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Today I was out of the office, at a client site helping with a ribbon cutting.  At first I was a little nervous about going since my boss had an important meeting that couldn’t be rescheduled and I’d be alone.  But in the end it was fine.  I got to do a little behind the scenes work and help gather photographers so they could get the pictures they needed.  I also met a few of the people I regularly e-mail and speak with over the phone.  It’s so great to finally put a face to a name and voice.

After the ribbon cutting, there was a luncheon where the GM spoke along with some important people from the town the property is located in.  The food was amazing.  I’ve eaten there a few other times when the boss and I have traveled there for meetings.  But today’s food was special.  We had braised shortribs, some veggies and the cutest desserts!  It was the property’s 20th anniversary, so they brought out the desserts with little sparklers in them.  The band that provided our entertainment also played happy birthday.  It was really special.

After the event, I went and checked out one of the local radio stations, which was really neat.  I was introduced to some important people and got the behind the scenes tour.  I’ve never been in a radio station before, so it was really cool to see what one really looked like.

The whole day has been fun, but the best part is…that I got home at 4:30 and didn’t have to go to the office!  Now it’s time to veg out and catch up on my Google reader and TiVo.

When I’m not so swamped, I’ll finish up the wedding recap.  I promise! 🙂

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Well, it’s definitely been a minute since I’ve posted.  Hope you all didn’t miss me too much, but I’ve been really busy with work and just haven’t had a ton of time to post.  But I’m back so you can all be at ease again! 😉

On Wednesday, my boss and I found out that our Thursday meeting with our client got bumped back to 9 a.m. because the property owners wanted to meet with us before going out of time.  This meant that we had to leave Wednesday after work so we could be ready to meet at 9 the next day.  We could have stayed in Atlanta, then driven up in the morning.  But it would have meant that we would have to leave at 6:30 since the client is about 2.5 hours away.  Um, no.  I have a hard time getting up on time at 7:45 now as it is.

Since we found out about our meeting change during the day, I had to leave work in the afternoon to pack my stuff.  But I had to be back in the office before 5:30 for a conference call.  It was hectic.  We hit the road at 7:30 and arrived at our mountain client at about 10, and it was freezing!  It was 48 degrees outside!  Yikes.  What makes this place awesome is that there are huge comfy beds with marshmellowy pillows and blankets.  It’s heaven!  I opened the window, turned on the fan, and snuggled in for a fairly undisturbed night.  A couple times the wind got a little crazy, so one of the windows started rattling.  I ended up closing it and fell right back to sleep.

Thursday we spent all day in meetings and weren’t able to finish, so we had to spend the night again.  I was a little bummed about not going home, but the awesome bed totally made up for it.  We’re going up there again next weekend for a media trip, so hopefully it won’t be too cold and the weather will be nice since we’ll be outside a lot.

Friday’s meeting was pretty short, so we ate some lunch, cut dahlia’s from the gigantic dahlia garden, and bought some goodies from the pro shop before we headed back to Atlanta.  On the way home, I chatted with JD and she informed me about how bad the gas crisis has gotten.  Everywhere you went in Atlanta yesterday (and today) the gas stations were either out of gas or overflowing with cars that were trying to fill up.  I only have a quarter of a tank left and have to go to another client about 2 hours away on Tuesday, so JD and I decided to skip the trip to Athens for the UGA/Bama game.  I got up and watched College GameDay, which was filmed in Athens.  Later we’ll blackout the living room and watch the game on the awesome new TV and grill out with friends.  Afterward we’ll get crazy with Rock Band.

Last night, JD, CMc and I played Rock Band for hours.  It was so much fun.  I’m sure my neighbors loved my horrible singing and the loud music blaring from the TV.

Are any of you feeling the gas pinch?  Is it messing up your plans?

This weekend was a lot of fun, and while T and I saved a decent amount of money hanging out at a friend’s party on Friday night and grilling out at another friend’s house to watch UGA pummel AZ State on Saturday, we managed to blow through a ton of money on Sunday.  In about 3 hours.  Oops.  This joint bank account stuff is giving us more money than we are used to having separately, and money we got as a wedding gift is tempting us.

