The Wedding Countdown


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Wedding date: August 12, 2012

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A few updates from Port Orchard


Fall has arrived in Port Orchard!
Here's a long awaited update!

"Why Isn't Sean Getting Back To Me?"
Yes, Sean is underway now. Thank you all for sending your notes, letters, and donating towards his Nook/iTunes fund! He's well stocked with entertainment to keep him from missing home too much. Everything was much appreciated! I do have his cell phone, and will check it daily for any important messages, but if you really want to chat with me, email me or call my phone. Don't forget that I can Skype as well!

"How's Clydas doing?"
MUCH better. His bandages have been off for almost a week now. Okay, so his crazy new foot was a bit shocking to me the first time I saw it, but every day more fur grows back and he seems less and less bothered by it. He still does the Tri-Pawd dog hop (nicknamed "The Clydas Hop" since he's the only dog in the development with his own pimp-dog style - he he he), but he's doing really well, aside from a little stomach upset due to a prolonged stint on antibiotics. Here's a little montage with some updated videos of his hop. Be forewarned! There IS a photo of his re-designed foot as taken in the vet's office when he got the bandages off. It's not so red and angry now. Currently, it's pink and healthy looking. Amputations take a LONG time to heal, and foot amputations are prone to infections, but he's a real trooper - ready to run less then a month after surgery!
"How am I doing with all of this?" 


Well, thankfully I spent several years living alone. While it is an adjustment, I'd like to think it's not as hard on me as it would be on those people who have never lived alone. I also have a great example of how to stay sane with your partner far away. My dad often travels for work, so my mom managed to raise my brother and I, take care of her mother, work full time, and get her master's degree, while dad traveled the world for work. She's one of the most ambitious and accomplished women I've ever met. I've learned some amazingly helpful survival tips from my parents.
For example:
1) Working from home is great, but you CAN feel trapped and isolated. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE TWICE A DAY. Even if it's just to go for a walk or grab a hot tea at a coffee shop. Interacting with people, though it may seem meaningless, are immensely helpful.
2) GET BUSY. Work keeps me really busy. Clydas has kept me busy lately too, with bi-weekly vet trips. Hopefully his last visit will be next week. I have a few other goals I can focus on without distractions.
3) MAKE PLANS. My parents have graciously offered to kennel Clydas and fly me home for the holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm really looking forward to getting out of dodge for a while and spending some quality time with my family and friends in So Cal. I'm also trying to get my best friend to come up and visit for a weekend. Add to that YMCA trips and care packages I'm putting together for the fall/winter for family and friends, and I'm busy alright!
4) SET GOALS. I have a weight loss goal for while Sean is away and 2 writing projects in the works (in addition to the magazine I regularly write for click-here-for-shameless-plug). Since I'm eating out a LOT less, I'm sure I'll drop the unwanted pounds in no time - and it helps that I love working out and hiking and all that. I've found keeping physically active helps the body and mind deal with all sorts of stress.
5) Be GENTLE with yourself. This is the perfect time to do my nails, take bubble bathes, and finish a few books, work on wedding stuff and all that without driving Sean nuts with details.

IF YOU SHOULD NEED TO GET A HOLD OF SEAN, ESPECIALLY IN THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!
In the mean time, give a wave to the ocean the next time you happen to see it.

Thanks all! Hope you're enjoying a beautiful fall like I am! - JD

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An update on our Furkid Clydas!

Tomorrow, Clydas goes in for surgery to amputate his 2 back toes on his right leg and get rid of his cancer. The good news is that there is NO sign that it's spread. He's otherwise healthy. It'll be an outpatient surgery. I'll drop him off in the morning, and Sean will come with me to pick him up that night.

We're hoping for a full recovery and another 4-6 years with our boxer buddy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The USS Pennsylvania Family Picnic!

Sean and I actually went to this event in August (or was it July? - Summer was kind of a blur!)

I figure I'd post something funny today while we continue to wait for more info on Clydas' medical condition.

Sean's team in the video clips - yup - they LOST! (But the last hour of the picnic was rained out - so even the winners got wet later!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Clydas the Cancer patient...

