Wednesday, April 26, 2006


The search for a nice honeymoon still continues. We found a great rate on an all-inclusive hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but we still don't know if we can leave the country. Funnily enough, Sam actually does have his birth certificate here; it's mine we're not sure of. I asked my dad to see if he can find it for me. Otherwise, we'll try to find some last minute deal in the good ol' US.

This past Saturday was a pretty crazy but really fun day. I had suspected something fishy was going on cuz Sam and my bridesmaids had been acting very strangely over the past week and a half. Ciara (my BM/cousin) was talking in code, and Sam kept receiving phone calls from a girl who I presumed was Nimalee (my MOH/best friend). Despite my suspicions, I was still really surprised when I opened my door Saturday afternoon to a very loud "Surprise! Happy Bachelorette Party!". Nimalee and Ciara had white hats on; Nimalee's said "Maid of Honor" and Ciara's said "Bridesmaid". :) Then they dressed me up in a mini-veil, a large sash with "Bride To Be" on it, and a "Bride To Be" pin - complete with flashing lights. o.O;; They quickly blindfolded me and led me out the door to Nimalee's car, as I called out an uncertain "Um... bye, Honey!" to Sam. Apparently people were kinda staring as we walked through the parking lot... (LOL)

They drove me around for a while, and I overheard Ciara say the word "massage" (Nimalee glared at her a little, I later learned). They led me out of the car, and I heard a man chuckle and say "You dressed her up like that? Awesome!". As I walked in, sure enough, I smelled the familiar scent of massage lotion. They took off the blindfold and we were at this cool massage place called Massage Envy! It was really very clean and modern-looking. We filled out some paperwork and ate candy while we waited for our massage. They even offered us tea and water while we waited! Nice! We looked through some of the massage therapists' bios, and I was pleased to see that a few of the people went to the same massage school as Sam did. My massage therapist for the day was one of them.

My therapist, Laura, then came to get me, and I followed her to a really large massage room. She left as I took off my clothes and wriggled under the sheets. The bed was heated! Cozy! The sheets were really soft too. She came back and began my massage. It was very relaxing. Even though I've gotten lots of massages now from Sam, it was my first time getting a massage in an official place, so it was really cool, and I was a little nervous. I'm used to firm to deep pressure when I get massages from Sam (it helps get the kinks out!), so I opted for firm pressure on the paperwork. The therapist was kinda gentle, though, and that was great too. I kinda wish she had used some harder pressure, but that often hurts, so the painless massage was very relaxing. We chatted as she massaged me (I giggled a little when she massaged my feet), and it turns out that she knows Sam! So we talked about wedding plans and the massage school. When she was done, she left the room so I could get back into my clothes, and she was waiting outside with a cup of water for me. How nice! I gave her a tip and wandered back to the lobby. I had had a slight headache when I went there and, after the massage, the headache was gone! Yay! I found Ciara in the lobby feeling lightheaded and a little dizzy from the massage (it can do that to you).

After Nimalee came out, they paid the receptionist (and scolded me for tipping my therapist cuz they were gonna do it) and we were on our way again. They wanted to pick up a few snacks, and I needed to buy me and Sam (who said he was hungry when I called him) some sandwiches, so they brought me to the supermarket across the street from my apartment. They dressed me up in my mini-veil, sash, and button, then paraded me through the supermarket. And everybody at that supermarket knows me because Sam and I go there so often. So the employees and shoppers stared at me. After a while, they wandered away to find their own food, so they abandoned me at the deli with the giggling sandwich lady and middle-aged shopper lady also buying sandwiches. "You're getting married??" Shopper Lady said with wide eyes. "But you're so young! You're just a baby still!" Thanks, Shopper Lady. :P

