Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette party was another really fantastic success. It was this Friday and the boys went out for their one Bachelor party though we went to different towns (not intentionally) and didn't cross paths. However, it worked out beautifully and I think any other prospective brides and grooms to be would be best served having their bachelor and bachelorette parties on the same night.

1.) I did not have to sit at home worrying at Trevor because I was occupied with my own party.

2.) Trevor did not have to sit at home and worry about me.

3.) We got to see everyone, at least for a little bit before each of our prospective parties divided up.

4.) Any couples that were going to our wedding then could also just easily travel together and it made for much smoother sleeping arrangements.

I was a bit concerned because there was a distinct concern about who would be driving home the girls. The boys had rented a party bus so they were all well taken care of. But somewhere out of left field Kim's new boyfriend volunteered to chauffeur us girls in his gigantic SUV thing. He was a good sport and although I have only just met him I suppose that it doesn't hurt to start off with a nice gesture.

I would be idiotic to post any pictures of my bachelorette party on such a public forum.

Suffice it to say that it was a lot of fun but not so out of control that any projectile vomiting or uncontrollable weeping occurred. Some of my less fun nights have included either one or the other. As far as I know everyone got home in one piece. We got to spend an extended afternoon with Trevor's groomsman Tyler since he drove in from out of state so that was a nice bonus since I don't think we've seen him all year and he's never ever been out to where we live so it was nice to show him around.

I think the one thing I really appreciate most out of this whole wedding thing is that people who love you, regardless of how far away and how busy they are, find a way out of the woodwork to show you their love.

I dig it. I dig it more than towels and oven mits and bowls and shower curtains. We should all just hang out anyway but something about the structure of a wedding seems to bend people's arms and bring them out more than just some arbitrary BBQ or Holiday weekend. Even holidays don't bring people together like they used to, particularly for the married folks who have to compromise and split up the holidays.

We're getting married next week...it's really coming up soon. I'd rattle on and on about wedding planning but it's getting so close I don't even care to talk about it. I had a freak out moment last week and the week before but now that it's so close I have hit my calm. I have done as much as I can humanly do and now it's all in fate's hands.

I've always been this way. I know people talk about being nervous but I must just be wired differently because in the final hour I am almost always as calm as a cucumber. I never had any stage freight in all my years as a choir geek, and then my numerous years as a drama club geek. I am there to perform and I'm there to do a job and my job is to look beautiful, be gracious and have fun.

There are much more scary and intimidating things than getting the opportunity to marry your soul mate.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coffee-Fix

On a decidedly different note I'm really happy about my new coffee related toys.

My old fashion-y italiano espresso maker is pretty cool. I'm most intrigued by how the heat and pressure forces the water upwards through the grinds whereas every other coffee maker works with the water dripping downward.

My french press is pretty awesome too. I might forgo my "normal" coffee maker once I get the swing of things. The hot water to grind ratio is a bit off still and I'm not entirely sure about the ideal temperature of water to use.

However...thanks to a method I stumbled upon when reading about my favorite (Vietnamese Iced Coffee) I found something of great interest to me. Cold brewed Iced Coffee.

Now I've tried the double brew method of simply using twice as much coffee grind to the typical amount of liquid you'd use for normal hot coffee. The results are almost always disastrously bitter and need a ton of sugar and cream to balance it out. However, I'm glad to personally confirm that cold brewed iced coffee is dreamfully smooth, rich and ridiculously easy. The hardest part is waiting and straining, but thankfully now that I have my own press it's a lot of fun to press out the grinds. I don't really measure anything. I think it was like 2 heaping tablespoons and about 8-10 oz of water. I like my coffee stiff, particularly if it's going to be served with ice.

And when you think about it, it's a lot like the process of making sun tea. Instead of forcing out the flavor with hot water you let it slowly bloom on it's own. It's just like the kind you'd get at your chain coffee purveyor and it won't cost you $2+ a cup.

I'm not a coffee addict. I have one cup or less each day and I think that's plenty. I just happen to like having good coffee and I'm fascinated by the fact that so many people drink coffee all over the world and that they all have different methods of brewing theirs. I'm admittedly biased and I think there's nothing quite like a good glass of frosty Vietnamese Iced Coffee with condensed milk though I do not have any patience whatsoever and dislike waiting 20 minutes for it to slowly drip. But on the bright side, it does help maintain a certain "specialness" when you only have something you like once and so often.

So if you're keeping count, I have 4 distinctly different methods for brewing coffee but all of them are individually sized because Trevor doesn't even drink coffee.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bridal Shower

Shower was so fun. Much thanks to our wonderful hostess and her bevy of assistants. :)I'm so tired. I really dislike driving and yet we still got there and home all in one piece so it took a bit of focus. lol My dear friends & loved ones are so great for traveling so very far out of their way to spend time with me. I really appreciate all the love and I'm glad it was a drama-free day with wonderful weather and a bare minimum of traffic. Considering how much it was raining all the days leading up to my shower I was pretty convinced things would be at least sprinkled on, but it ended up being beautiful, comfortable and sunny all day long.
Everyone seemed to have fun and if they didn't...well, they did a good job faking it and if that's the case I appreciate that too. Positivity does wonders for an overtaxed, underfed, sleepy bride.

