Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 484

I'm keeping this short and sweet because I don't want to jinx anything but...

Wish us luck, we put in an offer on a house today!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 479

So who totally vanished from the face of the blogosphere?  This kid.  It's ok, though.  I'm back, with a goal crossed off.

27. Get 5 digits in our savings account
27. Get 5 digits in our savings account

Granted it won't stick around long, but we've got a down payment on our house gaining some good traction in our savings account.  I guess that means we got this one too...

33. Save 3 months’ bills
33. Save 3 months’ bills

Two for one!  Plus my Christmas cards went out Monday and we had a pretty successful house hunt today.  We'll be going back to check the place out in daylight tomorrow.

I feel awfully good about myself in this post.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 441

Well, if you're friends with me on FB you might already know what the big news from yesterday is.

Truthfully, it probably wasn't a wise idea to make this goal.  If you look up the official rules on being a collegiate advisor, it says you have to be an alumna for 5 years.  I'll hit the 5th anniversary of my college graduation on day 991 of this 1001 day trek.  But many pre-requisite rules can be bent with approval from the Province Presidents when the right person for a job is found.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was on Friday when the general advisor for our local collegiate ZTA chapter emailed me to say that she'd talked to the Province President, and they felt I would be a great fit as the ritual advisor!

80. Hold a regional position/advisor position.
80. Hold a regional position/advisor position.

Clearly, I accepted. :)  I am sooo excited about this and cannot wait to get started!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 440

I know this is kind of one of those "So why did you post?" situations.

I've completed a goal but until it's publicly announced I can't really say anything.

So stay tuned :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 436

Wow, we're able to cross off a goal... one that I was beginning to think would never come off.

65. Trevor and Darcy let a “stranger” come into our house, sans barking and jumping.
65. Trevor and Darcy let a “stranger” come into our house, sans barking and jumping.

We had my brother and my parents over for dinner since we were having pot roast for dinner.  (BTW, I thought I had perfection on Christmas, but it was even BETTER today).  Christian came over first and the dogs barked at him, but when my parents showed up a few minutes later, they didn't bark at all!  There was also no jumping at all at my dad.  They admittedly did jump at my mom, but she was holding dog treats.  That does not count.

"Stranger" was always in quotes because to my dogs, anyone who does not live in our home/does not come over at least once a week for months is a stranger.  They're pretty protective of our home.

On a not quite so bright note, my progress on 'book 7 weddings in a year' went back 2 weddings.  I booked Tori's and Tracy's weddings at the beginning of November 2010, so those have expired.  Oh well, I'll book more :)  And on a bright wedding note, Tori gets married on Friday, so I have a wedding coming right up!  So excited!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 424

So I've been really out of touch.  Sorry :(

Not too much is up right now as far as goals go.  We almost, ALMOST got a goal a week back... Amilyne came over and when we opened the door the dogs didn't make a peep.  Silence!  Then they ran over and started barking.  Sigh.  That and Amilyne barely counts as a stranger... I mean, she doesn't live here but the dogs know her pretty well.

I've been obsessing over nail polish lately... I bought 2 colors the other day and that brought my polish count to 20.  I'm actually pretty pumped about that, and I really don't have much space left in my medicine cabinet... maybe I'll have a bigger storage space for them once we get a house :)

Speaking of houses, John and I have started looking.  We went on our first tour last week.  The first house was clearly just a dry run our realtor wanted to take us through.  We'd mentioned liking the neighborhood, so she got us into an unoccupied home (for sale, not like we broke into it or anything).  It clearly wasn't one that we would intend to buy if for no other reason than the fact that we don't want a home with any less than 3 bedrooms, and this one had 2.  The house had a ton of potential: gorgeous cathedral ceilings, flawless hardwood floors on the first level, the cute, centrally located fireplace, the bay windows.  But then there was the fact that all the windows needed replacing, the carpet was vile, and the applicances appeared to be older than me.  If you're looking to invest in flipping a house though, I'd love to put you in contact with our relator lol.

The second house was in the same neighborhood.  Nice big yard (for a townhouse), gorgeous windows, tons of closet space.  But it was soooooo cramped.  Soooooooo cramped. And it seemed a bit dark.  The most disappointing thing for us was the aforementioned window.  There was one on the landing that was huge, had a lovely shape, looked like it would let in a ton of light... but it was completely blocked off.  The owners were using it as display space, so they'd put up curtains inside the window (it was kind of a bay window).  We really wanted to envision what it would look like if we were there, and we couldn't.

So both of these were nos, but I'm pretty excited to continue looking.  We're hoping to buy in March, keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 405

John and I just got back from Harrisonburg and have another goal to cross off of our list...

16. Visit Carlin in college
16. Visit Carlin in college

We had a great visit to JMU this weekend!  We got there at around noon yesterday and then went to the Dukettes' tailgate.  It was Octoberfest themed, yum.  We then went to watch Carlin dance at the game.  The Dukes lost in overtime, which sucked, but the Dukettes looked great :)  The one big downside to my parents' seats is that it's in the first row by the stairs, and people just walk right in front of the seats like there isn't another set of stairs RIGHT THERE for them to walk up that doesn't involve them stepping in front of people.  Seriously, we'd put up streamers as little barriers and people would walk right through them.  SO.  RUDE.

Anyway, after the game we went to Ruby Tuesday then back to Carlin's place.  She rents this really cute little townhouse and she has the entire bottom floor, so we stayed on a futon in what's basically her living room.  We watched The Nightmare Before Christmas before heading to bed.

In the morning we hit Panera for breakfast.  The Dukettes had a carwash, so John and I hit some wineries while Carlin was busy with that.  We went back to CrossKeys, which was awesome because 1. they have great wine and 2. there was a wedding there today, which got me all jazzed up for next month's weddings.  We also went to Bluestone Winery, which is new this year and pretty nice.  We liked it.  After we wrapped up there, we went back to campus and had our car washed, then went back to Carlin's place to watch some TV before heading back.  It was a great weekend, thanks for having us, Carlin :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 400

And the every 100 days post!  I'll be the first to admit these last 100 days really haven't been my best.  I only completed 2 goals... goal 76, I created a discount deal with another vendor, and goal 13, I went to yoga for 8 straight weeks.  My only excuse is that one of my goals took 8 straight weeks.  These last 100 days were further complicated by the fact that 2 of my goals that had to do with other people will never happen... I'm still deciding whether I'm just failing myself on these goals or I'm changing them.  I'm leaning towards failure due to the fact that the goal flat out said what I wanted... I mean, I wanted to help my BFF plan her wedding, she's not getting married anymore.  I wanted to get all four parents over for dinner at once... awkwardsauce.  But I don't know.

I'm looking towards the future now... John and I moved up our house buying schedule, so we might hit 5 digits in our savings in the next 100 days (goal 27).  I don't think the house will happen in the next one.  I'm visiting Carlin at school (goal 16) and I think one of my events is going to be an inter-chapter event (goal 81).  Goals are getting serious now... most of the easy ones are gone.

400 days down, 601 days to go.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 397

Happy October, everyone! 

Nothing really goal related to say, I just wanted to let everyone know I'm here, alive, and still working at things :)  Every 100 days post coming up shortly!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 389

Trumpets sounded, angels sang, and heralds announced the grand news: after a long drought, I completed another goal!

13. Go to yoga for 8 straight weeks
13. Go to yoga for 8 straight weeks

Today I finished my goal by doing the Solar Meditation, Forward Bends, Core and Savasana.  I've learned a few things in the last 8 weeks: all yoga is not created equal, yoga is better when you have enough room to move freely, yoga instructors are killer on your abs.

I probably won't be doing a lot more yoga until we're in a house for the aforementioned space reason.  Our TV is in our living room, and we have to re-arrange furniture to work out.  Even when we shift things, this room is not conducive to floor exercises.  I'm looking forward to having a room where I can move around in front of the TV.

I'm also very sad to announce that my Kindle, the hero of Goal 2, has broken.  The screen is totally messed up.  The somewhat fortunate news is that since this happened within a year of purchase, it will be replaced, but I'm still pretty sad about it.

In other news... Hail to the Redskins :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 380

Week 7 of 8 already for yoga!  I started this week a little later than normal because this weather sucks.  It's been playing hell on my knee, and I've been limping more in the last week than I have in like, the last 2 years.  Not amused.  Anyway, next week finishes up my yoga goal, which is great because I haven't crossed off anything in a while.

