here i am!

i feel like i've been MIA for a few days, but i am here! "here" being in washington, dc. :) i am here for a conference for work, from sunday to thursday. i miss my husband-to-be!

anyway, the bachelorette party was tons of fun. of course, a lady never tells TOO much of what went on at her bachelorette party--or rather, never has too much TO tell, right? :) we exchanged a couple gifts, had some pizza and cake, and headed out for some dancing and drinking. i am proud to say none of us felt bad the next morning. a couple photos for your viewing pleasure:

that's me with the shot the bartender made me named after me. and my two midori and sprites. you will be relieved to know all those cups lined up there are NOT mine. :)

that's us posing in have a nice day cafe. aren't we a lovely bunch of girls? :)

the conference i am at is for the ryan white care act. i think many of you don't know what i do anymore, so briefly, half of my job is being the administrator for a program that provides outreach services to women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. this program is funded by federal funds set aside for HIV/AIDS services--the ryan white care act. this year is the 15th anniversary of the program. i have been a bit overwhelmed by this conference--there are 2400 people here! it is very interesting, i have learned a lot. it has been sad to see the photos and hear stories of people with HIV/AIDS. and to remember ryan white, the little boy who died in 1990 at the age of 19. he contracted AIDS because he was a hemophiliac, through a blood transfusion. his mother is here. i met her today and i hope she feels honored by the work that goes on in her son's name. she and her son faced so much stigma and cruelty. i hope progress has been made but don't know really... i am still sort of processing all of it, but am happy to be part of something that is making a difference in peoples' lives.

tonight i had dinner with two old friends who i never get to see, britton and halletta. britton i met in college, and we had lunch yesterday as well (he works at the hotel where i'm staying). halletta was my best friend from bath county and we lost touch for quite a while. it was so wonderful to see her again. isn't it funny how you can not see a good friend for a long, long time, then you finally get together and it's like not a day has passed? lovely.

did i mention i miss my man?


may i have the ring please?

well, last night we went and purchased our wedding bands! they are wonderful, i can't wait to wear mine. i don't think my maid of honor has much faith in my ability to stick with normal wedding traditions (even though we are sticking with most), because she told me on the phone last night, "now don't wear it before the wedding." ha! i won't, sara, don't worry! i did try it on, but you *have* to try it on again when you get it home just to make sure it still looks as beautiful in a different light, right? :)

today i'm headed to busch gardens with that very same maid of honor. we used to go to amusement parks ALL THE TIME, but as our lives have taken us in different directions (mainly as her life took her almost 2 hours up 95), we haven't been able to do this as much. i am looking forward to it! apparently a new roller coaster just opened there on wednesday. i can't decide if i am psyched to be riding it so soon after it opens or petrified that they haven't worked all the kinks out and something will go horribly wrong. i love roller coasters, but i do still get butterflies before riding them. :) i once had a dream that i fell out of one (the anaconda at kings dominion stopped at the top of one of the loops while we hung upside down), and the sensation has stayed with me.

tomorrow: bachelorette party night! i'm very excited to have an evening out with my girls. and then sunday, i leave for a conference in DC that i'll be at until thursday. a *little* nervous about missing out on those 4 days of planning (since i seem to do a tiny little bit each day), but i guess it'll be alright.

5 weeks, 1 day...


bridezilla moment, thwarted again!

alright, so i sort of suspected as this wedding approached that things would begin to go wrong... or at least there would be little snags. well, i was right. but! i have been determined to maintain my composure and NOT become one of those crazy girls you see on those bridezilla shows, and i think i'm doing a good job.

so on friday, i called the hotel i have rooms blocked at to let them know we'd need to increase the block of rooms i had reserved. i played phone tag with my contact there, but he left me a message telling me he would increase the block, no problem. well, saturday morning i wake up to a message from bryan's sister saying she just booked her room, and they told her it was the last room in the hotel. i reasoned that 1) maybe there was a misunderstanding and she just got the last room in the *block* and they hadn't increased the block yet and 2) it was saturday and my guy wasn't going to be at work anyway. so i sorta forgot about it and went on about my bidness.

sunday, i went down to see my stepmom, stopped by my friend jodie's, went to the grocery store and headed home (all that after like 3 hours of tetris playing sunday morning... so addictive). bryan had been home working on a couple of the vehicles in our driveway, but had also checked his email and received a message from one of his college buddies, saying he couldn't get a room at the hotel because it was full. oh, freaking fabulous. just great. so then i started to freak a little bit. i got online to see if maybe you could still get a room online, but no. hotel was indeed full.

so yesterday morning i come in to work and call my guy at 8:02. i pretty much knew he wasn't going to answer, but i had to call ASAP in order to resolve this as quickly as possible. i'll spare you the details of how it happened, because this story is getting kind of long, but in the end, they added 20 more rooms to our wedding block! yay! (there had supposedly been a group still blocked off in the system who had changed their date and didn't need the space anymore.) i was incredibly relieved, and went back to my ol' calm, colllected (mostly) self. :)

now if i can just get a bridesmaid dress that fits my sister i'll be alright.... (another small snag in the works.)