While I do have some great updates coming the way of this blog (a day at the fair, some center piece discoveries at Ikea, and some more good stuff), I wanted to throw this out there so that the P&P (Prayers and Positive Thoughts) get rollin'.
Click here to get the link to my blog about Clydas' latest medical journey.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wedding Chronicles - Pause, Reverse it, Back to one

After many discussions and emails with Disney, sadly, the Animal Kingdom is back to a "no go".  The deciding factor? It would have cost a Minimum of $4,000 to have the ceremony there (that doesn't count the reception - that's just for the ceremony, seats, and lights) and if that doesn't make you wince, the fact that we'd have to cut the guest list down to 35 people (including us, bridal party, etc)... well, that ought to do it for ya. And that was the nail in the coffin for us.

We're also hoping to buy a house next year, so we figured it just made more sense to be more cost effective. We'd rather have the people we want there, than spend a small fortune on one day for a handful of people.

So we're back to square one - Shades of Green!

It's still on Disney World Property and the flexibility will give us a chance to use people OTHER than Disney for things like photography, videography, flowers, cake, etc.  Flexibility is a good thing. :) No, a GREAT thing. It takes a lot of the stress off since we don't have to worry about how we're going to come up with XYZ dollars. We're now WELL within our budget, and we can put extra savings towards a house. We have some stories of our upstairs neighbors that would curl your hair (including a shouting match at 2am and someone falling off the balcony!) so we're looking forward to getting to the next stage in life.


So that's the latest and greatest! :) We're looking at a brunch reception at Shades of Green with a First Look at the Boardwalk Resort, and a few other surprises in the works.

Mark your calendars for October 18th!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Chronicles - Location Location Location

We've been working more and more with our Disney Wedding Planner to try to get the site for the ceremony nailed down. We've requested something they've never done before, so we're hoping it comes through!

The whole sh-bang is still going to take place in the Animal Kingdom park, and we're looking at October 18th, 2012 as a tentative date, so save your pennies! When we have something more permanent, we'll get those "Save the Dates" mailed out.

That said, I thought I'd give ya'll a sneak peak at our Reception Venue! I think we're pretty much settled on a place in Africa called the Tamu Tamu Courtyard. Here's a short video and slide show for those interested:

A few things to keep in mind when using a Disney park venue:

All events must take place outside of park hours. So we're planning an evening ceremony, most likely around 7:30 pm with dinner and the reception kicking into gear around 8pm at the latest. This may change up to a month before the wedding depending on what the actual park hours are. If there are Extra Magic Hours that night, it might be pushed back, or moved to the day before. Whatever happens, we'll let you all know as far in advance as possible.

We will be doing a "first look" at a resort. A "first look" is a relatively new tradition where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding. (I know, I know, 'gasp', right?). It makes a lot more sense for this type of situation. We can see each other and take pictures together before the wedding, so ya'll won't be standing around wondering what to do between the ceremony and reception. I'm actually really looking forward to this moment. We might just end up inviting everyone to come along and take a peek as sort of an early cocktail hour thing, but nothing is set in stone yet. Which leads me to my next point...

We will be providing Transportation to and from the site. You CAN NOT drive yourselves to and from the location. Disney's rule - not ours. Since many people are opting to stay off property, we will probably all meet up at one resort on Disney Property so that our private bus can pick everyone up and drop everyone off at the same time. So if you choose to stay off property and rent a car, that's up to you. If you stay on Disney property, Disney will get you around by bus for free - so there are a few perks to staying on property. So if you are LATE, this could be an issue - once we announce the time, please give yourselves PLENTY of time to arrive at the designated meeting location, or you could miss out!

We're NOT doing a traditional rehearsal dinner. We do have some ideas on what we're going to do in place of it, but nothing is solid yet. We're going to be giving out a schedule of events that are completely optional if you want to hang out with us that week. Please don't feel pressured to show up at all (or even any) of the events. After all, we hope you make this your "excuse" for a great vacation too! I may ask for some RSVPs in advance of these events due to Disney's requirement to make reservations early.

Group Rates May apply and Free Dining may be going on! More about this later, but Disney is opening up a NEW Value resort during this time frame! We may be able to qualify for group rates. This resort also specializes in themed family suites, so if you have a little one and don't want to rent a car or be confined to a hotel room, these have more room, a kitchenette, and more comforts for families with little ones. If you are staying on Disney property, you may qualify for Free dining, which would include your food for something like $35/day/person (excluding alcohol). I can hook ya'll up with a travel agent if you have questions on this one, or feel free to email me (jdarlingmusic@aol.com). Which brings me to my next piont...

Guest list IS FIRM at 50 people. That may sound like a lot of people, but really it's 36. Oh wait, that's just including the wedding party and us. Subtract a few more for immediate family members and the spouses and kids of our wedding party -  and that brings us to 24 Guests. So, while we have been blessed with large families and friends who love and support us it's not feasible to include EVERYONE, so please clear any special requests with us prior to inviting anyone via word of mouth. We will make sure those who are unable to attend get pictures and an announcement at the very least. Thanks!

We have to use Disney services for most things. Since it's taking place in their theme park, Disney wants to oversee all the quality and such for this type of event. I trust them so I'm not too worried. However, if you'd like to contribute, we will be posting registry stuff once the honeymoon is booked (probably around Feb/March of next year) or you can contact either one of us privately to discuss.

And that about covers it! Enjoy the Sneak Peek at Tamu Tamu Courtyard!



Happy Birthday to Sean!

Yesterday was Sean's birthday. He's officially 2 years away from 30 now. I can't wait for his 30th.

Anyway, how did we celebrate? Well, it was pretty low key. He'd just gotten off duty, had to study, had a Fantasy Football draft, didn't want birthday cake, and we both had to work in the morning. Birthday dinner was a delicious Papa Murphy's Gourmet Chicken Pizza. Yum! All in all, it was pretty low key, but he did get his present! I got him a 3rd generation Ipod Touch. I figured it'll be handy during deployment! (So if anyone wanted to get him a gift, you can send some itunes money/gift cards so he can load it up before he deploys. His paypal account is the same as his email (if you're in the know, you know, so I won't post it on here) and feel free to email me if you need our street address.

With the insanity that is my schedule and his schedule right now, we're planning on actually celebrating this weekend -most likely on Monday (which we both have off -yeah!).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Silver City Brewery - Silverdale, WA

We've found a few places we really like out here, and the Silver City Brewery is one of them.

I used to live near the Stone Ale brewery. while I only went a few times a year, it was a beautiful place to visit. While Silver City doesn't have a beer garden so to speak (Stone's garden is stunning), but they do have wonderful food!

This week, we went out to see Conan with a friend of ours and followed it up with dinner at Silver City. We shared a salad and a Greek Pizza (feta cheese, non-greasy crust, artichokes, and other good stuff).

Sean put the left overs in a box - and wrote on the front of it. I thought it was funny and cute enough to share!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Adventures in Netflixing aka Good Times with Bad Movies

Since this summer has been full of great movies (which we'll no doubt cover once summer officially draws to a close), I thought it would be fun to share a little B-movie awesomeness with you folks. Sean and I love B-movies, and most of them just happen to be horror flicks.

You may already know that Sean and I spent a lot of time long distance. One thing we did to stay close was to have "Netflix dates".  We'd dial up some TV shows or movies on Netflix and watch them at the same time, either texting each other through them, sitting on speaker phone, or Skyping one another. When you're long distance, you get creative! At first, it started out with good shows like Farscape, Firefly, with a few random anime's thrown in from time to time. Until we hit a major snag - it didn't take us long to get through most of Netflix's more desirable film library. So I turned to Mail Order Zombie (a fun podcast I listen to regularly - and call in as "The Darling Dead") to find something new and exciting. Some of them were total hits, like the B-movie awesomeness without anything more than the "fun scare" factor. For example, this little Norwegian gem, Dead Sno. 
I mean, what isn't amazing about a movie full of invariably clueless college kids, buried treasure, and, oh yeah, Nazi zombies that pop out of the snow like daisies! It was comic genius in some places, and cringe worthy in others - a great B-horror movie.

Another MOZ (Mail Order Zombie) movie recommendation that was a winner was The Horde. We've had some good times with some cheese-ball movies, but even some Golden Oldies (like the 1974 film, The Towering Inferno) made it onto our computer screens. I'm a particular horror movie fan, as long as it's a fun scare, not a true scare.

Anyway, as you can imagine, we've discovered plenty of movies that were just plain bad too. In fact, we watched a streak of them so we developed a 45 minute rule. If the movie still bites after 45 minutes, we turn it off. Life is too short to sit through BAD movies. In all fairness, many independent horror films are pretty awful, so probably more than half of our bad movie experiences have been from films that were my choice.

ANYWAY, one film in particular was so bad, that it's turned into a running joke. Naturally, I felt I had to let you folks in on the joke. Here's the Trailer...

Sean had been wanting to check out this B-Made-For-TV movie since last Spring, so finally, on the recommendation of a fellow shipmate, we decided to give it a try. Now, I'll admit to having been mildly entertained in the past by some of the crazy creatures the SyFy channel has put out there in my youth. Some days there was just nothing like checking reality at the door and getting lost in a world of bad computer generated monsters and even worse acting.

But this film seriously took the cake. It was funny enough in the first 45 minutes to pass our rule, so we figured it would be an okay B-horror movie.

We were wrong.

This film makes Anaconda look like Oscar material...

But it did leave us with a sense of humor. Whenever something bad happens, we say, "Well, at least it wasn't as bad as Sharktopuss."


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Board game night - Zombies!!!



Sean and I have gotten our hands on some unique board games. While we haven't had time to play them as much as we'd like, we did check this one out about a month ago, and it was fun!

Every turn, players play a "Map Card" that has buildings/streets on it. Each Map card has a few numbers on them. These numbers dictate how many Zombies appear on the card, as well as how many health units and bullets appear on it. The player of the map cards adds the appropriate number of Zombies, bullets, and health units. (Above, the Zombies are the gray/green figures, a health unit is a small orange tab, and the player appears in blue.)
Players roll a dice to see how many squares he/she can travel.

Our map by the time we were done! (The small black chips are bullets.)

The winner either reaches the Helipad square (which would eventually be played by someone, so it's never in the same place twice) OR the first to kill 25 Zombies.

In case you didn't now, you REALLY SHOULD tag along with Sean, should the Zombie Apocolpyse ever come to pass!  He killed 15 zombies in record time! I can't wait to play it with more people. There are LOTS of different installments to this game. We also picked up the version that takes place in a multi-level mall instead of a town. Hopefully we can break it in someday soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Enumclaw Higland Games and Clan Gathering 2011


The Craziest event ever...
Getting some Vitamin D! It felt AWESOME!



 Last Saturday, Sean and I actually had a FULL DAY OFF together! It doesn't happy very often these days.

So we hopped in the car and took the trek to the other side of the sound and saw some beautiful country. And then we found the kilts! It was a BEAUTIFUL day (in the 80's! A high for us!).


 Though they were out of Haggis (yes, out, we looked) they did have some delicious meat pies! Sean tried one of them and I opted for cinnamon glaze pecans (a FAVORITE snack of mine). We nibbled on the pecans the whole drive home.
Hurtling! It's like Shotput, only cooler.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adventures in Climbing and Cooking!





Yesterday, we took the morning to head over and explore Vertical World. 
Sean and I were planning on going last weekend, but exhaustion got the better of us.  Between his duty schedule and my work/rehearsal schedule, we haven't had a weekend (much less an entire day) together in weeks. So we try to make the most of the time we have. We sneak in a movie out here and there (and this has been a GREAT summer for movies), but this weekend we took Saturday morning and the hit the ropes! Or the wall, more appropriately.
  This was all Sean's idea and I have to admit, it was intimidating at first. It just seemed like one of those things "other people" (aka people who aren't me) do. But I promised to go along, so go along without complaint I did - and, like most things I've done in my life for those I've loved, it was great!



Sean made quick work of 2/3 walls. He climbed to the top and made a goal to conquer a certain route next time.

And yes, there will be a next time!
 As for me, I'm completely satisfied with my performance on my very first time climbing. I made it up my first 2 walls without falling! That felt pretty awesome. By the time I reached the bottom after wall #2, I found myself nearly drenched in sweat. What a great work out! If you're following my Personal Blog, you'll know that health and fitness is a big deal with me. 
The third wall did get the better of me and I didn't quite make it to the top, but I got very close! Next time...




Friday night we also had our first cook out experience!
Grabbing some charcoal and one of the community grills, we made some delicious steaks, complete with a wine and cheese appetizer. Delish!

It's turning out to be a great summer in the Pacific Northwest, despite the crazy schedules. Now, if only we could figure out a camping trip....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Wedding Chronicles - LOTS of Good News!

Last night, I got 3 pieces of really good news!

1) Heather, one of my best gal pals and a gal I'd love to have in our wedding party IS PREGNANT! This is number 2 and their last one. It's really exciting! She's had a couple high risk pregnancies. The first one resulted in their still born son Dirk. The second was high risk, but resulted in a beautiful baby girl, Elena. And now they have another on the way! I'm really excited for them. What does this mean for the wedding party? DOES IT MATTER? My 'sister' is having a baby! We'll think about all that later - like when we have a date.  A life is so much more important than a 'day' (even an important one) in a life.
 

2) My mom started on the Hidden Mickeys!
My mom is AWESOME with a needle and thread. When I said I wanted Hidden Mickey's sown on my gown, she was honestly the first person I thought of to do it. Knowing she's very very busy and it's not a small undertaking, I never outright asked though. I hate for those that I love to feel pressure when she's already under so much from work.  However, with the date proving to be "sometime next fall", it gave her LOTS of time to work on it. Last night she surprised me by saying she's been working on it. YES!  I'm so excited that she's contributing to this unique experience (and ya'll will have fun looking for it, I'm sure). While the gown is a popular style, I wanted to really have something unique to make it "mine", ya know? 

3) Venue and Time Change!
So Sean and I looked into different venue options, since it's SO FAR out there, our budget has changed as well. While Shades of Green would be lovely I'm sure, we've FINALLY settled on a place and a theme, which helped me settle on bridesmaids dresses.  I've narrowed it down to 2 right now, so I'm going to ask a few ladies to try them on and send me photos before I decide for sure. It's a HUGE relief to find a location that encompasses all we both wanted for the wedding (Asian influence, Disney, natural, and COMPLETELY unique) without sacrificing anything. We were both instantly excited by the prospect. This is bound to be the best wedding ever - even if it means we have to par down our guest list to 40-50 people.

There are 3 things I can tell you:
*It's in Disney World.
*It's in the evening.
The location does not do daytime ceremony's and that actually makes me very happy. On a personal level, I love this change. I feel like it'll really give Sean and me a chance to enjoy the day without a 5am wake up call. We can explore a park during the day or get a spa treatment, before having to be ready for everything. My girls won't have to wake up insanely early. Important occasions always fly by so having the entire day to relax, spend with family and friends, and get ready sounds much better than a 5am wake up call for hair and make up.


As for the exact venue, I'm keeping it a secret. When we have a little more information we might announce it, but that will be Sean's call. I'm tempted to keep it as quiet as possible until the actual day. It'll be the surprise of a life time! Don't get me wrong though - I'm ITCHING to blow it WIDE open! I'm sure everyone will think this is the coolest thing ever.



What's the third thing?


*Wear comfortable shoes!  ;)


 

 If you THINK you know where this is, please DON'T say it in your comment! Thanks!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Makes This Life so Amazing?

When Sean and I decided to start a blog to keep family and friends up to date on all the changes going on in our lives, we thought long and hard about a name for the blog. It took me a while to finally settle on "This Amazing Life".
Tonight, as I read the title on my blog dashboard, I wondered "What makes This Life Amazing?"

I think the answer is as simple as the silver and crystal ring I said, "Yes" to over six months ago.


We decided it was going to be amazing. Yes, we had some hurdles to overcome - just living in the same time zone was a huge one! The Navy being the next big one we're learning to cope with day by day. But we decided long ago that it was going to be amazing. And ya know what? I'm not disappointed. It's still an amazing adventure.

It's not always an easy journey, but it is an amazing life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Super Busy - but a great weekend!

Sean and I had a great weekend last week- but things continue to be very busy out here.

Last weekend, we got to go to my first Disney Fan Convention! Now, I won't say I'm in Disney withdrawl up here, but I do miss being within driving distance to a park (and having an annual pass in my back pocket). This was so great! We were able to recapture those feelings from our first trips together last year  (Disneyland over Christmas, and Disneyworld over my birthday last January).  It was a blast! We got some artwork from Robin Hood SIGNED by one of the animators, so I'm looking forward to getting them framed and putting them up! We scored a bunch of free movie posters too, and got to do some networking.
Click on this link to check out the highlight reel I put together in the Disney fan blog I contribute to.

