busy bee

tuesday night and tonight i had/have work parties to go to... on tuesday i got home around 9:30 and yesterday i was totally beat. i have no idea how i used to do that 2 or 3 nights a week for months on end at the arthritis foundation. no wonder i felt like crap! long work days and girls with chronic illnesses don't mesh so well...

anyway, tonight one of bryan's high school buddies arrives to spend a couple days, and after i make my appearance at the internal medicine intern welcome dinner, i head home to begin my 5-day weekend. yes! i am very excited to have that much time off, and am being very indecisive about how i will spend it. bryan wants me to accompany him and his friend to kings dominion tomorrow, DC on saturday and white water rafting (!) on monday, but i just don't especially feel like it. i feel like my weekends are going to be chock full for the next 3 months with wedding stuff and non-wedding stuff, and i kinda like the idea of a lazy 5-day weekend... but we'll see. all things proposed for this weekend sound fun, so maybe i'll get a little motivation and join in.

things i am DEFINITELY doing this weekend: going to have my dress fitted and going to an old friend's house for a party. should be fabulous!

i also have tentative plans to go see "the devil wears prada." i have been reading this book and it is so captivating and hillarious and it has seeped into my every moment... when my boss asks me to do something, i compare her to the crazy demanding boss in this book. my boss, thank god, is nothing like this... she is nice and smart and great to work for. but the way the book is written, it has infiltrated my daily activities to the point that i compare everythign to it! very crazy, but i do love a book that won't let you put it down even when it's nowhere near you. (and if you've never read a book like that, you're missing out!)

anyway, tata for now...


ouch, my pride and my hip

oh joyful rainy day. oh joyful leaky ceilings. oh joyful that i actually CAN do the splits at 27 almost 28 years old.

just 45 short minutes ago or so, i was headed to a different building in the hospital. i used one of the very convenient crosswalks that go from building to building, and just happened to use the top level of a 3-level crosswalk. i opened the door to my destination and WHOOM! right foot out, left foot back, i did the splits in a giant puddle of water.

and i'm wearing white pants.

lovely. juuuuuuuuuuust lovely. i made my way to the closest office and had her call facilities management, used some of the newspapers in the conveniently located recycling bin next to the puddle to cover it, and, 6 spread out newspaper pages later, covered the puddle and headed to the office i was shooting for. (and by "shooting for," i do not intend to imply that my right foot shooting out in a spray of water in front of me was part of the plan.) the ladies in there were all very sympathetic and luckily knew of a floor air conditioning unit in the next office down. so, since my flesh-colored panties and white pants were both soaking wet and shining for the world to see, i headed there to see if i could dry out a bit.

30 minutes of butt-waving-over-the-air-conditioner later and i decided i was dry enough to make my way back to my office. now, here i sit, with an aching hip, and seriously pained pride.

freaking puddles.


not as nerdy as i suspected i'd be...

saw this test on my cousin cassandra's blog and thought i'd give it a try. wow, i am not the big nerd i thought i was.

I am nerdier than 20% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


adventures in mass transit

i may have mentioned this before or you may already know, but i take the bus to work every day except for the rare occasion where i have an errand i must run during the day. i enjoy riding the bus, because i usually get to take a nap, there are some VERY interesting people to observe, i've made a few friends i can chat with when i don't feel like napping, it saves me lots of money, and saves me the stress of rush hour traffic. the thing about mass transit is that while for the most part it's very predictable, there are occasionally little snags. yesterday, we had one of those.

as i headed out the door to the bus stop, i was slapped in the face with the hottest day we've seen so far this year. the type of humid heat that you almost choke on and you certainly swoon from. (i hate extreme temperatures, by the way.) so i stood waiting for the bus in the best patch of shade i could find and focused on reading a few pages of my book so as not to have nothing better to do than interally whine about how freaking hot it was. the bus arrived, and i took my usual place in the back left corner of the bus.

we make a few stops, then get on the interstate to head to the southside--about a 20 mile drive or so. i'm chatting with my bus buds, and all of the sudden i hear this horrible whopping noise (whopwhopwhopwhopwhopwhopwhop), and then the air conditioning cuts off, and then this god awful beeping starts. much like a fire alarm. i look at my friends ray and brian and we all sort of shrug our shoulders, look at the bus driver, and wait for her to stop this madness. well, she doesn't. and then another louder, more rapid beeping alarm begins.

