Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Today's plan of action


1). Wake up early to take Keith to work so that I can have the car
today (I've been driving so much since we got the new car! Horray for
overcoming fears!).
2). Have coffee and a muffin with him before he goes in.
3). Pack a bag and some supplies for our roadtrip this evening.
4). Play with our cat so that he doesn't bite my ankles everytime I
walk to the kitchen (while watching SVU of course, because I'm
obsessed).
5). Follow up on a job opportunity I got a call about today.
6). Drive to Germantown to help my friend Darlene set up her classroom
and finish painting a lighthouse mural that I started for her last
Friday.
7). Probably eat some lunch.
8). Drive by our house to check the mail just in case our marriage
license arrived (I've been very impatiently waiting. I just want get
my name change over with so that when I fill out job applications etc
I don't have to question which I should be writing ugh).
9). Pick Keith up at work, and hit the road for DC!
10). Hang out with good friends and eat amazing hamburgers at Good
Stuff, a DC staple.

Good day for sure :-)

Photoshoot

We did a little photoshoot on Sunday with the new addition to our family, Marty. We're actually going to leave tonight after Keith gets off work for a roadtrip down to DC to hang with our awesome friends Andi and Kate and to pick up some wedding gifts they graciously brought with them from Florida. We're pretty excited for our first roadtrip in the new car, at least we know that we can safely make it all the way there... unlike the last time we drove south haha






And HERE is the amazing wedding gift that Andi and Katelyn got for us... it is probably the largest book I've ever held and it weighs enough to make it quite a workout to pick up haha. We are SOOOOOOO excited to fill this with bits and pieces of our everyday life. We started it out this weekend with some pictures of the wedding and honeymoon, and with the story of our car dying (we just happened to receive this gift that weekend, so we felt it was necessary to document). Anyway, the thing that I'm most excited for is having this book for the rest of our lives and being able to share all this pictures and stories with our future children and grandchildren.



Theo loves it too haha


I just love how preposterous it looks when someone is writing in it. Sooooooo big haha

Monday, August 30, 2010

-/+

This post was meant for yesterday (Sunday), better late than never haha excuse me if it is out of context. I'll have some pictures to share when I get up in the morning.

Pet peeves today:
-while we were sleeping Theo decided to get into my box of wedding
supplies and managed to get the fishing wire out and wrapped around
every leg of furniture from our bedroom into the living room
-soap in my eyes during my shower this morning
-stinky cat litter box
-sink full of a weeks worth of personally neglected dishes
-cramps cramps cramps
-forgetting that it's back to school season and that Target and Bed
Bath and Beyond would be the worst places to shop on a Sunday haha
-forgetting some key items we needed and having to take an unwanted
CVS trip when we had already gotten comfy at home

Awesome things today:
-afternoon naps with my husband
-after we clean Theo's box he always thanks us by using the bathroom
right away... at least I know he's greatful haha
-my iPod genius playlist that I listened to while doing dishes. It knew
my mood exactly and when a song came on that we danced to at the
wedding it made my cry a happy tear to remember how much I
loved that day
-yummy hummus lunch
-spending some gift cards at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond.. getting
awesome practical things like a new GPS and a down comforter for winter
-having Keith all to myself today :-)
-starting our AMAZING heirloom book (more on that later)
-I used some gift cards I had this week at Victorias Secret and got
one of their new bras... worth every penny, I never want to take it
off. It feels like I'm always getting a great hug.
-we are so in love with our car, Martin aka Marty, we could not be more thankful
for our friends and family for so generously giving to us for our
wedding. We are so bleased!!
-I'm also incredibly in love with how beautiful our crate and barrel
place settings are. They make our kitchen look like were adults and
not poor college kids who got our plates at walmart
-freshly baked cookies!!
-and a happy meal :-)

Other things that I realized today:
I drool 75% more when I'm napping rather than sleeping
Keith and I use a tremendous amount of spoons in comparison to any
other utensil, like.... more than double. Good thing we have big ones
and little ones haha

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things are changing....