Things are still busy - that was our first full day together in weeks, but we make the best of the time we have. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Dread" Lobster


So Jaime and I were trying to find someplace different to eat the other night. We just wanted to split an entrée and an appetizer. Seafood at the time sounded wonderful so we opted for Red Lobster over Olive Garden. Yes both of those places are chains but neither are places that we normally frequent (We have only been to one Olive Garden together and never before have we gone to a Red Lobster.) and both were right off of the freeway. Well as we entered the place we both noticed that the only people eating there had either white or grey hair. That should have been our first clue to just leave. Not saying that the elderly are bad people, in fact many are absolutely delightful, however much is left to be desired when you talk about their taste buds, or lack there of.

Well against better judgment we opted to stay. We were already here and while I was ravenous, Jaime was just slightly hungry. We searched the menu for “safe” seafood choices and we figure on shrimp. I mean how the hell does one mess up shrimp? So we got the Cajun shrimp, shrimp scampi, and the potato crusted shrimp and for our appetizer we got calamari and stuffed mushrooms.

Well as our appetizer comes out the first thing we notice is that the stuffed mushrooms are just layered in cheese, and grease too (There was a noticeable pool on top of the cheese). We try it and wow, greasy is right. Blech…you could barely taste the cheese. Well hopefully the calamari was better. Chef Ramsey would of cried because it was undercooked and didn’t have much of a taste at all. You could tell that it was squid but it was almost as if it sat in water for a really long time. At least the meal couldn’t be this bad right? It is shrimp after all.

Well our food finally arrives and after this disappointment that was the appetizer I couldn’t wait to eat something good. This was not it. We had thought that the mushrooms were greasy… The shrimp scampi was in a pool of butter. A no shit pool of butter complete with skim. It was as if there was at least 2 cups of butter melted and drenched the shrimp with it. They must have been trying to cover up the saltiness of the shrimp with it because it seemed that kosher salt was a regular item in their ingredients list. One down and 2 more to go. Well the Cajun shrimp was a little bit better. At least you could taste the attempt at Cajun seasoning. Okay when you think of Cajun shrimp it is skewered and char grilled to blackened. You can just taste that smoke flavor and yeah, this was a disappointment. Why you might ask? Well besides not being spicy enough, yep the elders would love this one too, it was sautéed in a Cajun butter mixture. The shrimp was on a pile of rice pilaf and the rice was saturated with some form of orange grease. Up until now you could tell the grease was of the yellow butter type. You took one fork full of rice and it was oozing complete with beads of congealed grease on the plate. Yep, absolutely delicious looking, right? Finally down to the fried potato covered shrimp. Surprisingly enough the deep fried shrimp were the least greasy…wow, they must have one good fry cook, obviously not the calamari cook…the sauté cooks need to learn from this guy. This was the best shrimp of the meal but at this point we just didn’t want to eat anymore. The biscuits finally came out at this point. They obviously were not hot and fresh, so why it took 45 minutes was beyond us. We each took one and wow, dry as can be with not a hint of the cheddar flavor that we remembered as a children.

Unfortunate to say the highlight of our meal was the salad we had right before our entrée was served. This ceasar however was drenched in dressing and the croutons had little flavor to them. When the waitress finally came over and asked if we wanted to box our food, there was plenty left, both of us spoke loudly and clearly a nice resounding “No.” At this point she just brought us the check. We paid and left our not so merrily way. Seriously this has been one of the worst restaurant experiences in our lives and if we ever decide to try it again it will be in the very distant future. It was such a failure that we couldn’t even fathom to glance at the dessert menu. If you can screw up shrimp so badly we shudder to think what the chocolate would taste like. The service was really slow (we even had to ask for drink refills) and at the end of the meal we were rushed out. This didn’t make any sense to us seeing that there wasn’t even a wait (the place was empty.) Chef Ramsey you really need to make this place less of a “Dread” Lobster and more of a real seafood place.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wedding changes - mainly THE DATE

Alright - so here's the skinny:

At a BBQ/Poker night with some of his shipmates, Sean and I learned that he will most likely be "unavailable" during the month of November. In fact, it was more like, "Don't make any plans after September. Hopefully you'll see him over Christmas." Alrighty then. That changes things a bit.

The vendors have been contacted, the families have been notified, as has the bridal party. So what's the fall back plan?

Well, we're going to get the legal part of the marriage out of the way before he deploys. It makes sense in every way.

HOWEVER - we don't want to be one of those couples that elopes and never gets around to celebrating with family and friends.

SO with that in mind, we are creating 2 plans of action to be decided on fully in 2012:

Plan #1:
Still do a Disney event (either coast, but we're still leaning toward Florida due to the finances of it).
We'll set this plan into motion IF we can confirm something for off-season. Even me, the ultimate Disney fan in this relationship, DOESN'T want to fight Florida's heat, humidity, or peak season crowds/prices in the summer. So we'll either catch it early in the year, or in the fall. Neither would be bad.

Plan #2:
Do an event in Washington.  There is a 100 yr old opera house available for events that we certainly wouldn't mind renting out. It can be truly beautiful up here. This is the summer time plan. If we're confined to the summer time, then we'll probably invite everyone to our neck of the woods, as it is BEAUTIFUL out here during the summer months.

So that's the latest and greatest. This blog will focus less on wedding for now - and more on our adventures in Washington. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Discovering Gig Harbor

Friday night has become "Date Night" sort of by accident and sort of on purpose. We wanted to have at least 1 night a week just for us to go out and enjoy. Last week, date night was Hale's Alehouse for dinner, followed by African Cats to celebrate Earth Day.

This friday, it was going to be Seattle, but we didn't get all the way there. We were starving so we ended up in Gig Harbor at a tiny Thai dinner. And I mean TINY. The place seated probably under 20 people. The food was good, the price was reasonable. We followed that with a walk along the waterfront. We found a Coffee and Clay house  .  While we didn't paint anything, we enjoyed hot chocolate and looked around. We'll probably be revisiting this. I've always wanted to try one of these things (even though my painting skills are pretty much on par with a 3rd grader).

But the best discovery of the night was a wine bar called Morso. We just stopped in for a drink and dessert, but they had lots of great, reasonably priced things on their menu (flat breads... yummy...). We tried a local cider (Westcott) and were treated to a sample of another local cider (Spire). The Spire cider on tap was on par if not better than any of the UK ciders I've tasted (a personal favorite is Strongbow on tap). I can't wait to go back and enjoy a full glass! Their wine list was extensive (as expected) with lots of local goodies. Dessert was delicious (mine was apple pie with Madascar vanilla ice cream and Sean had a chocolate fudge chip ice cream), the view of the harbor couldn't be beat, and a $5, the dessert prices couldn't be beat! I can't wait to show it to any guests that come visit!

We ended the night with a few hours of Super Mario Brothers on the Wii.

Unforuntately, the clutz in me got the better of me last night though. Before our date night,  I ended up taking a Pete Rose in a parking lot. I managed to scrape up my knee, hand, and elbow. Tonight Sean tweaked his hip. But we're managing to have some fun. You could say we extended date night a bit. We got out again today, grabbing "linner" (late lunch/early dinner) at Hale's again, and then heading off to a movie - FastFive. And it was great.

Now back to an exciting evening of nursing our aching bodies, folding laundry, and playing with Clydas. Who could ask for anything more?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Toilet Paper Woes

Recently Jaime and I bought toilet paper for cheap, it was double ply, and I was reminded of why I never buy crappy toilet paper. I, for a number of years, have firmly believed that no matter how much or how little money I have had that I would never skimp out and buy cheap tp. It can be the difference between a gentle cloud caressing you or a piece of rough sandpaper. Well the stuff that we got feels more like the latter, which I thought was impossible with double ply. Well luckily for us it will be a short lived mistake for both Jaime and I have started cycles of Dr. Natura's Colonaide. And boy does that stuff work. It works rather well and suffice to say it a good portion of my morning does reside in the rest area. This has obviously been the wake up call I needed to remind me of how an amazingly soft toilet paper can just make your day. I mean I do prefer my arse to, you know, not bleed. I would hope that others feel the same. Kind of makes you wonder how those cheap Toilet Paper companies stay in business. Well I do have one theory...with the thousands of high schoolers and drunk college students out there I am sure that many of them have gone tping at least once, if not many more times. Why waste spending your little and hard worked for (begging daddy and mommy) cash on expensive toilet paper to throw over peoples houses and trees, but I digress. I, for one, will never buy cheap toilet paper again.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

He's here!


Sean arrived on Sunday of this week. I took Monday and Tuesday off work to help him settle in and to spend time with him and Louise, his friend who helped with the road trip/move. We celebrated his safe home coming with a visit to Safeco park for a Tigers/Mariner's game. The Tigers whooped the Mariners, and the fans were very gracious to us (fans of the other team).

Great food, great game, great company - who could ask for anything more/




  We also did dinner at The Pink Door in Seattle near Pike's Market (which sadly was closed, so we'll have to save it for another day). The dinner was great! Literally, a hole in the wall, The Pink Door is located in an alley, across the alley from a chocolatier's shop. The food was all fresh, seasonal, and a  mix of American Italian. The wine list was incredible - as was the antipasto. It's worth a return trip (and we'll be trying the local chocolate too someday soon)!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wedding Chronicals- The Great Bridesmaid Debate

This post is more intended for my bridesmaids than anyone else:

Ladies, originally I had said "just wear a black dress that you love". Well... it turns out 90% of you don't actually own a "little black dress" and will be buying a dress anyway.

I'm trying NOT to influence your decisions, as you're already having to travel to be part of the wedding party, BUT I need some feed back.

This is the color (not style) we're looking at:
It's called "Clover", according to Alfred Angelo (the designer of my gown).  Accents would be Ivory and/or Gold, and we'll work the peacock feather into hair accessories that I've already got someone working on.



Check out the links below to get some ideas of what types of dresses I've been leaning towards. I picked out one in each length and a few different neckline styles.
Long/Halter - http://www.alfredangelo.com/Collections/ProductDisplay.aspx?productID=54933601-1453-4ae6-a212-a5a2aa863b49&categoryID=772f03c9-de43-4942-bfa0-da77e21ebd65&pg=5&colorId1=009735a7-07a9-4a59-8a4e-d5e6ed509ac9
Tea Length/Strapless (Price is Right! Under $125 plus 15-20% discount) - http://www.alfredangelo.com/Collections/ProductDisplay.aspx?productID=64fef8ae-84fb-4fbb-8859-b200aa2a56a5&categoryID=772f03c9-de43-4942-bfa0-da77e21ebd65&pg=5&colorId1=009735a7-07a9-4a59-8a4e-d5e6ed509ac9 (Trim options: Ivory, Harvest Gold, Champagne)
Short/Halter - http://www.alfredangelo.com/Collections/ProductDisplay.aspx?productID=0fb9a8c5-e7a8-460d-af70-309fa2658761&categoryID=772f03c9-de43-4942-bfa0-da77e21ebd65&pg=2&colorId1=009735a7-07a9-4a59-8a4e-d5e6ed509ac9


Keep in mind that everything strapless does have a spaghetti strap option, and wraps (which can be pinned on to over upper arms/shoulders) will be provided for you, no matter what neckline/sleevelength we go with.

Why is everything Alfred Angelo?
I'm leaning toward Alfred Angelo because (even if you order black dresses), we get 15-20% off through them since that's where I got my gown. They are NATIONWIDE and it offer every dress in every size without charging more for plus sizes. And most of their dresses are available in Junior sizes as well, which is vital since my kid sister is part of the gang as a Junior Bridesmaid.


Here's the deal  - check out some of the polls at the bottom of this entry. Feel it out and please, ANSWER HONESTLY. Don't worry about what you think I want to hear. Seriously - if you know me at all, you know that I genuinely want to know what you think when I ask your opinion.

We found a great pervayer on Etsy that will most likely be handling the flower girl's dress.


So let me know what you think- sleep on it, whatever. It's important to me that each of my girls feel as beautiful and confident as they can! It's why I love each of you. Thanks!
I'll be making the final call on this one probably next month, depending on the results (and confirming the date of the wedding). 

If you like one of the dresses linked above, feel free to comment on this blog! Feedback is always welcome!