Monday, March 31, 2008

My purse is cooler than yours.

Or.....not.

OhMommy so graciously tagged me to do a totally fun meme! It just made me realize how utterly predictable I am. Without futher ado, I introduce you all to the mostly boring contents of....my purse...


Unlike OhMommy's fabulous LV or Melissa's totally cute Coach knock-off, I am currently sporting the newest $25.00 look from Kohl's. Fashion police, please don't hurt me.

And below we have a chewed up bottle of anxiety medication (and no, I didn't chew it myself. That was from good 'ol Tuck on night), a beat up package of CVS brand tissues, one lonely regular Kotex tampon, a couple packs of Advil that I stole--uh--I mean "borrowed" from work, and last but not least, my prenatal vitamins (oh shit, only two more? Gotta get my ass to the pharmacy asap)!

The next stop on this fantastic purse voyage brings you, dear readers, to my weakness: lists. I write them for everything. We have a large work list for a big mailing I had to get to the printers last week; beside that on the small yellow post is the name of a baker and his phone number (you didn't think I'd have NO wedding-related items in my bag, did you?); and the third is a list of key facts about the elusive wedding ring we ordered for D's big sausage finger. He is a hard man to buy a ring for. Then you have my work key chain above; and my small steno pad filled with (I can't believe I'm admitting this) possible baby names!!! I keep a list of baby names so when a new one hits me and I think it could be a contender, I immediately write it down.

Now, here, this picture above would lead you all to believe that I am a make-up whore, or at least a make-up fanatic. And one who doesn't discriminate as we have Clinique, Mac and Origins on hand. However, Clinique pretty much leads the pack as I wear the same blush (the green compact) and lipstick (one of the silver tubes) with the same eye shadow almost every single day. I try to vary the eye shadow colors here and there but I'm so creature of habit.


On the miscellaneous front, above I have my red wallet, a travel size bottle of Bath and Bodyworks cucumber melon hand sanitizer, my awesome Walmart sunglasses, a pedometer with a dead battery, an actual double AA battery that I have no idea why I'm carrying, a splenda packet I obviously pocketed from a restaurant, some loose change, two of my favorite glidey pens, and a random sharpie. Oh, and like Melissa said in her purse post, NO the kitty was not in my purse. That, my friends, is Bailey...she of the exceptionally long whiskers. And cute white-booty feet.

And last but not least, a BONUS! The messy innards of my wallet! You'll see a check book stuffed with receipts, an appointment card, a Starbucks card wtih nineteen cents left on it, my weight watchers weight chart followed by my Cold Stone Creamery valued customer card (heh heh...isn't that ironic? Don't ya think?), tons MORE receipts spilling forth and a few bucks...oh and yes that's my Stop and Shop card peeking out, as well.

And now you have all stepped briefly into my life (or at least my purse) so I'm choosing to pass on the fun and see what YOU all have stuffed into your cute designer handbags or diaper bags.

I tag the following chickies:

'Chele
Krissy
Keri
Alf
Steph
Dawn
Lilah
Grandy

And since we can't forget about the boys in bloggy-ville, I dare the following guys to bare the insides of their wallets!! (ooh la la!)

Dan Mega
Big D
Faz

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm ending the weekend on a happy note. Part of it being that I don't have to go to work tomorrow of course...but really the MAIN reason being I have the best friends and family (and future in-laws!) in the world! They all made me feel very special yesterday and I could not have asked for a better bridal shower. (long post with pics to follow!)

I have to admit, when I first walked into the hall where the bridal shower was taking place, and everyone started to clap, part of me wanted to run into the kitchen and hide. LOL The pressure of being the center of attention of forty people! Of course before we walked in, as I shook with nervousness, Daryl sweetly reminded me, "Get over it. How are you going to feel being the center of attention in front of the HUNDRED people at our wedding?" Good point. So I shook off the nerves and began my hugging-circuit. Flashbulbs started popping and I was suddenly a celebrity. Thankfully, Michele almost-immediately stuck a fresh glass of delicious, and much needed, vino into my shaky grip, and I was off and running. Is this how famous people live?
There was food!!! (I probably ate 3 meatballs, and two tortilla chips, as I chatted with everyone and made my rounds. There was so much more food I wanted to dive into but no time, people, no time!)
There were lots of family members! And incredibly cute cousins...these are D's cousins who will be our flower girls.......and now my cutie-pie cousins...


There were gifts!! (Lots and lots of gifts...I almost felt guilty to be receiving so much. It was unbelievable the generosity of everyone! Thank goodness my Big D was still hiding out in the kitchen, talking with the only other man there, my matron of honor's father Ray who was cooking, so when a certain gift I knew would catch Daryl's fancy was opened--I immediately turned my head and shouted to him in the kitchen to look. Oh, and Big D made sure to pose with some of the girls, as well, of course!)

There was wine!!! (Lots and lots more wine...my glass kept magically refilling or topping off as I attempted to take a sip...I know Keri and Michele were behind at least 1, possibly 2, of those refills. Heh!)
There was dead batteries in my camera!!! (So pretty much anything after this point I will rely on copies from my friends who were busily snapping away! I'll post those another day...)

There was a game! (There was supposed to be another game but this one game took up more time and was so much more entertaing for everyone, obviously. It was called, "How well does April know Daryl??" For every correct answer I got a hershey kiss; for every wrong answer I had to pop in another piece of chewing gum. I'm happy to report my kiss pile far outweighed the wad of gum in my mouth by the end of the game. )

And then there was delicious carrot cake!! And Death by Chocolate! (And I did make sure to eat a quantity of both!)

Afterwards, a few of us girls went to a nearby bar for a couple of drinks...I was then driven home and greeted by this, where I proceeded to cry about said generosity of all my friends and family (the booze also helped fuel those emotions):

And then my lovely D proceeded to drag my drunk ass to his grandmother's house where his mom and step-dad were staying the weekend (they are from out of town) and we had pizza for dinner while I struggled (terribly) to appear completely sober. Do you think they noticed anything?