So I hinted last night in my post that I had some big news to share with the world, and I think that I'm finally ready to spill the beans. Obviously Keith and I moved to Philadelphia one year ago exactly so that I could start graduate school at Temple. We had a lot of ups and downs throughout the year, learned so many things and grew closer together in the best of ways. BUT, for me one thing just wasn't exactly what I was hoping for... and that was school. So as of next week I will no longer be continuing my journey at Temple, as an Art History student. This is a decision that Keith and I actually made together more than a month ago, but waited to share until after the wedding was over and the pieces of our life were a little more put together. This definitely was NOT an easy decision for me to make, mostly because Keith and I both uprooted our lives to move here so that I could be in school. At first it seemed crazy to quit, especially since I only have one more year left, yet the more and more that I thought about it I couldn't come up with any reasons to stay. Bottom line: I really did not enjoy it. I don't want to say that I hated our life last year, because that is not true by any means, but I did not enjoy the program I was in, I had lots of trouble making friends and feeling part of a community and graduate school just didn't seem to click with me. It was a pretty tough year. Anyone who went to high school or college with me knows that even though I may complain about it.. I love school. I love school because it's something that I'm good at, but graduate school? I was not good at that. I spent my entire first year coasting through all my classes which is so not me, and for something that I seemingly love so much, I left last year feeling disheartened and completely un-passionate about anything I studied. Here is the deal, at this point in my life and my career, I don't feel that school is something that I'm meant to be doing and we cannot justify spending another $20,000 on something that I don't enjoy. As I embarked on making this decision I tried my hardest to think back to a time in my life when I felt least stressed and most happy and that for sure was the year that I took off from school and worked full time. That was such a huge sign to me, and was a big help when it came to actually quitting school. I definitely plan on returning to my masters degree at some point in my life, and I worked it out with my advisors that my credits will still be usable... I just don't think right now is the time for me. It's obviously hard not to immediately feel like I wasted this whole past year, and made a poor decision in quitting my amazing job in Florida to move here but Keith and I both agree that we came here for a reason, and it strengthened our relationship in so many ways. I wouldn't have known graduate school wasn't for me until I tried, and now that I have we can only move on from here. I think that our last year in Philadelphia we both grew up so much, and I would never take any of that back. Talking to friends this summer, many of them asked me how my first year of graduate school went and after realizing that I said not one positive thing to anyone, I knew it was time to reevaluate. I'm usually the kind of person that will stick to my guns no matter what kind of decision that I make, just so that I don't have to go back later and admit defeat, but this is one situation where I am sucking up my pride and waving the white flag. Your opinions are definitely welcome, but judgements are not.... this is the best decision for Keith and for me at this moment and we could not be more excited for what the future holds for us!

Moving on from this point, I'm going to start looking for another temporary part time job this week so that we don't feel so crunched for cash as I start to pursue full time positions. My plan for after graduate school was to apply for jobs nationwide and see where it took us, and that plan is just being pushed up a year. I really feel like this is something that I need to be patient with in order to find that right position and the right city for Keith and I, but we're pretty excited about the adventure. For now, we're holding tight here in Philly but within the year we hope to be moving on to something bigger and better.

I can't thank my family enough for being so supportive of my decision, and I hope that my friends are as well. I'm very sorry that we waited so long to tell everyone, or if you feel like we left you out of the loop. Timing was everything for us, and we didn't want to add to ours or anyone elses stress levels before our wedding. Please feel free to call either of us if you have more questions to ask us about what's going on in our lives right now.