Sunday we ran some errands in the afternoon.  Our first stop was at Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy some of the items off of our registry that we didn’t get and to exchange some other gifts.  One of the things I really wanted was Henkels knives.  I didn’t get them, so we picked them up on Sunday, along with some more sheets and a new clothes hamper.  After our stop at BBB, T wanted to go check out Best Buy.  So we headed off to our next B-themed store.  He really wanted to buy a PS3 because A) now that he passed the CPA he has time to actually play video games again, B) it has a Blue Ray player built in it.  I was all about it until I saw the price (multiple hundreds of dollars) and almost passed out.  Then he made the argument that if we one day decided to buy a Blue Ray, we’d be spending the same amount of money.  With the PS3, we’d get to play games and watch super clear movies.  So I caved.

While he was looking through games and picking out other accessories, I wandered off to another area of the store and found the Rock Band kit with the game, drums, guitar and mic.  So I grabbed the huge box, lugged it to the cart, and plopped it in.  When T saw me, he almost died.  He made fun of me for bitching about how much the PS3 cost but then I made a good point.  If we were going to drop this much cash, I wanted some games that I can play and enjoy too .  So we got Rock Band (yay) and he picked out Grand Theft Auto 4 (which I am also anxious to see).  We also ended up buying a service plan to cover any glitches the PS3 may have.  So yeah, lots of money spent.

What I forgot to mention, is that last week T ordered the 46 inch Panasonic super awesome (I forgot the real name) plasma TV, which is coming this week.  So our little un-high-tech living room just got a major upgrade.  Of course this means that we’ll have to upgrade to HDTV and get an HD TiVO so we can fully experience the awesomeness of the new TV.

Boys are so funny!  They need all the latest hi-tech gadgets to be happy.  I was cool with getting Henkels.  Even though I am loving the PS3 and can’t wait to go home and play Rock Band!  And I totally won’t be complaining about HDTV and a dual tuner TiVo (ours is a single tuner).  Woot!

I love TV just as much as the next person, and I must admit that I have my guilty pleasures.  One of my favorite shows (and sometimes it sucks to admit it) is America’s Next Top Model.  I vaguely remember when I started watching the show.  It was the weekend that I graduated from college, and my cousin Linds was in town.  We had some down time between the graduation ceremony, the family party, and going out later that night, so we started watching it.  She LOVED the show, and there happened to be a marathon of it on MTV.  I think it was season 4.  We spent most of the day watching the episodes instead of taking much needed naps.  And I have to say, I became hooked.

That fall I had moved into my apartment in Atlanta, and I was flipping through the channels when I randomly landed on the season premier of cycle 5.  So I started watching, and I am pretty sure that I have been watching ever since.  Last year I remember that I missed the first few episodes because the season started while I was in Germany.  I was a little disapointed because I never realized it was starting (or I would have set my TiVo).  Luckily (this is so pathetic) I found the episodes online and was able to catch up one week while T was out of town for work.

A couple of weeks ago, cycle 11 started.  And let me tell you, this show is starting to go downhill.  I still love it and will still watch it, but Tyra has gotta stop trying to act.  It’s awful.  The season before was pretty cheesy when they were at the Top Model Academy (or whatever it was called) in the beginning, and they were all jaded school girls.  Tyra pretended to be some kind of homecoming queen.  I couldn’t stop laughing.  But I still watched.

On the season premier of Cycle 11, I thought I was going to have to turn the TV off (but I couldn’t make myself do it).  They started off in the corniest way.  It was supposed to be all futuristic, and everyone acted like robots.  It was AWFUL.  There were horrible FX (giant lightning bolts and green zigzigs) and it was so frigging corny.  Thank God that was only the first episode, and it became more normal…until this week.

This week was the makeover episode, and Tyra and the Jays acted out some horrible Snow White, poison apple scene.  It was pretty stupid.  I was so glad T wasn’t home to see it because he already rags me for watching the show.  If he had seen the bad acting, he would have never let me hear the end of it. 🙂  When she was telling the audience what type of hairstyle the girls were getting, she was acting like the magic mirror in Snow White.  Boo!

Anyway, I LOVE the makeover shows, especially when the girls cry about their hairdos.  Maybe I’m evil, but it’s just hair.  It grows back.  Stop balling and suck it up.  But I do love when they give someone who had a nice, normal do something totally crazy.  Those ones are my favorite.  (I love crazy hair.  Talk about drastic…in HS I had shoulder length blonde hair, and I cut it off super short and dyed it bright red.  I know about drastic.  It wasn’t what I had in mind, but in the end I loved it and kept in that way for 3 years). What I hate is when someone has blonde hair, then they dye it platinum and do nothing else.  BORING.

