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tulips

Life is moving

Posted on 08.06.2010 at 10:11
My life has been consumed by work and wedding.  Work and wedding.  Sleep and repeat.  I've been trying to take to heart everyone's advice to enjoy each step of the process and most of the choices have been pretty awesome.

We've chosen a photographer and she's a fun, young lady, so I'm excited to see how all the photographs will turn out.  Our engagement session is scheduled for September at Wake, so hopefully we'll get a good taste of her style then.  I'm crossing my fingers that David remembers to smile.

We also picked our wedding cake from this awesome little bakery in Statesville.  It's relatively new in downtown and I can't recommend it enough.  Sweet Things Bakery; check it out.  She serves cupcakes and other treats Wednesday through Saturday and they are totally divine.  The shop is on Center Street, just across from Black Angus Grill.  Also, did you know that Karen's Cakes has opened a dessert cafe on Friday and Saturday nights?  A nice chance to get a dessert treat in town that's a little nicer than the standard chain dessert fare.  But Sweet Things, I now dream about you.

Now for a florist and DJ and the 800 remaining decisions to be made.  Actually, I think Knot.com says it's 124 decisions, but who's counting.

The BIG thing on our plate is still the Catholic dispensation.  We met last night with the parish deacon.  He confirmed I'm a heathen, but agreed to sign the form and move forward with that process.  PRAISE THE LORD!  Now I have to get my mom to fill out a paper saying I've never been married and have it notarized.  Seriously.  Apparently my word isn't enough.  Nor is a signature.  It has to be NOTARIZED.  YAY red tape!  But, we'll focus on the positive and that is that the deacon has agreed to process our dispensation for us.  The rest of it is just a good mental/emotional workout for David and me.  We'll survive.  Oh, and we get to do pre-canna too.  This marriage should be rock-solid...that'll be round three of pre-marital counseling.  We'll have fights, sure, but good grief what wouldn't we have talked about after three sets of counseling.

Outside of my wedding world (yes, there is one!), we've been traveling a lot.  We've done are summer trips to West Virginia for golfing and escapes.  In fact, we're headed there again today.

Justin also finished up his Masters program earlier this summer, so we spent time in Huntington, WV celebrating him.  Now we're just waiting to learn where he'll find a job.  He's still looking for one pretty diligently from DC, NC and all the way to Missouri.  I want him to get a job, but please, not in Missouri.  It's so far away!

Oh!  And I moved this summer!  I moved a little further out of the city to Wheaton, MD into a 2 bedroom townhouse.  I'm still renting, but we found a great deal on a place for once we're married, so I went ahead and made the move so that wouldn't be another thing to do just before the wedding.  I'm getting settled, but nothing is on the walls and it isn't quite set up yet.  I'm trying to get some of David's stuff to incorporate so that it feels like his place too.

There's always more, but that's work stuff.  And it's boring.

tulips

Upgrades

Posted on 04.28.2010 at 09:27
Things are just moving along here in DC.  David and I have been out of town the last two weekends, so that had put the wedding planning on hold a bit.  The break has been nice actually.

Two weekends ago, we headed out to West Virginia where his parents have a house.  The weather wasn't the best, but it was still nice to get away - even without the usual afternoon of golf.  I've found in the last two summers I've become quite addicted to swinging the clubs.  I'm terrible at the game, but I do love it.  My usual goal is to be better than double par at this point.  But seeing as my first summer I just picked up the ball on every hole, I think that's a real improvement.  David's grandmother, Mate, and his aunt joined the usual suspects in West Virginia this time, which was also a nice change.  I've never had the chance to spend much time with his aunt, so I really enjoyed that.

Last weekend, we headed down to "the country" which is his grandparents house on southern Maryland on the St. Mary's River.  It's old.  It's quiet.  It reminds me of home and I love it.  His cousin had a gymnastics competition in the area, so we headed down to cheer her on Saturday morning and enjoyed Saturday relaxing around his grandparents' house and spending time with them.