Here's to the future!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Honeymoon

I'm doing my best to catch up on all the blogs I missed while we were away, and even though I just finished putting all our honeymoon photos on facebook I still wanted to put up a little post mostly for the memories (or if you aren't my facebook friend). This week has been a week for me to try and get our life situated after being away for 2 weeks. The suitcases still aren't unpacked and I still haven't edited any of the videos we took on our honeymoon... but we're getting there. Still have some VERY big news to share with you all tomorrow... don't worry... I'm not pregnant haha

We had the amazing opportunity to take a week long cruise in the caribbean for our honeymoon and visit four countries that neither of us had ever been. We went to the Cayman Islands, Isla Roatan in Honduras, Belize and Cozumel Mexico. We had such a blast, as I'm sure most people on their honeymoon do. I enjoyed every minute of being called Mrs. Richards, getting a massage, sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun and not having our cell phones on to steal all of our time.

We spent our first day and last day on the boat hanging by the pool, exploring the ship and drinking frozen drinks at the bar.


We spent every evening enjoying a glass of wine with our dinner.

We spent our afternoons on the ship taking naps and enjoying the view from our balcony.


We spent our day in Grand Cayman as well as our day in Isla Roatan relaxing on the beach.




We spent our day in Belize going cave tubing, learning more about the country and enjoying some authentic local food.


We spent our day in Cozumel on a catamaran sailing through the sea, snorkeling and relaxing on shore.





Honeymoons are the best... do we get to take another any time soon???? Please?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our wedding day

So my husband (!!!) and I happy to be back in Philadelphia after a whirlwind couple of weeks. I'm sure that all of you that are friends with either of us on facebook have seen (or posted) lots and lots of pictures from our big day but I still wanted to share a few of those here before we get the official ones from our photographer just to tell the story of our wedding experience. Let me start by saying that we had an AMAZINGGGGG honeymoon that I will be posting on in full next. It was just what we both needed. I was a little nervous at first since we were going to have to keep our cell phones off for an entire week with very very limited contact with the outside world but I think we were actually both a little sad to have to turn them back on Sunday morning. I definitely think we needed some time away from technology and from the rest of the world and I highly suggest that everyone take an extended break from their cell phones at some point in this next year.

So I left Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, wedding decorations in hand with some nerves about everything getting finished in time for our big day. Despite all those stresses we had the most amazing wedding day that I could have asked for. The whole weekend was pretty awesome and we had an incredible time getting to share the experience with all our closest friends and family. First off: to everyone that traveled from near and far to be with Keith and I that weekend... you're the best and it wouldn't have been the same without you! To those who couldn't make it, you were definitely missed, but we appreciate all of your kind comments and well wishes. We both feel so incredibly blessed by the outpouring of love from our friends and family this past week and we hope you all know that you all know that we couldn't be more thankful for all your support. I don't think I would have made it through the pre-wedding week without everyones kind words haha.

Here is what my week looked leading up to August 14th: Sunday afternoon I arrived in Boca and immediately got started on last minute wedding projects. My mom and I put our game faces on and crossed things off the list like pros. I got a chance to sneak away in the evening and say hey to Katelyn and Kirby who had driven from DC that day (and wish Kate a happy 22nd with a couple of beers) which was MUCH needed after feeling pretty overwhelmed by wedding tasks and lots of opinions. Monday I had some more things to get done but I was able to get away to have lunch with some of my long lost Boca Dance Studio friends. It was such a relaxing part of my week to get out of the house and have a chance to catch up with people I hadn't seen in years. Afterwards I met with a friend who was helping me with flowers and then I met up with an awesome group of girls to have dinner with Kate Smith at Chilis for her birthday. Afterwards we met up with a bunch of friends at the pub which was another much needed excursion. Tuesday was a day of fun minus any and all stresses compliments of my maid of honor Andi G! Andi, Kate, Kirby and I made the trek to Riviera Beach to ride the Rapids at a local water park (conveniently named the Rapids haha). Despite being rainy and overcast all day we had SUCH a blast and made it home with minimal sun burns thankfully. We each went home and showered away the ridiculous amounts of chlorine in our hair and then met up again with Katelyn's mother and sister for dinner at a local favorite, Rocco's Tacos. After dinner we picked up Robert and headed down to Ft. Lauderdale to pick up my then fiance from the airport. I was pretty excited to see him haha as was everyone else in the car. Wednesday was all business and left me a little bit on edge. We started by getting up super super early to go to the courthouse and get a marriage license (which turned out to be the easiest part of the day haha) then I went with my mother and grandmother to pick up my dress, get some plastic champagne glasses at Restaurant Depot; Keith made a Home Depot trip with my dad and then we took a breather and had Moe's for lunch. Afterwards my mom, Keith and I went to Whole Foods to order all the wedding flowers because all the plans we had made with a wholesale florist fell through (enter: crisis mode). After lots of deliberation over colors and kinds of flowers, a slight meltdown on my part when the flower lady tried to convince me I wanted roses, all was well and we made out with spending half of what we were going to with the wholesaler. Then came more errands and saying quick hellos to family who had got into town, the night finally ended with dinner at City Oyster with my new in-laws, Tami and Joe and more than a few glasses of wine haha. Thursday was a much simpler day. I vowed that Wednesday's stresses would not stand in the way of any fun that I wanted to have and once I finished a couple of last minute projects it was all up hill for me! More friends and family got to town, and once 5pm hit bachelor/bachelorette festivities got into full swing. My girls and I had SUCHHH a blast that night haha we started with some margaritas at the house, a lingerie shower with lots of goodies, dinner at Uncle Julios complete with more awesome margaritas and then lots and lots of dancing at one of our favorite clubs.


