What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Facebook Got Me!

Wow, it's been almost 2 weeks since I last posted. I've kept up with the blogs I read through my reader pretty good, but have been horrible about commenting. And why? One word: Facebook. I had resisted joining, figuring that keeping up on my myspace and trying to keep up with this blog was really all I could handle. And I'm still not exactly sure what finally convinced me, but I did and the newness hasn't yet faded. I'm not sure when it will, but it will. Right? I didn't think I would, but I kind of love it. And I'm kind of obsessed with checking it ALL DAY LONG to see if I've missed anything. But that won't last. RIGHT??

In the fantastic news department, our new computer should arrive on Friday. It's just lovely and I can't wait to have it all set up. It is so much better than the one we had. We got it about 6 years ago as a gift from a former co-worker of mine. It had been given to him and was already a bit dated when we got it. But we were grateful to finally have a computer and just lived with it. I can't imagine how great it's going to be to have the new one. My fantastic co-worker is going to come set it up for us and install some software for us. All for a case of beer.

On the television front: My cousin came to look at the TV and pronounced it Able To Be Saved, it just needed a $300 board. He wouldn't charge us anything to put it in though. This began many conversations about what to do. See, 3 years ago we got this television from him that he had obtained through his work as a repairman. It is a 50" Samsung LCD and he sold it to us for $700. We were so thrilled to go from the 20" television that I'd had since high school! And it was worth all $700 too! Until the sound went out. We decided that even though we probably wouldn't be able to get as big of a TV, it would be worth it to just get a new one. And thanks to Memorial Day sales, we went out shopping yesterday morning and found a great deal on a 46" Samsung LCD. And since it was such a great deal, we decided to see if we could get as lucky on a new one for our bedroom which still had an old 20" that was a hand-me-down as well. We found a 32" Panasonic LCD that was marked down as we stood in front of it. SOLD! It was fun and as we were discussing what features were important it occurred to us that it was the first time we've bought a new television since we've been together. All of our TV's have been hand-me-downs and even though we did technically buy the one we were replacing, it was still a used one when we bought it. Dana brought her Explorer to pick them up and we headed for home. I hooked up the one in our room last night and we all climbed on the bed to watch a couple episodes of Bones before going to bed. I'll get the big one hooked up in the family room tonight, and then I can try out my new Wii Fit too. New computer and TV's... It's a pretty exciting time in my house right now. Expensive...but exciting.

My three day weekend was absolutely lovely. I got to leave work at 4:00 on Friday and went home to a delicious roast with carrots and onions that Shell had put in the crock pot that morning. I made mashed potatoes and after the kids got home we ate. It was so, so good. I played MarioKart on the Wii with the kids and talked to my sister on the phone until late.
I got up Saturday morning and convinced my boy to help me do some yardwork. We've got a lot of weeds and I wanted to clean up around the grass where it meets the rocks. He got distracted early on by the amount of "roly-poly's" we were unearthing and started collecting them in a bucket. Soon after, some of the boys in the neighborhood found their way over and joined in the collecting. It was quite a sight. After 3 hours of pulling weeds, getting rocks out of the grass, and clearing out under bushes, I was tired and starting to feel a little light-headed. I was almost done, but forced myself to stop. As soon as I got in the house, I felt like I was going to throw up and pass out. It was not a good feeling. I laid down on the floor in the bathroom and Shell brought me some water. Luckily, the feeling ended pretty fast but Shell made me go upstairs and lay down anyway. She made me some lunch and soon after that I fell asleep. I slept for about 2 hours and after watching Food Network for a while, we ran to the store to get stuff for yummy toasted italian sandwiches for dinner that night and food for the BBQ we were going to on Sunday at Dana's.
Sunday morning we got up and made pasta salad and cupcakes to take to Dana's. I prepped hamburger patties and cooked up some bacon. We headed over about 2:00, as the rain was moving in. Luckily, Jeannie didn't mind grilling in the rain and we had hamburgers, hot dogs and ribs from the grill. They also made fried okra and I sauteed mushrooms. We had so much food, we were all stuffed by the time we were done. The kids played on the trampoline (in the rain at times), and played Wii. My girl is reading To Kill A Mockingbird for her summer reading requirement, so she was pretty wrapped up in that. Somehow, they were all preoccupied with themselves enough to let us play games mostly uninterrupted. We played Catchphrase, Scattergories and SceneIt. We had such a great time and didn't leave until after 11:00.
My boy ended up spending the night at Dana's, which made shopping for the TV much easier on Sunday morning with just the girl. We got up early and headed out around 9am. After we got the TV's home, we went over to my parents house to barbecue. My grandma is here from CA, so we got to visit with her too. We ended up watching the DVD's that we had made from OLD reel-to-reel movies that belonged to my dad's parents. They were so neat to watch. Then we went home, I hooked up the TV in our room, popped popcorn and watched Bones.
And now, I'm at work. You know, working... And wishing I was at home again. Three day weekends just don't come often enough.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some Stuff...

