Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Here Comes the Bride

So, I was in a wedding last weekend.

My good friend Juli, whom I met in college, got married on Saturday and I was one of the bridesmaids. They got married in a cute little chapel and had a really nice reception with great food and good dance tunes. The bridesmaids wore black and carried a red rose. The nice thing was we got to choose our own dress styles so there was a bit of variety there. We even got to ride around in a GIGANTIC limo after the ceremony, so that was pretty cool.

Now, when I woke up that morning and saw the temperature was 0, -13 degree windchill, I never expected to be taking outdoor photos, but indeed, we braved it and got a couple of shots, sleeveless dresses and all! The boys were complaining about being cold and their feet hurting in their shoes to which myself and the rest of the bridesmaids offered to trade dresses and heels for flat shoes and suits with JACKETS! They stopped bitching.

Danny accompanied me to this wedding and with the help of our trusty Garmin, driving was no sweat (save for the bridge that we had to cross, which is a large majority of the reason Danny was there...I. don't. do. bridges. PERIOD.).

We stayed in a house that belongs to friends of my parents, thus saving us a little money on a hotel room. This house overlooks the IL river and is so nice! It was like a little getaway spot.

I wish I had some photos from the wedding to share, but I put Danny in charge of taking pictures and he chose to drink tequila with my ex-boyfriend instead. Yes, my ex was there as he lives in the same town as Juli (whom he met through me) and they see each other from time to time. So, along with some interesting dancing from my husband (which I love, good or bad dancing, at least you're out there with me), and a somewhat intense evening of discussion for both of us following the wedding (I have REALLY softened the description and experience of that), I have no pictures. A few of the other bridesmaids have pictures so I'll try to snag some of those from their facebook pages and post them here.

But, all cold weather and intoxication aside, it was a successful wedding and I hope the newlyweds have a happy life together. And even if you do fall subject to too much tequila, you learn to work it out and regroup and if you're lucky (and I think we are) you learn something from your experiences. Good and bad. Chalk it up to that old saying "live and learn."


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Aruba, Jamaica, Ooh I wanna take ya...

To Mexico!

So, Danny and I decided to go down to an all-inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya in Mexico for our honeymoon. 5 days, 4 nights, all paid for, wonderful weather, entertainment, just the two of us, sounds fantastic. It actually was pretty nice, really nice, a good trip overall, but it had a few hiccups along the way.

Let's begin with months before the trip. Thanks to our new secure world we live in, you now have to have a passport to get into and out of Mexico. So Danny and I went out one cold, February morning to get our pictures taken and submit the paperwork to get our passports...months in advance, like good, responsible travelers. Head to Walgreens to get the photos done for $8 each. Now, I'm not sure why I decided a hooded sweatshirt was the way to go for this photo, but my picture turned out with me looking like a very pale, very sleepy psychopath with a big bunchy gray hood pushing my not-so-neatly-pulled-back hair into a big mess. And for your passport, they only use about 1 square inch of your face, so it really focuses in on the fact that make-up didn't quite factor into my morning that day. Cute!

So then we head to the city post office (not the one closest to our house, they no longer do passports...the one furthest away) to submit all our previously filled out paperwork (let me interject here that my husband-to-be, whom I love dearly and with all my heart, had filled out his own paperwork which is fine, but he chose the "do this as fast as you possibly can and don't really read the instructions at all" that is always so successful). Well, I got all my stuff submitted (which also included a birth certificate which was like $25 per person) and Danny, low and behold, had to re-fill out his paperwork because he signed a box that was not intended to be signed accept in the presence of the postal worker only. Oops!

We got it all done and paid $200 ($100 per person) and went home filled with the anticipation of getting the passport in all it's glory!

Cut to a few weeks later...

My passport arrives, bright and shiny in the mail with my BEAUTIFUL PHOTO in all it's glory and I cringe and accept that it will have to be shown to people in multiple countries and move on. In the next few days to follow, Danny's passport doesn't come. And it doesn't come. And it doesn't come. What does come? A HUGE packet of paperwork and note that basically says, we've randomly selected you to be a possible criminal so you have to give us your life story in a 1 X 3 inch space in black or blue ink.

This was a nightmare! At first, we put the papers aside and didn't think about the stress of them. Then, as the days dwindled away, I encourage the love of my life to perhaps, take a gander at what was required of him and maybe even fill out some of the information. I will say that this thing was ridiculous. He had to list all his former residences, everywhere he ever lived, everywhere he EVER WORKED and all his previous employers/managers/ and know start and end dates for EVERYTHING. If you know Danny, you know that he's not a big record keeper, or fan of being told what to do by authority. It took weeks to get this done and in the end, some of his managers had names like "Mike Rotch" (say it quickly) and so on, and there were many scribbled out things and re-writes, but we got it done and sent away and in literally 1 week, his passport came, which leads me to believe someone got his information and promptly shredded it.
Oh well!

Which brings us to the honeymoon. Again, Danny is my rock and my manly man, but a traveler...not so much. It was a bit stressful taking the train from Bloomington to Chicago and then getting to the hotel by taxi and then getting up at 4 am to catch the free shuttle to O'Hare and then getting through all the check points to the plane and then, "hey what's that plane noise" and "man these seats are uncomfortable" and the like, and then going through customs and then finding our shuttle and then "crap I have to pee" and then finding our resort and then "hey your room will be ready in 2 hours" and then "man this is the hardest mattress I've ever tried to comfortably fall back on...now I'm in traction." It was a day!

But not as upsetting as day 3 of our 5 day trip. By now, we had both been drinking like it was our job and Danny may have oversampled the tequila a bit (hell even I was doing shots of the stuff and that is so not my favorite thing at all). We decided to visit a sister resort and got there by a romantic golf cart ride. We were enjoying our time at the pool, slightly inebriated, when I noticed Danny was no longer sitting at the swim up bar (seriously, those things are fun!). He was standing at the opposite side of the bar, talking with some random guy. I decided to gather our things and meet him and then we'd grab some lunch. As soon as I was about 5 feet from him, clearly headed in his direction, the man abruptly turns, says goodbye, and quickly walks away. I hardly gave it much thought then. I asked Danny if he was ready to eat and he was. We walked about 10 feet and he started acting very drunk. A little unsteady on his feet and kind of loud. I thought he needed some food. We get our food and sit down and that's when I noticed his eyes. So weird. He couldn't focus on anything and he was slurring his words and so loud! I was thinking, fantastic, I have got to get your ass out of here and back to our room (which, remember was a golf cart's ride away). I get him to stand up and he almost falls flat on his face. People were now starting to notice us and our antics. I pushed him out the restaurant doors and he fell into a chair right outside and proceeded to speak nonsense about anything and everything. I was having no luck convincing him of my plan to go back to the room or of standing, so I thought...okay, we're going to have to sit in these chairs until he passes out and then I'm going to have to let him sleep it off in these chairs! I guess some of the other patrons alerted the resort people of my troubles and two men came and like it was nothing, hoisted Danny up and helped him to a golf cart. Thank god! I thought, we will get back to our room and he will pass out!

We started to go and then this never before seen rage came over Danny like and he kept insisting he was being controlled. I held his arms down to keep him from punching the golf cart seats. I was really starting to get scared now...not of him, but of what was wrong with him! I had never EVER seen him like this and he's been quite intoxicated a time or two. The cart drops us off and I wave them away with a thanks and a , sweet Jesus don't kick us out of here! Now, we faced 3 flights of stone stairs and I had a guy with a good 30 pounds on me to get up there. I again, pushed him from behind and he staggered, he was still upset and totally unaware of what was going on. When we got to the top to our room, I unlocked the door and pushed him in and after another 30 minutes or so of him not being in any right state of mind and talking, he fell asleep. He slept for about 3 hours and then woke up and had NO IDEA what had happened. He had no memory of anything and he was still kind of out of it. He really just wanted to go for a walk and clear his head. I said ABSOLUTLY NO WAY AM I LETTING YOU OUT OF MY SIGHT, but again, after some talking, I said he could go out if he came right back. He went. Now let me say here, when we got to our room on the first day, we noticed the phone wasn't working. We left a request at the front desk to have it fixed, but it hadn't been fixed yet. Also, both of our cell phones were dead and he hadn't yet purchased an outlet adaptor so we could plug them in to charge. So I had NO WAY of contacting anyone besides our neighbors. I prayed my husband of 3 days would be back soon.