Sunday, we headed back here to try and find us a place to live once we're married.  Apparently after we've both lived on our own for five or eight years, depending on who you ask, you accumulate a lot of crap.  So much crap that we can't combine it all into a single one bedroom apartment.  So that means it's time to try and find something bigger and since my lease is up in June/July, it becomes my responsibility to start the upgrade process and store all the new stuff we'll accumulate in the coming months until we're married.  Hopefully I can convince the pack-rat Kirby in him to purge some of his old stuff along the way.  We're looking at a couple two bedroom townhomes on the red line which are all rentals and surprisingly affordable (by DC standards).  Tonight we're looking at a property that my current landlord owns that is a 2 bedroom AND has a garage.  It almost sounds too good to be true.  I'm trying to temper my expectations.  I guess this whole marriage and adult life really is going to happen.  And sooner rather than later, huh?  Pretty exciting stuff!

tulips

There may just be a wedding after all...

Posted on 04.06.2010 at 11:28
When David and I got engaged about a month ago, everyone told me I should take some time to enjoy it.  Not think about plans or what to do next, just enjoy being engaged.  As anyone who knows me knows, I'm about as Type A an individual as God created.  Waiting and enjoying patiently are simply NOT in my vocabulary.  And boy am I glad they aren't!

I called the Civic center on March 8, 2010 to try and reserve reception space for April 30, 2011 - the place was already booked!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?  Nearly 14 full months in advance and it was already booked.  As was all of May, June and most of July.  Oh and Wake Forest doesn't do weddings during the school year anymore in Wait Chapel.  I lived next to Wait Chapel for a year.  Rest assured, they had PLENTY of weddings there during the school year my junior year alone.  Commence freak-out.  This type-a driven individual was absolutely convinced that a wedding within the state of North Carolina (at least one that had any meaning) was simply not in the cards for me.  Not on the date I wanted and not in the locations I wanted.  Let's hope those were the last tears I cried over this wedding.  I'm sure they aren't, but let's all hope.  For everyone's sanity.  Because you'll all get to hear about every dramatic panic-filled moment in the next 13-ish months.

So with no Wait Chapel placing Winston-Salem out of the running and the no Civic Center limiting the guest list (125 immediate family members makes for an enormous wedding.  That's just aunts and uncles and a few first cousins...that number could SERIOUSLY be larger).  We started looking for a Plan-B.  I've always wanted to get married at Front Street.  It's the church I grew up in.  It's the church my parents were married in.  That's not much on the settling front.  But where exactly in Statesville can you put 200+ guests in April.  Outside isn't an option.  I want an April wedding and we all know "Aprill showers" and all that.  The Holiday Inn?  Not hardly.  The new Courtyard by Marriott....don't even bother.  Country clubs...maybe.  So that's where we're at.  We're working with the Statesville Country Club and possibly Fox Den to see where the numbers fall.  They both have beautiful spaces, but the reception may be fancier than I ever imagined.  Why can't Baptists just dance?  This would all be so much easier if Baptists didn't think dancing were so gosh-darn sinful.

David and I visited reception sites over Easter.  We hope to make a decision this week.  I really hope once locations are nailed down this whole thing gets easier.  Married ladies, please tell me it does.

Easter was an amazing time to celebrate our risen Savior as well.  We woke early to head to our sunrise service at Front Street with mama and then had a great breakfast at church.  After attending the regular service, we headed over to my grandma's house for the annual Easter lunch and egg hunt.  She takes plastic eggs and fills them with quarters and gold dollars for all the small kids to find.  I think they need to start a "young adults" league in this hunt.  But then again...that's just what my cousin, Jessica, and I think.  Who's listening to us?

And now it's back to the grind at work.  But that's okay, there are things to distract me with these days.  I'm helping host a baby shower for a friend this weekend.  It really is the season of new life with all the beautiful blooms in the air and new babies being born...this is my 4th friend to have a baby in the last 2 months!

tulips

She Said Yes!

Posted on 03.08.2010 at 17:15
Well, actually, I said "Ab-SO-LUTE-ly."

Many of you have seen the ring.  The updated status.  So let me tell you HOW it happened.  You didn't ask, but I want to tell.  Because I'm bursting at the seams.

After one of the longest weeks at work in several months, David and I had planned the lamest and most shameful date night ever.  Maybe the fear of doing taxes shamed him into buying a ring, who knows?  David beat me back to Silver Spring and headed over to my apartment to order delivery for our dinner knowing I'd be exhausted and just want to crash when I got home.  Such a smart man!  When I walked in the door, he was in the living room clipping coupons so we could hit the grocery store - part of our weekend routine.  My apartment is setup so that when you open the door to my closet it blocks the view into the living room, so I'm putting my coat away and David sneaks over to behind the open closet door.  As I close the door, there he is, on one knee peering up at me with the most loving smile on his face.  I looked at him and asked "WHAT are you doing?" and he pulls the ring box from behind his back and asks "Will you marry me"?  I looked at him in shock for a moment and then responded with a resounding "Ab-SO-LUTE-ly!"

And that, my friends, is how I became an engaged lady.

tulips

Dreaming of a Green Anything

Posted on 02.03.2010 at 09:43
I'm so tired of snow!  It's amazing how different we view things as we get older - it still seems like yesterday that I could barely sleep when the forecast called for snow in hopes that school might be canceled the next day.  Or in college where we checked email and voicemail every 10 minutes absolutely positive that our tried and true vice president would call and say that classes would be canceled due to the light dusting of snow on the ground.  I'm at work today (and not just because we have public transit) after having gotten 2-6 inches of snow in the area on Friday/Saturday with another 2-4 inches dumped on us last night.  So much for weather delays.  All the schools and daycares are closed today, so parents are working from home or taking personal leave, but the junior folk, the minions, are here working away.  And let me tell you, slogging through the slush and "scraped" sidewalks is dangerous (and dirty) work.  I'd like to be ten again.

We should get another 12 inches of snow this Friday/Saturday to add to the existing 4-10 inches we already have.  I'm sure work won't be delayed/canceled next Monday either.

In other news, things are going well here.  It's been a slow 2010...other than that heat/hot water business.  I haven't been anywhere or done anything exciting.  But I think I like it that way.  I've been able to get into a routine and simple enjoy the little things.  I do have a busy February coming up:

- Attempting to throw a Super Bowl party Sunday...the weather could put a wrench in that though
- President's Day Weekend is Toomey family fun...Surf and Turf dinner to celebrate the boys' fantasy football season with their grandmother and a brunch with the Logan's.
- Headed back to NC the following weekend to plan for my 5 year college reunion.  Holy moly - it's been nearly 5 years.  Boy does time fly!

tulips

It's Fixed. It's Really Fixed!

Posted on 01.18.2010 at 12:07
After two weeks; it's fixed.  After mixing 8 of the last 10 days of work; it's fixed.  Sort of.  The best that it's going to be - it's fixed.  The contractors replaced my hot water heater and the new one just doesn't supply domestic hot water to my unit AND heating hot water well enough to do both at the same time, so I've shut off the valves to my heating system by choice so that I can take a hot(ish) shower.  I'm tired of contractors and I'm tired of phone calls, so I've decided this if fixed by my measure.  I'm not sure that anyone would find anything "broken" at this point anyway.  Perhaps they could tweak something, but not with my time.  So I know have heat and hot water.  Granted, the heat comes from the sun and my neighbors, but it's still 73 in my apartment, so I don't need the heat now anyway.  And there are ways I can run the system if need be.  July can't get here soon enough!

Otherwise, 2010 has otherwise been a pretty good year.  Nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary.  Just a good solid year.  I've been productive.  I've knocked a few things off my to-do list.  I've kept the apartment clean (which was quite an effort with plumbers and HVAC guys in nearly every single day for 15 days).  I'm better managing a budget which I've never even attempted to do before.  Sure, I've had a rough, ambiguous number in my head and tried not to go over it, but I've never *really* tracked where my money went and tried to cut down on frivolous spending.  The want vs. need mentality of wasteful spending.  It's already been an eye-opening.  The OCD part of me has really enjoyed it.  The David-loving side of me has not because I think the organization is driving him crazy.  He's not so much a fan of the structure.  But we're definitely falling into our patterns together even if we don't live together and I think that's good for us.  Especially if we really intend for this to be for the long haul.  The day-to-day routines are what makes a relationship in the end, right?

Back to dreaming about my next hot shower at home.  I need to make up for all the duffel-bag-packed-gotta-hurry-now-I'm-running-late-because-I'm-not-at-home showers I took at David's the past two-plus weeks.

tulips

Progress?

Posted on 01.07.2010 at 09:28
I've spent more time with plumbers than I have my co-workers in 2010.  Ted has become my new best friend.  He's been to my place twice and one of those visits lasted six hours.  All said, I've had five service visits and I'm waiting on my sixth now.  There have been three different companies stop buy to identify issues.  Water has been shut-off to the entire 150+ unit building I live in all because of me.  I've got a BIG mess on my hands. 

After Ted's six hour visit yesterday, I have a new gas pump and a new mixing valve.  Sadly mother nature still doesn't think I deserve hot water or heat and the wind keeps blowing out my pilot light on my hot water heater.  The company I've been working with, John C. Flood, has been stellar through all of this.  I'm sure working with a tenant and a landlord is cumbersome, but they've been polite and explained every issue to me and I'm sure then turned around and explained everything again to my landlord (who frankly doesn't understand anything about this stuff).

So, here's to another day of no heat and no hot water.  Hopefully Dale, the next technician will be here soon.  If you know anyone in the DC metro area needing plumbing/heating/electrical work, send them my way.  I can give them a great recommendation.  These guys have been excellent for me.

tulips

2010 officially stinks

Posted on 01.04.2010 at 12:47
On the bright side, it's only up from here!

The hot water in my apartment has been on the fritz since before Christmas, but with being in North Carolina (and what a fantastic Christmas it was!), it really didn't matter so much.  I came back to Silver Spring on Sunday and started trying to fix things.  I even made a little progress, but in the end, the hot water only got less and less, so I had to call my landlord on Wednesday and tell him to have someone fix it.  A plumber came on Thursday, identified the problem and my landlord balked at the price.  Ok, fine.  It's an investment property and dropping a grand on the hot water isn't ideal.  So he got a second opinion which happened Sunday.  In the midst of all that, we have the winds of La Nina.  Or a hurricane.  Or just really bad winds.  And my pilot light went out on my gas water heater.  Which identified the fact that I have a gas leak.  I've kind of suspected this since last winter, but as long as the pilot light worked, you didn't really notice because the flame burned all the gas up and none was leaking.  But once the light went out, it got to seep out and fill my apartment.  So second-opinion-plumber shows up and identifies the fact that I have no hot water, now now heat and a gas leak.  My apartment has gone from being an inconvenience in 2009 to a downright health and safety hazard in 2010!

The gas is shut-off to the water heater and my landlord claims he's working on it.  But he just called and he's still in the process of "getting numbers" so who knows when this will be resolved.  Thankfully, I can stay at David's for the time being, but talk about an inconvenience.  Oh, and my landlord is penny-pinching at my expense.  He "may want me to stop payment on my check for yesterday's service because he thinks we were overcharged."  It was $99.  Pretty much every plumber in the area charges $99 for a visit.  Bah!

tulips

A view on universal healthcare

Posted on 09.28.2009 at 22:03
From Street Sense (the street/homeless newspaper in DC)
by Lisa V. Gillespie

I am reading on the subway as we pull up to L'Enfant Plaza and a yellow-shirted middle-aged, slightly over-weight woman with a sparkly home-made visor files in with her husband.  She is holding a sign that says, "Hitler gave great speeches, too," with a picture of Obama and a mustache.  Her husband holds a sign comparing the proposed health care reform to socialism.  She starts asking the woman next to her, an overweight woman in a similar visor and a wheelchair, where she is from.  As I hear they are both from North Carolina, I cringe.  They get excited.  My home state is represented by the conservative protesters marching on the Capitol.

The woman looks at me, I imagine she sees a young woman, just out of college, white and blond hair, reading.  She smiles warmly.  I imagine being pulled into this woman's bosom, just like one of my aunts would do after her niece arrives from the big city.  But I cannot smile back at this woman.  My mouth twists and my eyes narrow.  How can she smile at me.

I do not have health insurance.

I work three part-time jobs.

I do not know when and if I will get a full-time job, which would provide the insurance so that I could go to the doctor.

Last week I had a toothache.  It lasted for a week.  I called my mother crying one night because of the pain, but, more because of worry caused by that pain.  My mind was spinning with the thoughts of the potential decay, my gums and teeth would eventually rot out of my head.  Usually, I just do not think about what if something were to happen to me.  But I could not avoid it on this evening.

I know I am not alone.

I would like to be taken care of.

But, because I cannot find a full-time job, I am not.

There are logistics to health care, money involved.  But the idea that giving care to people is protestable, it angers me. I am one of these people.  And so many people at my part-time restaurant job.  And so many people I interview.

I do not know if universal health care will go through; it is not within my frame of reference right now to think so, or to even hope so.  Because I wake up every day with the hope that I do not get sick, because the small sickness might lead to something bigger.  I know I would have resources.  I could move home.  My parents and the aunts with the bosoms would help.  But some people do not have family.

I feel a little guilty for not smiling back at the woman on the train.  But I do not think she feels guilty.  So I will try not to, either.

**************

I think one thing everyone seems to forget in this healthcare debate (though I suspect most people reading this probably agree with me) is that there are real people involved in this decision.  This isn't just policy.  It isn't just rhetoric.  And it certainly isn't just Republican and Democrat.  There are real people, insured and un-insured in this world.  Healthy and unhealthy and we all get sick.  Tragedies happen.  Attempted robberies and gunshot wounds happen - even to the best of people.  Had my mom not been a teacher, had my dad had to have his own insurance that fateful February night, I can't begin to fathom where my parents (and frankly, my brother and I as adults) would be right now.  Bad things happen to good people.  Unplanned things happen to good people.  And by good I mean insured.  Plenty of "insured" people don't even have the most basic coverages necessary for an ER visit and don't even know it because of the legalese they have to read through.  I haven't read my policy cover to cover, page by page.  Have you?  I just *hope* I'm covered for those basic necessities because I'm blessed to have an employer that picked a few plans out for me and I chose one that "looked" like it fit.  I read the summary chart.  I thought I understood.  My co-pays are affordable.  If a had a debilitating life-altering tragedy strike, I might be screwed too.  And these sequined visor ladies can protest me then too.

In the end, I just want the Senate to remember there are real people.


tulips

It was a "normal" weekend

Posted on 07.27.2009 at 14:37
It seems all I have done in months and months and months is travel.  And while I'd LOVE to update each time I make a weekend excursion, I never feel I can do a trip justice, so I just put off updating the ole LJ and then no one ever knows what it is I do.  That and having one weekend of activities after another really does make for a busy life.  David and I were counting last night.  I've been to 6 weddings this year and there was a 7th we were invited to.  We still have at least one more on the calendar.  That doesn't include the baby showers - one we attended, one we missed and another still to come.

But this past weekend was a stay at home weekend.  And it was glorious.  I certainly wouldn't call it a lazy weekend, but I wished it would have lasted forever.  Friday night David and I caught the home closer for the local Cal Ripken Sr. college summer league games down the road.  Summer and baseball (or softball) just *have* to go hand in hand in my book.  They just *have* to.  It's wonderful to catch a local game at the local high school for $5 when we get the chance.  The guys may not always be that great, but you never know when you're seeing a future star.  Jonathan Papelbon played on "our" team nearly 10 years ago...who knows, maybe one of this years all-stars will be the next breakout.  And there was a Wake Forest guy on the visiting team Friday night.

Saturday was filled with cleaning and accomplishment.  I LOVE scratching things off the to-do list.  Who knew throwing things in the dump and hammering carpet transition strips into the floor would one day make me so happy.  We also had a date-night Saturday night at a local tex-mex restaurant and we then headed to see The Hangover in Chevy Chase.  Quite a huge storm blew threw just as we got to the movie and I never fail to remember just how much I hate cities when it rains.  The wind was howling, trees were bending with the wind.  And cars were still screaming by in the fury of the rain splashing puddles for yards onto the curb.  No matter how far away you stood, you were sure to get soaked from head to toe.  Stupid drivers.  Even stupider puddles (sic).

We wound down the weekend with church, lunch with friends, errands and a spontaneous cookout with the Toomeys.  Oh, to have family nearby again!  Such fun.

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