Today, Sunday, I was a busy little beaver. While I heavily caressed and drooled over one of my favorite gifts (this one from Michele).......and Big D made us yummy home-made lattes from one of my OTHER favorites gifts...
...I completed ALL OF MY THANK-YOU CARDS!!! And used another one of our gifts, personalized stamps. Stamps with mine and Big D's faces on them! How cool is that???
So the bottom line is, we had a wonderful day and we couldn't be happier for the fantabulous people in our lives who care so much about us.

Life is good.

Friday, March 28, 2008

T-G-I-FREAKIN-F, baby!!!

It's Friday everyone. In case you all weren't aware of that. And I get to leave for the day at 2:00 pm! You can't beat that with a stick.

AND a certain someone got a little happy something in the mail yesterday...which I have been (along with Keri) eagerly anticipating! Giving gifts to people is so much fun! I literally get this excited feeling in the pit of my stomach and if I'm at a party and waiting for someone to open my gift, I'm the obnoxious one who shoves MY gift in front of everyone else's. Kind of like a "pick me! pick me!" of present-giving.

I'm also drinking my free Nonfat Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks right now...courtesy of Big D's Starbucks gift card. He is just a sweet little muffin who so generously offered up his last four dollars on the gift card so that his honey, ME, could fulfill a latte-craving. He's so good to me.

Hmmm...what else? Oh! I'm getting my nails done today! I ripped them off in what feels like eons ago...(I'm talking artificial here people, I'm not a sadist who rips off real fingernails)...and I've been wanting them back since. I don't have a ton of money so I'm not able to update my wardrobe or shoe collection too often (besides I'm kind of a jeans and sneaks girl most of the time. With a cute purse, of course, and some killer hoop earrings) so the one thing that makes me feel pretty---even when I'm having a bad hair day--is looking down at my damn pretty nails (especially French manicure! ooh ooh!) while I'm typing away at work. Love it!

So needless to say, today is gonna be a rockin' day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I am impatiently awaiting Friday, people!

I'm working only a half day tomorrow (9:00am to 2:00pm) so I'm super psyched about that. ANY day I don't have to be here till SIX is a great day! Then afterwards I'm going to get my nails done...a little pampering. I have to make brownies tomorrow as well, if I don't get to it tonight, cuz I'm going to a sex toy party and I offered to bring a yummy snack. Anyway, the party tomorrow is at 6:45pm and I'm sure there will be wine and silly times. Saturday morning I'm supposed to be going to weight watchers, however, I'm not sure if that is going to happen. I know that's bad of me, but in my defense, my bridal shower is Saturday at one. Woo hoo!!! So I'll be running around doing some last minute errands before that. Sunday I plan on getting a jump start on the thank-you cards for our shower gifts. And Monday I took the day off from work!! SO glad I did that. I'm going with MOm to my aunt's salon to do a trial run of my wedding day hair. Then after that it's out to help Mom shop for her dress and maybe we'll do lunch too. It's going to be a fun weekend!

What are YOUR plans for this weekend??????? (becuz after all, I know it is NOT just about me. Heh.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ugh.

I'm slipping into a burrito-induced coma. Please, someone, help me.
(but don't suggest coffee cuz I already had a latte this morning. Yes, I was a VERY, VERY bad girl today.)


*Update* Not only am I slipping into that coma, but now my stomach is a churned-up-burrito-mess due to some utterly ridiculous (did I mention it's ridiculous?!?!) office drama going on here today! ARGH!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Starting to feel those anxious butterflies in my stomach.

Sylvania, my contact at the location we're having the wedding at, called me today to go over some basic information regarding the wedding. And she detailed what we need to do/bring when we meet with her a week before the wedding. As well as reiterated that we had to pay the balance at that time.

Big stress.

Money. And organization. Two things I am not always good at. Actually I take that back, with organization I'm good about it at work, on a professional level. On a personal level? Not so much. So the thought of having to sit down and figure out (1) where everyone will be seated for the seating chart (which we totally have to do as opposed to letting everyone free-sit...there are certain family members that we do NOT want seated anywhere near each other or WWIII could erupt, after a few beers in) and (2) it means I need to sit down with D and do something I am so not good at, budget money, to be sure everything gets paid off in time. I'm really sweating these two things.

*SIGH*

I know this will all be over sooner than we can blink, and that it's all for a good cause...but is it bad that I want to skip right to the honeymoon?????

Monday, March 24, 2008

How strange is this...to be getting closer and closer to THE DAY that Daryl and I have eagerly been waiting for...and yet also be closing in on the sixth anniversary of my Daddy's death...and yet not to feel that familiar incredible emptiness in my heart that I always feel this time of year...

Is it becuz I'm looking forward to something so happy in my life and it's leaving less room for the intense grief that has clung to me like a fungus the past almost-six years? Or could it be that the ache, the loss, is just fading a bit as time goes by? I won't lie and say it doesn't hurt to think about Dad, and especially to know I won't have him here in the flesh with me, my arm hooked through his strong arm, his smile matching my own as he walks me--his chicky-babe, his first-born--down the aisle on May 17th.

But at the same time, I chose May to get married in for a reason...knowing the anniversary of his death is also in the same spring month. May, for the past six years, has been such a solemn time, and when my family should be eagerly anticipating spring and budding flowers and beauty all around us, that instead we are remembering that sunny and warm day six years ago, watching his chest rise and fall with the whir of the oxygen machine, seeing the paleness of his normally robust skin, and watching him slowly slip away from us on that gentle tide of life. And death. While we had been "preparing" for the past six months before that for just that moment in time, you can still never, truly prepare for death. Yes, we had said our goodbyes, and shared our hugs and tears and kisses with Dad, but to see him take that last breath is a moment in time that I don't think I will ever forget. It is still sharp and crystal-clear in my mind, like a photograph that will never dull. Seeing the last time his chest would rise. And fall. And then the silence broken only by my mother's wail of grief. I remember smelling his hair, his head, after he passed, hoping I could commit that smell of him to my memory forever.

But now instead of always reliving that same heart-breaking vision this time of year, I instead want to move forward. I want to see and enjoy spring as the month of May ushers it in in all it's colorful glory. I want to remember Daddy as he wanted to be remembered...not sick and dying in his and my mom's bed, but living and enjoying life. Eating his garlic bagels with strawberry cream cheese (interesting combo, right?) and the methodical way he dissected his lobster and enjoyed every morsel of it. Before Daryl came along, Dad was the original "fire-starter" for me on all of our camping trips and I can remember him getting those flames raging as we huddled around with our marshmallows on sticks. Dad taught me how to ride a bicycle...and I can still remember that sense of freedom and independence that came over me the moment I realized his hand was no longer holding onto my bike--scary but invigorating. Dad was the designated picture-taker so sadly he is not in a ton of pictures but I have such great memories of him photographing and videotaping me for numerous dance recitals, dressed to the nines in my costumes, and him always telling me to "Break a leg" with a smile. As an adult, a memory that sticks in my head was me at twenty-one years old after having my heart broken by my first love, sitting at the kitchen table with my head in my hands and Dad telling me in his deep-manly voice, "It's his loss, April. There are other fish in the sea." Such a silly phrase, something a man would say...but to think about it now it makes my breath squeeze in my chest becuz that was Dad's way of showing me he cared, by trying to get me to see the bright side of it.

I want to cry as I type this, but at the same time it's freeing, just like that moment on my bicycle when Dad let go. It's scary as hell to feel like I'm "letting him go" so to speak, but at the same time, it's opening up a space in my heart for more good memories. To think about all the great stories I'll get to share with my future children about their Pop-Pop (becuz yes, I plan on making my Dad, their Pop-Pop, a face in a picture that they will be able to recognize, despite having never met him). I will have Dad with me when I walk down the aisle, in a teeny picture frame that Keri is going to affix to my bouquet, but even more so, in my heart and in my mind and in all my memories.

I want to cry a little less; I want to smile a little more. I want spring to be beautiful again.


His Chicky-Babe
By: April Lynn Smith

I look up at him, adoringly, my strong Daddy, my knight-in-shining armor. No man will ever compare to him as I age. I am not quite aware of this at such a young age, but it’s true .


"Smile for the camera. Say cheese!" His authoritative, booming voice is like a down blanket, comforting to me in its warmth and substance. I grin, showing pearly white teeth, hoping I don’t blink as the camera shutter clicks.


The scratchy sequins irritate my sun-kissed skin, forming a flaming red rash. I pull the costume away from my body, to breathe, and to escape the itchiness. A wisp of brown hair falls into my eyes and I blow it away.


"Just a few more" My Daddy says. The sun is high in the sky and casts bright rays of gold down upon us. The balmy air blows, tickles my heavily rouged cheeks.


"Hurry up, Richie. We have to leave soon." That is Mommy, standing on the back porch, leaning on the railing, her arms crossed in front of her. She is smoking a cigarette and I can’t help but watch in fascination as she pulls in her cheeks, sucking in the gray, wispy smoke, than releases it in a foul puff.


"Are you excited?" He asks, interrupting my brief reverie. I think of the stage, the bright lights, the flowers I’ll surely get. Pangs, like butterflies, beat frantically in my belly.


"Yes!" But as I say it, prickles of unease form along my bare arms. I nervously dig the toe of my black tap shoe into the dirt. I can almost see all the blobs in the audience, their faces a blur of black with grinning lips. It’s too hard to make out features with those blaring lights shining on me.


"Don’t be nervous, Chicky Babe." Daddy says, as if sensing my apprehension. His nickname for me always makes me smile. Chicky Babe. I almost want to cluck in response. Instead I giggle. "Just smile and dance your heart out. We’ll all be watching."


It’s comforting, knowing my family will be out there, but especially my Daddy. I know my dance recitals aren’t the most exciting form of entertainment for him, but I couldn’t imagine one without him. I watch patiently as he slings the camera strap over his shoulder and turns to walk towards the car. He pauses then turns back with an inquiry in his eyes as I hesitate. Daddy holds out his hand and with a huge grin, I eagerly slip my small fingers into it. We walk hand in hand to the car.


Good morning! Hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was good, busy. And I'm happy to report things have calmed down quite a bit having our extra furry house guest. Luke has finally stopped panting nonstop, and even though he is always plastered to Daryl's side, he will lay down and relax now...unlike the first two nights here where he paced constantly. Plus him and Tucker have had a blast playing together and they tire each other out, which we love! Saturday afternoon the two big blondies spent four hours straight playing with each other in the backyard. Luke, who has no toys of his own, has thoroughly enjoyed our doggies basket full of toys here. I'm going to send him home with a new rope toy, and maybe a bone. Anyway, on to the menu plan for this week....



Monday: Grilled chicken salads with steamed green beans

Tuesday: Leftover Easter ham, mashed potatoes and corn

Wednesday: Whole wheat pasta and sauce, with steamed broccoli

Thursdsay: Probably Pizza Night

Friday: Uh oh...going to a sex toy party tonight where I'm sure there will be LOTS of junk food (I'm bringing brownies...and I have my weigh-in tomorrow). Maybe I'll try to eat a salad first so I don't go to the party hungry.

Saturday: My bridal shower today!! Can't wait! :-) I know there is going to be ziti and meatballs and salad, etc. And cake!

Sunday: Crock pot Chili (I hope...as long as Big D is willing to make it! LOL)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Welcome to Laba-palooza!
The big ham-bone on the left is Luke. Our Tucker is on the right.


This goes along with Big D's "oh my god what have I done?" post. Heh heh.

We are currently dog-sitting for 3-year old labbie, Luke. This was entirely Daryl's doing, as he is the one who volunteered our fabulous dog-watching services. (At that point, I sweetly reminded him of Luke's penchant for pooping on the living room carpet. He immediately told our friend, "We'll still do it, but you need to bring a crate/cage for him to go in when we're not home." Now, let me explain...we could probably fit an elephant into this cage that is now smooshed unceremoniously into our tiny computer room along with Tucker and Daisy's own cages.)


This illustrious Lab-loving was to start the Friday of Easter weekend. You know, Easter? When we have company coming over for dinner??


Sweet.

About an hour after Luke's owner left, Daryl turned to me and quietly said, "I think I made a big mistake."

A little bit about Luke...he is a very sweet, monstrous (i.e. overweight) blond muffin who has almost no self-control and must lick/sniff/nibble-bite everything and everyone in sight all the while continually pace, pace, pacing and pant, pant, panting. Seriously. In his defense, he does not get enough attention at home...his place in the family was forever impacted by the birth of our friend's first child. And unfortunately the Mommy is not a dog-person to begin with. So poor Lukey is lacking in attention, affection AND exercise.

He may not realize it yet (or after last night, maybe he has?) but he has entered a whole new realm....a Doggie-Bootcamp of sorts. One where he will constantly be told to "sit" "lay down" and "stay" until he gets it right. A place where butt-sniffing followed by nibbling roughly on Tuckers nose is not acceptable every two minutes (and I am not putting all the blame on Luke for this one...Tucker is the KING of butt-sniffers.)

But all is not lost. This bootcamp will have its perks. His foster Mommy for the next five days has already committed to going out on her lunch break to buy Mr. Luke his very own rope toy (he has no toys at home). Also, as eluded to in D's post, there will be insane amounts of exercise in the backyard starting tonight, followed by a good 'ol belly rub and ear scratch on the living room floor. I have high hopes that we can salvage this crazy arrangement before D pulls out what's left of his shaved hair and I lock myself, blubbering insanely, in the bedroom to escape.

Fingers crossed, 'kay?


P.S. Don't forget to read my last post and ask me a question!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Yes, I am a thief. I admit it.

I've seen this idea done on other blogs so now I'm STEALING it. (sorry, I have nothing funny or even remotely exciting to blog about today. Blah.)

ASK ME ANYTHING!!!


That's right, you heard me. Ask me some questions, peeps. Anything you may want to know about yours truly. It can be as dull and mundane to as crazy and kooky as you like! I love reading these on other people's blogs...it's a great way to get to know a little *more* about your bloggy-friends out there. So now it's my turn to do some sharin'.

Ask me your questions, and I'll share them plus my answers, in a future post of pure bloggy-enlightenment.

Becuz today...it's all about me. (I've always wanted to say that and MEAN it! LOL)

ASK AWAY!!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I can't believe it's Wednesday already! (not that I'm complaining or anything. I'll take what I can get.) I'm a tad tired this morning, nothing crazy. I woke up for some reason at 4:30 a.m. this morning--could be becuz of the big yellow moose, I mean lab, that leaped into bed with me?-- and realized that Daryl was not beside me. I wasn't surprised becuz I knew he had to go to work early so he was probably up and about already. I didn't hear a sound though and he wasn't in the computer room, bathroom, living room or kitchen (in my house, that's pretty much IT) and finally I saw the basement light on.

Could he be doing laundry at 4:30 in the morning? No, not likely. I shuffled to the top step in my slippers.

"Daryl? What are you doing down there?" I called down the stairs. He appeared with his electric razor in hand, tufts of hair at his feet.

"Shaving my head. Why?"

Only Daryl would be shaving his head at 4:30 in the morning. I laughed and went back to bed where Tucker proceeded to dive-bomb into bed with me, laying his head on Daryl's pillow. Zzzzzz....

So, not that I'm trying to make this post all about my dog, but, Tucker made me laugh a couple of times today. Later on in the morning as I was getting ready for work and just stepping out of the shower, I heard a thump. The only one home with me were the animals so a *thump* is never a good sign. I went out in the living room to find my pocket book upturned on the carpet with the insides laying all around Tucker's big yellow paws. He looked up at me innocently until I yelled at him and then he high-tailed out of there. I saw a piece of paper on the floor, with nibble marks and paper confetti strewn around it, with an address written on it...an address I'd been SEARCHING high and low for...for days.

Thanks to the blond-nibbler, my newest detective, he'd found that address...thankfully he had only chewed AROUND the address and I could still read it.

Anyway, on another doggie-side note, when Tucker was a puppy and Daryl was potty-training him to go outside, I told D I wanted him to use a key phrase, something that Tucker would know what he was supposed to do, like "Do your business" or "Go Potty" or something.

What does my darling D train the dog to respond to, you ask?

"Tucker, bombs away!"

Imagine my embarrassment, as I huddled in my back yard in the middle of that winter (and just to give you a visual, my neighbors houses are pretty much all on top of each other so that I could easily see into five other backyards around my own, and where voices carry quite well) waiting impatiently for my young pup to realize we were out in the cold and the dark to DO OUR BUSINESS (not play and sniff and explore), whispering frantically as loud as I dare, "Tucker, bombs away! Bombs away, damnit!"

Yes, at that moment and many others, I wanted to beat Daryl senseless.

Jump ahead now to today--about two (and a half?) years later--huddling on my back sun porch, running extremely late for work, leaning out the door as rain poured down by the bucketful, waiting for my dogs to finish up their business as I impatiently called out to them, "Hur--ry up!"

Thankfully, Daisy is a little prima-donna who only likes to get wet on her terms (in bath tubs or mud puddles on a sunny day). She's not into rainy days so five seconds later she came bolting in. Now cut to my blond bomber, who was just strutting around the muddy backyard without a care in the world, curiously--yet patiently--sniffing and lifting his leg to every bush, stick or rock he found suitable.

"Hurry up, Tuck! Do your business!" He shot me casual, blase look my way--and then back to sniffing. I looked around quickly--no neighbors in sight. I sighed in defeat. Used a phrase I have not really thought about in well over two years and had up until thus far, refused to use once he was trained.