He was. He said he couldn't figure out where he was so he came back to our room. I made him eat an apple and drink a sprite and then he fell back asleep. For 14 hours. We missed our dinner reservation to say the least. I had no food and didn't sleep, I just kept watching him breathe and I watched scribbly television, waiting for the guy I knew to come back. What in the hell was I going to do if he had an emergency? I knew I was in charge in this situation and I had to stay strong and calm and get us back to normal. So I just waited and watched, not sure what I was going to do if something else happened, but sure I wasn't going to let myself lose my mind. Finally, finally, he woke up in the night and after I retold the tale, he remember some of the day. He was back! Thank the lord! He said he felt really weird, like he was stoned and he was pretty freaked out, as was I, but I was so happy to have him back. Be it too much tequila or the weird man slipping him something in his drink, we didn't partake in too much alcohol the rest of the trip.

He still doesn't remember anything from the time the man walked away to waking up after 17 hours of sleep.

It was the weirdest experience of my life.

And now you know.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Miss Independent

And happily married.

I've given a lot of props in my blogs...to my husband, my other family members, co-workers (maybe?), heck even my dogs get to live it up on this things.

Today, I'm giving props to myself!

Don't get me wrong, I'm no superstar, but darn it if I don't get myself through this life pretty well.

I've done nothing spectacular, really, but I've done a lot of little things for myself and my family that I feel good about...things that I feel put me into a happy, mature, independent woman category.

For instance:

-I am in the midst of refinancing my home ALL BY MYSELF, thus saving Danny and myself mucho dinero (gotta find something good out of this horrible recession). I feel this is quite a responsible thing for me to do and get done ALL BY MYSELF. I remember when ordering my own meal from a menu was daunting to me, so this is big.
-I can suck it up with the best of them. You can travel with me anywhere. I'm in for the long haul. The crowded, ridiculous airports, the long, boring plane rides, I'm there with word games and puzzle books and cards. Then, finding transportation to your ultimate destination (except for the 1 time in CA with Mom) I will swagger up with you to the taxi guy or the shuttle bus and figure out where in the hell we're supposed to be. I will even make the best of a crappy hotel room or really hard mattress and bland, boring food OVER AND OVER, because what are the alternatives? And I will even get our asses back into the United States of America even with the possibility of being slipped a drug in your Mexican drink (I was a CHAMPION during this nightmare of a day...but Danny recovered swimingly...another story for another time).
-I will find the freaking silver lining, everytime.
-I won't let the chore of finding the silver lining affect me for more than 24 hours max. and usually less time than that. I can get over things rather quickly.
-I will make the annoying pregnant lady at work who constantly throws it in my face that I am in no way shape or form pregnant a casserole for her materinty leave.
-I'll listen to you when you need to vent.
-I'm a damn good wife. End of story.

So I'm taking the opportunity to say just today, "way to go me!"

Thanks for listening!


Monday, January 19, 2009

O'er the Land of the Free...

Well you had to know this blog would be of a certain theme...

Who isn't excited for tomorrow?!?  I hope my boss doesn't mind me doing nothing but watching the inauguration...I think the world of volunteers will wait for one day.

I had work off today for Martin Luther King Jr. Day...I did a WHOLE LOT OF LAUNDRY and watched Harrison bark at the neighbors shoveling snow.  I did manage to shower, however I did not manage to change out of my pajamas.  

This weekend wasn't all that eventful as I assumed after my jinx of a last blog.  

Friday night, wow I can't even remember what happened that day!  Oh, Danny was sickish but still managed to go to poker.  I spent my last night with Nick the dog (he's gone) and did not much.  Seriously, I have got to get a few more exciting Friday nights lined up in the next few months.  My last entries have included lots of "well, I did absolutely nothing this past Friday!"

Saturday I pack up Nick and Danny left to help his brother move and spend the night up there.  I hung out with my parents all day (with Harrison) and had a really nice time with them.  After a recent health scare with my Dad, it was nice to just hang out.  He's doing just fine now and even has a more positive outlook on life and all the colorful people in it.  

Sunday I went walking at the country club with Mom and Harrison...it was a nice workout, up and down those hills, in the cold!  Danny got home soon after that and we had a nice afternoon together watching football.

Today, like I said, is laundry and pajamas.  As of right now, pretty much all of our clothes are nicely put away so we can start that whole process over again.

What's coming up?  Well, this next weekend I'll be in a wedding for my good friend Juli...she was in my wedding too.  So we'll be off to Peoria Friday.  We were going to have to spend about $250 on a hotel room for 2 nights (remember when I blogged about that?), but thanks to good friends of my parents who have a weekend home in Peoria (he works at CAT, but they live in WI), we get to stay with them for free!  I'll take it!  So I'm trying to get things packed for that and lose a couple more pounds (of many).  Also, we'll be stopping through Bloomington on the way home on Sunday to have lunch with my sister, who's 31st birthday is that day.  So I have to remember to bring gifts and clothes and my dress...I'll need a list.

Everyone tune in to INAUGURATION DAY tomorrow!  History in the making!


Friday, January 16, 2009

More Than Words

Actually, I have no words!

I am sitting here try to think of what to blog about today and I've been staring at the wall in front of me for a good 3 minutes now...

Sorry, I got nothing!

Perhaps something exciting will happen to me over the weekend I can share. I have Monday off, so with the extended amount of time, maybe I will do something fantastic!

There, I've set the bar high now, so when I come back next week with a story about cleaning out my refrigerator (which I am highly unlikely to do in reality), you'll know I've jinxed myself out of an exciting weekend.

Stay warm!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So Long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen,Goodbye!

Our household is soon saying goodbye to one member...

Little Nicholas, the rat terrier (my "stepdog" for all essential purposes) is moving away. He's packing his bags and taking off, in a mere 3 days.

Yes, on Saturday, Nick will join Danny's brother Ty in his move up north to Ottawa. Ty was recently promoted at work and has taken a new position, which includes relocating about 2 hours away. So Nick will be his roommate up there, sharing a little house, keeping each other company, and no doubt visiting whenever Ty comes back into town.

This means, we will now be a 1 dog family...this is just fine with me. Now, I don't think it's any secret that Nick and I had what you might call a "love-hate" relationship. We had our share of disagreements on things, it's true. But, I will miss some stuff about the guy.

-Nick will ALWAYS spin in circles whenever you are handling cheese slices. We refer to this as "circles for cheese!" And I find myself using this phrase anytime people get excited about the possibility of something happening..."oh man that would be so cool! Circles for cheese!"
-You can really have a conversation with Nick. He pretty much knows exactly what you are saying, especially when you are unhappy with his choices...he gets it. Now, this doesn't mean he'll change his ways, he just knows what you're saying and hides under a chair accordingly.
-It's really easy to bathe/groom Nick. Just toss him in the kitchen sink and you're set! He's not going to jump out, too far down. He will, however, look incredibly pathetic and sad the entire time. Same with clipping toenails...you can just hold him in the crook of your arm and get the job done.
-Hands down, best bed warmer there is. I will definately miss the little furnace under the covers up against my leg all night long on these cold nights.

So there you have it, my little tribute to the littlest dog I'll ever have the priviledge to live with. We'll miss ya buddy!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Just Dance

Been awhile hasn't it?

Sorry, I'm sure there's a myriad of reasons I haven't blogged in a few days, but I won't bore you with them! It's Monday again, had a decent weekend.

Friday night, I did absolutely nothing! I know, I know, wild woman...but I had to work Saturday morning, so I pretty much ended up falling asleep early and was okay with that.

Saturday, had to work, as I mentioned. It was the volunteer quarterly meeting and I got to work around 9:30 after briefly falling asleep on the couch only to wake up to find Harrison had gotten ahold of a paint pen and punctured a hole in it. She is now sporting a few yellow blobs of paint on her chest and legs. She did manage to keep paint off the floor, however, and I didn't see much evidence of it in her mouth. She's my baby!

So I get to work and proceed to make chili and cornbread for 35 people and we had a the majority of people show up even though it was a touch icy outside. One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE volunteers (not) complained to me as usual about something small and inane, so it was pretty much a success.

I went home after that and Danny and I cleaned the house! It was great! I was cleaning and cleaning and he just came home and pitched in without being asked. I was impressed...he even steam-cleaned the kitchen floor! I didn't do laundry, I had every intention of doing it Sunday...

