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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Checking In

Hey y'all!


I had such a blog-athon last weekend, then this weekend... nothing.  Sorry!


I was a busy girl, though.  I got all of the wedding invitations printed, yay me! And it only took two ink cartridges, so far.  Not bad!  That part, at least, is coming in... wait for it... UNDER BUDGET!  Oh yeah!


Other wedding progress... for flowers, I think we are going to DIY it from Sam's Club.  And for cake, CUPCAKES, oh yeah!  I'm still waiting for confirmation back from the cupcake lady, though.  Good vibes to her, people, send good vibes.  Thanks.


Sunday, I woke up with horrible cramps.  Ugh.  Then Sunday night I had a massive allergy attack, from which I'm still recovering.  Double Ugh.  The last thing I have time for right now is sickness!


My love gets here late Wednesday night!  I can't wait to see him!  We're going to have a super fun 4th of July in the Nation's Capital, then road trip it down to see the nephew(s).**


**We're waiting on a new little one this month!


It will all be super fun!  Now, if my brain can just calm down as it constantly cycles through work schedules, grocery lists, car maintence due, birthday cards that need to be sent out, stamps that need to be bought, Facebook messages that need replys and kitchen cabinets that need to be cleaned out... I'll be fine.


My to-do list is bigger than I am.  And it needs to calm down because I need to lay by the pool at some point!  I do not want to be a whitey-white beach bride, that's fo-sho!  Which adds another thing to my list... I need to find an acceptable strapless bathing suit!  I haven't been able to find anything!  Everything at Old Navy and Target is made for pre-teen Skipper type dolls and the stuff at TJ Maxx looks like it's for big mamas.


Woe is me.


As I go... here's a picture of my little bro.  Just because I'm so proud of him.  And because I want you to keep him in your prayers.  He's been putting up some really compelling pictures from Iraq on Facebook.


Chris



Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Evening with Morning Joe

Last Thursday, Joe Scarborough was at the National Press Club (Go Big Blue!) for a book event.  I slept as soon as I got home from work so I could go.  I made it, and boy am I glad I did!  It was like watching "Morning Joe" (which is the best news program on television right now, hands down.) in person!  Joe and Mika are smart, hilarious and their chemistry is amazing.  I was lucky enough to get my book signed, get a picture and talk with the show's EP for a couple of minutes.


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Joe told me his first girlfriend's name was Dana.  Hmmm.  Interesting.  It was so much fun seeing them again.  Remember, we first met at the New Hampshire Primary last year!


Let's review:


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Chris Licht, the show's executive producer, remembered that I've loved Morning Joe since before it was cool!




Yes! I have!



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Room at the Inn

I topped off my productive weekend with another purge session.  I have way too much crap, like most Americans.  But, behold - I have the best reason in the world for getting rid of it!!  There's a really cute boy moving in soon!  And he will need somewhere to put his stuff!


I am proud to announce, as of this afternoon, I have successfully vacated half of my closet and an entire dresser!!  I would like the record to show that I used to own two walk-in closets full of clothes!  I used to pretty much collect clothes as a hobby, so this is a very big deal, people!  I have gotten rid of so much over the last few months, now I'm actually at a livable point!  I'm so proud :)

I cleaned out all my jammies and stuff, too.  I can't be lounging around single-girl style in my holy, coffee-stained extra large NBC shirt anymore!  I want to look hot for my man!  So, if it isn't decent, it got thrown out, and if I don't love it and wear it, it's going to be sold in my mother's next yard sale!

Proof:
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His half.

(that stuff will be gone after the wedding)

The stuff on the shelf is stuff I need to sew.  I've been needing to hem three pairs of pants for more than a year.  I don't know if I'm a leg dragger or what, but the hem always falls out the left leg of all of my pants, haha!


And my poor green trench coat.  I think it has a total of 3 buttons, and it's double-breasted, pretty embarrassing.

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My half.


Not bad, eh?

OH... I'm also selling that 6 foot Martha Stewart Christmas tree.  Any takers?  It is not pre-lit, but it's really easy to put together, and it's really pretty and it doesn't shed.  Also, going on Craigslist!



I'm pretty proud of the creativity I mustered up to figure out how to get all of my clothes and shoes to fit on one side of the closet (albeit the bigger side!)









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And, HIS dresser!

I already put a couple of things in there.

Can't wait until it's filled up!!!


Okay, seriously.  I should be sleeping!  I just realized that I still have my contacts in, though, so it looks like I'll be getting up before drifting off.




