Saturday, October 31, 2009

Post-Honeymoon Joys

I never did get the sickness The Man had thankfully. We've been very busy this past week writing our thank you notes. I was determined to have them done within two weeks of the wedding, and by working on them a little each day we succeeded in that goal. Some have been dropped off by hand, some are waiting to be mailed on Monday, and a few might take a while to deliver as we see friends (who can wait another week gosh darnit).

We're starting to settle into routines, though the question of what to have for dinner seems to be the most often routine we face. I'm adjusting to life with a roommate again... not the easiest task for someone who values personal space and a quiet environment. It's different. We have realized we have a few habits we don't like so much about each other--interesting sometimes!

We try to sit down every night and either watch a movie, play a game, or read together. A big part of our relationship from before we were even dating is doing something together often. We also have alone time every day, and I'm starting to figure out how to say I need to chill and just watch TV or surf the Internet for a while.

Today we celebrated my birthday a bit early and went to lunch with my parents and sister. We also made a few stops on the way home for things, so it was an adventure of sorts. I cut Dad's and The Man's hair (getting pretty good at that I must say), and now I'm on a price-shopping binge. We're trying to get good deals for stuff that we buy with our wedding money (and in general, of course, but especially for this stuff).

I guess things are sort of back to normal. Finally. I think.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Honeymoon, Day 4

Finally, a day that didn't dawn before dawn. I slept until my alarm went off at 7:30 (for once) and got up. I played with my camera taking pictures of the view outside our rooms as the sun came up through the cloud layers. The Man got up shortly after I did, and we dressed and packed all of our stuff. He got a luggage cart to haul our bags down to the lobby, and I checked us out while he walked two blocks to retrieve the car. We loaded up and were on the road out of Seattle by 9:00am. Once we got out of the city and traffic, we stopped at a freeway-side town where we ate at a Denny's. $20 for a breakfast that was surprisingly tasty. We were both stuffed to the brim in no time.

Around 10:30 we finally got into Tacoma where our first stop was the Washington State History Museum. I'm not sure what I expected, but having been to several history museums in Oregon (and many in other states), I was disappointed. Aside from a few good displays and two or three well-done exhibits, the rest of the museum was blah. A school group tore through the museum with no sense of courtesy or quiet, so the experience was not good for either The Man or me. We moved on to the Chihuly Bridge of Glass outside the museum by 1:00pm.

Talk about beautiful glass! The bridge can be broken down into two main parts: the covered part where viewers look up at the displays of glass above them, and the wall part where they can look at ornate vases and sculptures stacked in shelves. Between the two sections are two large glass towers that look like melting ice cubes (they looks better than I make it sound). I took dozens of pictures here!

We wandered into Union Station next to the museum where we encountered four more Chihuly exhibits. These four were much larger than anything on the bridge, and they were incredibly colorful. I'd love to have even one scrap piece of glass from any of the exhibits... beautiful, fantastic colors and shapes. The building architecture was neat, too, and we had fun exploring the many floors.

By 2:00pm, we were running out of time on our parking sticker and were getting homesick, so we decided to mosey down I-5. We took turns driving from one rest stop to the next, snacking and chatting or listening to music as we went. We crossed the Oregon border and hit Portland traffic around 4:30pm, though traffic only slowed a tiny bit once or twice. We made a few stops along the way, once to pick up a late wedding gift, once to buy some clothes at the Woodburn outlets, and once to stop and visit my parents really quick. We had to get milk and bread right before we got home, so at long last, around 9:00pm, we parked the car one last time.

We unpacked, sorted the laundry, showered, and pretty much dove into our own bed. Hooray for pillows that aren't flat!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Honeymoon, Day 3

Day 3 of our honeymoon dawned just as early as the previous two for me as I wasn't able to sleep very well in a strange bed. The bed itself wasn't bad, but wafer-thick pillows didn't make me happy. I shook The Man awake around 7:30am so that we could be dressed and ready for the day by 8:30am. We first walked two blocks to La Creperie Voila on Pike Street. The strawberry crepes we both ordered were phenomenal. Talk about sweet cream and perfect strawberries (well, almost perfect--they weren't from Lebanon). We gulped those down before getting our car from a nearby parking garage.

It was a twenty-minute drive through morning traffic to get to the Museum of Flight. The museum didn't open until 10am (sharp, and they mean sharp). We got our bracelets and headed over to the Boeing Red Barn where we were able to see the original production barn from Boeing Field. We saw how they built wooden frame planes, and we saw plenty of plane models. The videos were somewhat interactive (poking buttons keeps me entertained a nanosecond longer).

