Friday, July 27, 2012

Marriage Meme in place of quick takes

Happy Friday, Blogosphere. In lieu of Quick Takes this week, I have a fun marriage meme that was copied from other esteemed bloggers who did the same on their anniversaries.  My husband and I will celebrate 6 years of marriage this Sunday. (!) Time flies. 

1. Where/how did you meet: We met on (then called in the Spring of 2002.  We met in person for the first time in October of that same year. 

2. How long have you known each other: 10 years…wow!

3. How long after you met did you start dating: Because our relationship started on the internet, we were friends for a few months.  We made it official on New Years’ Eve 2002

4. How long did you date before you were engaged: about 2.5 years.  I was definitely sweating those last 6 months, wondering if he would ever pop the question!

5. How long was your engagement: 11 months

6. How long have you been married: 6 years

7. What is your anniversary: July 29

8. How many people came to your wedding reception: 150

9. What kind of cake did you serve: Typical tiered wedding cake; every layer was chocolate or vanilla.  We didn’t want any fruity filling!

10. Where was your wedding: We had a beautiful Nuptial Mass at St. Mary’s, Sacra.mento.  Our reception was held at a nearby hotel.

11. What did you serve for your meal: It was a buffet.  I barely got to eat anything, so any memories would be based on the taste-testing the previous December. 

12. How many people were there in your bridal party: 5 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen.  My husband’s brother, a priest, concelebrated the Mass.

13. Are you still friends with them all: yes, although I keep in closer contact with the bridesmaids.

14. Did you or your spouse cry during the ceremony?  He got a bit teary-eyed when he saw me walk down the aisle.  I teared up here and there, especially when my dad and brother played “The Wedding Song.”
15. Most special moment of your wedding day: So many family and friends came from far away to attend the wedding.  That touched me the most!  Other than that, the entire Nuptial Mass was so moving.  :)

16. Any funny moments: Before walking down the aisle, I discovered my veil wasn’t over my face yet.  A bridesmaid had to hastily help me.  Then my dad said, “Oh yeah, I was supposed to ask if you were really sure about this.  I can tell you are!”  I had to throw the bouquet twice at the reception.  The first time it hit the ceiling.

17. Any big disasters: I forgot to leave directions to the reception, so a few out of town guests got lost en route. Also, my husband and I agreed to exchange cards instead of gifts.  I was so busy catching up with friends who arrived the night before that I forgot to write a card.  That caused an awkward moment on the way to the reception. 

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon: Rome and Venice.  Our priest got us “Sposa Novelli” tickets to the papal audience too!

19. How long where you gone: 14 days

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change: I would have let my husband see me before the wedding and get our photos done more quickly.  And somehow made sure we got to eat more food than we actually did!  I also should have gotten a spray tan!

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on: the right (closest to the door and bathroom)

22. What size is your bed: King

23. Greatest strength as a couple: We’re best friends.  Because the first part of our relationship was long distance, we talk easily to one another (assuming tiredness or a bad day are not involved!).

24. Greatest challenge as a couple: Surviving infertility and our recent miscarriage.  Also, keeping open the lines of communication.

25. Who literally pays the bills: my husband.  He likes math.  He keeps me in the loop. Sometimes he has to help me with basic calculations.

26. What is your song: We like different types of music, so if there is one I could pick that describes us as a couple, it’s “I Will Be There” by Steven Curtis Chapman.

27. What did you dance your first dance to: “You Raise Me Up” by Jos.h Gr.oban.  We even did a choreographed dance (ballroom dance lessons) and my husband forgot most of the moves when we started! We still had fun.

