hello darlin'...

it's been a long time since i posted! but i hope you will understand that i have been one crazy busy lady. i like it that way, but i've missed my little blog world... :)

so, lucky you, you won't have to listen to all of the boring details you would have had i been posting daily, but i will summarize the past week and a half for you. it's been eventful...

  • last weekend (2 weekends ago, i guess), we went up to my friend sara's parents' home in nelson county--five oak--for a relaxing weekend. we had a great time, and a very relaxing four-mile float down the james river. unfortunately, the dragon flies that kept landing on us must have enjoyed chowing down on sunscreen, because we all got a bit burnt. i burn really strangely--giant splotches. they're finally fading, thank goodness. the two splotches on my left calf turned a bizarre shade of purple after they were red... gotta love being super pale.
  • sunday, monday and tuesday evenings i diligently addressed my wedding invitations in my best attempt at calligraphy. i was very proud to have them ready for my buddies to come over on thursday and help me stuff them for a friday ship off.
  • wednesday our neighbors (for another week or so) and former neighbors and us all went to bryan's softball game (one of our former neighbors plays, too). we had a great time and i drank a couple beers since i was taking thursday and friday off. i may have heckled the other team. i am not sure where i got this from, but i am a heckler by nature. i just really get a kick out of saying things to the other team. nothing too mean. it was fun, though. :)
  • got home and realized that we had all missed bryan falling and slamming his head on the ground, causing what was definitely a mild concussion. i was really worried about him for a couple of days. he went to work thursday and was so out of it that on friday, one of the guys from the power station called to check on him (he had taken the day off). anytime the guys that work at a power station are worried about you, you know it's bad. thankfully by sunday he was better.
  • thursday: cleaned like a madwoman, ran some errands and home to finish the invitations, right? wrong. discovered after stamping about 80 of them with $.63 stamps that the damn printer gave me the wrong sized envelope for the outer envelopes. they were the same size as the inner envelopes. so there went 6 hours or so of calligraphy and $50 worth of stamps. thankfully i went to the printer on friday and they called and had the company they ordered them through overnight me the correct envelopes. so guess what lydia spent her free time doing this weekend. readdressing all the invitations. they are, however, ready to go out today. so it's to the post office with me after work!
  • friday: what the hell did i do on friday. oh! dress fitting and shopping. duh. and some more cleaning, and my future in-laws arrived and we had dinner at friendly's. fun. :)
  • saturday: my first bridal shower! how fun! it was great to see everyone and, i must admit, tons of fun to get all those presents. :) this picture is me with the awesome basket of kitchen stuff my mom got me. i got so many great things... and i get to have ANOTHER shower in 2 saturdays in pennsylvania! this being a bride thing rocks. i need to get preggers right away so i can do it again with the baby showers and stuff. KIDDING!
  • sunday: took my mom and her friend mario and bryan's parents up to see the ceremony and reception sites and had lunch downtown, then went for a little motorcycle ride. i can tell my mom is going to be the one forcing me to think of all the details i have managed to sort of brush off.... questions like, "how are we getting here?" "are you putting anything on this mantle?" gotta love the mother of the bride... and rely on her to keep you on your toes! :)
oh, and HOW COULD I FORGET?! friday. WE BOOKED OUR HONEYMOON!!! we will be staying at the el dorado royale resort in riviera maya, mexico. it is a spectacular all-inclusive resort with 24-hour room service, hammocks on every balcony, little palapas (read: grass canopies) on the beach that you can lay under so you don't get roasted by the caribbean sun. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......... i can not WAIT! special thanks to our benefactors who are providing this trip as our wedding present... you know who you are!

we are less than 2 months away... i am so excited. and now that the invitations and honeymoon are taken care of, i gotta figure out what the next task is...


it's good to learn stuff.

so, i spent the past three days in a grantwriting course. three all-day trainings to teach me how to write fabulous proposals that win lots of money. and you know what? i actually feel like i learned something! while this may seem like a given, i must say that most trainings i go to leave me knowing about as much or less as i did when i walked in the door. not this time. money well spent, i hope. now if i can just rake in some more contract grant writing jobs at $50/hr, i'll be doing good. :)

this week i've been trying to work on addressing the invitations, but it seems like something always comes up that's more fun than that... neighbors to chat with, softball games to attend, moms to talk to on the phone... i have managed, however, to do a few a night and hopefully can get a bunch in on sunday, since they are supposed to go out at the end of next week. ack!