At 11:00am, the BIG plane exhibit opened, and The Man and I were among the first to board an original Air Force One jet (Eisenhower's) and a decommissioned Concorde jet. Both were interesting, Air Force One for it's importance and scope, and the Concorde for it's unique shape and size. We learned a bit on board both jets. The Concorde was so narrow up the middle aisle that my hips reached both armrests on either side of me, and I'm not terribly wide (size 8, give or take), so it must be interesting to fly Concorde and be large.

After the jets, we wandered through the WWII exhibit. The many planes looked splendid, and the neat interactive radios were fun. The displays of soldier's tools, stories, and lives were very well done. We were probably in this area for an hour before we headed into the main hangar. We cruised through the space exhibits and boarded a mock-up of the International Space Station's work bay. The Man tried out a computer simulation of a shuttle landing where he sailed through the easy landing and even safely landed the shuttle on the hardest setting. I was very impressed since I thoroughly crashed my simulation into smithereens.

We went to the observation tower at the Museum of Flight overlooking Boeing Field's runway. We were able to observe real air traffic controllers in the nearby tower as they worked, and we watched a Royal Australian Air Force plane take off. We were the only people in the observation tower when a distress call came in over the radio, a pilot asking to land at Boeing Field. We both looked at each other without saying anything. Before long, we could see emergency crews scrambling on the tarmac. A plane very much like the one we saw take off came into land safely. We're not sure if it was the exact same plane or a different one, but they looked very similar (and how many Australian planes visit Boeing Field?). Nobody was hurt, and the plane taxied to a protected area where crews checked out the plane. We left the tower.

The Man got his picture taken next to a Blue Angels plane before we headed back to the car. After four hours of being on our feet wandering around a museum of airplanes and spacecraft, seeing the emergency landing, and being very, very hungry, we wanted to sit down and eat. We went back to our rooms downtown where we rested for a bit before deciding to go to dinner.

I'm sorry, but The Cheesecake Factory doesn't seem all that it's cracked up to be. The Man had bow tie pasta with alfredo sauce, and I ordered a big salad. Neither were spectacular. We didn't even get any cheesecake since they only seemed to have elaborate cheesecakes. I don't really want to try mango-coffee-rutabaga cheesecake... I'd rather have a plain-jane slice of the good stuff. Plus it was expensive, and I'd already had an amazing piece at the Space Needle and didn't want to be disappointed.

We watched some TV and played a game (looooove Sequence!) before we zonked out. Another long day with too much walking!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Honeymoon, Day 2

The second day of our honeymoon arrived too early for me as I awoke around 6:00am. I finally woke my husband up around 8:00am, and we were dressed and ready for the day's adventure a half-hour later. Our first stop was a quick walk two blocks to Seattle's Best Bagel Company where we ordered breakfast. The Man had a ham, egg, and cheese toasted bagel sandwich, and I got two bagels, one plain with strawberry cream cheese, and one wheat with plain cream cheese. The bagels were tasty once I removed about two-thirds of the goop. Bellies full, we set out on a walk.

We first walked nine blocks (almost a mile) to Pike Place Market where we shopped and browsed and tried to take in all the sights for about an hour. We bought our one souvenir of the trip, an asian painting of the Space Needle and some foliage, from a vendor at the market. Then we hoofed it around and around looking for a credit union so that we could withdraw some cash without having to pay bank fees. Credit unions are elusive creatures in the big city, but after asking for directions once or twice, we did find one and make our transactions. The walk to find a credit union took us a half-hour and was probably another mile long.

One of the things we most wanted to do in Seattle was the Underground Tour. From the credit union, we walked at least a half-mile back to the waterfront and then another mile down to Pioneer Square where we found a nice pizzeria on a corner for lunch. The Underground Tour itself was an hour and a half long and likely included about a mile of walking. It started in a fake bar (perhaps it was a real pub at one time, but it was the exclusive starting point for the tour and didn't serve alcohol as far as I know). We got a quick lesson in Seattle's history and got an idea of what to expect underground. The tour broke into two groups that went in different directions. Our tour group leader was corny and made puns about everything, but the historical information seemed good and fairly reliable. We enjoyed the trip and the museum at the end of the tour.