people, this is how we made our trip down the powhite parkway. alarms sounding, no air conditioning, with 95 degree heat. i was not happy. in fact, i was a little worried that the bus was going to blow up or explode or something. i saw one man sitting next to the emergency window test the lever that is labeled "in case of emergency, pull." in the back section, we were joking about how the bus driver could NOT slow down or the bus would explode, a la keanu reeves in "speeed," and heard comments like this coming from the front of the bus, too. and all the while, our bus driver just kept on drivin'.

we got to the first stop on the southside and let the people off there, and luckily the bus did not cut off. the beeping had stopped about 2 minutes before this stop, but as we set off again, the whopping noise returned, then the beeping again.

as i mentioned before, i don't do extreme temperatures, so the heat was making me feel nauseated. and the bus ride ain't smooth, and those freaking alarms were about to make me go crazy. i finally made it to my car, hopped in, got home, and immediately got into less clothes (the summer sweater and pants were not helping matters), flopped into the living room floor and stayed there, spread-eagled, for about an hour.

i leave for the bus again in about 5 minutes, so i am praying that today's ride home will not qualify as an adventure, but will instead be a tranquil, cool voyage... wish me luck.


l'afrique, so chic

well, tomorrow my little brother heads down to south carolina, where he will meet up with his aunt and uncle, then on monday he'll board a plane to head to africa. i am so excited for him--at 13 years old, he will get to see part of the world that many of us will never see. i can't believe how fast he and my sister both have grown up... seems like just yesterday they were just babies! zech is going with a mission group from his uncle's church to tanzania, where he'll spend about 3 weeks. it's weird, because i want to give him all sorts of instructions about how to see things there... you know, remember that just because they seem primitive to you, and just because they don't believe what you believe, doesn't mean they don't have tons to teach you... try to find something about each person you meet to bring back with you... treat them as equals and friends... look for a greater purpose to your life... but i'm not his mother, and i also know that how we see the world isn't something that can be dictated to us. being a parent will be interesting... already i feel this urgent need to impart some of the knowledge i've gained through life to my brother and sister so that they can learn the lessons i've learned without the struggles or hurt, yet i know that most of us operate in a way that requires us to experience lessons before they stick. so, i am anxious for zech, but hopeful that he will come back with knowledge that will shape him into an even better man than he was already destined to become...

enough philosophisin'.

i now have appointments with the florist and the seamstress where i bought my wedding dress. when i made the appt to get my dress fitted, the lady was like, "bring your shoes with you." i said, "i don't have my shoes yet, but they'll be flat, so it doesn't really matter, right?" well, you would have thought i said that i was going to make them alter the dress without trying it on. she said, "well, but.... uh.... but you have to bring your shoes!" and so, between tuesday after work and last night, i visited 9 shoe stores until finally finding the simple, boring silver ballet flats i had been seeking. you wouldn't have thought it would be such a chore to find freaking flat dressy shoes that arent' going to show anyway so they don't even have to be anything special but they still have to sort of match a wedding dress, but me and my feet... well, we always have an interesting time finding shoes.

also discovered this new used book store just down the street from our house. it is fabulous. oh, how i love books...

and people, today is 100 days 'til our wedding... can you believe it?! i can't!


i'm certifiable! i mean certified!

well, people, i am officially scuba certified! now i can go wherever i want (up to 30 ft below the surface i think) and swim with the fishies. :)

friday, bryan and i headed to lake rawlings scuba park, about 4o miles south of where we live, for me to complete my open water dive requirements to get certified. i had to do 4 dives over 2 days, where i had to perform various skills to prove that i could take care of myself under water. well, on dive #1 i sucked up some water that was in my mask, royally freaked out, and went to the surface. in scuba diving, this is a HUGE no-no. you can screw up your ears and lungs and all sorts of sensitive and important body parts. so bryan was not so happy with me for that. and i was pretty pissed at myself. but i got back down in the water and continued on dive #1, then dive #2... and then it was time to race the sun and put up our tent and try to find some food.

