Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Food, glorious food! Part 1

Sunday marked the magical 6 months until the wedding, so yesterday was the 6 months til we get to Disney World! [Read my previous post about our honeymoon here.] Disney World has the policy that at 180 days prior to your arrival, you can call and make your dining reservations. If you're staying on property, you can do what they call 180+10, where you make the ressies for that day you arrive, plus 10 days thereafter. 

This morning was the 180th magical day until we arrive at the Boardwalk, so I called bright & early at 6 AM, and after being on hold and listening to the peppy Disney music (a great way to start your day, BTW), we got all we wanted!

So now I present to you our amazing dining reservations. Because I know you care, right? :P Let me explain. I have grown up going to Disney World. Part of that experience for me is the food. If you've been, you know what I'm talking about. WDW really has some world class restaurants (Victoria & Albert's, for instance), but they also have some really fun and awesomingly themed restaurants as well, as you'll see below.

We arrive Sunday, May 29, and the plan is to hit up Epcot and eat/drink around the world. It's something I've always wanted to do, but silly drinking ages never let me. But now, we'll both definitely be old enough, so we'll walk between the countries such as Italy, Morocco, Canada, Germany, France, Norway, China, and Japan, sampling all the great food & beverages. Who can say they did that the first day of their honeymoon?

France-- Source
World Showcase-- Source
 Then the next day, on Monday, we will have lunch at Restaurant Marrakesh, the Moroccan restaurant at Epcot. Complete with belly dancers.
 For Tuesday, we are planning on eating at one of my favorite restaurants-- Sci-Fi Drive In. It's located in Hollywood Studios and the theming is such that you feel you are in the middle of a 1950s-era drive-in movie theatre. My parents can even attest that the previews they show are authentic. (Hi Mom & Dad! I love you!). In addition, their milkshakes are fantastic.

Back when Matt & I went, March '09
The reservation for the next day has us eating breakfast at the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort. They're known for their amazing Tonga Toast and the Disney-equivalent to the Hawaiian POG juice (pretty much the best thing ever; Passion fruit Orange Guava juice). Matt is a big breakfast eater, so I know he's pretty excited about that.

Om nom nom-- Source
Of course we're only halfway done, but I feel this post is long enough, so you'll have to wait to read about the most exciting meal ever. It's pretty much the one thing (food-related) I've been talking about since we mentioned going to WDW for the honeymoon...

Hmmm... I'm hungry now... I'm craving a mickey waffle, or perhaps a mickey ice cream bar... yum!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Elephant Walk

So yesterday (Tuesday, the 23rd) was the annual Elephant Walk. For all you non-Aggies, it's an A&M tradition that commemorates the seniors. The point is to walk around campus and reminiscence about your amazing A&M memories. Then at the end we're shot dead by the juniors (a part I may or may not have skipped out on...). Once we're shot dead, we can no longer make them push for pulling out... oh, I'm getting too much into Aggie-lingo, my apologies. ;)

Anyway, since it IS called "elephant walk," before it begins, they have elephants you can take pictures with...

Then all of the interested seniors (hundreds of us, BTW) meet up, have a mini-yell practice, and start walking near the 12th Man statue by Kyle Field

 From there, we walk around campus as a huge group, just talking. We stopped at various places, starting at Academic Building

A view of the huge group of us...

Senior yell leaders
We did a couple more yells, then headed to Bonfire Memorial

 Here we sang "Spirit of Aggieland," our school song (not to be confused with our Aggie War Hymn). It was pretty incredible, seeing so many of the seniors, the huge majority of which I didn't know, all in this important and emotional place, singing a cappella ... Definitely one of those things that just make you feel the Aggie spirit.
From there we went to Administration Building, where of course we did more yells and sang our War Hymn.
At this point, Matt & I left because... eh, not sure. But the plans were to go to bonfire with my roommate/bridesmaid Kara, and her boyfriend, but that didn't quite work out. There was a burn ban in the county bonfire was in, and they didn't give approval for them to burn a ginormous pile of lumber in a grassy field. What-do-ya-know? 

But, it is sad I never got to see bonfire burn as a current student. Matt & I just agreed that in the future, we'll take off work/school early to come in for the burn and for the t.u. game. 

As we all know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I'm here at my house and my mom's extended family is here as well. It's a fun bunch, and definitely have tons to be thankful for. 

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with your family & friends! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fightin' Texas Aggies!