After the tour, we walked the mile back to Pike Place Market and the nine blocks back to our rooms. To say that our feet hurt would not even come close. Even with comfortable shoes, six miles in six hours on concrete with very little time to sit down would have tired most people out. We were a bit cranky. We needed food and water. Dinner at P.F. Chang's ($40 and not too bad!) and some TV before crashing into our pillows. Exhausted.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Honeymoon, Day 1 (part 2)

To get to the Space Needle from downtown, we walked about three blocks to the Westlake Monorail Station. $4 each bought us round-trip tickets on a monorail the likes of which Disney has never seen. It actually seemed more like a noisy MAX line without all the stops, just get on at one end and get off at the other. Not scary at all, and I even rode in the very front seat looking straight down at the sidewalk three stories below me. Yeah. It was an adventurous night.

I should mention two very important things right now: I'm terrified of heights, and I typically don't like fancy food. We walked the entire circumference of the Space Needle on the outside deck, and I even looked down at the ground without holding on to the wires or frame. I looked outside the whole time going up the glass elevator. I ate most of my dinner and didn't complain.

After the ten or fifteen minute ride, we walked the half-block to the Space Needle. We wandered into the gift shop where we waited a few moments for an elevator to take us to the observation deck to wait some more before our reservation time at 8:00pm. I took a few time-lapse photographs of the Seattle city lights at night that turned out pretty well. Our half-hour wait was well-spent staring into blackness as we couldn't really see much in the dark.

Once we walked a flight down into the SkyCity Restaurant, we waited only a moment before being escorted into the rotating dining room and to our window-side table. Our menu included a chardonnay for The Man and a hazlenut cream soda for me, an appetizer of prosciutto-wrapped artisan cheese, entrees of jidori chicken and baby vegetables over potato gnocchi, and a sorbet sampler for The Man and cheesecake for me. His drink was incredible while mine was a total flop (went down smooth, but the aftertaste was like burning cotton in my mouth). The appetizer had us both dreaming of prosciutto for a week it was so good. The chicken was weird, the veggies kinda blah, and the gnocchi pretty good. Both the sorbets and the cheesecake were among the highlights of our entire trip (best cheesecake I've ever had, and I am a connesieur).

Our waiter was pretty good. We asked him for recommendations on other local places to eat and visit, but he apparently doesn't get out much. He'd disappear and then, a few moments later, reappear with a brochure or an idea that we politely accepted. He tried, and we really appreciated that.

How much does it cost to eat at SkyCity? After tax and tip, we gagged up spent $140. It was by far the most expensive dinner either of us had ever eaten, but this was our honeymoon and likely the only time in our lives we were going to do something so lavish. Kind of makes our first date at Strega and the $50 dinner seem like nothing (miss that place though!). We probably wouldn't eat at the Space Needle again, but it was a great one-time experience. We're glad the elevator ride up was free since we had a reservation. A short walk and a monorail ride home left us both exhausted. The Man put on a movie that I don't think I was awake beyond the opening credits. Thus came to a close the first day of our honeymoon.

Tomorrow: Pike Place Market and some serious walking in Day 2

Monday, October 26, 2009

Honeymoon, Day 1

As part of our family tradition, I kept a journal of the trip The Man and I recently went on to Seattle. I have a journal of every trip I've been on since I could write, and my family has trip journals dating back to my great grandmother and her fine pencil lines inside a little tan notebook. I'd get up each morning of our trip very early, once as early as 6:00am when I had the quiet all to myself. You see, it's not so much that I'm an early bird as that I love the stillness and light of the morning, especially for deep thinking. ANYHOO! On to the journal!

~*~*~*~*~*~

October 19, 2009: Honeymoon trip from Corvallis, Ore., to Seattle, Wa.
After running errands to the local courthouse, the bank, and a couple other places, we officially began our trip at about 10:00am. We drove up I-5 to Portland without any trouble, only some fog and a few light sprinkles between Salem and Wilsonville. I drove this leg of our trip.

Our first destination was the Blueplate Lunch Counter in downtown Portland. We'd heard about the restaurant on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. We parked nearby in a small public parking lot where you park and then have to leave your keys with the attendant (not our favorite). For lunch, we both ordered grilled cheese and tomato soup; Kevin ordered a Little Ricky and I had a strawberry Italian soda. Though the soup was okay--it had real tomato chunks and onion slices in it which neither of us enjoy--and the sandwiches and sodas were awesome! We paid $16 for lunch, $2 tip, and $4 for one hour of parking.