speaking of next week... so much to do! my bridal shower is here at our house next saturday, and since most people who are coming haven't been to my house but a few times if at all, i've got a bit of serious cleaning to do. and then the invitations... and a million other things i've been procrastinating on...

this weekend, however, i will try not to think about all that. in a couple hours, we are headed to five oak, my friend sara's parents' log home in nelson county, for some camping out and then tubing on the james river tomorrow! i am sure it won't compare to bryan's white water rafting trip of a few weeks ago, but i think it will be fun and relaxing... and maybe i'll even get some sun on these pasty white legs...


happy valley haps

well, yes, it happened, i experienced my first motorcycle ride in the rain on friday. in spite of cloudy gray skies, we hopped on and headed up to state college, pa. all was well for an hour and a half or so... then BOOM! down came the rain. i gotta admit, i was anticipating something just plain awful... my whole life when i've seen people on motorcycles caught in the rain, i cringe and my heart aches for them like they're experiencing some sort of grand tragedy. but when it was me, i was sitting back there thinking, "huh... i guess this sucks, but i'm just getting wet, who cares?" then i realized that bryan was using his fingers as windshield wipers on his glasses and got a little worried about him and our safety. but all was well and we were out of the rain in less than 10 minutes. then we stopped to put on our dry jackets since the temperature had dropped significantly, and promptly drove into another batch of rain. nice. thankfully, this batch was even shorter lived than storm #1, and after that we had clear skies.

getting to penn state, we ran inside, changed clothes and showered quickly, and headed downtown to pretend like we belonged in the bars with the college kids. i think we did a pretty good job, but we both looked at each other when we got into this bar where a fun band was playing and asked if we really used to enjoy this... the hot, sweaty people invading your space because there's no room to stand, the half inch of water/beer/liquor on the floor oozing into my flip flops, the ungodly temperature... i think at that moment we both realized that we are definitely beyond the college partying scene in our years now! the first of several of those moments over the weekend. we did, however, manage to enjoy the band, which was playing fun cheesy 80s and 90s rock... bryan noted that when he was in school there, they played cheesy 80s rock only and that was retro. now, to be retro, they are dipping into the 90s, which was the music that was current when he was there. crazy.

saturday we spent roaming arts fest, the whole reason we went. arts fest is this fabulous event where they line up booths of artists for a couple miles with all sorts of different stuff... paintings, photographs, pottery, jewelry, etc. etc. etc. we had a great day just sort of strolling along, stopping when we felt like it for whatever reason... oh, and bryan made a nice friend in the italian street art section (see picture).

after dinner, we decided to hit up this thing called "astrofest" that the astronomy department was sponsoring saturday night. this was moment of oldness clarity #2: we spent 2 hours at an astronomy fest instead of at the bars on a saturday night in a party town. lucky for me, we both have dorky sides, because we got to take a 3-D tour through the galaxy (who knew it was SOOOOO huge), a 3-D tour of mars, go in the planetarium, then check out jupiter and some other random astronomical wonders through telescopes on the roof of the building. yes, we're geeks. and i love it. :)

after that, we just sort of wandered around observing the madness that is a saturday night in a college town. one of the craziest parts to me is a little place called canyon pizza. the kids line up 4 deep and a block long to get this pizza, then they all loiter around on the corner where it is. hundreds of them. the first night we went by here and i thought maybe there was a fight or something crazy happening, then realized that it was just the pizza. we didn't have anything that fabulous in charlottesville, so this was pretty foreign to me. i made bryan take pictures, which unfortunately aren't that clear since it was 1am. but you get the idea.

yesterday, we were homeward bound. it was hotter than crap, even with a 70mph wind in your face, and by the time we got home i was pooped and glad to be there. the weekend, however, was fabulous. :)


you know what they say about opinions...

some of my readers may disagree with me, but i can't help but comment on this.

in an article on abcnews.com, ben rothlisberger said:

"Actually, that morning I was on my way to work out, and I had just gotten my bike all custom done. It was painted up, and it was really nice. And I was supposed to take my helmet that day with me to take it to get it painted to match the bike so I could wear it all the time when I rode that bike. And I totally forgot it that day," he said.

How do you "forget" a helmet? It's kind of easy to tell if it's on your head or not. I haven't been riding motorcycles for long, but to me that's kind of like someone asking you why you came to work with no pants on and you saying you forgot them.

