Ketchup (and Mustard)

It’s after 11pm as I type and I am beat.

This week has really worn me down. I am still in (some) disbelief over the busyness at work; in the 2 years I’ve been there, it’s never, ever, been this busy, and the sudden increase in volume has taken everyone, managers, CEO, and President, aback! We were not prepared for this; staffing and mentally. I feel safe in saying that EVERYONE at work is worn out.

With that being said, I am SO looking forward to this three day weekend! And, it’s a busy weekend for us.

Saturday is Brooke’s baby shower that I completely forgot all about and, unfortunately, can not attend. Instead, Greg and I are going to be running a slew of errands and attacking the mountain of chores and laundry.

Sunday is Michele’s engagement cook-out/party. I still need to get the time from her…

On Monday, the day I am probably most excited about, we are having a mini-road trip to Pennsylvania! We’ve decided (because I somewhat insisted) to visit a state park in PA – to go somewhere different. Originally, I wanted to visit Philadelphia since I’ve never been (yes, I need to get out more). But, on Wednesday when we were talking about this, we went over our budget and determined we didn’t have the funds available (because we would spend a lot of money on food and we’re trying to cut back on our food spending habit) and decided to visit a park instead. So, we checked out PA’s Parks and decided to visit the Susquehannock State Park.

By Wednesday I was ready to run away and that is why I decided (read: insisted) that we (read: me) need to venture outside of Maryland – I felt the need to just get away from Maryland and all the stress related. So, that’s why we’re going to PA!

So, there is a logical explanation of why I was feeling like the world was crushing me while everyone was pulling at my limbs in all different directions: hormones. Stupid cycle started on Thursday morning – just like clock work. Emotionally, I am feel much better than I was yesterday (Berger Cookies could have helped – mmm… chocolate), thought not 100% back to my ‘normal’ self; I hope to reach that state tomorrow. It’s funny because I wasn’t even sure the cycle was going to start on Thursday since I didn’t have any ‘warning signs’; no mood swings, no lower back ache, no increase in appetite or weird cravings, I felt pretty good (aside from stressed). Well, until Wednesday night (at work when I was about to loose it) and then Thursday morning. Have I mentioned how much I dislike being on birth control?

I think I called Greg like 4 times at work today to see if the camera arrived (Dell has surprised us in the past), to which the answer was always: nope. We’re expecting the camera to arrive on Tuesday. Boo. I was hoping to break it in this weekend, especially at Susquehannonk Park. It was funny, last night Greg and I were talking about the new camera and our ‘rules’; he made me promise (which I technically haven’t) not to use the ‘auto-modes’, such as the “golfer mode” for action shots, or “moon and stars mode” for night shots, but to keep the camera on all manual all the time – like a real photographer. And, if I accepted his requirement, he had to accept mine: to allow me to take the pictures as I want to take them, meaning if I want to lay in the river to get a specific shot – then so be it. He can not ‘baby’ the camera. Either way, our lives are about the change with the addition of the new camera; I am more riskier, than Greg is, when it comes to capturing the picture that I envision.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned our photography blog: J&G Photography. Since Greg is placing some of his pictures up for sale (he’s received a few reviews, but no sales yet), I thought it would be a good idea for him to have a photography blog/site. Greg, of course, agreed and has taken over. Now, I just need to work on the watermark – not really liking the one he created.

I still haven’t looked for a wedding dress. Although, I think I am going to order a dress from PeriMart. I learned of the site from the message boards and checked them out – their prices are amazing. I’m not worried about the dress being a knock-off or if it has slight imperfections, as long as it fits and I look good in it – I’m happy. Plus, with the amount of money I am going to be spending on the dress – I’m probably getting what I paid for and that’s fine by me. Although, the person that shared the site said her dress was amazing, so who knows. Oh, and they ship for free.

The first wedding planning meeting, for Michele, went very well. I think. I don’t what we got out of the meeting other than the colors of the wedding party (clover and cream) and our first, of many I’m sure, dates to try on dresses. Michele tried to get me to try on wedding dresses with her, but I told her that this is her wedding and not to worry about me.