Next, at my pleading, we broke off our path to drive over to the Portland archdiocese cathedral, the head Catholic Church for our area. All of the doors were locked, and the lunchhour had just started, so we didn't figure anyone would be around, but a few knocks on the parish office door brought around a nice fellow who kindly let us in and told us to let ourselves out. I began taking pictures like a crazy woman, snap-snap-snapping as often as I blinked. While in front of the main altar, a custodian appeared and flipped on all of the lights for us. We were all alone in the cathedral with the lights on! He told us we could go behind the ropes and up into the organ/choir loft if we wanted, and he gave a few pointers for pictures that he thought people always missed (he was totally right). I hope he doesn't get in trouble by me writing about him because we really appreciated the welcoming atmosphere. Beautiful, amazing, awesome place!

From there, we hustled back to I-5. We crossed the Columbia just before 1:00pm. The Man drove this leg of the trip to the second rest stop as we traveled north into Washington. I'd remembered from past journeys that Washington has nice rest areas. The one we stopped at was indeed nice. I'm not talking heated toilet seats or anything, but the rest areas were clean and well-maintained, often with free hot coffee or cookies from local church groups, and we took advantage of some hot chocolate at this first stop. The hot chocolate was some of the best I've ever had: perfect sweetness, perfect temperature, and perfect weather for a hot sip or eighty.

I drove to the next (not quite as nice) rest stop, the third one as we headed north about another half-hour. We hit intermittent road work and more orange traffic cones than I've ever seen: they were a constant orange ribbon on our right side for probably twenty miles. Washington needs to redistribute them or something... The Boy drove the last leg of our long car ride into Seattle. Traffic was dense but moved well. We arrived at The Camlin right at 4:00pm and checked in. After snacks, showers, and exploring the resort, we set out for the Space Needle at 7:00pm.

Stay tuned for the next part of the trip tomorrow!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

...and we're sick

We washed our hands like crazy people up to our wedding. We didn't have so much as a sniffle on our honeymoon. The first day we get back: boom! headaches, body aches, running noses, tired all the time, and feeling blah. The Man is worse than I am (not sick, just the whoosh! after-the-wedding feeling), but I have a suspicion that I won't be far behind. Between getting my name changed on Friday, my sister's awesome birthday party last night (yay for family Pictionary!), returning the rest of our returnable gifts, and spending time sharing germs with The Man's family today, we're both feeling worn out.

But the laundry is caught up, the dishes are put away, a few thank-you notes are written, and dinner is done. Work tomorrow. I just want to sleep in.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Honeymooned!

We're back after our four-day honeymoon to Seattle! Stories and pictures coming soon, though it might take a few days to write everything down and get pictures sorted and polished. We still have our thank-you notes to write, and those take priority.

We spent Friday going to the Social Security office, the DMV, the bank, and to our insurance company to get the big name changes out of the way or in processing piles. I still need to get The Man added to my insurance, but the rest feels like little stuff. I'm hopeful to have my name change officially wrapped up by the end of next week.

Just wanted to pop in a say that we're home and had a fun time. Lots to do this weekend and work starts again on Monday. Joy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where I'm From

The second in a two-part series. Yesterday's was The Man's post, today is mine. Thanks, MissKris!
~*~*~*~*~*~

I am from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, from Scholastic book clubs, and the Beaver State.

I am from the wide front porch, hockey up and down the long hallway, and a slip-n-slide dining room.

I am from red-all-the-way-through strawberries and monster rhododendrons, the Bleeding hearts and grapes tucked away on the side of the farm.

I am from sugar cookies and stubbornness, from Oscar and Jean and parents who loved me whether I liked it or not.

I am from the pioneers, the real Oregon Trail ones, the Protestant ideal of “work hard and ye shall succeed,” and that my word is my bond. From gingerpeachykeeno and summathat, cricks and oyoyoy!

I am from Sunday morning Nascar races, visiting family all weekend long, and feeling Bible-thumped by friends that now have a hard time understanding why I became Catholic.

I'm from the flatlands surrounded by mountains, from grass county, from the Willamette Valley, from Germany and England and Russia, from milk noodle soup and Mom’s spaghetti.

I am from the woman who fended off angry Native Americans from the back of a covered wagon with an axe, a grandpa whose tickles lasted long after he stopped wiggling his fingers on my belly, and parents who always read to me when I asked.

I am from a hand-made pink flannel photo album, a little blue French textbook, a family tree spanning four continents in six hundred years, from the guffy house full of treasures of Dad’s life, his parents’ life, and lives way way back on the old farm.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where The Man is From

Inspired by MissKris and her poetic posts, both The Man (I'm married to The Boy, therefore he is now The Man) and I have filled out our "Where I'm From" poems. His today, mine tomorrow.

