Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm MARRIED!!!!

ACK!!!!

I'm a Mrs. An "other half." A Spouse. A newlywed.

I love it!

The wedding was amazing. Even though the weather wasn't quite cooperating....(ahem) the day was still beautiful. We ended up getting married right in the ballroom where the reception was due to the rains & wind but it didn't matter. The room was cozy and filled with candlelight and we said the vows and heard the music and listened to our aunts do readings and the minister give his sermon. We gave each other rings and a kiss and were announced as husband and wife!!!

*sigh*

The reception was so much fun (albeit a crazy whirlwind) and after the reception we had a campfire on the shores of lake superior - as the weather had cleared. The most amazing thing was the NORTHERN LIGHTS put on a spectacular show....just for us (or so I think!!). So many people came to the "after party" - we roasted hot dogs, drank beer and wine chatted chatted chatted - it was an amazing night.

I will post more details (naturally) later with photos but right now I'm exhausted and all I can manage is eating triscuits and watching Dr. Phil. :-)


Thanks for all the well wishes!!!

I'm a happy new wife!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

T-Minus 5 hours and 20 minutes

I'm in the lobby of the lodge. The reception room is decorated. The lights are hung. I need to shower! ha. I'm off to get my hair done and put my veil on and it still doesn't quite seem real. It's amazing.

The weather is CRAPPY with a capital C. 52 degrees. drizzle. Wind. Ugh.

Oh well! I'm off to shower! ack.


Next time I blog I'll be a bride.

:-)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

DQ cakes rock

My co-workers just gave me a lovely (and yummy) DQ cake to send me off! Whohoo! It is our tradition here to do things like cakes & potlucks and happy hours when someone leaves, gets married, has a baby etc so this was cool. Since I'm leaving in 10 mins though they had to change the time from our usual 2 to 11...I don't think anyone really minded having ice cream cake before lunch.

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Beaming from the inside

I'm still here (at work) but not for long. I asked for a 1/2 day today because, let's face it...I'm not really doing much work anyway. :-)

Last night my friend Sarah H. made it to my house (she is the transplant to LA and is now back in MN for a few weeks and to be at my wedding!! whohooo!). We went and filled up a large bucket full of Lake Superior Rocks (which we will return) for the centerpieces. We also ran errands and ate salad & breadsticks at The Olive Garden. Back at home I putzed with the music list, gift bags and photos...there are a few things left to be done and I want to get them done before my head explodes. Ha. I also want to clean my house before my parents arrival tomorrow. That's causing me the most stress right now. And it's not even that bad it's just not as tidy as it should be. OH and there's cat pee on the wall that I have to clean up. *sigh* Why do my furry friends do this to me?!?!?

So yeah, here, not here, brain...full and fuzzy and making lists like a MAD woman. I can't wait. I'm so excited. I'm nervous. I'm full of a crazy kind of energy. No one every told me how VERY WEIRD this week would feel. Weird in a good way.

We've practiced our vows, we've practiced dancing, we've practiced putting our rings on each other - I *think* we're ready. The true test is to come.

oh and it's supposed to be quite chilly & possibly rainy on Saturday. *sigh* As my boss said it won't matter because I'll be beaming from the inside. That was kind of nice of him.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm here...

but not really here. Ya know?

The lady bugs are incredibly close to each other, having sex practically, and that means that there's only 5 days left til the wedding! ACK.

My weekend was semi-productive. I saw two plays (Barefoot in the Park and Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business), went to a pub for a couple pints, worked on the slideshow for our reception, tried to organize pictures, started putting the dance music in order, went to a "hat" party (hats required, I sort of cheated & wore my tiara & veil from Vegas), worked on the slideshow & music some more, cleaned out the "wrapping" dresser (yes, I have a dresser just for gift bags, tissue, wrapping paper & bows) and worked more on wedding stuff.

It went FAST.

And today.....I just am NOT in the mood to be here at work. There are still a few things left on my "to-do" list. I am obsessively checking the weather forecast on weather.com even though I KNOW that they cannot predict weather here at all and I'm just generally, well, thinking about OTHER THINGS.

So, I'm here but I'm not. Thank god time is moving quickly or I'd be just dying.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Read-along

My friend Peder is on his quest to read a bunch of American Classics - not sure what the "official" title of this project is (the book project?) but he posted today that he's starting My Antonia by Willa Cather next and as that's something I have not read and I've always wanted to be in a "book club" I thought this was the perfect time to join in.

