Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas, etc.

Why hello there!

I know, I've been MIA lately, again. It's not that I've been particularly busy, either. So I have no excuse.

Christmas was really good this year. It was just the four of us- my parents, my brother, and me. It was so weird, though, thinking this is my last Christmas before I get married. I can't wait to be married (5 months from today!), but things will still be different. Bittersweet stuff. 

So among other things, I got a Kindle!

I cannot wait to start reading books on it! The screen's appearance really is amazing and it is quite easy to use. Plus, I was able to download Pride and Prejudice and other classics for free!! 

My dad surprised my mom and me with tickets to see the Houston Ballet's production of the Nutcracker. I had been BEGGING to see this ever since we moved my mom down to Houston in December of 2005. Then this past week, I was so sad I wouldn't get to see it since I for sure will not be living in Houston next year. But, my dad is pretty much the best dad ever and got us tickets! It was so amazing!! I danced a little bit when I was younger, than I was on a dance team in high school, so being able to identify some of the moves was interesting. Especially when some guy did 6 turns in a pirouette!! Definitely something I had never seen! But anyway, here are some pictures from that...

The cool gingerbread house they had in the lobby

Yay Christmas decorations!

My mom & me

From one of the balconies looking out on the lobby

So Christmas was a success!! I was 'in charge' of the the dinner for Christmas Day. I (really we) cooked Cornish Game Hens-- I had never really dealt with whole poultry before. That was an experience! But it along with the side dishes came out amazingly, so that was great. 

In other news, I leave on Friday to go visit Matt & his family for New Year's! Then we come back here for Premarital Counseling Session #2. Then we're off for New Orleans!! 

Hope everyone has a great week! :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Second Fitting

Sorry I've been MIA lately. I will blame Christmas break and how when I have nothing to do, I end up avoiding the computer. 

But, I had my second fitting this past Sunday! You can catch up on my dress buying experience here and my first fitting here. Sorry, no pictures for obvious reasons. 

For this fitting, my mom and my MOH, Mary, came with me. It was great to have Mary with me since she hadn't seen the dress since we bought it. Also we were able to have a fun girls' day afterwords, something that was much needed, but I'm getting ahead of myself!

Without describing too much of the dress, they had taken in some things, altered others, put in the bustle, and shortened the length of the dress. The dress was still a bit too long, so I have to go back in a week and a half for what will hopefully be the final time, but other than that-- it was perfect!

I will say that dang, bustles are complicated! We were smart and decided to video tape them showing us how to do it. I think that video is about 7 minutes long. But I'm sure that with some practice, my mom & BMs can get that down much shorter! 

We also decided on the jewelry I would wear. It was between two necklaces that had both belonged to my late grandmother. I will also be wearing a beautiful watch that used to be hers. She passed away a little over a year ago, so I'm glad I get to wear things that were once hers.

While there are no pictures of the dress, here are two Mary took outside the bridal salon:
The history of The Princess Bridal. Our favs were that it used to be a funeral home & a hippie commune!

Me! Carrying all the bridal accessories
So yeah, successful trip! Fun girl times after lunch. Overall a very good day!

I also want to wish my fiance an early very happy birthday! Matt's 22nd is tomorrow! Wish I could spend it with him, but we're in separate cities, doing the whole family at Christmas time thing. It's exciting to think that next year that won't be the case!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

One more to go!

I am now home for the holidays! Fall semester is over, exams are done, research hours completed. A lot of my friends are graduating today, so congrats to them! It's so weird to think that I only have one more semester left, in my undergraduate career that is. It's not like I only have one more semester of tests, papers, finals. Not at all. 

But I don't mind. Through my thesis work this semester, I've become a bit more confident that grad school may be the right place for me. Pardon me sounding like a nerd, but I haven't minded researching & writing the literature review, developing and testing the measures, learning these foreign statistical programs. I have a lot left, and it is going to be really fast-paced. When I get back to school in January, I will have two months to write two results chapters, one discussions chapter, and one conclusions chapter. Terrifying-- yes! Especially since I will be taking a graduate-level course next semester.

But I'll get through it, yes?

At least I'll have the wedding & honeymoon to look forward to!

And for your useless product of the day, I saw this in my neighborhood:

Yes, those are eye lashes on the headlights. Why? I have no idea. They are literally called "Car Lashes" and their point is to add a feminine touch to one's vehicle. The lashes cost $25.99 and you can also get crystal eyeliner & accents. Here is the website if you are interested in checking it out: carlashes.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And there goes my motivation...