~*~*~*~*~*~

I am from the forgotten streambed where cattle roamed, from Bookmobile forays and too-short sweat pants.

I am from the creaky upstairs with slanted roof, or the backyard swing set on the kid-imagined mountain.

I am from Kleczynski reunions and bony noses, from Grandma K’s donuts and Uncle Ken’s barbeques and Steinkamp camping trips.

I am from life-long friendships that push me every day just to be worthy of them.
From the land of strangeporks, weirdbeards and bedtime Aesop’s.

I am from tough-kneed Catholics and quiet, powerful faith, where you’re family if you join us twice. Bring food next time.

I'm from stubbornness and determination, a combination just as deadly as Mom’s macaroni and cheese and Linda’s banana cream pie, and where an incurable disease known as Jerkism seems to run in the family.

I am from the thorny blackberry bushes hiding secret forts, the backyard trees with hotdogs for leaves.

From scenic routes through Eastern Oregon, sometimes with no flat tires, and from snow-packed skiing trails perfect for pushing dad over.

I am from whole-family pictures numbered to remind us who is who, JustBesideAndMy and WalkMeBeFriend, and walls stuffed with laughter where the house is warmed by love just as much as woodstoves.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wedded Life: Day 3

Exhaustion. Elation. Busy. Lazy. We've felt so many emotions the last three days, almost all of them incredibly good emotions. Mostly we've felt blessed to have the people we love share in our joy. I know that sounds like a tired line, but it's true. We feel blessed.

The gifts are open, some stowed away and some duplicate items returned. We received a total of eight pyrex dish sets between two wedding showers and the wedding itself. No offense, but most of those were returned. :P I can't say I have a particular "favorite" gift, but some of the most meaningful gifts included hand-quilted Christmas stockings from my aunt and the hand-made custom crucifix from one of our friend's fathers. I'm not saying we didn't appreciate every gift (we DO!), but those two really stood out to me as thoughtful and "us."

I was telling my husband (gasp, giggle) last night how much I love him, you know, being all sappy and stuff. I am not really one of the princess-y type girls, not even close. But on our wedding day, when I was walking up the aisle on my father's arm, when I looked past all the guests and saw him standing at the altar, I felt like royalty.

He's reading over my shoulder and being a jerk (I think I'm going to call it "being like his father"--his mother will laugh at this as she can imagine the torment), so I think I'll close. Things are good. We're good. We're rested up, finally. *smile*

Saturday, October 17, 2009

WE'RE MARRIED!

I write to you for the first time as a wife. I don't really feel any different yet, but I'm sure the years will cure me of that feeling. The cliché I so often hear around weddings, "today I married my best friend" is a cliché for a reason: today I did. We had a spectacular wedding, a great time dancing together, and we even had tasty food and cake.

I have a groom waiting for me to help open some gifts, so I'll keep this brief: THANK YOU to all of our friends and family who helped us in so many ways the last two days. We could not have pulled anything off without you. Thanks to everyone who joined us today or wished they could, as we feel blessed and incredibly lucky to have awesome people in our lives.

Thank you to our friends who listened to our plea to not decorate our car. We appreciate that you respected our wishes. Thank you to our guests who kindly refrained from picture-taking in the church. Our photographer was pleased, and we know his photographs will be amazing! As soon as he is done with the post-processing, the link will be available on our wedding website.

We're married! My face hurts from smiling today, and I only shed one tear (but in a good way). A girl could not ask for more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wedding Eve

I'm not really sure what great inspirational message I'll have tonight as we just finished setting up our wedding this evening. We've prayed and dreamed and wished so long for tomorrow, and as the sun so often rises, we are looking forward to the new day. With a squad of dedicated helpers and excited friends, the set-up went smoothly and very, very quickly. I felt quite organized the entire time which was a great help. I am not pleased with a few scheduling errors on the church's behalf, but hopefully those are going to be the only big things to go slightly differently than we'd planned. Our table centerpieces look fantastic! I can't wait to see what they all look like tomorrow when the candles are switched on. At least the hardest work is behind us. I'm very happy for that.

My soon-to-be-husband will be joining me shortly for some last-second phone calls and confirmations, so I need to get moving. Then sleep. My last night as a single woman. FINALLY!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two days and counting!

