The Night Before – For the Bride

Like I said, the day before was nutso. Not only was I spotted like a celebrity, but I ran around like a fool.

I found the picture - look how tired I look!

I dropped bags at the hotel, had a manicure, set up the entire venue décor (okay, that really wasn’t that bad – flowers were all delivered Saturday and it’s not like we were setting tables), and cleaned the apartment (I really was wishing I didn’t have to add that to the list, but the boys were getting ready there – which meant pictures and friends of ours were crashing there instead of the hotel, it needed to be clean). By the time my mom called in a panic that there weren’t enough rooms at the hotel (there were it was just complicated because I booked them all under one credit card but they were being paid for with another) I was done.  DONE.

I settled myself into my room and started delegating. I sent family in from out of town to pick up my Grandmother, I asked BFF Kate to try and pick up chocolate for the day after party chocolate fountain. I laid in the lovely king size bed by myself and tried to close my eyes for a quick nap.

It didn’t happen.

Instead of sleeping the night away as I may have preferred I went out for dinner with some family that was in from out of town including this lovely lady, my Great Aunt Doreen.  I love her. She’s a redhead too and whenever I see her she says “Helloooo Red!”  Two of her daughters brought her from Detroit to be part of our day and I was so happy to have this dinner to actually spend a little time with them.


Also included in the pre-wedding festivities, Sista and all bridesmaids with the exception of BFF Kristyn who was very sad to miss it, but had a very legitimate reason for missing out. Mom, of course and Almost MIL, and Nanny.  We went to Aqua Grill in Aurora which as always was delicious but super busy, and the service was REALLY slow.  I think the problem was two fold: 1. they were trying to give us lots of time to chat and socialize and not make us feel rushed at all (normally appreciated) and 2. we were starving.  Once again eating was not really my priority that day and everyone was really hungry which meant that while they were being polite we were cursing their politeness.

Nonetheless it was delicious.  We chatted and had a really relaxing evening, and after returning to the hotel enjoyed a pre-wedding night cap.

I mentioned this before but my American out-of-towners are super-d-duper Catholic and LOVE LOVE LOVE Mother Mary.  So while everyone was enjoying a little Harvey’s Bristol Cream, and I was putting wedding dinner music on a USB stick and crossing other rediculous things off my list, one of my mom’s cousins took her drink downstairs poured a little bit on the ground and said a Hail Mary.  This was all to ensure not that we would have a blessed life (that apparently is a given) but that I would enjoy sunny skies and good hair on my wedding day.

I’m not quite sure where that is written in the Bible but it totally worked so whatever!

I headed back to my hotel room settled in and wrote my last blog post as a single girl.

1 more sleep!

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Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to one and all.

My Christmas present to all is I’ve sat myself down and rocked out a week of Wedding posts (it occurred to me that this is going to go on a REALLY long time if I only post once a week). But then Christmas was on a Sunday – and that screwed me up…. so you get a Saturday post this week.

If you’re interested in all things wedding – enjoy the week! If you’re not well – sorry…. enjoy your week off.

I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as The Boy and I did. We got a wonderful surprise at my parents house…..

But you’ll have to wait.

Merry Christmas!!

Oh Christmas Tree

I love Christmas. LOVE IT! I love all the traditions, I love finding the perfect something for every person on my list. I love the treats, I love the delicious meals. And not to get too sappy but I love the opportunity to take a little time out and spend some down time with the people I love the most.

I love the decorations and I love the tree. LOVE IT!

Enter, point of contention in the newlywed household.  Last year, you will recall the Boy and I got our very first Christmas tree together.  It was little but it was well loved. It may have been a bit of a Charlie Brown tree but it was our Charlie Brown tree and that counted for something.

This year, maybe it’s the rain, the unseasonably warm temperatures, the lack of fluffy white snow – the Boy has been a bit lacking in Christmas spirit and had the audacity to suggest that we forego the tree this year.  Forego? The tree? Are you cancelling Christmas too?  He tried to use his powers of logic –
“We aren’t at home for Christmas” – What is your point exactly?
“It’s so hot in our apartment the tree will be so dry by the time we get home and we don’t have a vaccum that works worth a damn – what a mess, let’s forget it.” – I’d rather not.
“I can think of other things we can spend the money on” – Saving is for suckers
“I can’t believe this is $25 for a tiny little tree!” – I could insist on a full size $80 tree if you prefer.

