Tuesday, August 30, 2011

can it

my team lost the office food donation competition today.

we lost by a nose.

or, if you will, by a can.

it was quite a blow.

but, i met dana after work today for an ice cream dinner and a weeknight movie, and that cheered me right up.

irresponsible meals and irresponsible bedtimes. two of my favorite things about being an adult.

Monday, August 29, 2011

come on, irene

before we get started today, i need to make a correction to my previous post.

AWD's beautifully wrapped birthday present came from my mom and my dad. and, while we are giving credit where it is due, the present was actually wrapped by amazon.

i'm glad we have that sorted out.

and now, a recap of our hurricane weekend!

actually, it wasn't too exciting, which as i have stated before is pretty much the perfect way for a natural disaster to be. though an earthquake and a hurricane in one week is pretty epic stuff, if you ask me.

the biggest excitement of our weekend was actually friday night, before the storm even started, when AWD and i went to a production of "uncle vanya" starring the ethereal and lovely cate blanchett. she was stunning and captivating and the rest of the cast was superb as well. we loved the whole thing. and, in retrospect, i think a depressing russian play is just the way to start a weekend of impending doom.

we took most of the precautions that were recommended: got bottled water and some extra food (aka: brownie mix), found a flashlight, moved all the porch furniture to the basement, checked all the spouts and gutters. i even tried filling the bathtub with water that we could use to flush the toilet in case our water supply was cut off for some reason, but it turns out you can't plug the drain in our bathtub. so, there's that.

the rain started saturday morning and basically fell and fell and fell all day long. we spent most of the day cleaning out AWD's apartment and packing up his stuff, and then finished the evening with movies and pizza and popcorn at my place.

and the rain kept coming and the wind kept blowing, but that was about it. the power went out while we were asleep and was back on before we woke up, no branches fell on our cars or our house and the really loud noise i heard in the middle of the night was probably a transformer blowing and not a gunshot like i thought.

an earthquake, a hurricane and a homicide all in one week probably would have been too much to handle.

by yesterday the rain was over and the sun even came out, but it was cool and lovely and the neighborhood streets were full of people coming out of hiding. it was really nice, actually.

and so, we weathered irene.

and, in case you were wondering, so did our resort in the turks and caicos. though the whole event did scare us into buying trip insurance. maybe i should add my LED flashlight to the honeymoon packing list?

Friday, August 26, 2011

they say it's your birthday

yesterday was AWD's birthday.

when we were first engaged and talking about wedding dates, i was very much opposed to having our wedding close to anyone's birthday. mostly because i really like to make a big deal out of birthdays (mostly my own), and i didn't like the idea of an anniversary overshadowing the birthday fun.

but, like the rolling stones teach us, you can't always get what you want and so here we are, getting married right smack dab in the middle of both of our birthdays, with only two weeks on either side.

luckily (hopefully?) this is the only year we'll actually be getting married two weeks after AWD's birthday, but i am sorry to say this time around the madness of last-minute wedding planning did get a little bit in the way.

but also luckily (hopefully?), AWD is a pretty low-key birthday celebrator, so a surprise dinner at rasika (where we have been trying to eat basically since we've been dating), a little gathering of some bennett cousins (welcome home, thomas!) and some presents (my mom wrapped hers, i didn't wrap mine) did the trick.

and, i let AWD open a few wedding presents for good measure.

dear, AWD. i sure am glad you were born.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

five point eight

all morning i was wondering what i could blog about today because there just wasn't anything exciting going down.

and then we had an earthquake!

my office is on the 11th floor so we felt plenty of shaking and swaying, though for some reason i was convinced it was because a semi truck had driven into the side of the building. which might explain why, when everyone else rushed to take shelter under doorways and desks, i rushed to the window.

i am sorry to say that i have no explanation for why my first theory was that a semi had driven into the side of our building, except that i didn't know they had earthquakes in virginia. though why i thought a semi driving into the side of the building with a secure perimeter was any more likely than an earthquake in virginia (i mean, they seem equally improbable) remains a mystery, but i propose that we just move on from this particular line of discussion.

(sidenote: this is, in fact, not the first time i have had a mix-up like this. when i was on my mission in japan there was a pretty big earthquake in the middle of the night one night. my companion woke up all scared and i told her that i was 100 percent positive it was just a semi driving by and there was no need to worry. i fell back to sleep instantly, she was up all night worrying and when we walked out onto the street the next morning and saw broken windows and damaged buildings everywhere, i realized my semi truck theory had been mistaken. and i felt sort of bad. but only sort of.)

since i didn't even register what had happened until after it was over, i pretty much skipped the panic part. which was good i guess, given my propensity to overreact to things.

so, we evacuated (luckily i had it together enough to grab my diet coke), sat outside reading people's hilarious twitter updates about the quake and its aftermath, went back inside when we got the all-clear and then went home.

the traffic was awful.

some of my co-workers had lots of broken dishes and cracked walls, but we escaped with a few crooked pictures (still hanging) and nothing else.

a little anti-climactic in the end, but i guess that is the best kind of earthquake.

and now i am off to bed, hopefully for a semi and quake free sleep.