In less than forty-eight hours, I will be a married woman. The last-minute activity today has been hectic, but I think we're nearing the end of our to-do list. Today's accomplishments include:

-visiting the church to drop off our marriage license, picking up keys, taking measurements, and finalizing ideas for sound systems, seating arrangements, and other little tasks
-picking up one groomsman and taking him and The Boy to get their tuxedos (which fit!)
-lunch
-ordering pizzas, drinks, and table settings for our rehearsal dinner, and scheduling the delivery of said items
-designing, printing, separating, and folding our wedding programs
-hanging pictures around the apartment (The Boy is moving in with me and brought awesome wall hangings)
-framing my college diploma in a professional-looking frame (finally) and hanging it next to The Boy's two college diplomas
-opening a few presents that arrived early and getting those thank-you notes out in the mail
-setting up a playlist for mood music
-setting up a playlist for dancing music (we're real dancers, it's a big deal to have the right music)
-dropping off last night's movie rental
-picking up gifts for some of our wedding party
-going for a walk
-dinner
-rehashing the playlists
-shower
-catching up on e-mails, Facebook, and blogging

All of that in twelve hours! I am on my way to sleep now. Sweet, sweet sleep.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I am not Stressed. Yet.

My hands are cracked and peeling from being washed so many times, but goshdarnit, I do not want to be sick on my honeymoon. Lotion forthcoming.

The number of projects I want to accomplish before being a married woman keeps growing, yet the amount of time is rapidly decreasing. I know I'll have time to do these things later, but the point was to actually get them done and not worry about them again.

One major project I've been meaning to accomplish is magnets. We really need cute magnets for our fridge, and I'm too dang cheap to go buy fancy ones. Using those half-round glass beads, some tiny pictures, and a magnet, I threw together some respectable and cute personalized magnets tonight for pennies. No, I won't post pictures or give instructions. If you want to know what I'm talking about, search for "glass marble magnets" or something like that in Google. A bazillion items will be there at your fingertips.

I didn't know bazillion was a real word.

The two most common questions people keep asking me are "Are you excited to be married?" and "Are you stressed?" The fake answers are yes and no respectively. The real answers are "I'm so excited that it hurts, and I think I've experienced a thousand other emotions besides excitement, and I'm not really sure how to convey that without babbling for hours. Excited, sure, and thrilled and scared and elated and overwhelmed and exhausted and peaceful... As for being stressed, well, we've been spending just about every day for the last month and several days each week for the last nine months preparing for what will amount to four hours of a weekend. That's a LOT of preparation. My biggest bit of stress now is hoping it all falls together without too many snags. Kind of like piecing together a quilt: we have all the pieces cut and mostly stitched together, but sometimes things don't line up quite like we intended. Sometimes they work out better, and sometimes you just have to rip out a few stitches and start over.

We are both excited. We are not too stressed (yet). At least I have magnets on the fridge for all of the to-do lists that The Boy will hate for the next four days. :P

Monday, October 12, 2009

I have a Roommate!

I'm still alive. The Boy has moved in with me, so I officially have a permanent roommate. For life. That's forever! This weekend was incredibly busy with a zillion (!) errands, but we survived our last days off as "single" people before the work week hit. Five days to go until we're married!

We went to the bank (twice), got the car washed for our honeymoon, went to Costco to get drinks and napkins, spent some time with my parents, drove to Salem and bought new fleece jackets and an electric blanket for our new queen-sized bed, and managed to find time in all of that for a movie at home and some snuggling. We moved The Boy's big stuff and most of his little stuff from his parents' house into my apartment where we'll be living until he finds a career. After spending the whole day Sunday moving him, we settled in for a few minutes before dashing back to Target to get a half-dozen little things we needed to get before the wedding (like luggage that was on a great sale just in case nobody buys us luggage sets we like better, which will be difficult).

Between the incredible sales we found on our many shopping trips this weekend and the ease with which The Boy and his father were able to move him, I think it was an incredible weekend! I wish I would have had time to make some home-cooked deliciousness, but time was tight and we were exhausted. Going to be an expensive month for eating out. :(

Last time I blogged, I was worried about all of his stuff fitting in on top of all of my stuff. Actually, things fit BETTER now. The couch was the hardest puzzle piece to fit in, but it does fit. The Boy has a quasi-office area, and I have a desk area, and the two areas are not near the other, so we can have our own spaces. The TV is in the bedroom, so I can watch TV while he plays video games on the other TV in the living room (no cable feed out there though). It really does work for us.

Except for shoes. We don't know what to do with our shoes. The closet floors are all full of other things or are inaccessible. We will figure that part out sometime soon, though, when it becomes a bigger priority. Like in a few months.

