I love my new smartphone. I finally ditched blackberry. My phone stopped working properly. When I went to the Sprint store, they had nothing for me.
The newest available blackberry was the one I already own. I thought maybe I’d want the new Samsung galaxy s3, but I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade.
That’s how I knew it was time to consider moving on. I’ve been a Sprint customer for 15 years, which is a lot when I’m only 28. My dad put me on his plan when I started at a middle school that was in downtown Chicago.
Over the years, I’ve considered getting on my own plan. I have brand loyalty like a motherf-er though, and Sprint is just more affordable with a family plan.
It just so happens I’m also a sucker for effective marketing. After an hour in that store, plus all the commercials I’ve been subject to, and it was a done deal. The new galaxy would be mine.
But it wasn’t going to be mine at Sprint. Luckily, ah-hah, I had a plan b. I called the husband and my dad for a quick consultation. Well really it was me saying, “this is my plan. Veto it or get out of my way.” Is it nweird that both the husbandand my dad have veto power over major and semi-major decisions?
In Illinois, I’m my husbands property. The legislature has never gotten around to changing that law, at least that’s what the husband says. And I’m a daddy’s girl. So I do what I want, unless one of them think it’s a bad idea.
Both men heard my idea. Neither one vetoed it. So off to the AT&T store I went. I didn’t go to get my own plan. I went to join the husband’s plan. I just truly prefer the affordability of a family plan.
The husband and my dad gathered the info I needed for AT&T to”port my phone number” or whatever that means. When it was time to get the information from my dad, we totally had a moment.
He asked me was I sure I was ready to leave his plan. He told me he’d miss me. It was the kind of conversation my dad and I never have. We’re not very emotionally expressive people. I felt like we were having the talk we should’ve had on my wedding day while making that long ass walk from the second floor of the Patrick Haley Mansion to get me does to the altar.
The husband, who is very mature and emotionally expressive, had a chuckle at my dad’s and my expense. But however it happened, this daddy’s girl and her dad finally had the goodbye chat.
And I have the new awesome Samsung phone from the commercials.
And I have AT&T service which is way better than Sprint almost every where I need it.
And I’m one tiny step closer to being the emotionally mature adult the husband
needs wants me to be.
At the end of this month, the husband and I are going to Virginia for one of his cousin’s wedding. With all the money we’ve been watching closely and planning we’ve been doing for his CD release party, there really haven’t been funds or time for travel. We went to Wisconsin in May or June, but that was months ago. At this rate, we’ll be living in London before we start checking more countries off our list. But at least we’ll hit up Virginia.
I wish we had time for a longer trip so we could do DC and Maryland too, but we just don’t have the time. We will be in Williamsburg, I think. It’s a city with a rich culture, most of which seem to include the word plantation, but I think it should be fun nonetheless.
It’s only a 42 minute drive from the campus of Hampton University. One of the girls I mentor just started school there. Perhaps I should go visit her. I’ve never seen Hampton’s campus, and I’ve heard it’s beautiful. Plus, I can see more of Virginia if I do so. We’ll see though. I don’t want to impose on her, and I’m sure there will be plenty of wedding weekend activities to do.
The husband and I like to take in the local food that an area is known for, and I hope Virginia will be no exception. Based on a quick internet search, in Virginia I should be trying to have seafood (especially crabs), peanuts (thank God no allergies), award-winning wine, and locally grown produce.
Another quick internet search tells me the best Farmer’s Market in Williamsburg is on Saturdays. We won’t be there early enough on Saturday to partake. Hopefully the family we’re staying with went to the grocery store…
The plan is to do another post after we get back with amazing pictures of the wedding and Virginia.
Anything I should know about Williamsburg before I get there?
Do you like chocolate? I happen to love chocolate. When I got a sweet tooth last Sunday night after making dinner for the husband and his parents, I decided to make a chocolate cake. I figured it would be a good time to use another recipe from my Bon Appétit cookbook for my cooking blog, and I always make cookies, so I wanted to make something different.
The last time I attempted a cake, it was for the husband’s birthday in 2011. I don’t think he even knows I tried to make this cake because it ended so horrible. The inside was raw, the outside got overcooked, it was just atrocious. I dropped that crap in the garbage and headed to the grocery store to buy a cake baked by someone who knew what they were doing.
Back to the evil ass chocolate cake. I was flipping through recipes and saw that everything I wanted to bake needed eggs. We were out of eggs, but the husband was nice enough to run out at like 10 pm to go buy eggs for me to bake. I settle on the chocolate cake recipe and right when the husband got back with the eggs, I realized this recipe didn’t even need eggs. I figured since I’m confessing things, now would be a good time to apologize for the errand request that was completely unwarranted. Sorry husband.
Now that I’m done with the spouse confessional part of this blog post, let me say that the eggs were actually quite useful in the recipe. I made up the batter and threw in one egg to make it more moist. You know how some in-a-box brownie recipes give you the option to use 2 or 3 eggs depending on your moistness preference? I know baking is so precise, but I figured it might work the same way. I have already ruined several cakes over the years, so I was no longer afraid of the shame.
