Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Anniversary...

Today is a VERY special day. To me, at least. And probably to Mr. CC. I think that I’ve finally got him brainwashed, I mean, convinced that April 30th is our actual anniversary. Or, he’s just learning that it’s easier NOT to argue with me…LOL!

Yes, folks, today is our TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of dating. So my post today is directed at one very special man…Mr. CC. Any man who is willing to be called Mr. Cotton Candy just HAS to be special! Or maybe that just goes to show how much he loves me? That's what I think.

There are so many things that I would like to say…I hope that I can do your love letters justice here, because you are SO good at writing me love emails…

First of all, I want to thank you for loving me. You honor me each and every day, in big ways and small ways. You shower me in love, the likes of which I never thought that I would personally experience. I met you at a time in my life when I had decided that I didn’t care if I stayed single forever, and I didn’t believe that true love actually happened in places other than books and movies. But you came into my life, first as a friend, someone to make me smile or laugh during a really difficult and emotional time after I had dissolved my previous marriage. You offered me nothing more, just a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to, someone to help me laugh, someone that I could just be myself around, and you became so much more to me. But you became so much more. You became my best friend. I can’t imagine a day going by where you’re not the first person that I want to talk to (even when you hit snooze three times instead of getting out of bed!) or the first person that I want to share news with – good or bad.

From our very first date two years ago today, to the very first kiss, to our engagement and so many special moments along the way we’ve built our relationship to the point where we are now. You treasure me, you make me feel special, and you help me be the best person that I can be each and every day.

You allow me the freedom to just be myself. I think that I love that the most about us. Each of us are our own individuals, and we respect the similarities and differences between each of us, and love each other because of them or despite them, however you want to look at things. I’ve never just been ME when I’ve been in a relationship, and for the first time in my life, I’m able to do that. I can be a dork - I often crack myself up at my own jokes, stop in the middle of the store and start lip-synching the song playing over the loudspeakers and I know that instead of making fun of me for being that way that you’ll laugh along with me or you’ll be my back-up air guitarist without a word spoken to tell you to do that. That’s just how well we fit together.

I love that we laugh so much. We laugh ALL THE TIME. Everyday. In the past two years, I’ve never had so much fun in a relationship or laughed as much. Yes, there are fun days when you do things that are cool to do as a couple. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about rolling on the floor, clutching your sides because you have a stitch in them from laughing, or racing to the bathroom because you laughed so hard you’re afraid that you might pee your pants kind of laughing. That’s what we do. I like to think that we do that every single day; and it sounds untrue, but there are very few days that we don’t laugh like that. I love that we laugh in the car, we laugh while watching tv, we laugh while we’re being goofy at the store or when we hang out with the kids, and that we lay in bed and laugh with each other on a daily basis. I honestly can’t think of anyone that I have ever had this much fun with in my whole life. If laughter’s the best medicine, then we’re gonna live for a long time…that’s for sure.

I love that you want to be part of my life. You honor me with your ring and the promise of marriage. And I mean that - I am truly honored to accept your marriage proposal. I want to be a part of your life with your family and I know that you feel the same way about my life and my family. You want to be a step-father to my child, and you want to have more children, and the thought warms me from the inside out that we will build a family together. You put forth an honest effort to be involved in my life, getting to know my family and as many of my friends as you can (since they’re scattered over everywhere!) and you don’t realize how much this means to me. I feel so lucky.

You make it easy for me to love you. I just want good things for you. You just want good things for me. In that way, we balance out each other and compliment each other perfectly, never leaving one person doing all of the work or getting all of the rewards. I’ve always been the giver in my relationships in the past; never really knowing what it was like to be on the receiving end of that equation. Maybe that’s the secret to a good, healthy relationship, because I can honestly say that there have been very few, if any, days when I’ve felt like our relationship is hard work. It seems like such a simple solution to a complicated situation, but it works for us. You look after me, and I look after you, and neither of us is lacking for anything. That’s the way that it is, and I hope that it will always be between the two of us.

I can’t wait to start my life with you. I can’t wait to say the words “I do” in October. I can’t wait to have another child with you, if that’s in the cards. I can’t wait to grow old with you. With you by my side, I know that my life will be good. There will be love. There will be laughter. There will be good times, and probably some bad ones too, but you’ll be there for me during those times doing what you do to be my rock and support. You’re a good man. And I consider myself a lucky woman.

So here’s to another two years. And two more. And two more after those two. Two more years for the rest of my life…I love you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Results Are In...

I left the poll open for as long as I could, and although it didn’t receive many votes, a definite opinion was given.

3 out of 4 votes said that I should keep on looking for the eggplant tablecloths.

I didn’t cast my own vote, just to keep it clean and legal and all…but I have to say that I agree with the “voters!”

Especially when I saw these words…FREE SHIPPING

I found what I think will be the right shade of eggplant in a 120” round tablecloth that I can purchase, but one of the drawbacks to buying them (other than the price!) was that the shipping charges would probably eat my lunch to get them to me. But those two little words start to make me rub my hands together gleefully!

Seriously. I mean, FREE SHIPPING?!?!? Tablecloths, especially tablecloths in the size that I’m looking to order would be HEAVY…and add to the total cost of my decision to purchase these bad boys…but FREE SHIPPING? Makes it a little more doable in my mind. Let’s see if I can make you follow my logic.

The cost of these beautiful babies is now only $28.20/piece. With FREE SHIPPING there would be no extra cost, and since the vendor isn’t located in TX which means that I wouldn’t pay sales tax on the items. So my total out the door price for 16 of these bad boys would be $451.20. I know, I know. It’s a lot.

But bear with me and my thinking for a moment…

The cost of renting the eggplant tablecloths (which maybe NOW is a good time to remind you that I can’t FIND these to rent anywhere?) is running anywhere from $15/cloth on up to $26.25/cloth. Finding an average between these is $20.63. So, to RENT 16 of these would cost me $330.00.

Hmmm…so that makes the difference between renting and buying only $121.20. That’s really not so much to pay for peace of mind, right?

Then again, owning these makes for a few more headaches such as where do I put 16 120” round tablecloths? Or will I need to rent a steamer to get these picture perfect ready for the wedding after being shipped and stored over 6 months? How much would that cost? And then, the most important question – what do I do with 16 120” round eggplant polyester tablecloths after the wedding?

Well, I would sell them. On ebay. To the highest bidder. Or put them on for sale. And the most gorgeous part about this whole line of thinking? As long as I sold them for more than the difference between buying and renting, then I made money on the whole process. That’s right. As long as I could sell the tablecloths for more than $121.20, then I would cover the cost of buying them versus renting them. So even if I could find them (which I’m having problems doing at the moment…) for $15/cloth to rent, I would only have to see them for $211.20 to cover my expenses. Hmmm…the little wheels in my mind are spinning like mad! And I know one person (yes you, MOH) who is SO happy to hear me say that I'm not giving up on eggplant yet...

Anyone else think that I might be on to something here???

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prinvate Rentals are a Winner!

Ok, so by unanimous vote…we LOVED the condo that we rented for our NOLA trip!

It was all that we could have asked for, dreamt of and received…fabulous, fabulous.

I cannot say enough good things about this condo…check out the pics that I remembered to take:
Stainless steel appliances...and granite countertops…
Yep, those are 14’ ceilings….
A VERY open floorplan…

Perfect for what we were needing! I wish that we could go ahead and book it for next year when we’ll go back for Jazz Fest – that’s how much I liked it. And Mr. CC agrees whole-heartedly with me.