Monday, August 22, 2011

this was my weekend. how was yours?

friday night a storm rolled in with thunder so loud you thought the sky might split open right above your head.

it was the perfect kind of night to curl up with AWD, a sewing project and a little "friday night lights." so that is exactly what i did.

saturday dawned sunny and warm, so we loaded up our bikes and drove out to antietam to bike the battlefield. the only thing that could have possibly made the day better would have been if we had remembered to bring sunscreen. i am rocking a pretty sweet farmers' tan that better be gone by the wedding.

we stopped at the most luscious farm stand on our way out of town for fresh peaches and corn and squash and zuchini bread, and then made our way to winchester for an early birthday celebration with AWD's family.

it was nice to get away from all the wedding madness and spend some time thinking about things other than mini cupcakes and seating charts and dress fittings.

actually, who am i kidding? i love thinking about mini cupcakes any time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

rain and other showers.

i had a bridal shower last weekend and it was lovely.

the original idea was to have a picnic shower at hains point with croquet and bocce ball and general outdoor merry-making. but then it started pouring rain (are we seeing a theme in weekends around here lately?) so we moved the picnic inside. and that was delightful, too.

EH, being the party planner extraordinaire that she is, knocked it out of the park with the most adorable details and little surprises. included my new a&f shirt. clever, huh? and ck sent cookies as big as your face from new york and miss angela brought a big bunch of cheery yellow balloons and it was just the best night.

of course, mostly it was the best night because i got to spend it eating and laughing with so many of my favorite ladies (including laura on the computer! miss you!). every single person there was a person i just really adore. i felt so lucky.

one of the questions someone asked me during the present opening/question-and-answer period was what i am most looking forward to about being married. and this was my answer.

i have felt so overly blessed my entire life to be surrounded by such kind and talented and unique and loving and giving and forgiving friends who have loved me for me and who always had my back and my best interests in mind no matter what. when it comes to friends i have always been rich beyond measure, and even when i have felt a little lonely i have never truly felt alone. i consider this a great miracle.

and from those friends i have really learned how to be a friend and how to be a giver and what i am looking for as i gather the people i want to be around me. i really think a lifetime of good friends prepared me to choose a partner for my lifetime.

so what i am most looking forward to about being married is getting a friend like that and a husband all rolled into one.

there is, of course, other stuff i am looking forward to, too. but my parents read this blog. and so do AWD's. so i'll leave it at that.

(wink, wink.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

obladi, oblada.

the weekend started out splendidly.

we went to see "wicked" at the kennedy center. AWD and i were first-timers. we l-o-v-e loved it.

saturday morning i made it to the gym (this is a monumental thing) and then we did a bunch of yard work. the tree out front looks like a tree again instead of a wild bush, and the pernicious weeds along the fence line are gonzo. (for now.)

then we had lunch at tacklebox with the wheeler/hellewell clan, and it was so delicious that it didn't even matter that we had to drive to cleveland park and walk through the rain to get there. (the closer tacklebox in georgetown burned down, you see.)

but, just a few minutes after we got home, isadora, my beloved iphone, took a swim (in my toilet, if you must know) and everything sort of went downhill from there.

first, the blue crabs game was cancelled because of the rain that had been coming down all day. this was quite a blow.

so, we decided to go to the prince william county fair, instead. but by the time we got there it was dumping rain again, and the rides were starting to shut down.

the only thing left to do was hit up the new cafe rio in manassas, which isn't so bad, really, but when you were expecting fireworks at a minor league baseball game, or corn dogs and fried snickers bars, fast food mexican is sort of a let down.

things took a slight turn for the better on sunday afternoon, when i resurrected isadora long enough to download all my phone numbers and calendar items. she actually put up a good fight. she even let me talk to emdawg, as long as i kept her plugged in and on speaker phone. (isadora can be a little demanding.)

but, her last gasp came to an end. so today, with a heavy heart, i went to the at&t store and came home with flora, my new iphone four(a). she joins me thanks to my dad's very generous relinquishment of his upgrade, and so far we are getting along pretty well.

and so, as the beatles would say: life goes on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

it's friday, friday. gotta get down on friday.

does anyone else feel like the days and weeks are just zooming by? i can hardly believe it is friday. again. already. bah!

the biggest news of this blink-and-you-missed-it week is that AWD and i got our temple recommends. we can get married for real! a temple recommend is a little piece of paper you have to show to get into a mormon temple. you have some interviews and some people sign it and then you are good to go. to get married in a mormon temple, you need to get a special, one-time temple recommend. and, as of last night, AWD and i have said special, one-time temple recommends in our hot little hands.

naturally, we went to buzz for cupcakes to celebrate.

then we remembered we hadn't eaten dinner, so we had some sandwiches, too.

we've gotten a couple pieces of really great marriage advice throughout our temple recommend interview process, but i am going to save that for a separate post. so, stay tuned.

i also accomplished one other critical wedding task this week, namely finding a cupcake vendor for our salt lake reception. that was the last big piece that i needed to fall into place and now that it has, i am feeling pretty good.