It turned out that the evil ass chocolate cake was super delicious! The recipe called for a three layer round cake, but I don’t have any round cake pans. Instead, I made 12 cupcakes and a sheet cake I cut in half a turned into a two layer cake. There was a thin slice of cake left over after I made the layer cake, so I put some super delicious frosting on it and the husband and I had a tasty late night snack.
I noticed that the cake was a bit crunchy right on the edge. I figured the cooking time must’ve been off when I converted it to cupcakes. I intended to take the cupcakes to my parents’ house for Labor Day the next day, but didn’t want to take over-cooked cupcakes if they would all be a little crispy on the edges. Who wants crispy cupcakes? No one, that’s who.
Those evil ass cupcakes still got packed up in an airtight container and taken to my parents’ house on Monday. I warned everyone that the inside would taste super delicious, but the outside may or may not have some crunch. My daddy cracked jokes and no one touched the cupcakes. After dinner, my brave uncle decided he’d try one. The only other dessert was store-bough apple pie, and he didn’t want any of that.
He grabbed a cupcake and I left the room. When I came right back, he was finishing the cupcake and told me it was really good and I was a better baker than I thought I was. I walked over to the container to grab a cupcake for myself and saw that in that short time period, he had actually inhaled two cupcakes and I saw him finishing the second one. I figured they really must taste good. I took a bite and they were so moist and tasty, not at all crispy.
I realized they tasted like Hostess cupcakes, except without that extra ingredient that tastes like it could survive longer than humans could. Just sweet home-made goodness. I let my mom have a bite and she loved it too. I was so proud of myself. I figured the frosting and the air-tight container had something to do with softening the cupcakes. They were a hit and they didn’t make it til the end of the night. No leftovers is always a good sign.
I went home proud of my cupcake adventures, and glad I had a whole 9 square inch layer cake to eat. And eat it I did. The husband and I have eaten 1-3 servings of chocolate cake every day this week. The cake was so good. And it keeps so well. We go through a lot of milk, but we used even more this week with the super delicious cake.
What was the result of the super delicious cake? We’ve been so sluggish. We aren’t eating balanced meals, we’re just eating cake and things-that-taste-good-right-before-cake. We sleep more. We exercise less. It’s been such a struggle to get through my exercises and I’ve been half-assing the cardio. Friday I decided the cake was an evil ass cake and had to go.
We still had a good 3″ of cake left, but it had to go. I threw it out. The husband hates wasting food, but I had to do it. That cake was taking over our lives. It’s not like when I make cookies. I cut the recipe down and only make like 12 cookies. It wasn’t so easy to cut down the cake recipe, so I made the whole thing. And our diet and exercise plan fell off a cliff. So now I know to just make the entire batter into cupcakes and leave that shit at my parents’ house. Maybe we’ll keep six cupcakes for our house.
Knowing I have an amazing chocolate cake recipe feels good to my soul because I loves me some chocolate. But that evil ass cake isn’t welcome in my house for at least three more months from now. I’m thinking I’ll make some more maybe for Christmas, and not a day sooner.
Do you know any good evil ass recipes? I’d love a great pie recipe!
I don’t really remember what free time is anymore. Technically, free time is time spent doing nothing when I am avoiding other responsibilities. There’s always something waiting for my free hands. I wonder if I will ever reach the end of my to do list. I likely never will, but I have decided I will be okay with that and just make the most of the time I do have.
The husband and I had quite the busy weekend with only stolen moments of free time. He had four gigs, our niece spent the entire weekend with us, one of my friends threw a birthday party for her twins, and we had our fantasy football draft. I have to tell you, I am not a person who can wake up at 8 am, stay out all day visiting places that are 30-50 miles apart, and then finally get home around 2 am. And then you want me to do it again the next day? Shit, I was so wore out this weekend.
I finally lost steam late Saturday night and had to beg off the husband’s gig that night. I stayed at home with our niece and played a bit of the Sims 3 on the PS3 before going to bed. The weekend did have some pretty good highlights. The niece and I made home-made pancakes using a recipe from my favorite cookbook. If I end up doing that cooking blog, this recipe will be the first one I blog about.
Another highlight is that I finally washed clothes. How damn domestic can I be that a highlight of my weekend is that I washed clothes? Turns out I actually kind of like washing clothes. Put it on the shit-I-shouldn’t-like-but-do list along with making spreadsheets, feeding everyone asparagus, and weighing myself daily.
The pinnacle of the weekend was the fantasy football draft. This league is pretty serious for me. The team includes lots of the husband’s friends. Friends like groomsmen and wedding guests. Friends who have been around and will be around for years. So the bragging rights and shit talking that come with this draft is a huge deal. The husband isn’t really a football person, but I am. So when this draft went down, I felt like I had to represent for our whole household. The husband couldn’t even do the draft because he had a gig, so his whole team was on autopick.
