dress, ideally in a color complementing the color scheme (what's the color scheme? shrug) and lightweight enough that I won't overheat during the (hopefully outdoor) ceremony or while dancing at the reception. Thought #2: I knit. A lot. (Like, enough that my fiance secretly worked with two of my friends to learn how to knit the pouch in which he presented the ring. Yes, it was as cute as it sounds.) And I can handle fairly intricate projects--heck, I'm working on a semi-complicated lace scarf/wrap right now. So why don't I make my own shrug?

(Note to next-summer self: When I'm awake at 3am the night before the wedding finishing the last few rows, don't curse my just-engaged self too harshly. It honestly sounded like a good idea at the time.)

Here are some ideas I've come across on a cursory search through Ravelry (worth joining if you're at all interested in knitting or crocheting, and possibly my favorite/most dangerous technological discovery since online yarn stores). I don't think in-site links are accessible to non-members, so here are some photos (with apologies to their photographers):

Pretty wavy lace shrug, on a bride no less! I may do shorter sleeves, but I like.

A little more intricate lace here. Again, the sleeves look a bit long, but that can be fixed.

I'm not a huge fan of the lace pattern, but it's a nice length. And this bride looks so happy!

Actual decision to come in a few weeks, although any final decision and yarn-purchasing (ooh, maybe I'll spring for cashmere. You only live once...) should wait until I've done some dress-shopping and, oh, picked the theme colors. But maybe I'll find yarn in the perfect shade of blue that inspires the rest of the color scheme...and now it's clear why no other decisions have been made.

Sigh. Getting there.

Edited to add: If any of the images don't show up, email me. I'm linking directly to image URLs, some of which may require Ravelry membership to view.

Monday, July 5, 2010

This blog just got girly

So...this happened:

We couldn't be happier, and my super-awesome fiance (holy crap, that's the first time I've used the word) is living up to his adjectives by smiling happily through the minor freak-outs I've already had about details, dresses, money, etc. We've set up a shared workspace for wedding-related documents (including a spreadsheet for the guest list--yes, we're nerds), I've built a profile and a bare-bones wedding site on theknot, I bought my first Brides magazine today (along with this month's Cosmopolitan--old habits die hard), and as previously mentioned the (minor) panic attacks have started. I generally don't enjoy uncertainty, decision-making, or massive life changes, so until we put down a deposit on a wedding venue and start throwing darts at the wall to settle details I'm going to be at full freakout mode on all three. (The third will likely wear off just in time for me to get pregnant.)

But as much as the whirlwind of this past weekend scares me, every time I look down (or see my Facebook wall posts, or open my email inbox, or look at my wonderful fiance and our healthy cats, who will hopefully someday get along) I'm reminded that I'm a lucky, lucky girl. This marriage--whenever, wherever, and however it begins--is going to be GREAT.