Since the name of the game is “I win” I being me – we obviously got a tree, though he did make me decorate it myself.


Falala-lala-lala-la-la

Last year in addition to our little tree, my lovely parents happily settled into their new home in the north went out hunting for a beautiful tree to grace their new high ceilings.  It was beautiful alright, but it nearly cost us the life of my dad as he is no longer 25 and should not be pulling a 12′ tree through 3′ of snow… by himself.  So this year in an effort to have the best of both worlds we all went tree hunting as a family.

I haven’t done this in a really long time. I actually can’t remember the last time we went to cut down a tree ourselves.  We used to do it every year, but somewhere along the line (I’m thinking probably when the siblings went to univeristy and there wasn’t enough people around to cut and carry a tree out of the bush) we stopped, and kept it real, but with lot or nursery trees. I may have forgotten how to dress for the activity, but we had a lot of fun, and the Boy may have found just a little Christmas spirit (although he’ll deny it to the end).

Tall and skinny, the perfect tree to get the festivities kicked off.

Are you ready for Christmas?

Is it just me or is the whole Christmas on a Sunday thing throwing everyone for a loop?

Alyssa

Do you remember WAY back in the day when I said, don’t worry Alyssa I haven’t forgotten you but I had to tell the Boy first?

Today is the day that mystery that I’m sure has been racking your mind ever since is solved.

The Boy and I spent Thursday night in our apartment – our last night living in sin. I had my parents car packed to the gils full of all things bar and all things décor. The Boy’s car was similarly packed up.  We got up early Friday morning, did a bit of a mad scramble to clean our apartment a bit, and headed out to the venue.

[*BTBs please note.  There will not be enough hours in the day the day before your wedding.  I’m sorry but it’s a fact of life. I ran my fool head off all day until about 6:30 when I collapsed into my bed at the hotel and tried to nap for 30 minutes – it didn’t happen of course my head was spinning with all the things I still felt I needed to do (most of which didn’t happen and it didn’t matter), then got up and kept going until about midnight.  Nonetheless, you too will likely run your fool head off too despite all warnings and plans to do the exact opposite. I read a lot of blogs where spa days were suggested the day before – nice in theory but in practice I went for manicure and it was not really that relaxing as I kept thinking about other things I could have been doing with that time…. But that’s just me.]

We unloaded, the Boy left to go golfing apologizing for leaving me with the complete set up but making the symbolic gesture that he would stay and help if I wanted him to.  I sent him on his way (obviously, gesture or no we all know he was going golfing) made a few more errands, dropping off hotel bags etc, and returned to the venue for full on set up.

My mom and I lived and breathed wedding for pretty much the full 10 months prior.  We had every detail down and in mind from baskets in the bathrooms to who was sitting where. So when it came to setting up it was all on her and I.  Of course the fact that all B-maids were either teaching, working, or still out of town the day before helped too but if you’ve ever planned a major event you will understand that in the time it takes me to explain to you what I need done – I could have done it myself… twice.

Luckily everything was packed and sorted prior to arrival so that it was easy to go through boxes and set up went really rather quickly.

And then, it happened. Enter Alyssa.

While we were in the midst of set up, a young beauty entered with what was presumably and later confirmed to be her father. We looked at them quizzically and asked if we could help them (there was no one from the actual venue there on the day before to help us or direct us, but the door was opened for us and everything was set up), Alyssa said she had spoken with  the owner  who had said Alyssa could come by and look at the venue as a possibility for her own up-coming wedding while we set up. She asked if it was okay that they look around.  Of Course! No Problem! The more the merrier, was of course my response as her and her dad looked around and commented on all the orange and gray details.

Alyssa asked how I had found working with the venue and I gave her my honest opinion which I have shared with everyone who has asked, and hold to this day now that everything is over and finished.  Waterstone Estate and Farm where our photos were taken and our reception was held is beautiful. Stunning really. It was the perfect venue for the country in the Boy and the “I don’t want to be in a dirt floor barn” in me. The staff at the venue were helpful, everything was taken care of as they said it would be (with one small exception of air-conditioning which I’ll get to).

However, and this is a big however,  the person you will meet with and deal with almost exclusively as far as the venue goes is a horse person not a wedding/event planning person. While everything was done as she said it would be her laid back attitude does not instill the most confidence in a tense and stressed out bride.  I like to claim that with the exception of a few meltdowns I was not a stressy bride and therefore this laid back attitude did not bother me – too much.  I held on to the firm belief that I was dealing with professionals and while I had only done this once, they do it every weekend – so the laid backness is due to the fact that this is turly no big deal to them. This was true for all of our vendors, not just Waterstone, but the difference was with other vendors they assured me with confidence that they had everything taken care of, there were forms to fill out and dates arranged ahead of time as to when we would meet again.  With Waterstone, while she was always very good at emailing me back right away I didn’t get that same feeling of confidence from her. So to some extent I was holding my breath until Friday morning when we came in and saw that everything was set upBut it was set up. And everything was fine. And she did come through on pretty much everything.  And I was happy.

If however, you are a high stress person and this laid backness would drive you crazy and cause you a major mental breakdown then… there are other equally beautiful places to hold your reception, go there.

Alyssa appreciated my candour and said that was similar to her experience so far. Then something happened that made my day.
Alyssa – “I’ve looked online for reviews and stuff but there isn’t much out there.”
Me – “Yeah, I know I think if you Google Waterstone Estate Review, my blog might be one of the first things that comes up”
Alyssa – “Oh My GOD! Are you The Twenties Roar?”
Me – “YES! Have you read my blog? Am I famous?”
Alyssa – “Oh My GOD! You are! You and the Boy! You’re getting married here tomorrow! I can’t believe I’m meeting you – I’ve read your whole blog from beginning to end!”

And then I died. Best. Wedding Gift. EVER!

I was so excited – we took a picture. Which I promptly saved to my external hard drive which is currently not working. BAH!

And in exchange for making me feel like a rock star the day before I got married – Alyssa joined an elite group of people that know The Boy’s first name. I mean how could I deny her that – and also, it was everywhere!

Sorry it took so long Alyssa but you seriously made my day.  I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season, your last a single woman!  And let me know if you went with Waterstone or if my review took too long.

My Ovaries Hurt

Meet our newest baby.

They’re poppin’ up all over the place but this one has an extra special place in my heart for two reasons.

  1. I have known his parents the longest and been BFF with his mom for over half my life.
  2. He lives the closest.

I love him! He’s so sweet he makes my ovaries hurt.  He’s so tiny and his parents so tired that he makes the Boy leery of ever having children.  This is the difference between boys of a certain age and girls of certain age.

The Boy and I get asked all the time when are we going to have children.  I know this is typical for newlyweds but the question for us is the normal amount x100. It was mentioned with such regularity at our wedding that the Boy incorporated an answer into our speech just so everyone could be clear, “We have no immediate plans, but we do intend to practice until we’re good and ready!”  No joke.  It elicited this reaction

Having all these littles around does make me question though – when does it become the right time? How much planning can we do? How many ducks should be in a row – and which ones should we just give up waiting on?

Let’s be clear, my ovaries may be hurting but I have NO intention of adding one of these beautiful littles to our lives ANYTIME soon.

  1. We just got married – let’s stop and smell those roses for a minute or two shall we?
  2. I just started a new job – and while technically I only need to be working there for 13 weeks (January 10) to qualify for maternity leave benefits, I am not basing family planning on when I get coverage, and I’d like to be settled into my job for more than a few months before I up and leave it.
  3. 2012 is the first year, ever – that the Boy and I should have some disposable income.  The last couple of years, we were by no means starving but the idea of going away for a few days, going to a play or some weeks even a movie – required some serious financial planning. While we have little intention of upping our lifestyle dramatically to reflect our new family income, it will be nice to have a little more financial flexibility that I am fully aware a little would quickly gobble up.
  4. The Boy, while he is now an official teacher is still short-term occasional (daily supply), which means some days he works, other days he doesn’t. Sure, most days he does, but there is no guarantees in his income right now.  I’m not sure we’ll wait until he has a full contract, but a little more stability as far as a long-term occasional (covering a maternity or long-term disability leave) would be nice.
  5. We live in a teeny-tiny apartment. I don’t know if you’ve heard but little people come with a lot of stuff.  We have not a square to spare.