28. Describe your wedding dress: it was the third one I tried on at the store!  White with spaghetti straps, a sweeping roching to the side, beautiful beading at the top.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding: a lot of roses in honor of St. Therese, the Little Flower.  My cousin also added touches of blue flowers to compliment the white and pink roses.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? Nope.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

First Time Away

For the first time in almost 20 months, my husband and I will go away for the weekend without our little girl.  By ourselves.  Really.  I wish our destination was this lovely SoCal train station, but finances have kept us on our side of the country.  :)

Our 6th (!) anniversary will occur on Sunday, and we feel it's time to get away by ourselves.  We're both rather hesitant about spending 2 nights away from KB, but see the big picture.  Now that we work hard on a daily basis to raise a toddler who has become very VERY independent, our energy is depleted faster.  It's easy to let simple things such as reading, talking, etc. go by the wayside and veg in front of the TV night after night.  We decided that now is the time to reconnect and relax by ourselves and return as a happier, refreshed couple!  Not that we're sad or resentful of KB in our lives; we just need to recharge.  I'm sure that first night we will search the cabin for the baby monitor by force of habit. We purposefully picked a cabin at a nearby lake.  Plenty of time for reading, relaxing, going to Mass by ourselves, and (I hope) kayaking.

I think getaways like this are very important.  When we went through our own IF journey, getaways helped me relax and take my mind off TTC and life's everyday tasks at home.  Now that we are finally parents and navigating the arduous TTC process again, I hope the downtime will help me regain proper perspective (this past week there were a TON of pregnancy announcements).  I think KB, who will be in the capable hands of my wonderful in-laws, will become even cuter while we're gone.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quick Takes Friday: Thunder Edition

Welcome to this edition of Quick Takes, which comes on the heels of a massive storm that hit our area.  But that was not as cool as this blogger's 1/2 rain, 1/2 dry yard. 

1.  Major congrats are in order to this lovely blogger, whose second son will arrive at her home very soon!!  Adoption is AWESOME!  Grace In My Heart has been such an inspiration to me, both as a mom and one who has waited on the Lord.

2.  This past weekend, KB and I met up with my 8th grade teacher who flew to our state for a conference.  My teacher taught me so much, spiritually and academically.  She even traveled to my wedding six years ago and brought up the gifts at our Nuptial Mass.  It's not often that one has an opportunity to verbally appreciate a mentor from childhood.

3.  Another visitor from the West Coast came as well: Fr. Blaise, who officiated at our wedding six years ago.  Our home was among the many stops of his motorcycle ride through the Midwest before heading back to California.  Not only did he get to meet Katie Beth (who tried out his motor cycle and didn't like it too much), he also offered Mass in our home (!).  We enjoyed catching up on life and trying to convince him to stay longer next time.

Vroom, Vroom!  Hmmm, riding a motorcycle with a baby doll is probably not a good idea.

4.  Last week I posted an article from the Word on Fire Blog about a priest who learned many lessons from surgery.  Here is part two of his excellent series. 

5.  Slowly, ever so slowly, I am attempting to reach my goal of losing 10% of my starting weight since embarking on Wei.ght W.atchers in February.  My hope is to become more healthy, but also prepare my body for a possible future pregnancy.  Just a few pounds to go, but too many treats to avoid, such as this highly addictive item from a restaurant that happens to have a very good kids' menu:

I KNOW you put crack in these cookies,!  No one can resist the gooey goodness!

6.  Once again, we are looking forward to hosting Joy Beyond the Cross and her family this weekend.  I hope it is the first of many future in-person blogger meet ups!  My husband now identifies various blogger friends by their blog names, and he'll often ask if I've met them in person.  He's starting to learn some of your names. :) 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Quick Takes Friday: Friday the 13th Edition (Ooooh, Scary!)

1.  It's Friday the 13th!  Big deal.  God is way above superstition!  Check out His handiwork in last night's sunset.  My i.pod camera didn't do it justice...

2.  I recently read an incredible article about suffering.  The priest who wrote it brought out many good points, along with acknowledging that some of the "why does this happen?" questions will never be answered.

3.  After story time at our local library, KB and I perused the shelves.  OK, what that really means is that I rapidly pushed the stroller to look at books on my eye level while trying to keep her from pulling stuff off the shelves.  The most interesting book we found was this galactic publication: 

(I wonder what kind of research went into this cookbook!)