The owner of the condo met us when we got there and walked us through the maze of hallways between the parking garage, condo unit, and rooftop pool/hot tub (Yes, you’re reading that correctly), fitness center and main entrance in and out of the buildings. He was very friendly and nice, giving us some local tips and advice on close stores/restaurants. I was a little disappointed to find out when we got there that the condos backed up to the projects on one side, but the owner was quick to assure us that he’d not run into any problems. Although that didn’t really mean much to us since he admitted to only staying there a time or two so far, as the unit was brand new. We were anxious to get started on our vacation, which I’m SURE that he noticed, and he didn’t keep us tied up too long going through all the procedures and such, and it was very helpful to have him show us around and all.

Mr. CC’s sister is a semi-local (she lives just up the road in Baton Rouge) and she had warned us about how the city was getting busier now and crime was on the rise. And since when we got to the condo, we found out that it was on the northern-most edge of the Quarter, we were kind of worried with the projects behind us. But Mr. CC is a guy with lots of muscles and a mean glare, so I wasn’t too worried. We are smart – we know not to take shortcuts down alleys, to stay on the main paths and to not carry too much money or act like drunken tourists…so playing it safe was fine for that night. And we didn’t have any problems.

It ended up that once we got used to the area, the condo location was GREAT! It was one block off of the northern-most street of the quarter, which only put us 3 blocks from Bourbon street. Being off a little way was nice, due to the noise that can be generated in the Quarter, but everything was easily still within walking distance. And it ended up that we were about the same distance as we were last year when we stayed in a hotel just off of the Quarter. But for a cheaper price, and nicer more private surroundings, the condo was MUCH better than the hotel last year.

Our friends were also staying somewhere in the Quarter, but we didn’t know where until they got checked in and settled the next day. It turned out that they were on the opposite end of the Quarter, staying just off of the southern-most street in the Quarter. We would have maybe liked to be located a little closer to them, but really it wasn’t that far in the end. And it was nice to have our own little retreat to go back to.

We never heard any of the neighbors, but as the units were brand new, the owner had warned us that we probably wouldn’t see that many people. The security at the condo was good – passkeys were required to get in all doors from the outside, and there was a desk clerk/security guy at the main lobby front desk at all times. The parking area was secured and gated, and we had no problems with car security the entire time we were there, although to be honest, we only moved the car one time in the four days that we were there!

All in all, we loved it. Mr. CC would like to buy a unit in the building…but that’s probably not something that we’ll do anytime in the near future. But that’s how much we liked it. If I could, I would try to go ahead and book the unit for next year, but the owner actually has a long-term tenant moving in next month for the next year…oh well.

And the price was definitely right. We paid $150/night to stay here, along with a cleaning fee, totaling to about $500. I checked it out online, and any hotel close to the Quarter was running $179/night, plus 18% hotel tax and anywhere from $25-$35/day to park your car...which would have totaled to over $700!!!! I couldn't believe the money that we saved.
Have you ever stayed private over a hotel chain and loved it as much as we did? I can’t wait to decide where we’re going on our honeymoon and try to find a house or something like we did this time!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm Back!

Hello to you all again! I've missed YOU!

We went, we saw, and we conquered. Well, maybe not really, but you get the drift.

Yep, I'm back from our short little vacation (they're never really long enough are they?) and we had SO much fun! I took some pictures (precious few) so I promise that I'll post them to the site tomorrow.

We enjoyed our stay and had a great time with old friends and even managed to make some new friends, which we are really excited about...I will have a play-by-play tomorrow, along with the pictures that I did take and how we felt about renting through and that whole experience....I PROMISE!

More to come...and I hate to tease you like that and then leave you hanging, but I'm BEAT tired, and I have a lot to catch up at work with...

Talk to you all tomorrow!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Day Has FINALLY Come!

Well, don’t hate on me…but by the time that you all will be reading this post, I’ll be on VACATION! We’ll already be on the road, and hopefully halfway to Houston…on our way to NOLA.

Woohoo! I’m SO excited!

It’s finally here, we’ve done so much planning for it, and I’ve just been SO excited to be taking this much needed break that I don’t know what to do with myself. The lady that handled the details of the condo rental for us emailed all the check-in/out procedures to me yesterday and it just lit a little fire underneath me that the time was finally here.

Further hit home when little CC and I got home last night from our date to find Mr. CC starting to wash all of our laundry so that we all have clothes to wear this weekend.

What’s that?

No, we’re not taking the kids along with us, but it IS our weekend with the kids (don’t ask – I’m really NOT sure how we planned a trip without checking our weekend kid schedule) so the grandparents are stepping in and taking them for the two days of the weekend that we’ll be gone. Mr. CC’s dad and step-mom are SO wonderful to help us out in our last-minute realization that we have our kids on the same weekend that we made out-of-town travel plans! We can’t thank them enough! And we know that the kiddos will have tons of fun with them too.

So we can escape for our weekend of fun in NOLA with no worried about the home front. We’re meeting up with our friends from CA on Friday for the actual day that we’ll spend at Jazz Fest, which will be SO fun. Then that night, their parents want to take us out to an authentic NOLA restaurant, some little place that’s not on the hot tourist spots for eating, so it’s SURE to be yummy! And then I’m sure us “kids” will hit up Bourbon Street for some good music and delicious daiquiris…I can already taste them…3/4 pina colada and ¼ strawberry daiquiri – the PERFECT mix.

Except the Mr. CC will argue and say that the PERFECT mix is ½ watermelon and ½ strawberry daiquiri…whatever. It’ll be yummy.

And then on Saturday we’ll do beignets for breakfast at the famous Café du Monde, and spend a day touring the Quarter, browsing the shops…listening to good music…visitng the casino…doing whatever we want. I can’t wait! Can you tell I’m just a LITTLE excited?

So I won’t post tomorrow…don’t be sad. I’ll be back on Monday with some vacation pictures of our fun, and a recap on how we liked renting the private condo for our vacation. Remember, this is a trial run for possibly renting a private residence for our honeymoon instead of going with a major hotel chain…so there will be LOTS to share!

Have a great weekend! I KNOW I will…

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Asking the Looming Question...

So, I’m going to post about a subject that I know at least ONE person will probably hate me for, but here it is.

The question of the day is this: IF I did change my tablecloth color (Gasp!) what could I do to bring the color of eggplant back into my reception venue?

Yeah, I know MOH, I know. It’s almost sacrilegious typing the question…but it’s out there anyway.

I’ve come up with a few options, but maybe you will be able to help me think up something else…since I SO do NOT want to choose this option, that might have the teensiest little bitsiest part of why I’m having decorator’s block when I think about this option…

The first thing that I thought of was to incorporate eggplant napkins, elegantly draped or folded to take up a good portion of the table top. Not my favorite option, but an option that would bring eggplant back to life at the venue. The main concern? If I’m having this much trouble finding eggplant tablecloths, will I run into the same dilemma with napkins? Possibly. But it’s also possible to me that I could make 200 napkins out of that elegant eggplant satin that I found in Dallas on my last trip up there…and with my serging machine and the right shade of thread, it would be a simple matter for the most part. Of course, they might be simple to find and buy, I haven’t looked into the cost of doing that yet…but it’s an option. Also along those lines is maybe finding or making eggplant table runners…or those draping cloths that cover the tops of the tables, but don’t go all the way to the floor. Something like the picture above. My problem with this option? Once again, finding the right color in a full tablecloth is hard enough…yada yada yada, you get the point. And I’m not sure that I like the look of table runners. It seems to me that the table might get a little busy with runners, napkins, plates and glasses. Not to mention the centerpieces and anything additional that I put on the tables to jazz them up…so I’m not sold on this option.