we put up the tent as fast as we could and headed out of the park (campground, whatever you wanna call it--but when i think campground, i think bath house. this place did not have that.) in search of some grub. unfortunately, it was a little past 9 when we reached the nottoway restaurant, and it was closed. great. so we go to the gas station next door and i ask where we can get some food, and the girl says you can go to colonial heights or south hill. how far are those, i ask? 30 miles either north or south. right. great. but oh wait! there's an italian restaurant right up the road, maybe they're still open! so the lady gives me the number and i call to see what time they close. keep in mind it is friday night at 9:15pm. the lady at the restaurant informs me that they are already closed. now, seriously, what restaurant closes at 9pm on a friday night, ESPECIALLY when it is the only restaurant around for 30 miles?! we were definitely in the boonies!

so, it was microwave gas station food for us--barbeque for me, hot pocket for bryan. we threw 'em in a bag and headed back to the scuba park to wash out our wet suits (apparently if you don't they get mighty funky) and set up chairs by the tent to have our dinner. then to bed, where i laid for a couple hours replaying all my scuba adventures from the day and worrying about the next day.

saturday: up at 7:30 and slowly but surely make our way across the park to the lake. 2 more dives to go! we ended up having to wait a couple hours for jim, the instructor (he's the guy sitting at the picnic table), to take a group of boyscouts out. i did not want to get in the big group with them, because it's stressful enough to do these tasks when you're in a small group, but when you're anticipating it being your turn and you watch all the people go in front of you, well, it's just too much for me to handle. :) dive #3's most challenging skill (for me) was the mask removal and replacement. considering i had a mental block to keeping water out of my nose for a good portion of my life, this skill was a huge feat for me. but i did it! and i got some water up my nose but i choked it out and stayed under, and managed to pull myself back together and continue with the dive. i did get really worn out trying to keep up with everyone, though, and ended up heading back to shore before the rest of our group (with bryan and a dive master--i didn't just take off to the dock by myself).

heading up the hill with all that gear on my back after dive #3 reminded me of when i hiked the grand canyon--it was so freaking hard! we weighed the tank and stuff yesterday, and determined that i had been toting around 70 lbs. for someone who's not in shape and was worn out from the swimming, carrying 70 lbs up a hill ain't easy. but i did it, and played the waiting game until my 4th and final dive.

dive #4: i finally realized that this could really be something i could enjoy. i had finally gotten to the compass navigation skills, so now i knew where i was (at least which direction was out), and it was just bryan and i and the instructor and 2 dive masters who were along for the dive--which meant i was the only one doing skills, so i got all the time i wanted and everything went at my pace. it was nice. and let me tell ya, i killed the underwater navigation skill. i tell you, a good sense of direction really comes in handy. so glad i inherited that!

and then... i was done. certified! (please ignore how crappy i look in this picture, scuba diving ain't a pretty sport) finally allowed to relax and take all that crap off for good ('til next time, anyway). this wasn't easy for me, but it feels really good to accomplish something that is difficult. last night bryan even convinced me to practice the mask removal and replacement skill in the bathtub since we still had some air in our tanks and werent' taking them back until today. so i practiced a few times and realized that water IS going to come down into my throat, but it's alright, all i gotta do is either swallow it or spit it out and keep breathing. and while it is a truly disgusting, burning feeling, i practiced 5 or 6 times or more and satisfied both myself and bryan that i can do it. hurray! :)

also, yesterday, had a great visit from my dad and stepmom for father's day. i love being able to have my dad over to my house and cook for him. :) although i guess bryan actually COOKED the steaks. but i marinated them and made the salad and potatoes and the strawberry agua fresca! :)

so, anyway, happy belated father's day to all the dads reading this!


a day of fun and evil.

today was an interesting combination of fun and evil. although evil may be a bit too strong of a word.