Am I taking this fantasy football team too serious? Definitely. But when I am whooping ass and taking names, the husband will be keeping count so he can bring it up with his friends for the next 50 years. This fantasy league is really more of a long-term investment in my marriage, you see. And in the far-fetched chance that I don’t come out on top, I can just claim I’m a girl and out-matched, drop my handkerchief on the ground, and pout or faint or something.
After the weekend passed successfully, I was proud to report that the house was still clean and the pets were still alive. Unfortunately, we were grocery-less, baked goods-less, out of washing detergent, the cats were in a fight, and I had only worked out twice. I did learn a lesson about being busy and staying productive. They are not even close to the same thing. don’t get so busy that you don’t handle your business. Next time a weekend like this rolls around, which is just next weekend (Labor Day), I will be more prepared. It’s hard being both busy and productive. Okay, I’ll stop whining now.
How was your weekend?
Over the years, I have occasionally felt like stopping what I was doing, standing up to gain all attention in the room, and yelling out, “I’m not your f-ing secretary!” If that seems dramatic… well it is, but I can be a dramatic person, and dammit, that’s how I feel.
I can think of a few notable moments where I’ve felt like the secretary.
1) Almost anytime my mom asks me to do something. My mother has what I call “Assistant Syndrome.” She treats most people like they are her assistant, there to do her bidding for things she doesn’t have the time or desire to do. She’s not lazy by any means. My mother is one of the most busy people I know. She would just prefer to keep things from falling through the cracks by giving everyone she’s ever met a to do list. Why learn how to work iTunes when your daughter and son can just load up your music for you? Sounds like a menial job given to an overworked assistant in some summer Primetime TV hit, right?
2) When the husband asks me to do things he should have taken care of himself. We’re working on getting his website up and running now so it will be fully operational by the time of his official CD release party. Helping him is something I like to do, but occasionally he slips into, “why-should-I-even-try-to-do-it-when-I-can-just-ask-the-wife-who-can-do-it-quicker-and-I’m-sure-she-won’t-mind” territory. I have to let him know that it’s not my job to fix the type in the bio I put on his website. Why isn’t it my job? I copied and pasted the bio from his MySpace page, which means the typo is in two places and has been there for years. Also, I’m in the middle of my annual review and don’t have the time to play around with his website fixing mistakes I didn’t make. How long would it take to fix that typo? I don’t know because I’ll be getting my fake work done instead of playing secretary.
3) My brother used to treat me like a secretary when we were younger. Actually, he treated me more like a housewife. I was a sandwich making, clothes ironing, put-this-load-of-clothes-into-the-dryer fool. I don’t really feel like a fool for doing it. Taking care of my brother gave me an appreciation for taking care of men, which in turn gives the husband an appreciation for me taking care of him (he loves my sandwiches). There were moments where it was quite obvious that it was work my brother should have been doing, but why do it when I was there? Starting to see a theme here?
4) Lastly, I really feel like a secretary at work. There are people whose job titles is secretary (or administrative assistant or whatever) who do real secretary work. But they are only in the building 9-5 on Monday through Friday. When they are not here, my office gets treated like an AT&T switchboard. If you want to reach a certain person, why not just call their line? When you call our phone, you are offered a directory to reach people, but I guess that’s too much work. And some people in different departments tend to think that paperwork filing is something we do for everyone. I have had to let more than one person know that it is not my job to retrieve, file, fax, or e-mail paperwork for them. When it’s an occasional request to help someone, I don’t mind. But when it’s every shift, that’s not okay.
As a general rule, I’ll help people out when I know they need it. But when I am treated like a viable replacement for someone’s own work, that’s when I start feeling dramatic and in need of making an announcement to the whole room. I would get strange stares, sure. But it would make me feel better.
Why not just say no when people ask me for help? Believe me I do. I say yes more than no. My rule is to be honest. If they ask, “do you mind helping?”, my answer is usually, “yes, I mind, but I’ll do it anyway since you asked.” If they don’t even ask, but just assign work (I”m looking at you, husband), I usually say no and go back to what I was doing. In all honesty, I don’t mind doing secretary work when I know it’s appreciated. I was just feeling a little vent-y.
After my no good, extra crappy, waste-of-time day, I knew sticking my head in the sand wouldn’t fix the problem. But that’s what I did anyway.
Luckily, I have both a daddy and a husband who sprung into action. My daddy got his van fixed while the husband and I were in Kansas City. And while I’m in the middle of working three nights in a row, the husband is getting all the zillion stickers one’s car needs to be driven around Chicago.
But my beloved 2002 Honda CR-V is going bye-bye. My daddy says there’s a chance he can get someone to fix it without us paying thousands of dollars, but I know better than to get my hopes up. I’m just thinking if I can drive the van until we get out of here and to NYC, it will be fine. We won’t need two cars in NYC. Hell, we’ll barely need one car there.
It’s going to be weird to suddenly be driving a different car all the time. I know I’m 27, and some people are on car #3 or even #4 at this point. But this is the only car I’ve ever driven. I feel like I’m losing a friend.
I admit I’m being dramatic, but it’s still sad to me. Everyone has lost something they felt a bit too strongly about losing. It happens.
So now I have to clean out my car, pack it away and find somewhere else to keep it. My yoga bag, my spare pair of heels, etc.
Starting sometime next week, I’ll stop being dramatic. Or maybe the week after that.
Can you be one of the ladies who lunch if you don’t fit the stereotypical criteria?
When I was unemployed and had time for lunch, I couldn’t really afford it. And now that I’m employed, I barely have the time.
But yet I still “lunch.” I have a friend I met through blogging about weddings (go Weddingbee!) who I have lunch with occasionally. We had lunch yesterday.
I also had lunch with my mother yesterday. I had lunch twice in one day like it was my honeymoon. Eating multiples of one meal is the ultimate in decadence for me.
In between lunch with my blog friend and lunch with my mother, I jump started the process of changing my name. Social Security office at lunch time, what was I thinking?
So, I squeezed three lunchtime activities into just under three hours. I know I can’t do it everyday, but was one day’s work enough to make me one of the ladies who lunch?
Eh, probably not, but it was a fun afternoon spent in post-wedding la la land where everyone is a newlywed or living vicariously. It’s a fun place to be. How long is one a newlywed? I think I’ll be one until one of my girlfriends gets married. May be 3 months, may be 3 years. We’ll see!
Logical normal me is excited about my upcoming wedding. I’m marrying a man who I love more than I ever thought possible. I will be wearing a beautiful dress and will be surrounded by hundreds of people that love me and the fiancé.
But I am not logical normal me right now. I’m apathetic bitter me. And apathetic bitter me is not looking forward to this wedding. Every fucking time I turn around, someone else gets added to the guest list. I wanted 75 people at this wedding. There will be 288. Three days ago it was 286, but now it’s 288.
The fiancé and I had a long talk the other day where I finally got out all my frustration about this guest list and his complicity in it. The last week or so has been an exercise in people asking my opinion about things I don’t care about and then telling me my opinion on things I do care about doesn’t matter.
I can’t take this shit no mo!
At the height of my frustration, my mother tells me the last two people to get added to the guest list are the pastor and first lady of the church at which my brother is the youth pastor.
A couple things about that: 1) This man invited himself to my wedding. 2) I’ve never met him or seen a picture of him and wouldn’t know him if I saw him in the street. 3) My brother and I are not close or even distant. We have no relationship to speak of so this guy coming to support my brother for me is a stretch by any means. 4) My mother is a pushover (only when it comes to this wedding) and this is how the last 20 out of 30 people got added to this list.
So now when my father says that I’m so lucky that so many people love me and the fiancé and want to be there to share our big day, I say bullshit. There are people coming I don’t even fucking know.
My nightmare about my wedding is going to be my actual wedding. Hundreds of people eye-balling me expectantly, me searching the crowd, trying to find even one face I know well and can look to for comfort.
But, it’s going to be okay. The fiancé came up with a plan. He got me to calm down and stop freaking out. Think Runaway Bride, and maybe you’ll figure out his suggestion to me. I need to mull over it for a couple more days, but I think it will work.
Aside from that rant, I’ve been feeling considerably better about this wedding since his suggestion. I no longer feel like he’s the enemy (along with my parents), now I kind of feel like he’s my hero.
There wasn’t much I knew I wanted my wedding to be as a little girl. I knew I didn’t want to wear white. I knew I wanted it relatively small (no more than 100). And I knew I wanted lots of flowers everywhere. I thought those were simple requests that would be easy to fulfill. Silly me.
Ever since we first discussed getting married during the Super Bowl in 2011, the fiancé and I have pretty much been moving towards our wedding, which is the second weekend of next month.
I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten married in a wedding ceremony that was way more extravagant and large than you’d prefer, but I’m kind of freaking out. If I had my way, we would have gotten married in a tiny tiny ceremony at my church on a Wednesday afternoon.
The only wedding accoutrement would be a really pretty dress for me, and flowers, lots of flowers. Then we’d throw a big party a week or so later and invite all the friends and family to join us in merriment. I knew this would never happen, but I can dream.
When we renew our vows in 10-15 years, we’ll do it that way.
But that’s not my reality. In my reality, my wedding is less than a month away. It’s less than 4 weeks away. I still have a ton to do.
I just want to bury my head in the sand and emerge married to a man who’s perfect for me. Why can’t that be the case.
I will be a big girl. I will wear a beautiful dress I love with all my heart that I may not fit into. I will march down the aisle at my non-church wedding venue, with hundreds of eyes staring at me.
Ugh, I try not to think about the eyes. I still have war flashbacks from entering both my engagement party and bridal shower late to the expectant stares of all the guests. I guess it was good practice for the wedding.
They’ll all be staring, but at least at the wedding, they only expect me to walk. At the other events, I felt as if I should’ve prepared a song and dance…
The only thing I’m not freaking out about is becoming a Mrs. I can’t wait to change my name. I can’t wait to wear my non-traditional wedding band. I can’t wait to use the word husband.
And I really can’t wait to wake up the day after the wedding to find that nothing at all has changed in our relationship. Fiancé, you’re the one thing about all of this I’m not freaking out about. And you can comment on this post if you like, I swear it’s not lame. It would be sweet.