Heads up- this post has absolutely nothing to do about weddings or really anything feminine. It's about good football & my beloved Fightin' Texas Aggies. The next week is gonna be pretty Aggie Tradition-laden, because it is the week of the A&M/t.u. game (AKA University of Texas). That also means Bonfire and Elephant Walk. Anyway, on with the post...

Whether you know me in real life or not, you should know I LOVE football, especially Texas A&M Aggie football. My dad taught me the game by watching it on TV with him, and my love for it has increased immensely in my last 4 years here at A&M.

Unless you have been living under a rock (football-wise), my beloved Ags beat the hell outta the #8 Nebraska Cornhuskers last night, 9-6. We had a record high attendance at Kyle Field- 90,079 people! There were no touchdowns, just field goals. It was purely a defensive game, as should have been obvious by the statistics going into the game.

In the Big 12 conference before last night, A&M was #1 in passing offense; Nebraska was #1 in passing defense. Also, Nebraska was #1 in rushing offense; A&M was #1 in rushing defense. Basically an amazing match-up.

And wow, what a game! Here at A&M we have a little big thing called the 12th Man. You can read the history of the tradition here, but basically, the current students at the game stand the entire time, yell our heads off while we're playing defense, participate in the yells lead by the Yell Leaders, and pretty much go crazy. It's intense.


So Nebraska's head coach Pelini apparently already has some anger issues, and it seems he has definitely passed those on to his team. [DISCLAIMER- I fully understand I do not know much about Nebraska, so I apologize for anything I say that might be wrong] They had something like 145 yards in penalties (A&M only had 10), including several unsportsman-like conduct, one of which was from Mr. Pelini himself! It seems that he was cursing out the refs and it just got a little out of hand, going from 'simply cursing' to REALLY cursing, if you know what I mean. Great example to set for your team... 

From the articles I've read, it seems the Cornhuskers were a bit distracted by the yelling of the 12th Man, and couldn't quite get their act together. Um, that's obvious! Apparently there were players cursing the refs out, while sitting on the bench.

Anyway, back in the 1980s and 90s, A&M's defense was called the Wrecking Crew because they had some FANTASTIC hits and other defensive plays. We lost that in the past decade, but in the past few games it appears to have made a reappearance, thanks to our amazing new defensive coordinator, DeRuyter. When we beat the Oklahoma Sooners a couple of weeks back, people were chanting "Wrecking Crew" and making the hand signal, and then we did it again this week. 
Source: My friend, Katie :)

And now for your viewing pleasure, here are some more pictures & 1 video from the game...

March in of the Corp of Cadets

Waving those 12th Man towels!

After the game, starting to storm the field... By the way, this normally never happens. The police officers couldn't get on the field fast enough to stop the crowds!

So. Many. People.

VIDEO: I'm pretty sure the ESPN commentators said "There is no student body that enjoys its football team quite like here at A&M." or something like that. Here's the war hymn at the end: Watch me!  

So A&M has now defeated not one, but two top-ten ranked teams. For the first time since 2003, we have won 5 straight games. On Thanksgiving Day is the annual A&M/t.u. game. Now let's BTHO t.u.! Whoop!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Figured I would provide you with an update that is non-wedding related!

Last night I went with several girls for the midnight (more like 12:40) showing of the new Harry Potter movie. It was amazing!!!!! I'm absolutely exhausted, though, since my body is so used to getting up at 6:15 that around 7 it started wanting to get up. It completely ignored the fact that I probably got to sleep around 3:45 or 4 AM, and then kept on waking up.

But, about the movie, I kept on having flashbacks to the earlier films and how lighthearted they were. Remember this?

 Gosh, they look like babies! It's weird to think that my generation grew up with them. Now that they're older (wait, Daniel Radcliffe is only 21...), that means I'm older. That's just scary.

I submitted my first graduate application today-- mailed it to the University of Connecticut. It's due Dec 1 (I know, pushing it close!), but it was the weirdest app I had in that it required ME to send the official transcripts from each school I have attended. A&M was no problem, but getting the two from the community colleges I went to either in high school (dual credit) or over the summer (online course) was a PAIN. For instance, for the latter, in the space of 2-3 weeks, I requested at least 2 transcripts be sent to me. I only received one of them, and that was yesterday. It was major stress out time because I hate being so last minute about applications, too, in conjunction with stupid the stupidly slow mail.