39 days...


seriously, come hungry.

alright, people, if you are coming to the wedding, you better come hungry. maybe eat a big breakfast but then nothing else til the reception. bryan and i went to the caterer yesterday to sample the menu we've chosen and decide on flavors for the cake. here's what you have to look forward to (if you want to be surprised, well, consider this a spoiler alert and stop reading):

cocktail hour:
chicken satay skewers with thai peanut sauce
mini cheeseburgers
gazpacho shooters in cucumber cups

crab cakes (possibly the best crabcakes i've ever eaten)
loaded mashed potato bar
pork steamship (carving station)
grilled veggies infused with olive oil
homemade rolls/biscuits
my favorite: taco bar!

layer 1: oreo cake (holy crap it's so good... chocolate cake with oreo crumbles)
layer 2: angel food cake with strawberry filling (also so fabulous)
layer 3: regular white cake (for those that want traditional)

i was so stuffed when i left there that all i could do was go home and lay on the couch and think about how good the food is going to be. :) they say a lot of brides don't eat at their reception. i have no intentions of being one of those brides. :)

so i think that's the final menu... unless bryan has some post-decision change of heart (he tends to do that with this wedding stuff). we also went over the layout of the room and timeline and stuff... the wedding is 6 weeks from tomorrow, holy crap!


news and more news

so today all i can think about is the news.

first, the confession of the guy who brutally murdered the harvey family here in richmond on new year's day (for you non-richmonders, a mom, dad and 2 little girls) has been released. it was a completely senseless, horrible crime, very hard to read about. but i am so glad that the crazy bastard confessed the whole thing so we can get right to frying him. at least hopefully there will be some sort of justice, rather than going through the whole trial and him trying to deny it and what not...

then this guy who confesses he was the one that killed jonbenet ramsey. where the hell did he come from?? i guess he had been on the police's radar for a while, but i turned the tv on this morning to diane sawyer interviewing jonbenet's aunt. i watched this interview for a few minutes trying to figure out why she was on there, because they weren't mentioning that they had captured this guy. then i saw what all the fuss was about. i really hope that this is the guy and that the ramsey family can have some peace and all the people who accused them of having a part in it will have to eat their words. i am, however, not totally convinced this guy isn't just some loon who became so obsessed with the crime and the little girl in the pageant videos that he's convinced himself he actually did it... guess we shall see...

crazy stuff... i am always happy to hear that criminals are being caught and made to pay for their crimes...

in other news that has nothing to do with any sort of crime (thank god), we are headed to our caterer this evening to finalize the menu for the reception. only 44 days. last night i had another dream (possibly the third or fourth of its kind) where it was our wedding day and there were a few very important things that we hadn't done and we were just trying to wing it and make it work at the last minute. dear god, please don't let that be the case. i think i might have to whack bryan with the wedding stick this weekend so he gets that with just 6 weeks left, we need to get stuff DONE! :)


the wheels on the truck go round and round... mostly.

well, let's just get right to the highlight of the weekend, shall we? then we'll get back to the other fun stuff that happened.

so, we went to pennyslvania this past weekend. took the truck. got a late-ish start sunday evening to get home... left around 6pm for a 5.5-6 hour trip. eh, no big deal... we can handle a midnight bedtime. so, we're driving along down interstate 83, about 2 hours from bryan's parents, when i start to hear this whomping noise. i say, "what's that noise?" thinking to myself that we've got a flat. then WHOOM! freaking blow out. greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. just great. thank god bryan was driving and maintained control of the truck, even though we were going probably 70mph in the left hand lane with this on the rear passenger side:

we got to the side of the road and bryan had me stand watch behind the truck while he tried to change the tire. his idea was that i could stand there and alert him if any cars/trucks started to come off the road towards us. my idea was that i am not so spry that i could get out of the way of a speeding vehicle, alert him, and scramble up the 90 degree embankment if i did see something coming at us... luckily, we didn't have to worry about reacting to that particular circumstance.

after about 45 minutes, it was clear that the spare wasn't coming off the truck, so i offered to call AAA. thank GOD my dad has always kept me on his AAA plan. i am almost 100% positive i've used it way more than he has. after being on hold for a bit, the girl comes back and we have this exchange:

