Monday, August 29, 2011

Bridal Shower!

What a spread!

Tea party time!

The ladies working hard on a game!

Randi really made them work hard - look at the diligence!

My college roomies!
I was lucky enough to be thrown a wonderful bridal shower by my matron of honor, Randi. She opened up her house (one weekend after her son's first birthday party, to boot) and put on one heck of a party. While the pictures don't nearly do it justice, they do give an idea of all the lovely touches she added to the party. She had balloons, delicious food, crepe paper, and tea. Oh, and don't forget her signature drink - champagne, Chambord and a sugar cube - delicious! I had a wonderful time and felt absolutely spoiled the whole party long. She's an amazing hostess with a real talent for entertaining. I couldn't ask for a better Matron :)
More pics here!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The time is getting closer...

I must admit, I've been awakened the last few nights by some pretty crazy thunderstorms. I've then proceeded to make a laundry list in my mind of all the things that need to be done before the wedding. I've then tossed and turned and thought about all these things incessantly, ending up with a bit of insomnia for a few hours. Ugh, what a silly way to deal with things! So, I've decided to keep a pen and paper next to my bed, so each time I wake up, I can make some notes and (hopefully) fall right back asleep! Actually, the wedding isn't really the thing that's stressing me out. It's the whole "wow! I have so much to do!" thoughts that stress me out. You see, while we're planning this wedding, I am also training for the Philly marathon in November. I realize this sounds a bit crazy (I even think that myself sometimes), but my thought process is that by having a goal, and training for a marathon, I have no excuse not to run, helping me to manage my stress levels when things get a bit crazy. Right? Right. Haha! Both Alex and I are also actively looking for jobs, hopefully somewhat permanent positions, in other US cities (right now, Boston and the Bay, CA). So, about 10 days before the wedding, I have a job interview in Boston. That should be fun! And then sometime in November, I'll be making a trip west. Add to the job interviews crazy long experiments, papers to write, and literature to keep up on (my regular job) and things can get a whole lot of overwhelming really fast! I have to say that I'm so grateful to have the friends and family I do (yes, I'm talking to YOU!) because so many people have offered to help with anything, which has been so awesome. And I have to say, things aren't all stress and insomnia. Alex and I are so thrilled to open our RSVPs. We open them together, and somewhat savor it. It's so much fun to think of all the people we will see at our wedding, all the people taking time out of their busy lives to spend the day with us! It's going to be so much fun! So, for now, I'm making lists, checking things off, and thinking about what a great day our wedding will be!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Camping out Update!

The new tent is almost as big as our little backyard!

Alex is getting excited about the camping honeymoon!
We've been diligently preparing for our camping adventure for the honeymoon, along with preparing for the actual wedding. We recently purchased a new tent, and Alex was really excited to put it up in the backyard. We figured out how to put it up, and opened all the "windows" and "doors" (can you even call them that? Haha!). It reminded me of being a little kid, setting up the tent in the backyard, and thinking that I would spend the night back there. Then I realized there was no TV or snacks, and the ground is actually pretty hard, so I headed back into the house with my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping back, defeated. Hopefully, this won't happen when we're in Yosemite!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Learning to Camp/Backpack!

Our little campsite in the Wilds of Pennsylvania!

A little creek (or "crick", as my Mom would call it!)

Heading out!

The pack looks bigger than me, doesn't it?

A butterfly wing we found.

Since we're planning on doing some hiking and backpacking for the honeymoon, we decided that we should get out and get camping, especially since I have never backpacked before. The last time I can remember camping was a little bit of car camping sometime in college. Nothing too crazy. Turns out I am marrying the crazy camping guy :) Alex grew up in the Boy Scouts and he avidly camped and hiked and mountain biked growing up. Boy, do I have a lot to learn! You might wonder why, when we've been dating since 2006, we haven't ever been camping together? I asked myself the same thing! I think the biggest reason is that we don't have a car. And, living in a city, it's a bit hard to access the wide open spaces to camp in. Most times when we rent a car, it turns into a trip to all the necessary places: Target, Wal-mart, and the really nice movie theatres in the suburbs! It also turns out that, while Colorado and California have lots of wide open spaces and National Forests, Pennsylvania has lots of "State Game Lands", which are not allowed to be used for camping. So, we ended up driving up to North Central Pennsylvania (they literally call it "The Wilds"!) and we set out to find a place to backpack and camp for the night. Turns out, we did everything wrong! Whoops! We started out hiking up a hill pretty close to dusk. Our maps said there was lots of streams where we were headed, so that looked like a nice place to head to. Well, the path that we took was steep! Wowee! We both remarked how we thought that Pennsylvania had little hills, not real mountains (since the elevations in Pennsylvania are at least 1/4th of the elevations of the mountains in California and Colorado), but it turns out the mountains here are just as steep! We ended up hiking up nearly 1000 vertical feet, looking for a stream (and finding some bear scat along the way - eek!) and weirdly enough, no water. In the meantime, I was struggling with my pack, having a hard time balancing and getting my legs to carry me and the pack up the hill. Alex came over to me at one point and helped me rebalance things out a bit. Turns out my pack was quite heavy, so we ended up switching packs, which helped out a lot. We ended up descending the mountain we had just climbed and finally found a little creek to camp by, which was lovely. We made it there just in time to start up the stove, make some dinner and get into the tent and try to sleep. Turns out, I can't sleep in the Wilds of Pennsylvania. Every twig snap, every leaf rustle had me thinking, "What was that??!!" I imagined all kinds of wild animals, even at one point thinking, "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!" until I feel into a fitful few hours of sleep. I was the happiest person to see that sun come up! We hiked out along a nicer path (thankfully, no hills!) and we took a nice hike that day, after ditching the packs in the car. I must say, it was an adventure and we both had a lot of fun. The best thing? We learned a lot, and are hopefully on our way to being prepared for our trip to Yosemite!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Invitations are Mailed!

We had a little snafu with the envelopes for the invitations, but we persevered and got them in the mail today! It was a fun little adventure at the main post office here in Philadelphia to stamp every one. And then, of course, I forgot a pen, so I couldn't mark off my list to make sure we had mailed all the invitations that we had intended. Whoops! We ended up putting them back into alphabetical order and going through the list one by one. Turns out, I had lost an invite along the way, another whoops! It was the invitation for my Matron of Honor, Randi and her husband, so I'm sorry, Randi, but your invitation might be a little late :) Good thing she's already aware that she's invited! Haha! The other bummer was that Alex had just had an eye appointment, so his eyes had been dilated and he had to wear those crazy sunglasses. Poor guy still helped me out, though, attempting to read the names off and putting the stamps on straight! Mass mailings are always an adventure, and it reminded us of our days in high school and college, trying to stuff mailers for fundraising or a job. Well, I guess there's no turning back now, and it's less than two months to go!