As I said before, my wife bought me a new wedding ring for my birthday. I liked it, but we decided to see what else they had that I might like better. As soon as we walked up to the case, I found the right ring. Plus, they had one in my size. AND it wasn't as expensive as the one she chose. We had them clean and polish it, and it was mine. I love it so much and it's so comfortable. Shell is happy that I'm wearing a ring all the time again and that I am happy with it. Here it is:

We spent Mother's Day with my parents. My dad got some Carne Asada meat and grilled it to go with fresh tortillas, homemade guacamole, grilled corn on the cob and watermelon. We brought angel food cake, sweetened strawberries and cool whip for strawberry shortcakes. Plus, we had grilled shrimp as a snack when we first got there. It was all so yummy. The kids watched Kung Fu Panda, which is easily my son's favorite movie right now. Shell & I borrowed my mom's computer to buy tickets to see Wicked again this Fall. We are taking Dana & Jeannie with us, since they've never seen it. I love sharing the theater with others... Plus, our seats are in the 10th row, which is pretty awesome. I think this may be Shell's favorite of the shows we've seen. We've seen Phantom of the Opera (3 times), Miss Saigon, A Chorus Line, Beauty & the Beast, The Nutcracker ballet (2nd row seats, she fell asleep) and Wicked (twice for me, once for her so far). We're going to see Rent next month, and I'm really excited about that one. Yay for the theater!
Monday we went to an art show put on by the kids school that my daughter was entered in. She made a clay sculpture of a gargoyle, with a puppy's face. It was really cool. She didn't get any awards, but we were all really proud of her regardless.
Tuesday night was my son's final band concert of the year. This was his first year in band and he loved it. I think he's going to continue it next year. I'm so glad that both of my kids are interested in music and art.
Tonight is our hair appointment and then we are going over to Dana & Jeannie's to grill brats. Shell spent the day today with Dana shopping, so I'm sure she'll want to show me everything they bought. My wife loves to shop so much and loves to buy things for those she loves. I'm sure she bought Dana some clothes while they were out, probably some for me too. The objective was to get some summery clothes for the kids plus swimsuits for them to wear to Field Day tomorrow. With the temperature in the 70's & 80's for the next week, it sure feels like summer is close.
I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day and that the weather is beautiful wherever you are.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Year Older

Yesterday was my birthday, and that is the cake that Shell got for me. It's an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. Oreo ice cream with white cake and Heath Bar crumbles all over the top. It was SO good. My boss bought a Boston Cream Pie for me at work, so lots of cake yesterday. Yum!
I really love my birthday. People who I love call me, I get gifts and I don't have to worry about cooking. It really is the best day. Both of my sisters, my niece, Dana and Eric all called me to say Happy Birthday. Shell called me periodically throughout the day to do the same. Strangely, neither of my parents called me... I wonder if they'll call today realizing that they missed it?
I had no idea what Shell would get for me, I just knew she was really excited about it. She wanted to give it to me in the morning before I left for work, but I wanted to wait until after I got home. Unfortunately for her, I like to wait to open presents until the last possible moment. I love the anticipation and suspense and the older I get, the less gifts I get. So I knew that once I opened her gift, the fun part would be over. She, on the other hand, is the type of person who wants to open her gifts immediately. And she wants to give people their gifts as soon as possible and then tries to convince them to open them early. She's definitely about the instant gratification. Making her wait to give me my gift yesterday almost killed her. And every time she called me, she reminded me of that. So I got home from work and changed, and before I knew it she was in front of me with a little box. Yes, that kind of little box. It was a new wedding ring. I was floored. We'd been talking about replacing the one I had for a while, but I didn't expect it for my birthday. The ring I bought for our ceremony was very inexpensive. I guess I got what I paid for it. In the 6 years since I bought it, one of the itty bitty tiny diamonds has fallen out and the ring itself is no longer a nice circle. More of a bent oval. It's become less comfortable to wear and I hate that. Plus, I was not loving the idea of wearing a "wedding" ring that I didn't get "married" with. You know? But it was time, so she took it upon herself to get me a new one. It needs to be sized, is too big to wear right now or I would totally have it on today. I really love it and I love her so much for getting it for me. We'll probably get it sized this weekend, then I'll post a picture of it.
I had a couple of questions come up from the posts about our ceremony. Steph asked if the kids were there. No, they weren't. Our trip was very quick, got there late on Friday and left early on Sunday, so we didn't do any touristy stuff plus they were only 4 years old at the time and wouldn't have remembered it anyway. Shell spent most of her time before the ceremony with her family and friends in the casino gambling and drinking and I spent my time running around making sure everything was ready for the reception. So instead, they stayed with my mom who wasn't going. The chapel we used did broadcast all ceremonies on their website, so they watched it but again, don't remember. We have the DVD of the ceremony and they've watched it a few times over the years.
B asked how many guests we had. My "side" was: Eric, my dad, my sister & brother-in-law, a good friend I've known since 6th grade & her boyfriend. Another friend who happened to be in Vegas that weekend already stopped in during the reception with her wife. Shell's "side" was: both her parents, her brother & sister-in-law, two nieces, her aunt, 2 cousins, a 2nd cousin, her best friend & her husband & mom, and an old friend of her mom's.
Teaberry asked if we had a honeymoon. We didn't. And we didn't have a proper wedding night either. That was my fault. I had quite a few Long Island Iced Tea's during the reception and had been up early that day and really didn't eat anything until the reception. It was a long day with a lot of stress and excitement. We headed back to our room after the reception and after I got undressed (which was a production in itself), I laid down on the bed and passed out. I slept great, but needless to say Shell was not a happy newlywed. I felt so bad, and still do. Can't really redo the wedding night, but someday I hope to try. That would have been our "honeymoon". Oops. We did end up going to the Bahamas 3 years later on an all expenses paid trip, and kind of refer to that as our honeymoon. Again, we hope to do it up right someday when we can make it legal.
Thanks everyone for your comments. I found a couple of the professional photos that were taken during the ceremony that I had scanned, so for quality sake, here's a few more.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