I'm also making arrangements to visit my sister at JMU next month, so there's another goal in the works!  I really can't wait to visit her and see her townhouse :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 371

Workout efforts continue!

Today I did both yoga and Zumba.  It's an experience.  First off, Zumba is a blast but it will take some getting used to.  I'm doing this with John, which will strongly encourage me to actually keep up with it.  I felt like I was going to pass out about 2/3 of the way through the first DVD though... we'll have to work at that. On the other hand, if I keep this up I'll have my flat abs back in no time.

I tried a new area in the 'yoga matrix' today as well (after Zumba).  This brings me to week 6 of 8.  I tried the solar meditation (more action based than the lunar), the Chakra Namaskar, and the Savasana (which you're always supposed to finish with).  The Chakra Namaskar was a lot harder than I thought it would be, so not really one I wanted to do right after Zumba.  It goes through almost all areas of the body.  I failed at it a bit.  Oh well.  Next time.

Yoga also makes me realize another reason I want a house... more space for my yoga mat.  Seriously, the way we have things laid out now does not make for good yoga spacing/DVD watching.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 366

I'm sitting here trying to distract myself from the last seconds of the Redskins game (YES WE JUST WON HAIL VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!) ok now I'm trying to calm myself down lol.  I got my yoga DVD in yesterday and did my first routine today.

I bought Shiva Rea Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow Yoga.  It's got 7 routines and the yoga matrix, which lets you mix and match routines/exercises.  I did the lunar warm up (more relaxation based), the core workout and the Savasana (rest pose).  Let me tell you, even though it was only 7 minutes on the core, it was an intense 7 minutes!  I'm feeling it!  The narrating is a touch cheesy, but that might be because I was listening to it in my living room instead of in a quiet/dim yoga studio.

So I really like this DVD and it will definitely become a part of my regular routine :)

By the way, just sending this out in case anyone is interested... if you buy online, Victoria's Secret has a 7 for $25.50 deal on select Pink panties... comes to $3.64/pair!  Just thought I'd share :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 365

Can you believe we're here already?  1 year ago today I published my list and prepared to launch my 101 things in 1001 days.  Since then, I've accomplished 30 of my goals, along with booking 5 of 7 weddings and going to 5 of 8 weeks of yoga.  I'm also pleased to say I've accomplished at least one goal in each category!

We're also in serious saving mode for a house and for vacation, so those are in the works.

I'm really excited to start year 2 of my list!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 363

Today began week 5 of yoga.  Well, sort of.  I started the first pose in class today and kind of got this little wave of nausea.  I had sit down... then lie down.  I'm normally an hour to 70 minutes into the class (90 minutes long) before I need to lie down.  After I while I couldn't take it any more, and I had to cut out early.  It probably didn't help that the guy next to me smelled pretty bad.  Oh well, I'll go back tomorrow and see how it goes.

Speaking of tomorrow, it will probably be my last Bikram class.  My Living Social deal expires tomorrow.  I bought a Vinyasa yoga DVD on Amazon, and I think I'll be finishing out my 8 weeks on there.  I just want to make it clear to anyone reading this that Bikram Yoga Fairfax is awesome.  The instructors are great, the facility is really nice, the location is super convenient... this type of yoga just isn't for me.  Though seriously, if you want to try Bikram, I strongly recommend Bikram Yoga Fairfax.

On another workout note, John and I just bought a set of Zumba DVDs, and plan to work on that together!  I'm pretty pumped :)

Aaaand Victoria's Secret had a 20% off swimwear deal, so I bought 3 new bikinis for Jamaica 2012.  So pumped!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 357

First order of business: we're ok after the earthquake.  Though I must say, a 5.9 earthquake experienced from the top floor of a 10 story building is something I NEVER want to experience again.

Today started week 4 of yoga.  I actually think it might be getting better... I'm handling the heat a little better, and I can stay up longer... I also know to sit down *before* I feel woozy, and if I know I feel badly after doing a pose, I skip it.

And BTW... John is feeling better :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 350

Yoga week 3 officially started today.  My ankle hurt from falling down the stairs on Saturday, my knee was just not doing wll today, and my lunch wasn't agreeing with me.  Despite all this, it was the best class I've had so far.  Since I wasn't feeling so hot, I didn't push myself at all so I didn't feel frustrated or upset at my inability to get through all the poses.  I've got to remember this for future classes.

In John news, he's still not feeling so hot.  I don't like this.  At all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 349

So today was supposed to start week 3 of yoga, but that's delayed until tomorrow for multiple reasons.  All health related.

Over the weekend we went to visit Newport News.  While walking down the stairs, my heel caught on a mat and I fell.  I got a bit of road rash on my knee (already gone), a nasty little scrap on my foot, and a big bang on my shin that turned purple IMMEDIATELY.  I haven't looked at it since (covered it with an H bandage) and I have not desire to.  I also pulled a few muscles, so I'm giving myself some time to recover.

But truth be told, I probably would have gone, just to see if the heat would help, if it weren't for John's health issue today.  He'd been feeling a little off in his abdomen, and went to the urgent care center today.  They then sent him off to the hospital, where he spent the whole afternoon.  I'm glad to say he neither has appendicitis or a kidney infection, but they aren't sure what he does have.  Just wonderful.

Aside from this, things are good... the NN trip was great, we saw all the people we wanted to see, and got to eat at the recently reopened Plaza Azteca.  Yum.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 343

Ok, this post is coming from my iPhone so forgive me if there are weird formatting or spelling issues!

I went to Bikram yoga again yesterday, and while it wasn't as bad as Sunday, it's still not so great. Don't get me wrong, it's an utterly fantastic workout and the instructors are great, but I think what the problem is is that I just feel frustrated by my inability to finish the class (even though they say at the beginning just staying in the room for the full 90 minutes is an accomplishment) due to the fact that I'm both hot as hell and having trouble breathing in certain poses. Hard to find inner peace when you're frustrated. Sigh. Well, I've still got 6 weeks left on this goal, maybe things will improve.

I've also started going through my closet and pulling clothes for charity, I expect this effort to continue for about a week or so. Donation 2, here I come!

Oh and I can't believe I forgot to post about this already! My brother dove in age-group nationals this past week. He got 7th on the 1 meter board, 5th on the 10 meter platform, and 2nd on the 3 meter board! But it gets better... his finishes qualified him for OLYMPIC TRIALS!!! Cory will be competing for a position on the United States Olympic team in June at the age of 18. I am so excited for him and proud of him!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 341

Week 2 of yoga started today, and I'm not going to lie, it kind of sucked.  Maybe it was because I didn't eat at all before I went, maybe it was because my sports bra was too tight, maybe I hadn't drank enough water before, but this class I could barely stay upright.  I spent most of the class lying down because it was all I could do to just stay in the room.  I hope it will work better tomorrow, but I'm pretty pleased that I stuck it out even though I just wanted to leave the room and never come back lol.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 340

It's been a sad day.  I'm not going to go into many details because this is not at all my story to tell.  My BFF called off her wedding today.  I just brought over booze and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, and we watched Sex and the City.

It's just a sad time.  They're both great people, but it didn't work out. :(

I'm only tying this into goals because it was one, but helping her book her vendors was goal 73, so I'm really not sure how I should indicate that the goal isn't happening anymore.  Awkward.

Love you, bestie.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 335

I went to my first Bikram Yoga class today!  OMG.  Considering how hot it's been outside lately I didn't really notice the heat at first (since I can take my class in a sports bra and shorts, but can't just tromp around in public like that).  Then it snuck up on me.  I have NEVER sweated that much in my life!  I managed to stay in the room the whole time, but I couldn't finish all the exercises.  That's my goal by the time the first month is done.  So one week down, seven to go!  I'm going back tomorrow, so hopefully it will be easier.

I still need to take clothes to the Salvation Army.  Normally I do it around my birthday when people give me clothes, but since I didn't get clothes this birthday (and therefore didn't need the hanger/drawer space old clothes were taking up) I haven't gotten off my butt to do it.  Sigh.  Soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 321

After an awesome lunch meeting, I have another goal completed...