We went back to my apartment with our food and while I ate my sandwich, Nimalee and Ciara prepared champagne with sliced strawberries in it. None of us were too big on champagne by itself, but we added sparkling apple cider to it and it was suddenly very good! Yum! Nimalee was the designated driver for the day, and they had more plans for the evening, so she didn't drink much of hers. So I finished my glass and drank the rest of hers. :) Nimalee left to do something mysterious, and Ciara started putting makeup on me in the pretense of practicing my wedding day makeup, and she did really very well, considering she was kinda drunk. (Oh, don't deny it!) She's underage, so she hasn't really built up a tolerance yet. And this probably isn't an entry she should ever show her mom... Anyway, after she was done with my makeup, she started practicing my wedding day hair-do. I want it to look like this:
I think with a little hairspray (we didn't have any) we could easily pull it off. My hair is straight with curly-wannabe tendencies, which ends up looking frizzy most of the time. So she straightened it with a straightening iron, put it up into a couple ponytails, and curled it with a curling iron. The curls fell out without the hairspray, but it still looked pretty cool. Nimalee had come back but she hid in our messy bedroom, so I didn't see her for a while cuz I wasn't allowed in there. My good friend Paige came (yay!) and we chatted for a while, as Ciara hid away with Nimalee. Then Paige hid away too. During all this, Sam was napping on the couch. :) I talked with him for a while as I danced around in our living room, and after a bit, Nimalee came out again and told me to change into one of two halter tops. I had to change my bra and I was very embarrassed with the state of our bedroom, which was the only place in the entire apartment that wasn't clean and guest-worthy. I put on a simple, purple halter top, but Paige made me change it again, cuz she said I needed more sparkles, so I put on the sparkly green one instead. They instructed me to put on heels and get a small purse. By then, I was feeling very much unlike myself, what with the makeup (which I never wear), the done up hair (which I never do), and the slightly revealing halter and heels (which I also never wear - I borrowed Nimalee's shirt!). It was good, though! I never dress up, so it was a nice change of pace. I felt very girly and shy. I presented myself to Sam, who seemed to enjoy the change as well. :P Then off we went again!

They were still very secretive in the car as we drove to wherever we were going, which apparently required reservations. They had a big trash bag with them, filled with boxes. Very suspicious. We finally reached Encino, and circled around to find parking. We arrived at Benihana's! I love teppanyaki! We were a little early for our reservation, so we ordered drinks and sat around the bar area. I had a very pretty strawberry daquiri. Ciara sampled all our drinks and got progressively loopier as the night went on.

We were shown to our seats, and soon afterward, the cook came. He started off by preparing our appetizers, in which he made a volcano out of onion slices by stacking the rings of onion on top of each other and pouring water down the middle so it steamed. Cool! He also cut and cooked shrimp, and formed them into tiny hearts. He then served it up. I declined the shrimp because I'm allergic, and he scolded me for not telling him earlier. Nimalee and I talked and often pretended to be a lesbian couple (cuz we're dorks and weird like that). The cook made some very impressive fried rice, putting it into bowls and making them do backflips on his spatula before serving them to everybody. Cool! I had hibachi steak, which was very good. And we ate and talked and had a good time.

After the waitress brought my girls the check, she took our picture with a Polaroid. Then the girls opened up the trash bag with the boxes and presented me with various gifts. The first one was Something Old. It was the puffy blue flower girl dress that I had worn when I was six for my cousin's wedding! How sweet! Apparently Nimalee had asked my dad to find it for me, which was a big task, considering she's a little scared of my dad. (My dad can be kinda intimidating) The next was Something New, which was a very cute, lacy corset lingerie thing from Victoria's Secret. I had peeked at it in the bag, since I was too embarrassed to take it out in the middle of the restaurant. Something Borrowed was an old ring that once belonged to Ciara's and my grandmother. It was yellow gold with a delicate golden butterfly on top. I'd like to try to wear it during the wedding ceremony, but I have tiny fingers, so I hope it stays. I have to return it to my aunt (Ciara's mom) after I'm done with it. We all joked that my entire wedding could be my Something Blue, but they gave me an adorable garter set that had blue ribbons on it. Then they gave me the Penny in My Shoe, which was a newly minted 2006 penny. Nimalee had called several banks asking for one. I also had a card with sweet messages from all of them in it. I really loved and appreciated that they had worked really hard to get such meaningful and thoughtful presents for me.