6 Years Ago

Our ceremony was short and sweet. Dana & Eric were our maid of honor and best man. Our dad's walked us down the aisle and gave us away. Here are some pictures that my sister took during the ceremony and just after.

Walking down the aisle with our dads

Giving us to each other ........During the ceremony

Trying not to cry ...................Our "first kiss"

Walking out of the chapel

With my sister .....................With my best man

In the limo .......................The classic wedding photo
At the reception:

Our cake ................Our toasting glasses

The best Caesar salad ever! ....With Shell's dad

The "first dance" ................Singing our song to each other

Dancing with our dads ............Dancing & crying with Eric

Shell and her brother ..........Shell's mom(r) & aunt(l)

Cutting the cake. We never discussed what would happen next...

It was more fun than I could have imagined.
Cake ended up between my boobs. Just lovely.

Cleaning up after ...........Caught off guard

Me & my dad ..................Shell & Dana dancing

With one of my oldest friends. ....Shell's sis-in-law and niece

Shell with her niece & cousin ...With Dana. I'd had a bit much to drink by now.

Dancing with my wife

It was the best time shared with people we loved who loved us. I can't wait to do it again - legally.

Another Anniversary!

6 Years ago today we had our commitment ceremony in Las Vegas. I'm still amazed that it went so well. Everything was planned either by phone or internet. It felt crazy to do it that way, and I think that our families were a little worried about how it would turn out. But it was perfect.

We had discussed having a ceremony quite a few times in the years leading up to it, but I was not keen on the idea of spending a bunch of money to have a ceremony that wasn't legal and wouldn't "change" anything. We were obviously committed to each other, so why have a meaningless ceremony? Why not wait until it was legal, if that day would ever come. Shell really wanted to do it, and in the Fall of 2002 I finally gave in. We decided to go to Vegas, that way it would be easier for our families in California to make it. Plus there were many wedding chapels that would perform the ceremony for a price that wouldn't break the bank. We chose the chapel, chose the hotel for the reception, chose a DJ for the reception and planned the food & alcohol for the reception all over the internet. My sister and mom went with me to look for a wedding dress the week after Christmas, and were shocked to find one that we loved. It just needed a little altering, so I paid for it and sent it to the tailor. My sister offered to make my veil, all the flower arrangements and the invitations. My niece chose my tiara.

I had been at my current job for less than a year at this point, and since I didn't officially have vacation time to take we didn't leave until the day before the ceremony so I would only miss one day of work. We got to Vegas in the afternoon on Friday and got checked in to our hotel, then split up. My sister, brother-in-law, and dad were there already so they came to get me. Her family was there by then as well as her best friend (her maid of honor). I was a nervous wreck all night because my best friend (my best man) couldn't leave work early and would be driving overnight to get there by the next morning. Plus I had to drop off the favors and the table place cards with the hotel where the reception would be.
Early the next morning, the day of our ceremony, my sister picked me up from our hotel and we went to breakfast. Eric met us as we were dropping off the reception goodies and then we headed back to my sister's hotel room to start getting ready. Eric and my sister did my hair, helped me with my makeup, and basically got me ready. It was very calming to have them there and know that they were supporting me on my very special day. I felt very loved. Here's what it looked like at Bride Prep Central:

Then we were ready to go. The limo picked us up from the hotel and we were off to the chapel.
Eric, sis & bro-in-law.........Me and my dad
Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel

Waiting in the limo .............All checked in
Next up, the ceremony and reception....