Anyway, that’s my rant on ANTM.  But I still love it and can’t wait for next week’s episode.

Sidenote:  After ANTM I watched the new 90210 (I think it was a replay), but I’m not sure how I feel about it.  The characters seem so contrived, and they are trying way too hard.  Plus the acting is a little meh.  But I was obsessed with the real show (I own the first 2 seasons on DVD – thanks Little S!), so I may give it a chance.  But I have to remember to set the TiVo to record it.  When does it come on?  🙂

Sorry if this is super rambly.  I hung out with my old roommate and have had a few glasses of wine.

This is the continuation of my wedding day recap.  If you haven’t read part one yet, you can find it here.

Inclement Weather: It practically rained on and off throughout the entire day.  I was thankful that we decided to get ready at the venue and never had to leave, because that could have put a hurtin’ on our hair and make up.  I knew it was dreary out, but it never really effected us.  The outside of the venue isn’t the most scenic, so we didn’t miss out on any great exterior shots.  But it did mess up our exit.  Right as we were about to hit the road, it started pouring.  This meant that we couldn’t do our grand finale outside.  We overcame the problem though and had all of the guests line up near the doors and they blew the bubbles as we walked by.  It was a little cramped, but it was fine.  We don’t have any shots of us in the limo though because it was just too gross to bring cameras out.  I’m so glad that I didn’t spend a ton of cash on a fancy ride since there really aren’t any pictures of it.

Jay: Jay was the best man.  He is an awesome guy who has been one of our friends since freshman year of college.  He wrote a really funny toast where he called out T for getting a mani (I made him do it) and for being like a sister since he takes forever to get ready sometimes.  We all laughed our asses off during his speech.

Kids at the wedding: There were only 3 kids at the wedding, T’s 6-year old cousin and my boss’ 5-year old twins.  I hardly even noticed they were there.  The boss’ kids hung around T’s cousin most of the time, and they all just danced with all of the other guests.  They seemed like they had a great time.  My co-worker Mel said they were annoying as hell at the table (she sat with everyone from my office) and they kept having to hide all of the breakable items from them.  I’m just glad I wasn’t near it! 🙂

Kissing: Oh, there was a ton of kissing going on.  Did you know that when your guests start clinking on their glasses, you’re supposed to kiss?  No, we didn’t either.  It took us a minute to figure that one out.  Everyone thought it was funny to have us kiss while we were eating.  Yeah, not so much.  But we did it anyway.

Laughing: There was a ton of laughing going on.  While we were all getting beautified, we just kept cracking up over how doofy we looked with rollers in our hair and tissues underneath them to keep our skin from getting singed.  As soon as the camera guy walked in to film us getting ready, CoLo jokingly called ASP a bitch…we all cracked up because it’s on tape.  T’s little brother B had to climb underneath my dress to steam it (I wasn’t wearing it) but I didn’t know that.  I walked by and saw his head pop out and I almost died.  CoLo and CMc had a speedwalk off in honor of the Olympics (that made for some very random and funny photos).

The steaming of the dress

Little S’s Toast…where she said, “I’d have a lot of friends too if I had a D cup!” Everyone went wild.

Good friends help you pick your wedgie when you can’t reach it through the many layers of your dress

Love: There was so much love in the air that day (I know it sounds corny, but it’s true).  After 8.5 years together, T and I have basically been adopted into each other’s families, and it was great to have both sets there and intermingling.  I was so happy that day to finally marry my best friend and the man I loved that I felt like I was floating from the high of happiness and love.

T’s parents, us, my parents (we totally stood by the wrong set)

Last Name: I am taking T’s last name.  In fact, I officially went and changed it at the DMV during lunch today.  Now comes the painstaking task of changing it everywhere else.

Mom and Mom-in-Law: I have the best mom in the world.  From an early age we’ve always been able to talk and relate, and our relationship has just gotten stronger.  She’s not only my mom, but one of my friends.  The same goes for T’s mom.  She super cool and fun, and I am totally the daughter she never had.  I do have to say that I’m so lucky to have 2 great moms in my life!