We also talked about having a girls night (which I guess is a bachorlette party) the night before her wedding. Apparently, Michele and D are leaving on a cruise, from Baltimore to the Bahamas, the morning after their wedding, so the night before the wedding, Michele and her girls (me, her sister, and Michele’s daughter) will spend the night at the hotel (suite) and the following morning, have our hair done and get ready. Oh, and the wedding is going to take place in DC.

Michele also talked about sending save-the-dates next month as most of D’s family is out of state. I offered a few websites and helping make the STD’s (gave her my picnik log in information since I have a premium account), and talking about her STD’s get me thinking about the wedding announcements that I get to make once we’re married (and then I started to go off into a day dream of sorts).

Have I mentioned how excited I am to be a part of Michele’s wedding?

Speaking of weddings, Greg band finally arrived! We picked it up over the weekend. I, personally, think it needs to be re-sized as it feels a little too big on his finger… and the fact that it slid off during testing. He’s in denial. I told him that he needs to make up his mind about the size before it’s too late.

I’m trying to think of anything else mention…

Oh, I am finally a Pro Flickr’er again, and I uploaded the pictures from the Inappropriate Haf’la we went to on Saturday. I really wish I wrote down the names of the performers since I don’t remember a think about them, other than the songs they performed to. Either way, the party was great. The sangria was amazing (and there is still some in the fridge. And, it’s mighty strong) and we, Greg and I, had an amazing time. We stayed until 10pm.

The following morning we left for the Renn Fest and had a good time. Pictures from the Renn Fest can be found on Flickr as well. I would do a picture post, but I’m feeling a bit on the lazy side. That, and it’s 12:17am and I should go to bed.

And, on the note… Good night!

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Home Sweet Home

We’re home!

It feels so good to be back at our place. I was feeling ‘home sick’ by Saturday night.

Don’t know when I’ll finish the trip details – hopefully by the end of the week.

The trip was great! We saw a lot of interesting places and things.  Made some new friends. And, learned that people in Michigan have never heard of Amish Macaroni Salad!

All in all, we had a great time.

Of course, all the pictures are here. And, I am in the process of adding more… later (too tired right now). But, I believe Greg is going to be uploading his pictures soon and you can see his here.

Well, I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Birthday Weekend

I am still recovering from the busy, but oh so much fun, weekend!

Saturday, my day of birth (at 1:47am), was jam packed with everything. Greg and I left the house a little before 11am and didn’t return until a little after 10pm.

The drive down to Waldorf was uneventful; Amelia slept the entire way. Van beat us to the restaurant and Mom arrived a few minutes after us. Here are some pictures from lunch:

Total Cuteness!
Amelia and Nana Sue
Nana Sue, Amelia, and Grampa Van

Once lunch was over, Greg transferred the car-seat from my car to Moms. While Greg was doing that, Mom and I chatted and I told Mom how much Greg and I are thankful and appreciative of all the help (financially, emotionally, etc) she and Van have given us over the past year. Greg and I talked about helping Mom out (she doesn’t really need it) and gave Mom a check to kind of repay her and Van. Mom was taken back by the gesture (it wasn’t a huge check or anything) and refused to accept it but I enforced it and told her “if anything, you can put this away for Amelia or towards our wedding”. She accepted the check. Eventually the car-seat was installed and Amelia was sitting forward for the first time. It was a little odd seeing her sitting like this. It was so hard to leave Amelia; Greg and I delayed the departure as much as possible…

By 2pm we were on our way home. The drive was uneventful (no lights or traffic) and were ‘home’ a little after 3pm, earlier than we thought we would be. So, since the weather was so nice outside I decided to visit the Airport Park (also known as Friendship Park):

Incoming
Greggie
Bye Bye Southwest
Nearly land on the road!

We stayed for about a half hour and decide to head to the mall. The plan was to kill time at Dave and Busters but they were so freaking crowded we ended up spending over an hour at Books-a-million. Around 5:30 we leave the bookstore (I bought another wedding magazine and chatted with the cashier as she was planning her wedding as well) and stopped at the food court to get something to drink and kill a little more time.

