Thursday, July 30, 2009


As I was getting ready this morning, there was someone in particular on my mind: my sister, Mija. She's younger than me by 3 and 1/2 years, but wiser in so many ways. We have many of the same qualities, but exhibit them in different ways. She's better with money and friendships than I am, and while I'm type-A in a few select ways, she's type-A in just about every way. She's rational, thinking carefully about every move she makes, confident that every choice is the right one. She's patient and calm, yet always has to be doing something. For those of you who know about the marshmallow/patience test, she's a marshmallow saver, and I'm a marshmallow eater. She's silly though too: she uses Q-tips obsessively and talks to our parents' dog in grammatically incorrect third-person baby talk. We've had a rough relationship at times, but she's my sister and I love her dearly and we've gotten closer as we grow older.

She met a guy a while back and they started what has become a serious relationship. My parents and I like him, and he treats her very well. They have so many of the same interests and spend a lot of time being active outside together. When they met, he was finishing college, and he was offered a job with Microsoft in Seattle working on the search engine. He left earlier this month, and Mija's plan was to move there in November, after my wedding. Earlier this week, she told me she wants to move August 23rd, the day after my shower, and she wants me to drive with her. Even though I've known for a while now that she'd be moving to be with Bing, the change in moving date took my by surprise.

I'm aware this post is premature: she's not leaving for almost a month, but she bought my ticket home from Seattle yesterday, so she's on my mind. My shower will now be even more meaningful for me, even though it'll be a little bittersweet. I'm looking forward to our road trip and the time we'll share. And really, I can't complain. I love Seattle, so I'm excited to get to visit.
I'm insanely happy for my sister - she deserves a great guy like Bing - but I know now why my little sister sobbed when my family dropped me off at my dorm for my freshman year at NAU. I realized how much I'm going to miss her, and I thought I had an extra few months to prepare myself. I know I'll still see her and talk to her as she'll be back for the wedding (and did I mention I get to visit her in Seattle?), but knowing that she and her half eaten bananas won't be around when I visit our parents makes my heart ache a little. I know she's making the right choice for her, and yet there's the part of me that wants a guarantee for my little sister that everything's going to be perfect. For the first time in our adult lives, I feel like the big sister, worried and wanting the best for her as she really goes out into the world for the first time. But I find comfort in knowing that she'll be well taken care of. I just hope Bing knows to keep well stocked with Q-tips.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Casino Night

Paisley went to PetSmart yesterday for their Casino Night party. I take her to day camp now and then so that she can let off some steam and play all day. When it's cool out, I take her to the dog park everyday, but it's not advisable during the summer, especially for dogs like pugs with short snouts. Even though she's also part beagle, I prefer not to take chances. So anyway, she went to Casino Night. And here's the pic:

She looks like she got caught doing something naughty, doesn't she?

Last night was round two of boot camp. It went much better than my first night. I was more hydrated and knew what to expect. While I only got through 1 round of calisthenics the first night, I got through 2 last night, and managed to do every exercise with only two breaks near the end.

I came home to Mr. Kingston finishing up a delicious pasta dinner. When I was finished, he ran me a hot bubble bath, lit me a candle, and told me to relax. It was great, so relaxing. My muscles felt so much better. I'm a bit sore today, but mostly just slow and tight. Hopefully the protein and water today will help. I've definitely been in worse pain after a training session, so if this is the worst, I'll take it.

And unfortunately, I have time to blog right now because my Murano has a dead car battery. Mr. Kingston's just arrived to help me get it started, but I'm already late for work. I hope this isn't just the first of many obstacles today.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding arms!!

That's what I said to myself as I tried to keep my body going during my first bootcamp workout. It was pretty brutal. The exercises weren't horrible, but the heat made it feel hard to breathe and rendered my muscles useless. I started out far too strong and didn't pace myself well, since the first two rounds felt so easy. I also started off the workout by smashing my index finger between the asphalt and a 15 pound weight. The first few sets were done in pairs - my partner did one exercise while I did another. One of us was the lead, and when the lead finished, we switched. Then there was a 10 minute round of cardio - 5 exercises, 20 reps each - in a cycle until the time was over. I didn't do well with it at all. By that point I was hot and was focusing on getting my breathing back to a normal pace. I think I got through one, and they were pathetic at best.

But, I made it! I'm alive, and I'll be sore, but I made it. I know what to expect and tomorrow will be easier. I'll drink more than the 70oz of water I drank today. And hey, when I get to go to kickboxing on Saturday, I will own it.

THE week has arrived

Today begins the week I've been both excitedly anticipating and dreading. It's bootcamp/tax final/moving week. I've told myself I just have to get through the next six days and then life will be much easier. By this time next week, we'll be in our new place, I'll be really sore but hopefully feeling stronger, and my class will be over with. Only 6 days...

We had a really good weekend. Saturday morning was busy. I had my assessment for bootcamp, then went to kickboxing and got a haircut. Mr. Kingston and I ran errands. We picked up a gift for a baby shower next week, bought cleaning supplies and decor for the second bathroom so we don't have to worry about it next weekend mid-move, and got some other stuff done. We finally went to see The Hangover - it was absolutely hilarious! I definitely recommend it.

Yesterday we slept in - it was glorious. After I took my quiz for school (last one, yay!), we packed up a few things. We chose the wine bottles we'll be using for centerpiece/table names and threw out the rest. As usual, we spent our Sunday evening listening to karaoke at Native New Yorker. Bill wasn't there to sing to me, but we still had a good time.

I found Mr. Kingston on the couch this morning at 4am. I asked him why he was out there, and all he said was "puppy psycho." This morning as we were getting ready, he told me that last night, I slept through Paisley's craziness. She's like a gremlin: crazy when wet, and she'd apparently gotten a boost of energy when she walked in the wet grass during her before-bed trip outside. After we went to bed, she scratched at the door, wanting to go out to the living room to eat, drink, and play. So he'd done what I've done plenty of times before: sacrificed himself and moved to the couch so I could sleep. He's a good man :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's finally Friday!

Oh man has this been a long week. I've been really busy at work, wrapping up projects that were put on hold for quarter close. Paisley has been getting up in the middle of the night, leaving me feeling exhausted. Hopefully this weekend will be somewhat relaxing. We need to try to pack some stuff up and start with cleaning for the move next weekend. My final exam for my class will be available Monday morning, so this is the calm before the storm as far as school goes. I also start fitness bootcamp on Monday, so I want to be sure to get in one last kickboxing class on Saturday. If I have time, there's a wedding-related art project I'm hoping to get to. We'll see.

As far as planning goes, I finally worked out a timeline for the reception. I had no idea I'd ever care about the order of reception events. But everyone else needs to know the order of business, so it was a necessary evil. We're also working on our music list - figuring out how to mesh our taste for hard rock, punk, and metal with what's appropriate for a wedding and that meets with our guests' liking. We're thankful that we found a DJ that "gets" us and we're confident that he'll find a happy medium between keeping our guests on the dance floor and throwing in a few for us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paisley has a new dress

Mr. Kingston's mom bought Paisley a really cute new dress. Yes, we dress our puggle from time to time. She has some cute stuff - an "I love my mom" shirt, a Christmas elf outfit, an Easter dress, and a jacket. She even went to a luau party at PetSmart day camp and got dressed as a hula girl. Okay, we're really not nuts, we just love to spoil our pup :) She's our baby.
Mr. Kingston's wedding band was too big, and we have our first official snag. It isn't a big deal, but tungsten can't be resized so we have to exchange it. It's just more inconvenient than if we'd chosen a traditional metal.
And I finished my paper last night. Only 10 days of class left. It'll be hectic with packing for the move, but if I manage my time well, it'll all get done.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New home and a wonderful weekend

Great news! Found out today that the new apartment will be ready on August 1st! What a relief to know the end of the heat and high bills is in sight. It'll be tricky as I have a baby shower to attend in the middle of the day, but we have three days to get everything moved over. The other bit of good news is that the previous tenant apparently trashed the place in her disgust at being evicted, so we get new everything: paint, blinds, carpet, etc. Now I can finally be excited, since we have a date. Only 11 days to go!

This weekend was great. I spent Friday afternoon with my friends' 10-year-old daughter, Boogie. Boogie's grandma was the youth group director at my church, and though I no longer attend, we've remained close and Boogie's parents have become very dear friends. Boogie and her brother have called me "aunt" since as long as I can remember, and I absolutely love hanging out with them. I took Boogie to the mall for lunch, and then we walked around a bit, just chatting. She's reaching that adolescent phase where life is unfair and moms aren't very cool. I don't think any of us were prepared for such a sweet-natured and truly cool little girl to go through this phase, and certainly not at 10. I assured her that everyone goes through it, and that in about 10 years, she'll realize how awesome her mom is. I told her how much we all just want her to be happy and a good person, and we all have her best interest at heart. I'm so not ready for her to grow up, but I look forward to the evolution of our friendship as she grows.

We spent Saturday evening at Dave & Buster's with our friend in the Army - he's being deployed very soon and was home for a visit. Saturday was the great tasting and dinner out at Ra for sushi. Yesterday, I had to work on a paper for school and we ended up going to karaoke. It's become our new tradition: $2 Coronas and bad singing. There's an old guy, Bill, who sings songs like what I remember on my grandma's radio when I was little. He usually stays in one spot to sing, but last night he was roaming the floor singing to all of us girls at our tables. I was pretty embarrassed, but it was the most fun we've had a Sunday night karaoke yet.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yummy yum yum!

Mr. Kingston and I went to the hotel for our reception food tasting this afternoon. The food was delicious. I'm so excited that our wedding food will be so tasty. We also got a lot of questions answered by the new coordinator. We got to see the room set up for a wedding which was a relief for me. It had been so long since I'd seen it, it was literally a tiny white box with hideous carpet in my head. After seeing it again, I'm really excited about the set-up and I'm confident with the choices we've made concerning decor. I think it'll be a nice intimate lay-out. The bride today had a really cute kids' table set up that I might try to figure out how to implement.

My hair combs came in the mail yesterday and they're absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea how sparkly they'd be based on the picture on the website I got them from. They're just beautiful. I'm getting more excited every day and as more of the little things come together. Mr. Kingston's ring arrived today, but I missed picking it up at the apartment complex office. I can't wait to see it tomorrow.

So now I'm chained to my laptop, writing a paper on the tax consequences of owning a home. Fuuuuun.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Crazy or brilliant?

I don't know which I am - crazy or brilliant - but I just signed up for a fitness bootcamp. It starts July 27th. A girl I work with does it and suggested it. Sounds like fun, but it's at 6:30pm on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday, so I could very well die. I'll be kicking my own butt at the gym in the coming week to prepare my body, although I'm sure a kickboxing class won't come close to the intensity I'll be experiencing at bootcamp. I'm on my way to losing the (at least) 10 pounds I want to drop before the wedding and gaining toner arms. Wish me luck!!

Let the count-down begin!

We have reached the 3 Month mark!! It's amazing to me how fast the time has flown by. It's going to be very strange for me to say, "I'm getting married in 2 months and so-many days." I'm sure it'll feel even more surreal this time next month.

Not much new going on. Still waiting to hear our move-in date for the new apartment. Mr. Kingston's ring should be here today or tomorrow, along with some other exciting stuff I ordered. We're doing our buffet entree tasting at the wedding venue on Saturday, along with a walk through. I'm hoping to get a bunch of questions about set-up and logistics answered. I have a paper due for school on Monday, and then I only have 11 days left in this term. It'll be nice to have a 3 week break from studying and papers.

