What’s up Wednesday

So what is up? Well, wedding stuff mostly. Last week we went to the church after work and, along with 5 other couples getting married this spring/summer, decided on our musical selections for the ceremony. It was actually a really cool night. The choir director explained to us how the ceremony or mass would be structured then played us a few different options for each musical selection. For the processional/recessional, we actually got to head up to the choir box while he played the selections on the organ. I gotta say, sitting there overlooking the aisle and alter while he played Canon in D was pretty awesome. I could totally picture myself walking down the aisle to meet Chris, and I got goosebumps!

This week we met with the Deacon who will be marrying us to formally declare our intent to marry. Basically, we had to separately answer a series of questions with the Deacon to make sure neither of us was being coerced into the marriage and that we were both prepared for the commitment. It sounds pretty dry, but some of the questions were very sweet, and it’s just one more step towards this becoming very real.

Outside of church stuff, our invitations arrived, so we’ll be picking those up this weekend. We’re meeting with the photographer next week, and my hair and makeup trials are confirmed for June! Originally they would have been this weekend, but my bridal shower is June 1, so I figured I might as well get some use out of cute hair and makeup. I ordered what I hope will be THE shoes along with a matching clutch. I might attempt my first (only?) DIY with these shoes. More on that to follow.

Otherwise, life continues to speed up as we approach the summer. Chris was out of town for Travis’s bachelor party last weekend. Luckily, my girls (Debbie, my mom, Molly and Layla of course) kept me company. My birthday is right around the corner, and we’ve got a fun night in AC planned!

Looking ahead, our three year anniversary is at the end of this month, Chris’s birthday is less than a month away and then wedding season officially begins. We’ve got our first wedding Memorial Day weekend. Both our bachelor/ette parties are in June. July is our wedding of course. August should be a nice repreive, but weddings pick back up in September. It seems stressful, but it’s nice to have so much to look forward to.

I’ve been running a little more. I actually got out there twice (a 3 miler and a 4 miler) last week! After the second run, my hamstring did start to nag me, but I think I ran a little too fast because it was rainy and cold, and I just wanted to be done. I’m not training for anything, but I would like to run the Newport 10k in May, so I’d like to get a solid 6 miler in before then. I haven’t lost as much fitness as I expected, and I credit that to luck and consistent use of the spin bike.

Taking a break from running also gave me some more time to focus on strength training, and I think I can notice a small difference in how quickly my leg muscles fatigue. Going forward, I’m really going to make an effort to balance my workouts. I’ve actually grown to love the weights, and I don’t think running all the time is something that works for my body. I seem to wear my muscles out pretty easily when I’m running consistently, and that leaves me unable to do much of anything. As much as I miss running often, I’d rather it take a back seat then spend so much time laid up.

My stomach has been sooooo much better. In addition to following the witch doctor’s suggestions, I’ve been making an effort to go “grain-free” or “paleo” as much as possible. I’m not sure which is making the difference or if it’s the combination of both, but I honestly feel like a new person. I miss pasta and sugar and WINE a lot too though. I don’t love restricted diets, and I think I have a tendency to take them too far. Further, I suck at paleo eating because I don’t eat pork or lamb, and steak is too expensive for my budget, so chicken gets old real quick. I’m hoping to introduce some foods back in a controlled way in the coming weeks in order to determine what exactly was causing so much stomach discomfort.

This weekend we’re hoping to get some lingering house projects (the basement, painting upstairs) out of the way while also enjoying (potential) warmer temperatures. Spring has (finally) sprung.

More updates than time

Obviously it’s been fun times in my little corner of the world lately, but I just haven’t had the time to record any of it yet. I hate to be one of those OMGSOBUSY people, but I’ve spent more of the past 72 hrs at work than at home. Yuck.

Otherwise, things are great! Layla is a wonderful fit for our family. She’s mostly a total couch potato, which makes me feel less guilty about not being able to take her on long walks on these cold spring days.

She’s actually not a big fan of being outside at all. She usually does her business and runs quickly back in the house. We are working to get her a little more comfortable outside (because I suspect her reluctance is actually fear from a bad experience), but she’s definitely on the mellow end of the spectrum and is happy just to chill out with us.

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Excuse the crazy eyes.

The cats are mostly adjusted. Miles actually likes her when he’s interested at all. Moshi isn’t so sure, but they do like the things that come with her presence. Like the new bed …

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Spring is here. I guess. It doesn’t feel much better than winter, but the sun is out a little bit later which makes the nights after work seem a little longer. I’ll take it.