But, it's done. The application is off. I'm exhausted, but last night was amazing. Now this weekend will consist of attempting to write a 20-page paper for my animal behavior class (hello octopi predatory behavior!) and attending the Texas A&M vs. Nebraska game, where we will beat the hell out of Nebraska! 


Next week is Thanksgiving. When the heck did that happen? What are your plans?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Fitting...

Or how I'm really glad I have comfortable heels! 

On Sunday I had my first dress fitting. Though there are no pictures, here is a re-cap of my dress shopping experience: Click me! Since I had done that last June, I, like some brides, was beginning to have second thoughts about my dress. It was still at the salon, so I couldn't just put it on to remind myself. Instead, I would look at the pictures from that day, along with the other dresses I tried on.

Bad idea. Second thoughts started creeping up and I wondered if I had been so overwhelmed by my first dress shopping trip that I didn't choose the right dress. But, once I got that dress back on at the salon, all was right in the world.

Those pictures just don't do the amazingness of my dress justice. So many details I had forgotten and that just didn't show up in the pictures, the way it fit, etc. Sorry I can't post pictures, don't want to risk the fiance' seeing it. But, about the fitting experience...

After they helped me into the gown, then I had to stand there for so-o-o-o long while they pinned everything. Like every good bride, I brought my shoes that we had gotten:

   Originally when I had thought about my shoes, I thought I would get smaller heels, for comfort. But once I saw these and tried them on, I was sold. Though they were pretty comfortable in the shoe store, they were really tested here. Having to stand there, not moving, I was so glad they were comfortable. Yay for knowing at least 1 thing will work out on the day of the wedding!

Anyway, so the alterations lady did her magic, pinning various things, getting the length right, and then doing the bustle. My mom had come with me and was quite impressed with how the lady did her work, crawling around my dress on her hands and knees, etc. She worked painstakingly on the bustle, trying to make it even on all sides and whatnot. [Man, this is hard to describe without giving out too much detail!]

Thankfully my mom was also able to take more pictures of the dress, just because I wanted them. So now no more second guessing. I get to go back in December for the second fitting, so I'll give you an update on that then. Then the next step will be learning to dance in those shoes and the dress! Any advice??

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hair & Make Up Trial! Part B

And to continue from the last post, after the make up, now was time for hair! Though I have somewhat short hair (about at my shoulder, but with a lot of layers), I have always wanted half up, half down & curly. I had the up-dos in high school for formals and such, so I wanted to do something different. Also, due to the neckline of my dress (yes, that's all I'm going to say, sorry Matt!), I don't want all my hair up on my head. I also think having some hair down looks better with veils and whatnot, but that's just my opinion. 

Anyway, I want something like these---

(sorry, saved these pics without saving the source. If you know of the source, let me know!)
After sitting there for what felt like forever, also remember I was sitting there all day for make up (turns out I don't have much patience!), I finally got to see it. I liked it a lot! But, what do you think?

Yes, I have to give you the 360 degree view :P
 And what's awesome is the curls held all day! My hair is really thin & fine. Anytime I have ever tried to curl my hair, it would last for oh, I don't know, 30 seconds? When I would have to curl it for drill team, I would sleep in rollers, and along with tons of hair spray, it would hold, but with a lotta crunch. Not pleasant. So I was very happy that 1) it stayed all day and 2) it felt like hair, not wire. Additionally, my hair will be longer by then. It does have 6 more months to grow!

Thus, what I think will happen, is on the Day, all the bridesmaids, myself, and my mom will head to Kim's salon to get all pretty and whatnot. It'll work out well. We'll just have to get up early because my appointment took me roughly 90 minutes. We have to be at the church by 11. Thirty minute drive from salon to church. So yeah, hopefully Kim can get some assistants :)

And there you have it, my hair & make up trial! Was yours this easy? Anything you would change? Advice, suggestions, stories, etc-- feel free to share!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hair & Make Up Trial! Part A

I went home for the weekend with the original intention of working all day Saturday and then getting my first fitting for my wedding dress Sunday. Well, then my mom texted me one day to let me know that I had an appointment for a 'dry run' of my hair and make up on Saturday morning. There goes the productivity, but it was still really good and a lot of fun.

Before I show you pictures from Saturday, first for a little background. I don't wear that much make up. I wear eyeliner daily, and on special occasions I wear mascara. That's it. The only time I wore more was when I was on my drill team in high school and we had to look like hookers for performances, complete with bright red lipstick, blush, and brown eye shadow. Because I was never a girly-girl, when I have tried to put on more make up than my standard, I instantly reverted to drill team make up. Not good.