But yay for an uber-productive weekend, right?  And, I'm pretty sure I set some sort of blogging record, haha!  Cheers.


Stuff For Sale

I'm about to put a few things for sale on Craigslist.  Let me know if you want dibbs before I post them, and how much you'd want it for.  

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(Puggle not included)














I should be sleeping, not blogging...

but I am really proud of the progress I made this weekend, so I just have to share it with you!

It was an excellent weekend.  Very productive in the wedding department.  I was reminded of how blessed and taken care of I am, it was great to be back at church with some really good friends I've made.  Great to catch up with my Dad and my Step-dad on the phone.  Love those guys!
Now.. documenting the wedding progress:
IMG_4306 I finished the centerpieces!!!

I think I have 23 or 24 of these.  I tell you my new best friends are Dollar Tree and my hot glue gun!


I only burned myself once, and that was yesterday, and it's already pretty much healed.




Yeah!


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See what I mean?


I forgot how awesome this place is.  Where else can you get this much stuff for like $38?


I grew up in the town that Dollar Tree is headquartered in, and there was one on like every corner, so it's sad I had to Google and GPS just to get to a couple around here, but it was totally worth it!



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I also made all of the boutonnieres (gosh! I can't ever spell that word!) for the boys!!



This is what they look like for the groomsmen.







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Michael's is special since he's my GROOM.

He gets to stand out.  :)












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I also made the corsages for our moms and Granny.


It took me a while to come up with this design, but I think this is nice!  I didn't want them to be the same as the boys, ya know!







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I even got them all wrapped and assigned and packaged!

I scored some free bubble wrap someone was getting rid of, and a box, so I was able to pack the centerpieces all up!  I can't wait to get this stuff down to the OBX and out of here, because it's really starting to take up a lot of room!






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I redesigned our picture cards with our one of our new logos (another score from Etsy, seriously, I am so in love with that website!) and I'm much happier with them.  I even printed and cut all of these out!










So, yay!!! Major progress made!  I have a couple of important things to accomplish this week, but I should have time, so hopefully all of these things will just keep getting scratched off of my gigantic to do list!











An old school pic shout out to my Dad... Happy Father's Day!








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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Congratulations Nick & Michelle!

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Nick and Michelle are getting married TODAY!


Shout out to them, this couple ROCKS.


I wish you guys a perfect day and a forever of happieness.



Last thing, I swear!

One more thing to share with you dark and early this Saturday morning, and then I'm plugging the hot glue gun in and getting away from this computer!


Our guest book arrived yesterday and it's lovely!  I ordered it off of Etsy.  You so need to go there and browse around, it's awesome.


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Truths About Babies

No!  I'm not having one. Not yet, at least!  So stand down, rumor mill.  I just have a couple of thoughts on them.  These thoughts are quite controversial.  And I certainly don't mean to hurt any mothers' feelings with these statements.  But I believe any self-respecting, truth-telling person will tell you, these are pretty widely held beliefs.


First, I'm sorry, but puppies are cuter than babies.  They just are.


Second, white babies are the least cute on the planet.  They (as newborns at least) all look the same.  Like squishy, grumpy little old men.


I mean look at us as babies:  We look the same!  Guess which one is me and which one is Michael!!  (Mom, you are not allowed to participate)Img088














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Wedding Planning Before the Sun Comes Up

Saturday is the only time I wake up truly refreshed.  Let's face it, working two jobs, one of which starts at 1:00 in the morning, is just not conducive of much sleeping.  I generally sleep about 20 hours Monday-Friday and about 24 Saturday-Sunday.  Saturday morning is the only time I don't wake up to an alarm or the phone ringing or my blackberry buzzing.  Usually, after one of my 12 hour sleeps, I am up at about 4:00am, and that is when my creative juices are flowing!


Multiple blog posts right now are evidence of that, right?  I used to fight this, and force myself to stay in the bed.  No more.  I look forward to it.  I love how much I can get done before the sun comes up!


Already, I've paid my bills, made a hotel reservation for our photographer, emailed about flowers and cupcakes, researched out of town bags, downloaded our monograms, and I think I'm on my third blog post!


Saturday mornings are the BEST!


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Brown/Ritter wedding planning headquarters.


Essentials:


Bridal Bargains handbook!


"His Better Half" coffee mug. (filled multiple times)


Outer Banks Bride magazine.


Google.