  • found out at work that i am way better than the guy who was in my position before me. apparently he only showed up to work about 3 days a week. and didn't keep anyone in the loop. i come all 5 days and tell everybody what i'm doing, and apparently they like that better. :)
  • went and picked up our invitations! aah! they're so perty. :)
  • received wedding present #2 on my doorstep: iced tea maker! how fun! thanks again, aunt brenda!
  • had a "date" with my fabulous man at buffalo wild wings. weekday dates are rare and always exciting.
  • ate wings. man, i like hot wings. and they had the bonus effect of clearing my sinuses.
and unfortunately, then came the...

  • hopped on theknot.com to check out the message boards and see if any of my fellow brides-to-be (aka knotties) had any advice to give on deciding on a honeymoon location.
  • discovered PSA post on the honeymoon board that air france has a sale on flights to tahiti (my dream honeymoon location).
  • discovered subsequently that a flight from richmond to tahiti is on sale for $715/person--about half the normal price and a mere $65 more than what a flight to the caribbean is gonna cost us.
  • discovered the vahine island resort, also known as paradise.
  • discovered the prices of the vahine island resort.
  • scribbled some numbers on a piece of paper, converted euros to dollars, frowned a lot.
  • searched for less expensive tahitian hotels for a few of the 10 nights we'd have to be there to get the $715 flight.
  • scribbled more numbers and smiled satisfactorily.
  • told my fiance about the potential tahitian honeymoon & my proposed budget.
  • quickly returned to earth and caribbean hotel searches. :(
why did that damn girl have to tell me flights to tahiti are on sale?! EVIL i tell you! had i never seen that, i would have never discovered the cheap flights, as i had long ago given up the idea of a honeymoon on the other side of the world, and then i would have never discovered the freaking vahine island resort!

all i can say is, if i win the lottery or somehow come up with some business idea that earns me bajillions of dollars, you will find me feeding the fish through the aquarium door in the floor of my bungalow over the lagoon on vahine island....... sigh.


all clear. sorta.

well, my sinuses are not all clear yet, but yesterday i got the "all clear" from the ENT doctor for scuba diving!

see, when i did my first classes, i discovered this problem where i can't NOT inhale through my nose if it's not covered or pinched. i was never the swimming type, and while i can swim well enough to save myself, i spent 27 years of my life holding my nose when i went underwater. also, when i was younger, an ENT doc told my mom i had some problems with my palette, so i wasn't sure if that was keeping me from being able to hold water out of my nose. so, i went to the ENT doc yesterday to have everything checked out.

2 hours and $35 later, i left with the following information: there's nothing wrong with my anatomy, and neither the ENT doc nor the speech therapist had any suggestions for how i could teach myself to hold water out of my nose.

before i went i wasn't sure if i wanted him to tell me there was something wrong with me (so i wouldn't feel so dumb, but then i wouldn't have been able to scuba dive either), or that i was fine and just had never learned that skill (which would mean i was kinda dumb since everyone else in the world can do it, but that i can indeed continue to pursue scuba certification). once i got the "diagnosis" (or lack thereof), i was relieved and determined. there's something about knowing that there's no reason you can't do something that sort of frees you up to do it. maybe that's just me.

anyway, so it was back to bryan's original suggestion: practice makes perfect. so i went home, filled up the bathtub, pulled out the snorkel, and stuck my face in the water. and wouldn't ya know, it was a lot easier this time than it was the last time i practiced when i thought perhaps there was something that was preventing me from being able to do it.

so, friday bryan and i head to lake rawlings scuba park for me to complete my open water dives on friday and saturday! hopefully my sinuses will be cleared up by then because you're not supposed to dive when you're sick. keeping my fingers crossed...

in other news, on sunday we went and selected the style of tuxes for the guys at men's wearhouse, registered for more things at target, and finally watched the season finale of LOST (what an AWESOME show). and my invitations came in yesterday! now i just gotta go get 'em! 109 days 'til wedding day!


the 15 minute game, and other weekend wackiness.

well, for a sick girl, i've had a very full past day and a half! thankfully the antibiotic seems to be working and the mucinex has allowed me to actually breathe, and therefore to actually get things done. albeit snottily. (and by snottily i mean literally, snotty-ly.)