I mentioned in my last post about how I had a harrowing experience with my wedding dress. I’m here to tell you the story. Just let me turn off the lights and shine a flashlight up under my face as if I were telling a Goosebumps tale.
I wasn’t kidding when I said I was picking health over beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be hot even if I lose 15 pounds (possible overconfidence alert!), I just won’t be as thick. I think both the fiancé and I can live with that. So yes, I picked health over beauty, but I also picked vanity over beauty.
How can vanity and beauty collide and not be on the same side? Well, go order a wedding dress, gain 10 pounds, try on that dress, and you’ll know the answer.
My wedding dress is beautiful. My grandmother will kill me for doing this, but I don’t care. Here it is.
Isn’t it lovely? The best part about it is that it isn’t white. I didn’t feel like me and a bride in the all-white dresses. But in this beauty? Oh yeah, I was feeling it.
My mother and I went to pick up me dress right before Christmas. We had ordered the size that fit my boob, not my ass, because it is an A-line ball gown and I figured we’d be fine. Wrong!
After I gained some weight, things… fit differently.
I get into the backroom with my wedding dress consultant. She has me step into the dress, then she pulls it up and starts putting it together.
There are these things kind of like the back of a bra that go across my back and hold the dress into place. There were two of them. She got those hooked, but nearly knocked me off my feet multiple times trying to get it.
When she went for the zipper, things only got worse. It was literally my worst nightmare concerning this wedding. The dress wouldn’t zip up. She said it almost zipped and called another consultant back to help. One woman held the dress together while the other pulled. After several painful tugs, they got it zipped.
But wait, there’s more! The dress has buttons. I hate those stupid little buttons that you need a special hook to even get all buttoned up. They couldn’t get those either. They had to do the one-hold-one-fasten thing again. Then, they had to adjust my back fat so I didn’t have “back-ass” coming out of the top of my dress. She actually said that. Back Ass.
After what felt like hours, I emerged from the room and got a look in the mirror. I couldn’t breathe, but I looked amazing! Even with all the bits of fat poking out everywhere, it looked great. I had my mother take a picture of me and I didn’t have too much side boob or Oprah arm going on, thank God!
Then my mother wanted me to walk, sit, stand, and dance in the dress to see how it worked for the wedding day. Did I mention I couldn’t really breathe very well in this tight dress? I did learn the importance of those stretchy bra strap things though. That dress doesn’t move up or down, it stays right in place.
The consultant then suggested we take the dress out a bit throughout the bodice. My mother refused. She said all I had to do was a bit of yoga and the dress would fit fine. After a brief look of horror passed over the consultant’s face, she agreed. Well, half-agreed. She suggested we make an appointment for Jan 14th. She said if I fit the dress, then they’d just steam it. And if not, then we still had time to get alterations done.
After that whole ordeal, I left with lots of pressure to lose weight (for the first time in my whole entire life!), bruise ribs (that dress was tight, and I was dancing), and a slightly deflated mood.
I’ve been having trouble finding the motivation to get on the health bandwagon. I didn’t eat healthier during the holidays, and didn’t get back to yoga til the new year. But I’m crossing my fingers that what’s left of my 20s provides the metabolism to kick start the weight loss in just 10 days. Wishful thinking?
With all the posts I wrote about the holidays I wrote in the days leading up the the holidays, it only makes sense that I would write a post now that that the holidays are past. Well, they were pretty great.
The whole great slight altruistic idea I had would’ve been great, if only we had more time to make it happen. When December 22nd rolled around and we realized we’d never made moves to get anyone gifts, we let go of an idea that we didn’t have time for anymore.
We set a time to go shopping on Christmas Eve. I feel like hesitant, reckless, or bad drivers shouldn’t be out in the streets when there are so many people around. The fiancé falls into one of those categories. I won’t say which one. But there we were, and we managed to get all our shopping done in just over 3 hours because we rock.
We went to my parents’ house to wrap gifts and hang out a bit. Of course, they had gifts for me to wrap. My daddy made the fiancé some sort of drink that knocked him on his ass. Suffice it to say, it was a while before we headed to his parents’ house.
We got there at just the right time though, shortly before his mother arrived. Once our nieces got into their pajamas, we gathered his family so they could open their gifts. We would be at my parents’ on Christmas Day, and I wanted to get pics of them opening their gifts.
We fell asleep, as we’re apt to do, and we ended up finally back at the apartment by 3 am. We woke up only 3 hrs later so we could exchange gifts and still get ready to be at church by 8 am. The fiancé bought be lovely gifts. He got me two new charms for my charm bracelet. He first bought me the bracelet for Christmas last year. He’s been filling it up slowly but surely. He also got me 2 seasons of Leverage on DVD. Such an enabler, lol.
We went to church and then to my parents’ house. I slept a lot at my parents’ house, and then woke up so the fiancé could drive me to work. They made me a plate of the dinner I’d missed and I enjoyed that at work. Three words: Sweet potato cheesecake. It’s a real thing. It’s really delicious and it’s my new favorite.