One of my most favorite things to do right before finals is what I like to call the "I only have to make X to get an A in this class" calculations." No, it does not get any nerdier than that. And it is just what it sounds like... I add up all of my grades from that semester, do some algebra (yes, a liberal arts major can do math!), and voila! That is the grade I have to make on the final exam to get an A in that class.

This semester is different for me in that I'm only in 2 'real' classes (the other two were research-based). So, for my two finals, here are my bare minimums....
Comparative PSYC (AKA Animal Behavior)-- 48
Honors Marriage Institution-- 55 

What's even worse is even though I don't need to study at all for these tests, because I am an over-achiever, I will. I have my flashcards all ready and am mostly through the ones for tomorrow. Yes, call me a nerd, but at least I know my place is in grad school next year!

Yes, I know my majors are letting me off easy. I know grad school will not be this nice. If it is any consolation, I will be taking a graduate seminar next semester. So for all you engineer/science/business majors who are dying from your finals-studying, I am sorry. I have had harder semesters than this, I promise!

And what have I been doing with my time since I have nothing else better to do? 
  • I have worked extra (going to NOLA after New Years with the fiance, so I will need money for some beignets & museums!)
  • I have baked chocolate chip cookies quite randomly with my dear friend
  • I have been on the internet way too much
    I have watched TV (which never happens during the semester)
  • I have realized I hate not being busy. I need something imminent on my to-do list, more than just complete grad school apps that aren't due until February. 

But on the agenda for today includes my church's Christmas pageant, as performed by some of the cutest kids ever, seeing my brother as he stops in thru town, and perhaps working out. Maybe. We'll see about that one.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I just can't believe this...

I know this is everywhere right now and people all over are up in arms about it, but this is my blog, and I wanted to say some things about it. What you may ask? This: Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral. Yes, this is the same church that protested at the funerals of soldiers. Read this little bit, from the 'church':

Elizabeth Edwards INSISTED upon being summoned before the King of Eternity while her children are yet minors. She INSISTED upon her son’s death, an unremitting disease raging in her body, a whorish husband bringing their family to open shame, & now her death & final judgment. Elizabeth Edwards & her faithless husband, John, lightly esteemed what they had. They coveted things that were not theirs – and presumptuously thought they could control God. When they were visited from the Most High God with the death of their 16-year-old son, they did not humble themselves before His mighty hand. They reared up in rage, decided they would show God who is boss, and meddled in matters of the womb, resulting in 2 more children – now motherless. God heard self-absorbed Elizabeth as she rode the talk show circuit spewing blasphemy. God heard her say “my God could not …protect my boy” and “I’m not praying to God to save me from cancer” and that God is not “the God I wanted.” Her smash-mouthed assault on His deity, sovereignty and infallibility brought more GodSmacks upon her, & she dug into her perverse position all the deeper. Elizabeth is now a resident of hell, where her rebellion and rage will take full flower. She rejoins the dead child who beat her there, and has seen the face of her grievous misconduct in neglecting her non-delegable duty to him.
Now WBC warns all who would contemplate Elizabeth Edwards’ end: RUN AWAY from all that she was, said & did; it is UNCLEAN! John Edwards: burn that willful tripe Elizabeth has been writing for those children as a poisonous substitute for her Deut. 6 duty. Tell your children every day, with everything you do & say, that it was WRONG what you and she have done in this life. And tell them, from Scripture, what is required of them by the Lord their God. OBEY!

Regardless of my own political beliefs, I do not think anyone deserves this treatment after their death, no matter the cause. That they said God hates her, therefore He gave the late Edwards cancer so she would die is just so wrong. It is one of those hard things to accept, how freedom of speech allows for talk like this. It comes from a self-proclaimed church, claiming to be part of a mainstream denomination. This is not helping the Christians' mission of spreading God's amazing message to his people. Their message of hate and damnation is just pushing people away. That breaks my heart.

My God is love, not hate. He is the only one allowed to judge us on this earth, no one else, not me, and certainly not these so-called believers from WBC can possess that power. And really, would you want to? At times like these it is hard to be loving of someone that is portraying a hurtful image of your faith. But, that is what we're called to do. Love & forgive. 