The only other thing that I’ve thought of is incorporating my beloved eggplant color into the flowers. One of my Maids got married just last September and had some LOVELY centerpiece vase/candle holder combo thingys that Mr. CC and I liked and she has graciously offered us use of them before she sells them. So, when I first started planning this shindig I wasn’t sure about using flowers on the centerpieces, but now it looks like I will have vases for free…a good reason to now use flowers in the décor. So can I incorporate enough eggplant in the flowers to appease my whims and desires?

I don’t know. I honestly don’t.

And the whole reason for trying to bring in more color is because my photographer mentioned that her only complaint about shooting out at Texas Old Town, our fabulous venue, was that everything in sight was wood, which tends to cast a yellowish hue on everything. She photoshops it out, so that it’s not something that I have to actually deal with in my pictures, but I was hoping to bring in enough color to combat some of that for her. Plus, I think that it will look nice…

Other than those ideas, I’ve drawn a blank. Can you come up with anything else that I could do to bring in more color than just the black and cream theme that I’ve got going? Or maybe I should just leave it black and cream and go with that? I don’t know right now….I need HELP!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Workout Woes...

I know that you’re probably all wondering exactly what happened to Miss Cotton Candy’s weekly workout updates?


Me too!

Just kidding. I know exactly what happened…I haven’t been working out! I know that’s horrible, but at least I’m honest. But I have a reason for being such a slacker, and of course those that know me well know that there’s always a good story! Here’s what happened…

I posted here about our camping trip. So if you read that post, you know that we took a very LONG hike on that Saturday. In addition to that long hike, there were countless trips up and down the slope just to get to our campsite from the parking lot and the restrooms. And Miss Cotton Candy being Miss CC, I wore my flip flops. No, not for the long 5 mile long hike, I wore sensible tennis shoes for THAT, but I wore my flip flops a good percentage of the rest of the time that we were at McKinney Falls SP.

Now, Mama CC can attest to the fact that getting me to wear shoes at all is a feat unto itself, so we’re not surprised to hear that I always have a pair of handy flip flops near, are we? No, we’re really not. And normally it’s not a big deal to wear flip flops…except on rocky, “gently” sloping paths that lead to and from your campsite. A place where the slope is tricky and you might step the wrong way on a big, rough rock and bruise a foot bone…maybe that’s not a good location to wear flip flops.

So, here’s the story. It’s Saturday evening, and Miss CC has to run to HEB for a quick supply run, I think it was for the Easter bunny baskets. I noticed while pushing my buggy around HEB that it was kind of hurting me when I stepped with my left foot, but I really didn’t think anything about it. So later on at the campsite, when it’s STILL hurting, and starting to hurt so much to make me not want to walk up the hill to go to the restroom I realize that the inevitable has happened.

Miss CC has gotten hurt on our camping trip. (I know for some of you this is a shocker…and for the rest of you, you’re not so surprised!)

Anyway, long story short, Mr. CC (dutiful fiancé that he is) checks my foot over very carefully, but it’s getting dark and who knows what I’ve managed to do to it. He questions me thoroughly about my steps that day and when I might have hurt it. Honestly, nothing comes to mind. Another shocker, I know. Seriously, I get injured on such a regular basis that I don’t even notice it most of the time…I don’t really see the problem here. Apparently though, that’s not normal to not remember when you might have hurt yourself.

The next day, I can barely walk on that foot without a pretty good limp. I notice that it feels better when I have my tennis shoes on and it’s laced up rather than my flip flops, so I wear my tennis shoes all day. That night, we look my foot over again since we’re back at home and can see things more clearly. Mr. CC is certain that the top of my foot is all bruised leading him to believe that I’ve broken or bruised a bone, and I assure him that it always looks that particular color, mainly because I just can’t bear the thought of my having broken something, even if it’s just a little foot bone. The thought sickens me…literally sickens me. I feel faint…

Lucky for me, my boss was out at a manager’s meeting all last week, which meant that we could all get away with wearing jeans everyday. And that was a good thing because I needed to wear my tennis shoes for the first few days and not high heels like normal. By the weekend, I’m SURE that I’ll feel better.

The good news is that I do, in fact, feel better by the weekend. The bad news? It still hurts me at times. So working out was out of the question. Did I hear a little “YEA!” sneak out of my mind…yep, I might have. The good thing, I guess, was that Mr. CC was also suffering an injury of cellulitis on his wrist and when we tried to do the workouts that didn’t involve feet, legs or jumping all over the place, he found that he couldn’t do the pull ups without hurting his wrist.

So we took the week off. And that really makes a week and a half, since over the holiday weekend we didn’t do our normal workouts. Sure, we did the 5 mile hike that one day, but hearing about my foot, now you know that we didn’t do anything else that weekend.

We’re going to attempt a workout tonight. Mr. CC’s wrist is looking better and my foot has felt better the last few days. I don’t know that either of us is really ready for it, but we HAVE to start up again before we lose all the ground that we’ve gained so far…

Hopefully next week I’ll start posting about our workouts again. Then again, we have our trip to NOLA this week/weekend…Jazz Fest…Bourbon Street…visiting with our out-of-town friends over drinks…beignets…yeah, I’m wiping the drool off as I type….

What roadblocks did you come across in your work out plans? Was it easy to “get back on the horse” or a little harder than you had thought?

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Saga of the Eggplant Tablecloth Continues...

If you remember, from here, here and here...I'm having a "little" bit of trouble finding the linens that I envisioned having for our reception.

Isn't that how it ALWAYS happens? It does for me, it seems. You would think that linens really wouldn't be THE hardest part about planning my wedding...but that's what I get for loving purple, huh? And a SPECIFIC shade of purple, no less.

I've just quit thinking about it, to be honest. I've had the poll posted to the side here letting readers vote on what they think that I should do - and you're all SO funny about the voting process. Mama CC doesn't want to offend with her vote, and two of my Maids were the obvious other gals are great!

So I've just been coasting about it all. Letting my MOH (who now considers finding eggplant tablescloths her personal life's mission!) work her magic. Just sitting here crossing my fingers, hoping for the best, all the while starting the conversations with Mr. CC about possible changing the color of the tablecloths...Just In Case.

And low and behold, I get an email on Saturday - my dear friend may have done it again. Now, she's offering me no guarantees, but she found three places in/around our area that MIGHT have something CLOSE to eggplant. And to be perfectly honest here, she and I aren't really sure why there is a problem with people understanding what shade of purple eggplant is...even straight men understand the question, so why is it that linen rental company women CAN'T get the right shade? We don't know...we would lose SO much sleep at night if we continued to wonder on this.

Anyway, so I'm going to start the process of checking these last few out. And then weighing my options. One place will send me a sample of what they call eggplant, and I like that. Another place can't send me a sample, but does have a book that either myself of MOH can go and look at sometime soon. The last place...well, I can't remember what the deal was with you see how tiring this all is? If it wasn't for my FABULOUS MOH putting in such long hours on this "little" project from H*LL...well, you know.

So off we go again. I'll be sure to keep you updated on what we find out. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Did ANYONE else out there have THIS much trouble finding their perfect linens????

Friday, April 17, 2009

Our Easter Weekend...

One of the best things about having your own blog is that you can write about anything you want to…whatever tickles your fancy. I know that most of the time I write about wedding-related stuff, as a way to keep my peeps up-to-date on what’s going on with the wedding planning, but today I think that I’ll take a day off.