For New Year’s Eve, we went out with the couple who’s wedding we met at. We went to Quartino’s, which is where we spent Valentine’s Day last year. We brought in the new year with a prosecco toast (the Italian’s answer to champagne). It was a lot of fun. In order to spend less at the restaurant, we had drinks and hot wings with my special sauce before hand at our apartment.
We were gonna go dancing after, but we couldn’t find parking, and the more demanding half of each of the couples, which may or may not have included me, just wanted to go home. We went back to the apartment and chatted for a bit. The husband of the couple we were with insisted on trying to play with our cat Belle. Fifteen frustrated minutes later, he finally believed me when I said she’s not like other cats.
On New Year’s Day, we went to my parents’ house. We normally have a pretty amazing seafood etc. feast that day, but mostly it’s a lowkey event. Not this year. We had all our close family who lives in town. Two sets of family friends (who are from the same family), the fiancé’s family, and a friend of my brother’s. There were 22 people there in total, which is a lot for one of my family’s gatherings.
The menu was amazing. The sweet potato cheesecake reappeared, along with crab legs as large as your arm, gumbo, german chocolate cake, lobster tails, fettucine alfredo, jumbo shrimp, black eyed peas, and much much more. The best part is that there was enough for everyone. That’s right, that means more than 20 lobster tails. We were all laid out half sleep after eating.
When we finally got around to dessert, we were barely able to make room. I was so happy I didn’t have to work, so I really got to just relax and enjoy the time with my families. How was your holidays?
I don’t know how you brought in the New Year, but I hope it was fantastic! Whether you watched the ball drop in your PJs, took in a comedy show, or danced the night away with someone you kissed at midnight, I hope your holiday was amazing.
Since I’m writing this post in advance, I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure I enjoyed this holiday.
I imagine the kiss I shared with the fiancé at midnight was as magical and thrilling as the first kiss we shared in July 2010.
I know the New Year’s Day meal we’ll have with my family later will really be spectacular. We have a seafood feast on new year’s and I can’t wait.
I hope this holiday season has been great for you. I hope you have great resolutions going into the new year. And I really really really hope you finish all the egg nog in your refrigerator before it expires.
Christmas for me in Chicago has looked increasingly different as the years have gone by. When I was a child, the chances of a white Christmas were near certain. Somewhere around high school, about ten years ago, it became less likely. Anyone who doubts global warming ought to move to Chicago for the winter. There are freezing cold days, but those are waaaay fewer than the days where we say, “why the hell does it feel so not cold?”
Case in point: It snowed on Monday. They were big beautiful snowflakes, the type you can only get when the temperature is right around 30°F. I sat at work that night watching in joy, thinking it might be our first real snow. In Chicago, no such luck. The snow was gone two hours later. No-sign-of-it-ever-existing gone. It looked like it had been drizzling outside.
I want snow!! Is that so much to ask? If I have to freeze my ass off, I should get snow. If I have to spend all these nights at work instead of snuggling in bed with the fiancé, I should at least get to look out the windows at beautiful snow. If I have to choose between bulky sweaters with a God-awful bulky coat or a cute coat with too-thin clothes, I should at least get snow.
I miss driving through the streets of my city starting from Thanksgiving on, seeing Christmas lights, snowflakes falling, and listening to Christmas music. I’ve still got the music, but not much else. Too warm for snow, too recession for lights.
I will be okay though because I still have my imagination. I’m thinking of al the great things I can do in the snow whenever it arrives (hopefully not in blizzard form like last winter).
1)Make a snowman with my new nieces (they’re not new to the world, just to me; they’re 5).
2)Buy even more scarves than I already own just to make sure I have one that matches every outfit.
3)Play in the snow without a hat because my hair is locked and won’t get ruined by getting wet.
4)Get frisky with the fiancé because he’ll keep me warm.
5)Drive down quiet streets in the morning when people are hesitant to go out into the fresh snow.
The possibilities are endless, if the damn snow would just come on already!
I had my bridesmaids over last night. These are ladies I’ve been friends with for years, at least a decade with each and two decades with one. We all grew up in the same church, but that has no bearing on how much fun we have together. And between the 132 of us (that’s only a slight exaggeration, my wedding party is huge), we have a huge range of make-up capabilities.
I have a friend who sells Mary Kay, so I had her come over and do a skin care party for my girls. This is the first of three parties. Next is makeup and then finally a color palette especially designed for each of us for the wedding day. It’s the like the grown-up version of playing dress up. But this post isn’t about make-up, it’s about my ladies eating me out of house and home.
When they walked in, they were discussing the importance of fitting into the bridesmaid dresses and being more healthy in general. I had cooked a really delicious dinner for the fiancé, like really delicious. I made chicken drumsticks as if they were hot wings. I deep fried them, then slathered them in a fantastic sauce.
I need to talk about this sauce and why it was so irresistible. It had BBQ sauce, hot sauce, honey, honey mustard, red cider vinegar, and Corona beer. At first, they decided to not gorge on fried food. Three of them shared one drumstick. Then about 3 hours later, there were only 3 drumsticks left.