We've knocked all of the important things off our wedding "to-do" lists, so this week should be smooth sailing. I'm off work after Wednesday at 5pm, so hopefully I'll have time to keep bloggy updated... we'll see. Know that we've been working hard, but the big day is approaching!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Couch is the Most Difficult Puzzle Piece

Dancing last night was a letdown. The Boy and I hardly knew anyone there as we've been away from the crowd for so long. We did see a few good friends (who are also good dancers thankfully), and we were able to spend some time chatting with them. The music wasn't as good as we remembered. We didn't dance as well as we knew we once could. We're out of shape, our feet hurt entirely too early, and the gym was waaaaaay too hot. Whine, whine, whine!

We're slowly making room for each other (mostly me making room for him) in my apartment. It feels good, though. I haven't had a roommate since 2006, so living with someone else is going to be an exciting challenge. One major difference between my last wonderful roommates and this one is the personal bubble idea. With the previous roommates, we had our own food stashes. We had our own beds. We had our own spaces to hide out, entertain, and be alone. This time I get to re-learn the childhood act of sharing my crayons. The Boy and I will share chores and meals and a bed. I think that's the biggest, most difficult part of the whole "getting married" thing for me. Maybe, someday, waaay down the line when we have kids who get online and read this (HA!), they'll read that their parents weren't always certain or sure or on top of things.

Even though dancing was a bust and we have lots of practicing to do before our First Dance, things are falling into place. Hopefully the music will be better next week and we won't feel quite as icky on the dance floor. Also, hopefully we'll figure out the jigsaw puzzle of furniture in the apartment!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Thusly is not a word, is it?

Last night's lack of blog postage can be summarized thusly: got home, made dinner, moved all of the furniture around in the bedroom, chatted with a friend, tried to sell my old computer, had to reboot (3x) my current computer, showered, dishwasher running/unloading episode, two loads of laundry, watched an hour of TV while building another rosary, corralled the wedding stuff, rearranged the closets, sorted out all of the twin-bed-sized linens, and collapsed into a pile of sleep. In six hours. The sleep wasn't good, so I'm not exactly cheery today. However, our new bed arrived so I'm hopeful that a luxurious night's sleep awaits me.

Luxurious. Wow, I'm a word nerd.

Tonight's agenda includes dancing for the first time in probably a year. The Boy and I have gotten pretty rusty even though we've been teaching a bit again. With our wedding and dancing coming up in *gasp* TEN DAYS, we need the practice. We're hoping the music isn't as bad as people are telling us it has been lately... or that we don't injure ourselves! The best part about marrying a dancer is that I never have to worry about not having someone to dance with. We're both free to dance with other people, sure, and we do, but still, we can always dance with each other if nobody else is around or wants to dance with us. (Which I'm fine with: dancing means germ sharing, and I'm pretty confident The Boy and I already share lots of germs. It's all the other previously unshared germs I worry about.)

There is a pizza in my very near future. Pizza, dancing, and sleep. It's going to be delicious (yes, delicious and luxurious on the sleep part).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Zuppatoni

Blame The Boy for the title of this recipe. I found an Olive Garden recipe for their Zuppa Toscana online, but after many pots of soup, I've adapted the recipe into something much healthier and more delicious. Really. Better than actually going to the restaurant.

Cast of Characters:
1 pound turkey sausage or ground turkey with Italian seasoning
1 good bunch of kale (think two big fistfulls)
5 medium Russet potatoes (the cheap ones at the grocery store in the 5-lb bag)
1 cup heavy cream
2 liters of water (big pitcher full)
5 bouillon cubes or 5 teaspoons of the loose powdered stuff, low-sodium is fine
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 medium onion (I use a heavy tablespoon of the dry onion flakes)
1 tablespoon bacon bits or about two strips of cooked bacon minced
salt and pepper to taste

Necessary Evil (I hate doing the dishes, so I keep this to a minimum)
large stock pot
regular skillet
big spoon for stirring
meat stirring/breaking up implement
knife for chopping potatoes
cutting board for potatoes
brush for scrubbing potatoes
hands for measuring, tearing kale

Order of Play:
Fill stock pot with water a bit over half full. Add bouillon, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, and onion, and then bring to a boil. While that's getting warm, preheat a skillet and lightly brown the sausage and chop down to nickle-sized pieces. I add the bacon bits to the meat when most of the turkey isn't pink anymore. Turn off the heat, but leave the meat where it is. It won't go bad sitting on the heat for thirty minutes while the potatoes cook. Once the water is boiling and the potatoes have been scrubbed and chopped into small chunks (bigger takes longer to cook and is harder to eat, you be the judge), add the potatoes to the broth. Simmer for about a half-hour or until the potatoes are tender. Add the meat to the soup. Add the cream. Bring to a boil again, and then add the kale. From this point, I suggest at least five minutes for tender kale. It won't go soft, trust me. It's better when it's just a little bit limp and a little bit crunchy. Feeds about four hungry people or two really hungry people and two bowls of leftovers (which are just as good!).