Saturday night I went to see Bride Wars with Ashley. It was alright. Then we went out for a couple drinks...I had 1...and listened a bit to a band that was playing (which we had to pay $4 cover for, thus the 1 drink). Ashley inspired me to really get on board with this whole "I must be healthier, and hell, I could also weigh less" movement I've been half-assing for a few months now. She is looking fantastic and finds the time to exercise with a 2 year old, so I have no excuse! Even though Harrison likes to get in between my legs anytime I am attempting exercise, I will prevail!

Sunday I went shoe shopping/pants shopping with Mom. She owed me some shoes from Christmas (which I found on sale) and I found some khaki pants for myself and my husband (also on sale...but I think everything is on sale these days). We hit up the store afterwards, so I could get some healthy food alternatives for breakfast and lunch and I did exercise that morning too. Sunday dinner at Danny's parents loomed ahead of me, with the promise of good food and fabulous desserts. I, in fact, prevailed! I had portion control like no one's business and when dessert was brought out (hot fudge sunday pie, no less), I ate one bite of Danny's and that was it. One bite allows you to taste the dessert, but not gorge yourself on it. That was at 4 pm, and I did not eat the rest of the night.

Today, Monday, I again exercised in the morning and had my yogurt/blueberries/wheat germ breakfast and my salad lunch. Way to go me! Danny brought me to work this morning so he could take my car to get oil changed and grocery shop. He's my house husband for the next week or so as he was laid off on Friday due to no work...damn winter/economy!

Oh, the reason for the post title...while at the bar on Saturday, Ashley and I were watching the people dancing on the dance floor. This was an older crowd, and there were a few older couples breakin' it down out there! Does it not give you a great sense of admiration for those couples who've hung in there all these years and they still have enough passion to get out and break it down on a Saturday night every now and then? I told Danny that as long as in 40 years we can still manage to do just that, I'll consider our marriage successful - despite weight, job loss, fights, kids, dogs, what have you...just as long as we can still dance!


ps. I didn't do laundry on Sunday either!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hardware Store

(this is a song by Weird Al, if you are not aware)

Danny and I went to Lowe's on Saturday night...yes, we are that exciting...and bought a new dishwasher! Our former dishwasher didn't so much "wash" the dishes as it coated them with little bits of food and left them covered in some sort of residue. Now, you might say to me "Erin, had you just cleaned out the bottom of your dishwasher extra well, you probably would see better results on your dishes." Back to you I say, you may be right, but A, the dishwasher was at least 10 years old and 2, ever tried to get into the back of your dishwasher to clean out all the bits of old food? It's a task. You might also say to me (and this was said to me by a coworker) "What, are you arms broken?" Implying that I should just wash my dishes by hand. A little backstory on that...I used to be a dishwasher one summer at a little tea room in my hometown, so I am familiar with the ins and outs of washing dishes and all that it entails. We also handwashed dishes at my parents house for the last few years after their dishwasher broke and they decided to use it for storage purposes. My response to this lame attempt at conversation was in fact, "no, my arms are not broken, but you try to resell a house with a broken/or no dishwasher." Not that we're moving anytime soon, but someday we will want to move and people might question a large dishwasher-shaped hole in our kitchen cabinetry. Anyway, we have a new Whirlpool, Quiet Partner II energy star appliance, and my handy plumber installed it and got it up and running the very next day!

Other than that, it's been a quiet few days. Danny is done working 12 hour shifts from 7pm-7am and is back to his class schedule after the holidays. We are moving the location of our band practices from our basement (yay!) to Mike the bass player's basement. This is good and bad. Bad because now anytime we practice people don't have to go outside to smoke and it will be smokey all around me but good in that if they are just working on songs I don't do much on, I can just stay home. This could be the beginning of my slow exit from the band anyway. Let's face it, someday I'm going to pregnant and band practice probably won't be high on my to do list anymore. Either way, I'm happy that our house no longer hosts band practice.

In dog news, Harrison continues to be the cutest thing on the planet. She spent all last week at doggy day-care courtesy of Mom and Dad as Danny required his days to be for sleep only and Harrison isn't a big fan of any sleep past 7am. Nick, however, remained at home and was perfectly happy to sleep in the bed under the covers from 10pm when I went to bed until 5:30 pm, when Danny got up for work. This morning when I tried to leave the house, Harrison was not too pleased at the fact that she was not encouraged to run to the car to head to "grandma and grandpa's" house. Life. It's full of adjustments, isn't it?

So we all continue to adjust to whatever life throws at us...but really, I can't complain.