My mom and me, doing our favorite pose – open mouth shot!

T’s mom and me

Modern: I never really had a theme for the wedding, but I guess this is what I was shooting for in the end.  That’s how I ended up with the colors we picked, the venue we used, the favors, flowers and cake.  I didn’t want our wedding to be a hoity toity event where people felt uncomfortable.  I wanted everyone to have fun and laugh.  T and I are crazy (especially me) and outgoing, and we wanted to share those emotions with our friends and family.

I heart our colors, linens and centerpieces

Music: The music for the ceremony was very traditional.  I came down the isle to “The Bridal Chorus,” the mothers and grandmothers to “Cannon in D Major,” and the bridal party to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”  T and I walked out as husband and wife to “The Wedding March.”  The music during the cocktail hour was a mix of chill jazz, triphop and other older classics.  During the actual reception we did the usual group dances (Soldier Boi, Cupid Shuffle, Jump On It…you get the idea) and of course had a nice mix of slow songs and faster songs to dance to as well.  Both T and I decided that we didn’t want anything too sappy because we didn’t want everyone to tear up every 5 minutes.

That’s all for part 2!  Part 3 coming soon…

For the last few days, Georgia has been cool.  And it is glorious.  Gone are the days of 90 degree heat, high humidity and basic sweaty hell (for now anyway).  It’s only been in the 70s and overcast, so it has been remarkably pleasant out.  I am even able to turn off the air conditioner and leave the windows open instead.

I always love being able to sleep with the windows open or leave them open during the day because it helps eliminate the stuffiness that develops from always having the house closed up.  Well, my cats Fado and Zoey love this time of year too.  Why, you ask?  Open windows = breezy lounging spots for kitties to enjoy during the day or at night when they are stuck inside.  I opened the windows up on Sunday night, and they have been enjoying themselves there ever since.

The first night I had the windows open, the cats each started off in separate windows.  At one point I awoke to a noise and noticed that both of them were sharing one window space.  I thought it was funny, then went back to sleep.  A little while later I woke up to Fado climbing on top of me to settle in for bed.  I didn’t mind this because T is out of town and it’s nice to snuggle with a cat when he’s not there.  He plopped himself on my side, purring, then went to sleep.  He finally migrated off of me but stayed in the bed, glued to my side.

Monday night went the same way.  I went upstairs to go to bed, the cats followed, and jumped into the window.  They slept there for a while or switched windows, then Fado jumped onto the bed and settled in on or next to me.  It’s cute and all, as long as he lays fairly still.  Which he does for the most part.  But sometimes he gets a little spastic, like last night.

Our same nightly routine began and ended, and I drifted off to sleep.  At some point in the evening I felt a “plop” onto the bed.  I looked over to see Fado coming towards.  I’m used to what he’s going to do by now.  But last night it was different.  Instead of climbing onto my side, he climbed right up to my shoulder / side of my face.  He squished himself into me, then started bathing.  I tried covering up the spot on his side that he was licking.  That didn’t stop him.  I finally shifted and that seemed to stop him.  But then he unfolded himself onto my face.  He was like a little fury pillow and I tried to curl up with him.  But he kept scooting up.  So all of a sudden I was hugging him like a kid hugs a teddy bear, with my face buried into the top of his head.  That was all well and good for about 2 minutes, but then he started scratching and his fur covered my face, making me itchy and it hard to breathe without getting a hairball.  That wasn’t cool.  I finally pried him off of my face and sat him down next to me.  And rolled over only to have my feet hit Zoey on the bottom of the bed.  So there I was, trying to make room for myself between my sprawled out kitties.  Finally we all fell back asleep.

I know they are excited about having the windows open and being able to enjoy the breeze from the sill or from the comforts of my bed (or face), but damn guys.  Can you give me a little breathing room (literally)?  If not, you guys might get the boot to the hallway.