But then every once in a while (like this weekend) I do the math, and count forward and have a little freak out that my biological timelines and my rational plans are not really going to match up and one of them is going to have to give eventually…. and then I calm down… and realize the fortunate position I am in right now.  One where I can go and visit and cuddle, then leave and go home… and sleep, uninterrupted through the night.

So instead of living in constant panic about which is going to give first biology or type A planning, I am focussing on being a good friend to all the new little mommies in my life. Friday we made Kristyn and John dinner in exchange for a snuggle with their little one.  I’ve been knitting like a fiend and all of our littles will be well wardrobed and warm as long as they are my baby knitting priority. And while a lot of people are very concerned about how baby is doing, I’ve been trying to make an effort to ask the little’s parents how they are doing, and if there’s anything I can do to help them as well as their little.

And for now, I am quite content to leave it at that.

(did you hear that? it was the Boy sighing in relief and our mothers crying in agony that they are never going to have grandchildren!)

The Week Before

We’ve already covered the day before the day before – when I interviewed for my now job.  Little stressful to say the least and this is not something that I recommend to future BTBs, that said it seems to have worked out so I guess it wasn’t that bad – perhaps even made me memorable.

The plan all along was to be completely done by the week before and max it and relax it all week-long.  I figured all of my help went back to school that week so I had no excuses for not pushing up my deadline by a week and having absolutely everything finished by the rehearsal dinner.  This obviously didn’t happen – no matter how much I try to trick myself into pushing up a deadline it never works.  As I type this it’s less than 2 weeks to Christmas and I am nowhere near ready.

What can I say.  I work to a deadline.  It’s part of my charm.

So what did I do the week before – all kinds of things that could have been done months before of course!

Details.  The week before was all about the details.

I created the final final final list for tables

The Boy did name cards

I picked up and delivered flowers for the cake

There was nearly a favour tag crisis when I thought they got lost in the mail – but they arrived and they looked AWESOME, and tasted delicious

(the truffles not the tags)

I also went for my check up at Sunnybrook – and got a clean bill of health pre-wedding. Went for my final dress fitting, alone (I do not recommend this either – though really thought nothing of it at the time). Welcomed my out-of-town family with delicious dinner.  Sent The Boy out to be sporty. I think he played golf twice and baseball twice in the week before – it was better that way really.

And last but certainly not least – set up the venue on the day before… more on that next week.

The lesson was, I was pretty tired the week before. It was all completely unnecessary and necessary stress. On the one hand how nice would it have been to not have to do all that stuff the week before. On the other, what would I have done with all that free time?

Gone crazy that’s what.

Practice Practice Practice

Throughout the W-day planning process I had one goal in mind.  Enjoy it.  Enjoy everything, the planning, the craziness, but most importantly the day. To keep myself sane, my mantra became “at the end of the day we’ll be married – that’s all that matters.”

BFF Kate, Me, BFF Kristyn and still inside Baby Boy Logan!

A big part of enjoying not just W-day but the events that lead up to it was scheduling the rehearsal 1 week and 1 day before. I figured, I’m only doing this once, I want to enjoy every part of it and that includes the rehearsal and it means going to bed at a reasonable hour the night before (which of course didn’t happen but what can you do?)

The other part, almost our entire wedding party was from out of town, and HALF of them were teachers. That means having the rehearsal on the Friday night after the first week of school – not going to happen. Never mind their obvious exhaustion, they’d have to GET here first.

Nope. The week before was the way to go and if I were to do it again (not going to happen) I would DEFINITELY stick with that plan.

I worked until noon on Friday (bad decision – should have just taken Friday off), and went from work straight to my make-up trial, home, madly wrapped thank you gifts, off to get my nails done, RAN

Sista and Dad

home for a quick change and off to the church.