So - there you have it - my next book will be My Antonia - care to join us?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Chicken Breasts in Tomatoes & Cream

This is a fabulous recipe from the Hollyhocks & Radishes cookbook which I received last month at a wedding shower. I made it for the 2nd time last night and it's really quite tasty & not too putzy to make! So if you have a lot of tomatoes in your garden, this is a good recipe to put them to use.

Chicken Breasts in Tomatoes & Cream

6 boned chicken breast halves I use the chicken breast strips
3 Tbsp Butter
1 Onion thinly sliced
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp flour
3 Med. tomatoes, peeled & sliced
1/3 C. Sour Cream
3 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté chicken in butter until lightly browned. Remove. Reduce heat to medium & cook onion & garlic until soft. With a flat whisk, stir in flour & brown for one minute. Add tomatoes & return chicken to pan. Cover & simmer gently over low heat for 20-25 minutes.

Stir in sour cream, parmesan cheese & salt to taste. Heat to serve, but do not allow to boil

Serves: 4-6
Prepare: 15 mins
Cook: 20-25 mins

The first time I just served the chicken & sauce w/broccoli on the side. Last night we made some rice and served the chicken & sauce over the rice and it was divine. Not great if you're counting carbs, but if you're not - it's excellent! Another serving suggestion would be skip the rice & serve with garlic bread.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Favor?

Here is how I spent my weekend (aside from worrying about my Grandma...)

My friend Michelle helped with putting the chocolates in the bags. Ay yi yi - it was a big project!

Cutting the favor tags on my new 12x12 paper cutter

I cut a lot of these buggers.

I added some color using chalks.

And I had a little 'help from my friends' as I watched a Beatles DVD while working on my laptop.

Yum! Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds! I ordered 24 pounds of these babies!

Each bag was carefully filled. Then I folded and stapled the tags on top. Voila! Wedding favors at a fraction of the price (of ordering them pre-made). Of course it took all weekend....

Thanks

Thanks for all the sweet comments & emails about my Grandma.

She's in great spirits, still in the hospital but will either go home today or tomorrow. She is enjoying the fine care that she's getting at Mayo - particularly the sponge baths by a very nice gentleman! (that is just so funny to me). No word yet on prognosis or treatment but as of now she is still very excited about coming to the wedding still and hopefully she'll be able to.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Grandma R.

The email from my Mom:

"Dad got home from Rochester about 2:00 today. They finally got to talk to a specialist. It sounds like there is cancer in the adrenal gland and the lymph nodes in the chest area - stage 4- possibly lung cancer. It is not good news."

:-(

Tumor

So my Grandma has a cancerous tumor. And some nodes in the lung area.

*sigh*

I hate cancer.

She was having hallucinations last week -wild ones! People in her house, dogs that have been dead for years, Israelis (?) having a party in her room, cousins of mine there with her being loud, etc etc. They took her to the hospital. It was due to taking Tylenol PM. Did you know that anyone over age 50 should NOT take Tylenol PM? Something about how it affects your system and it's common to hallucinate with it (!). Anyway - they did more tests, they sent her via ambulance to Mayo Clinic (a benefit of living in MN no doubt).

She's feeling much better and just basically "hanging out" there til they figure out what to do. She had her 83rd birthday in the hospital on Thursday.

They thought it was her adrenal glad. They did a biopsy. They found cancer.

I am sad.

Just found out late last night. My Dad will be going over there (Rochester) this morning to hopefully talk to a specialist. Hopefully to get more answers, talk about treatment options, etc.

This could impact her coming to the wedding. I know it sounds selfish that I'm thinking about the wedding, but i would REALLY love for her to be there. This incredible woman, this MATRIARCH of our family, this mother of 10 (9 living), this woman who has been through so much and seen so many years. My Grandma. The quilter. The baker. The collector of everything. The hand-me-downer of beautiful pieces of glass to me. The Grandma to over 30. The Great Grandma...I don't know. I haven't done the math.

*sigh*

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Broken

I'm so pissed!

I was washing up our new-never-before-used-martini-glasses that I got at a bridal shower so we can use them tonight and I was being OH SO CAREFUL when I washed them because I'm a paranoid freak and then the last one bumped the edge of one already in the drying rack as I was setting it down and BROKE. :-( WAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I know, a silly thing to be bummed about but I am! We hadn't even USED them yet. They don't seem *that* delicate but apparently they are. Man that sucks.