Last weekend was Easter, and we were lucky enough to have our kids. Instead of a traditional weekend spent around family and all, we decided to stay closer to home and spend it with just the four of us. We’ve got a crazy schedule right now with little CC in soccer and tweenager CC in baseball season right now, so there’s already too much traveling going on…we just wanted to relax and not have to spend 8 hours of the holiday weekend on the road.

So what did we decide to do? We took the kiddos camping…

We had a blast! I haven’t camped out in a few years, and I had forgotten how much I love it. Little CC had not been camping before that she can remember, so this was a first for her. And tweenager CC had not been camping with girls…Mr. CC didn’t sleep in tents (or on air mattresses) so this whole weekend was a new experience for everyone!
After a slightly rough start to the weekend on Friday, we got to McKinney Falls State Park, located just outside of Austin. It was kind of nice not going too far! We got the last primitive campsite that they had available for the weekend and got camp set up and dinner cooked just as it was time to go to bed that night. We all slept good and got up early the next day for a nice camp-cooker breakfast (since there’s a burn ban in effect right now, no campfires were allowed).

We spent the day exploring the park and seeing the sights. Somehow we ended up on a 5 mile hike with the kids, but they did good and didn’t complain (much). Little CC’s legs were hard pressed to keep up, and she only complained for the last mile, which was pretty good considering. After the hike, we took a nap (YEA!) and then tried to go to the playground at the park. Unfortunately it started to rain, so we ended up spending time at the river behind our tent skipping rocks and Mr. CC spent some time with tweenager CC and his "curve ball." It turns out that little CC has QUITE a throwing arm on her, so maybe T-ball is in the plans for next year...
The next morning was Easter, and we had another great breakfast followed by our own Easter Egg hunt. Little CC stuffed all the eggs herself, and Mr. CC and I hid the eggs. At first, tweenager CC didn’t want to hunt eggs, but it didn’t take long for him to see how much fun little CC was having before he joined in…
Yeah, I don’t really know what to say about the knife in the eggs…he’s a guy…and we were camping…
They had a blast and we all enjoyed ourselves. The kids can’t wait to go camping again, and Mr. CC and I might even take a trip without them!

I hope that everyone had as good of an Easter holiday as we did…we spent the time with our new family and really enjoyed ourselves, even though we did miss our other loved ones. Maybe next year we won’t be so anti-social!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Word is in...They're a BIG Hit!

I’m SO excited….word is slowly trickling in from various sources that people are receiving their STDs…and they LOVE them!

If you could see me now, you’d see that I am currently doing a happy dance in my cubicle…

I’m thrilled that my hard work and slight obsession with details paid off in such a big way! It’s a big relief when something that you so lovingly create is appreciated so well…just makes all the stress and worry worth it somehow. Since I want to wait another day or so before I post the actual Save the Date images, here’s something to hold you over.

I did a boo boo….

Can anyone spot it?

Did you get it yet?

Here…let me help a little bit…

Yep, ladies and gents, that’s an actual addressed and embossed STD from my pile set out to mail. Am I lucky that I caught this one BEFORE I put the stamp on the envelope and mailed it or what?

How funny might it be to the recipients if I DIDN’T catch it? SHE might get a good laugh…HE might not laugh so much…

I can’t even tell you how this happened or what I was thinking when it happened – it’s just a typo. Yes ma’am, as much as my favorite font from LOOKS like handwriting, it’s actually printed through my computer, which means that this was a typo on my Excel spreadsheet, which transferred to the mail merge and onto my envelope.

The really sad thing might be that I didn’t even catch this when I was doing the stamping and embossing…and I REALLY thought that I had stared at each of the envelopes pretty hard while doing that whole process! Just goes to show how much TV you can really watch while doing wedding DIY projects!

So, even though I think that this would be hilarious to send out, for the sake of Mr. CC I’m going to correct my mistake and redo this particular envelope. But maybe I should go over that Excel file ONE MORE TIME before I close the door on STDs…

It might be worth the extra 5 minutes it would take me.

Please tell me that I’m not the only person to do this when addressing formal invitations? Surely this happens to other brides/organizers…

Was it as simple as mine to correct or did you happen to send it out and the recipient corrected you? Now THAT would be funny!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Tense Situation...

So I posted yesterday about the importance of having our children involved in our wedding. We’re not a typical couple and this isn’t a typical wedding…we’re going against the grain on the whole “big wedding” idea for an encore wedding and we’re ok with that fact. At the same time, one thing that I don’t think is against the grain is involving your children in your wedding, if you have them.

Mr. CC and I each have a child from a previous relationship. They are the most important part of our lives, coming before each of us. That might sounds weird to those of you that don’t have children, but for those of you that are reading this that do have kids from a previous relationship, I think that you can understand where we stand on this. From the very beginning of our relationship, it was important to me for Mr. CC to understand that although he was important to me and I was beginning to care for him in a big way, little CC was, is and will ALWAYS be the MOST important part of my life. And when things got more serious between the two of us, and like turned into love, it was something that I really needed for him to understand. That although I loved him more and more with each passing day, and that he was vitally important to me, my feelings for little CC and my love for her were still more important than he was. For some men, this would probably be a pretty hard concept to swallow.

Not for Mr. CC. Mainly because he agreed with me 120% and felt the same way towards his son. That yes, I was important to him and mattered more than anything…except for his son. It was SO easy with Mr. CC to overcome this hurdle that other people who have kids and date are faced with. Everything that we do revolves around keeping our kids in the forefront and making them feel included and secure in where these new changes put them in our new family. Knowing that little CC likes Mr. CC wasn’t enough for me. I wanted her to love him, and want him around, and be okay with all of the changes that mommy being involved with someone else could mean for her.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some hard days. Sometimes it felt like we would make SO much progress with her and her feelings towards Mr. CC and then one little thing would happen and we would fall backwards three steps. The old saying is one step forward, two steps back…and that was definitely appropriate! But given time, and a lot of patience and understanding and acceptance, I can honestly say that she’s ok with my upcoming marriage to Mr. CC. In fact, if you remember, she and Mr. CC’s son were hounding us constantly for the few months before the engagement to get married! It was cute to see her enthusiasm for our new family and blending our lives with Mr. CC’s life. It was truly touching.

Why do I write all of this? Well, it’s really pretty simple. It’s been almost two years since Mr. CC and I started dating. We dated for about 3 months before we started spending time with him and his son on a regular basis and she knew that he was my boyfriend. At 6 months into the relationship, I knew that I wanted to marry this man, but also knew that little CC needed more time. That although I was ready, she wasn’t. So, I took things nice and slow and feel like my reward for that is the knowledge that she’s totally ok with all that’s coming up for us.

But recently, little CC has started having some problems in school and acting out at home that concerned me. Her father and I discussed the problems, and neither of us had a solution and I became really concerned about her. To the point of searching for a counselor for her. I spent several sleepless nights worrying about my child and what was going on, and why she didn’t want to talk to me about what was troubling her….then I found out that her dad is engaged. That he’s getting married the month before I do, to someone that he hasn’t known or dated all that long. And that he’s planning a wedding that doesn’t include little CC. Not only does it not include her, but she’s not even invited. So, he’s making all of these BIG changes that will affect her life as she spends 50% of her time with him, and he’s not involving her in any of it. I know that she likes the woman that he’s chosen to marry, and that’s not the problem. She can like her all she wants and still be uncertain of her place – especially since all of their actions shout to the world that she’s not a vital part of their lives.