4.  KB has become quite the climber.  Already she has escaped the confines of her crib and Pack.N.Play; she can climb up and down on ALL the beds in the house; and even climb into a chair at the kitchen table.  All it takes is for Mom to turn her head for 0.1 seconds.  Earlier this week she figured out how to walk on a piece of play equipment like a balance beam.  Is it time to think about the Olympics? 

5.  In late June, I assured my husband that July would be a relatively quiet month.  In fact, I secretly lamented the absence of an extended vacation.  As luck would have it, we have awesome visitors coming to town in the next couple weeks.  THREE of them are longtime friends of MINE.  Most of the people who fit that category live on the West Coast.  Tonight I'm having dinner with my 8th grade teacher.  On Sunday, the priest who officiated our wedding is staying at our house.  On Monday, a longtime friend and his family will be in my home city.  Such an influx of longtime friends is very rare since I live in the Midwest.  Yea!

And to add more wonderfullness, a Wisconsin blogger and her family will be staying at our house the following weekend!! I have not met any of the IF bloggers in person yet, so I'm very excited to hang out with Marie and the B family.

Yep, July isn't as quiet. I kinda like it that way.

6. For NFP awareness week, my husband and I are going to give a short testimony at the end of our Sunday Mass.  It will be a bit nerve wracking, but we hope that more people will become aware of NFP's benefits.  Already we determined it would NOT be a good idea to bring KB with us up to the ambo/lectern.  We had visions of her grabbing the microphone...

7.  Finally, a wonderful friend in Nebraska sent this comic. I think of all of my Southern friends, especially Sew, who would appreciate this.  Happy Friday!

For more Quick Takes, go here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick Takes: Extra EXTRA Crispy Edition

1. Need I say more?  This summer weather has been sort of deja vu for me.  Growing up in California, we often had triple digit heat along with water restrictions.  The sight of brown grass along Interstate 5 was commonplace.  When I moved to the Midwest, rainstorms in the summertime utterly scandalized me...until I realized they calm the air and water the grass.  I could tell that an evolution in my weather outlook has taken place: yesterday, a severe thunderstorm warning filled me with glee.  (it never rained...darn it!0

The hot weather makes it difficult to take KB to normal fun activities (park, arboretum, playground, etc.) so we're going to the same places.

2. KB has become quite the independent 20-month-old (!).  She has learned to say "no" (and mean it) and knock our hands away when my husband or I try to help her. We're definitely entering a new phase of parenting.  I ride a roller coaster of emotions on a daily basis: awe at her progress, fear of her climbing expertise, annoyance that she won't let me help her with some things, anger when whining and tantrums reach the boiling point...Quite a ride indeed.

3.  I think All You Who Hope's most recent post addresses so much of my feelings with our possible secondary infertility.  She reminds us to look at the gifts God has given us now.  I definitely need to do this, as even now I look wistfully and jealously at pregnant women who are around the same size I would have been had Rachel lived.

4.  Every week I listen to Fr. Robert Barron, the founder of Word On Fire and the mastermind behind the Catholicism series.  He records a podcast homily for the coming Sunday.  Since we don't always get a deep, meaty homily at our parish, Fr. Barron's homilies fill in the void.  Some of his homilies are so profound, I have to listen to them twice! This week's homily is a real gem, as it address suffering.

5.  See this lovely jar?  It may have an innocent sounding title.  In reality, every spoonful of this cookie butter is like cr.ack!  It's so addictive!  Not even my best of diet intentions can resist!

6.  Speaking of the diet front, I have now lost 20lbs (praise God!).  I'm hoping to make it 30 by September, but we'll see.  Carrying around a 24-lbs toddler is a good reminder of how my body feels carrying extra weight. :(

7. To end the week on a funny note, I couldn't resist the Mup.pets' spoof on the Hun.ger