You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello

T minus 1 week.
How do you describe the emotions that run the gamut of each possible one: excitement, trepidation, budding love, nervousness, joy, a lot of stress, even a little bit of fear of the unknown--followed by a whole lot of faith in a grander plan.

{art by lizzy hunter, found on 20x200}
If I weren't so busy coming down from the holiday high, packing/being homeless for a week/moving in with a boy(!), planning and executing last minute details for the wedding and throwing my ultimate party--the apex of my event planning career, I would try to take some time to say goodbye to singlehood. It has treated me very well these nearly 32 years! We've come through a lot together. A lot of heartache and lessons on relationships, a lot of self-discovery, a lot of testimony growing, a lot of good times!

Most importantly a whole lot of preparation to say hello to reciprocal commitment, more growth, probably more heartache, but more rewarding love, lasting covenants, and so many things that I don't even know to include so I'll just call it possibility.
Here's to 2011! One step closer to heaven...

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

This morning as I was getting ready at the gym (yes, I've been getting a head start on my 2011 new year's rizzos), I watched the show before the Today show as they featured military wives who are preggo...solo for the holidays..and threw them all a surprise baby shower--I'll just say I started blow drying my bangs over my eyes at that part (sniff).

Though my experience was no where near the intensity of theirs nor will it ever be since the Captain will be exiting the Army in June, it did bring back memories of last Christmas...not so patiently waiting for good news from Iraq.

Little did I know then, that just one year and one week later, I'd be marrying that soldier!

An extra ream of paper = another project

I can't just let it sit there, right? Favors for wedding guests, here we come!
Other outstanding projects for the next three weeks:
✓ tutus for the nieces
✓ bowties for the nephews
✓ finish my bridesmaid gifts
✓ choose a color from the samples I requested and order ties

And the last minute project wrap-ups that can’t happen until two days before:
✓ mount the brackets to stand up our backdrops (repurposed shutters my mom removed from the exterior of her home this summer)
✓ make a display for the favors (something kind of like this…but minus the sunglasses)


✓ white paper chains to fill in any holes in the d├ęcor
just when I thought I was done!

Best "possible" news ever!

I just heard a rumor that my older brother and his cute family are possibly coming for the wedding celebration. BTW, meet my newest nephew, Max. isn't he a doll?

And while we're at it, my even newer niece, Lola. Man, my sibs make beautiful babies.

P.S.

I haven't looked at a wedding blog since before Thanksgiving. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself this last month...my LAST MONTH as a single person. Maybe I'll start blogging again.

On a Wish & a Prayer


Only ONE paper cut later... (The box on the right is all going to Utah. By the time we were finished the box on the left was full of invitations going to every other state in the union).

Dropping these off at the post office yesterday morning, I MUST have felt a bit like Hannah as she dropped Samuel off with Eli's to serve the Lord for the rest of his life.

Okay, so maybe that's a little exaggerated and a tad sacrilegious. Nevertheless, I lingered as the post office worker dumped them into a plastic bin, blew them a kiss and said a brief prayer of gratitude for the resources and means to create them and for their safe arrival into the mailboxes of their intended recipients.
And yes, those are the generic forever bell stamps. I procrastinated and was unable to get cute stamps in time. Classy, I know.

So Delinquent!

Oh man. I have been so bad at blogging lately! I just barely caught up on my sister and sil's blogs today, still haven't had a chance to check anyone else's!

Today.
Today the Captain picked up a few hundred dollars worth of postage, since I never get home before the post office closes. It's so nice to have someone around who's got your back.
Today I used the "happy hour" at work--you know that end of the work week, everybody grabs a beer and some cheese & crackers in the kitchen 5 o'clock on a Friday hour. The hour that no one bothers to tell the mormon girl about ;) hour--to make an invitation to my church's monthly Welcome Social for December. This is the vector image that keeps on giving...

Yesterday.
Yesterday my sturdy little HP inkjet printer ran out of toner because I am putting it through the ringer and printing all of our wedding invitations on it. poor little guy! Just 250 more to go. You can do it!!
Last week.
Last week I was in Utah! Visiting family and friends, getting showered (thanks again Em and Dest, et. al.), posing for pictures (aka: exploiting the talents of my siblings), welcoming my newest niece, and folding paper stars, flowers, snowflakes until my hands ached. but oh, I think it will pay off when we transform the reception hall into a paperie winter wonderland. (all will need posts of their own.)
Emily was so great to drop what she was doing, rearrange her schedule and drive down to take some pics for us. She did a fantastic job! She keeps asking me for my favorites so she can have a photographer friend (Jenna, who has kindly agreed to be our wedding photographer, yay!) to "fix them". Geesh! they don't even need any fixing! I love them just the way they are.

