Saturday, April 28, 2012

This Just Got Real

You'll have to excuse the giddiness but...we booked a reception (and possibly ceremony) venue today! It's official, we're getting married May 26, 2013 and I'm pretty darn excited about it. Now if this year could just speed by that would be great.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mirror Neurons, dying cats, and weddings

A few years back a friend sent me a link to a study on mirror neurons, aka empathy cells, it talked about a theory that there are cells in our brain that actually react when we see other people experiencing emotion. They mirror the same thing they would do if you were actually experiencing that emotion. The friend sent me think link because he was sure that I have more of these than the average person. So true.

Today a coworker of mine if facing the difficult decision of whether or not the time has come to put down her cat. Coincidentally an acquaintance whose blog I read schedule the appointment for her cat today. I actually cried in my cubical. Seriously. And I don't even know these cats. I've never met either one.

I'm considering having the cells removed. There must be a laser for this, right? It's just like lasik, I'm sure.

God help me when I have to make that decision for Olivia. (Wow, this blog got depressing in a hurry).

The dying cats and the empathy cells got me thinking about a conversation Truman and I had the other night. We were talking about how odd it is that I care about what other people think. Not in a need to be cool kind of way...but more in a people pleasing (even when I know I can't please people) kind of way. It's a little out of line with my rabble-rousing life philosophy.

This of course came up in the context of wedding planning. It's hard not to want to please everyone when you're wedding planning. The truth is, I don't want a big wedding (which is a problem when you're a gregarious person with a large family). Neither of us want the 200 person monstrosity and the bill that comes with it. We'd rather be in Costa Rica or Portugal or Belize. We'd rather get to actually talk to our guests. We'd rather have quality instead of quantity. Oh, did I mention I found a (small) venue I love? Cutting a guest list to a manageable number is easier said than done though. And, predictably, there will probably be some hurt feelings.

Here's what I've decided: the dying cats and my need to accommodate everyone have something in common...empathy cells. But I will never be able to accommodate everyone any more than I will be able to save all the cats of the world (oddly, I did dream about saving puppies in a Home Depot parking lot last night). I'm trying to practice acceptance of my empathetic self...and also not letting other people's stuff ruin my day. I'll have to be ok with sad animal parents as well as some ruffled feathers. I think it'll be worth it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I won something on the radio!

I've been calling radio stations and trying to win tickets to various concerts since I was  about 13 years old (damn you elusive *NSYNC tickets!)...and on Friday I finally won something! Art Alexakis tickets.

Now, it's possible that I was the only person in Denver that wanted these, but I was really excited. Alexakis is/was (not sure on the tense) the lead singer of Everclear, which was pretty much my favorite band in middle/high school. 15 year old me never got to go to an Everclear show....which made the smaller 2012 acoustic version in the Hard Rock all that much cooler.

Small shows are my favorite. 

 So what if he's kind of a jerk...the middle schooler still inside of me was pretty darn thrilled. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Equal Pay Day

Sad but true: women still make 77 cents on the male dollar. Today is the day that women have to work through in 2012 to equate what an equally situated man earned in 2011. Fun times. 

For more information visit the National Women's Law Center

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ashley & Brandon's Wedding

My little brother got married in Las Vegas this weekend. From it's text message invites to the sky-high bridesmaid's shoes...the wedding was 100% Vegas, which I think was exactly what the couple wanted. Both the bride and the groom looked super happy. Congrats to the newlyweds!

Oh! and I got to photograph my first wedding with my new(ish) camera equipment. Do you love how this is has turned into a photo blog. Can you tell I'm having fun with my new hobby? :)

The shoes were amazing!

Our family 

Flowers and bling

The groom 

The bride 

My parents 

Aunt and Uncle 

We both make funny faces. 

All smiles with my Aunt Margie 

The happy couple... 

...on a happy day. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cabin Time and Truman's Belated Birthday

Truman's birthday was at the end of March, we had planned to go snowmobiling but all the snow melted (thanks global warming!) so that go axed. We celebrated by biking around our neighborhood, going to an Indian food buffet, and having dinner with his family. Last weekend we celebrated birthday round two with friends at a cabin. We had lots of fun, there was hiking...

... and Olivia and I had deep conversations...

 ...and there were small dogs. 

 And board games.

 Very serious board games.

 Very, very serious. 

 And lots of food. 

 We had fondue for dinner...

...and sausage biscuit casserole for brunch. I think I gained 15 pounds in a single weekend. 

The men did manly thinks like chop wood. 

 I mostly took pictures. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

So Happy Together - The Engagement Story

As I mentioned, we got engaged yesterday.

It was the third anniversary of the day we met and we had planned to go out to dinner that night. Our normal celebration is to go to the brunch place where we had out first date but I had an early day at work so that got nixed. Well, the unfortunate thing is that I got a horrible bout of food poisoning the night before. Pretty sure that I didn't sleep more than 45 consecutive minutes. And I've never seen that much puke come out of my own body. When we went to bed, Truman insisted that I take a mixing bowl with me...just in case. Turns out it was a masterful move on his part.

When I filled the bowl less than an hour later, he even cleaned it out for me...that's how you know it's love. He's willing to clean up after my food-poisoned self.

The next day I, obviously, had to call in sick to work, and sometime around 2p Olivia, Roxy, and I decided we should migrate from the bed to the couch. Truman had checked in to see if I needed anything and if I still thought we should go to dinner. Well, I really wanted to go to dinner so I kept telling him I decided in an hour. Around 5p I finally admitted that I hadn't gotten dressed yet, postpone our reservation for a day, and decided to order soup. We'd gotten gifts for each other and decided to exchange them over dinner. My gift came in two shoe-sized boxes. The first was a new pair of work-appropriate shoes and the second had a smaller (ring) box inside. As I opened it he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes.

The proposal wasn't a scene out of the bachelor and it wasn't the romantic dinner out that we he had was better. It was authentic. We didn't need to be in fancy clothes or at an expensive meal. Soup and pajamas are real life. And if we can have romantic moments during real life recovery from food poisoning, then I think we're looking pretty good. While we're both looking forward to the happy wonderful times in the rest of our life together, I think what I'm more proud of is out ability to handle the not so happy wonderful times. It couldn't have been a more perfectly imperfect proposal.

The ring on the other hand is just plain perfect. We'd discussed styles that I liked a few months back and then he did the selecting (since the whole think was a surprise to me). The ring is modern and feminine (my style) and still ornate (very much him), it's pretty cool how much thought he put into this ring representing the blend of the two of us. And that it definitely makes me think of him when I look at it. I love it.

The tragic part of the story is that the sickness seems to have been a stomach bug rather than food poisoning...because tonight, Truman caught it. Seven rounds in the restroom in two hours means we had to push the reservations back another few days...and it's my turn to be on bowl duty.

In sickness and in health. There isn't anyone I'd rather have a stomach bug with. :)

So Exciting

You know what's fun? Announcing you're engaged on facebook. It's like your birthday but better. I highly recommend it. Hell, it's probably fun even if you're not engaged.

Also, another facebook bonus...getting rid of those "still not married?" ads. They're better at making you feel all spinster-y than an impatient grandmother.

Stay tuned for details and ring porn the meantime here's a cell phone pic that doesn't do my fancy new ring any justice.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Six Days 'til Vegas

My little brother invited us (via text message...more on that later) to his wedding next Friday. We're boarding our flight next Thursday night and I'm pretty stoked about our mini vacation.

The only questions left: Pretend I'm classy or embrace the buffets?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Chapters

Reasons I should never go to war
1. I'm against it would be quite the existential cluster. If you know what I mean.
2. I'm prone to PTSD. Which is really what this post is about.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I started a new job. You wouldn't know if from the number of jobs I've worked over the past four years, but I really really hate new jobs. I have bad job PTSD. During law school I worked for some people that really blew my mind in the "Wow I had no idea a supervisor could be that crazy" category. Like crazy, crazy. And the over achieving, stability lover that I am probably should have left (or never taken) those jobs way before I actually did. And while, academically, I know that other people's crazy is not my baggage to carry...well, I carry it.

Unfortunately, I now start new jobs fully expecting my boss to utterly lack social skills or professional tact. I think they're sabotaging me or that they wont be clear with expectations and then be totally furious when I didn't do a project I didn't know existed. I'm suspicious when other people are nice.

The thing about the new job is that it seems pretty sane. More than sane. Friendly.

I'm trying to get over my fears that it's all a lie. That I'm walking into a trap (which is really quite sad when you think about it). But I find myself having anxiety dreams and getting really fidgety on Sunday if the next day will be the day I realize it's a facade or that they decide they don't like me. I know it's in my head... unfortunately my stress responses haven't figured that out yet.

Speaking of jobs
I only work one of them! Half of my tutoring hours ended a few weeks ago and the last of them ended tonight. I can't remember the last time I only worked one job. When I decided to take the job a policy analyst instead of teaching Truman's dad told me that he was really happy with my decision. He thought it would be heart breaking to work in a low income school knowing the statistical futures "my" kids would face.

I don't think that's a reason not to teach but it is a valid point because I definitely wanted to kidnap a few of the kids that I tutored over the last few months. I'd come home and say to Truman, "If there was just someone to read with Billy more than twice a week" or "It's hard knowing that if Jane lived with us she'd definitely go to college...and most my kids probably wont." Those are tough statistics to think about when you're looking at a second grader.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that I get my nights back and there are some discipline issues that I wont miss having to deal with. But I will miss some of the kiddos and even though it's the end of my term as their tutor and our school year has come to a close...I feel a little bit like I'm abandoning them. I'm not sure how real teachers do it.

My in-home student thinks my fancy phone is super nifty (I use it as a stop watch for timed reading drills). Today she discovered that it had a camera on it. It was the last day of tutoring so we may or may not have goofed around for a few minutes. What can I say, learning the sounds that "kn" makes has a way of lightening up the PTSD. 

Speaking of children's reading materials
Did you like how there was virtually no transition there? Good times. Anyway. I finally read the Hunger Games trilogy. It gave me nightmares for two weeks. Books about problem. Books about fictional children in a post apocalyptic world? Tears for days. I did actually think they were good and I'll probably write a full review later but I think I'll be sticking to non-fiction and books about puppies for a while.