In between that time, we decided to order spinach pizza. Thin crust pizza with spinach was about as healthy as we could go. I figured since they were all dieting, we’d order a large and there’d be some leftover for me to have lunch the next day. They ate the entire pizza.
I also had a lot of juice in the house. Originally, they were against juice because it has too many calories. But uh…. yeah the juice was all gone when they left too.
My girls are some of my favorite people in the world. And it’s really no trouble to replace everything they ate and drank. But it’s just crazy because I was under the impression they were dieting.
Diet my ass.
When I was little, if I got sick, I would curl up into a little ball and let the sickness take over me. I wouldn’t eat or drink anything. I didn’t want to do anything except snuggle under the covers until the bacteria or virus had run it’s course. Luckily, I didn’t grow up in pre-penicillin days because that approach to healthcare surely would have had me taken out by some sort of pox by now.
But yet I made it through. I passed by an age where I had to leave my parents’ house. Well, actually I just went to college, then med school, then came home after med school, but left again after I got engaged. Long, stupid story. Just know that I live not in my parents’ house.
They always warned me that as an adult, I’d have no one to force me to take pills and drink orange juice and get better. I’d have to do it myself. Missing a day of school as a 5th grader was not the same as missing a day of work as a grown-up. I dismissed their warnings as a child. I did it because I was sick, I couldn’t care less, and I figured I’d be married as an adult and would have a husband to take care of me.
Fast forward 15 years and I’m sick again. I have to care because I have to work. Both of my Typhoid Mary impersonating parents were sick this week and their got me sick. I’ve been popping vitamin C everyday, but they had some strong shit going on in their nasal cavities. I came home from work yesterday with a terrible feeling in my throat. I took 2 Nyquil hoping that would work.
I woke up feeling even worse. I tried to take a Dayquil, but my throat was so swollen and sore that I could barely swallow it. You know you’re sick when you try to swallow a pill, can’t get it down, accidentally gag it back up, then swallow it again. What? TMI? Sorry.
I’m not married, yet, but I do live with my fiancé. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “awwww, this is where she comes in with that ‘life is great’ sweet engaged crap again. I’m sure he took good care of her.”
You would be wrong! He works days, I work nights. On weekdays, we don’t even cross paths physically, we chat on the phone while I’m driving to home and he’s driving away from home in the morning. So while I’m sick, he’s at work. And he had some music stuff to take care of (which is a story for another post) so he drove straight to DeKalb after work. He left me to fend for myself. Not that he’s the best caretaker when he is around. He’s getting better, but he’s no nursemaid material.
So there I was, ache-y, sore throat-y, sleepy, irritable, and starving. There was no one to take care of me but me. I knew I had to get up for work. I’d never missed a day and wasn’t about to start now. So Sucked on three cough drops until my throat was numb enough to take pills. I took another Dayquil, a claritin, and some Tylenol (don’t judge me, it’s not that many pills!). I made some ramen noodles so I’d have something in my stomach.
And I dragged my sorry ass off the couch and put on clothes and barely made it to work on time. I feel like crap, I’d rather be sleep. I miss my fiancé. I wish I were in 5th grade again so my momma could bring me some chicken noodle soup and my daddy could give me orange juice to take with my pills.
But I’m not in 5th grade anymore. Turns out, I’m an adult who can take care of herself. Cough.
I already talked about the first two days of my birthday celebration. Now I’m going to continue on with the rest.
Sunday: The fiancé and I went to my church. His parents came too. It was a very good sermon and the choir sang beautifully (for the first time in my recent memory). Sunday was my pastor’s birthday, so there was a celebration after morning service. All of us October birthday people (there’s like 10 of us) sat with him at the table and we ate.
After I left that, I headed up to the north side. I was there to meet up with some women who read the wedding blog I write for, Weddingbee. We met at Panera, had lunch, and hung out a bit. One of the women had just gotten back from her honeymoon. As over this whole wedding planning thing that I feel pretty much every day now, I was still very happy to chat weddings with other brides.
After that, I met the fiancé back at our apartment and we got into one car. He drove me to dinner. I didn’t know where we were going until we arrived. He took me to my favorite steakhouse in downtown Chicago, Ruth’s Chris. I ordered, as usual, the new york strip steak. I also got the bleu cheese crust. If you like red meat, you need to try this steak!
He also had them prepare at the table before we arrived a bottle of one of my favorite wines. It’s Eroica. Chateau Ste. Michelle, the people who make my favorite Riesling and my favorite Chardonnay that I cook with. These people contribute to this Eroica wine. And it’s delicious!
After dinner, we headed back home. We walked into the apartment to yells of “Surprise!!!” There were sooo many people in my apartment. Friends of the fiancé’s, friends of mine, and my parents. There was food, drinks, and lots of orange beads. There decorated our walls and hung streamers from the ceiling. It was amazing! The fiancé pulled off an amazing surprise party. They hung out for hours and we all had a great time. It more than made up for the fact that my party on Friday got cancelled.
Monday: Even though we were up really late Sunday night, we got up early Monday morning because we took our niece and her friend to Great America. We thought Columbus Day would be the perfect day to go, everyone was off work. But we underestimated the crowds. Also, Great America closed early. We really wanted to hit some of the haunted houses after dark, but it wasn’t an option. We’ll make it happen next time.
After we left Great America, we took our niece and her friend home, then went on to the fiancé’s parents house where we watched the game. The Bears played the Lions. I love football and have a fantasy football team. I was so conflicted because my runningback was on the Lions and I needed him to win the matchup that week. So every time he got yards, I was both happy and sad. Sooo conflicted.
Tuesday: My actual birthday I expected to be more low-key because we had done so much in the days preceding it. I actually woke up before 7:00 am for the first time in a long time. Birthday excitement will do that for you. The fiancé woke up early too. He went out of our bedroom momentarily and came back with his saxophone!!! He started playing me happy birthday on his horn. That’s been one of my secret birthday dreams and he made it come true. He never plays for just me so it was extra amazing.
My mom called me and asked if I wanted to join her downtown at Flat Top Grill for lunch. I hopped on the bus and went. If you live in Chicago, you avoid driving downtown in situations where you know you have a ride back and you’ll only be there for a couple hours. Lunch was great, but I need to eat there more. I really sucked at putting together my food bowl.
After lunch, my mom dropped me off back at home just in time to meet the fiancé. We were going somewhere. He wouldn’t tell me where though. If you’ve been reading any of my posts, you can tell that I have the world’s best fiancé. He went over and beyond for my birthday. I feel like he’s trying to make up for things that have gone wrong in previous dates. He more than made up for it with this past weekend, I’ll tell you that.
We ended up having dinner at that new movie theater on Roosevelt Road. We saw The Ides of March. He had pizza and I had tenderloin sliders. The food there is surprisingly good. If you don’t mind paying extra, having dinner there and being able to take your glass of wine into the VIP seats is so wonderful.
After the movie, we went to this lovely little spot in the West Loop (I think) that I can’t actually remember the name of. It had the most wonderful hot chocolate. Seriously this hot chocolate is the best I’ve ever tasted. I also had these things they called beignets but it tasted most like french toast sticks. The food made me think of this movie I love and so I begged the fiancé to find one of the only Blockbuster stores still left in the city. And we rented…
We rented the movie, went home and watched it. The fiancé fell asleep on the movie, as usual, but we still ended the night well. Overall, this birthday goes down in history as one of the best!
I thought that my birthday was just going to be okay. Not too spectacular. I figured there would be time with the parents, the friends, and the fiancé. My expectations were set ridiculously low. I really only go all out for my birthday every other year and last year was a big birthday celebration.
My fiancé had other plans. My birthday was Tuesday, yet I celebrated it for lots and lots of days. I’m telling you, if you want a great birthday, we will figure out how to clone the fiancé, and then we’ll make it happen!
Friday: I had taken time off from work for five days starting Friday. Friday was one of my best friend’s birthday. He’s only a couple of days older than me, and we usually always celebrate at least part of our birthdays together. We were going to all get together at my apartment for drinks and maybe dinner, but those plans fell through when the fiancé got a gig unexpectedly.
Another friend of ours whose birthday was Saturday, Friday birthday friend, and I were all feeling pretty lackluster about our days. Last year had been so big and varying versions of the doldrums were getting us down. Friday birthday friend is currently (and recently) unemployed. Saturday birthday friend is a recent college graduate in a vaguely defined relationship that may or may not be going anywhere coupled with post-grad unemployment. I am suffering from an odd sensation of wanting to bury my head in the sand until after my wedding has passed.
I surprised myself when I actually wanted to go out for Friday birthday friend’s club birthday. We went to this place on West Randolph named Pasha. Sometimes it’s a tapas restaurant, but at night, it’s a dance club. The fiancé came too and we hung out. I was soooo tired from not having slept since I got off work early Friday morning. I wasn’t in the best mood. We did have a couple of drinks and hang out though, which was the important part.
Saturday: Since we called it a night pretty early the previous night (around 1:00 am), we were able to get rest and were up early enough to start our day. My whole family (old and new) had to be at the venue for my wedding for a tasting. Hors d’oeuvres, three different entrée options, three different cake options, and a dessert bar array. I was in heaven. The food was pretty tasty and we were satisfied.
Then it was off to Orland Mall where my mom and I met Saturday birthday friend. We did a bit of shopping. I got the cutest necklace. I’ve been looking for one to wear for everyday, and I like it because it makes me think of the fiancé.
This thing was regularly $69.99. I got it on an amazing sale and ended up paying less than $10.00 for it. Winning!
Then Saturday birthday friend dropped my mom and I off at my parents’ house. My father and the fiancé were there. We had a nice quiet family dinner. Short ribs, broiled catfish, greens, rice, wine, cake. It was delicious. My parents are great cooks.
I had checked a couple of my friends off the list as well as my parents. The birthday was shaping up pretty good if I do say so myself. This post is getting a little long though, so I’ll tell about the rest of the days in the next post.