"Tuck, bombs away, buddy! Bombs away!"

He cocked his head and gave me that dopey, loveable labrador grin (you know the one I mean), then took off running to the fence line in our yard, circled twice and immediately squatted.

We have a winner, folks!!

Remind me later to smack D upside the head, though.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

PEEP SHOW
(I can't stop giggling, especially at the pole-dancer! These are my kind of peeps...)


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!!!

What a great weekend! Or more specifically, what a great Saturday. :-) My matron of honor and I headed out to my dress fitting on Saturday morning. It was so much fun to put my dress back on, along with the headpiece, and get an idea of what I'll look like on THE day. And we also looked at jewelry and I picked out what I will wear for a necklace and earrings. The finished effect was so pretty! I couldn't stop smiling. Then after that, we headed home and met up with one of my bridesmaids who was already hanging with D...and we immediately dove into the favor-making. On Friday night, my mom and I had already made the chocolates (in both blue and brown) using molds I picked up from Michael's. I had also already printed out the message on ivory cards (that in lieu of favors, we'd be donating to The American Cancer Society in loving memory of my dad) so the girls and I started stamping on a blue butterfly and also punching holes in the cards (with a butterfly punch, no less!) to run the ribbon through to attach it to the small treat bag that held both a blue and a brown chocolate. The finished touch was VERY cool! We all agreed they came out perfectly.

Sunday, Daryl and I hiked with his grandma, out into the woods where D had up his hunting camera. After our hike back, his grandma made us lunch and we visited with the grandparents for a little bit before heading back home. The rest of the afternoon was spent in blessed laziness while D's corned beef and cabbage cooked in the crock pot. We had that for dinner with boiled red-skinned potatoes and carrots and then watched tv while I worked on our week's menu plan. Which now brings me to the fruits of my labor...I threw in a couple of recipes from my Weight Watchers cook books...all recipes new to me, so I promise to post how they come out! Enjoy!


Monday: Wheat pasta with tomato sauce and side green salads

Tuesday: Creamed Chicken and Biscuits (ww-8 points per serving)

Wednesday: Chili-Corn Bread Pie (ww-5 points per serving) with steamed green beans

Thursay: Pizza Night, having company over. Mmmm...pizza and wine...

Friday: Tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches

Saturday: Anything goes...

Easter Sunday: Happy Easter! Ham dinner with mashed potatoes, corn,another side and biscuits.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Introducing the youngest (and not to mention cutest)
members of our wedding party...



My favorite cousin (with his favorite cousin, yours truly) A.J.



Daryl's sweet cousins, Shayne (3) on the left and Rian (9) on the right





And here is cute little Shayne again...can't get enough of her!




The kids are hilarious. Rian has been in a few weddings already and often practices her "walk" down the aisle; she is also busily contemplating her shoe and jewelry choice. We've got a fashionista on our hands here! Shayne is a shy little peanut, and I am very curious to see if she actually makes it down the aisle.. .maybe with some gentle poking and prodding from her sis. And last but not least, A.J., who is so ecited to be in his first wedding and eager to play his "big and important" role of carrying the ring pillow. He is also psyched to wear a tux and look like Daryl!
So glad our favorite cousins can be such a big part of our special day. It wouldn't be the same without them. :-)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Oh brother, it's starting already.

Big D talked to his Dad last night on the phone to make sure that he, and his girlfriend, were able to come to the rehearsal dinner. I have to get D's mom the headcount immediately as she needs it to book the restaurant.

Anyway, D's father started in on his, "I just can't stand your mother."

Okay, seriously, you're divorced. OBVIOUSLY you can't stand her. You don't need to love her. You don't need to even LIKE her. This isn't about HER, this is about your son.

Daryl said, "Look Dad, if you don't want to come it's your choice. I can't force you. I really want you to be there for me and April, but I won't hold it against you if you don't go. But, I really need to get a head count asap."

D's dad started saying something about the cost of it and D quickly interjected, "April and I are not paying for the rehearsal dinner." He left it that. From my point listening to D's side of the conversation it sounded like his father asked, "Well who is?"

Daryl sighed, rolled his eyes skyward and quickly replied, "Mom's paying for it. I didn't ask her to; she offered."

"WHATEVER." His father replied. And then he started in about it being awkward, blah, blah, blah and he sort of alluded that maybe he wouldn't come. SO AGAIN Daryl said it was his choice, but come on, it's been SEVEN YEARS, time to get over it and be a grown-up and do this for DARYL, his son.

Finally, his father said he would "swallow it" down and come to the rehearsal for his son. And of course he stuck in, "If your mother is paying, then I'm definitely going." (Now I definitely am glad his mom is not paying for the booze!!)

Sometimes, it really amazes me how adults can behave SO childishly. Come on, dude! Yeah, divorce is tough, yeah it sucked, but you know what? Seven years have passed, things have changed, your ex has re-married and YOU have been dating someone for years...time to move on and forward and not look back! And just concentrate on the fact that your son is happy and making a big step in his life! Just be there and support him! That's all we ask. I love my FIL but sometimes he makes me want to bang my head on the wall.

So, needless to say, after this conversation last night, it just reinforced my decision to quietly thank my MIL and step-FIL and give them a gift another time...and at the rehearsal dinner 'll just thank everyone for their support as a whole group. No hurt feelings...no stress...no fights.

Just some lovin'.

After all, isn't that what this whole thing-a-ma-jig is about??? Mine and Daryl's LOVE? Thank you very much!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Well, I must be doing something right. And I think red may just be my color. (Warning, a pat on the back to follow.)

I came in today with my red sweater on, having a good hair day and with a yummy Starbucks latte in my hand and a smile on my face. (What can I say, Starbucks lattes make me happy! But only ONCE-A-WEEK happy. They're too damn expensive.)