We were a little early at arriving to Medieval Times but we also had a good spot in the front of the line. I took a few pictures while waiting…

Sheild on Statue
Still Christmas...

About 15 minutes later a procession of people came out and announced the show…

Coming out
King talking

After the announcement, we checked in and had our photo taken (which I took to work and didn’t get a picture of our picture). Greg and I walked around and looked at all the decorations and gift shop items…

Suit of Armour
Falcon Guy (was a part of the show)
Me and the bird guy
Shiny

After Greg and I were done with the picture taking of all the decorations, Greg asks me if I am girly enough for a tiara. ?!??!! I asked him to explain and he asked how I feel about having a tiara. I asked him where this question came from and he was being all coy about it and questioned why I was questioning him and I explained that that question he asked me was out of character! He wouldn’t tell me what it meant. I gave up and told Greg that I wanted a picture with the King. Greg kept telling me that it wouldn’t be possible because the King was having his picture taken with all the guests that paid the extra $10 to have the Royal treatment. I rebuttal and tried to play the ‘it’s my birthday, I can do what I want’ card (sorta) and i wasn’t winning. About 15 minutes later the Chancellor (my MR DREAMY) called everyone around because there was going to be a knighting ceremony.  Little did I know…

Dame of the Realm

Greg secretly met with the ‘Scroll Mistress’ and put my name on the list to recognize my 29th Birthday! That is why he was asking if I considered myself girly enough for a tiara!

Lady Jess

I didn’t get a tiara, nor did I buy the thing I’m wearing in the picture. I didn’t see the need to buy either (and nor did Greg). But, I did get a picture of me and the King (as he ‘knighted’ me), which is also at work. After the ceremony we waited what felt like an eternity to go in. While waiting Greg snagged a picture of MR DREAMY for me (it was pretty obvious I was attracted to the guy)…

MR DREAMY on the left

oohh baby! I so wanted a picture with him but each time I was going to approach him someone else would and eventually I gave up because I thought the last thing he needs is another interruption from a guest.

Finally at 7:30 the doors were opened and we were called in by color; Greg and I were on the Red and Yellow team.

Setting
Plate

and then the show finally began!! Here are some of my favorite pictures; you can see EVERYTHING here

The guy on the right, GREEN, was the bad guy
A little LOVE story
Getting ready to rumble - Medieval style
Action

At the end of the show all birthday’s were announced and mine was the second one!! And what stood out was that the announcement and parchment all had my maiden name!! It was so neat to hear.

When Greg and I made it home we were so exhausted. We walked the entire mall (a little over a mile) one and a half times and just trying to relax after the busy day. I uploaded the pictures and putted around the computer and around 12am headed to bed. During those two hours (10pm – 12am) I went to check on Amelia twice only to realize that she wasn’t in her room. I was missing her!

On Sunday Greg and I were up for good by 8:30am. We couldn’t sleep in; Greg woke up at 7am worried about Amelia (because she wasn’t up yet) only to remember she wasn’t here. Yeah, we’re really missing Amelia.

Greg did something I didn’t expect him to do. He shaved off his beard/mustache thing!! I honestly didn’t expect him to do it. We were talking about it one night last week and he said he’s been curious and decided to do it Sunday morning!

Before...
After!

I think Greg looks years younger (cute baby face)! He’s told me not to get used to it as he’s going to let it grow back. His excuse as to not keep his face hair free is because it requires too much work (meaning frequent shaving) and he’s too lazy.

Around 1pm Greg and I head over to Sean and Aaron’s place to take them to Ikea with us. Well, Sean didn’t tell Aaron and Sean was still in Baltimore where he spent the night at a hotel with some friends. It took forever to get the boys ready and out the door! So, to kill time I took pictures…

Aaron (the white one) - don't ask what he's holding... you may not want to know.
The real Aaron (Sean's roommate)
Greg reads it for the articles
Kitty

Finally, around 2pm we were on our way! Since I was driving (my car is cleaner than Greg’s therefore we can fit whatever we’re buying into the car) