Trick or Treat

It’s Halloween 2012.

Work is ramping up and craziness is ensuing there. So, I’ve noticed myself trying to control things more at home and I kind of like it. I wish I were just a little more like this all the time. I am actually thinking about resolving for New Year’s to be one of those people who can’t go to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink. Anyway – control.

And Halloween.

 

I took Elle to school this morning, and the teachers asked if I had brought her Halloween costume. Well, since they were doing the trunk-or-treat at 3:15 PM (hello, the reason my kid is in daycare is because I WORK in the midst of the day). Anyway – I hadn’t. I figured she was little, wouldn’t know the difference of participating, yaddayaddayadda.

 

But, they said they’d change her into her costume and they would be taking all the babies out to trick or treat through the line up of trunks.

 

So, despite a hectic morning and day, I left work and went home, grabbed both the check book (more on that momentarily) and the costume and stopped in to school.

 

Success.

 

In the meantime, I am running for the board of directors at the country club where we are members/where I grew up. The office woman called me to remind me that my bio is due asap. So, I told her I would get it to her quickly. I also then remembered this…that I needed to put down the deposit FOR OUR WEDDING at the club. So, thus the checkbook.

 

I will not elaborate but to say that the venue is now booked and April 27, we’ll make it official, with the party, the dress (did I mention I got one of those, too?!) and the whole she-bang.

 

But, this is about trick-or-treating (do you like that cliffhanger I just left you with?).

 

So, I had a manager’s meeting (weekly) and got that done with, and was working on a deadline project that I needed to wrap up by the end of the day today. It was nearing 3 PM. Being new to the whole trunk-or-treat experience, I wasn’t in a huge rush. I finally left work at like 3:20 PM. I got to our house to pick up Jon (who is working 7 PM – 7 AM building windmills) and head to trick or treating. Jon had the camera ready to go and we were on our way.

 

We probably got up to the school at like 3:35/3:40 by the time it was all said and done.

 

And…we’d missed it!

 

Seriously, missed it.

 

And, since I hadn’t seen my girlie in her costume, it was my first glimpse of her all dressed up (thanks Andrea for the costume, by the way!).

 

Here, my little moo-cow.

We left school and headed to Jon’s parents, where Elle would ‘trick or treat’ and hang out there until I was out of work.

She is so busy, and the tights and the getup just kill me. She actually didn’t mind the hood being on her head at all. I don’t know why, sometimes she can get weird about stuff on her head, but mainly hats, not hoods. Odd.

 

 

The tail just gets me. LOVE.

 

She was such a good girl all day long.

 

If you’ll recall last year, there was a massive poop blowout at Grandma and Grandpa Carpenter’s, and Elle ended up in the bath in the kitchen sink at their house as a result. This year? She simply peed on me as I was trying to change her diaper. 2 for 2, that girlie of mine.

 

Elle got a whole goodie bag of stuff at Jon’s parents – glow stick bracelets and necklaces, snacks and juice.

 

At my parents, she got a mini-wagon and some new books.

 

Anyway, we went and visited my Grandma Carrell, who has moved here from Missouri (and we like being able to see her much more regularly, I have to say). And Elle got a ‘universal remote control’ for toddlers.

 

So, this is what I have to say about all of that.

 

First, thank you.

 

Second, I kind of feel like I got jipped all those years with only getting candy.

 

All in all, a good day and a good trick or treating experience. I’m sure this will be among the most low key Halloween’s of ours for quite some time.

 

 

The First Purchase of…

…our wedding!

 

I have been sort of wishy-washy on the wedding thing. Every wedding I go to I sit and mentally criticize the things that the bride/groom choose to spend SO MUCH FREAKING MONEY ON and vow that I’ll never do it. Never spend THAT MUCH money on one day.

 

Well, I lied.

 

Jon said he wanted the party, but being a bit of an introvert, making a big to-do of a ceremony wasn’t high on his list. Neither of us being religious, it’s not like we’d have a church rolling out the red carpet (sorry) for us. To me, I wanted to publicly promise, in front of those I loved, to love Jon for the rest of my life as my husband (wow, that’s weird to write) and ensure that those people there would hold both of us up through our ‘good times and bad’.

 

And that was about as far as I got.

 

I thought that perhaps we could just take a nice trip/vacation some place and celebrate, just the two of us. And then we’d come home and be married.

 

I thought at one point that we could have something relatively small at the golf course where we live and are members. That sounded like what I wanted to do, really. Except, even to simply FEED guests in a way I’d be proud of, I was staring at a huge bill.

 

I was conflicted. I wanted to be married in front of my family and friends, but I wasn’t sure I could commit (ironic, right?). As we discussed it more and more, Jon said he didn’t care, really, that he just assumed that I’d always dreamed of a party. So, essentially, the ball was in my court.

 

I told Jon “I’m going wedding dress shopping with my Mom on Friday. Maybe I’ll know after that what I want to do.”

 

And I did.

 

Even if Jon and I went to some place tropical and got married, I’d still want to celebrate with the people I love. I can’t imagine not having photos of the event, not building memories for my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends with us. I feel like memories are the foundation of, well, everything. That, and photographic proof.

 

I tried on wedding dresses. I went in completely open-minded, not actually being sure I WANTED a wedding dress. I honestly thought I wanted something off the rack, slightly altered to fit me, from some place like Nordstrom’s or Saks. I felt like I wanted an evening gown style dress. So, I looked at them. I tried them on. I didn’t love them.

 

We had our appointment at Becker’s Bridal, which is located in this podunk town of Fowler, Michigan. The entire town seems to revolve around Becker’s Bridal – there’s a bridal store, a bridesmaid/mother of the bride dress store and a guys wedding attire store. The local economy hinges on wedding season, it appears.

 

I tried on several dresses and Danyel (our wedding-dress-guru) was amazing. She just kept plugging away, asking questions about what I liked, what I didn’t like. It was an amazing experience.

 

I’d actually put my own clothes back on and we were looking for round two of dresses to try on, when Danyel brought out a dress and asked if I’d be interested in trying it on.

 

‘Sure’ I said.

 

And that was it.

 

The last dress I tried on was the dress I bought (well, my Mom and Dad bought! THANK YOU).

 

I feel like a kid in a candy store and yet like an adult – sort of silly and yet incredibly excited. This dress – my dress – honestly makes me feel the most beautiful I’ve felt in a singular piece of clothing…it’s gorgeous. Err…I mean…it has a ribbon and a bow. My Mom is adamant that no one know what the dress look like until THE BIG DAY so the line is ‘it has a ribbon and a bow’. That’s what I’m allowed to say. And since she was the one who encouraged me to try it on – well – she gets to set the rules. That, and did I mention she paid for it? Yup, her rules go.

 

Like my Mom said, I kind of had talked everyone into acting as though getting married isn’t a big deal, but it IS. Regardless of how big or small the wedding or the reception may be.

 

So, when push came to shove, I knew what I wanted. I was decisive and all that good stuff…and Jon just rolled his eyes and breathed deep.

 

I swear – I swear – that I’m going to remain normal throughout the planning process. I’m going to act natural, of course.

 

But in the meantime, I think I’ve got a photographer picked out too…

 

I’m so looking forward to publicly promising to be Jon’s wife (again, weird to write), to have my family and friends watch and celebrate with us. I’m looking forward to making memories on that day, on the days leading up to it, and all the days after.

 

I’m a sucker for a great party – so here’s to our wedding!

Wait, THIS Is My Life?

I was supposed to have a baby named something like Payne (after Payne Stewart, the late, great, knicker-wearing professional golfer). Or maybe a Peyton (played out, by the time my time came around). Or Maddox (after Ford Maddox Ford, because, you know, I WAS an English major) but then Angelina and Brad started their family-building initiative and that name went off the list.

I figured I’d have a dog named Comma, or maybe Fitzgerald (F. Scott, anyone?). Again, I’m an English-major-dweeb.

I was going to host dinner parties with placecards and over-planned menus.

I thought I’d take cooking classes and be a wine snob.

I was sure I’d be married and have birthed all my children (all five of them) by age 27 because, well, that’s OLD.

I’d be one of those annoying, slender, skinny Pilates-doing women with a perky ass, perky tits and arms that Michelle Obama would want.

My house would be my dream house, all the rooms ready for their photography moments and set to be featured on the pages of Pottery Barn-House Beautiful-Restoration Hardware.

I’d be THAT neighbor who had a plate full of sugar cookie cutouts because, as everyone would know, I have an ever-expanding cookie cutter collection. Said neighbors would thoughtfully pick-up obscure cookie cutters on their respective travels and I’d send nice thank you’s on personalized stationery.

And then, last night, I realized, I named my child a name that was NEVER on the short – or the long – list of names I had selected for my children two decades ago.

It was weird. This flash of recognition that my life is different because I didn’t end up choosing a name for my baby that was on my original list (yes, gentlemen, lots of us gals have lists of names we are intent on naming our children years before we cross your path).

Turns out, I still have never had my own dog because, unlike children, you NEVER have to stop picking up their poop.

I haven’t hosted a legitimate dinner party with placecards in my life — though I’ve had parties and I’ve had dinners. I don’t even know anyone who wouldn’t find me incredibly stuffy if I actually thought to make a seating arrangement for a dinner. I have good friends and smart friends and I’m pretty sure they’re capable of choosing their own spot at the table (or in front of the tv, as the case may be).

I’ve wanted to be a wine snob. I know enough about wine glasses to know what is allegedly a good glass (when they’re one piece instead of having a ridge at the bottom and/or top of the stem). But, I drink less-than-$10-a-botttle wine. Michigan wines, wines purchased at Meijer and various grocery stores. Domestic wines. What can I say – just one more way this isn’t the life I envisioned at some random point in my history.

And, as far as having my FIVE children (HA – RIGHT!) by the time I was 27. Well, I didn’t even meet Jon until I was 27 and we’re not approaching marriage any time soon, so…I don’t know exactly WHEN I thought this one up, but at some point before I was 27, I assume.

The last time I did Pilates was, well, I can’t even remember. The last time I did something truly aerobic with a nice, solid sweat was too, too long ago. My arms are flabby and the thing standing between me and being a jogger is that I don’t have a ponytail that swings. Seriously, I’m growing my hair out so I have a better jogging ponytail.

I can’t make this stuff up, folks. This is who I am.

I have the house I loved when I was small. It needs a lot of work. Parts of it I love. Parts of it I abhor. Parts of it I can see coming together. But one – ONE – room in the house is complete and that’s Elle’s room. Ugh.

I haven’t had the energy to make cookie dough, create the mess and clean it up, let alone decorate cookies, and then willingly walk to the neighbors to deliver cookies. Which means, no thank you notes to write for cookie cutter gifts that never arrive. But at least I’ve got boxes full of thank you notes at the ready – just in case. Heck, I can barely get the dishwasher unloaded and don’t get me started on how many times, on average, I wash a load of laundry. I put it in, it’s clean, and then I forget to move it to the dryer. So, it gets re-washed. Current average: 2.1 washes per load. NICE and environmentally friendly.

So, this is my life. My kitchen counters constantly need to be wiped down and Jon and I leave our coats anywhere that’s convenient throughout the house. I haven’t done more than dust-mop the wood floors in way too long. The vacuum is sitting out in the basement, but it hasn’t been run. The laundry is probably still in the wash, waiting for the day, some day in the future, when I finally remember to transfer it to the dryer. Folding it before it’s wrinkled is another story all together.

I have a lived-in house that’s been full of friends and family. I have a PHENOMENAL daughter and a wonderful partner who’s an awesome dad. I have 800+ cookie cutters that I can brag up as a collection of my own. Jon’s painting the bedroom this week — so maybe it’ll be ready for its close-up soon!!

So yeah, THIS is my life.

Not what I planned – but the one I prefer.

Except, I’d still like a perky ass and a good jogging ponytail.

Baby Brain: Week 5, Day 3 (242 Days to Go)

Well, I can’t sleep in. That’s an annoying by-product of this being pregnant gig.

I’ve been woken at 3 a.m. (I know, it’s just the start) by my breasts aching SO bad. They don’t hurt that bad during the day (sore, but not in a way that makes me concentrate on that). But at night, man, all of a sudden if I want to relax, they DON’T. Sign of things to come…

I started reading a blog that a friend from work writes awhile ago and she is pregnant too, due in August. She’s been keeping this great blog (read it here) about her pregnancy experience, and I thought GREAT idea. So, here’s mine.

Went to dinner last night at Joe’s Garage (per normal) and Jon’s parents – Karen and John – as well as Rick (Jon’s brother) and Jen (Rick’s girlfriend) and my Mom and Dad, met us. It was great — the not drinking wasn’t awful, but I HAVE realized that asking a waitress to bring you eight cups of water in your sitting may be reason to leave a better-than-average tip.

By now, we’ve told our families and they all know that we’re expecting a baby (holy crap!) in October. But, I haven’t been on the ‘let’s tell EVERYONE’ bandwagon, I guess. It’s still SUPER early and I haven’t been to the doctor. Frankly, I’m nervous. Something could be not-right (though I don’t think that’ll be the case) and I just am not even looking or feeling pregnant. My Mom I feel like sort of pressured me into telling the news to Annette and her parents. I don’t mind, I know she’s excited. BUT, it’s SO early. And, I don’t really know what to say back. Maybe that’s it. I just don’t know what to say. Either way, definitely need to talk with her about that.

That’s right, one major symptom I’m having is this incredible thirst. I literally drank SIX liters of water driving the 4 hours from Indianapolis to home on Thursday. I mean, SIX. I feel kind of like a dog — I’ll take water from anywhere (including, most recently and conveniently, the bathroom faucet).

The big news this week is that we got the house! It’ll be ours sometime late March/early April, assuming all goes well (which it sounds like it will). I spoke with my lender yesterday and Karen has been great guiding me through the whole process. Lots of changes coming in one fell swoop — but I’ve never been more ready for it!

I feel like my whole life is coming together, finally. Job: check. Man: check. Baby (on the way): check. Obviously, the marriage thing isn’t checked off yet. It’s been a point of conversation, and it’s not that Jon and I are not committed to one another…seems like we both may just want to manage the rest of these changes effectively, then navigate marriage. Plus, a house and baby will be a huge money drain and a wedding only exacerbates that fact. Anyway — that’s that on the marriage front. For now, at least.