We staged a behavior intervention for Paisley. She started out as a timid puppy, but is now known to be a bold, aggressive little barker. Since we intend to get another puggle after the wedding, we want to try to train these bad behaviors out of her so she doesn't pass them on. In speaking with trainers, it was suggested that we re-establish dominance so she doesn't feel she has to defend us constantly. It's been three days, and she's been doing really well. She's been much more obedient, and has barked at someone only once on her trips outside. Even then, she calmed down immediately when I gave her a firm "quiet." She's also been sitting and staying on her bed while we eat instead of standing at our feet begging. Dinnertime is much more enjoyable now. I hope this is the beginning to a positive change for all of us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Inky paws

Our darling Paisley found a fun toy this weekend - a pen. As if our carpet hasn't had enough inflicted on it, it's now spotted with ink, along with her dog bed, the mattress pad, and even her. When I bathed her, her paws were black, and her mouth must have been too, because the bone she was chewing on was stained. Paisley loves getting dirty, as evidenced by this picture of her after digging in the yard when she was really little. She's my little mud puppy.
I also ordered Mr. Kingston's wedding band this morning. He chose a really nice brushed tungsten style. I have a lot of other wedding-related things I need to get ordered, which I'll do just as soon as we know our moving date. It should be by July 31st, so we'll see.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Check, check, check

I got so much done today! Mr. Kingston went to Parker, Arizona - about 3 hours away - to do security for his friend's niece's quincenera (huge 15th birthday party in hispanic culture), so I had the whole day to myself. I got a bunch of wedding stuff done. The invitations were stuffed - they only need our return address, which I won't know until at least Tuesday. I also got some project stuff to do for the wedding decor, ribbon for various accents, and the undergarments for my dress. I also wrote the program and made my massive to-do list. I think I'll feel better when I can start checking these little things off. It's a lot, but totally manageable.

With shower invitations out, wedding invitations a week from being ready to go, and do-it-yourself projects filling up the to-do list, we're really getting close. I know 3 months doesn't sound very close, but it seems like yesterday that we were 9 months from the Big Day, so I know it'll go fast.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Home Sweet Hot-box

The last six weeks, we've had problems with our air conditioning unit. The apartment is constantly hot, and our electricity bill is through the roof (you could cool a 4 bedroom house with a pool and jacuzzi for what we're paying). It was nothing like this last year, and we've done everything to get to the bottom of it. Our apartment hasn't gotten below 76 degrees (which is fine for me, but hot for him) since May. Even then, that's only early morning. It's usually between 78 and 80. We're so tired of being hot. So I'm going today to look at 2-bedrooms in the same complex. It'll be nice to have the extra space since wedding stuff will soon be taking over our lives and our space. We also haven't had a place to paint or be creative in a long time. Though I'm excited for extra space, I wonder how much sense it makes to move from one apartment to another in the same complex - having to deal with address changes (of just an apartment number) and moving boxes isn't very appealing. Plus, with considering buying a house, we may have to turn around and do it all again in just a few months. But I think we'll both be happier, and hopefully much cooler.

I also got the invitations addressed last night! Well, most of them anyway. Talk about nerve-wracking. I was stressed out worrying about screwing them up, but I think they're alright. Luckily I ordered plenty of extra envelopes. We'll have to wait until we know our new address before I can finish them, but it's good to have the addressing part out of the way.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Showers and stresses

My sister informed me yesterday that my shower invitations went out. This got me very excited - we're getting close! And to this point, I'm surprised about what it entails, which is a feat in itself - I don't deal well with surprises, but this is a fun one. My mom also emailed me this morning - 92 days to go! It's amazing - we were well over 200 when we got engaged. I thought I had the big day on my mind before? It's even worse now, but in a good way.

We're both so excited, and things are getting checked off the to-do list left and right. I finally ordered my linens. This was my biggest annoyance because I've never had to care about linens before. But I found a very helpful vendor who gave me a lot of great ideas. I also ordered the photo book to be used as a guest book. I made it with our engagement photos using snapfish. I can't wait to see it in person.

I've got a lot of biggies on my plate - invitations have to go out in just a few weeks, so they have to get stuffed an addressed. I have to order and assemble the favors, find my jewelry, and schedule my fittings. Mr. Kingston doesn't have a ring yet, so I have to get him to pick one. Not to mention, I have to finish out my summer school term. While I have no doubt the last three months of our engagement will be fun, I'm starting to see where the stress comes in.

Since I started planning, I've kept in mind that as long as we have a minister, a marriage license, the two of us, and our families, we would be married at the end of the day. The rest is just icing on the cake. But now, I'm starting to worry that everything I've planned isn't good enough. Are my centerpieces cheesy? Do I need decor for the ballroom? Should I have done flowers for the aisle? And the big one: what am I forgetting? We have a walk-through with the coordinator at the wedding venue next weekend, and I hope it'll help me relax. I only saw the place once, so it doesn't surprise me that I'm a little anxious about how the room will look. I know that no matter what, everything will be alright, but the novice planner in me is starting to show her nerves.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

Mr. Kingston's brother came to visit from Maryland for the 4th of July weekend and we had a blast! We actually stayed at their parents' house from Thursday evening until Monday morning. Mr. Kingston's friend who is in the Army was also in town.

Thursday evening was spent at one of the boys' old favorite hangouts. On Friday, we lazed around, went swimming, cooked carne asada, and stayed up late just talking and catching up. On the 4th, we went to see our friend's new house, then cooked out and had more people over. I got the brilliant idea to jump off the roof into the pool after Mr. Kingston and his brother did and scratched up my shin pretty badly. That's the last time I do that. On Sunday, we did a lot more relaxing and swimming. Mr. Kingston and I ran some errands, and then he made an awesome dinner for all of us: marinated steak and chicken skewers. Mmmmm!! This morning we said good bye to the brother and his girlfriend until the wedding in October. I'm so glad we got to spend so much time with them.

All in all it was great weekend of naps, delicious food, cold beer, swimming, and friends. Now that the weekend is over, it's back to the grind (and the gym) for me. Bonus: Paisley is worn out from playing with the parents' dog all weekend - no doubt she'll be lazy for a day or two.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Golden Birthday

I turned 28 on Sunday, the 28th. The all important (to girls) Golden Birthday. Anyone who knows me knows that I love birthdays. Love them. I get excited about them and want to make them special for everyone else. For my own, I get really excited and count down the days, and commit breaches of etiquette by throwing myself a party or get-together. That didn't happen this year though. I didn't get excited. I wasn't upset, just not excited. Luckily, my mom and Mr. Kingston got excited for me.

As my previous post shows, I kicked off my birthday weekend with my makeup trial. When Mr. Kingston got home that evening, we went to one of our favorite neighborhood bars for a couple drinks. On Saturday morning, I went kickboxing, which I love to do. I was lazy for a while, and cleaned and straightened up the apartment. Mr. Kingston ran some errands and came back with a Hannah Montana birthday banner to decorate the apartment. Around 5pm, my parents arrived from Tucson. Our plan was to go out for dinner, then to a dueling piano bar. My mom brought a basket of goodies that Mr. Kingston agreed to cook for dinner Sunday evening: chicken, green beans, brownies, fruit, wine, bruschetta, and cheese. Yum! So we went to dinner, and it was delicious, and then to the piano bar. My friend Reverend Drew met us there. We stayed for a while before deciding to head to another bar. It was a lot of fun to get to just hang out with most of the people who love me most (my sister was in San Fran with her boyfriend).

Sunday was a great day. Our dog let me sleep in, we went shopping, made our dinner, got Coldstone (Birthday Cake Remix, of course!), then went to watch karaoke. It was a perfect day we got to spend together, and I had an awesome birthday.