And of course, I have to have my trusty assistants:


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My Stud Muffin

Another project I've been working on is Michael and my wedding slideshow/video.  I think I am realizing in talking to people I work with that this may be a "Southern thing."  So, I will explain it for you Northerners.  Basically, at weddings, you play a slideshow or video of old pictures of the Bride and Groom growing up.  The moms cry.  Everyone else laughs.  Usually people do this at the rehearsal dinner, but we're going to play ours at the actual wedding reception because the venue is much more conducive there and it's a uber-casual atmosphere, so it fits! 


I love making these videos.  See my nephew's high school graduation video, my mom's 50th birthday video  (too bad the audio was disabled darn copyright rules!) and my tribute to my family's restaurant.  I have so much fun doing these!


When I was in Texas, I got a bunch of pictures of my Michael through the years.  Some are hilarious, of course!  Who wasn't funny when you grew up in the 80s?  Some brought on such an emotional response from me that I had to walk away a couple of times.  But now, I'm in the middle of completing this really fun, rewarding project.  And I am loving it!


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This one is my favorite!  So much so, that I have a wallet sized one in my wallet!  How fun, right?  People (except for grandparents, I suspect) don't really carry pictures around in their wallets anymore, I know I don't.  But it's been fun to see this in there every now and then when I got to pay for something.



I think, man, look at my STUD MUFFIN! He looks so handsome here in his teenage years, doesn't he? 


Very "Saved by the Bell"/Zack Morris shirt, no?


And I love the prominence of the ring and the rolled up sleeves, haha. 


But those eyes, that smile, I could look at them forever.  I think I will.



Reunion

I don't know if I shared this with the blogosphere or not, but earlier this spring, I had quite a scare.


I thought I had lost a dear friend.  My softball glove.  This sounds like a material posession, I get that.  But to me, it was much more.  I had had this glove since I was about 10 years old (for the evil ones who know how old I am and are counting, that's about 20 years!).  This glove was there through a lot.  Softball is a favorite past time of mine.  It was always something I enjoyed, I was good at, and I shared with my dad.  I remember a couple of tough summers during my parents' divorce where I got a lot of frustration out on the softball field.  That glove played kid ball, fall ball, high school ball, even adult ball when I played on the WAVY News 10 Team!  There were a lot of memories there!!


When I couldn't find it before my first game this season (I play for the National Press Club, GO BIG BLUE!) I was seriously in tears!  I thought in all of my cleaning out and purging and moving, perhaps I had accidentally gotten rid of it.  I was convinced that it got unloaded at the Goodwill store by mistake back in February.  I even went to the Goodwill and went through their back room and interviewed their staff during my investigation!


I had lost all hope.  I bought a new glove.  It's  nice.  Better, even, imagine how much gloves have improved in the last 20 years!  I've been kicking tail on the field this season with my new glove.  But still, I hadn't forgotten.


Then... last Saturday, my coach was emptying the team equipment bag to switch some stuff around and IT FELL OUT!  I saw it land on the dirt.  All worn and flat and my heart melted like I was seeing a new baby being born or something!!!!  WE ARE RE-UNITED.  I scooped that thing up, put my hand in the rotten, stiff leather and held it up to my face to smell it.  Talk about a rush of memories!


I haven't decided if I will play with my old friend or my new glove for the rest of the season.  I feel like putting this sucker in a glass case!  But, wow, am I relieved.


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Old and new, side by side.  I didn't realize how "grey" my glove was.  I always described it as black, but up against the new one, it does look really worn.




It's wisdom, really.




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Here's a little context for you.


This is us, back in high school!



Monday, June 15, 2009

Fauxlebrities & Food Waste

I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging, so what that means for you is you have to endure random readings, HA!


My thoughts for today:


I absolutely do not care about Heidi and Spencer.  Really.  I just don't.  Fauxlebrity "news" makes me sick to my stomach.  Ick.  Go away.


Moving on... I want to introduce you to a blog I've recently become a big fan of:  The Frugal Girl.  This woman is amazing!  I can only hope to attain some level of her success.  I now own a stand mixer, which should help, but I know I will never be able to make homemade yougart or as much bread as she does... but I have certainly been inspired by her not to be such a food waster.  Case in point: I just ate canteloupe that has been in my fridge for a whole week!  It was actually okay.


I still can't do browning bananas.  I just can't.  I'm sorry! 


More later, if I have time.



Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wedding Shtuff

I had a pretty productive day yesterday in the wedding department.  I hardly ever have time to actually just sit down and think and visualize wedding stuff, let alone actually use my hands to make something.  But yesterday, I did!  Thanks, in part, because I skipped church, which I do feel slightly guilty about.  Sorry!  But I feel very accomplished.