The boys.... let's just say that when I woke up on Friday morning I couldn't find Keith, and couldn't find anyone else that knew where he was haha. They started their night with dinner at City Oyster and ended it with a karaoke marathon at a random dive bar. Lots and lots of videos were taken and they spent Friday raving about what an awesome time they had. Friday was rehearsal day and started with hangover breakfast at my parents place which was an awesome way to recap stories from our Thursday night adventures. Keith and I were able to have lunch with our friend Dane who married us and his wife to discuss the ceremony since they were going to be running the show at the rehearsal Friday night. The rehearsal went SOO well. Deb (Dane's wife) gave everyone all of the information they needed to get things done at the wedding and thought of all the things I had forgotten. We would have been so screwed without her haha. She made getting in and out that evening such a breeze. Keith and I were also able to go over locations with our photographer so that we knew exactly where things needed to be set up on Saturday. Then! It was time to party back at my parents house. Our rehearsal dinner was seriously the coolest ever. Instead of going to a stuffy restaurant or renting out a hall, we just had everyone back to my parents place for a pool party/luau catered by Moes. We had such a great night just catching up with everyone that was in town, seeing family and friends that we hadn't seen in a long time and just enjoying having so many people we love in one place. Granted... we had to set a time limit for ourselves so that we could pack everything for our honeymoon and make sure everything was ready to be transported to the wedding in the morning... but we were still able to having some good times Friday night.

And that terribly long winded story leads us to.... our amazing wedding day :) Keith and I, with the help of family and our bridal party arrived at the library at 9am to meet the rental company and begin setting up for our 4:30 ceremony. Everything went so flawlessly that day and any time we reached a bump in the road (like forgetting to order napkins? haha) there was always someone who stepped up and went above and beyond to make everything work. All the bouquets and table arrangements got made, all the tables got set and centerpieces put together, all the ceremony decorations and the alter were hung and by 11:30 we were able to send everyone home to shower and get ready for the day to come. I had a nice afternoon getting my makeup and hair done (even though my hair took a little longer than planned) and made it back to the library with some time to take pictures with my girls beforehand and then before I knew it was was walking down the aisle with my dad smiling the biggest smile of my life. Our ceremony was such a blur was happy emotions that it's hard to describe in words. Yes it was very very veryyyyy hot outside, so thank you for bearing with us and putting our program fans to good use haha. Picture taking after the ceremony got a little hectic, but thankfully some clouds rolled in to bring the temperature down a few degrees. Our photographer and friend Chris did SUCH an awesome job the whole weekend. He was there to capture everything with no complaints and I cannot wait to see the finished product. Our reception was of course a blast with only very minor glitches, like the subpar lighting and the food taking a little while to be ready... regardless I personally had SO much fun and hope everyone else did too. Our BFF Robert did a very impressive job with the DJing and was very patient with the mobs of people rushing his table to request things from him haha. It was all a little bit surreal I would have to say... to see all of the months of planning I put in finally come to an end, and have my friends and family compliment my hard work. I can definitely say that it was the most memorable and happiest day of my life. All the worries and stress were just silly and no matter how many things went wrong I still go to marry my best friend in the whole world :)










