Friday, May 25, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 3)

--- 1 ---
This week has been a bad one in the motivation department. I can't wait for the three-day weekend to begin. 
I'd like to high five whoever created holidays. They always seem to come at just the right time before I go insane. 
Now I am typing this at my desk in lieu of a lunch break. How do you stay motivated at your place of work? 
Can you offer me some genius suggestions? I have definitely continued to accomplish tasks on a daily basis, but 
it's been gross and annoying. I want it to be fun! WORK should = FUN (in my head).
--- 2 ---
One of my new favorite snacks is slices of provolone cheese with yellow mustard. My fiancee thinks this is 
disgusting, but I find it delectable.
--- 3 ---
Today instead of the usual lunch type foods, I will eat an entire avocado with season salt. 
Cuz my mom said I could.
--- 4 ---
Last week I did not participate in quick takes because I was frantically attempting to print out my save-the-date 
magnets for my wedding guests. I was 75% successful, thanks to my soon-to-be brother-in-law at Merino Studios.
Please check out his design work and photography. I say only 75% because my STD magnets took all the ink in his 
printer before we could print all of them; however, we got enough accomplished to call it a day, I think.  
--- 5 ---
An incredible meeting of minds happened on Saturday night when fiancee's parents had my ENTIRE family over 
for dinner. There were so many people and so much food I thought we were at a restaurant! Everyone amazed
me with their possession of personal grace and hospitality. I love my family, as well as my in-laws-to-be. The 
great thing about them all is no matter what conflicts or tragedies arise in my history with them all, I am 
continually more impressed with them each on a profound level.

--- 6 ---
Saturday morning engagement photography commenced at approximately 6 am with Scott Henderson. I want to 
recommend him to everyone. The dude is chill. He made us feel so beautiful and we had so much fun posing in 
places that reminded us of our growing love story. Jhonny was in the best of spirits and cracking his usual 
no-filter jokes, which always makes me laugh. Scott didn't seem too offended, but we're paying him so I guess he
tries to hold it in. Even though I never wanted engagement photos before, I highly recommend them to anyone. 
It is a great opportunity to get away from the craziness of life and just focus on the beauty of your surroundings, 
your special someone, and the once-in-a-lifetime nature of the phase you are walking through together. If it's too 
late for engagement photos, maybe it can be your next anniversary gift to yourself and your spouse. 
--- 7 ---
The wedding planning nightmares have begun and continued at a nice, steady pace. Usually it involves the 
wedding date coming with a glaring number of details (officiant, wedding dress, etc.) falling through all kinds of 
cracks. I have also started getting really angry at all the emails from The Knot website telling me how many days 
I have left and where I should be in the planning process. You know what? Who cares what they think. Not ME!! 
So what if we only have 6 items on our Bed Bath & Beyond registry that we just opened on Sunday evening? 
Marriage will happen anyhow. Also, HERE is where you can go if you want to learn more about us, our wedding, 
and sign our guest book.  
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, May 11, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 2)

--- 1 ---
Mariah Carey. I have loved her since age 13. I can't stop loving her. She has gone through ups and downs, publicly humiliating behavior, bizarre 80's throwback phases, terrible movies, drunken acceptance speeches, and all the rest. People say the match between her and Nick Cannon is weird, but honestly I think it's the most genuine thing she's ever done, followed closely by her role as spokeswoman of Jenny Craig... and I don't care if she does QVC commercials, I will always love her and hope the best for her, as her honey voice and coming-of-age pop music will provide the eternal backdrop for some of my dearest adolescent memories.

This week she released "The Essential Mariah Carey" which is a 2-disc compilation of her most popular and most important (if little-known) songs. All time favorite Mariah song of mine is "Close My Eyes," which I put on repeat 1,400,569,087,923,000 times in highschool. 

Also, may I add that her Christmas albums are the best of pop Christmas. No?

Am I embarrassed that this is my first quick take of the week? No. Are you? Probably.

--- 2 ---
After pulling a pin out of my toe last week, I destroyed the opposite toe on the same foot by slamming it into the wall. Just thought you might want to know that I am completely irresponsible and not to be trusted with ... feet. Toes, specifically. Watch yo self!
--- 3 ---
Legs like Carrie Underwood. That's what I'm going for. It has led me to this great, 20-minute workout that anyone can complete with zero equipment in the privacy of her own living room [or rather, in the chaos of her own living room with spectators while her fiancee watches The Voice and her dogs run all over like reindeers on coke]. All you need is a laptop or smart phone, or maybe an iPad, if you're fancy like that.

You can try it too:

This may result in some sore muscles, but definitely in feelings of self congratulation.

--- 4 ---
What are you doing for Mother's Day? I am working, so that everyone else I work with can do something either fun or necessary or mom-related. That's how it goes sometimes, so I'm happy to pay my dues. Saturday I will celebrate with my mom, sister, and family a get-together at Paladar, our favorite Latin restaurant in Annapolis. Do you have any special traditions for Mother's Day, or specific hopes for this years celebration?
--- 5 ---
Have you ever spent any time trying to figure life out?
"How many moments of my life have my eyes been wide open, but I've been rushing, racing, sleeping right through? ... Someone, wake me up... Life is not an emergency."

Last Friday I was happy yet feeling torn apart because I heard the word that more than one friend that I enjoy on a regular basis will be leaving my vicinity for some far-off dream. They'd have to leave to pursue their calling. It was happiness, but a terrible sadness too, because I'm a selfish one and I want to keep close the things that allow me to soar with joy. Goodbyes are hard, but easier if we've fully lived every moment. 

This video will celebrate the awesomeness of living life in the moment. Gratitude is key.
--- 6 ---
I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought this week about President Obama's declaration that he supports homosexual marriage. I sort of watch wide-eyed as my friends on both sides of the debate plaster their Facebook walls with propaganda that supports one or the other of their opposing positions. Everyone is touched by this conversation eventually, some of us more closely than others, right now today. 

I hear a lot about the sanctity of marriage being between one man and one woman, accompanied with the idea that gay marriage negates this sanctity like nothing else in this world ever could. I don't know what I think about the government getting involved in this issue -- it's all a lot more than my brain can handle when it's getting all these mixed signals from my heart -- but my friend Vu said the following about it, and it's something I think everyone concerned by the issue could really stand to take to heart:
Gay marriages will not ruin the sanctity of marriage. Humans (straight and gay) have already ruined the sanctity of marriage. When gay marriages become fully legal, you will find the number of failed gay marriages equalling that of failed "traditional" marriages, not because they are "gay" marriages or because one is better than the other, but because, gay or straight, we are all human and we are all to blame for tarnishing the beautiful things that have been given to us. So the fight to stop gay marriages will not save the rising number of failed marriages. The fight to respect the sanctity of a sacred union can only change that.
And I hope all of us gays, straights, puppies, singles, bunnies and married people can take a moment to think about that, and what it means to be made one as a married couple, and what it means for something to be sacred. 
--- 7 ---

If you need something brief, light-hearted and distracting to watch, I recommend New Girl with Zooey Deschanel on FOX. You can find episodes HERE, or of course watch the entire first season on Hulu PLUS. It's better than "Friends" (there, I said it), and over ~25 episodes has really started to take shape. It is utterly watchable and you start to feel like the characters are your friends -- the mark of any good young adult sitcom. As the website says, this a dorky, quirky, adorable, offbeat and zany comedy that has come a long way in one season. I hope it will do well a second time. Smart move, Fox.

Also, you can follow Zooey Deschanel on Instagram with few to nil regrets. 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, May 4, 2012

7 Quick Takes - Friday (Vol. 1)

--- 1 ---
I think it's probably best to get the gross stuff out of the way first. I just want everyone to know that searching for wedding dresses is dangerous work, and it's probably best to wear protective footgear while doing so. While trying on wedding dresses at a local retail-store-to-remain-unnamed, I got a broken pin stuck in my toe and it stayed there for about 10 days. See below:

So, in other words, OUCH! But I got it out eventually through a rather odd sequence of events and I felt pretty powerful afterward. I also felt vindicated, because I'd been telling my fiancee for a week-and-a-half that something was stuck in my toe, and he didn't believe me. [Secretly, I think the pin broke inside my toe and there may still be a small fragment in my flesh. Don't tell my mom. Who will probably read this.]
--- 2 ---
My wedding dress, purchased from the dangerous unnamed store experienced above, is ready for pickup. This is surreal and rewarding for me. I chose a dress within my 'unrealistic' budget, and I am actually going to be a bride. Both of those things are shocking and super fancy!
--- 3 ---
Google Talk Plus app for the iPhone is fun! I've been learning to use it this week so I can keep in touch with my Sister, who is always hovering in the top 2 of my Favorite People list. Here she is:

Definitely waxing eloquent on something while wearing a gold shawl and quietly resigning herself to her role as pregnant DD at our friends' wedding reception (which also = one of the most fun nights of my short life). Beautiful, right?

OH but yeah, the app is pretty cool and it pretty much enables you to freely chat with any of your Google contacts as you prance around town, a lot like text messaging only there is no charge. Well, besides the initial download. I like it, so try it. And look me up. Good luck.
--- 4 ---
You, too, can become obsessed with my Sister by clicking here.
--- 5 ---
Lastnight Jhonny and I met with our photographer. I selected the photographer and pictures are really important to me for many reasons. 1) I love pictures. 2) I will probably forget a lot of the awesomeness of my own wedding, no matter how hard I try to live in the moment and remember it. 3) Photography makes flowers matter, because it makes them immortal, and I love flowers.

I found a brilliant photographer, and everyone who's anyone in my world agrees that's he is talented. Thankfully, my benevolent parents decided he should be MY wedding photographer. Lastnight, we had a meeting with him and settled the details (and paid him money, let's be honest). This, for me, is one of the most exciting expenses of wedding planning thus far.

Please check his wedding portfolio here, and don't be afraid to browse the rest of his blog as well.

He definitely used the word "done-zo" during our initial meeting, which reminded me of Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation, which won him the Sydney's Seal of Awesome card.

Fun fact: this guy is married to a girl that was in my homeschool umbrella group in middle school. They have 4 beautiful children nowadays.  
--- 6 ---
I'm liking Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon: See you there?
--- 7 ---

The whole idea for 7 Quick Takes comes from one of the wittiest, most intelligent, smartest female blog writers I know, called Jennifer Fulwiler, atheist-to-Christian convert, mom, and the author of Conversion Diary. Don't be shy, check her out. Laugh, cry, and be challenged.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!