looks like we are having a wedding!

wedding planning has been pretty fun lately, actually, and i have found some things i really really love that i want to share/brag about, but i am going to save those for a separate post. so stay tuned.

and that's probably enough dwelling on the past, right? let's look ahead to the future!

we are going to see "wicked" tonight! i've never seen it, and neither has AWD, and we are really excited. hurrah!

we are also going to see everyone's favorite minor league baseball team, the maryland blue crabs, play tomorrow night. these annual blue crabs outings are basically one of my favorite things ever.

and, because i have been bit by the nesting bug, and bad, i am going to do some work in the yard saturday morning. i was walking around the neighborhood earlier this week, thinking how homey and cute all the houses looked, and decided that i wanted my house to look like that, too. so, i am going to start by pruning back two seriously overgrown trees and go from there.

there are also a few wedding projects on the horizon but, you guessed it! i am saving those for a separate post. so, stay tuned.

happy weekend, my babies.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the final countdown

exactly one month from today i will be a married lady.

if that sounds impossible to you, don't worry about it. it does to me, too.

i have been reflecting a lot on my rapidly disappearing single days and years lately, putting my experiences in their proper place and perspective, packing them up to bring them with me on my next adventure.

there is lots to share, and hopefully i'll get to it all. but tonight i would like to share this.

a few months ago AWD and i were talking to a church-related grown-up who shall remain nameless and, after congratulating us on our engagement (which was still fairly new at the time) he looked at me and said, "kind of makes all that time seem worth it, eh?"

and because i couldn't believe that he had just said something like that, i didn't really have a very good response. i think i sputtered out something like, "it didn't actually feel that long." which is true (for the most part), but it's still not a very good response.

what i should have said (and what i will say if anyone ever says that to me again, mark my words!) is that "all that time" would have been worth it whether i had met and fallen in love with and gotten engaged to and eventually married AWD or not. my single years don't retroactively have meaning and value just because he came along and put an end to them.

which isn't to say i am not terribly glad that he did.

but i am also confident that i would have found ways to be terribly happy even if he hadn't.

the fact is, i have carefully reviewed the past many years of my life, searching and scouring and turning over stones and demanding honesty from myself and my emotions and my conclusion is that i do not regret a single moment of it. i wouldn't change a single thing. it was worth it then, it's worth it now and it will be worth it forever independent of anything and anyone else.

and i feel really good about that.

in particular, i have been turning over this idea in my mind.

i feel like a lot of mormon women who are "older" when they get married say things like, "i wish i hadn't spent so much time worrying about getting married when i was single!" which is a pretty easy thing to say when you have come to the end of the tunnel and you don't have to worry about that anymore, and it always seemed a little silly to me.

of course, there was no way to know then how i would feel about the same thing now, but since i am not really one for suspending judgement, i didn't.

and now that it's now i can honestly say that i wouldn't change a thing, including the time i spent worrying and wondering and crying and pleading and hoping and losing hope and finding it again.

i wouldn't trade it and i don't regret it because i didn't know then what i know now.

and, more importantly, it is part of my experience and my experience is part of me. and more importantly than that, it is a part of my experience that forced me expose my vulnerabilities, confront my insecurities and learn how to trust heavenly father and jesus christ in new and more powerful and personal ways.

in short, faith is never wasted. it is often the struggle that matters oh-so-much-more than the outcome. and my struggle gave me faith. a faith that i am so grateful to be able to carry forward, packed away with all my other lessons and experiences, ready for the next adventure.

Friday, August 5, 2011

i work hard for the money.

low: i was at the office, in a meeting, by 7a.m.

high: i ate these (not all of them) for breakfast.

weekend plans include "cowboys and aliens" and a bridal shower.

and probably a nap to recover from this morning.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

wednesday. whirlwind.

when i got to work today i had an e-mail in my inbox from EH.

subject line: in a hurry this morning?



i really need to manage my morning schedule better.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

shipping out to boston

we spent the weekend in boston (like jet-setters do), visiting my big little brother and showing AWD around town on his inaugural visit.

basically, if there is a thing to do in boston, we did it.

we walked around my old campus, saw fenway park, had breakfast on newbury street, went to the aquarium, walked around faneuil hall and quincy market, took a duck tour (not to mention that i drove the duck), strolled through the public garden and rode a swan boat, ate dinner at the union oyster house and had canolis from mike's pastry in the north end for dessert.

that was just saturday.

deep breath.

on sunday we went to harvard square, harvard yard, my old chapel and longfellow's house.

and then, as if that wasn't enough (because it was), AWD was in the hot seat at family gathering facing questions like "so, why do you want to marry frances?" which, i might add, he answered very well.

we were on a plane back home about 36 hours after we landed, but we loved every minute of it. and, most importantly, AWD and the big little brother loved each other.

boston wins again.

Monday, August 1, 2011

root, root, root for the home team

it was mormon night at the nationals tonight, so AWD and i headed to the ballpark to watch the home team defeat the atlanta braves.

the game was OK, but the stormy sunset sky was spectacular.