(Photos are compliments of Keith's mom Tami, our friend Isaac, Cheryl and Amanda)

WE ARE HOME!

Keith and I are finally home after spending lots of time away from our messy apartment and our playful kitten (who is currently insisting that I not stop playing with him since he apparently needs us to make up for lost time haha). Our wedding and honeymoon were the greatest and so much more wonderful than we ever expected or could have asked for. Full updates on both are currently in queue! We've been back for a little more than 24 hours and already we have made some very adult, married people steps in our new life... like BUYING A CAR! As I'm sure you all know, last month we had to say goodbye to our car at a pretty inconvenient time in our lives, yet after the experience we had yesterday we are finally realizing that God really does have everything all figured out, and that this was the perfect time for us to purchase a car that was our very own. We cannot even begin to thank our friends and family that blessed us with overwhelmingly generous wedding gifts, and it is because of all of you that we were able to get such a good deal on a car yesterday. Neither Keith nor I have ever had enough money in our hands at one time to make sure a large investment and it was such a rewarding feeling. Also, neither of us have ever had the pleasure of calling a brand new car our own, and believe me... that new car smell really is all it's cracked up to be haha.

Once we got back to our apartment late Sunday evening (thanks for the ride Tim!) we stayed up until our eyes could stay open no more researching cars, so that we could be sure that we were spending our money in the right place. No matter what lists, or consumer reports that we read, the Honda Fit was right at the top as far as reliability and overall ratings. When it kept popping up places we figured that had to be a sign and even after talking to multiple people about the cars they drive, and how much they liked them we knew we needed to go to a dealership and see what they could do for us. Our amazing friend Aly offered to be our chauffeur yesterday and took us to a couple of places, and sat on many couches for too many hours just so that we could be able to drive a car home yesterday. We're pretty thankful for the Philly friends that we have :) Anyway, Keith no longer has to ride a bike to work, and we no longer have to bum rides from friends AND I might even be encouraged to start driving in the state of Pennsylvania haha.

We couldn't be happier to have something that is all ours, that we can take care of and that will get us where we need to be. We both cannot wait to take roadtrips in our new car, and see all kinds of places that we've never been before.

Life is very very good :)

OUR CAR!! Which currently requires naming, suggestions welcome!

Keith shaking hands with Joe, our car salesman.

The face of a man who now has a ride to work in the morning haha

Happy happy happy!!

My apologies for the lack of pictures with our new vehicle, it was unfortunately raining when we drove it away so we'll have to do a photoshoot when Keith gets home from work tonight!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Old Photos

I just wanted to share some photos from good ole 1983, the year my parents got married. When I was in Owego, NY for our wedding shower, the family all got together and spent most of one evening looking through stacks of old photos. Passed along to me was an album full of pictures from my parents wedding, which everyone got a kick out of.

Here is my beautiful mother at her bridal shower wearing the traditionally ridiculous hat made of bows from your presents haha

and here is me, in similar fashion from my shower in Florida. Who starts these traditions?


Here are some others from their big day:



I love this last photo of my mother haha who knows what she's talking about or who she's yelling at, regardless I bet she's having fun. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being such an awesome example of a lasting marriage and continual love. I hope that our wedding is just as much fun as yours was 27 years ago!

PS- Dear Keith: Please take note of how gently my father is feeding her that cake.... please please please don't shove it in my face!!