B, another employee here who I only see once in a blue moon (he works at a different campus usually), was like, "Whoa, April! You look great! Did you do something different to your hair?"

Um, no. Haven't cut it in eons...letting it grow. And the last time I colored it was probably like 3-4 weeks ago?

"No," I answered smiling,"but I did lose five pounds!" (you know I just had to throw that in. LOL)

"Hmmm, I don't think that's it. Are you pregnant? You are just glowing!"

No, definiteley not pregnant. But, glowing? I like that!

He reiterated that I looked great and very happy (okay by this point, my head is starting to swell a little bit.) and then after that I had 3 or 4 coworkers stop at my desk at different times to tell me that I look great in red, that I looked "fabulous" today, etc., etc.

First of all, I must be sending out some serious baby vibes. (heheh, as if you all didn't know.)
Secondly, I've come to a conclusion: HAPPY=BEAUTIFUL

I am talking inner beauty here, people...not being conceited (even though I do look pretty hot today, if I say so myself!). I really do think that when someone is happy, it is just a visual, apparent and noticeable thing. It shows in your face, in your walk, in your whole demeanor. I thought really long and hard about it after B left my office...about being happy. What that word means to me.

Yes, I admit, I've had my cranky, crunchy moments here and there lately. But when it comes right down to it, I realized that right now--in this moment in my life--I am the happiest I've ever been. I'm not going to lie and say my life is perfect. Lord knows, that is far from the truth. I have too much debt, not enough money, I miss my father immensly and still wish he was here, and the rest of my family makes me absolutely bonkers some days, but in the grand scheme of things, I realize that I am pretty damn happy with where my life has ended up. This crazy road of life, with all its twists and turns and potholes, has brought me to a really beautiful and unique destination, one where I (for the most part) like who I am, LOVE my D and can't wait to meet him at the end of that aisle May 17th, love our little house (even though it's tiny and not in the greatest of towns) becuz it is a roof over our heads and much more than some other people have...I appreciate that...and I'm on the verge of creating a new life (God willing) and making our family complete. I really and truly couldn't ask for much more in life right now.

I am no where near where I always thought I'd be--
WHO I thought I'd be--at thirty one years old...but I am definitely and 100%... a happy ME. And damn proud of that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Hump Day.

Is the week over yet??? *SIGH*

It's so hard for me to get anything accomplished during the week (both wedding and NON-wedding related) when I don't get home at night until 6:30pm. And then that time is devoted to doggie-care, dinner and then clean up and after that the last thing I want to do is MORE housework or hop on the computer or phone to do wedding stuff. I admit (shhhh, don't tell!) that I've been making some quick calls here or there while at work. Or checking a few things out on the internet. But I really don't like doing that considering that there was an employee here years ago that I guess (I only heard this through the grapevine) planned her entire wedding from work and got let go eventually by management. Obviously my case is not that extreme...I do most of the wedding-research on the weekends, not at work! But still it makes me nervous.

And our house is a freakin' mess! I don't know how you moms do it! I don't know how someday that I'll be able to do it! Kid-care full time (or part time kid-care and working the rest) and then maintaining your homes? I give you all oodles of credit. Pl,ease, please, tell me your secrets so I can take notes. Well thankfully Big D is very helpful so when that times comes, I know he'll step up to the plate more. He's a good egg. (except for when he's a cranky egg. LOL).

Anyway, onto good news. My mother-in-law is booking the restaurant for our rehearsal dinner! I'm so thankful that her and my step-father-in-law are footing this bill. If not, Big D and I would be squeezing everyone into a McDonald's since that's all our budget would allow for, right now. I am very appreciative. I planned on us saying a few words at the rehearsal dinner to thank them but now I'm re-thinking that for two reasons.
1. Daryl's Dad
2. My Mom
Daryl's parents are divorced and his father doesn't even work right now (he's been jobless for over a year, his choice) so he is obviously not paying (or even offering) for anything wedding-related. However, if we make a big deal of how D's mom and step-dad paid, I'm afraid D's father will not react well. He is very bitter about the whole situation (his ex remarrying). And who knows if he'll drown his sorrows in booze that night (thank GOODNESS we have a cash bar...D's mom does not want to support her ex's drinking habit and I can't say that I blame her. So if the booze gets paid for, it would be by me and D. We still haven't decided on that yet.) And then you have my Mom. She would love to help out financially, but due to her situation, she can not. And I know this makes her feel very, very crappy. I don't want to make her feel worse about it in front of our closest family and friends. She is a lot like me--she cares a lot what other people think of her. And the thought of people whispering about her being "cheap" or "not helpful with her daughter's wedding" etc.--I know it kills her.

So....What should we do to show our appreciatiatino to D's mom and step-dad that won't make anyone else uncomfortable? Or should I just say, "screw it" and let's make our speech anyway? We are planning on getting them some type of gift or gift card so maybe we should just give it to them another time? What do you guys think? What would you do in this position? Oh! And one more thing...how does the whole gift-giving to parents work at the rehearsal dinner? Are you giving your parents gifts "just becuz"? Or is it to thank them for helping out with the wedding? And if they didn't help, are we still required to get them a gift? I'm totally not trying to sound cheap, or bratty, here...I just really don't know. And money is tight...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wedding stuff....wedding stuff...it seems like every day I remember something different/new that I need to do or plan for. I am trying to stay on top of everything but it's so hard! I think I need to update my list and figure out what needs to be done asap.

This week I have done/will do the following:
1. Call my aunt about the make-up lady's prices (she is a hairdresser and knows a make-up lady personally and is handling that end for me.)
2. Coordinate with my MIL about where the rehearsal dinner will be (the MIL and Step-FIL are paying for the rehearsal dinner, those sweet peas!)
3. Get everything together for my first fitting this week (need to bring my new bra, shoes and bringing the tiara/headpiece I'm borrowing from a friend to make sure I like it with my dress)
4. Make appointment for trial hair with my aunt.
5. Go to craft store this week to get chocolate molds. And cards to print on ( in lieu of favors we're donating to the American Cancer Society)
6. MAIL OUT payment to photographer!!!!
7. Order Big D's wedding ring!!! (this has to be done ASAP cuz it might have to be specially ordered, due to size)
8. Call Bill (our JP) to chat about specifics

I'm sure there is more I wanted to do this week, but I just can't remember. My brain is slowly, but surely, turning to mush!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I know I already mentioned this two posts back...but...I'm just so proud of myself that I have to toot my own horn again (not to mention that my jeans are loosening up and this excites me immensely!)...

I lost 1.6 lbs. this past week for a total of 5 lbs. in the past three weeks!!

LOVE the progress I've been making and I hope I can keep this up!

GO, ME!!!

(Can't wait to put on my wedding dress this Saturday morning for my first fitting...after my next weigh-in of course!)

I almost wasn't even going to do a Meal Plan this week. Last week's went all kablooey due to birthday celebrations and guests visiting. So needless to say, most of the meals we planned on did not actually happen.

Monday: Leftover spinach and cheese raviolis with vodka sauce (YUMMY) and 3-cheese bread (from Panera). I'll also probably steam up some broccoli. We have not been eating enough veggies lately!

Tuesday: Barbecued chicken on the grill and peas with Annie's Curly Fettucine w/White Cheddar and Broccoli sauce (carry over from last week)

Wedensday: Homemade cheeseburgers with sweet potato fries, and maybe grilled zucchini and squash

Thursday: Stuffed Tomato Basil Chicken with steamed green beans

Friday: Pizza Night-I want to make a homemade pizza with lots of sauted onions and peppers and maybe some turkey bacon if I still have it in the freezer.

Saturday: Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy chicken shredded on wheat rolls and steamed or grilled veggies

Sunday:
Sweet Potato Chicken Quesadillas- I think I'm going to try this one cuz I saw a lot of other bloggers loved it!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hope everyone had a great weekend...I know I did! I spent almost my entire weekend with friends and it was so much fun and reminds me why and just how important all my friends are to me. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me happy. :-)

Friday night, I went straight over to Keri's house after work to meet up with her and Michele for a girl's night of chatting, yummy snacks and wine. We had a blast! And I spent a lot more time there than I told Daryl I was going to. Heh. After two giant bottles of wine, around eleven thirty I had text messaged him I'd be heading home soon...and then eleven thirty kinda morphed into almost one thirty before one of us realized the time. Oh snap! I took it as a good sign that I hadn't gotten any calls from D and I headed home. WELL, halfway home, the angry call came through.
"Where the hell are you? You said you were coming home around 11:30pm and I fell asleep and woke up and it's ONE thirty and you still weren't here! I was worried!" Needless to say, I felt very sheepish and guilty for not letting him know I was okay. He knew I was drinking and on top of that it was raining cats and dogs. I admit, I should have at least called him to tell him it went later than anticipated. Cuz if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have yelled at him too for not calling to let me know he was safe (and I have before! ha!) . Bad, April, bad! But regardless, I had a great time! I love those girls! LOL

Saturday Big D brought me to Weight Watchers (cuz Crystal was at the hospital with baby Gabriella. And no, I have not heard any news yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all is well) and I had good news despite an excess this week of pizza and birthday cupcakes and Reese's peanut butter eggs. I lost 1.6 lbs.!!! For a total loss so far of 5.2 lbs. in three weeks! I'm SO proud of myself! I hope I can keep up the good work. I want to look SMOKIN' in my wedding dress, damn it. Anyway, after that we ran to the store and then to the student clinic to get our (heavenly) massages. Then D wanted to put up his new hunting cameras out where he hunts so I sat in the truck while he did that (it was freakin' pouring out, people!). Later on we went over April and Auggie's for dinner and birthday cake and that was fun, we giggled quite a bit, but I was feeling so exhausted so at ten we headed home.

Sunday, I don't know if it was because of my need to catch up on sleep, or the time change, or what, but I just could not get out of bed! Finally D convinced me to get up and go BACK to the woods to see if his new camera had caught any images (nope, it only caught us walking up to the camera. And Big D deleted those so I took a couple of my own) and we did a good hike. Then after that it was off to Lowe's to get more of the laminate flooring that we are putting in upstairs. It's halfway through. D said he needs to get 2 or 3 more boxes to finish the bigger room (there is also a teeny tiny room next to it that we'll do). I'll try to take and post some pictures tomorrow. There is limited lighting up there and it's way too dark for photos right now. Anyway, after that we met up with Sarah and Brian and cute little Julia for dinner at On the Border. We had a horrible waitress (but at least she didn't hit on or men!) and the service took FOREVER. But it was still fun to hang out with them. I laughed so hard, especially at Julia calling Daryl "Dee-del". Love it. And now I'm home with a good buzz from two margaritas and feeling pretty darn good. Don't want to go to work tomorrow though!!! I came in the computer room to work on my Menu Plan but I'm not in the mood so maybe I'll do it in the morning. Ta ta for now, peeps!

Friday, March 07, 2008

I'm worried.

My friend, Crystal, and D's cousin, Liz, (both girls are bridesmaids in our wedding) both have sick babies right now. I don't know the details on Liz's little one, Aubrey, yet but I think she had a seizure. Aubrey is about 2 months old tops. And Crys's baby, Gabriella, was rushed by ambulance yesterday to the hospital when she had a seizure as well (blue, stiff and shaking uncontrollably). Gabby is about a month old.

So PLEASE PLEASE send healthy and healing thoughts to both of these little muffins!!!! I'm worried about them both and hope everything is okay!!! :-(

(These are actually their newborn pictures: Gabriella Catherine on the left and Aubrey Rose on the right)


I am a total dumb ass. I had pizza last night, a birthday cupcake and two glasses of (yummy) red wine. And tonight I'm going over Keri's to hang with her and Michele for some wine, chatting and craftiness (and who knows what for goodies!). And I have WEIGHT WATCHERS TOMORROW MORNING! ACK! It's like I'm purposely trying to sabotage myself or something? I don't know...it's bad enough that I eat the crap, but I eat it within 2 days of hopping on the damn scale. Argh.