I’m confused by his actions. Not surprised, necessarily, but confused as to how a father can treat his daughter that way…I could not fathom planning something as important as my re-marriage without having little CC included in the wedding or even invited to be there. As it is, she even helps me with a lot of my DIY projects – she’s a great trash-gatherer, a champion shopper and skilled string knotter…I just can’t imagine it. And I know that she’s hurting…that she’s confused…and tried as I might, I can’t make him see the light.

I got a little rough with him on the phone the other day when we were talking about this whole situation. He’s convinced that all of her problems stem around her unhappiness with his house, and that she’ll feel better once they sell it and move somewhere else. If you’re thinking “WHAT?!?!?” you’re not alone, you’d have to know him to understand. I hope that I got through to him. I hope and pray that something that I said hit a nerve and helps him wake up and see what he’s doing to her right now…I just know that at the age that she’s at, this is where she understands SO much more than we give her credit for…and she could really resent him and his actions at a later time. I don’t want that for her. She’s a little girl, and she needs her daddy involved in her life, but at the rate that he’s going he’s pushing her out of it so fast.

I’m just grateful that I have someone involved in my life who is ready and willing to pick up the slack that her father sometimes drops. I am SO blessed. In so many ways. It’s comforting to me to know that little CC is getting such a good step-dad. She doesn’t realize how important this is to me, but it is one of the MOST important reasons that I’m with Mr. CC. His love for my daughter is evident each and every day…and that’s so important to me and to little CC.

How do you deal with someone who can’t see how their actions are hurting those that they love? Do you have any suggestions for me?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Keeping Things in Check

In all of the hoopla that gets created in a wedding, there are some things that you need to keep foremost in your mind and in your priorities. Well, these are the things that I try to keep in the front of my mind, they won’t apply to everyone I’m sure…but these are mine.

#1 – This is OUR wedding day. Every little detail needs to reflect us – who we are, where we came from, where we’re going. Each of us has unique personality traits (likes/dislikes) that can be incorporated into our wedding and SHOULD be incorporated into the wedding no matter what etiquette says or anyone else says. This is the ONE day in our lives that we get to be totally selfish and do things how we want to. So keeping it about what we want, and making it a true reflection of us is REALLY super important to us (or maybe just to me!). I know that not everyone would put so much into all of the little things that stress me out on a daily basis, but I truly feel that it’s the little things in life that count; and it will be those little personal touches that make this day memorable for us and for our guests.

#2 – Involving those that matter to us. This one is a big one for me. It is SO important to me to involve our families and loved ones in this special day. No matter if they are there as guests, or have a special role on that day, each and every person that is important to me and Mr. CC will be there. Including our children. I can’t imagine not having my daughter or Mr. CC’s son there by our sides as we take this step in our relationship. They’ve been with us every step of the way, and not having them be an important part of this day would make it incomplete. I also am working really hard to find a way to incorporate those that are no longer with us, those that we cherish and hold close in our hearts, whether they’re with us on this plane or the next. I just want to make sure that each person who is able to be there with us knows how much they’ve meant to us – they’ve all had helping hands in creating the person that we are today, and that’s important for me to honor them for.

#3 – No matter what happens, at the end of the day – I WILL BE MARRIED TO THE MAN THAT I LOVE. I will have created a new family, blended mine with his and started our own family. No matter what happens. Rain, sleet, snow, flowers dying, music not being right, food being horrible…none of those things are what is important in the long run. Those things not happening will make my day better, sure – but it won’t make me any less married at the end of the day. Sharing our joy and love and laughter is what is most important to us, no matter what happens to the rest of it all. This point is what I try to focus on most when I feel the stress start to get to me. It’s really helped me, so maybe it will help you too!

Those are my top three. Like I said, they may not be your top three, but they’re mine. Since it’s my wedding (and my blog), then I get to say what mine are. Share with me what yours are (were) when you were planning things and caught up in drama of it all…

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Check's in the Mail...

Or the Save the Date to be more exact!


They all went in the mail this morning, and I couldn't be happier that they are mailed. I took a picture of them sitting in my car waiting to go to the Post office...

A lot of work, worry and stress (mostly my own making) went into these babies, and I couldn't be prouder. I'm like a mom sending off her 5 year-old to the first day of kindergarten...

I've already given you a sneak peek of them here, but you'll have to wait to see what I attached those magnets too. For some reason, I want to know that some of the recipients have a chance to see them in person before showing them off on line. So, SOON, I promise!

I just feel so much better having dropped them in the mail - like a huge weight is off of my shoulders. At the same time, it's one step closer to having all of this be REAL...which is cool too.

We had a GREAT Easter weekend camping out with the kiddos, so I'll have more to write about those things another day this week, and I'll be sure to include some pictures. I hope that everyone had a great holiday, and I'll talk to you soon!

Friday, April 10, 2009

What Does A Girl Do NOW?!?!

I’ve been putting off writing about this for a while now…hoping against ALL hopes that it would all work out...

If you remember, I wrote not so long ago here that my maid of honor had saved the day on the dilemma with my table linens. And then I wrote this post about how the tablecloths situation didn’t really resolve itself…so when I left off, I was going to check back in with her in a week and see what she was able to find for me.

Well…one thing led to another, and before I knew it three weeks had passed. Oops! I guess that I got busy with other things. So, I was talking with MOH this past weekend (she HAD to apologize via phone about the April Fool’s joke!) and she asked me what had ever come from the whole tablecloth situation. When I realized that I had not called back yet, MOH offered to go by there one day this week and take a look at things if they were in stock now since she was going to San Antonio on another errand already.

Great. I checked with Adrianna and sure enough the eggplant tablecloths were in and MOH could easily stop by and look. I waited “patiently” for Wednesday to come around. And waited patiently for the afternoon to pass…until I got MOH’s text message. It’s too funny not to share…

Okay-No it is no April fools joke ~~~~~~~~~~~~we are back to square one. I guess know one understands the color eggplant!!!!!!! It's on my dam computer as a color!!!!!!It is no more Dam you and your colors, it's WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!!!!!!! I never thought it would be this hard to find or hard for someone to understand the color, but I assure you I am not done trying. Okay- Adriana tried, it is a deeper purple that a normal purple but it is not DARK DARK purple. She showed me the table cloth as soon as I got in the door and I explained to her what we were looking for and I even had a fan deck for our paint with me and I showed her something close to what you want, she went back herself to make sure that they did not pull the wrong one for her, a few minutes later she came back with another table cloth and I thought YEA YEA YEA, I got excited to fast, it was the same color as they brought up the first time. So~~~~~~~~~~~~~I will be contacting people over the next few day to try and find them for you. I will be in touch!!!!!

So we’re back to square one on the table linens…while MOH is searching frantically for them elsewhere, I’m trying to consider other options.

While I was in Dallas last week with work, I managed a quick trip to Harry Hines (fabric deluxe shopper’s mecca!) and found the perfect shade of purple in a satin material that would make beautiful tablecloths…but there are issues. #1 – it’s WAY out of my budget for this and #2 – I’d have to make them and last, but not least, #3 – the store didn’t have enough material anyway….

So I’m back to square one…what options do you think that I have? Here are the ones that I see:
#1 – keep looking – they HAVE to exist somewhere
#2 – buy them online and try to resell them after the wedding to recoup some of the extra cost vs. renting
#3 – find the material somewhere and make them
#4 – change the color of the tablecloth and go with either black or cream, letting purple just be a true accent color in the floral arrangements

What do you think? Am I crazy for even considering making them? Can you imagine how many yards upon yards of fabric that I would need to accomplish this? Vote on the poll to the right on what you think I should do…I can’t wait to see the results!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Something You MIGHT Not Think About...