I can only imagine what waits for me tonight…

I woke up at 8 in the morning on Sunday to overcast skies, once again (stupid Faye).  For once in my life I did not hit snooze 45 times.  I had butterflies in my stomach.  I rolled over and kissed T then hopped in the shower.  JD, ASP and I all rode together and grabbed some bagels to munch on while we got ready.  We decided to get ready at the wedding site since I was having all kinds of problems finding a suitable place for all of us to get ready at.  By the time the 3 of us arrived, my hair and make up team were already there and had gotten started on CMc and my sister.  I was worried that the room would be too small for all of us to get ready in, but it worked perfectly.  CoLo showed up with fresh fruit and mimosas, so we were all set!  T and the groomsmen showed up around noon, along with my parents.  Of course T and I sucked at staying apart and spent a decent amount of the time interacting before the ceremony.  I really like the way Hillary recapped her wedding, so I might steal her idea (I don’t want to leave anything important out).  So let’s get started!

August 24, 2008. We elected to get married on a Sunday because it saves so much money in the grand scheme of things.  I was actually really close to hitting the budget my parents and I had outlined in the beginning.  We only went a couple grand over.  🙂  Plus this allowed us some extra time to hang out with out of town guests who arrived on Friday.  The only negative was that a lot of people did have to work on Monday so they left sort of early.  But the wedding only went until 10, which is not late at all.  All I have to say about that is, some people could have sucked it up a little more and stayed till the end.

Bridesmaids. My bridesmaids were awesome.  They were so helpful and so cute.  ASP, who has been one of my best friends since 7th grade, cried the second I stepped into my dress.  It was really sweet because out of all of my friends she shows the least amount of emotion.  She said she proceeded to cry throughout the rest of the day.  When I got too teary, they made me laugh so I wouldn’t mess up my make up.  When I had a wedgie and couldn’t get to it because of the many layers of dress, they helped me pick it out (that is true friendship people).  When I was sweating my ass off on the dance floor or just sitting around, they would gather around me to fan me with the many layers of my dress.

Bing’s Angels

Bouquet Toss: The bouquet toss was pretty entertaining.  JD totally told people it was hers, and she was going to catch it no matter what.  And that she did.  She rushed it and grabbed it.  No one else even had a shot! 🙂

JD and her prize

Ceremony: I am so glad we opted for a video, because I honestly can’t remember what was said / happened.  With all of the excitement and nerves, I couldn’t really focus on what the priest was saying.  Poor T was roasting in his tux, plus I think he was nervous, so he kept sweating.  I spent a majority of the time blowing on his face or looking up so I didn’t cry.  During the vows, he got a little teary-eyed, which made me choke up when it was time for me to say mine.  I barely got the last line out, “So help me God.”  It went a little like this…”So, squeak…help…sniff sniff…me…choke choke, God.”  Everyone had a nice little laugh about that one.  Some words of advice:  Make sure you rehearse the entire ceremony.  We mainly focused on where we would stand and such.  The priest told us what he was going to do and when, but we never heard the actual ceremony until the wedding.  At one point he had everyone raise their right hands, and the bridal party was so confused.  T and I weren’t sure if we were supposed to do anything (we weren’t), some of the bridesmaids actually lifted their flowers first, then their hands.  The groomsmen all lifted their left hands first since they were standing with their left hands over their right.  Then the best man saw my dad shaking his head no, so he switched to the right hand and the other groomsmen followed.  Then I think the priest forgot about T and I lighting the unity candle.  So he had announced us, and we started to walk back down the aisle when he stopped us and told us to do the candle.  He handed us the lighter and we held onto it and lit it together.  We never used the other candles.  Doh.  I can’t wait to see the video!

Confusion over the unity candle

Cupcake Cake. T and I decided that we wanted to have a cupcake cake as opposed to the tradition multi-tiered version.  We figured it would give people more flavor options, and they could eat more if they wanted to.  It was awesome.  Everyone loved them and they were super tasty and looke so great!

The cupcake cake and our flowers

Dress.  I loved my dress!  It was gorgeous and fit me really well.  But man did that thing make me hot!  And it slightly hindered my dancing abilities because people kept stepping on it and eventually ripped a couple of the bustles so they train ended up dragging behind me.  Oh well.  I used it as a prop when I was dancing!  And it made a great fan when I was hot.

Getting into the dress

Entertainment.  Our DJ was awesome!  He was from Long Island, had a crazy accent, and wasn’t one of those old stuffy Southern guys (you know the kind I’m talking about).  He played great music that had everyone dancing.  At one point, Z (one of the groomsmen) and our friend Drew cleared the dance floor and  busted out with some old school hip-hop dancing, tick and pop and lock style.  People loved it!  Z even got T’s 90 year old grandmother out of her walker to dance.  It was so funny and cute!  The DJ also helped save the day when the tux company (Savvi Formal Wear) goofed up T’s dad’s jacket and didn’t bring him a new one in time.  The DJ let T’s dad borrow his for the ceremony.  And of course the tux guy shodwe up right after the ceremony ended, figures.  That was my only bridezilla moment, and I was laughing about it.  The videographer was taping me and egging me on to be a bitch.  I wasn’t too evil.   I called the tux company to get it straightened out because they had told me if there were any problems with the tuxes, they could go to their warehouse and exchange it.  The day of, they tell me it’s closed on Sunday.  Um, hello.  You knew this was happening on Sunday when we initially decided to work with you.  I would have been ok with it all, but then they were asses and wouldn’t give T’s dad a refund.  They gave him a certificate for a free tux rental.  Whatever.  That was one of the “things that will go wrong,” but in the end it didn’t really matter.

Entrances: T and I decided that we wanted each birdesmaid and groomsman to choose their own introduction/entrance song.  I am so happy that we did this.  It made for some awesome pictures and the other guests went wild.  Plus everyone chose great songs.  We had “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” “This is Why I’m Hot,”  “Where the Party At,” “L.O.V.E.,” and “I’m Too Sexy for my Shirt.”   T and I chose “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.”

We are totally rock stars!  I wish I had my mouth closed.

Flowers: My flowers were amazing.  I had no real idea what they were going to look like.  I had just given the florist some specifics on what I liked and didn’t.  I basically wanted a ton of tropical flowers with bright colors and barely any white.  White flowers are boring and blend in, and I’m not a fan of them.  He got it exactly right.  The bouquets were so cool.  Lots of reds, oranges, greenery and even feathers.  I guess we had a slight miscommunication because I thought I was getting a toss bouquet but they hadn’t made me one.  Do you know what they did?  They went back to their shop and made me one.  I was super impressed.  The boutonnieres were super elegant and unique too.  They were mango colored calla lillies with a fern frond (aka monkey tail) behind them.  They looked great, but kept falling apart from the hugs everyone was getting.  Oh well.  At least they survived the pictures.

Food: The food was delicious.  I just wish I would have actually eaten more of it.  With all of the excitement (and fears of random stomach problems) I didn’t eat as much as I wanted.  But the stuff I did manage to eat was so tasty.  I’m glad we were able to box some of it up and take it back to the hotel for late night eating.

First Dance: T and I danced to Sinatra’s “World on a String,” the song he proposed to me to.  It was slightly awkward because we didn’t practice at all, and we were hell bent on not just doing the middle school sway back and forth.  No one warned me about how hard it was to dance in a giant dress.  I kept stepping on it!  But we definitely got some great shots during it and even managed to get in a few spins and a dramatic dip at the end.

There was a lot of this going on

Guestbook: I am so glad that I didn’t spend a fortune on a fancy fance guestbook.  People signed it, but I’m pretty sure not everyone did.  I looked through it, but I doubt it will be something that I will revisit very often.  What we did do that was awesome was a variation of a photo guestbook.  My dad set up a digital camera near the bar and brought in a dry erase board for people to write messages on for T and me.  That was such a great idea.  People wrote the funniest things and the pictures are hilarious.  Now we just need to take it somewhere to get printed.  I totally recommend doing some sort of digital guestbook!

Garter Toss: Instead of just tossing the garter, T and some of the groomsmen decided it would be funnier to stick it on ASP’s boyfriends head, so that’s what they did.  T pretended to toss it while 2 of the groomsmen circled Chris and voila, garter on his head.  We all nearly died!

Gartered!

Hair: I am soooo glad that I decided to go with an updo.  It was so hot and humid outside (even though I never really went out because it rained off and on the entire day) that I’m sure if I had left it down it would not have been pretty.  The updo was beautiful and showed off my funky highlights.  Topped with my veil and tiara, it was the perfect combo.  The veil, did not stay on past the ceremony.  People kept nearly ripping my head off when the went to hug me when I had it on because they’d get tangled in it.  It wasn’t fun.