Needless to say I still did not learn that lesson I kept ignoring the whole way through – I didn’t eat.  AGAIN! I’m such a good learner.

The Boy and his Mom

The church part was truly indicative of the real deal – completely relaxed.  Fr. Joe made not only us but our whole w-party feel comfortable with the whole deal.  We practiced some of our lines, but not everything we had to save that for the day zero.

Some things we didn’t practice – ushering.  We didn’t really go over what the boys were supposed to do when they greeted people on the day. It’s not a huge deal, everyone got there afterall – but when we looked at the pictures later it became apparent that they didn’t actually seat anyone and the right side of the church looked super empty.  Silly boys. So my rehearsal advice to any brides out there – practice even the things that you assume are a given.  They are not.

Post church, we packed up and went to a Oakland Hall a local restaurant, for what we were told would be “plenty of appetizers” and drinks.  It was not.

The food was delicious but there was by no means “plenty” of it – this did not help my lack of eating situation.  There was plenty of wine – there always is!

Bride's Family

When we were booking the rehearsal dinner the owner told us, “Everyone says the best part of their wedding was the rehearsal dinner.”  This I informed him was not actually helpful at 8ish weeks before w-day. A word to the wise – do not tell a bride that the part of the wedding that took all of 10 minutes to book is going to be the best part of the whole thing.  Not only is it not helpful – it wasn’t true.

Groom's Family

We had a great time at our rehearsal but here are 5 reasons why the real deal was WAY better:

  1. The food was way better and way more on w-day than at the rehearsal.  We were told that most parties go home with doggy bags from their appetizer rehearsal dinners at Oakland Hall – we did not.  Not even close.
  2. W-day is already paid for come the actual day, which means you can enjoy the night without getting a bill at the end of the night.  We were fortunate to not have to flip that bill but still – it’s nice to have it all taken care of before the actual event.
  3. W-day is longer and therefore more fun
  4. I know people say the rehearsal has the most important people, is more intimate and therefore better.  I disagree.  We genuinely wanted to celebrate with every single person that was invited to our wedding.  We loved our VIPs but w-day trumps rehearsal by the sheer number of people involved
  5. Dancing. Dancing. Dancing.  There was a great live performer singing at Oakland Hall during our “dinner” he was great, kept inappropriately adding the Boy’s and my names into songs and invited us up to accompany him on tambourine.  But there wasn’t a true dance floor.

W-day wins.

*Okay, I know Wedding Wednesdays and blogging in general has been a little lack luster lately.  Three words.  Thank You Cards.  Two more words. New Job. Three more words.  New Baby Knitting.  But all of these things are almost done. So I’m committing again to being back on track.  I’ve heard from my fans (read my mom and family) that I’ve been missed.  Wedding Wednesdays are back on!

Nothing like a strike

I started the new job. I decreased my commute from 4.5km to 1.5km. I thought I would walk.

I haven’t.

I know this is terrible. The Boy reminds me how terrible this is for not only the environment but the car. I know this, but I have quickly become accustomed to coming home for lunch and watching Live With Kelly!  What’s a girl to do?

There has been a transit strike on right now. It’s terrible.  For everyone involved.  For strikers – come on, no one likes being on strike especially in the weeks before Christmas. Not fun. These guys have been out for 7 weeks. Even if they get what they want as far as pay increases (unlikely) they are not going to be able to make that up. 7 weeks is a long time and they’re not even talking.  For commuters – this transit strike is a nightmare.  There are a few buses running which are of course packed to the gills during rush hour – but for the majority of transit riders who are low-income and rely on public transit to get around this sucks… big time.

For the most part the strikers haven’t really been picketing.  A little bit here and there, but not much.  They haven’t really wanted to annoy people more than they already are.  But at 7 weeks, they’ve got to do something.  So they’ve started.

Picketing during rush hour and my 1.5km commute took me 30 minutes yesterday morning, and 20 minutes to come home.

Boo.

So, since I get incredibly frustrated when I’m sitting idling in my car killing the environment and my sanity today… I’m walking.

Turns out all it took was a strike.

Who wants to take bets on how long this lasts?