So, while I know that to look 'good' in your wedding photos you need to have more make up on than normal, I also know that I still looked OK in my engagement pics. For that, all I wore was eyeliner, mascara, and some eye shadow. And, most importantly, Matt wants me to look like myself, not like some china doll. Whenever someone starts telling me I need to do X, Y, or Z before the wedding, I block it out. The wedding day is about the beginning of a marriage, not about a photo shoot. I want my husband-to-be to instantly recognize the young woman walking down the aisle towards him. 

I say all of this with the obvious point: I want to look like myself. I want to wear a bit more make up than normal (i.e. blush, foundation, etc), but I know I do not want to rely on myself to do that. Enter in Kim, my normal hair stylist who also does make up. You may remember the Bridesmaid Weekend from a couple of weekends ago-- we stopped by a Chanel counter and this was the result:

I liked it a lot, especially that 1) it stayed all day and 2) I felt my skin looked amazing and felt 'real.' 

So on Saturday, I didn't give Kim many guidelines, other than something natural that somehow emphasized my eyes. Here is the result:

Looking at it now, it seems pretty similar. I feel the first one is higher quality make up, but obviously the price follows. This one kind of took me a while to warm up to, but now I'm really happy with it. Though it's hard to tell in that pic, both my mom and I agreed that for bridals & the Day we'll ask for a lighter shade of brown, but otherwise it was good. Of course Kim wanted me to wax my eyebrows so I could get more of an arch and blah blah blah. I have avoided doing any of that kind of stuff because it seems to be one of those things like shaving- once you start you can't stop! But I digress...

And since this post is long enough, I'll save the hair for a later post. But, what do you think? Make up A or B? Thoughts on modifying part of yourself (i.e. eyebrows) so you'll look 'better' in pictures?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Air Fest 2010 [picture heavy!]

As I said in my previous post, this past weekend Matt, his youngest brother, J, and I went to Lackland AFB for their annual Air Fest. Matt and J have a huge passion for any flying object, especially fighter jets. Ever since I've been dating him, my vocabulary for such aircraft has drastically increased, and I can now proudly say I can differentiate between F-15s, F-16s, F-18s, F-22s, and F-35s (thank you very much)

Anyway, Texas has 3 big air shows in the fall. We chose the one at Lackland because not only were the Thunderbirds headlining, but the F-22 Raptor demo team (AKA Matt's favorite plane ever) would also be there. So, we took the weekend off from school, and we went!

This is J & Matt on the shuttle heading to the base around 8:30...

Then we stood in line to go through security, passed through the detectors, and we're in! They had various performances throughout the day, starting around 10 AM. We got there so early though, so we could walk around and see the planes that were on display. Here is a brief tour of that [don't worry, I'll spare you most of the pictures]:
Sikorsky Black Hawks
The Predator
A C-5
And inside the C-5, in case you ever wondered
He looked cool haha
The NATO E-3A, used for "air battle management," as their sign says
Inside said plane, well, a part of it
 I wanted to figure out how to work on this NATO plane. You see, they are stationed out of Germany and ever since I went I've been trying to contrive of ways to get Matt & I to live there. But alas, since they have no direct 'apply here' and instead it is a complicated 'join the military and maybe you'll get placed here,' I gave up.

But I digress. We also saw the Army Golden Knights-- their parachuting team. Without further delay, here are some pictures from that:

In this series, one of the jumpers had a string of 6 canisters of the air writing 'stuff.' He started spinning...

And spinning...

Yeah, it was pretty cool!

So of course what we came for was the F-22 Raptor demo & the Thunderbirds. Here are my favorite pictures from them:
Disclaimer: The F-22 demo was extremely cool, but extremely fast. One small plane + really fast = super hard to take pictures... sorry they look so sad, but it was quite amazing!!

Bomb bay!

And the Thunderbirds!

My favoritest picture ever....

 And so there you have it-- hope you didn't mind a non-wedding related post. This is for all the guy readers I'm sure I have (*rolls eyes*). In very related wedding news, this weekend I'm going home to:
  • Have a make up & hair trial!
  • Go to my first fitting for my wedding dress!
Basically- I'm pretty pumped! And now one last picture, because it makes me happy: