Friday, February 17, 2017

MegMo2017: Deets: Venue

The theme and date were the biggest players in our venue selection.  I knew that a picturesque wedding at Magnolia Plantation (one of the hottest venues in Charleston, pics below) in October/November would cost $6500 on a Saturday or $5500 for a Friday or Sunday or $4500 for a Mon-Thurs.  Guess what was not in line with the theme? 

If you guessed, "Any of that," you are correct. 

I was NOT willing to spend $4500 for a venue, in addition to having to have food catered from Magnolia's preferred vendors which generally have minimum cost requirements.  To use a preferred vendor, I would expect to pay $35+ per head for food.  Yet another hiccup with following our theme.  With a guest list of 100ish people, $3500 for food and $4500 for the venue was almost our entire budget.  Once you add taxes, fees, and tips, we were already over our budget.  Kthxnope.

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Knowing that the hot places like Magnolia were definitely out of our price range, I started to get very selective about venues.  I knew that I wanted a "cheap" place that wasn't cheap looking.  I knew that I wanted it to include the tables and chairs for the reception so we didn't have to pay for just the roof over our heads and add another headache of something else to find (rentals) for the big day.  I narrowed down the search to 3 places.

I've listed these venues in our original order of preference.  Teh German and I visited the first two together and I actually visited the 3rd choice on my own since I went during the day and he wasn't able to come with me (thus why I actually took photos of the place, abet shitty (to show him)).


Medicine Wind Farm  ($1200)


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Pros:

-Venue was located in Summerville which means cheaper hotels.
-Several options of locations on the grounds for an outside ceremony.
-Covered pavilion for a weather backup.
-The reception area had a pretty cool loft area.
-Reception area had a full kitchen.
-Reception area had a room that could be used for food so guests wouldn't cause a traffic jam while getting foods.
-Reception area had a room available with a "dead spot" that was perfect for a bar.
-Usable fireplace
-Speakers that could be used with an aux cable.
-Cool old wagon that could be used as a prop for whatever we wanted.
-Military discount

Cons:

-VERY rustic.
-Smelled like horse (since it's actually a horse farm on private property).
-Cowboy boots outside
-Old wagon was huge
-The bridal suite and groom suite were attached to the reception area and I didn't like the idea of our guests peeping inside accidentally or on purpose.
-Furniture in the suites was SUPER old.
-No ice on premises.
-Limited tables/chairs included.


Destination Goldbug  ($1000)


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Pros:

-Cheap!
-Sullivan's Island bridge view/waterfront
-Tables/chairs included for up to 100 people
-Bar area
-Renovations underway (for the bathrooms/kitchen)
-Patio area could be screened in to keep in heat/keep out bugs.

Cons:

-Very boaty with the plaques on the walls and there was also a fish somewhere.
-No bridal/groom suites
-It didn't feel like a big space.
-In Mount Pleasant (which is further away from Teh Ville than Summerville).


Alhambra Hall   ($1500)


grounds

downstairs formal entrance

super cool landing pattern

reception area

Bridal suite

Bridal makeup/hair did area

Groom's suite

Hallway from the Groom's suite to the entrance area.

Pros:

-Bridal/groom suites.
-Large private toilet for bride.
-Waterfront.
-Elevator to get up to 2nd floor.
-Ice on premises.
-All inside tables/chairs included for up to 200 people.
-Small kitchen area for staging.

Cons:

-Most expensive.
-Grounds are public park, which means that we could have party crashers.
-No outside chairs available.
-Fireplaces are capped so no actual fires.
-In Mount Pleasant.
-Requires an off-duty Mount Pleasant police officer if alcohol is served.



Now if you've noticed in my date announcements, you actually already know what venue we picked, but if you didn't, I'll just tell you.

We went with Alhambra Hall.

Yes, it was the most expensive location, but it was the location that we both liked the best.  Medicine Wind and Destination Goldbug didn't feel like us.  We aren't cowboys (much to Teh German's disappointment) and we don't really resemble the boat life (even though we are happy to enjoy our friends' boats, we'll stick with Bagheera and Suzi).  We felt that the hall wasn't overly rustic and was simple, which was perfect for us.  In fact, in many ways, the Hall reminds me of our house.  Large and simply furnished with a few touches of personality.  And ya know, the white walls are exactly the same...

I did take Teh German by Alhambra before we made the decision.  After our tour of Destination Goldbug, we rode to Alhambra since they are about 5 minutes apart from each other.  While Teh German was only able to see the building in the dark, I could tell he immediately felt more comfortable at the Hall than at either of the other 2 venue options.  It could have also been that I was his tour guide instead of a stranger we didn't know.

After we lurked about in the dark at Alhambra Hall, we headed to Poe's on Sullivan Island for dinner to discuss our options.  I told him what he'd seen were the 3 places that I could find at a rate I was comfortable paying.  There were other cheaper options out there (parks) and more expensive choices as well and I could keep looking, but I think I was able to make a decision based on the 3 we had seen.  He agreed with me that he could make a choice from our 3 options and we could end the search.

Before we had even left the Hall, we both kinda knew our decision, but I told Teh German we could listen to music while we rode to the restaurant.  I wanted him to be able to think about it without my interfering.  Once we sat down at our table and ordered dinner, we discussed the pros and cons of each of the venues and we both knew that we had each decided our favorite before heading to dinner. 

We both liked Alhambra Hall the best out of the 3 choices.  We were most comfortable at Alhambra, which in the grand scheme of things is one of the most important things to me.  I clarified with him as we waited on our food, "So, we're making a venue decision then?"  Teh German, "Yes."  Me, "So Alhambra Hall?"  Teh German, "Yes."  Me, "You're sure, even though you haven't seen it in the daylight?"  Teh German, "Yep."  Me, "Alright then, we just made our biggest wedding decision!"


Our decision of a venue directly affected our date and other budget items (photography).  The Hall was booked for both Oct 28th (Saturday) and Oct 29th (Sunday).  I didn't really want to get married on "the day before Halloween" or Halloween.  So when I suggested Nov 1st, Teh German agreed and said that was fine.  He also mentioned that 11/1 is an easy anniversary date to remember.  He's funny.  I know he would never forget because he never forgets our first-date-aversary either, and this was before he put it in his calendar on repeat every month.  /swoon.  But I'm glad I could make it easy for him.

If we were Mount Pleasant residents, we wouldn't have had to pay as much for the venue, but we aren't.  Oh well.  That said, if we were Mount Pleasant residents, we'd pay a lot more for day-to-day things, so ya know.. trade offs.

We kept our decision on the DL until after we signed the contract with the venue.  We told our family and close friends so that way they could go ahead and start figuring out travel arrangements.  But once we signed the contract, it was game on and social media official.  I won't lie.  Signing for the venue made it feel the most real to me.  I think Teh German was equally excited.  Or it could have been that I swung by Metto before our contract signing and surprised him with coffee.  Ya know, either one.


We have a venue!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Shit Teh German Said #6




About using a condom to make sex last longer:
tG: That would be like listening to music with earmuffs on.


tM: Man, I meant to change my shoes while we were home.  My feet are oily from my massage.
tG: So... you're wearing slippers?



tM: Lotion boogers are gross.
tG: The word even sounds gross.




tM: Dem chicken legs...
tG: I'm a chicken walker.


tM: First world problems are the worst!
tG: That's why they are called first world problems, because they come in first.



tG: She must be Barbie.


At a kids's birthday party:
Kid to tM: Hey get this ring from me.
tM: I don't need a ring.  I have one.  (I flash my engagement ring at him)
tG: Ooooo, burn.
tM: And he doesn't even understand.






Shit Teh German Said Edition 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Confessions {2/15}

-Last week was such a shit show and I'm blaming the full moon/eclipse/comet.  Every day was like a Monday.  I was so, so, so over it.

-Forgetting to put on deodorant is the worst.  How fortunate I work within walking distance of a Rite-Aid.  How unfortunate that I almost decided to just save $7 ($3 more than I usually pay) and just embrace the stank. 

-When the concrete contractor called me last week to tell me they had just discovered the check I had the bank print them for the driveway/patio extensions uncashed, I wanted to be like, "Sorry, your loss."  Bank checks are only good for 90 days.  It was day 90.  Glad I keep a large enough balance for that hot mess.


-Signing up for a paypal account for my 3 different banks that I use was genius.  It makes moving money between accounts super easy.  Money for the house account!  Money for the saving account!  Less money in the checking account that gets the lowest return interest rate!


-Using a 20 year old gift certificate for $1 to McDonald's was one of the proudest "90s" moments of my adult life.  The cashier told me that she was probably younger than the gift certificate (she was born in 1996).


-Phil's head tilt when he realized that he was going to get an ENTIRE cheeseburger made me swoon.


-Not finding cancer in Phil's xrays was a huge relief.  I'm still a little worried since sometimes cancer doesn't appear where the symptoms are, but I'm just trying not to think of all that.

-Being told what we have to do in regards to invitations/save the dates from someone who isn't contributing to the wedding fund (at this time) makes me irrationally angry.  I'm sure it will be fine, but holy crap, so much rage.

-Said "have to do" task (save the date cards) is almost complete, but you better bet it's going to be on my time.  #stubbornAF #metyourmatch 


-I completely forgot yesterday was Show Us Your Books day.  Even though the schedule was posted, I forgot to link up until almost lunch time and I was #38.  While that's great for the linkup, I totally pride myself on being one of the first to link up.  Next time, I'll just talk to Erin about adding my link too. ;)

-Teh German surprised me by making valentine's day reservations for dinner.  He's really stepping up his game.  I could tell he was a little disappointed I didn't do anything for him when we got home.  He realized that he was wrong when he finally came to bed and discovered a card on his pillow.  It was a trifold card with a blank inside.  He got a really long love letter and he was no longer disappointed. 

My valentine for ever.


-I answered my desk phone which never rings:
Me: This is Megan.
Old Lady: What did you say?
Me:  This is Megan?
Old Lady: Well I'm trying to call the mayor in London.
Me: I believe you have the wrong number.
Old Lady: Well, that's fine, but ma'am if you could please stop doing that with him. It's wrong...
Me (talking over her): Sweetheart, I have no idea what you are talking about.
Old Lady: I KNOW, NOBODY DOES!
Then she hangs up on me.

#whatjusthappened

-I met the mayor of our town at the gym on Tuesday afternoon and I chatted with him and his buddies for 5 or so minutes.  Essentially, we're besties now.

-We have a wedding website!!!  #Ididitmyself






Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What I read in January

Life According to StephMore and more I'm accepting the audiobook life.  It's uncomfortable in my head, but it's how I get through books so quickly (with the exception of Outlander books).  Also, the idea of actually reading an Outlander book (all 600+ pages of it) makes me shutter.  ANNDD I have a thing for Davina Porter's voice.  #dontjudgeme 

There are a number of books that my library doesn't have digital copies of that I'd like to read and part of me is considering actually physically going to the library to see if they have hard copies available.

The idea sounds goods in theory but requires me to go out in public, deal with other humans, and potentially interfere with my established routine.  It's already not looking good, but we'll see. 

Rating scale*:

1/5 - Hated it, didn't finish.
2/5 - Tolerated it on principle to finish, didn't like it.
3/5 - Eh, didn't love it, didn't hate it. Had some good parts/kept me interested/finished it on principle.
3.5/5 - I liked parts of it.
4/5 - I liked the whole thing.
4.5/5 - I liked it a lot, but not sure I'd read it again.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

*Subject to change based on my mood, the phase of the moon, or other unpredictable variables.

Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows  3.75/5 (ebook)  
I picked at this book for quite a while before finally just powering through the issue I was having with the book (a name).  So many people with similar tastes as me loved this book, so I had high expectations.  I feel like if I would have just focused on reading this book, I would have enjoyed it more, but I was reading this on my phone to pass the time while I'd wait.  Additionally, when I thought I had 45% left of the book, I was actually 5% from the end.  The last 40% of the book being notes that had been marked along the way that I had ignored in order to focus more on the story.  #ereaderproblems

I found the story to be very cute, although I couldn't understand why the islanders were willing to let some mostly stranger adopt their adopted orphan child.  That whole thing was weird to me.  I also struggled with the letters format as well.  Mostly the not getting every letter exchanged and there being a summary of return letters.  But, sometimes, there were entire return letters.  It wasn't consistent and I didn't love it.

The ending was cute and I'm glad there was a little romantic suspense, otherwise I probably would have rated this book lower.

TL;DR: Old Scottish names aren't really that common, except for when you're not expecting them.  A WW2 themed book with small town entertainment.



When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi    3.75/5 (audiobook)
I enjoyed most of this book, but there were parts that got tedious.  I appreciated the "decide your own ending" approach at the end of this book.  A story about Afghanistan refugees and their journey to London.

Stories that detail the Taliban regime always break my heart.  I can't imagine going through that type of repression.  Both the Mom and the Son got on my nerves at various points throughout the book, but I think part of that was cultural clashing.

TL;DR: Afghanistan refugee story that is NOT like Khalid Hasseini's work.  This book opened my eyes to the plight of the refugee life and I cannot imagine a life with such hardships.  Be grateful.



Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach     3.75/5 (audiobook)
I mostly liked this book.  I was really into it at the beginning when she discussed where bodies went to and how doctors and scientists used bodies.  Then we started talking about heads and some pretty grotesque shit and medieval times and I kinda glazed over.  Then when we got to the end and she started talking about what to do with her body when she died, I was kinda over it.  Her decision to let her husband decide what to do with her body was super disappointing after reading about all the advances in science that donation a body could potentially have.

Nonetheless, a quick listen.

TL;DR: It creeps people out when you tell them you are listening to a book about dead bodies. 

I have seen many bloggers rave over RBG and other than surface digging to find out that she was a Supreme Court Justice, I had no idea about the life of RBG.  This book opened my eyes to a fight that continues to take place, well into the 21st century.  A lot of the time, I take my rights for granted as a woman.  I still see many instances of sexism in the real world, I mean, I was raised in the South, a haven for "good ole boys", and I was in the military. 

RBG is someone I respect and I've now added her to my "a famous person you'd like to share a meal with" list.  It's so long it's got one person, RBG.  Her ability to be objective and not let the system crush her is inspiring to me.  Even more so, considering the events that have transpired since the end of January.

TL;DR: RBG is my hero.


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas   3.5/5 (ebook)  I wanted to love this book.  So many other blogger-readers loved this book and I just felt meh about it.  While I love Caelena as a main character/heroine, I just felt like the storyline was predictable (which could have been because Red Queen has been said to heavily pull from Throne of Glass, unfortunate timing on my part) and there were parts that left me confused, mostly the Wyrd-things and Fae themes.  I'm more of a if you got magic use it type of person, so repressed magic is confusing to me. 

Also, you never know the true intentions of many of the characters, with the exception of the king who is always horrible.  They are presented to be say.. an assassin, but they also happen to be a decent person.  The first 20% of this book was me dabbling at it, a little bit here and a little bit there.  But I received an email from the library saying my loan was about to expire (for the 2nd time) and I kicked my ass into gear and powered through 80% in 2 days.  1 day to spare until expiration.

I just wasn't hooked.  I wanted to love the characters, but it never happened.  I never knew who to root for, Choal or Dorian.  I couldn't figure out the Wyrd-things, which really annoyed me.  It was like the author wanted the reader to know certain things, but not too much about certain things.  I get annoyed by being fleeced.

TL;DR: I'm probably in the minority when I say I didn't lurve this book, despite how much I wanted to.  This book made me think of the High Druid of Shannara series by Terry Brooks.  IDK why.  Maybe I just needed more magic.







In Progress:

On Deck:



After the books listed here, I'm on to other books that have gathered on my TBR list.  I've found several audiobooks on Audible and from the library that I have on deck and plenty of ebooks (although they have become my weakness).

YAY for books!


*TL;DR = too long, don't read

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekend Review {2/13}

FRIDAY

Despite the desire to sleep in, I came into work at regular time since I knew I was leaving early to meet with our photographer.  Work was uneventful.. until I left.  As I was leaving, we got word that we rewon one of our big contracts.  While everyone is excited, because yay paychecks, I've kept quiet because the customers are idiots and super needy and ask for things that really aren't achievable so we end up jumping through a lot of hoops, obviously my opinion, which is what matters in this space.

I saw all these messages about it as I was driving downtown.  I arrived downtown around 1:30.  I lucked out and found a meter spot that still had 1:15 left on it!  SCORE. It was actually a double win because one of the last time we had went downtown, I had used almost all my change for parking.  I managed to find some not pennies in my wallet and fed the meter.  Since I had so much time on my meter, I bumped it up to almost 2 hours and with some of my remaining change, I added time to my neighbor's meter that had run out.  Conveniently enough, I saw the meter maid coming out to check the meters as I walked away from the car.  Good deed of the day, complete.

I had gotten downtown early because I had wanted to stop at a Black Tap Coffee to pick up a new coffee for Teh German to try.  I could have ordered it online, but I'm cheap and shipping costs are stupid when I live in the same area, so I waited until I knew I'd be downtown to swing by.  I'm certain the barista (or is it baristus since it was a dude?) thought I was quite special.  I explained to him that coffee wasn't my thing, but I was getting it for someone who would probably just add water to the ground and just drink it that was if it wasn't so crunchy.  He did at least laugh at that and recommended 2 different bags.  Not one to make these decisions or have a desire to need to go downtown for any reason in the near future, I bought both bags and had them ground up so I wouldn't have to do it in the ninja (ghetto, I know, but it works).

Coffee in hand, I headed to Thoroughbred Club to wait on my photographer.  Doesn't that name alone make you want to just not go there?  Ok, well it did me because it only looks like $$$$$$$ to me.  I think he suggested it because it's in a centralized place downtown and it's classy.  I made it to the plaza and sat down at the bar (after looking for the photographer) right at 2. And proceeded to wait.  And wait.  Finally, at 15 after 2, I called and left a voicemail and texted.  My bitch mode was on high because 1- I don't like to be kept waiting and 2- I might have made a poor life choice and only ate half of someone's loaded fries for lunch, so I might have been a little hangry.  Also, I was in a super classy restaurant in a hoodie because it was maybe 40°F outside (don't worry, it was 75° the next day) and I was uncomfortable because these were not my people.  Finally, there was another lady sitting at the bar, eating her (I'm certain) overprice chicken tenders and fruit as loudly as possible with her mouth open.  Have I ever mentioned that chewing sounds get under my skin?  Yeah.  If I can hear you chewing from 5 seats down at the bar, you're doing it wrong.

Almost immediately I got a call back from the photographer saying that our appointment had been deleted from his calendar somehow and he'd be there in 15 minutes.  I was so ragey.  I knew I needed to calm down, so I did what any sane adult at a bar would do, ordered a beverage. Specifically, I ordered a Pimm's fruit cup because someone on FB had mentioned it and I couldn't stop thinking about it (you know who you are).  It wasn't the best, imo, but it did the trick.  Especially on my mostly empty stomach.  While I chugged sipped my drink, I also pulled out my phone to read.  Maybe it was the drink, maybe it was the book (Jojo Moyes, how I adore you), but by the time Nick arrived, I was maintaining my bitch face to make a point, then I lightened up as he apologized and explained how embarrassed he was.

We chatted for a while.  Had it not been a professional meeting, it would have felt a lot like a date.  It was mostly a get to know you type of meeting, but also I had some questions about the wedding and engagement shoot that he was able to answer.  The biggest thing he helped me with was the time line for the day of.  What this means is that I was able to finalize the website and I can get started on the invites since I know the ceremony time now.

Knowing my meter was a tickin' and the meter maid was prompt, I explained that I needed to head out.  His girlfriend had been waiting in the lobby, so he understood.  Overall, I'm really excited about Nick has our photographer.  I'm hoping the same can be said of the DJ.  What is with these wedding vendors cutting me so deep?

I made it back to Yurtle with 3 minutes left on the meter.  #likeaboss

Since it was after 3:30, I knew I was going to have to deal with some Friday rush hour traffic, ugh.  Thankfully, it wasn't too bad.  I had texted Roux's Humom to let her know that I was on my way to the gym and we met there.  After a much needed sweat session, I headed home, where Teh German was waiting.

We didn't have anything planned for the evening.  We agreed to go on a short walk with Roux and his Humom and then we came home to be lazy.  We did decide to do a take away order from Sushi 101 since I had a $2 coupon.  This later came to bite us in the ass.  Teh German had agreed to pick it up and when he got there, they charged him again!

When he got home, he seemed to be mad at me for the situation and I explained that we could go back the next day and take care of it.  Not really that big of a deal, just an inconvenience.  Nonetheless, the evening was kind of soured.  I wanted to comment about how it tends to happen every weekend almost that something happens that sets him off which puts a damper on the entire weekend, but I just let it go.

After dinner, we cleaned up and set to the task of holding down the couch.  I worked on the wedding website, setting up the domain, while Teh German social media-ed.  We stayed up later than I expected, but Teh German finally called bedtime and we headed upstairs.

Side story:
Since Wednesday evening, Phil has been lame.  He's been limping and not using his left hind leg.  But my dogs, despite their cuteness, are incredible drama llamas.  It took me hundreds of dollars to learn that they need an observation period before I run to the vet with them.  I purposely didn't post about it because I know a lot of people who are immediate "take it to the vet" people.  Don't get me wrong, that's fine, but that doesn't work for me.  Every time I've done that I've been told "Well, it's normal, come back for a check up in 2 weeks/if it gets worse."  Phil's original phantom limp (which was because he didn't like wearing a sweater), Meri when she "ate" Motrin (which I don't think she did more than chew on a few pills, but we couldn't be sure), Meri when she had blood coming from her bum (normal in dogs apparently). 

On Thursday evening, things seemed to be getting better.  But on Friday morning, I had made an appointment with the vet for Monday, just in case he needed it.  On Friday we went for a stroll because he seemed fine!  Then Saturday he wasn't using his leg and was having a hard time lifting it to get on/off the slumber balls.  He was also hopping on 3 legs through the yard.  Honestly, I would have taken Phil to the vet on Sunday if they had been open.  Knowing we had an appointment on Monday, I administered more tramadol, which I had been giving him since Thurs to control the pain, and hoped for the best.


SATURDAY

Teh German had to work, but I stayed in bed and Meri snuggled with me and tried to exfoliate my face with her frito feet.  So cute.  I finally got up around 10 and started being a human.  I did more work on the wedding website.  I had some issues Friday night but quickly found out that my adblocker was causing the problem and it's a wix issue that they are aware of. Around 11:45 Teh German came home and we had a noon Skype date set up with Papa G that I had requested on Friday morning while I was having a mini breakdown about the hotel situation for the visitors.

We discussed the dates that they were planning on being in Charleston and I asked where they'd like to stay: near the venue, near downtown, or near our house?  I didn't realize I had walked into a trap.  The Germans apparently needed invitations NOW.  So they could figure out the hotel situation.  I explained that I had just finished the website the night before and it had all the hotel/event info they needed.  I even sent them the address.  Yet, Papa G insisted that they needed something formal.  With as much calm as I could muster (very little), I finally said, "The wedding is 10 months away!"

Of course, that was met with the laughs from Teh German and Papa G that Germans like to plan, blah blah blah.  He repeated they needed invitations by the end of the week and I point blank said, "No.  I can probably have invitations to Germany by the end of March."  I gave myself a month to generate, receive drafts, and have our invitations printed out AND sent to Germany.  Unacceptable.  Again, Germans need something formal, a save the date, something.  Instead of trying to explain I gave up.  Teh German could tell I was frustrated, but still said, "Ok, we'll send save the dates by next week."  Uhhh, what the what?  The conversation restarted in German, but I didn't try to understand because I was so frustrated.  When we ended the Skype call, I had my first wedding planning breakdown.

I tried to remain as calm as possible and explained to Teh German that we had scrapped our save the dates idea because we were planning on sending out invitations early.  My goal was to have invitations to invitees by the end of April, which would (technically) leave 6 months to plan hotels and flights.  Except that Papa G had already been talking to the Germans, they knew the date, so it wasn't like they could plan the hotel/flight situation.  Teh German said that wasn't early enough. 

I finally reasoned it out to him and explained why I had said the end of March was the earliest we could get invitations to Germany.  IT.TAKES.TIME.  The only decision Teh German has put forth regarding invitations was saying "that one" out of the 4 options I gave him.  Not overly difficult.  I explained that we had cut out save the dates when we decided to send formal invites (which I hadn't wanted to do because it's just a piece of paper that will most likely get thrown in the trash and said piece of paper cost me at least $1 just to have printed.  That doesn't include any stupid enclosure cards or RSVP cards or special lettering) and he said, "Fine, I'll take care of it.  I'll take it out of my own checking account."

Queue breakdown.

I said, "That's not how this works!  We created the budget!  We said we weren't going to do it!  And really, are you gonna go hand write save the dates just to send to Germany?"
Him, "Yes, if I have to."
Me, "Ok, have fun with that."

I then went on to tearfully explain that I had worked for over a week and a half on creating the stupid wedding website and no one had even bothered to look at it and see what was there.  Obviously Papa G had just received the link, but if he would take the time to even look he would see that most of his questions were answered from the website.  The date, the time, the hotel situation.  And had Teh German bothered to look at it, he would have been able to tell Papa G that instead of just saying ok to whatever he demanded.

Instead of trying to reassure me that it was going to be fine, Teh German just sat there and messed with his phone.  The conversation was over.  I went back to the computer to tweak the site (which feels never ending) and try to calm down. 

A bit later, Teh German said he was going to head to the outlets to pick up some new crossfit gloves and go by Sushi 101 to get his money back.  I had planned to go with him, but I would have needed to shower and I was almost finished with something on the computer.  I had asked him if he was planning on riding the bike and he said no since it was too windy.  As I finished what I was doing, he said, Ok, I'm leaving then.  Rather than explain that I had planned on going with him, I just let him leave since it seemed like he kinda want to go by himself.

I finished up the site (as good as it's gonna get) and called Teh Running Bestie to have a meltdown.  She wasn't available, so I started reading.  I was drained, so I eventually laid down for a nap.  Teh Running Bestie called back 30 seconds before Teh German got home and I didn't answer since I was laying down, which worked out since Teh German was home so soon after.

I was still laying on the couch when he came in.  He didn't check on me, assuming I was asleep, but let the dogs out and ran upstairs and came back downstairs and let the dogs in and went out into the garage.  Eventually, I got up and did some laundry.  Then I decided I should just shower and get out of my funk.  I turned on some jams and showered.

I was messing around the kitchen when Teh German finally came in and announced that both vehicles had been washed (I think he washes both vehicles to be able to use the pressure washer for longer).  Calmly, I explained to him that when there are tears, I really just need some reassurance, hugs and kisses are also a good option, but him sitting there looking at me like I have 6 heads isn't helpful.  To which he responded, "7 heads," and kissed me.  He's such a cute jerk.

Since it was close enough to dinner time, I headed up leftovers and we sat down to eat.  We agreed that we would go to the neighborhood ladies/couples night later that night... and we discussed this save the date issue.  I explained to him that there were many things at play during our conversation with Papa G.  1- Teh German is very reactive to Papa G.  What he says goes.  2- Teh German always gets stressed out by Papa G.  3- I am very empathetic and when Teh German is stressed, I automatically take on/share that stress, which creates a very volatile situation.  4- We were being told something we have to do, for our wedding.  5- I knew that Papa G's problems would be mostly solved by using the website.  All of those factors combined = my first wedding breakdown. 

Teh German said something about save the dates for just the Germans so they could have a date to plan around and I fully gave in and said fine to German save the dates.  But I had criteria.  1- The solution had to be cheap.  2- He was required to help.  If I was working on designing them, he would be sitting with me NOT on Instagram or Facebook.  With some searches, I discovered save the date postcards.  That seemed easy enough.  I could design something simple in Photoshop, print them out, and send the group to Germany for Papa G to apply postage and mail out.  My only cost would be labor and the paper we picked. 

While Teh German showered to get ready for the neighborhood event, I almost went out and bought postcard paper, but told myself to calmith my titith.  When Teh German came downstairs, I explained that we needed to go buy paper on Sunday for the save the dates and then we could work on the design, which he needed to google and find something simple for me to generate.  He agreed.

Neighbors picked us up around 7:30 and we headed to the party.  It was actually a really good time.  There was food and we got to hang out with more cool neighbors who we don't usually see on "International Blvd".  My only issue was that I had worn flip flops and we were asked to remove our shoes when we came inside... I had no socks so I had to walk around barefoot all night.

Our ride decided it was time to leave around midnight, which was fine by us, since we were pretty intoxicated, but had been chilling in the living room on the couch with most of the others who were also tired of standing in their bare feet on non-carpeted floors.  Our drive home was quick, duh, and we were in bed soon after the dogs were taken care of.


SUNDAY

For the 3rd day in a row, Phil woke me up while it was still dark outside with his whining.  Because he was drugged, I was feeling extra bad for him, and he's hurt so fiiiiiine, I'll let him out.  Additionally, my head was killing (because of pressure changes and being slightly hungover), so I wanted to take something for my headache.  Since it was 0530, I went ahead and fed them so I didn't have to get up again in an hour.  When I finally got back in bed at 06, I murmured to Timo that the dogs were his problem for the rest of the day since I had done middle of the night duty for the past 3 days.  He got up around 0745 and was headed downstairs when I realized what was happening and told him I'd already fed them.  I don't think he was ever more grateful to come back to bed.

We finally got up around 10.  We agreed to eat breakfast at home, then go to Michael's to pick out save the date paper, go by the grocery store, then come home.  While I wasn't in a hurry, Teh German Time was too much for me and I had to motivate him a few times.

We made it to Michael's and took about 5 minutes to decide on paper.  The pad we got was 5x7 cardstock and when we got to the parking lot, I checked to see if any UPS store were open so they could cut the paper down to 4x6, which is regular postage price in the US.  They weren't open, so we headed to Publix.  While there, Teh German realized he was kinda hungry.  He kept wandering away, being lured by snacks and other foods. 

When we left Publix, I asked Teh German if we could stop by the new pet store that just opened 2 doors down from Pubilx and he said yes.  We checked out the store, I spent a quarter of what I had just spent at the grocery store at the pet store for the dogs, then we headed home.  We hadn't gotten far when Teh German remembered he needed to go back by Sushi 101, so we turned around for that. 

Once he got his refund from Sushi 101, we headed home.  While I put away groceries, Teh German took care of the beasts.  After groceries were put away, I pulled out a frozen pizza for hangry McGee's late lunch and headed outside to scoop poop and call Teh Running Bestie.  We chatted for a while and Teh German even delivered my pizza outside and we ate while chatting with Teh Running Bestie on speakerphone.  After we got off the phone, I texted Roux's Humom to bring Roux over for a play date. 

While we sat outside with the beasts, Teh German and I worked on the save the date.  Meri and Roux weren't really playing, so Roux's Humom took him home and we agreed to go to the gym at 5.  As I had predicted, I was late because I was working on the save the date.  I arrived to the gym at 5:30, after having to walk down the street some to see if her car was in the driveway.  I didn't realize we were meeting at the gym.  Oops. 

After a decent gym session, I headed home to Teh German and heated up leftovers for dinner (this is what happens when I cook all week).  While I had been at the gym, Teh German had worked on the translations for the save the date cards and had written up his proposal story for the website!  So productive!

After dinner, I set about adding his proposal story to the website, which was the final step the site actually being complete.  Then I went back to working on the save the dates.  After fiddling with the layout and getting Teh German's "approval" for the final design, I started the process of trying to print this mofo out.  I should have known better.

My Epson printer and I have a hate-hate relationship.  Mostly I use it to print out coupons for shopping and other crap jobs, so I don't overly care how the print looks.  But now, I want to use it for something legit.  Despite cleaning the nozzles and resetting all the settings (much to my dismay), the printer and I are still at odds and after some googly research, I learned that it might be due to my not-Epson print cartridges.  Black is printing grey and the colors are very light.  Fantastic.  After getting the printer to print properly and realizing my ink problem wasn't fixable that night, I went on Amazon and ordered Epson ink cartridges (this is me waving at the idea of "cheap" save the dates) and finally headed upstairs to bed.

Of course, I had to come back downstairs no less than 3 time for various things.  The most important of those trips was tell Phil good night.  Because of his hip/leg thing, he's been sleeping downstairs.  This pains me because it upsets our routine.  While I was telling him good night, I explained that I know I had told him that whenever he's ready, I'll be ready to do whatever he needs me to do, but this year, I wasn't ready.  I promised him a cheeseburger if the vet visit ended with "it's not cancer." 

After 11, we finally crashed in bed.


________________________________________________

Overall a roller coaster of a weekend, but mostly relaxing.  While I could have spent my Sunday reading, instead I spent it staring at my computer screen playing in Photoshop.  While I do enjoy the challenge, it was not something I wanted to do, so I'm kind of bitter about it.  That said, the design is done, so as soon as the ink arrives, I can print them out and get them on their way to Germany to quell the German panic from Papa G.  That said, since the Germans are receiving save the dates, I am way less inclined to get their invitations to them by the end of March and I will probably make it more like May, partially because they've been notified, partially because I'm an asshole, and mostly because I spent a VERY long time working on the website and bitches better use it.

I took all of 6 pictures this past weekend and they were mostly of Meri outside being adorable.

Cantaloupe juice is the shiznit.
Essentially just put cantaloupe in the blender and voila, juice.

lots of this all weekend.

with spurts of this.

Oh and "I" vacuumed this weekend.
And by I, I mean that I moved Roomy the Roomba upstairs.

My yard decoration

Her broken ears.. she thought she was in trouble because I made her stay for the photo.
BTW, she has a mouse behind her too, so that makes a total of THREE mice close-by.
At least she brought ONE in with her.




Monday update on Phil:
At 0845 this morning I called the vet to see if they had an cancellations.  An 1120 had opened up, so Phil and I went in for that appointment.  While it was a traumatic experience for both of us for me to lift him into the car and then at the vet I tried to lift him out and when he refused to let me, I stood and begged him to let me help him out of the car, he decided to just jump put on his own like he was fine.  Dick. 

Most importantly, the vet said that she didn't see any cancer in the leg xray, which was the most important thing due to his age and his breed.  We aren't sure what caused his injury, but he had fluid in his leg and might be fighting an infection.  His temp was fine and this morning was the first time he seemed uninterested in eating, but he still ate most of his breakfast.  Meri was kind enough to finish it off for him when he went outside.  He jumped in and out of the car after our vet visit because he's a dick.

As I had promised, I stopped at McDonald's on the way home and ordered cheeseburgers for us for lunch.  I didn't eat all mine, so I let Meri have the remains and Phil got a burger all of his own.  This is a first.  Never, ever, evvverrr have my dogs gotten to eat more than a few bites of leftover burger or fries from a fast food place.  They've had ice cream cones and whipped cream, but nothing like a burger.  That's how you know it was a BIG deal.


Friday, February 10, 2017

MegMo2017: Deets: Very Important Information

I know it was kind of a dick move what I did in my last wedding post.  I told you we had made decisions, but I didn't tell you what those decisions were.  Additionally, I was all sneaky sneaky about announcing the date.  #sorrynotsorry

Well, I'm finally going to tell you what the decisions were, because I'm a nice person.  Also, because I'm me, I'm going to tell you about the decision making process as well.  Along the way, I might even share some photos.  You are welcome, Gentle Readers.

Let's start off with the biggest thing, the theme: "We're on a budget."

I shit you not, that is our theme.  Our goal in that theme is to do things as efficiently as possible without looking cheap, but also without breaking the bank.  We've been asked a lot of questions about a lot of details and when Teh German looks at me, I look at the asker and say, "We're on a budget."  Chairs?  We're on a budget.  Flowers?  We're on a budget.  Favors?  We're on a budget.  Save the dates/invitations?  We're on a budget.  Venue?  We're on a budget.  Photography?  We're kinda on a budget.  Photobooth?  Taken care of.

We did pick out some colors though:
medium-to-dark blue, medium-to-dark green, and medium-to-dark purple.

We're obviously weddin' pros now.


The budget

Oh yeah, our budget is $10,000.

Before you have a heart attack (like we almost did), just think about how many times I went to Disney last year.  Yeah, all those dollars that went to Disney in 2016 are going towards wedding in 2017.  Plus that vacation we took to Germany in 2016?  More dollars allotted towards the 2017 wedding.  Additionally, things from 2016 that we saved for, we have achieved, so some of those dollars are also now able to be put towards the wedding fund.  We know we'll be sacrificing vacations for a huge party, but we've decided it's worth it.



The guest list

Our guest list is a very organic thing.  What started out as less than 70 people is now over 150.  But, we also realize that not everyone we invite will be able to come, that's the way it works and that is completely understandable.  The biggest factor in our guest list is if Germans would come all the way to America for our wedding.

We didn't straight out ask and assumed that we'd probably need to do an American and German celebration.  The official one in America (since it's easier), then a reception of sorts for the Germans that didn't attend the US event.  I was panicking about this because that sounded to me like $$$$$.

When we found out that Germans were willing to make the trip, I asked for a date range that worked best for them in the fall.  1- Summer in Charleston is the worst.  I don't even want to be in Charleston during the summer, there's no way I'd want guests to come and be miserable here as well.  2- If the Germans were willing to come to the US, I was willing to work with them on a date.  3- A date range from the Germans would eliminate soooo many possibilities!

Papa G told us that 10/27-11/3 would work best for them.  I could work with that.


The date

11/1/17.


If you look at that picture closely, you will see that we are getting married on a Wednesday.  Weird, you say.  I know, right!?!  Back to the biggest thing, "We're on a budget."  I'm not sure if this applies in place that aren't Charleston, but here to get married on a weekend during October/November, it is often several hundred dollars to double the price of a Monday-Thursday event.  Sundays are usually slightly cheaper than a Saturday event, but not as low as the price of a M-Th event.  I'll break this down more in the venue post.




After getting the 3 big things sorted out, things really started falling into place and we were able to make decisions, which I promise I will tell you about soon.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Confessions {2/8}

-Automatic response email from Senator Lindsay Graham (Senator@lgraham.senate.gov) in response to my email with this gem at the bottom: "Please do not respond to this email, the mailbox is unattended." Sooo many things have been made clear to me.

-With some coordination, we won more free tickets to the wedding show next weekend which means we all are getting in for freeizzle.  #powerofmany

-I've been active on the GEGR FB page, sharing photos and being better about social media.  I'm interested to see if it makes a difference.  If nothing else, at least there's more cute dogs on my news feed.  #socialmediaguru

-After speaking with my boss and the HR director for Company, they told me it would be no issue if I went back to school as a full-time student as long as my 40 hours at Company was a priority.  They were especially pleased after I informed them that I wanted a computer engineering/science degree AND that I was going to use my GI Bill, so Company wouldn't even have to pay for it, just work with my schedule. 

-Because I'm lazy and because I want the full benefits from the GI Bill, I plan to actually go to class (I need to physically attend one class per semester on campus to receive 100% of my BAH).  I may still take online courses depending on what is offered.  What this really means is that I'm limited in my choices to school in Charleston.  I'm most interested in Charleston Southern University (because it's super close to the house), then the Citadel as a day veteran student (so not a cadet which means no uniform for me, kthxbye), and my last choice would be College of Charleston (because it is downtown and ain't nobody got time for dat).  I'm comparing CSU and the Citadel currently for who has the better degree for me. 

-Teh German is pretty excited about all of this.  Not just because of the supplemental income for us but also because I've been talking about going back to school for a long time.  The biggest thing for me is realizing that 1- I should/could have been a better student at NCSU, but I didn't know how, 2- I didn't even know about more technical degrees that I could have gotten because STEM wasn't a thing back in my day (you're welcome), 3- No one ever told me that the benefit of not having to take math classes for my major wasn't necessarily a benefit over having another major.

-The library sent me the ominous "your book is about to expire" notice, so I've been trying to read Throne of Glass like a dervish.  I have 40% left.

-As always, I still hate that Kindle doesn't give a page count, but a percentage.  It fucks me up regularly, especially if there is supplemental crap at the end like chapters from follow on books or pages worth of author notes/acknowledgements to people who IDGAF about.  #ereaderproblems

-I'm excited about wedding dress shopping because I just want to get it done.  Huge to do tasks that loom over my head stress me out.  If I don't find a dress, I'm going to be pissed.  That said, how cool would it be to have a dress with pockets?  Teh WJL asked me what I could possibly need to put in my pockets on my wedding and my answer was immediate, "Lint balls and chapstick."  #howwasthatevenaquestion

-I'm planning on everyone going to a hockey game after dress shopping.  I just hope we win.  #LetsGoRays

-I gained 3 lbs from birthday weekend eating.  Or I'm also bloated from girl time crap.  Who knows.  Either way, I'm sore from self-punishment at the gym on Monday.  #worthit

-I have no idea what to do with the box of origami birds I made from my 2016 page a day calendar. 

-I had another blog post go live on Broke Ass Brides yesterday.  I'm already over it.  Additionally, for both posts I've put a little blurb about me at the bottom (which I've seen other Real Brides have) and it keeps getting deleted and it really pisses me off that I'm not really getting any attribution for my posts.  I've tried to edit my profile to have my info and it keeps getting wiped clean.  One of the most infuriating things I've discovered is that they frequently share/link to ancient posts (one of the links in my post is from 2011 (which I did not link to)).  While they are still completely relevant posts (wedding don't really change), they are old and it just looks bad IMO.  In addition, these ancient posts are also shared on social media and I just can't understand why.  #why

-I'm proud of my book progress for Erin's Challenge.

-I listen to certain music on Spotify just to alter my Discover Weekly playlist.  This is because recently my Discover Weekly has been all slow, whiny songs and I'm over it.  Let's get back into that alt rock genre, plskthx.

-Things I don't understand: Why Bagheera's 500 mile appointment cost $200.  #nomegusta

-Roomy the Roomba and I are besties, or whatever relationship I can have with a robot that does housework for me.  #ILoveVacuumMarksOnCarpet

-I think the hot flashes from the IUD have passed. #praiseAllah #knockonwood