So while I will pray for the Edwards family, regardless of their past, I will also pray for the WBC followers. It is hurtful what they're doing, but think about this Christmas season and the reason for it. Jesus. And that reminds me that while I can be upset about WBC and their actions, I should still pray for them.

K, I'm off my soap box now. I know I typically don't get religious on this, but it is something that is very important to me, and I shouldn't be ashamed to post it on here (even if no one reads it). Feel free to comment on your own thoughts on this, but please nothing hurtful. :)  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

MIA + Flower Mania

Sorry I've been MIA lately...I can't even blame it on school. For the first time ever since I've been in college, my finals are not even a concern. I know, I'm lucky! They aren't cumulative. The format is multiple choice/matching on each and I think one of them has an essay. I barely have to pass either of them to get an 'A' in the class. Yup, I know I got off easy. 

If it's any consolation, next semester won't be like this. At All.

Anyway, so in my non-busyness of school, I have managed to do several other things, like find a rehearsal dinner dress (originally $40, got for $8!), watch Burlesque (really good, BTW), and work some extra hours. I have also made some changes to my floral. 

Being a typical Type A, over-planner, perfectionist bride-to-be, I have spent HOURS looking at various wedding websites, blogs, etc. And I have recently fallen in love with the amazing and beautiful Gerber Daisy:

My original floral plan involved roses, calla lilies, freesia, etc. It was going to be really pretty, no doubt. Here was my original bouquet inspiration:

So yes, it is pretty, but I love the look of the Gerber Daisy. To personify a flower, it is happy, lighthearted, and informal. Pretty much the vibe we want for the wedding. I emailed our florist to ask her about the cost difference, and it's gonna be cheaper! Even better :)

Right now we're trying to figure out if we're going to combine it with anything, but here is what I've found and really liked thus far:

So obviously the bigger of these bouquets is for the bride and the smaller for the BMs, but I think I like the smaller ones better, the one with no roses. So maybe do that for me and this for the BMs [obviously not in these colors]

I didn't know if maybe I didn't like the gerbers+roses because of the color contrast, though. My florist suggested having the gerbers and roses being in the same color group. It's just hard for me to envision the flower things being all put together.

Anyway, what do you think? What do you like better for each the bride's bouquet and the BMs' bouquets? Any other advice/suggestions?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Food, glorious food! Part 2

I know I left you in suspense yesterday about the restaurant I am we are most excited about, because yet again, I know you care so so much about where we eat on our honeymoon. But hey, this is my blog. I think writing about anything from wedding dresses to grad school apps to honeymoon eateries falls under the scope of the title. So there!

Anyway, I will not keep you waiting any longer. No, we are not eating with Cinderella in her castle or with Mickey Mouse at any of his restaurants. On Thursday, we are eating at the California Grill, but not only for this view:

But the food is pretty superb as well. As it should be. Along with the nice price tag (but hey, it's our honeymoon!), it has won all sorts of awards. It has a huge selection of wine and sushi, the former being more appealing than the latter, along with various selections of fresh seafood and steak. And let's not forget the most important course-- the dessert!

I was able to book the earliest seating for dinner, meaning we will get the best seat in the house. And we intend to sit there from that time up until the fireworks (probably a full 3 hours or so), enjoy our drinks and food, talk, and then enjoy the amazing view as the Magic Kingdom's firework show, Wishes, is occurring. They will also pipe the music into the restaurant. Pretty much sounds like the most romantic and relaxing thing ever. 

So yes, you can see why we're pretty excited about it. :)

Anyway, our last full day, Friday, we have reservations at the Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. It is located in the Africa section of the park, and the restaurant is a buffet, situated in what appears to be an African open market. The last time my family & I went, we were really impressed with the food-- very delicious! The theming is fantastic, too.

The following day, our plane doesn't leave MCO until early evening, so we'll be able to still enjoy Saturday at the parks. We're planning on eating at Beaches 'n Cream, a little soda shop kind of place, with delicious burgers and the best ice cream. We plan on getting this: 

The Kitchen Sink- Source
Just kidding! It's hard to tell how much ice cream that actually is, but I have a hard time believing that the two of us could tackle it. Instead, we will stick with the good burgers and get a sundae.

There you have it-- our honeymoon dining selections. The next in the Disney series will cover each park, simply because I love it and it makes me happy. :)