friday night's meet-up with my old pal tohry was great. she and i were best friends for years, and neither of us could come up with a good reason we didn't keep in touch better, besides the fact that we just got busy and then you get into that whole dilemma of needing time to catch up with the person, but never finding that time, so then you need even MORE time to catch up, making it even HARDER to find the time... many a friendship has gone this route, i'm afraid... anyway, it was truly fabulous to see her and laugh and gossip about our classmates from high school...

yesterday i got in gear and called grandma to go with me to do a little wedding shopping. thankfully no one else had already scooped her up for the day and we headed to colonial heights in search of some cornflower blue satin and a few other things. we were immediately successful at finding the exact color i wanted (woohoo!!) and i even picked up some fabric to recover the barstools in my living room (keeping fingers crossed bryan is okay with what i chose, he seemed a little hesitant). then we hopped around the heights a bit searching for a few other things i'll need for the big day, had lunch, and headed home. it's always great to spend time with my grandma...

after leaving grandma's i had to head to target and the grocery store for some household shopping, which desperately needed to be done since it seems we have been gone every weekend for weeks on end. which also meant that the household cleaning had not been given proper attention, which is where i get to the topic of this blog: the 15 minute game.

i get real simple magazine (fabulous!), and was inspired by an article they had a while back about what to accomplish in each room of your house if you only have 15 min, 30 min, an hour, etc. it was 8pm by the time i finally was ready to get to cleaning, so you can imagine that i wasn't thrilled at the idea, but it really needed to be done. so i decided that i was going to set the timer on my microwave and give myself 15 minutes for each room or section of my house.

people, this was a WORK OUT! and it WORKED! some of you may know that i detest cleaning the house, but you may also know that i'm competitive. so setting myself against the clock to see just how much i could accomplish before the damn thing beeped at me was quite the motivator. i gotta say, my house has never become so clean in a mere one hour and 45 minutes as it did last night! i mean, i even dusted the moldings! or whatever they're called. :)

so, with all of the cleaning and grocery shopping out of the way, i am hoping i can avoid being summoned into the garage (which is where bryan has been alllllll weekend, working on the motorcycle and the saturn. don't ask me what's wrong with them, i'm trying to stay out of it. :) ). i do still have laundry to do (arg), but i'm keeping my fingers crossed that perhaps i can snag bryan for some honeymoon talk and to watch the season finale of lost (finally)...

oh, and EXCITEMENT: we got our first wedding gift yesterday!!!! thanks, uncle jim and aunt brenda! now i just gotta figure out if i'm allowed to use the thank you notes that say "mr. and mrs. bryan klinger" before we're actually married... i'm thinking probably not, huh?


cough cough sniff sniff

alright, so, as it turns out, what i thought was a bad allergy flare up is actually a raging sinus infection! fun!

all week i've been feeling crappier and crappier, and then last night i woke up at 1am freezing cold, unable to breathe because i was so congested, coughing like crazy and aching all over. i headed to the spare bedroom where the bed is in the corner of the room and i had set up a pyramid of pillows the night before at 4am so that i could sleep upright (and be able to breathe), and on the way it occured to me that maybe i should take my temperature. that shivering cold thing was weird. so i tried to call out to bryan to bring me blankets, cough drops and a thermometer, but wouldn't ya know the freaking cold has practically stripped me of any voice so i wasn't able to call loudly enough for him to hear! dammit! so i made my way around the upstairs gathering these things (and waking bryan in the process). stuck the thermometer in my mouth and was very surprised to see 101.0 degrees when it was done!

now, i get sick just like the next girl, but i honestly can't remember the last time my temperature was anything higher than 98.6. so i think that was when the light bulb came on and i realized that i am, indeed, SICK! bryan came in the spare room to try to comfort me, but at that point, i just wanted to prop myself up on the pillow pyramid and try to get some sleep. so i did, rather fitfully.

anyway, this morning i got up and headed to my primary care doctor's office to beg them to see me so i didn't have to go to patient first (aka quack central), and the nurse practitioner was kind enough to confirm that, yes, indeed, i am sick. couple pokes, prods and questions about my beautiful engagement ring and i was on my way to walgreen's with a prescription for an antibiotic. thank goodness.