Anyway, yesterday was good. Even though poor D was in training all day, he still had a good birthday. I gave him his birthday gift in bed (get your mind out of the gutter, people). Got him a new wallet (cuz his last wallet was literally falling apart. It was hanging by a thread!) and a gift card to Cabela's. He was so excited for both gifts! I know he plans on going to Cabela's tonight with his two gift cards and birthday money to get the hunting camera he's been lusting after for months. Anyway, I sent him in to work/training with some cupcakes and at 8:40 a.m. I got a call from him and his two friends that they'd already scarfed them down. His coworkers/buddies were begging for more. LOL Men. Later on after work, Sarah and Julia came over with a birthday card for Big D. And John came over too. They gave him a Dunkin Donuts gift card so now he can get all the coffee he wants. ;-) We had pizza (are you surprised? LOL) and I stuck candles in the cupcakes and tried to sing to Daryl, but no one was paying attention. Well no one but Julia. She blew out a candle herself! All in all, a good day. I told D I'll take him out to dinner this weekend to celebrate since his work schedule wouldn't let us last night!

Oh! And I'm excited...D and I are getting massages tomorrow (by students). I need one bad...there is a huge knot in my shoulder. I'm sure it will only get worse the closer the wedding gets as I stress about all the little details. Sarah is lending me her pretty tiara/headpiece so last night I tried it on and it's perfect! The color and everything! I would post a pic of it but I don't want Daryl to see anything I'm wearing on the wedding day...UNTIL the wedding day. :-) So you'll all just have to wait in suspense. I'm sure you can't go on with your own lives until you hear EVERYTHING about MY wedding. Ha ha! Anyway, not much else new going on. I'll leave you with a pic of little Julia, in her pajamas, exhausted after pizza, cupcakes and a good time. She pronounces my name as "A-ell" and Daryl's name as "Dee-del". It's too freakin' adorable.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

32 years ago this day, my future husband was born!!
(coincidentally the same day my parents were married!)

Happy Birthday my Big D!

To the most favorite man in my life...the one who sings in the shower ("Secret AAAAAGGGGEEEEENNNNTTTT man!"), who loves peanut butter cups like me, who is strictly a jeans and tee-shirt manly-man but not afraid to cry during a very emotional movie (yep, I said it!). To the man who tells me all the time how beautiful I am and means it from the bottom of his heart (even when I've just woken up with morning breath, crazy hair, and blotchy skin). The man who loves to home projects and making our house a beautiful home. To the man who taught me what all the words really meant in those gangsta rap songs I love so much. To the best first date in my life, seriously. (P.S. the pic below is NOT from our first date.) To the silliest, most fun man I know who will giggle with me for hours, tickle me till I scream, and who taught me how to get out wrestling holds. To the man whose calluses I file becuz he asks me to (if that isn't love, I don't what it is!!!). To the man who cooks me dinner and does my laundry and wash dishes. To the man who loves Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia and puts up with me wanting pizza multiple times a week. To the man with the sweetest smile I know.
Happy 32nd Birthday Daryl.

I love you!


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm having so much fun right now (and NOT working, shhhh, don't tell!) all thanks to Keri. This site is freakin' awesome!

Thank you Keri, oh wise one, for showing me how to picnik. You can edit whatever you want in your photographs! You can make it B&W, Sepia, you can add borders or silly words...whatever floats your boat!!

Here is my before (tinkering) picture:

Here is my after picture (and note to all, I'm not saying I made it "better" but I was tinkering around like crazy. This site is fun, fun to play around on!):

I licked sixty-five envelopes last night.

Sixty-friggin-five envelopes.

Disgusting. That glue-taste will probably never go away now.

All becuz dumb-ass April forgot to grab one of those spongie-thingies from work (or the store) to seal them with and was too impatient to wait till she had time to go out and get said spongie-thingie.

At one point, I turned to Daryl and said, "Maybe you can at least lick half of these for me?"

"Gross, no way." Was his loving reply.

Anyway, I think I ran out of saliva.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Super important question here...I must have all your answers to this or my brain will explode:

How do you
eat your Reese's Peanut Butter cups?

My coworker and I were having quite a serious conversation about Reese's peanut butter cups yesterday...and how insanely tasty they are...which brought us onto the subject of how people eat them. For the original peanut butter cups, I like to nibble off the outside "ring" first. Then from there, I either eat the middle cup that's left OR sometimes I'll bite off the top chocolate layer first and then eat the peanut butter. For the holiday peanut butter cups (eggs, xmas trees, hearts) I used to just chow down on them becuz they're so damn good and much more peanut buttery then the regular. But now I've started to dissect them as well, to make them last longer and enjoy the peanut butter. I bite off the outside chocolate layer of the heart/egg/xmas tree (leaving the bottom intact) and then eat the peanut butter left. Yum!
So, please, be a doll, and tell me how you eat YOUR Reese's Peanut Butter cups.



In other exciting news, Big D and I were watching the telly last night when suddenly a familiar happy tune and a blur of blue flashed on the tv screen.

"Hang on!" I practically shouted, throwing down my fork. "Oh my God, did you hear that?" D looked up from his dinner with mild interest.

"What??"

"The Smurfs!!" I squealed. "On dvd! I need to have them! I'm so excited!"

A blank look from Daryl.

"Um, yeah, okay."

"Don't you understand? I absolutely loved the Smurfs growing up! They're a classic!" D looked back down at his pasta and practically shrugged.

"Oh, okay."


Some
people. Just. Don't. Get. It.



Oh, wait, one more thing!! Check out this cool cow! On the si
de of a tractor trailer...I saw it on my way in this morning. I was scrambling to get my cell phone to snap a picture, and I didn't get to zoom in. But still, isn't this cow damn cute? LOL