:-(

They're from Target so it's not that big of a deal but it bums me out nonetheless.

Hmph.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I Completely Forgot What I was Going to Post About...

in the time it took me to go from my 'blog to logging in to Blogger.

Wow. I am super lame.

Well, anyway - it's a hot Friday night here in Duluth....we went for a hike after work, made tacos at home for dinner, then I started working on the favor tags & watching THE BEATLES: THE FIRST U.S. VISIT on my Mac in the kitchen (multi-tasking). I'm not nearly as done as I need to be for the night....but I'm tired....and the bed is calling for me...hmmmm.....

Tomorrow's plans include: cleaning litter boxes, more favor work, cleaning the whole house, actually..., working on my massive "to-do" list of pre-wedding stuff rounded out by an evening of stuffing favor bags & hanging out with my friend Michelle (hi Michelle!) while watching some sort of flick and trying out the new martini glasses ifyouknowwhatImean. :-) Sunday I'm taking Miss M to a play and will hopefully get my car washed, the front porch door finished amongst numerous other "to do" items. Oh I have to create a wedding clutch from my leftover fabric...that could take a while....

anyhoo - hope everyone is having a lovely start to their weekend!

OH and Steve is my hero. I couldn't get our internet to work for the past oh...24 hours or so and it was literally SUCKING the life out of me. I FINALLY get a laptop that is working and I can be mobile with and BLAMO no internet. Figures. Well, I've been sitting down here and he went upstairs an hour or so ago so I thought I'd just log on and check to see the status and lo and behold - HERE I AM! I must go hug & kiss him now.

:-)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In and Out

My lovely Mac has been in and out of the shop now for the past month.

It started initially with the battery never getting charged up. I would get the "evil X" icon and never a lovely lightening bolted battery icon. That was okay - I mean I could still work with it plugged in and I managed to get a couple of weddings edited that way.

Turns out it was a faulty battery connection and after taking it in, the computer place sent it directly to Apple for repair. It came back in a timely fashion - yay!

I was getting nervous as I am doing a slide show for our wedding reception on it and we're playing our reception music from it.

I was overjoyed when I got it back....on a Tuesday. Right before Vegas. I was frantic that week with finishing up bachelorette gifts and packing so didn't really use the computer. I got back on Monday - didn't use the computer. On Tuesday I had to set up my new iPod (HAD TO) and that was the first time I used it. Wednesday I went to turn it on and I got a BLACK screen! No video! No nothing. I could tell that the Mac was powering up but nothing else was happening. :-(

So, I talked to the Applecare line for about 45 minutes trying to re-set the PMU and zap the P-RAM and whatever else, which of course didn't work (I had scoured the message boards for these exact remedies which didn't work for me either with our without the Apple tech on the line. So, they advised me to send it back in.

My new approach is to take it to the Apple certified repair place here in town. That way if they can fix it and NOT send it in it saves a lot of time. Plus I'm sick of talking to Apple on the phone. It takes forever, eats up my cell minutes and I have crappy reception in my house so it's not always possible.

The computer was fixed within a day! Yay! The tech there "zapped the P-RAM" and it worked like a charm. Why it wouldn't work for me? I have no idea.

Happily I went home and played with my computer.

I was busy & gone all weekend so by Tuesday I was finally using it again. Just to do a little surfing and play iTunes. Wednesday - turned it on and NOTHING - again! I tried resetting the PMU again and forgot about the P-RAM directions and then went up stairs to the desktop computer and ordered 2 more years of AppleCare as mine expires in a few days.

I took him in AGAIN today and the Apple tech was there. Yay! He was able to reset it right there, he ran some diagnostics and everything looked good. Weird. So, I have him back but who knows for how long.....

All that being said. I still LOVE my Mac. I will always be a Mac-Girl, that's just how it is.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Progress

So, I was able to cross a few things off ye olde wedding "to do" list today...

*try on our wedding bands at the jeweler's and find out the balance on the account
*apply for our marriage license
*go through all the leaves (literally hundreds) that we collected and have been pressing for almost a YEAR! They are beautiful and will look lovely on the tables. I'm so glad we decided to do this instead of the fake ones. I have Steve to thank for that.

Now, bedtime....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Eh

I'm feeling a bit blah.