Honeymoon: Mexico, right outside of Cancun.  It was seriously heaven on earth.  And it deserves it’s very own post.

Phew…that was some work.  Stay tuned for part 2!  🙂

About 2 weeks before my wedding, my neighborhood started doing repairs on my street.  My neighborhood is fairly large and has been around since the late 1960s, so every few years they focus on updating different areas of the neighborhood.  My street along with 2 others was going to be getting the water pipes that bring the water from the street into the building replaced.  I didn’t think too much of it because it never really affected me because when they turned the water off, I was at work.

All was fine and dandy.  They dug up the old pipes and laid new ones, and we went on with our lives.  About a week after the pipes were laid, they repaved the street to fix the holes that had been dug to access the pipes.  This was slightly sucky because we had to keep our cars off of the parking lots/streets for about 2 days, but it wasn’t the end of the world.

Right after all of the construction was finished, I started noticing that the water pressure had changed some.  I figured it was because of the new pipes and maybe air had gotten in there and was messing up the pressure (clearly I am an expert at plumbing and pipes….yeah, um no).  It never really got better, and I was getting annoyed.  When I had my water turned on at the highest level, it was like I had barely turned it on.  So I did what any concerned citizen would do.  I called the maintenance people and told them to check it out.  They sent the neighborhood repair guy over, and he looked at the meter/pump thing in front of my house (see my plumbing skills coming through again?) and said it looked like the pressure was too low.  He told me he’d send someone out to mess with it while T and I were on our honeymoon.  That was fine with me.  I gave my neighbor a heads up because he was having problems too.

We got back from our honeymoon on September 2nd, and the pressure was still the same.  I was annoyed but kept forgetting to call maintenance again.  Well, this week the water pressure has gone to shit.  On Monday I was in the shower, all soaped up with shampoo in my hair when then pressure went from “meh” to “is there any fucking water coming out?”  Yeah, it was awful.

My shower started off with a decent stream of water, with not a lot of pressure, but it was similar to this:

And ended up like this, I think even less water came out at one point:

Yeah, it was ridiculous.  A quick shower turned into a 20 minute ordeal because there wasn’t enough water to rinse the shampoo and conditioner out of my hair.  I seriously had to excel at shower gymnastics to be able to squish my 5’10 self under the faucet to rinse off since the water came out a little bit better from down there.

I was (and still am) pissed, so I called maintenance again.  They said a lot of other people are having problems too, and they are working to fix it.  That was on Monday.  And guess what?  The water is still shitty.  And I totally meant to call again today, but I forgot.  And the office closes at 4:30 on Fridays.  Grrrr…

Keep your fingers crossed that I get my water pressure back!

On September 11, 2001 I was three weeks into my freshman year of college.  I had just moved back to Georgia from the Mid-Hudson area of NY at the beginning of August to go to college .  I was still adjusting to life outside of the halls of high school.  I will never forget that Tuesday morning.

I had a 9:30 stat class every Tuesday and Thursday.  Since it was Tuesday, my alarm started blaring at me at 8:30 to get out of bed.  I hit snooze and slept until 8:40.  I finally dragged myself out of bed and drowsily climbed out of my loft.  I shuffled across my minuscule room to get myself a bowl of cereal.  Bowl and spoon in hand, I clicked on the TV and flopped onto the futon under my roommate’s loft.  I shoveled in a mouthful of cereal and stared at the screen in disbelief.  At first I thought it was some kind of action movie where NYC was getting attacked, but then I realized that it wasn’t even 9:00 in the morning and that I was watching a news show.  It was a little before 9 when I saw news footage of a plane flying into the first tower.  I was in total shock.  I dropped my spoon into my cereal and called my mom at work.  She had no idea about what was going on, and while I was on the phone with her the second plane hit the towers.  I started to panic.  T’s family lived only 1.5 hours from the city, along with all of our friends from high school.  My friend Vic was at college in NYC, and I had no idea where he was.  I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I was terrified.

I hadn’t heard anything about classes being canceled, so I made my way through campus like a zombie.  Everyone was in disbelief and in shock.  People were frantic.  In class we discussed what was happening, and the teacher let us all leave early because classes had been canceled.  I raced back to the dorms to find T.  Together we sat and watched footage of the plane crashes in PA and at the Pentagon.  We sat silently watching with horror as the towers collapsed.  The rest of the day was a blur.  Everyone was glued to the TV, watching and waiting.