76. Create a discount deal with another vendor
76. Create a discount deal with another vendor

I met with a lovely Zeta sister who's getting into the wedding business for lunch today.  We discussed getting into the business, some fun stories from weddings, exchanged cards, and worked out what discounts we can give each other.  Some of it will take a while to pan out (as in while we build our businesses) but we're doing what we can for now :)

And so... please check out my sorority sister Amanda's photography business, Amanda Truth Photography!

amandatruthphotography.wordpress.com

On a non-wedding note, I bought a Living Social deal for bikram yoga classes, which I'll be taking with Nikki and Ami.  Fun times!  Goal 13 is going down!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 313

I'm hard core pouting right now.  Yes, I'm aware of what a toddler that makes me sound like.  I contacted my September bride for her vendors since she's getting pretty close to her wedding date, and she told me that they'd massively downsized things and didn't need my services anymore :(  Sigh.  I'm not mad or anything, just disappointed.  This is why I'm now requiring deposits.  Guess I'm down to 5 out of 7 again.  I'll change it later, I'm just not up for it right now.

Pout. :-/

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 310

I brag because I care.

I might have a 2 birds-1 stone chance for my goals next year... visiting Cory in college and visiting the Texas relatives.  Why?

Because my little brother got offered an athletic scholarship to University of Texas!

I'm so proud of him!!  It's his top choice school, and the coach flew out from Texas to offer him the scholarship in person on July 1.  It's kind of a big deal.

:-D

In other news, this was a wonderful wedding weekend, and completely personal!  My ZTA little sister got married on Saturday!  John and I missed the last turn going to the church and that was enough to get us there literally as Jenn walked down the aisle.*  I was disappointed about that part, but they had a gorgeous ceremony and we had soooo much fun at the reception!  The DJ was great (I got his card) and John and I sat at a table with all the ZTAs, woohoo Zeta table!  I'm so happy for Jenn and Aaron, they are a fantastic couple.

On Sunday John and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary!  We agreed to exchange gifts "in the spirit" of traditional anniversary gifts.  For example, last year was our paper anniversary, so he framed a painting we got on our honeymoon and gave me an artificial replica of my bouquet (paper roses).  I gave him some nice new art supplies.  This year, he gave me Vera Bradley beach towels and an umbrella, and an Angry Bird, lol.  I gave him a black sweater (it's always freezing in his new office) and a canvas of one of our favorite wedding portraits.  See, in the spirit of cotton :)  We went out to dinner at L'Auberge Chez Francois, which is sooo good.  Soooo expensive but soooo good.

On a professional wedding note, I'm starting into the process of making a deal with another vendor... we're meeting to discuss later this month.  I'm not going to give too much away now in case it doesn't pan out, but I'll give a hint... what's better than a Zeta as a wedding vendor?  Two Zetas as wedding vendors! :)

*Just to show how you get tunnel vision the moment before you get married: I walked into the church vestibule as Jenn was about to walk down the aisle.  There was definite eye contact.  Fast forward to the reception:
Me: I'm so sorry we were late!  We missed that last turn and had to add about 5 trying to find a way to turn around.
Jenn: Oh no!
Me: Yeah, I felt so terrible showing up as you were walking down the aisle.
Jenn: You got there as I was walking down the aisle?
Me: We made eye contact...
Well, it's easy to get over guilt when no one noticed lol.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 304

Happy birthday, Infinite Joy Weddings!  One year ago today, Rachel and Ian married in an outdoor ceremony at the Atrium at Meadowlark.  Theirs was my first wedding as a coordinator.  I’ve always been really grateful to them.  As a bride, I found that it was one thing to work with a *relatively* new vendor.  The great thing about those vendors was that while they had some experience, their portfolios were a little thin, so I could get a great deal early on.  It was another thing entirely to even consider working with someone who had no experience at all, especially if this was someone who would be in the thick of things on your wedding day.  But even though I had no real day of coordination experience of which to speak, they gave me a chance and I’ve been able to get things moving because of it.

Since that day, I’ve done 4 weddings on my own, 12 if you include the ones Kristi so graciously let me help her with.  I’m incredibly grateful to her as well, because let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to hire someone who has a wedding planning internship under her belt and a few solo weddings than someone who has only done this 3-4 times.  Working with her has both taught me a lot about being a coordinator and boosted my confidence so that I can make a strong case to the client as to why they should hire me.

I now have 4 weddings pending, and I’m confident that this coming year will be even better for Infinite Joy Weddings that the last one. So happy birthday Infinite Joy Weddings… here’s to many, many more years!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 302 - Update

I booked the wedding :)  Ok, technically it's on hold since I don't have the signed contract yet but that's beside the point.  This one is really exciting for me for a few reasons:

1. This is my first bride who I got with NO referrals.  Not a friend of a friend, not "oh I know someone..." She was doing a google search, came across my name, and started looking me up.  Thank you, Infinite Joy Weddings Blog, for showing up in google searches :)

2. I'll be doing back to back weddings in Norfolk!  The google search was for wedding coordinators and her venue.  I'll be doing a wedding there for a sorority sister the weekend before her wedding.  So yay for establishing myself in Hampton Roads!

3. I'm now only ONE wedding away from my goal!  6/7!

Day 302

I have an interview for another wedding tonight... I don't want to go into to many details right now, but keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 300

Every hundreth-day post, back again!

I fell a touch behind, but I still finished 8 goals in the last hundred days.

Goal 7, I made a scrapbook.  Goal 39, I completely cleaned the walk-in closet.  Goal 28, we maxed out our 401K contributions.  Goal 83, I really got to know 3 of my sisters.  Goal 32, we turned profits on both of our Roth IRAs.  Goal 94, I sang at a crowed karaoke bar.  Goal 87, I stayed at a VA B&B.  Goal 4, I visited 3 wineries that weren't in the Northern VA or Shenandoah regions.

This puts me at 29 goals finished so far!  Not too shabby.  I've also made more progress on the wedding front... I booked 2 weddings in the last hundred days.

For the next hundred days, I'm hoping to keep the apartment clean (goal 38 and yeah, yeah you've heard that one before).  I might be going to the mountains with Pappy (goal 3, and we've actually discussed it a little).  I'll try to make it to volunteer for an animal rescue (goal 9) and work on the crate with T&D (goal 67).  As for the rest... we'll see.  I'm still feeling really good about this, though I'm starting to see a few goals that aren't as important to me know as they were almost a year ago.  Ah, well.

300 days down, 701 to go.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 297

I am back from my mini-vacation!  My wonderful husband spoiled me rotten for my 25th birthday.  I got a pair of lovely hoop earrings, an iPhone, 3 pairs of shoes (LOVE!!!) and a trip to a bed and breakfast!  So that crosses off another goal...


87. Stay at a VA B&B.
87. Stay at a VA B&B.


The Mark Addy Inn in Nellysford, VA was adorable.  We stayed in the Mimosa room, which had a kind of Oriental theme.  The breakfast was INCREDIBLE, and there were inn pets!  Colby, the floofy little black dog, visited us at breakfast, and Tiger, the cat, graced us with a room visit.


We also visited 5, count 'em, 5 vineyards!  And since Nellysford is in the Montecello region...


4. Visit 3 VA wineries that aren’t in the Northern VA/Shenandoah region.
4. Visit 3 VA wineries that aren’t in the Northern VA/Shenandoah region.


We hit Veritas, Cardinal Pointe, Wintergreen, Hilltop Berry and Afton Mountain.  We bought way too much wine, but we had an amazing time.


While we were there, the dogs stayed at Doggy Daycare.  They got a good report, and they seem to be very happy.  Very tired, but very happy.


Best birthday ever.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 292

I just booked another wedding :)  5 of 7, hooray!!  I'll be doing a sorority sister's wedding in October of 2012, and I'm really pumped about it.  This is also the first time I've worked at a location more than once, so that's exciting, too (her wedding is at the same location as the first wedding I ever did).

I went to my little's bridal shower and bachelorette party last night.  It was a lot of fun, but 1. there are so creepy dudes out there and 2. I'm never wearing heels out if I'm going to be standing most of the time again.  OUCH.  Either way, it was a good time out with my little, I love her :)

And Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially mine :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 284

It took a while for me to figure out what day I was on.  I suppose that's not a good sign for how well I've been blogging :)

The last few weeks have been more about getting back to where we were and planning then moving ahead, I suppose.  John got paid for the first time, and while his paychecks are significantly better than before, we're currently recovering from the short check/no check period while he was laid off.  Let me tell you though, that $500 bubble was a lifesaver.

We've also started talking very seriously about the vacation we plan to take next summer.  Like our trip to Cancun, I've been saving in small amounts every check and will continue to save into next year.  We really want to go back to Jamaica, and I've realized it will kill my goal to go to Puerto Rico.  I'm perfectly ok with that.  I think I wanted to go because well, it's a US territory (every time you look at travel sites there's the big "No passport necessary!!" note next to it) and I felt like it would be less expensive, so I should... I was kind of wrong haha.  I can't say for sure that I won't finish this goal in the next 2 years, but I'm not optimistic, and that's ok.

I had jury duty on Monday.  Actually, I got summoned for jury duty.  I didn't serve.  In fact, I didn't even get called up.  I just sat there for hours waiting to see if they'd call my name until they eventually just sent my group home.

I'm also now starting to count down the days till our B&B stay/my 25th birthday... it's right around the corner!  So excited!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 272

Ok.  I don't have any new goals to cross off, but I've at least had an interesting 2 weeks filled with progress :)

-Went to a wedding last Friday (5/20) like a normal person!  The bride and groom were a family friends who attended John's and my wedding, so it was really fun to go to a wedding with my whole family.  The venue was great... I sort of knew the people from professional circles (they remembered me!) and so I was really glad to go to an event at their location.  It was so pretty, overlooking the Occoquan!  And BTW if anyone's planning a wedding... they did just beer and wine at the bar and I didn't even notice until I thought about it later.

-I worked a wedding on Friday (5/27).  It went really well.  It was very sweet and emotional, beautiful wedding, beautiful couple.  The really cool thing for me about this wedding was finding out that the father of the bride used to be a professor at CNU, way back when it was still Christopher Newport College.

-Since John started his new job, we've been discussing our savings.  We're drastically upping what we're putting away each paycheck, so that we're in a better position to start trying to have a baby next summer and to buy a house next fall.  We also divide our money up so that we each have a small checking account, and I've been putting half of my personal money each check into savings so we can go back to Jamaica next summer (Puerto Rico's  probably out, sorry goal 88) and John's decided to match my contributions so we can have an amazingly awesome return trip to Couples Negril!

-We've booked a B&B trip for my 25th birthday... that's one goal we'll cross off in June :)

-I saw Bridesmaids last night with John and my MIL.  It was hilarious, definitely see it!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 256

Terrible blogger?  I'd say so.

But I return with a concilatory gift... a completed goal.

94. Sing at a crowded Karaoke bar
94. Sing at a crowded Karaoke bar

I just came back from celebrating my brother Christian's 22nd birthday, in which he went to a bar with Karaoke.  I sang three songs: Under Pressure (sung with Christian, I sang Freddie Mercury's part, quite badly), Don't Fear the Reaper (better than Under Pressure) and Girls Just Want to Have Fun (which was quite awesome, I must say).  Even John joined in on the fun, singing 500 Miles by the Proclaimers.

My throat is sore and I'm coughing a lot, but I had a great time and I'm glad to cross off my first goal in May!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 248

Finally, I can reveal the News That Isn't Mine!!

Drumroll please...

John's accepted a job offer, and he starts 5/16!!!  We're so excited!!  He's getting a 17% raise, infinitely better benefits, and still has a decent commute!

Why it took so long to post this: He received 3 job offers.  When I originally referenced the really great news, he'd just gotten offer 1.  The next day he got laid off, effective immediately.  Then he had another interview that evening, and one on Tuesday.  He got the other two offers 2 days ago, and then finally decided where he was going.

We're incredibly excited about this.  To tie it into goals, he now has a 100% 401K match up to 6%, which he plans to utilize immediately.  I'm holding to my original complete date on that, haha.

So hooray for new adventures and opportunities :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 244

Hello hello!  Another month, another chance to get some goals completed :)

I think this month I'll focus on getting Infinite Joy Weddings some advertising (no one has visted my site in over a week, sadness) and maybe volunteer at an animal rescue.  Also, if my brother does karoke for his birthday, as he's mentioned possibly doing, I'm so in.

On a non-goal related topic, it was an extremely pleasant morning surprise to wake up and see that the bad guy of my entire teenage/adult life finally got what was coming to him.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.  It's about time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 241

So I can't share the News That Isn't Mine (NTIM) yet, but it's coming, I promise.

On a brighter note, I booked the wedding!  4/7!!  *Happy dance*

I totally woke up early for the royal wedding today.  William and Catherine (AKA the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!) were absolutely adorable.  I thought I'd tally my likes and dislikes:

Likes/Loves:

Catherine's dress.  Both first and second.  The first was gorgeous and timeless... it reminded me of Princess Grace. The second was fun, and I adored the angora shrug.
Pippa's dress.  Mostly just the first. Sexy but still demure.
Mama Middleton's dress.  It was such a nice change from some of the awful mother of the bride dresses you see.  And for that matter, I'll add Camilla's dress to this.
Grace Van Cutsem.
The getaway car.
The trees in the Abbey!

Dislikes:
Princess Beatrice's hat.  W.T.F.
The flowers. I thought they were a bit... dinky.

I'll look forward to seeing more details as they come out :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 239

POST 100!!!!!!!!!  Thank you everyone who reads my blog for reading, thereby encouraging me to not lazily give up on my goals :-)

So my bride interview is tomorrow.  I'm so pumped, I really think I'll do well.

And Lent was a big fail.  My apartment is a mess and I still rubbed at my eyebrows... but I avoided plucking them, and they actually look better than they have in quite some time.  So I guess that's something.

Easter was spent at my parents' house, almost the entire day.  Normally we do pancakes with my parents and then dinner at my grandmother's house, but since she had surgery recently, that was out.  Both Easter breakfast and dinner were at my parents' place, and we went to Mass in between.  As all Catholics know, Christmas Vigil is one thing, Easter Vigil is a whole other beast.  I avoid that Mass at almost all costs... it's soooo long.  We always try to go Easter Day.  St. Bernadette's at 1:00 was surprisingly un-packed... we were able to find both parking and seats only 15 minutes before Mass (which is kind of a huge deal).

I also got reallyreallyreally great news today... I can't share it yet (it's not my news) but I think I can share it Friday, so stay tuned for the results of my bride meeting and the secret great news!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 235

The call I mentioned with the potential client in my last post went really well!  I'm meeting her for a dinner meeting at Panera on Thursday to discuss details in person, but I'm really optimistic about this!  I'm confident that it will go well.

In other news, on this day 6 years ago, Christopher Newport University Colony of Zeta Tau Alpha was installed as Kappa Phi Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha, the 235th link.  Which makes it pretty cool that the anniversary falls on day 235 :)  Happy 6th birthday, Kappa Phi!  I'm so proud of what this chapter has accomplished.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 231

I got an inquiry for an event Memorial Day weekend... wish me luck!  I've sent an email back to the bride about a time to talk about her event... I really hope it goes well!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 229

*Pokes head into blog*

Hi everyone, sorry I've been such a bad blogger this week!  I don't really have any excuses.

Quick week in review: On Tuesday, I visited my grandmother in the hospital after her surgery on her lung.  She's doing great! Wednesday and Friday I cheered on the Caps from the comfort of my couch.  Yesterday we went out to Miracle Valley again to do a vertical Merlot tasting, and this older couple took us to show us their 200 year old house.  It was actually kind of cool.

Today I'm off to a bridal shower, and I'm currently watching Darcy chase her tail.  Precious.

Nothing new on the goal front, I just wanted to let everyone know I haven't forgotten about my blog, haha.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 222

A wonderful weekend capped off with a completed goal!

32. Turn a profit on our Roth
32. Turn a profit on our Roth

I realized I wrote this wrong in my original list, we have 2 Roth IRAs.  But the quarterly statement came in today, and his has a profit of $6.39 and mine has a profit of $3.86!  Small profits, yes, but profits nonetheless.

As I said, this capped off a great weekend.  For starters, the government didn't shut down (woohoo!).  On Saturday, John and I took a little wine tour, hitting Fox Meadows, Chateau O'Brien and Miracle Valley.  I love the Fox Meadow wine tasting (they pair it with food, it's incredible).  Chateau O'Brien has the most gorgeous tasting room I've ever seen, and Miracle Valley's wine is delicious and the place just has such a friendly, home-y feel to it.  It was a good day.  We then went out to dinner at Ozzie's.  Chicken Marsala, yum.

Today we took the pups out to the dog park.  They dealt with their car harnesses for the first time... Darcy was ok with it, Trevor twisted himself with the seatbelt, poor baby.  It was better on the way back when we switched him to the other seat.  Anyway, they had a good run in both the large and small dog parks, and everything was great except the furry black and yellow spider that showed up on my shoulder TWICE!!  Augh!

The pups had a bath when we got home, and now it's just time to quietly wind down our weekend!  Oooh and we just discovered the $150 worth of dog medicine we almost gave up for lost!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 219

Following up from yesterday:

The entire agency received an email from the director, informing us that since we were funded on a multi-year plan, we're good to go for six business days after a government shutdown before we have to revert to emergency personnel only.  Which, my project manager confirmed, means I have work for at least another week!

I really hope Congress passes a budget tomorrow... the Cherry Blossom Parade is cancelled if they don't. :(

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 218

I was super excited to see this post on Style Me Pretty because I'll be doing a sister's wedding at that same venue in November!  So pumped!

Seeing it made me feel pretty good about myself, since I'm working at that venue lol.

In other news, I'm looking at places to go for my 25th birthday.  John and I will probably do a long weekend the weekend before my birthday, since my birthday is a Wednesday, which is just an inconvenient day for anything.  I've seen a few places I've liked in NY, and a handful of VA B&Bs, but nothing has stuck.  I was thinking FL for a bit, but then I saw how expensive travel was, so that's out.  IDK.

I'm also waiting with bated breath to hear back from the people in charge of my contract at work to figure out what is going on with Monday.  As you probably already know, chances are rather high that the government will shut down when funding runs out on Friday.  As you might also already know, I'm a contractor who works on a government site.  So here's where things get confusing: if Congress doesn't agree on a budget, all non-essential government employees can't come into work until it's worked out.  But I am not a government employee.  Our contract is already funded.  So... do they want us to just come in and work with the essential personnel?  If not, can we take vacation time for this?  Or is it just leave without pay?  How do we know when to come back, since remotely accessing our work email is a fireable offense? (Yes, seriously).

I look forward to these answers.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 215

Just to summarize from my last post: 401K yes, baby no.

So VA Zeta day was today.  I had a great time!  I went to Richmond last night with 2 of my sisters and met up with a few more.  We went out drinking, had dinner at Plaza... it was a ton of fun.  I finally feel like I have real friends in the alumnae chapter, so I'm crossing this one off too...

83. Really get to know 3 sisters
83. Really get to know 3 sisters

I think that's my first Zeta goal that I've crossed off!

I'm also really excited to learn that ZTA is coming to VCU!!  It's the first new chapter in VA since my own, so I'm really pumped about that!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 213

I’m starting April out strong, by crossing off a goal… and so, so so excited about which one!

20. Make a baby!
20. Make a baby!
I’m pregnant!  We just found out... I'm 5 weeks along, due in December!  We’re so excited about this new addition.  John is going to be such a great dad... I’m already dreaming about names, and furniture, and a new home… so pumped.

On a much, much more mundane note, I should probably mention that I finished another goal:

28. Max out our 401K contributions
28. Max out our 401K contributions
As today is the start of the second quarter at work, I’m now contributing the highest amount my company will match to my 401K (they’ll match 50% of your contributions up to 6%, in case you were wondering).  John’s been contributing the highest amount his company matches… which is zero.  No comment.

Oh and one more thing…

APRIL FOOL!!!!!!

Seriously though, I’m not pregnant, but everything about my 401K is true.  If/when I announce a pregnancy on this blog, it won’t be on April Fool’s Day.

Did I have you going, though? ;-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 211

This weather sucks.  It was actually hailing on my drive home!  Hail!  April is only 2 days away!

So to distract myself from that, I'll think about happy goal related news: Nikki moved her wedding up, so vendor selection is coming much sooner :)

And the Knot called me the other day asking me to advertise.  It's really expensive so I probably won't right now, but if they found me, other people can too!  Or at least I keep telling myself that.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 207

So I've been a bad blogger this month :(  I'm sorry.

It's hard to get motivated about much of anything in March, I think.  The weather drives you nuts and makes you sick (this up down up down thing is NOT cutting it for me).  Last weekend (technically winter!) it was 70, and this weekend (technically spring) it's supposed to snow.  DISLIKE.

My apartment is messy.  Again.  Sigh.

I need warm weather.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 201

Happy Spring!!!  I love saying good-bye to winter :)

Today was a good day on the goal front!

7. Make a scrapbook
7. Make a scrapbook

and!

39. Completely clean the walk-in closet
39. Completely clean the walk-in closet

Thanks to the Groupon, I went to Shutterfly and made a photobook of our honeymoon.  I don't really have a lot of stuff from the honeymoon, but I wanted to make an album.  It's perfect!  I also cleaned out the closet... completely!  I've been working on it for a while, organizing things and cleaning, and today you can actually see the freshly vacuumed carpet.  It's so nice.

I'm really happy to get 2 out of the way today... I hadn't finished any in March so far :/

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 200

Here we go, the every-hundreth-day post!

The last hundred days were extremely productive.  I finished 16 goals!  Goal 2, I read 3 books in under 3 months.  Goal 8, I complimented 10 strangers.  Goal 15, I hosted a holiday.  Goal 21, I truly surprised John.  Goal 25, I held a $500 safety bubble in my bank account for 2 months.  Goal 26, I saved 4 digits in my savings account.  Goal 42, I kept fresh flowers in my home for a month.  Goal 46, I made a perfect pot roast.  Goal 51, I made a perfect Jack and Coke.  Goal 56, I mailed Christmas cards before Christmas.  Goal 57, I cleaned the kitchen without John saying anything.  Goal 62, Trevor learned how to shake hands.  Goal 64, Trevor and Darcy lay down quietly through dinner, no begging.  Goal 68, I launched infinitejoyweddings.com.  Goal 84, I went to Mexico.  Goal 101, my chiropractic treatment has fixed me!

I am incredibly pleased with how well this is going.  At day 200, I've completed 21 goals, which puts me exactly on target with where I wanted to be.  In fact, it puts me a little bit ahead.  I am so proud of Trevor's paw-shaking progress (he was so scared of having his paws touched before).  I'm incredibly pleased with my pot roast.  My savings have saved my butt lately, and they'll be really helpful as we save for a house and a baby.  And infinitejoyweddings.com is looking really good.

I also think that I made really good progress from my stated goals on Day 100.  While I didn't keep my apartment clean for a month (working on it!) or invite my grandparents over to talk about their parents (goals 5, 19, 22 and 23) or start advertising Infinite Joy Weddings (goal 69) I did complete all the other goals I had listed and then some.

So looking forward to the next 100 days!  I'm going to get my scrapbook done (goal 7).  Since it's getting warmer, I'll give an afternoon to an animal rescue (goal 9).  I'm also planning to try the grandparents complete circuit (5, 19, 22, 23).  April will bring a maxing of my 401K (goal 28) and maybe a profit on our Roths (goal 32).  Maybe spring cleaning will be kind to us and allow for a cleaning of the closet, a cleaning of all the random papers, and a clean apartment for a month (39, 43, 38).  I plan to get to know 3 of my sisters (goal 83) and advertise Infinite Joy Weddings (goal 69).  I'll also either go to New York and visit Auntie and Uncle Henri or go to a VA B&B (goal 86 or 87) since my birthday is in the next 100 days.

I'm pretty pumped.  200 days down, 801 to go.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 199

I just wanted to post a plug for a charity dear to my heart.

IMPS (Internet Miniature Pinscher Service) is currently running an adoption special to place older dogs.  For a limited time, not only is the adoption fee waived for any dog over the age of 10, they'll pay 50% of their routine medical bills for the rest of their lives.  Min Pins have a life span of about 17 years.  So if you're looking for a fantastic dog, please check out this site:

http://www.minpinrescue.org/seniors.html

Thanks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 198

So now that I have the photobook Groupon, I've decided to make a scrapbook of our honeymoon.  We always meant to do something with those pictures and we never did.  But I want to put all those pictures into one gorgeous, funny book... and how could you not with a picture like this?


Scrapbook first, return to Jamaica next :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 196

Five points today.

1. I got into a car accident on the way to work today.  Wonderful.  It appears that it's just little scratches though on both ends.  Blah.

2.  It's my 1 year anniversary with my company!  Hooray!

3. In honor of my 1 year, I submitted to maximize my 401K contributions.  This is made easier by my raise, which went into effect yesterday.

4.  I just bought a groupon for a Snapfish scrapbook.  We'll have another one scratched off soon!

5.  My TV appearance was yesterday!  I showed up at the WETA studio at 7:30, where they took us back for training.  We went through our script, and then went into the live TV studio at 8:10.  There were 2 hosts, who mostly just interacted with one another.  Even though there were 4 cameras I barely noticed them... the cameramen were pretty good about only putting the camera on you when you were taking a pledge and were too engrossed in that to notice.  I watched after on DVR, I didn't look weird or awkward, awesome!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 194

So following up on the hinted at "pretty darned cool news" from yesterday...

DC Area readers, have you ever thought to yourself, "Catherine would be pretty awesome on TV"?  Wait, don't answer that.  Anyway, if for some reason the answer to that was yes, your dreams are coming true!

WETA is holding their annual pledge drive tomorrow, Monday, 3/14 from 8-9 PM and I'll be answering phones!  So watch for the blonde in ZTA letters (I got the opportunity from my alumnae chapter, so I'm wearing letters to represent!)

So remember: WETA (Channel 26). 8-9 PM. Monday, 3/14. Support public television :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 193

Wow, I've been lazy so far this month on my goals.

I'm working on advertising for Infinite Joy Weddings, but it's going in a different direction than I originally planned.  Not that it's bad, just different.  I'd originally planned to post more Craigs List ads and such, but I've actually entered into a silent auction and a ZTA vendor show, and I've got another silent auction lined up.  I'm hoping that this more turns into a word of mouth/philanthropic thing, because right now all of my advertising is related to charity.  I really like that.  It might take longer to set up than I originally planned, but I'm ok with that.

I saw the slate for next year's Zeta officers, and I'm holding onto my committee chair position.  So I'm not scratching off the elected officer goal this year.  And you know what?  I'm actually pretty happy about it.  I like where I am right now, and I don't need to be in a bigger, more important position.  I'll keep planning the wine tastings and happy hours and leave the paperwork alone this year :)

Also, my apartment is still relatively clean.  I'll take it.

And... stay tuned to the blog for pretty darned cool news, probably tomorrow :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 190

Oh, Lent.

I'm fasting today and I'm cranky.  I'm also using Lent as an excuse to knock off my bad habits of messiness and picking at my eyebrows... the eyebrow thing is going rather poorly so far.

We cleaned the apartment yesterday since my sister Carlin was coming over.  I made Swedish meatballs and spinach salad... yum.  So our apartment is clean and if my Lenten sacrifice of messiness works out I might have a clean apartment for a month.  Yeah, I know you've heard that one before.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 187

John and I had a date night last night!  It was really nice.  We had gift cards to Royal Theaters, and so we decided to see the King's Speech.  We had to drive like, 25 miles to see it though, since the one less than a mile from our apartment isn't showing it anymore (grrr).  So we got there and the 7:00 sold out just as we got to the ticket window... grr.

So we had dinner while we waited for the 9:50 showing.  Best crab ragoon I've ever had.  We were at the restaurant for like, 2.5 hours, then were able to get into the theater early enough to get great seats.

The movie was fantastic... I see why it got Best Picture.  I love British humor.

Now I just have to compose a date night in to fufill a goal :)

By the way, speaking of goals... Check out my ads!

Wedding party planning

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 183

My shoes came in!  I love them just as much as I thought I would.  The Mary Janes make me look soooo tall, and the blue strap is so cute.  And the black pumps have... get this... reflective bottoms!  Yeah, I can see myself on the bottom of my shoe.  I know that will end the moment I wear them outside, but I'm revelling in it for now.

I got a manicure today from a Living Social deal... there's nothing that makes you feel quite as nice as a good manicure.  It's a nice clean pampered feeling :)

Back to goals tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 182

It's March!  Which means I've been doing this list/blog for 6 months now... I'm just going to pause to pat myself on the back :)

*Pat pat*

Ok!  Looking forward.  This month I'm going to try to get my advertising campaign for Infinite Joy Weddings underway, and maybe do some massive spring cleaning... we'll see!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 181

Finishing February strong with one last goal!  I've had fresh flowers in our home since January 28 which means...

42. Keep fresh flowers in our home for a month
42. Keep fresh flowers in our home for a month

The lovely bouquet John gave me for V-Day is still going strong.  Some of the carnations have wilted, but the roses and lilies still look great!  Now off to rest... I've had a head/neck ache all day :(

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 180

While I'm not loving this up-down-up-down temperature thing, I am loving random warm days on weekends.  John and I have been able to take Trevor and Darcy to the dog park for the last 2 weekends in a row! 

We have a favorite park.  Fairfax County has public dog parks, and we love taking them to the one in Chantilly.  It's pretty close to our place, it's huge, it's well maintained (well, last week was pretty bad, but it was the first warm day in months), and it has a small dog area.  Today went really, really well.  Normally we don't spend a lot of time in the small dog area because there aren't a lot of dogs in it.  On top of that, the dogs that are normally there are either A. Really tiny puppies or B. 5-10 lb. dogs.  While Trevor, at 21 lbs, and Darcy, at 15 lbs, both are able to go in there (the limit is 25 lbs) we prefer to take them into the general park.

Today, however, Darcy kept whining at the fence towards the small dogs, so we took her over, then brought Trevor over to join.  Darcy had the time of her life.  Normally she runs around a little at the park then hangs out around our ankles, alternately playing with and growling at the bigger dogs.  This time she was running around, playing, chasing, and having a great time.  She completely ignored the fact that we were petting and playing with other dogs, which is a pretty big deal for her.  And the best part was, once we came over with our dogs, there were 5 dogs in the small dog area, so all the incoming small dog owners brought their dogs in, too.  At one point there were 13 small dogs!

I'm hoping we have more weekends like this one... I love seeing my pups that happy, and when they're worn out they're soooo well behaved :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 176

Another one bites the dust!


8. Compliment 10 strangers.
8. Compliment 10 strangers.


Two for the price of one here... I only had 1 compliment left, but I got one lady on her cute black peeptoe shoes and another on her purple cowl-neck top :)


Have you ever read The 5 Love Languages?  If you're in a relationship and haven't, you need to.  Like, yesterday.  My language is Words of Affirmation.  I can live a week on a compliment.  Sometimes, I'll be having a rough day, and someone will tell me I have cute shoes, and my whole day will perk up.  I can only hope that I helped those people by telling them they looked good, or yes, their dog is a sweet well-behaved beastie.


BTW speaking of shoes... hubby's getting a bonus and he bought me SHOES!!  I was lamenting the fact that we didn't have money and there was a big sale on cute shoes at DSW... then he told me he was getting a bonus and I could get 2 pairs of the $30 sale shoes!!!


<em>Two Lips Aria Pump</em>  Source


AND


<em>Two Lips Trust Fund Black Pump</em> Source


I love him.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 175

Six years ago, pretty much at this exact time, I said a prayer that changed my life.

I was a freshman in college.  Let's be blunt -- the start of my second semester wasn't just bad, it was awful.  A friend of mine (admittedly a somewhat loose term, we more went in the same circle) died extremely unexpectedly of natural causes.  I saw her in the hospital about 2 hours before she died... the sight still haunts me to this day.  Then I went through formal recruitment and got cut by all chapters... so to summarize, we have a traumatized, rejected teenager.  I was also starting to realize that my friendships at CNU weren't as solid as I had thought.  Not a good combination.

I knew that a new sorority was coming to campus, but after my less-than-stellar experience with formal recruitment, I wasn't sure I wanted to go through another recruitment process.  My mom encouraged me to go, saying that she didn't want me to be bitter about all of it later.  So I did.  I went through Zeta's recruitment process, and February 22, 2005 was the last open day of recruitment.  At the end of the philanthropy party, we were told by one of the TLC's that we'd get an email the next morning if we were invited back to Preference the next day.

So as I walked out of the Student Center (which no longer exists), I just looked up and offered up one of the most blunt and open prayers I'd ever said.

"Show me where you want me to be.  Because I don't know.  If you want me to be here, show me."

I woke up the next morning and had an email inviting me to Preference.
That night I got my bid.
Seven weeks later I met the cute boy who worked at Regatta's, who I'd been eyeing all semester.
Two months from the day I said my prayer, I was initiated into the Kappa Phi Colony of Zeta Tau Alpha.
Two weeks after my initiation, I started dating the cute boy from Regatta's, who went on to become my husband.

All this spanned less than 3 months.  Matthew 7:7 - "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

To summarize... it's been six years since the first day of the rest of my life. <3

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 172

So I posted an ad on Craigs List for Infinite Joy Weddings.  So far I've gotten like, 15 emails!  Too bad EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is spam.  Ugh.

On a brighter note, I updated all my business literature (contracts, packages, etc) and I'm pretty happy with them.  I also definitively figured out my pricing (which has been up in the air since I started the business) and I'm thinking of better ways to get my name out there.  Granted, if this Craigs List thing leads to even one booking it will be worth it, but in the mean time, it's annoying.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 169

I'm not feeling so hot today.  Blah.  I decided to come home instead of going to the Zeta meeting, and I'm pretty disappointed about that :(

On the other hand, while talking to a stranger on the elevator today I mentioned how cute her boots were... 9/10!  Got a nice compliment on my boots in return :)

I figured out what my next big step is for Infinite Joy Weddings... editing my contract and packages.  Before I start working with people I really don't know (as in, not a friend of a friend) I need to have my ducks in a row.  So I'm printing out my packages and my contracts, writing stuff in, stratching stuff out, and clarifying as necessary.  This whole thing is actually kind of terrifying.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 168

So as I mentioned yesterday, I got infinitejoyweddings.com up and running!  And, as I mentioned earlier in the day, I wasn't sure this was going to happen.  Truthfully, it was all because of John.  And yes, this is now 3 posts in a row that talk about how awesome he is.  John went home at lunch (which he does every day, he has a short commute, lucky duck) and uploaded all the images I needed for my webpage, then edited them at work.  He figured out what the ongoing red x issue was all about (apparently our computer was taking 'maximum quality' to an extreme and nothing could load it).  Then he fixed it, uploaded the logo to proper proportions in the header, and put the pictures in my account photo album.  Then I was able to log in and arrange/size the pictures as desired.  I finished all this literally 2 minutes before I needed to leave work to go to my chiropractor appointment, and then announced the webpage on Facebook at 6:00.  Thank you, internet accessable phone!

The most exciting part about all of this is my new work email.  I always found company specific email addresses to look so much more professional, so you can imagine how thrilled I am that you can now email me at catherine@infinitejoyweddings.com! 

The Verizon guy finally showed up at like, 6:15 PM, and had our internet fixed around 7:15.  I will raise holy hell with Verizon if we get charged for phone and internet for the 5 days it was down.  Either way, I am really relieved that's over, and now I can move on to my next decision... do I want to start advertising first, or buy new business cards?  Decisions, decisions!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 167 - Update

The internet is fixed so...

68. Launch Infinite Joy Weddings webpage.
68. Launch Infinite Joy Weddings webpage.

I am proud to present... infinitejoyweddings.com

I'm really excited about it, and sooo grateful to John, who worked on the logo at his office so I'd be able to launch at 6:00 PM.  Now I'm off to enjoy Valentines Day with my Valentine :)

Day 167

Happy Valentines Day!!  This weekend was a mix of good and bad.

The good:

-My amazing husband!  He got me a beautiful bouquet of roses and carnations for Valentines Day, and we went out to dinner at Melting Pot.  It was soooo good.  We split a bottle of Chardonnay, and had the cheddar fondue, then cooked our meat/shrimp in the Mojo cooking style, and finished with the Disaronno chocolate fondue for dessert.  So amazing.

-More good from my husband: he cleaned.  I don't know how I'd even exist without him.

-More good from our nice dinner: Waitress in a cute dress = another opportunity to compliment a stranger. 8/10!

-My cell phone, which has access to the internet.  Which leads us into...

The bad:

-Our internet went out Thursday.  John tried to fiddle with the router, nothing happened.  We didn't worry too much about it, and called Verizon on Friday.  Since our phone line was also down, they assumed that we were part of a regional blackout, and that our internet would be back up soon.  Haha. Yeah.  Sunday I called again, since our internet was still down.  Regional blackout was over, so they decided to send someone out, and told me it would be today (Monday).  So we leave for dinner on Sunday, and halfway to Melting Pot I get a call from the technician, who is at our apartment.  SERIOUSLY??  I told him we weren't expecting a tech until Monday, we're really sorry about not being there.  He tells me that he can't believe they told me Monday, the order he got says 'be there by 9:00 today.'  Um, the dispatcher told me by noon tomorrow.  So now they're *trying* to get us in today. Gaaaaaaaaah.

-This leads to an upsetting twist in the website.  I'd really hoped to work on it this weekend, and have it launched at 9:00 this morning.  Since our internet was out, no such luck, the page isn't ready.  I mean, I could announce it as is, but I'm not thrilled with it, and if I'm not thrilled with it, I don't want to show it off as a representation of my business.  So I'm hoping to get it launched this evening, but I'm not hopeful.

-Darcy destroyed more stuff.  Sigh.

I can only hope that Feb. part 2 will be better than Feb. part 1.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 164

It's amazing what spending time with sisters can do for your mood.  Getting out of the apartment and seeing people made me feel like, a million times better.  I had an exec board meeting with the Zeta alumnae chapter last night, and had a really great time just talking and laughing with my sisters after the meeting.  I'm pretty excited for car-pooling and hotel-sharing in Richmond for Zeta Day (BTW Zeta sisters who read this blog... will I see you there?).

I'm donating a free day-of coordination package for a silent auction for a sister's charity work.  I'm hoping it will yield some portfolio fodder, and maybe even generate some interest in my company.  Fingers crossed.  If someone buys the package, it definitely counts towards the booked weddings goal, even though the money doesn't come to me :)

Speaking of weddings, I upgraded my package with Webs, bought my domain name, and hope to launch my website in the next week!  Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 163

Warning: whiny, stressed, upset post ahead.  Maybe not a good post to read if you're not in the mood for a downer.

Writing this post is hard.  This is actually my third iteration of today's entry, because I've kept going back and deleting everything.

I figured out what bothers me the most about the issue I mentioned yesterday (aside from having to pay a ton of money to the IRS and Fairfax County).  It pushes our long-term goals back.  It only pushes the house back by a few months, which I'm not so worried about.  However, the baby is another matter.

John wanted to have our first child between our 27th birthdays... so to put dates on that, 12/12/12 (yeah, that one is going to get massively celebrated) and 6/22/2013.  I wanted to have a baby during the spring.  So we were thinking like, April or May.  The thing is, pushing this back 4 months (which is about how much time we expect to be set back) puts us in a spot where we don't want to be: due between late August and late September.  Why?

My best friend's wedding date is 9/14/2013.

So this would make me one of three things on her wedding day:
1. Full-term pregnant.  Huge.  Waddling.  Unable to stand up for long periods of time.
2. Immediately post-partum, possibly unable to attend.
3. In labor.  Definitely unable to attend.

I really don't want any of these.  I want to be able to go to Nikki's wedding, stand up as a bridesmaid (emphasis on stand!) and not worry about leaking amniotic fluid. I want to be able to give a reasonable estimate about my size when I'm ordering my dress.  I want to be able to dance, without running out of energy, worrying about kick-starting labor, or wondering if this will make me start bleeding again.

Yes, I know I'm thinking about this years in advance.  And I know that just because I wanted to start trying to have a baby at a certain time doesn't mean I'd be able to.  But here's the thing for me: I'm the worrier in our family.  I worry about things, John tells me to calm down, nothing will come of it.  He's the one saying that everything will need to be pushed back... it's not just me freaking out.  I'm just unhappy about how far back this is being pushed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 162

Last night sucked.  Blah.  The last of my W-2 forms came in and so John and I started working on our taxes.  Let's just put it this way... it bypassed bad and went straight to ugly.  Really ugly.  We've run the numbers like 5 times, and they don't change, so there's really not a lot of hope there.  I know how it happened... I saw how it happened as I watched the numbers change in Turbo Tax.  Last year I worked for 3 companies.  For the first half of January I worked for one temp agency, from the end of January to the middle of March I worked for a second temp agency, and then I started at the company where I am now.  Each individual company has me in the 15% tax bracket (well, technically the first 2 have me in the 10%, but that's only because of the length of my employment).  However, when you combine the three, I just barely make it into the 25% bracket.  It's the job I'm with now that really messed things up for us.

Then when it rains it pours... John's car is a leased 2010 MINI Cooper.  I've been begging BMW (MINI's parent company) for information about our personal property taxes.  Seriously... I've called 3 times asking for more information: when is it being assessed? How much?  What's going on?  No answers.  Today I open my email and our payment is like, $500 more than usual.  Yup, property taxes.  Due in 2 weeks.  FML.

Sigh.  We have the money to pay the taxes, I'm just pissed that our entire emergency fund is going to the IRS, and then we're breaking into our savings to pay MINI.  We were about 1 month away from paying off John's now-smallest credit card with our extra money, but now that's going to take about 4-5 months instead, because all our extra funds will be replenishing our savings.  The worst part about all of this is we took a CPA's advice on how to do our taxes.  I'm not sure I'll be so trusting of CPAs in the future.

So summarizing the last 24 hours: Our income is going to drop by like, 10% (since we clearly need to adjust our W4s), we owe an insane amount in taxes, and all the debt payment progress we made is pretty much at a standstill.  Our saving is kind of at a standstill, as well, since we need to replenish before we can move forward.  This month just feels like one step forward, eight steps back (two steps back just didn't cover it).

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 160

I'm exhausted.  I stayed up to watch the end of the Super Bowl and then couldn't fall asleep... and once I did I couldn't stay asleep.  That said...

WHAT. A. GAME.

Wow.  That was everything a Super Bowl should be... great football, great commercials, a great halftime show.

Watching the game, it was never a runaway.  I really don't enjoy games where one team never shows up.  The Packers and the Steelers were both there. Even though the Steelers never took a lead, they were in the game the entire time.  It was great to watch.

Then the halftime show... wow!  Best one I've seen in a long time.  I know a lot of people were underwhelmed, but oh well.  The Black Eyed Peas were awesome, and I loved their background/stadium light-up dancers.  Plus, keeping Slash AND Usher under wraps?  Incredible!

Last year, I felt like there were only 2 or 3 good commercials.  This year, it was more like 2 or 3 bad ones.  I loved the Living Social commercial (Living Social changed my life!) the Budweiser ads and the Coke ads.  The Audi commercial (escape old luxury) was hilarious, and I loved the Eminem Brisk commercial.

The only real goof I saw was Christina Agulera botching the National Anthem.  Oops.

To make this post slightly goal related, I worked on website content this weekend.  It's actually harder than I thought.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 159

It finally happened!

62. Trevor learns to shake hands
62. Trevor learns to shake hands

My sweetie shook hands without trying to take my hand off!  I've been working on this trick for a while, and when told to shake, he'd lift his front paw.  Then you'd try to take it, and he'd gently (then increasingly not gently) try to pry your hand off his paw with his teeth.  Today I asked him to shake and he let me take his paw!  No mouthing on my hand at all!  It's very exciting :)

Tonight I'll be enjoying what will hopefully be some excellent football.  Go Pack!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 157

Not writing about anything in particular, just ducking in to say that I hit 1,000 views on my blog today!  Thank you for reading :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 156

Another day, another goal... this one 2 months in the making!

25. Hold a $500 safety bubble for 2 months
25. Hold a $500 safety bubble for 2 months

I think about the start of this goal a little bit like pregnancy.  A weird analogy but here's my reasoning: a typical pregnancy is 40 weeks, but they don't start counting from the day of conception, they start counting about 2 weeks prior, when you got your last period (i.e. the last time you definitely weren't pregnant).  So the first two weeks count as part of your pregnancy retroactively.  That's where it ties in for me: I've tried/failed at this goal a few time prior to now, but I never start counting during the first 2 weeks (i.e. the first pay period).  It's only after I've maintained the bubble for 2 weeks and have another paycheck on top of it that I start counting, and I start when I got the earlier paycheck.

I know, it's weird, but it makes sense to me.  We've maintained $500 in our checking account since December 3, and I started counting it when we still had $500 on December 16 (the day before our next paycheck).  Admittedly we made this goal with the help of Christmas money, but the point is we made it.  I'm pretty pleased with us. 

To celebrate our completion, when CNU called last night asking for alumni donations, we gave the requested amount.  And let me tell you... it felt good.  Really good.  Being in a financial situation where we were able to just give money.  I get the feeling that there will be points where I'll look back at this post and growl at myself (giving money away, grrrrr) but it's ok.  John and I talked about where we wanted to give our money when we had money for charity, and actually being able to do just that was a great feeling.  Yay stability... I'm actually starting to feel like a grown-up.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 155

Thank you, Punxsutawney Phil, for declaring an early spring.  It's much appreciated.  And a happy Groundhog's Day to all my readers.

And on that note, a very happy 7th anniversary to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Greg and Laura.

BTW, have I mentioned that my husband is awesome?  Because he IS.  I could go on and on about how he's God's gift to me and humanity, but I'll spare you, and just tell you that he finally fixed the red x issue on my webpage and now my logo shows up!  I think a little more editing is needed so that it's a little bit bigger (just a little bit, I know to be careful about what I wish for) but I'm really excited. 

Basically after sitting down and fiddling with things for like, an hour, John got my logo in the header.  Hooray!  The only thing was the background on the logo was white and the background on the template was blue, so I went to find a white template.  And my logo vanished, and I couldn't re-insert it.  Cue frustrated almost-breakdown.  He fixed things again, and now everything is ok.  Website work resumes, and my husband is my hero. <3

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 154

Happy February!

This month is looking pretty good on the goals front.  There are some financial goals I think I'll finish this month, I'll cover those as I get to them.  I feel like I'll jinx it if I talk about it early... or be really embarrassed if I don't complete the goal.  I also think I'll finish some of my wedding related goals... the website is in the works, and once I finish with that I'm going to start advertising on Craig's List.  Can't beat free advertising, especially when you don't have a lot of revenue.

As I mentioned yesterday, this might also be the month for the fresh flowers goal... with Valentine's Day coming up, and the fact that it's a short month, this might be the easiest time to complete.

I'm feeling pretty good about this month :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 153

This website making thing might drive me insane.  I've been trying to put my logo into the header... well, first it was enormous.  Seriously, you just saw white space because only the top corner showed.  So John downsizes it... and now it's a red x.  Yaaaay.  Anyway, if you want to see the new logo, it's on Infinite Joy Weddings' facebook page (link in this post from day 41).  Well, if it were all fun it wouldn't be work, now would it?

I also currently have fresh flowers in my home... aka goal 42!  I was admiring a bouquet that Patty had in her house and she gave me some of the flowers.  I love my Patty.  With V-Day coming up in 2 weeks, as long as I can get flowers in the apartment next week and the week after V-Day, I'll make a whole month!  I'm way over-thinking this.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 151

You know what's awesome and not at all overrated?  Vision.  I went to the optometrist today and remembered that there's nothing quite as good as having the right prescription for your contact lenses.  Ah, clarity.

I've been working on the Infinite Joy Weddings webpage.  I chose a host, and now I'm working on the content.  I thought it would be up in the next week, but then I hit a small snag.  The upgraded package I chose was either $50/year or $5/month.  The next package up was $100/year or $10/month.  I was going to go with the better package, since it included the domain name and a few custom email addresses.  Then I realized I only got that if I bought for a year, and since that would push things back, I opted for the monthly, smaller package.

That was when I thought buying the domain name was $20.  Haha, no.  After all the fun hidden fees, it was more like $43.  All the sudden, that upgraded 1 year package was awfully appealing.  So I'm saving my money, working on the website content, and upgrading next pay period.  Yay website.  I'm hoping to have it up and running by mid-February.

On the finances front, we made some good progress on paying off John's credit cards... between a lot of saving and using half of the insurance check on his cards, we've paid off his smallest card and took over half of the debt off of the second smallest.  We're feeling really good about this!  We're thinking the second smallest card, along with the card he pays on his exclusive account will be paid off before June, and then we'll focus on his bigger cards.  Yaaay for correcting stupid financial decisions!  Haha.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 150

Today I'm feeling rather grateful.  As most of you know a major storm hit the DC metro area on Wednesday.  My boss sent me home at 3, and it took almost an hour and a half for me to get home because of how fast the snow was falling.  I realized once I actually got home that my commute was one of the shorter ones... I knew a lot of people who had 4-6 hour drives.  I even heard of someone who had a 9 hour drive from Rockville, MD to Arlington, VA... and that's 22 miles.  It's shorter than my commute home.  Yikes.

We had 2 power surges Wednesday and 2 more Thursday, but we never lost power.  I stayed home from work on Thursday because I didn't think I could make the drive in (the tread on my tires is low, which made that commute all the scarier).  So my dogs got warm cuddles all day, and everyone was happy. 

John, fortunately, has great tires and a very short commute, all on back roads, so his drive home Wednesday took 40 minutes (he works less than 3 miles from home).  He was able to get in safely on Thursday.

So today I'm grateful for my steady little car that got me home, my boss who let me out early, and my nice warm apartment.  I'm also grateful to be back at work today.

Anyway, onto goals... half way through my 2nd hundred days and I'm doing great... 11 goals down since day 100!  Here's hoping for a very prosperous next 50 days :)