Don't look for Roethlisberger, however, to do any public service announcements about the importance of wearing a helmet.

"I don't think that that's my place," he said. "You know, I think that some people feel that, you know, I probably should be doing that and being a big advocate for that. But for me, you know, I'm going to let people make their own decision 'cause I think that's what it's about."

You know, I think people should be allowed to make their own choices, too. But I don't think it would be such a bad thing for him to admit to the world that he was a moron who almost died because he didn't wear a helmet, and maybe helmets are a good idea after all.

For pete's sake.

Now I, on the other hand, am headed downstairs to meet Bryan and hop on the motorcycle to head to Penn State. I can assure you I will not be forgetting my helmet.


i want a pool in my backyard.

yesterday we went over to one of bryan's co-worker's house for a dip in the pool after work. for some reason, this year i have been itching to have a pool in my backyard more than ever. maybe it is because i actually have a backyard. maybe it is because i need somewhere to attempt to bronze this pasty white skin a bit before the wedding. maybe it's just because pools are awesome. i must say, however, that i would probably not be so big on the cleaning of the pool every day. so maybe it's a good thing we don't have one...

the people whose house we were at have a jack russell terrier who they put a life jacket on when he wants to get in the pool. the life jacket has a handle, so you can pick him up like a purse or a briefcase. it was one of the funniest things i've ever seen. and boy, did that dog love it. :) unfortunately he ran around on the concrete with too-wet claws and paws for a bit too long and wore them down to the point that they were bleeding! but did that stop him? nope! he would have kept on running around if his dad hadn't put him in the garage... too much fun for him.

last night i began the very large task of addressing the invitations. i did two. i need to get some girls together for an assembly party, but since i'm picky and want to write all the addresses myself, i'm thinking i need to do that part before having people over. just need to make myself do it a few at a time, and it'll all come together...

tomorrow we're heading up to penn state, bryan's alma mater, for the weekend. should be a good time!



wow, i have been slacking on the blogging for the past week!

we spent a nice 4th of july attempting to register at home depot (even though we really want to register at lowe's, but their system isn't ready yet). it's times like that that i realize how spoiled we are by technology. instead of handing us a scan gun and sending us out in the store, they handed us a piece of paper and a pen and told us to write down the sku numbers of what we want, then they'll put it in their system, then we have to go online and re-enter everything if we want anyone to be able to see our registry somewhere other than that particular store. so, we are still deciding if that is worth it... afterwards, we went over to our neighbors' for a cookout & then watched some fireworks.

yesterday we finally got around to taking the motorcycle down to see my cousin shane, who we have been intending to ask to be one of bryan's groomsmen for ages but just finally got around to doing. it was great to see shane and his girlfriend and the motorcycle riding was great. shane has a harley and so after lunch he led us to the colonial parkway and rode with us for a bit. i had never been on this road--runs past the york river and through yorktown and all... it was really pretty! then we found ourselves in jamestown, where we got on the jamestown ferry to go back across the river. i hadn't been on the ferry since i was probably 6 or 7, so that was fun. :)

on our ride yesterday we went through very rural parts of virginia--ham and peanut country. i couldn't help but notice all the old dilapidated buildings... houses, stores, warehouses... i kept wondering what must have happened to make people abandon these buildings... did they lose their jobs? run out of customers? find a better building? i just think it's weird for people to just up and leave a building and let it rot out. very curious to me. but that type of building is everywhere... where are the people that once occupied them?

eh, anyway... something about being on the back of a bike with the wind in my face makes me kind of philosophical, i guess.


girls' night out in chester, va

tonight me and some girlfriends headed down to the metropolis that is chester, virginia for a girly evening out. after stopping by my dad's house to let the cat in and cleaning up her lovely 2 foot long spew of vomit, my friend jodie and i met friends krystyna and leslie at pietro's for some pizza. pietro's has always been THE pizza joint in chester as far as i am concerned. i believe i have been going there since i was born, possibly before. then, after stuffing ourselves, we headed to the incredibly fancy chester cinemas. okay, not fancy. in fact, this is an old school theater where the seats don't even recline and are not arranged stadium style! and it looks exactly like it did throughout my youth, when the freaking chester cinema was THE cool place to be on any given weekend night. the whole evening was very nostalgic for me, so i decided i just had to take a picture to commemorate the return to my high school years...