of course, all this meant i was not going to work, which is rather inconvenient because we have a retirement party tonight for the social worker who works on my grant, and i have the credit card to pay for it. so i guess i'll still go to that... i called a co-worker to let her know what was up and she gave me the brilliant suggestion to buy some mucinex. now, i won't say i am feeling back to 100%, because i am not by any means, but that definitely made an impact on the congestion. and at least i can look forward to an end to feeling like crap now that i have this antibiotic.

while i know it's bad form to go out on a night that you've had to call in sick from work, i kind of have to go to the retirement party, and just last night made plans to meet up afterwards with an old best friend from high school named tohry. so since i haven't seen her, besides once in passing, in over 10 years, by golly i'm still going to go meet up with her. feeling like crap or not. tohry and i have known each other since 6th grade and she is so much fun... i can't wait to get together and see where our lives have taken us and reminisce about the days of old... :) 'cause you know, we are gettin' kinda old now...

alright, off to find some lunch and go back to bed for a bit before this evening's activities. did i mention i hate being sick?


come on, clarinex...

ugh. my allergies have decided to take full control of my airways and i have been in misery for the past two days. post nasal drip is NOT fun. don't let anyone tell you differently. i would really like for my clarinex to kick in and do its job. please. thank you.

so, when last we spoke, i was headed out for a shower gift. little did i know i was attending what is quite possibly the fanciest and biggest baby shower ever held. not that there's a thing wrong with that, it was just not what i was used to. my future sister-in-law kelley and my future mother-in-law jan and i loaded up and headed to the hotel bethlehem (prounounced "beth-lem" in pennsylvania, don't ask me why) for cousin shannon's baby shower sunday morning. 60 people were there, and about twice that many presents, and 5 courses as i counted them (although i'm counting the cookies and brownies dessert course as separate from the cake dessert course), complete with mimosas and wine. talk about fan-cee! it was very nice, and i believe shannon got everything she could dream of having for the baby and then some. i thought it was funny as i was sitting there watching her open presents that she kept saying, "oh, it's my lamp." and "it's my bedding." i think every woman does that at showers, but it's funny how registering for something basically indicates that it is already yours, but you'll have to wait until your shower to take posession of it.

after we left the shower, bryan and i headed south, with a brief stop at ikea for some file cabinets, a coffee table and a few other random things for the house. i love ikea. so hopefully now we'll get our highly disorganized office into some semblance of order... hopefully. :)

yesterday was the arthritis walk post-party, and i took some community service time (yes, they give us two days to volunteer!) and went and helped out a bit with that. it was great to see all of my arthritis foundation family. a few things i noted yesterday at the party:
  1. it's awesome to be at an AF event and not feel guilty for eating. when you're staff, it's more important to schmooze than eat. when you're a volunteer, you are expected to consume all the free food your little heart desires.
  2. it's awesome to be at an AF event and be able to win a door prize! as staff, well, of course you can't win the prizes because that's cheating--you got those donated for your volunteers! when you're a volunteer, you are more than welcome to take home your $25 dick's sporting goods gift certificate door prize! which i did last night. :)
  3. it's awesome to see all the great friends i made when i worked there. they really are like family to me. here's a picture of me and erica, a little girl that has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. her family is fantastic, we have so much fun together. the best thing about the arthritis foundation is that it truly has a direct impact on peoples' lives, even if it is only to connect those of us who are directly affected by this disease and put us all together in a room so we can bitch or cry or laugh about all of the ridiculous things you go through living with a chronic illness like arthritis. it's like a homecoming every time i'm at an arthritis foundation event!
i realized today for about the 154th time that no matter how tech-savvy i consider myself to be, i am best served using a paper calendar. i missed a meeting this morning because i didn't open up my electronic calendar on my computer. this is something that happens to me about once every 1.5-2 years since the beginning of my professional life. i start to think that i can go electronic with my appointments, but then miss an appointment or two and kick myself for not just using a paper calendar since i know i remember things when i write them down. so, back to paper for me. some things are just better done the old fashioned way...


full friday

wow, yesterday was quite a full day! luckily got to sleep in this morning...

started out like every friday: at work. i have (gratefully) been pretty busy at work lately, and yesterday was no different. so i had a busy morning at work, then headed out to meet my dad at the print shop to pick out invitations for the wedding!