I spent the evening with Miss M and I just feel like sometimes I am not a very good mentor. Today I didn't have enough activities to keep going (our "plan" was to work on our knitting projects but I could tell she wasn't that into it). We played a game with dice (Yahtzee!) but to me the dice were too loud, and they were flying everywhere and she was taking so long and I was getting annoyed (within myself - never showed outwardly) and I was sometimes annoyed with her. I feel like the worst human being ON THE PLANET for saying that. I don't know if it's PMS or wedding stress or tiredness or what but I just wasn't into it tonight. :(

This makes me feel like I'm no where near ready for motherhood (yet I think I am) and that I am an awful human being who's trying to do something that maybe I'm not suited for.

Or maybe I'm just having a bad night of it. I don't know.

I'm not giving up I just need to go to bed I guess.

lady bugs

Um, okay - the LADY BUGS on my wedding counter ARE TOUCHING!!!!

t-minus 16 days til I'm a married woman!!

ACK!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Vegas Weekend - Sunday & Monday

Okay - time to wrap up this recap already...

Sunday my LA friends (all but one) were on the road by 7am (!) as they had things to get back for and did not want to get stuck in the horrendous Las Vegas to LA traffic. I got up and groggily hugged them all and thanked them so much for everything and then got all excited again because I get to see them in less than a month!

The rest of us got up later. We lolled about a bit, packed, cleaned and then schlepped two loads worth of luggage and extra crap over to the Hawthorn Suites just off the strip. Heather (who lives in LA) had her car so was kind enough to assist us in this endeavor.

We couldn't check in yet to the other hotel so we headed to the Hash House a Go Go for pancakes as big as pizzas and biscuits & gravy that came in a trough. It was really, really good. I wanted to go there since last winter when I saw the restaurant profiled on The Martha Stewart show. It was fun to be there and eat that yummy breakfast goodness. And it wasn't expensive either. Even better!

We still couldn't get into our suite so we spent the afternoon lounging in the hotel lobby - sleeping, catching up on the news (hurricanes & plane crashes) and reading. It was boring but oh well.

We got into our room, got "ready" and hit the strip. Just a little jaunt into NYNY (where I won $50 on "Cash Crop"), and then over to the Aladdin where we looked at clothes, jewelry, contortionists, sunglasses etc. We had dinner there and then headed back to get more ready for our night out.

We went back to the Rio that night so we could see the "Masquerade in the Sky" which is free entertainment. It was fun. The floats are cool but I think the dancers looked tired or lazy or bored or something. Oh well. It was free. We thent went up to the VooDoo lounge which was great. Such an amazing view. There are two rooftop patios - one on the 50th floor and one on the 51st floor. It was stunning to see the strip from this perspective. I had two delicious appletinis (and paid through the nose for them). I just had to have a drink in a lovely glass for such a view.

After that we went back to the hotel. Sarah's plane was the red-eye that night so she wanted to get there in plenty of time. Allison & I walked her over to the Hooters Hotel as they have a cab line and the Hawthorn does not. After more hugs & thank yous she was off. Allison & I stopped into Hooters' martini bar for a drink and some very good live music by a cover band. By 1am we were tucked into bed fast asleep.

Monday we got up in time for our free cooked breakfast (me likes free - can you tell?). After breakfast we laid at the pool for a while and then packed up and got ready to go.

The flight back was uneventful. We took off 50 mins late because it was TOO HOT outside (!) and there were weight restrictions but it wasn't too bad. My sister got on a different flight to Sioux Falls where she spent the night and flew to Mpls the next morning. We got to Minneapolis about 8pm and then waited FOREVER for our luggage. At least it all came.

I got on the road by 9pm and was back in Duluth by 11:15pm. It was a long drive, I was tired but not as bad as I anticipated.

I was SOOOOOO HAPPY to see my sweet Stevie! And he gave me my birthday present which is A NEW BIKE! I'm sooooo excited! I have never IN MY LIFE had a new bike. I'm thrilled. It's a birthday/wedding combo gift and we're going to go shopping for it in the next couple of weeks. He made a really cute "certificate" which is good for one new bike! Whohoooo!

Okay - so there you have it. I would upload more pics but I'm too tired right now - ha! So maybe tomorrow. It is a holiday after all....

Friday, September 01, 2006

Vegas Weekend - Saturday

Saturday morning started slowly - which was fine. I slept like crap so was wide awake by 8am which is abnormal for me (of course I was still on Minnesota time). I was a bit anxious because my last friend to arrive was getting in at 8:30am and we were expecting a phone call. Plus the condo's kitchen and living room were a bit, uh....messy and that was bugging me and I needed to tidy up. (visions of my mother danced in my head....)

We slowly (as a group) started coming around. I got up, tidied up and felt much better. My friend who was arriving called and said she wasn't coming due to her 9 month old having a fever and being at the doctor after they were all up all night. That was a huge bummer but I understand. This was going to be her first time away and I know that can be filled with anxiety under normal circumstances but then to also have the baby not feeling well, well, that would be too much.

Eventually everyone was up and the girls in the 2nd condo came down to join us. Sam (the party-planner extraordinare) cooked up some eggs, bacon & toast and we also had mimosas. It was a very mellow way to start the day.

The day was split between lounging at the pool, lounging in the condo and napping. Heather & Sarah H hit the strip for a while and later me, Sam, Kathy, Sudhara & Sarah O checked out the Palms (where Sam was itching to get a tatoo) and the Mirage (to scope out a dinner location for that evening.

Later we got ready to go to dinner and the show - more champagne and music and girls getting ready together...it was a lot of fun. I get very little of that in my real life. We went to the Mirage for dinner. A Italian restaurant and wine bar called Onda. A very beautiful restaurant. We couldn't get a reservation but when we showed up with me in a veil, we magically got a table for 9! The food was delish (I had fettucine alfredo with smoky cheeses & sweet peas). We also had some very yummy (but spendy!) wine. Unfortunately I think the white wine was a bit too acidic for me and so it was hard to eat dinner with the chest pains that I was having. Hmmmm. But no worries I wasn't going to let ANYTHING ruin my evening.

After dinner (and the mathematical gymnastics trying to figure out the bill & the tip) we headed over to the Beatles Theater to watch LOVE! I was so excited. I think everyone was. The entrance to the theater is even incredible. A lighted walk-way that changes colors, mirror half spheres on the ceiling making incredible reflections, a big lit up union jack and ushers dressed as bobbies. Our seats were fantastic - the show is done in the round so I'm sure it's hard to find a bad seat but we were CLOSE without being TOO close.

The lights dimmed and the show started. It started with the acapella version of Becamse and the tears immediately started flowing. When the show revved up and started rocking a bit more the big scrims (which images had been projected on - sort of blocking views (but not really)) dropped, cannons went off showering us with confetti and everyone went nuts. It was awesome. From there it was just a fantastical ride.

This Cirque show was different than the other one that I saw in that this was more dance & stunts than pur acrobatics. There was some acrobatics (!) but not as much as in Mystere. There were lots of people flying in from here & there - the wire work was really remarkable. Particularly during Something - that was probably one of THE most incredible songs. One lone male dancer being enticed by 4 ladies in white all on wires. It was gorgeous. So flowy and beautiful and wow. Another favorite of mine was Octopus's Garden - the 'creatures' that they created through more wire work, beautiful costumes and the video screens all around. It was truly awesome.

At one point I had to go to the bathroom so badly I thought I was going to die. I knew that as soon as I was "in pain" I needed to get up and go or I would be miserable and wouldn't be able to concentrate on this amazing show. I was also incredibly annoyed at myself that I let this happen! I got to the top of the row where the doors were (not far from our row) and there were no doors! It was so weird...only signs for "authorized personnel only" - hmmm....I looked around in confusion and then was whisked away by a "bobbie" out of no where....silently she direted me to a SECRET DOOR containing a small 4-stall bathroom! It was crazy. It was right there in the theater. Everything was like a dream. The music played in there and I literally wasn't more than a few steps from the seats. Everything in the bathroom was funky and the stalls & toilets were a silvery something-or-other - it was really kind of cool! The whole trip took me less than 3 mins and I was in and out within one song. I was so happy because I was envisioning myself having to go down to the lobby, finding a bathroom, etc....this was very quick and easy (and really rather neat!)

The show ended about 6 hours sooner than I would've liked it to. It was just amazing and I'm so glad to have gone. I wish I could go again and again so I could cement it in my brain. After the show I bought a black Beatles t-shirt with "The Beatles" in lovely Vegas-y 'bling' (it's quite cute) and a Beatles lunchbox which I plan on using as a purse.

The evening ended in a very mellow way - back to the resort, a few snacks and then bed. It was a very wonderful day & night.

My friends Rock.

Sunday.....later....