in other weekend news, yesterday began the process of adjusting the dress to fit my body at my first fitting for my wedding gown, added a few things to the registry, saw an old friend, and bryan and i went to the sports park near us for the first time (we've only been down the street from it for 3 years or so, come on!) and played miniature golf. unfortunately, i really suck at the mini-golf. (i tried to play it off like i let him win, but when it takes you 8 strokes on a par 2 miniature golf hole, it's kinda hard to pretend you actually know what you're doing).

we then came home and watched "blazing saddles," which is quite possibly the most politically incorrect but hillarious movie ever made. well, most of it is hillarious. every time we've ever watched it i fall asleep for the last 20 minutes or so, but i assume those minutes are just as funny as the rest...

bryan has headed to west virginia to brave the white waters of the new river tomorrow... i feel like a starry eyed goofball, but even though we've only been apart for 6 hours and he'll be back tomorrow night, i miss him! everyone tells me marriage will cure that, but i can't say i'd mind if i was this in love forever... :)

enough of that... i'm gonna go watch me some late-night law and order.


a thrill a minute

yesterday bryan and i, along with his buddy from college ryan, headed to good ol' paramounts kings dominion. it had been a couple years since i went, but this is a place that brings back tons of good memories for me. i had a season pass to KD probably 8 summers of my life, so i have been a good 100+ times. i must say, though, when you go as an "adult" (i guess that's what i am now...), things are a little different, but still tons of fun.

i won't bore you with a rundown of every ride we rode... no need for that. but i gotta say that the old standbys did not disappoint, and the new additions made for some very amusing times. for example, the log flume. been there probably since they opened the park, but now they have added this exciting little twist. at the end of the ride, after you've gone down the big hill and been splashed just enough that you realized you're on a water ride and as you're heading back into the shelter to get off the ride, they have added hoses. six giant water hoses pointed right at you. so bryan and i got totally soaked--something i was not expecting on this ride. we get off, and what do i see, but a group of people standing near these hoses laughing their butts off. the hoses, you see, are a clever money-making scheme that KD has put in place, which happen to also be the most fun and wicked game ever invented. you put a quarter in, the button lights up, and you wait for the next unsuspecting victim to come around the corner then SHOOT! and soak said victims. and there is the potential for this to happen six times in total. i have never been so freaking giddy in an amusement park as i was dousing random passersby in giant fake logs wtih water. holy crap. that is the smartest addition to the park ever made, i believe.

in time, bryan and ryan had to drag me away to the next rides... we went on to do a few more, then i was somehow talked into one of the newer rides--the tomb raider firefall. i didn't ride roller coasters until i was 17, and subsequently learned to adore them, but i never did much get into the whole upside down spinning around thing, like the berserker (aka the giant boat that flips you upside down and holds you there). this sucker is so hard to explain, but let's just say it flips you around and around upside down while swinging around in a giant circle. holy crap. i kept telling bryan he couldn't talk to me before it started, because i had to calm myself down and have a little chat with me about how this ride was certainly not going to hurt me and i might even like it and if i didn't, well, it'd be over in a minute or so. after we got off, it took me a few minutes to decide how i felt about it, but the final verdict is that it might be the coolest non-roller coaster ride ever made, if not the coolest ride period. good stuff. click on the name of the ride earlier in the paragraph to see a video of it on the KD website.

finally, it was time to head home, and we walked through the kiddie section (i feel like no trip to KD is complete unless you at least walk through the whole park, this part included). here, bryan jokingly asked me if i wanted to ride the scooby doo mystery machine ride. backstory: the last time we went, this was the newest ride, and i insisted on riding it, only to find it is DEFINITELY a child's ride, where you get in a mini-mystery machine and ride (slowly) through a "haunted" mansion while using your laser gun to capture as many points as you can throughout the mansion. the first time we rode this, bryan could not believe i had made him stand in line for an hour to ride this ridiculousness. but i thoroughly enjoyed being the one to collect the most points (because it tallies them up for you as you ride). so when he asked last night, i tried to say that i didn't want to ride... but he could tell by the goofy smile on my face that i really did. i am a competitive person, what can i say... i wanted to show my two companions up! :)

so we rode. and i won. and as you can see by this picture, the most hillarious ride picture ever taken, we were very serious about helping scooby and crew get all the ghosts in the haunted mansion. and no, we have don't have any idea who that kid is or how he ended up in our mystery machine. :)