now, i had asked bryan if he trusted me to pick out the invitations or if he wanted to be a part of it, and he said he trusted me. i guess he already knew that the invitation picking process wasn't going to be the most thrilling of the wedding planning elements. but my dad toughed it out and hung out with me as i sorted through 5 or 6 6-inch thick books of wedding invite samples. it's always funny to me how well my dad knows me, when i think i'm unpredictable. okay, well, i guess the older i get the more i know i'm getting to be VERY predictable, but i think we women always like to think we maintain that feminine mystique. although now that i think of it, maybe the "mystique" part is that men can't ever figure out WHY we act the way we do, not that they can't figure out HOW we're going to act. :)

anyway, after a couple hours in the print shop, i decided on an invite, and bryan just happened to be leaving work, so i twisted his arm into coming to make sure he had no objections to the ones i had selected, and we placed the order. WOOHOO! another thing to check off the list!

after that, it was home to pack and get ready to head up to pennsylvania to bryan's parents' house (which is where we are now). bryan was speedy gonzales getting us ready to go, and we were on the road more quickly than i thought we'd be, but it still put us here really late. i made a futile attempt to help keep bryan awake on the way up, but for the most part i slept and awoke occasionally to say, "honey, you're awake, right?" i think it got annoying after a while, but i'd rather be annoying and make sure he's awake than suffer the consequences of him falling asleep behind the wheel. (in bryan's defense, i've never seen him fall asleep behind the wheel, but that man can drive with just a sliver of his eye peeking out from behind his eyelids, and it freaks me out a bit sometimes...)

so, here we are, visiting my future-in-laws and taking advantage of my work laptop that i borrowed for the weekend to make sure it works okay, and their wireless internet. i gotta say, laptop and wireless is the way to go... perhaps we will venture into that world one day.

bryan's parents had a meeting this afternoon about a motorcycle ride they're taking later this month, but before they went they headed out to search for kevin's (bryan's brother) leather jacket and vest, which flew off his motorcycle on his way out of the state last night. hope they found it! kevin is off attempting what is called the "iron butt"--1000 miles on the motorcycle in 24 hours. good luck, kev-in-law!


lovely virginia summers... and such.

so in true virginia fashion, we practically leapfrogged over spring and slammed into summer. it is hotter than crap outside and the air's so thick it reminds me of an episode of scooby doo i saw when i was a kid where shaggy had to literally cut a hole in the fog to see where they were going. only in this case it's the humidity that you have to slice through. and i'm blaming the heat on the impending death of my flowers... it certainly can't be my fault for not actually planting them, right? :)

with less than 4 months left 'til our get-hitched day, we are actually progressing rather nicely... mailed of the deposit and contract for the DJ yesterday, going to pick out invitations with the dad tomorrow, and have an inkling of hope that maybe bryan and i can make some honeymoon decisions very soon. it's all coming together and the time is zooming by...

so today i got my official contract for my first grant writing side job. i am nervous about this, but at the suggestion of my old boss & mentor, i decided to try my hand at it. by chance, a guy i ride the bus with was in search of a grant writer, so now we've got a partnership. i am hoping that i covered all the bases with the contract (have never written one before, but have seen and signed enough of them through my event and wedding planning days that i was comfortable enough writing it). i agreed to write a pre-proposal for him (max 7 pages) at a rate of $50/hr, up to 5 hours. now, i am a speedy writer. i am actually generally speedy at everything i can figure out how to be speedy at. i am pretty sure this won't take me more than 5 hours. but i have butterflies in my stomach wondering if i have grossly underestimated how long it's going to take me and am denying myself many more hours of pay at $50/hr. the good thing, however, is if the pre-proposal is selected for a full application, we'll talk again. and perhaps additional hours can be factored into the new deal... anyway, i figure if i can get this grant writing thing rolling, it will make for a very nice side income! and i'm going to learn a lot about iran, too... this grant project i have now is about increasing democratic thinking in iran... so we will all know if this doesn't get selected for full application that it ain't my damn fault, because this southern white girl is entirely uninformed about iran... besides the fact that the want to have a nuclear program of some kind and we don't want 'em to.

back to work for me...