They had intended on taking me out clubbing, but everybody was pretty full and tired, so we wanted to go to TGIFriday's for drinks. But on the way, we had to stop at Denny's twice, due to some bowel issues (I won't say whose). We were also on the wrong freeway, so we had to turn around. By the time we made it back to the Friday's we wanted to go to, they were likely already closing, so we decided it'd be best to go home. Paige and Ciara left, but Nimalee stuck around for a while to get changed and gather her things, since she had a long drive ahead of her. (I offered to let her spend the night, but she had things to do the next morning.) So we talked for a good long while and then she went home. I plopped into bed shortly afterwards.

Wow! Long entry! But I had a great time on Saturday, and it'd be a shame to forget the details if I didn't write them all down. I'm really busy at home, but bored silly at work, so I imagine I'll still have time to update fairly regularly. There's still so much I have to do! There's only a week and a half to go! That's insane! Honestly, it doesn't even feel like it's happening. Like it's still months away. (Which kinda worries me, cuz it makes me feel like I have time to procrastinate. Must not waste time!) I can't believe I'm getting married! I wonder when it'll finally hit me?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

They've Spiked the Drink!

This is certainly not the time to procrastinate. But here I am, not having done a lot of the things I should have done by now. I have my excuses, of course, (and some of them are fairly legitimate!) but it's really time I put my nose to the grindstone. Is that how the expression goes? I find myself getting expressions wrong, then I sound like a loony.

Right now, I'm frantically searching for other honeymoon options. Hawaii isn't going to work out, it seems. Oh, we still have the means to get that hotel in Honolulu, but I'm very reluctant to go to Honolulu right now. See, they had a huge storm at the end of March, and the sewage main or something was going to break, so the city decided to flush it out into the ocean. It was about 50 million gallons of sewage. So the waters were really contaminated. A guy fell into the water not too long afterward, and he had cuts on him, and the cuts got really infected and he died. (SO gross!!) Even though the city has been cleaning up steadily since it happened nearly a month ago, I don't think I'd trust the water enough to go in it. And I think it'd kinda suck to go to Hawaii and not go to the beach, you know?

So I tried to search the other Hawaiian islands to see if I could find something affordable and suitable to our needs. Maui sounded very nice, but it was more expensive, and we might have been stuck in one area for lack of a car. Oahu's the only island that has a good public transportation system, so you really need a rental car to get around when you're in Maui or Kauai or the Big Island. Which I can't do, since I'm not 25 yet. It just sucks that I didn't know about the spill sooner, cuz I was getting really excited about going there. Since Honolulu's the biggest tourist spot in Hawaii, I guess it's all been kept very hush-hush. We still might decide to go to one of the islands for the honeymoon, but it seems unlikely now. Sam says maybe we could go to Hawaii next year for our first anniversary. I would like that very much. Still, I can't help but feel disappointed.

One place we're considering now is Lake Tahoe. It was an idea Sam and I both liked when we were first batting around honeymoon ideas, since I remember it being a lovely place when I vacationed there as a kid. I'm just not sure what we'd end up doing out there. There are casinos and the lake (which I remember being very beautiful), but I'm trying to find out if there are any places to sightsee, like museums or a zoo or something. We're also thinking about Las Vegas. Sam's never been there before, it's easy to find stuff to do without the need for a car, and since it's really close, it's cheaper too. We could probably even stay at a pretty swanky hotel. We could do nerdy stuff too, like go to the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton. But would it be romantic, I wonder? And relaxing? The only particularly romantic thing I can think of is the gondola ride at the Venetian (maybe my imagination isn't working too well right now). And I've been there about 10 times with my parents, so it doesn't seem that exciting to me anymore. Still cool, but not as exciting.

I really like the idea of going on a cruise to the Bahamas or the Mexican Riviera, but Sam's not so into it. Most of the cruises we're looking at leave the weekend after we get married (5/13 or /514), so they get back the weekend before we go to back to work (5/20 or 5/21). Sam wants us to have time to rest at home before we go back to work. Sam also has a fear of flying, so he's really wary about flying to the cruise departure cities, like New York or Orlando. He says he will fly there if we do end up going on a cruise, but he'd rather leave from California or somewhere close, so the flight isn't too long. Cruises are a little expensive, but they do include entertainment, most meals, some beverages, and room service. And I've found some pretty great deals on Priceline and Travelocity. We'd also get to go someplace really different and new. I've never been on a cruise before, or to the Bahamas or Mexico. I think it'd be a lot of fun.

Let's see, what else could we do? Disneyworld? It might be fun, but I should probably take a break from Disney for a while. The Caribbean or Mexico without a cruise? Would I need a passport? How long does that take? Sam wouldn't like an even longer flight... This honeymoon thing is mind-boggling.

Monday, April 10, 2006

26 Days and Counting

We had our final meeting with our deacon on Saturday, so pretty much all of the major stuff is finished. We picked our readings, sent in our ceremony music request to the music guy, and turned in our Baptism/Communion/Confirmation records. Just need to turn in those pesky witness forms and our marriage license, and we can officially get married.

That's not to say there isn't tons left to do. All the little details are gonna drive me crazy, I can tell. I've finally got fed up with the table decorations, thought "To hell with this!", and have decided that I'll just go with the simplest possible route. Much like the other Kristine suggested, I'll have the lantern in the middle with rose petals and votive candles down a line on either side of it. I had wanted to do this anyway, but somehow thought that just the petals, candles, and the lanterns would look small on the tables. Most people assure me that it won't. So it'll look like this, but with a lantern:

So I bought 7 dozen votive candles in glass containers for $4.97 per dozen this weekend (Yay Michaels!). And then I can buy 6 bunches of roses from Costco a day or two before the wedding, just to harvest the petals. (I think I'll ask a florist if they'd be willing to give them for me for cheap or free, considering it's like taking out their trash for them.) I'm sure it'll look very nice. I asked my brother (who's now an interior designer), what he thinks, and he says it'll look okay. He started going off on adding bamboo or eucalyptus too. I'd rather not bother with it. Eucalyptus would be easy enough to get for free - my work is swarming with eucalyptus trees - but if my coworkers didn't think I was a weirdo before, they'll certainly think so once they see me picking up leaves with my butt waggling in the air (waggling cuz I'm bending over; I wouldn't just be randomly waggling my butt). Anyway, I'm gonna try to back away from the table decorations and stop obsessing about them. Let it go, Kristine. Let it go.

And damn it, Martha Stewart! I bought your wedding magazine for the sole purpose of learning how to do those tissue paper doohickeys, then you go off and provide the instructions for free on your website! Just for that, I will make your magazine into beads or a bowl sometime in the future! So there! ...Anyway, I think it'd be cool if there were hooks at my reception site so I could make those hanging pom-poms. They look really impressive, and I made the little ones, and they were easy as pie! Easier, even! I could make them in pink, green, purple, and blue in all different sizes, and hang them from the ceiling with fishing wire, so it'll be like they're floating. Of course, this is all dependent upon visiting the reception site and seeing if they have hooks.

But I'm also wondering if some of the craftsy projects I wanted to do will even be worth the effort. My idea for the placecards was to have a tissue paper flower coming out of a tiny, 1 inch terra cotta pot, with the leaf as the nametag. Then the color of the flower would show what they wanted for dinner. It'd be cute, for sure. But would it be appreciated? I'm sure our guests would say, "Oh, how cute!", but they'd eventually just get thrown out or left behind, especially by out of town guests, who can't realistically put mini flowers in suitcases. They'd be smushed. So for a lot of my projects, I've been having a debate in my head: Practicality/Appreciation vs. Time/Money/Effort Spent. With less than 4 weeks to go, I can't really afford to get hung up on things that won't make a difference if they're not there. So maybe just little tent placecards in different colors, with a mini paper flower glued to it.

Finally, I figure I should start a weekly To-Do list, since it's really getting close to the wedding date, and there's tons left to do.


  • Send check for balance and guidelines to photographer; ask her what entrees they want
  • Visit Sportsman Restaurant to scope out the place for details and ask questions
  • Follow up with people who haven't RSVP'd yet.
  • Call uncle! (Maybe email?)
  • Give witness forms to brother and dad (or aunt), get them back before Friday
  • Finish witness forms from Sam's parents
  • Appointment at County Clerk's office on Friday (Was that at 10am, Sam?)
  • Order crinoline & any other bridal accessories
  • Drop off dress at tailor
  • Start designing guestbook cards, camera cards, table numbers, and programs

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sand Ceremony

I've never liked the whole Unity Candle ceremony. I think it's because the flame that's supposed to represent the couple's coming together as a family and as a whole is so easily extinguished. Possibly also because I've got a slight pyrophobia. (I'd probably worry about dropping my candle and lighting my wedding dress on fire...)

Anyway, I heard about the Sand Ceremony, and the more I read up on it, the more I like it. Basically, you have two containers, each filled with a different color of sand. The bride and groom each take a container, and pour the sand into a vase or bottle at the same time. The lovely piece of sand art you've just created is a symbol of your coming together as one, and how you can never be separated into what you once were. Then you close the vase/bottle, which you later save, seal with wax, and place on your mantle as a constant reminder of your unity. Cute, huh?

So I'll talk with Sam and our deacon about maybe doing that. It shouldn't cost that much either, with like $5-6 for all the containers/bottles and maybe another $4 for colored sand. (I suppose I could just go to the beach, get some sand, and color it myself, but I'd probably spend $4 in gas driving to the beach and back anyway.) It might be nice. What do you think?

Monday, April 03, 2006

More About Cake & Centerpieces

Yesterday was our 3rd anniversary! It's a little hard to believe that Sam and I have been going out for 3 years. Sometimes it feels like we've been together for much longer than that, sometimes it feels like it hasn't been that much time at all. I took Sam out for a swanky dinner at a fondue restaurant called The Melting Pot. I've been wanting to take him there for about a year now. Fondue is fun! And delicious. We had a great time!

On Saturday, we had our 8:30 appointment with Siblings Bakery. And everybody was totally right, cuz they didn't really care that we were a no-show the previous weekend, and they were super nice. What's more, their cakes were delicious! Sam ate everything on his plate, uttering many "Mmm" noises in the process. The cake ladies said that if they stuck him in a corner and fed him cake while customers came in, he'd be good for business. (LOL) And when I showed Shirley (the owner) pictures of the cakes I liked, she was immediately spouting off ideas and showing me samples of similar things she made, and mixing together icing colors so the cake would be just the right shade of blue. Awesome! So we booked them on the spot. And for $250, I'm getting a 3 tier square marble cake (so yummy!) with fresh strawberry and bavarian cream filling. The cake will be iced in pale blue (I can't help it! I'm obsessed!) buttercream, decorated with chocolate branches and pink cherry blossoms with violet centers. So, it'll look like this picture (which I've posted before), only square, blue, and without the cute Japanese cake topper. I'm having a "decorative pile" of the blossoms on top instead.

(This part gets a little rambly, so I apologize in advance... )

I've also been debating about what else to put on the tables besides the oriental lanterns I bought a while back. I had thought about making flower-shaped jar lanterns, but I'm pretty sure they'd clash. And they're likely to be a little time consuming. So I guess I'll just have to make them for some other occasion.

I had always wanted flowers on the table, since we won't be able to have our reception at a garden. So, you know, if I had plants or flowers everywhere, I could bring the garden to the reception. I thought about using paper flowers, but there's the problem of candles on the table and paper being highly flammable. So I'd have to figure out if getting LED candles would really save me any money in the long run. Anyway, I broke down and bought the recent Martha Stewart Wedding magazine, featuring tissue paper flowers. Look how cute they are!I tried making some this weekend, and some turned out better than others. A couple of them weren't too hard to make, so I might make some for placecards, but I'm not sure if I should do them for centerpieces. Again, they'd be pretty time consuming. Cut flowers in vases or jars would be pretty, but fairly expensive. And they'd be hard to care for in amongst all the wedding week craziness. So I went hunting for plants at the garden section of the Do-It Center. I found several types of flowering plants for under $4. Not bad! The most promising ones seemed to be the mini-rose plants. They weren't the cheapest at $3.99, but not expensive, I don't think. They'd also be really easy to care for. I could just go buy them the day before, give them a little water, and plunk them in cheap terra cotta pots. So that's looking like the most likely option.

Why are table decorations the most difficult decision in planning this wedding? Ridiculous!