We finalized our invitations which for some reason was the most stressful wedding task I’ve had so far. The company we went with was absolutely fabulous, but I was a nervous wreck. I was just so afraid of accidentally putting the wrong date or time or something (as if all those details haven’t been permanently etched in my brain). I’m glad we finally gave the go ahead to print, and I can’t wait to send them out! 113 days to go!

We also picked our wedding bands last week. We both tried on probably 12 rings. We were there for a couple hours. We finally picked a perfect pair. It was great. Then I woke up yesterday morning and immediately knew I made a mistake. I was between two rings, and I picked the wrong one.

Luckily, I haven’t really exhibited too much bridal crazy yet, so Chris and his mom (who works at the jewelry store… I know!) we’re happy to cancel the first order and place the new one. I felt so silly, but this was really the first time a decision hasn’t felt right, so I figured I should go with my gut. Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of a descent into wedding madness.

I would just like to note that it was so cool to see Chris in a wedding band. It’s beginning to feel so real!

I went to the witch doctor finally and got some good news on my stomach. Well, good news in that they figured out what they think is wrong (yeast overgrowth) and can get to work fixing it. I want to write some more about it because it’s so fascinating (maybe only to me), but in short in involves 6 pills (three different herbal supplements) a day and a low yeast diet. So far, I feel pretty much the same, but I’m optimistic for the first time in a very long time.

Conversely, I still have no answers on my hamstring. My primary care physician wants me to do 6-8 weeks of PT, and I’m sure he’s right because PT helped my IT band soooo much, but I just don’t have the time right now. I’m going to try and go at least once a week and hopefully supplement with stretching at home. I’m really starting to miss running pain free. I may have also impulsively signed up for a 10k in May, so I’d really like to run that.

We visited my grandparents in Florida. It was an incredibly quick trip. We flew in on Friday evening after work and home on Sunday night. I’ve been hoarding my vacation time for the wedding, and it was a little rough getting back into things on Monday morning, but I survived. The trip was the perfect relaxing break. The weather was warm and wonderful, and Chris and I even ran 3 pain-free miles on Saturday. Totally worth it.

I booked the trip before we adopted Layla, and I felt horrible leaving her, but she and the pet sitter got along great, and I think it helped her warm up a bit more to new people.

We narrowly avoided another snowstorm today, and I really hope even the threat of snow is behind us, but I know April in NJ better than that. Fingers crossed!

Layla

Big things are happening over here on our funny farm…

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Yesterday we picked up our newest family member, Layla. She is 3 years old, medium sized and sweet as can be. She had a pretty rotten life before she was rescued by the wonderful volunteers at Eleventh Hour Rescue. She’s a little shy and is still adjusting to her new home, but we’ve been waiting years for her, and we’ll wait as long as it takes for her to feel totally comfortable. Yay Layla! Welcome to the brood.

Ten Friday Things

Well we’re back down to a “real feel” of -1 today. Honestly though, who can tell the difference between 10 and -1? Once it drops below 20, it’s just very cold. I keep trying to tell myself, “well, imagine if you lived in Minnesota” but Minnesotans drive to work. They don’t wait an extra ten minutes on a platform for a delayed train. Ugh.

1. Everyone has reached their breaking points. See above. Seriously, it’s almost (but not really) comical to watch everyone around me just absolutely lose it over this weather. And we’ve got another snow storm on the way Monday.

2. We had an absolutely terrible experience with the first dog rescue group we tried to work with. They were so awful and basically told us they decided when we first applied that they weren’t going to allow us to adopt.

Unfortunately, they still dragged us along in the process for another 2 weeks. It was heartbreaking and probably a scam from the beginning. Everyone tried to warn me about how fishy the whole thing seemed, but what can I say? I was stupidly optimistic.

Anyway, we got burned bad and the whole ordeal ended with a cease and desist letter. It was a mess. I googled them afterwards and found some really disturbing information, so I’m glad the whole thing fell apart, but it still sucks. If you’re trying to rescue a dog in NJ, email me, and I’ll tell you who to avoid for sure.

3. It’s probably fair for them to deny us. I mean, just look at the horrendous conditions our two rescues are forced to endure.

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Horrible.

4. Enough sad thoughts. Let’s focus on the positives. March is going to be a good month! I’ve got an appointment with the doctor who may be able to solve my stomach problems, and I finally made an appointment to get my wonky leg looked at. Running, I’m coming for you!