What hit me the hardest that day was the thought of the families who happened to be vacationing in NYC and were staying in the Marriott located at the bottom of the World Trade Center.  T and I had visited Vic while he was checking out colleges in the city.  We’d stayed in that hotel.  We’d eaten dinner in one of the towers and hung out at the observation deck.  It’s eerie to think that we spent the weekend in a place that was destroyed by terrorists.  And those people visiting that day never got to go back home.

In some ways we have all been touched by the tragedies that took place that day.  Many people have a connection to someone who did not survive that day.  And many people have a connection to someone who was supposed to be in one of those buildings or on one of those planes and for some reason, thankfully, wasn’t there.  My government teacher my senior year lost her husband that day.  He didn’t work in the towers but worked in the area.  He was near the towers, and no one knows why, and just disappeared after they collapsed.

This morning I was listening to a tribute on the radio and couldn’t stop tearing up.  Clips from the news were being played from 7 years ago, and it was hard to hear the panic and fear in people’s voices.

Like others who have lived through a large tragedy, I will never forget what I was doing and where I was the moment I found out about the first plane crashing into the North Tower.

My heart and prayers go out to the victims of this horrible tragedy and to the families who lost husbands, wives, daughters and sons.  I will always remember.

When T and I first got engaged, I decided that I would in fact change my last name to his.  I want us both to have the same last name because to me it feels like a family should have the same last name.  I know a lot of people don’t think that way, and it’s cool.  But that’s just how I feel.  I am a little sad to give up my last name completely because once I change my name and if my sister does one day, our last name will disappear.  There are no sons to carry it on.

For a while I debated on trying to hyphenate it, but it didn’t sound right.  Using it as my middle was weird too.  Plus I like my middle name and want to keep it.  Then I thought I could have 2 middle names – my current one, plus my old last name – but that’s just too weird too.  In the end I will be my real first name, real middle name and T’s last name.

Anyway, I decided I would start the process for getting my name changed so we can combine our accounts and be unified.  Well, I wasn’t 100% sure what the exact process was, so I did what any normal 25 year old would do.  I google searched.  Most of the stuff I found talked about going to your county clerk’s office to file an official name changed petition.  It sounded fine but complicated, so I called my county to double check.  They told me the same thing.  So I printed out all of the forms, got some of them notarized, and decided to go to the courthouse today on my lunch break to get this thing rolling.

It took about 20 minutes to get to the courthouse from my office.  I finally found a parking spot in a lot that charged $5 for 0-30 minutes (a total fucking rip off), but I parked there anyway because I didn’t want to have to drive all over.  I walked to the courthouse and tried to walk in when I ran into a line of people.  I was slightly confused, then remembered you have to go through security to get into government buildings.  Fine.  I’m standing there surveying the line when I realize that the 10-12 people ahead of me all have book bags on.  I figure they must be on a field trip.  It seriously took 15 minutes just to get through the security to get into the building because all of their damn bags had to be searched.  I finally made it through the scan/metal detector area when I was stopped.  I have a can of hairspray in my purse, which can’t be brought into the building.  WTF?  I seriously don’t get it.  I mean I guess someone could try to turn it into a flame thrower or torch by spraying it on a lighter, but who wouldn’t be able to stop that from happening.  I checked my hairspray with the security guard and headed into the clerk’s office.

I waited for about 5 minutes before I could get to a window to speak with someone.  When I first walked up, the lady was talking to the person next to her so I was just left standing there waiting.  She finally looked over and asked me what I needed.  I told her that I needed to get my name changed, and she started rambling about going to the DMV, etc.  She was really hard to understand, but I was able to decipher that I didn’t even need to be there because I could just go to the DMV to get it changed.  If it was so easy, then why the hell couldn’t anyone tell me that before I wasted my time driving all over the fucking place to get this done?  Grrr…..Now I have to take another day to go to the DMV and get it changed.  You think they would put it on a Web site or inform people to tell you that when you call in and ask exactly what you need to do to get your name changed.  I am so annoyed at this right now.  Idiots!  And I’m pissed that I had to pay $5 for no reason.  Since I got stuck behind the field trip assholes, I came back after the 15-minute free parking grace period.  Boo!

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