What makes my soup better than the Olive Garden's?
1. mine is cheaper
2. mine is made at home
3. I used turkey sausage instead of pork which cut out a ton of fat and grease
4. fresh kale, not canned/reheated = yummy!
5. my potatoes aren't mushy
6. leftovers!!!
7. I can control the amount of cream, and could substitute milk if I was really watching my weight (though the cream is just so much better)
8. served HOT, not lukewarm
9. OG's soup is all pre-cooked and canned
10. sanitation is never, ever a question in my kitchen

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Last Minute Insanity

We got my dress back from The Boy's aunt who kindly did the alterations for me. She was a WHIZ and did a fantastic job. I don't have to worry about how many potatoes I eat between now and the wedding, thankfully. It fits like a dream.

We paid for our flowers, looked for household decorations (we want some nice, non-kitschy Catholic stuff around, but it's hard to find stuff that is both distinctly Catholic and not overwhelmingly so), and had lunch out at one of our favorite restaurants yesterday, Sweet Tomatoes. I ate four, yes four of their amazing blueberry muffins. BOGO coupons rock, by the way.

We found toasting glasses we liked at a price we really liked, FINALLY. Praise the dollar store! Unfortunately we haven't been so lucky with napkins or tablecloths. I had to do some online ordering for those. We still need to get to Costco for the sparkling cider and maybe a Camelbak for The Boy for our honeymoon's many walking adventures.

Last night, I gave Dad a haircut and taught him how to Foxtrot. He did a GREAT job for a first lesson. We got through the basic box, turning box, and even traveling! The song I picked out doesn't always have a definite beat, so it'll be an interesting father-daughter dance. All I can hope is that we have fun regardless of the steps or beats or embarrassment.

We completely changed our minds (again) about our wedding cake topper. We're just about to the point of not having one entirely for a variety of reasons, the largest of which being the desire to not have one. It's our wedding, our wedding cake, and our lack of cake topper. Legos will still be involved in the cake somehow, so nobody should panic. We didn't lose our minds along with our sense of tradition.

What's left? Um... getting people to RSVP. If you were invited and have not EXPLICITLY stated that you will be attending either through our wedding website, a conversation, a Facebook message, instant message, text message, or phone call (or by telepathy, prayer, or wishing really hard), please let us know as soon as possible whether or not you plan to attend. We are easy to contact. Let other people know that we still have quite a few unknowns, and that goes to cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends. Do not assume we know. Failure to RSVP means less food for everyone in the event you do decide to show up, and nobody wants that. PLEASE, PLEASE RSVP!

Friday, October 02, 2009

But I was singing, officer!

Sometimes I wonder if people notice that I'm singing along to the music in my car. Maybe the think I'm talking on my cell phone, or maybe they think I'm talking to a really small child hunkered down in the back seat, or maybe the think I'm crazy and talking to myself. I'm not sure. I wonder if it's easier to get away with singing in the car since people will think I'm talking on my phone. Or, maybe I'll get pulled over for "talking on my phone while driving" even though I was singing along with the music. I'm sure officers hear that all the time: "but I was singing not talking to someone!" I bet that excuse never works.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's OCTOBER!

We're getting married THIS MONTH!

Are we ready? No way. Are we running around like crazy people trying to get everything done? Definitely. Are we having the time of our life? Of COURSE!

The list of things to do is actually growing longer as time runs out, so I have a feeling the next two weeks will be insane. We can't find black plastic tablecloths in Corvallis as it's both nearing Halloween and one of OSU's awesome colors. Hopefully Albany's Dollar Store will have a better stock. The list of other things we need to get grows and grows as our budget winds down. We are also trying to plan the honeymoon a bit more before we leave, and we have much to do the day we leave (Social Security office here I come). It's just nuts.

Sixteen days. A thousand details to cover. One BIG day. I can't wait until that new bed arrives and I can get some goooood sleep.