I know they say it's bad luck for the groom to see the dress before, I'm not that superstitious...but I'm purposely not posting photos of us together before...that I don't want to jinx ;).

The lighting just kept getting better and better! The Captain actually took this one...yep, I picked me a winner! I'm wearing my great grandmother Kay's self-made, hand knit sweater coat. Divine.

{hair & make up: Bethany Kartchner--you should have her do your hair. she's brilliant. Salon K in the Riverwoods.}

Who needs Botox?!?

I've gotten several questions lately about my secret "wrinkle cream". Well friends, here it is. I swear by this stuff. Smear it on your lips, crows feet, smile lines, etc. every night before bed and you just might notice a bit of reverse aging! When I was living in sunny southern California, my mom made a comment to one of my roommates (not to me, bless her heart) about what the sun exposure was doing to my face...at aget 26 it was not a pretty sight. I've been using Aquaphor faithfully for the past few years and I look younger today than I did back then. This is my miracle product.

Leonard.

I just had to call a guy named Leonard and no offense if that is your name or your dad's name or your grandpa's name. It's a perfectly fine name--I'm just having a hard time wrapping my brain around the pronunciation. Lenerd.

One more for the project list

I couldn't help but snap a shot of these woodsey darlings last time I was window shopping at Anthro... and then I spotted these in Gifted ... I'd like a reason to make some cute felt shrooms :).


and I just ordered 325 yards of this from the stationery boutique and am coming up with all sorts of idea for where to use it.

Via text from my mom>> "they're here!"

and so cute!"
part of the 5% that will not be made of paper :).

Fall Preview & Playlist

For my first full Fall back east, I must say it's absolutely beautiful here right now. I'm patiently waiting for photos from last Saturday's quintessential city-folk jaunt to the country, but here's just a taste and a fantastic playlist my roommate Patricia put together for the drive when the leaves turn shades of red & gold.

Come and knock on my door

I picked up this cute fall wreath kit at Paper Source because I wanted to see how long it would take to make paper mums for wedding decorations (can't you just imagine these in shades of white & ivory?). Due to the time intensity factor, I decided not attempt to make hundreds of paper mums. This pretty paper creation is, however, hanging on our door and now that I've finally changed the light blubs in our front porch sconces, our entry is much more welcoming.



Then I saw these paper pretties in the window of J.Crew and I'm reconsidering spending a portion of my limited free time with the bone folder. How amazing are these?









Did I mention that I've decided to use paper for 95% of  all my wedding decore? I'm really excited!

I want a barn

where I can retrieve treasures like this one...


{photo credit: soule mama -- see what she did with it here}

Where oh where have these been my whole life?

My friends in middle school said they could leave me in a room with paper, scissors and glue and I could entertain myself for hours. It was true then and it's true today.

Why then, did I just learn about this handy tool? This bad boy is going to revolutionize my paper crafting.
I hate posting twice in one day, but I just saw this and have to share. Z Gallerie has long been one of my favorite furnishing stores (I even worked at the one at Fashion Island for a couple months while in grad school) and now they have one near me!

"Research"

Just doing some "research" online (aka: not working) and found some things to look forward to in our soon-to-be new locale.

I can't wait to browse these two shops, and with it the whole of Grand Street in Williamsburg. Via Martha:

Fresh Kills







































Then I found this super helpful map because I had no idea where Williamsburg is...
I can't wait to get lost in this town again!

Wanna get my art on

Today the execs are away on a "retreat" (funny how a plan can go from turks and caicos to the eastern shore to down the street at the four seasons...I just have to tell myself, it's not my company!) and it's given me some quiet time. Sometimes that's good and sometimes it's better to just be so busy I can't think. Maybe sometimes I'd rather be running to get a coffee with half-and-half and a packet of sweet 'n low for the Ikester (aka: mini boss).

Left with my thoughts and a chance to blog surf, I can't help but feel a few green (as in covetous), murky waves of regret.

1. I regret that I didn't learn earlier how to be smarter with money and live on a budget.
2. I regret not sacrificing 'lifestyle' for 'life savings'.
3. I regret the shackles of debt I am now paying off.
4. I regret having to choose employment based on salary instead of job description.
5. I regret not going to design school when I had the chance.
6. I regret having to sit here in a stuffy office and read about other people living their artsy dreams.
7. I regret keeping the Sony point and shoot I got as a gift several years ago (that I never use, hence all the crappy cell phone pics) instead of trading it in for a Canon like I had secretly wanted to and now I regret not being able to afford a new camera because I'm now making sacrifices (see #2) and am on the super-skinny-get-out-of-debt plan (see #3).

Before I bring myself to sorrowful tears of self-pity I need to note some things that I am grateful for.

1. I belong to a Church that promotes self-reliance and debt-free living.
2. I can learn to master the self and delay gratification.
3. The feeling I get every time I add another big payment on my spreadsheet to financial freedom and see my balance chipping away.
4. That my work is footing the bill for my InDesign class and that I know more than every other person in the class and even some things the instructor doesn't know.
5. The opportunity to get out of debt before I bring children into the world and really won't want to have to work.
6. Days with downtime and a chance to catch up on loved ones' lives.
7. A job. A job that pays well.

So yes, while I desperately wish I could roll out of bed, walk two steps and be in my office where I do crafty stuff all day, I know I am learing some really important lessons with eternal significance. a penny spent is really two pennies earned. patience is a virtue. and a whole lotta other stuff.

piggy illustration by: me :)

Something I love about not having a car

Passing a random sushi place in Dupont on my way home and deciding to stop without having to worry about parking...

Footprints

I just stumbled upon my art work on a photography blog, granted the talented haley anderson is a friendly of my sis, but it's still kinda fun to come across when you aren't expecting it.

And I have my first intro to Adobe  InDesign class tonight. Don't ask me how i've made it this far without InDesign, it's complicated and I don't want to talk about it ;). but that all changes tonight and the next four Tuesday evenings. Very excited. Very.

Is it

very terrible that I bought the Captain's Christmas present in ... wait. Is it already October?

I cannot believe that it is already October. And not only October, but almost half-way to November! Where does it go?

In case you were wondering...

this is exactly what my ring looks like...except normal hand size, not giant size like this pic.


Drum roll please...

I don't remember who quoted Elder Dallin H. Oaks' October 2007 General Conference talk Good, Better, Best, but it came at a very appropriate time for me yesterday during the Sunday morning session of this October's General Conference.

Often when making a decision you have to make sacrifices in order to choose the "best" overall option--even if it doesn't always make the most sense.
Well, that's what we did. It wasn't easy, in fact it has been sad to say good-bye to a really great opportunity. However, in saying good-bye to one amazing opportunity, we're really saying hello to another amazing-for-other-reasons opportunity.
And so it is with some sorrow, a little trepidation, and a lot of excitment that we (and when I say we, I mean the Captian and me) will be accepting the offer to join the resident ranks of Lutheran Medical's Endodontics program for 2011-2013.

Brooklyn, here we come!

The way the cookie crumbles

As fate (or not) would have it, the decision is down to two contenders.

Einstein in Philadelphia, PA
Lutheran in Brooklyn, NY

Which would you pick?

*note* I think it's safe to say that there is some disappointment surrounding not having Long Beach as an option. Even I was getting excited about the idea of moving back to Southern California--though when I left, I never thought I'd go back. It would have been really nice to be so close to family again...for both of us. And to get beach cruisers.

For crying out loud...really

It's 9pm and I keep getting work emails. Requests that I am sure the big boss wants answers on right now.

I'm going to pretend that I already turned my work blackberry off. I hate it [the phone], except for the fact that it's newer than my personal phone and google maps works a lot better on it. I had a very strong urge to throw it against a wall today--you know the kind where you can actually feel a physical sensation going through your arm? There was only mild satisfaction connected to the vision of it breaking through the drywall and getting lodged somewhere in the inner workings of the building.

There is light at the end of this pitch black tunnel. They've hired a new executive assistant for the big boss and soon, in like 2 weeks, I'll get to go back to just doing my three jobs, the only ones that I actually get paid for, instead of this temporary assignment as the owner's personal "life manager" as his wife/co-founder & managing partner (who happens to be worse--can you imagine TWO big bosses?) so aptly described it the other day. someone should make a movie about it. They could call it The Devils Wear Vineyard Vines. What is it about the very rich and extremely privileged that gives them zero realistic sense of how long things actually take or what regular business hours are? Isit bad to wish poverty on a person?

Knowing it is nearly over is almost worse than thinking that there is no end in sight. I think I have a hyper-emotional, almost violent version of being "trunkie". My patience is wearing very thin.

I need a massage and a pint of ben & jerry's...oh wait.

Pros and Cons

It's a little early for a drum roll, but I feel the need for some sort of sound in that same percussive genre...maybe one of those triangles that you clang a metal rod around the inside, you know the kind that Aunt Eller from Oklahoma! would have used to call the cowpokes in for lunch with.

The Captain got a call from the 11220 asking him to join their ranks as 1 of 3 residents for the 2011-2012 program. when I got his text yesterday (from CA where he is prepping with a little family time for his final interview) telling me the good news, I couldn't help but feel my little heart swell with a little bit of the p-word (pride).

I'm quickly becoming obsessed with Brooklyn and the idea of possible making it our temporary residence, except I am not sure I would ever want to leave and I know it will be a temporary hang your hat.

I know it's not fair to Philly that I just spent 48 hours getting lost through the quaint streets of BK. Or that my current "fun read" is set predominately in Brooklyn. Or that i just devoured this post on design*sponge (seriously coveting this brooklyn home co. Brownstone and everything in it).

When we spoke yesterday, I suggested we try not to stress yet. Let's get the Captain through his interview in the LBC and then we can focus on making the best decision possible for us.

{I reminisce on the longing I felt for so many years that has always been associated with making big decisions. Longing because for my whole lifetime made all big decisions by myself--always feeling the void and wondering "why do I have to do this alone?" I can't quite express the joy that comes through knowing this is a big decision we will be making together and marks a lifetime (+ some) partnership.}

It's Brooklyn. not sure what else I need to say here. Oh, well maybe there's really cool stuff to do around the clock (it is in the city that never sleeps), amazing food & culture, my sisters will love to come visit me, we may be able to live in a really cool place like a loft or a brownstone or in a neighborhood with a really cool name like Vinegar Hill or the French neighborhood called Carol Gardens which would be really cool because the Captain is teaching me how to speak French (j'aime manger tout le temps--avec tous), we can get by with zero cars, I may be able to get a really glamorous job doing what I really want to do--like graphic design for a magazine to be named only in my dreams (oh what if!?), if I learn to play chess I may be able to sneak in a game with the old Jewish men who will be living in our building and play chess all day out in front and talk about the Shikas who pass by, the money is better, direct flights to SFO and SLC, shows on Broadway, the garment district and cheap fabric/other stuff, within minutes of a temple, Chinatown and Little Italy, vacationing in the Hamptons, cheap flights to Euroupe and the Caribbean, I think I should stop there.

um.... hm..... sheesh! I guess it's not as safe as some places, the winters are brutal, the equipment at Lutheran is a bit archaic, I will not have a trunk (aka: car) for another few years which is only a problem when my back starts hurting bc I have to carry my life around with me, cost of living is high, it's never really quiet there, we may have noisey upstairs neighbors who clomp their feet and drop stuff on their wood floors above my bed, what am I missing?

The hard/easy part is that we really can't make a bad decision here. Am I more excited about living in NY? Yes. Could I live in Philly? Yes. Is the program at Einstien a way better option? Yes. Would throwing Long Beach into the mix make the decision harder/easier? Not in my book.

Sneak Peek



More to come from our weekend in the big apple...but to whet the appetite, take a looksie at my newest nephew sporting a little something we picked up from the Shake Shack. tthanks again Em for the recommendation! The first bite of that burger was heaven.

Special Delivery

I ordered the big boss some eye bobs on Monday and they just arrived. I'm a total sucker for good marketing and I wish I had taken a picture of the packaging. Don't worry, he goes through these things like candy...4 pair a couple weeks ago...6 pair this week. Inside the eye bob logo stamped tissue paper, the individually cased reading specs were surrounded by these cute cleaning cloths (pictured below on my messy desk). It kinda makes me wish I needed reading glasses.


Pride isn't always a bad thing, is it?


Guess who got an offer to be 1 of 2 residents in Einstein's Endodontics 2011-2012 program?
(Not only that, but also rocked his interview in NY AND has his interview in Long Beach next week AND got a call from UCLA for an interview which he politely declined...)
I'm so proud of you babe!


It's one of the best programs with one of the "most amazing" program directors; top of the line, brand-spankin'-new facility and equipment; the Captain knows the area very well; located in a place I've never been; it would be an adventure; lots of history there...


Mom plug your ears. Living in Philly where "water" is "wooder"; he knows the area very well; battles for the highest unemployement rate of any metropolitan area; not the safest or cleanest public transportation system--will I finally have to give in a buy a car?...


more to come on this big decision.

What's black & white and yellow all over?

{ martha stewart weddings, but photoshopped to fit my pallet}

{the knot}

{i can't remember}