AAA girl: "are you in a safe place?"
me: "um, not exactly."
AAA girl: "can you get to a safe place?"
me: "um, there isn't really anywhere particularly safe on the side of the interstate."
AAA girl: "well, are you in imminent danger?"
me: "well, i'm not sure i would call it imminent, but i certainly would like to not be standing on the side of the interstate any longer than i have to be."

duh. dumb girl.

so, after about an hour, the AAA tow truck man shows up. he gets the tire off in about 30 seconds. bryan felt dumb, but we didn't have a flashlight and how the heck was he supposed to know you had to put this metal rod up under the bumper to get to the latch or whatever?

once the tire was off, it took just a few minutes for us to be on our way. stopped to check the air, and headed south. thankfully, the rest of the trip was uneventful... as far as i could tell from behind my eyelids. :)

got home at about 2am and of course still had to unload all the goodies that were in the back of the truck... lovely adventures in that truck, i tell ya...

anyway, the whole point of the weekend was the bridal shower thrown by bryan's mom, sister and sister-in-law. it was a lovely affair, and holy crap did i get some stuff. you should see my dining room. maybe i'll take a picture for you and post it. we now have all 10 place settings of our china, all 10 of our stemware and 9 out of 10 of our silverware settings. awesome! this getting married stuff rocks.

speaking of which, just 46 days to go...


entering year 29 of life.

so yesterday was m'birthday. i am now 28 years old. not old, but starting to be not that young anymore. i am viciously reminded of this when i go to a convenience store and see that kids born when i was in freaking 4th grade can buy cigarettes. what's up with that?! (can you tell i am going to age poorly if i can't handle it ALREADY? :) )

for the big 2-8, i asked for a bicycle. and, my fabulous husband-to-be obliged.

so now i have a bike. for the first time in like 15 years. which means now i have to exercise. as soon as i learn how to ride a bike again. :) i tried my skills a little bit in the wally world last night, and found that i was a tad bit afraid. possibly due to the fact that i had had 2 beers and no food (which in me = drunk). but possibly because i am just a giant wuss who doesn't know how to ride a bike.

who knows. maybe i'll be the world's first female tour de france winner. well, actually, i have no idea if a woman has ever won the tour de france or even if women are allowed in it. i assume they are. but i don't know shite about bicycling. hell, i don't even know if i'm allowed to call it "bicycling" instead of just "cycling."

just, if you ever see me trying to get on my bike with one of those giant goofy orange straps holding my pantsleg down and keeping it out of the chains, or if i ever look like this guy, slap me.


bidding farewell

last night, we met up with some friends at bw3's near our house to bid our neighbors scott and amanda farewell. they are moving to northern virginia for scott to go to school to become a physical therapist. scott and amanda have been great neighbors, and we are really going to miss them!

we had a great time last night, though, in spite of the fact that we're mad at them for moving. :) bw3's has name that tune night on thursdays (apparently this is very popular, my dad told me about it on wednesday and i had never heard of it, even though i live less than a mile from the place). it was tons of fun, even if we didn't win. we learned that whether or not you win really depends on whether or not the team right before you sucks. because if they miss it, you get to answer it. so had we had a moron team going before us, i bet we would have won. next time...

i will say, i never go out on "school nights," and those two tall killians were working really hard to keep me in the bed this morning. i overcame and made it to work, but i am just about ready to lay my head on my desk and take a little nap...

anyway, here are some pictures from last night:

aren't we a cute couple... :)

the ladies of the "clover hill gang"--me, amanda and sarah

the gentlemen of the "clover hill gang," bryan, todd and scott... such a shame that sarah and todd already moved and amanda and scott are leaving us!

team "doc hops"--sarah and i. we called ourselves that in honor of scott, who will become doc hops(on) when he's done with his three years of schoolin'.


oh, what a tragedy.

last night, i picked up the phone to order our typical monday night fare--pizza from carmela, our favorite pizza joint. they have pizza night on mondays--$5.95 for a large cheese--so it's been tradition in our house for a good year or two to have pizza every monday.

so i dial the number and hear that dreaded "BEEPbeepBEEP The number you have dialed has been disconnected. Please hang up and try again." say wha?! disconnected? you've gotta be kidding. so i think maybe i've dialed the wrong number. i grab the magnet off the fridge and try again. same thing. then bryan doesn't believe me. so he tries. twice.

we sort of looked at each other in confusion and tried to figure out what the hell we were gonna do now. we don't know what other foods are available for consumption on mondays. only pizza. so we think, we'll just drive by. and sure enough, there's cardboard up in the windows. :( bryan suggested we go home and fast since we were in mourning. i was sad, but not so much so that i wasn't going to eat. so it was off to chipotle... which i could eat daily, but still... there was something tragic about eating tacos and burritos on a monday.

rest in peace, carmela. you will surely be missed.