It was also a great opportunity to talk to Kim for a few hours straight since we carpooled all together from Connecticut and I had the opportunity to catch up with her. I know I see her more than I see of many people but it's always good to recharge your proverbial batteries and feel totally connected and caught up with your friend. Even when you message, email, and call each other every few days I think it's easy to just focus on topical subjects and skim over how you feel because it can be difficult to articulate how you feel, particularly over electronic media.

I'm glad my mom could meet some of my future family in law too. It's felt like my own family and Trevor's family have been totally segregated over the 3 years or so we've been together. Obviously my mom's met his mom but the aunts and uncles really haven't been given the opportunity to converge. I think everyone has a complicated multi-dimensional relationship with their parents but above all I think my mother is an amazing, gorgeous, and ridiculously generous individual. I dream of being as selfless as she is. I always admire people who think of others well before they think about themselves, their own comfort, convenience and interests.

I won't drone on and on about the gifts I got because it's kind of a boring read. It also makes me feel materialistic and petty to discuss what I have...so I won't. But many thanks to all the gift givers for being so generous and thinking about Trevor & I.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Less than a month to go!

So our meeting with wedding coordinator Laura was okay. Not great though which is disappointing because up until now our experience with her and the site has been really top notch.

We had to wait 45 minutes before she got to us because she was running late and still working with another couple.

Not like I'm not empathetic since I'm sure she couldn't control the length of their meeting but Trevor in particular took offense to her not apologizing for making us sit and wait for sooooo long.

In other slightly disappointing news they didn't have the color napkins I wanted and I wasn't about to dole out more money when I was already feeling displeased to get special ordered ones. You can't shake money out of an upset Kelly; that's not how it works. The food we wanted was no big deal, but the cake flavors apparently were because I wanted something more Asian for one of our layers. I think it would have been much better had things started off on the right foot but starting off unhappy doesn't typically bode well for anything.

I am very sensitive to customer service because that's what I do. I don't talk about work because I like to build a giant brick wall between work and play but basically I'm in a service industry. The general rule is that if you don't feel good about spending your money here, chances are that you'll just turn around and spend your money somewhere else. That's how businesses are and that's how weddings are too. I don't really buy into the whole "it's the most important day of your life" marketing nonsense but if I'm going to spend money I'd hope to get what I want.

On the bright side I do not have to buy/make table numbers and I do not have to supply my own cake stand because they have some.

Mom got a dress...finally. It's hard to get a decent mom-dress I guess because you don't want to be too revealing, but you don't want to look like a grandma with something way too conservative, and since my mom's short it can be a bit difficult to get something that looks right. I'm happy for her; she looked very pretty in her floor length Calvin Klein evening gown with draping detail on the back. It's a tad formal for an afternoon garden wedding, but she's only got one daughter so I figure if she's happy I'm happy for her. Who the heck cares what anyone wears as long as they aren't more formal than I am. And really, the only way to do that is to prance into the wedding with a hoop skirt.

I also worked on unpacking my favors and centerpiece-ware. Ugh...what a drag. Thankfully my mom and dad helped unpack it and dissemble all the packing material it came in. Four full garbage bags later I now have things sort of where they should be. Now I just have to clean them, fill them, tie them up with their little bows and pack them up in boxes for the venue. Not like that'll be easy either but it's one step in the right direction.

On a side note, I would highly recommend non-breakable favors. lol It's a ton easier on you to not have to deal with so much packing material. I just didn't want to be one of those Jordan Almond tied in tulle brides. I have a little streak in me that tends to want the unconventional but occasionally it creates more work for me than originally anticipated. I just have to keep telling myself that anything worth doing requires a bit of elbow grease and patience.

I'm less overwhelmed but I'm still quite a busy bee. There's still a lot to do and not a ton of time to dilly dally. I have to work on my seating arrangements now. For the most part I know who I want to be nearby us and who I'd prefer to be slightly farther away from me but everything has to add up and then I have a few ghetto tables that I can't fit 10 people at because of the shape of the room doesn't allow for people to be comfortably seated all the way around. lol It'll be fine. Knowing my family they'll just pick up their place cards and start swapping places at tables anyway in spite of my efforts to arrange them.

My shower is next week (eep!) so that'll be...interesting. I'm looking forward to some hilarious game playing and seeing my dear friends and family in one place. I also look forward to the food. I've been falling back on bad habits when I'm stressed and I haven't been eating as well as I should be. I got my first physical boxed up wedding gift via mail. :) I'm surprised it came so early but I'm glad that it came via mail in lieu of my dragging it home after the reception. I hope all my big gifts come via mail; it'll be a huge relief to not have to try and figure out how to stuff giant boxes in my compact car.

Kim's working on the bachelorette. I look forward to seeing what she has in store for us but have told her I don't want anything too too inappropriate. I like having fun but I do feel a bit uncomfortable about the prospect of greased up half naked strangers. I think it's funny and cheesy more than anything else. But I think we might end up in Springfield hitting up the regular haunts since everything is within a good walking distance whereas in Hartford it's kind of a hike for a few bars. Plus Kim's pals are friends with a bartender so it's a very affordable night. I honestly don't care too much as long as I get a good excuse to dress up and hang out with my girls. I don't really want to make anyone feel like they have to throw the party of the century on my behalf. We'll dress up, I'll be force fed some drinks, I'll get silly and overly talkative, perhaps ride a mechanical bull, we'll dance and we'll go home only ever so slightly worse for the wear. And then a few days later ridiculous pictures will be splashed all over myspace.