All right. I’ve never tried to deny that I might be just a LITTLE bit, just the teeny-weeny-est little bit, obsessive. Or Type A personality – whatever you want to call it. I don’t deny it, instead I wear it proudly like a badge of honor. Yes, I’m obsessive over the tiniest of details that most people will NEVER even notice…but it makes ME feel better. And let’s be honest…isn’t it all about me? It’s my big day after all…if it makes me feel better to do things a certain way, even though it’s more difficult to do them that way, isn’t it ok?

Well, keeping in mind that it’s ALSO Mr. CC’s big day too…he plays a major role as well. (slap my hand for going off and forgetting that there are TWO people getting married in October…)

Anyway, back to my obsessive tendencies. I think that I threw Mr. CC for a loop the other day when I casually happened to mention that I had found some really cool stamp options for us to use on our STDs and wedding invitations. I didn’t really expect that he would comment, but as always, he keeps me on my toes, and caught my brief mention of stamp options and drug me back to that comment. I was already on to the next thing that happened in my day…The conversation went something like this:

“What do you mean stamps?”

“You know, stamps. For the Save the Dates. There were some really cool ones that I’m thinking about using – if I can find them. If not, I can always order them online.”

“Wait, wait, wait. You mean that we have to have special STAMPS?”

I have to be honest here and admit that I really didn’t get why this was a shock to him. OF COURSE there are special stamps! You don’t just want to use regular-jane-doe-everyday-use stamps for your wedding stationary! Oh, the horrors!

After he finished laughing at me with me, he quickly got on the special stamp train, especially since there’s no outrageous extra cost to getting these stamps. Other than a little frustration to finding them at your local postal store. Check out the options that I found. Aren’t they cool?

So cute for weddings...

For the Walt Disney lover inside us all...

Woudln't these be perfect for a destination wedding somewhere tropical?

My sentiments exactly...CELEBRATE!

Very pretty.

What wedding invitation wouldn’t be “dressed up” a little bit with these?
Now, I’ll admit to having a few scruples in this Cotton Candy head of mine. I saved the best for last. I had already seen these stamps when Mr. CC mentioned them, and I sort of figured that these would be a shoe in choice for him. What are they you ask?
I’ll show you…
Yep, Purple Heart stamps. These were PERFECT for our Save the Dates. As soon as I saw them, I thought about how neat it would be to use them. You see, Mr. CCC is a Marine, and he actually was awarded a Purple Heart for his service/sacrifice for our great country. He will tell you that it was no big deal, that he was just doing “his job,” but to me, a Purple Heart is a really big deal. He has it on our desk shelf, along with other pictures from his service that he’s proud to show off, and he also carried Purple Heart plates on his truck. So what better way to “dress” our STDs than with something that honors the veterans that we know and love? There’s nothing more perfect in my mind.

Then came the problem of finding them. I guess that I was mistaken in thinking that purchasing these stamps would be a simple matter of stopping at my local USPS office to pick them up. Mr. CC asked that I get a few extra for him to keep, so I was looking to buy 4 sheets of stamps from the post office. Unfortunately, after standing in line for well over 20 minutes, I got up the counter to discover that they were all out of the Purple Heart stamps at that particular location.

Yep, 20 minutes…

So I was a little smarter than the USPS…I went home and got online to their store, which can be found here and bought the stamps online. It seems a little odd to do things that way, but I got the exact ones that I wanted to get, I didn’t have to wait in any other lines just to find out that they didn’t have them, and I only had to pay $1 for the processing/shipping. Easy, breezy. That’s Miss CC’s style!

So there you have it. We picked out our stamps for our STDs that mean something to us personally, and I feel (obsess much, I know) that they dress up the envelope a bit and make it more special. As soon as the stamps come in and the STDs go out in the mail, I promise that I’ll show off my finished STDs….obsessive me just wants to wait until they’re actually in the mail before showing them off on my blog!

Did you choose special stamps for your STDs/invitations too? Did you have to jump through hoops to find them, or was it relatively easy?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Workout Update - Week #5

I hear you, I hear you. I know that I’m running a day behind on my workout recap…it wasn’t intentional, I just got my days mixed up! Trust me, I weighed in and measured right on time just like normal on Monday night, but then mixed my days up when I scheduled the posts to hit my blog…

I posted last week about my concerns about being on the road and not being able to do full workouts, as well as eating out all week long. I tried to be good and make good choices about what I ate, but oftentimes when you’re on the road on business you don’t really get a lot of say about what you eat. For example, our lunches last week were all ordered in for us, and no one that I knew got any say about what we had to eat. So your choices can be limited. And those people that place the food orders obviously did NOT have my bridal workouts in mind when they ordered dessert almost every single day to accompany our lunches! Oh well, I did the best that I could and didn’t suffer any for it.

Or at least, I was hoping that I didn’t!

I also managed to work out a little bit more than I was thinking I would be able to, which was a good thing. Especially since I didn’t deny myself the lunchtime cookies! I mean, come on…what normal, woman can resist a chocolate chip cookie when it’s set right in front of you? There are some strong women out there, but I’m NOT one of them when it comes to chocolate chip cookies…

Ok – enough chit chat. You don’t care about all of that…you just want to know how it all ended up, right? Right. So here we go…

The end of Week #5 left me 1 pound lighter and another ¼” off of my waist!

YEA! I proved to myself that I can work on the road and still do good with my eating choices and my exercise. I’m thrilled with my progress and it’s really starting to show with the way that some of my clothes are fitting…I’ll be tickled pink to get back into some of my dress pants that I either haven’t been able to wear in a while, or thought that they didn’t flatter me as well (even though I can technically button them) as they used to.

So, I’m trying to keep up the good work over here. Now that I’m back home, Mr. CC and I are back to our workout routine, and let me tell you, having a week off of some of the workouts (because I couldn’t do them without the videos) has been HARD to get back into doing. Plyometrics just about killed me last night! But I did it…and I’m not too terribly sore today.

How do you handle travelling while on a diet/exercise regime? Was it difficult or easier than you thought that it would be?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Girl Goes Wild Planning Honeymoon!

I did a funny and I HAVE to share!

With all this business with Craigslist and all, I have started to project to the day after the wedding and concentrate on one of the MOST fun aspects of planning a wedding…the HONEYMOON trip! I dream of tropical beaches, sunny days, fruity frozen drinks and some great alone time with my new HUSBAND. These thoughts occupy the corners of my mind that aren’t already occupied – hey it’s getting crowded in here!

Anyway, so I started thinking about what did I really want in a honeymoon trip? I have this idea in my head, but it changes quite frequently. The thing that doesn’t change is the tropical isle type of setting. So I started using my new friend, Craigslist, to see what I could find in terms of private rentals. I found some interesting stuff, but started to realize what I might miss out on with going private rental versus a larger, chain of resorts that specializes for honeymooners.

Decisions, decisions. They can make a girl crazy if you’re not careful!

Anyway, in going back and forth about things, I decided to keep going out of the box in my thinking. I mean, I was already considering not using a standard big name for the trip, why not go somewhere else instead of the Caribbean? There are LOTS of places out there with fabulous beaches and cool, fruity drinks…so I started searching further away. Hawaii, Tahiti and Fiji, to be precise. And I fell in LOVE with this place!

Turtle Island - source of all images

Isn’t it fabulous?!?!
Each Bure (small cottage by the beach) is equipped with a master suite and all, and also includes the outdoor queen-sized bed for afternoon naps.
The island is privately owned, and they only allow 14 couples at a time to be there, so it’s all-inclusive, including all activities that they offer.
Really nice…

At this point, I’m sold. Sign me up. But in checking out some other places in Tahiti, I knew that this place was probably out of our price range. Just to follow through thoroughly, I clicked on the Rates/Specials portion of their website and was surprised at what I found. It quoted that prices per couple were between $2,000-$2,800 for a 7 day stay because of a promotion that they were running where you stay for 7 nights, but only pay for 5 nights. Also, they had a honeymoon special that included the short flight from the mainland over to their island for free. So I would just need to pay for the airfare between LAX and Nadi (and of course the trip from Austin to LAX) and that would be it. Since it was all-inclusive, all drinks, food and activities were totally included. I got even more excited.

I sent the website address to Mr. CC and had him check it out. He fell in love with it too, so I clicked on the Contact Us tab for more information.

This is where I SHOULD have gotten suspicious. On the form where you fill out your personal information and contact stuff, there was a field for Budget. And the smallest amount that you could select was “Under $10,000.” Yeah, I checked that box and went about my business. Never suspecting a thing. A travel agent, Barb, contacted me right away and gathered a little more specific information so that she would be able to work up a quote. Did I want her to check into airfare from LAX to Nadi for me? Of course. Thank you so very much!

I waited anxiously for the final number to come in, getting more excited by the minute that this could be the trip of a lifetime.

Yeah, the reason that it would be the trip of a lifetime is because it would take the REST of my lifetime to pay for it. Turns out the $2,000-$2,800 price quoted on the website is a PER NIGHT price. It must be, because the accommodations total that Barb provided for me was $10,350…with an additional $1,240/person for the airfare between LAX and Nadi. Yeah, I quickly replied to Barb and told her that Turtle Island was WAY out of my price range, but thank you for the time.

I mean, Mama CC always told me that if you’re gonna dream you might as well dream big…but I don’t think that I should dream QUITE this big in this one instance! LOL! I had a good laugh at myself over this one, so I thought that you all would also enjoy laughing at me, too.

Have you looked into vacation packages that were just WAY out of your league just “for fun?” Is it disappointing to come back to reality? I haven’t had the desire to check around again after that last email from Barb….

Monday, April 6, 2009

A GREAT Deal... Craigslist MIGHT be my new Best Friend!

Well, those who love Craigslist…I think that I might be willing to join your camp!

I wrote a post last week about looking for a Jazz Fest getaway spot through Craigslist and there were SO many options to choose from! I wrote about 6 people that had posted ads on Craigslist and received quick responses from all of them – give a + for that…unfortunately for me, it seems that I started my search a little on the late side, as five of the 6 wrote me to say that Jazz Fest weekends were all booked.

I even had one “helpful” renter inform me that HIS condo booked months and months in advance of Jazz Fest and I might want to remember that in the future…you see? They’re just SO helpful on Craigslist…are you picking up on the sarcasm? I’m laying it on a little think here…

Anyway, I got a little worried about my timing after I got that one particular response (as I got it first or second) and started wondering if we were just going to have to go the hotel route after all. Then, I started seeing some postings about cancellations and hope sprang once again.

Luckily for me, even though 5 of the owners wrote me to say that they were already book, I had one reply telling me that the weekend was still available. YEA! Insert a GREAT BIG happy face here. The bad news, because you know there’s always a down side…the price was about $50 higher per night than I really wanted to pay. I told her that in my reply email, sort of hoping that she would agree to meet me on this. Her reply back to me? Sorry. Yep, just one word. Oh well, it was worth a try.

Later that evening, I was catching up with Mr. CC and told him about hearing from this lady. He was very quick to point out that even if we paid the $50 more per night, it would still be cheaper than a hotel. You see, the hotels were going for $179/night, plus taxes and parking. This condo was $200/night, but included taxes and parking. Yes, Mr. CC you are wise beyond your years…

But what was a girl to do? I’d already written her and told her that it was out of our budget! Oh well, in this scenario you only have two options…suck it up and beg for forgiveness or move on and keep searching. There are many out there that would probably go for option #2, but I’d already done all the searching that I really wanted to do, so option #1 it was. I was nice and blamed Mr. CC for the mix-up! LOL! Just kidding, Mr. CC – relax. I actually told the owner that after discussing things with my fiancé, we had decided that we would be willing to pay the extra $$ and was the condo still open? Then I held my breath…

And held it a little longer…

I’ll admit it, she had every right to make me wait a bit. But lucky for me, she’s not mean either, and she wrote me back at the end of last week and told me that the condo was still available at $200/night. I replied that we wanted to book it for just two nights of the Jazz Fest. And then I waited to hear back from her. We had a busy weekend, so it wasn’t until late last night that I realized that she had not written me back finalizing things. Just about that time, my crackberry buzzed to let me know that I had a new email.

Sure enough, it was the owner…and surprise, surprise…she really wanted to rent the condo for a full three nights and was willing to come down to my original asking price of $150/night if we would stay for three nights. Deal! Sold! Where do I sign?

So we’re taking a mini vacation to NOLA the first weekend of Jazz Fest! And we’re getting three nights at an awesome condo for only $50 more than we were originally going to pay for two nights! Awesome! And check out the pictures that she sent me…this place looks SO cool. Private condo right on Canal street, private security entrances, parking included, rooftop pool and a fitness center…I don’t think that I would have asked for anything else.
Has anyone else taken a non-wedding related trip during the middle of planning? Did you feel that it helped you to get away from all the planning, even if it was only for a weekend?

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Prank on the Bride

Ok, so the other day was April 1st, which most people realize is April Fools Day – an opportunity for “tricky” people to play practical jokes on strangers and loved ones alike.

I, myself, have fallen for a practical joke a time or two in the past. But I have to give my MOH an award for BEST April Fool’s joke EVER in history…and maybe this has happened to other brides, so I’ll share my funny moment.

You see, I mentioned earlier here, that I’m out of town all this week. I am sitting in the most BORING meetings ever – all day long…8:30AM to 5:30PM where they order lunch in for you and some days you even work while you’re eating your lunch. So, with that being said, the point that I’m trying to make is that time has halted for me. Each day is almost exactly like the day before, and the whole “date” concept has flown out the window for me. So imagine my surprise when I received an email from my MOH on Wednesday (which was April Fool’s – whether I realize it or not!) and it stated:

Hey-Hope that all is well with you.I am not doing well, I found out some bad news today. You know my dad takes a hunting trip every October..........well he will be gone on the weekend of you wedding and that would just leave Shanna here to work the store..............I am very sorry but I do not think that I will be able to be in your wedding. I will try to make it work and let you know asap.

That was an EXACT copy and paste from her email. Word for word. And it totally shocked me. I mean, here I am in the most boring meeting on earth, and I get this email. I’m SO upset! There was a lot of stress and drama surrounding my decisions on who would be standing with me at the altar.

Now, I’ll admit that most of the drama was my own creation, because I was hung up on the length of time that you know someone versus how close you are at the moment. So anyway, despite all the drama that surrounded my choices in who my best ladies were, this one special lady was NEVER a decision to make. She’s the one that I can’t imagine doing this day without…that’s not really true. There are LOTS of people that I can’t imagine doing this day without, including all of my other ladies…but you know what I’m trying to say. So you can imagine my dismay to realize that one of the people that I can’t do this without having them by my side writing me and telling me that she can’t be there…

Insert a VERY sad face.

And what made this even more believable was the fact that she knows that I know that her Dad DOES go hunting each fall in Colorado with a group of friends. She and I have been friends long enough for me to know this and recognize this trip as a valid point. It just gave her story validity. And it also helped to lend to the prank a bit more truth was that they do in fact run a family-operated business that would suffer with the absence of two family members at the same time. So I could completely visualize her dilemma.

I took a few minutes to sort it out in my mind, and then replied back to her email telling her that I understood. I know that this situation is out of her control, and she can only do so much to work it out. I asked that she please let me know as soon as she could, so that I could determine a new course of action.

To which she replied back to me asking if I still loved her…of course I do, and I told her so. Then I received her reply to that she was only pranking me for April Fool’s Day…and she received a reply from me that I did NOT in fact love her anymore…LOL!

Yeah, I didn’t even think about that she could be pulling my leg on the whole thing. These meetings all week long are just sapping my mental capabilities and I had not even had a thought all day long that it was April 1st, thus making it April Fool’s Day. So the joke was on me, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

Good one BMaid T!! I’ll give you this one, but just remember that paybacks are hell…

Did anyone else fall for an April Fool’s prank as readily as I did? Or did you have a wedding party member play a prank on you during the wedding planning process?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Taking a Break from the Wedding Planning...

Taking a side trip from wedding planning…Mr. CC and I are trying to plan a trip to New Orleans. Last year we went down to NOLA to meet up with some good friends of ours that live in CA. Her family is originally from NOLA, so this is a combo trip for them, and just an opportunity for us to see them while they are “semi-close” to where we are. Not that NOLA is that close to Austin, TX, but one state away is MUCH closer than 4 states away…

Anyway, last year at the end of our trip we all discussed making this event a yearly thing. So a few months back, we started talking about it. But, Miss CC being normal Miss CC, I only just now got serious about searching for accommodations and thinking about paying for this shindig. Mr. CC and I did discuss not going along on the trip this year due to the wedding. There is a certain amount of money that we’re trying to save up each month to pay for the wedding in cash, and taking a trip to NOLA will take a chunk out of that savings. But we both decided that we would like the break, even if it’s just a long weekend to save on costs.

But if you’re trying to take a long weekend to save on costs, I don’t recommend visiting NOLA during Jazz Fest! Hotel rates are higher, sometimes up to double what they normally are. So I’ve started trying to think outside of the box on our lodging situation. A friend of mine finds all kinds of deals on, so I thought I would check there for vacation rentals. Because if renting a one bedroom condo/apartment is the same price as the rates that the hotel is charging, I would MUCH rather be in my own space than stay at a hotel with a bunch of strangers, that can tend to be loud since it is a party weekend in NOLA.

I know…that begs the question of what weekend ISN’T a party weekend in NOLA? LOL!

So check out a few places that I found that fall into my budget guidelines…aren’t they SO cute?

So cute....
LOVE the french doors on the windows...
I would be SO lucky to find somewhere like this with a courtyard...
So my question is has anyone else ever gone this route on vacation? Staying in a vacation rental rather than a hotel? My aunt and uncle do this on most of their trips and they say that they are rarely disappointed with their decision, but I’m a little apprehensive. Probably just because it’s a new thing.

And of course, I can't stay completely AWAY from wedding thoughts, so while searching for somewhere to stay in NOLA, this got me thinking about my honeymoon…wouldn’t this be a great alternative on a honeymoon versus staying in a chain hotel? It would be more intimate and possibly free up some $$ for other activities, if I found a steal on a rental place…

Is anyone else opting to stay in a vacation rental for their honeymoon? Do you think this is a good alternative to consider?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Resting Easy on Dress Decisions...

I did something SO fun tonight…I went back to Alfred Angelo and tried on my dress again! Yep, you read that right, I’m now stalking the bridal store…patiently waiting for my dress. Or not so patiently, since I’m trying on the dress at random…LOL! I have this picture in my head of the lady in the Mervyn’s commercials who waits not-so patiently for her favorite store to open…


While I am serious about trying my dress on again last night, I will admit that I’m joking about the why. Let me explain. There are at least three ladies out there who feel like they got cheated on the whole “bridal shopping experience” since I bought my dress without their help…so I graciously (with no benefit to myself in the forefront of my mind) told each of them that we could go back to the store and try on my dress so that they can agree with me on my selection. Heck, I even told them that I would put all 4 or 5 that I considered before on so that they could AGREE with me on my selection, if it made it more fun for THEM…yeah, or more fun for me!

So last night was the first of these moments. I mentioned yesterday that I’m out of town this week with work stuff. Lucky for me, I’m “in town” for two of my trusted ladies, and Lady C and Lady B are getting put to work this week! Well, Lady B gets to work and Lady C just gets to do fun stuff…but I promise that I will even this out eventually…Anyway, back to my story. So Lady C met up with me at an Alfred Angelo store that was between her house and my hotel. I called ahead to the store to make sure that they did have the style in a size comparable to my size. Lucky for me, they had the dress in store, and I did not need to make an appointment for this.

I get to the store first, and get everything ready for Lady C. She arrives and I commence to get into my dress. Since a girl needs a bit of help with these things, a VERY helpful (you’ll understand why I like her so much in just a minute) sales associate, Laci, came over to give me a hand. At the point where she’s closing the back of the dress, she tells me to “suck it in!” While I’m not really shocked to hear that statement, I have to admit to being a little scared since this dress was two sizes LARGER than the size that I ordered my dress in.

If you need a refresher course on the drama that was my dress size, click here.

So I primp and preen properly in front of the mirrors and Lady C and we check out all of the angles. She, of course, agrees with my choice in gowns and proceeds to detail what all we like about my dress. The discussion soon moves to veils and we try several tiaras and veils on just for fun. At some point, I mention to Lady C my concern about the comment made while putting me into the dress and my whole size ordering dilemma. Now, me being me, I’m just fretting over the whole thing. Lady C being Lady C, she says “why don’t you ask her what size gown she would order for you?”

Brilliant idea, I tell you.

So, once back in regular clothes, I proceed to ask said question of Laci. She gets the “deer in the headlight” look and knows that there is only really one right answer here. She knows that I’ve already ordered my dress, so I’m really only going to appreciate ONE answer here. So I give her the background for the reason of my question, and she seems to relax. This is easy – she’ll just have to measure me to answer that question.

I agree to be measured again, even though I’m really not sure that I’ll like the result of this measuring any better. I mean, yes my work out is working, but it’s not working that quickly, right? There’s no dramatic improvement or change since the last time that I was measured. But I’m a good sport, and I have to admit to riding that high of having “your dress” on…so I move on over to be measured. Laci whips her tape around my bust, waist and hips…then does my waist again to double check herself…and then she says the words that are music to my ears…

“She actually told you to order a 14? Because I’m coming up with a size 8.”

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I feel vindicated. I assure her that Amy, my first sales associate in the South Austin store, wanted to order me a size 14 wedding gown. To which she proceeds to turn the tape measure over and read my measurements back to me. My waist was an inch UNDER the size needed for size 8, although my hips were two inches OVER the size of 8…but with the cut on my gown (not mermaid style or form fitting below the waist) it doesn’t matter what size my hips are.


My dress WILL fit whenever it does arrive. I can rest easy and sleep with happy wedding dress dreams tonight. I can’t tell you how much of a weight has gone off of my shoulders…

Can anyone else relate to wedding dress sizing issues? Did you drive the sales ladies a little crazy at various bridal stores like I did to make sure that it was right? Please tell me that I’m not the only one…