5. March also means our annual trip to Florida! Wahoo!!

6. We got confirmation from the Deacon who’s marrying us that the church will be in working order on our wedding date! I’m not totally convinced because it wasn’t him who warned us of the construction in the first place, so I’m not sure how in the loop he is, but it’s a good omen!

7. My boss offered to take us out for happy hour tonight, and he scheduled it at 4! I love me a happy hour after work, but it’s even better when I can go for a free drink and still make it home and into PJs by 7. Wild Friday night fo sho.

8. Chris left his wallet at home today which means I get to see him for an extra minute when I drop it off on my way to the office this morning. Woo hoo!

9. One of my coworkers told me that she’s never registered to vote!! What?!? She’s been legally able to for a decade! That prompted two other coworkers to confess that they’ve only voted once!! I mean I knew voter turnout was getting low, but I’ve never actually met anyone forsaking their civic duty before! Get out the vote people!

10. Today is Starbucks latte and bagel with a side of NY Times x-word day. Best day of the week!!

Happy Friday fools!

Warm weekend and one year

It is amazing how much the weather can effect your mood. As evidenced by my last post, this winter has put us all in a dark place. Luckily, just as everyone was rapidly approaching their Shining-sequel breaking points, we were treated to a weekend of 55* weather!! It was glorious. I took no pictures because everything is still covered in gross, dirty snow, but it was lovely, trust me.

Chris and I spent a rainy Friday night indoors with Deb and Mike eating pizza and pestering a new pair of cats. It was so fun. Going out is nice, but staying in is nicer these days.

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Saturday we had an appointment with the vet which got off to a rocky start when 15 minutes before our appointment, I realized we were short a cat carrier. After Moshi escaped his carrier 3 times in the car on the drive to the new house, I threw the thing out in a fit of rage convinced it would force me into buying a new one. Only I totally forgot, and Chris had to drive to the closest store and buy the only carrier they stocked, which is, of course, a crappier version of the one we threw out.

The appointment was tough because I feel so guilty stuffing the cats into their carriers. Miles hates it and freaks out and ended up ripping up two toenails which left him with bloody feet. Heartbreaking. The vet was as confused as I was as to why a rescue group would require indoor cats to receive booster shots, but he gave them some anyway, and we all headed home only slightly worse for the wear.

With two very drowsy cats intent on sleeping the day away, we shirked all our responsibilities again and just walked. We meant to run but everyone in Cranford was out enjoying that strange yellow orb in the sky (the likes of which we haven’t seen since November). Between the snow piles and puddles, everyone had to pass single file, and running was out of the question. So we walked. We walked all over the park and into town for some lunch. It was so nice.

We’ve been having some doubts as to whether buying our house was the right choice, and being stuck inside said house certainly does not help, so a day outside in a town which we do truly enjoy was a little boost. We’ve been having some serious conversations about the house. It was scary at first to admit all our doubts to each other, but if feels so good to be back on the same page after spending weeks putting on a brave face for each other. We have some decisions to make, but we’re gonna try and take our time this go around.

Saturday night was more fun times with Steve and Lindsey and so much delicious Mexican food! It was great to just get out and have fun this weekend.

Sunday morning I had Laura’s bridal shower in Pennsylvania. Steph was kind enough to keep my company on the 1.5 hour drive. The shower was beautiful, but a slideshow from days of yore treated me to some pictures (and videos) from Chris Pre-K (pre-Kate that is) days which was pretty hard for me to stomach. Let’s just say that Facebook stalking your beloved’s ex is a very different animal from being treated to a live action depiction of their happiest moments. But I didn’t throw up or cry (until I got home), so we’ll call it a toss.

We finally cashed in my Christmas present to Chris by going to see Bill Burr at NJPAC. It was not what I was expecting (probably I wasn’t in a laughing mood after that morning), but he was good for some laughs, and Chris really enjoyed it.

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We came home exhausted with none of our typical weekend chores completed, but that’s the sign of a great weekend, right?

Today is our “Engagement Anniversary” meaning he asked and I said yes a year ago today! It’s not easy to stomach 26* weather when I’m dreaming of a candlelit dinner on a beautiful Jamaican beach, but there’s nowhere I’d rather be right now. I remember when we picked a wedding date, and I thought 17 months seemed like forever to be engaged, but this last year has flown! It’s been fun and exhausting and wonderful. We’ve challenged ourselves and our relationship and it’s been so difficult and so strengthening. I really feel closer to Chris than ever, and there’s nothing we couldn’t face together. We’ve become more honest, more connected, more independent and yet also more reliant on each other’s love and support. It took some tough talks and big fights to get here, but it was all worth it. I’m so ready to marry the love of my life.

Winter is winning

I keep meaning to post. I really do. Then I try to think of things worth mentioning, and I just curl up under another blanket instead. Winter is kicking my ass. This is something because I am not generally a wimp about winter. When we headed into the season I was really ready for the cold weather forcing everybody to stay inside and slow down. The hermit lifestyle suits me. When it snowed right around Christmas, it was beautiful. When we got a major storm every week in January, I said, “It’s winter. What does everyone expect?” And I soldiered on. I kept telling Chris (who DOES NOT LOVE winter) to buck up! Then… I lost it.

By our second week of multiple snow storms, after my 100th hour shoveling and my 1,000,000th night walking home in the dark in the street (because the sidewalks are impassable) praying I wouldn’t get run over, I snapped. I finally joined the ranks of the winter haters and just about broke down last weekend. I tried to keep my spirits up all day as I watched our third snowfall of the week descend on us. I gritted my teeth as we headed to the grocery store to stock up for yet another homebound week. Then, a man in a giant SUV honked at us for taking a hairpin left turn slowly in our little Mazda. He continued honking as we obeyed the speed limit on ice covered roads. He persisted in his honking crusade even after watching us fishtail twice. God bless Chris for continuing to drive because I just put my head in my hands and cried. I could not take it one more minute.

We finally made it home, and I unleashed the fury of 1,000 icy days. I won’t recount it here, because it was not my finest moment, but it ended up being just what I needed. Chris and I worked each other up so much we were laughing by the end of it.

For the rest of the weekend, I did what I always do when I get to the end of my rope. I pretended to be a rebel and shirked my obligations for the next day. I skipped church and stayed in bed until 10:30. I refused to clean the house and loafed around in pjs until it was time to go pick out wedding invitations. Of course, my old sensible self didn’t stay away long. By early evening, I had emailed the priest to apologize for missing my catechism, read the days verses on my own, vacuumed and done three loads of laundry. Still, it was nice to say f*ck it for a little while.

So, yeah, winter is winning, but we are surviving, and spring is in sight.

What else is new? Well, we are trying to adopt a dog, and it is terrible and heartbreaking, but I have been wanting to do this for years, and I am more terrifying when I am chasing what I want. We met a dog who meets exactly none of our “qualifications for the ideal dog,” but we love him, and I would like him to be ours very much. So far, we have made very little progress, but I’m hopefully.

I’ve been running. Sort of. I ran 1 mile then 2 miles twice. My still hurts. I don’t think the 8 weeks of rest did anything. It might be time to throw in the towel and see a doctor for some real advice.

Our wedding is in less than 5 months and it is getting REAL! We booked the last of our vendors last week, so now we have the incidentals to handle. I told my boss about the vacation time I will need, and I am so, so excited.

The Lion King

Such a fun weekend that it took me three days to post! The fun actually started on Wednesday with a work from home day for the two of us. Chris got some wonderful work news, so we had a little snowed in celebration.

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Once we were able to leave the house again, the celebrations just continued. We ventured to Edwards, a Jersey City steakhouse, on Thursday. It was so good! The atmosphere was cool and sleek, and the food was pretty great.

Friday night Deb and Mike wanted to keep the party going so we all went out to ATH in Cranford for some excellent local eats.

Saturday Chris and I met up with his parents and brother in the city to see The Lion King on Broadway. Chris’ brother Rob got us all tickets for Christmas, and it was a nice February surprise.

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The play was amazing! The artistry and talent of all the performers was breath taking. We really loved it. After the show, we headed to the UES for dinner at a little Italian wine bar near Rob’s apartment.

On Sunday we decided to keep the eating train rolling, so Chris got to work on his mom’s “Sunday Sauce” while I tried my hand at some homemade bread and pasta. The bread was from a kit, so it was crazy easy. The pasta wasn’t bad at all either. I definitely didn’t roll it out thin enough, so the noodles were kind of huge, but practice makes perfect I guess.

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The sauce was excellent! The marinara touch must run in the family!!

It was a great (and filling) weekend which was a nice break in between massive snow storms and other winter dreariness.