I printed all of the invitations, response cards and reply envelopes.  I plan to tackle the address envelopes/getting a million stamps/etc. this week.  Michael's on rehearsal dinner invitation/map duty.  I think I decided on ceremony music.  (Anyone who says I can't walk down the aisle to Coldplay or Goo Goo Dolls need not comment.)  I designed little FAQs for the invitation mailings, and little "please upload your digital pictures" cards to put on the tables at the reception.  I made a couple dozen more little candy shells for the favor boxes (this is the most time consuming project ever - anyone who has ever made those little candy melt candies, how do you do it?  I've tried several ways of melting the pellets, but they have all been annoying thus far).  I made "wedding wands" (2 to be exact, after which I decided we would not be having wedding wands because although I think they'd be beautiful out on the beach, I do not see myself painting 100 or so dowel rods and hot gluing ribbon and seashells on them, only for them to break!)  And I made a mock-up of my centerpiece idea, after I bought a couple of green hydrangeas at the grocery store on Friday.


Phew!  Here are a couple of pictures of my accomplishments:


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This is the centerpiece and one of our favor boxes.




I love them!  Isn't it so exciting when your vision becomes a reality? It's so rewarding.






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Here are the wedding wands.




Cute, but...  uh, no, sorry wedding wands, no one has the time or patience to make you.




So... we'll have two. Haha.




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Here is a blurry picture of the "upload your pictures to our "Picasa" cards I did.




I'm not crazy about the design, but I like the idea.



Life Lately

Well, hello there!  I'm going to try to eek out a little blog here.  I have been SO BUSY lately that there just hasn't been time to catch you up on my goings on for the last, oh, 6 weeks or so.  Haven't you missed me?  I've been working and working and traveling and crafting and trying to maintain some sort of sanity.


So, here you go, in :30 seconds or so:


I had an awesome bridal shower!  It was lovely to hang out with my family and my mom's friends and Gretchen down on the OBX for the day.  The food and decorations were both great and we scored lots of nice presents.  INCLUDING A KITCHEN AID STAND MIXER!!! Yessss.  I still need to get pictures of the event, though.


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Me & G looking smokin' hot with our hair blowing in the wind like we're in a Beyonce video or something, haha.














Then... I flew to TEXAS for what is likely the last time I will go there as a single lady (shout out Beyonce') to see my sweetheart.  His friends threw us another shower and we got more gifts.  We have just been so blessed by so many great friends and family!


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I love this shot of us cracking up!!


Too bad I look all pregnant in that green shirt.  I wish one of my friends had been there to tell me to smooth it down in the back.  I know they would have.


I couldn't possibly be less pregnant!  And I'm not even that fat right now, pshaw!




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Oh, my dear Michael.  These airport goodbyes are the WORST.


This was hopefully our 2nd to last one.  Mike comes here in about two weeks for two weeks!


One more of these yucky c-ya's, and we'll be MARRIED!






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One weekend I was actually home and the Bierenbaums came over to help me with wedding crafts and we had dinner.


I love having people over for dinner!




Gretchen + a glue gun = Watch out world!




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Check out her handi-work on my cake serving set!  What's super-awesome about this is, the bows and starfish are glued on in a way that we can just slip them off after the wedding and have the plain white set.








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And check out our programs Jason designed, aren't they adorable?  I just bought some cardstock to print them on, and tied it up with some raffeta.




Michael's Craft store is like my new Ann Taylor Loft, hahaha.  I spend all my money there!




I'm so thankful for all of the 'Baums help!












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Then, I road-tripped it away for a weekend to see some of Michael's family/my new family for a much anticipated baby shower!


The Saturday morning drive was beautiful - all green - and no traffic - a great time to just relax and gather my thoughts!




I figured it was time to take a picture of myself driving.  It's been a while! Haha.










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I passed through Lynchburg!  I wish I had time ot stop at so many cities along the way.  So many friends to see!




I always have a rush of good memories whenever I drive past Liberty University.  Good times!




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Michael's aunt and new baby cousin!!!!!!


Isn't she simply adorable?  What a sweetie, too!




















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This little girl was shown a serious amount of love!












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And these two just melt my heart.


Look at 'em holding hands, isn't that presh?








I just love to be around all the love!


Okay, enough mushing.












So, there you go.  Snapshots of my life lately.  I've been stressed but blessed!  Time is finally starting to feel like it's going by.  My hair is finally starting to grow.  This week I shouldn't be as busy as I have been, so I hope to be uber productive in the wedding department.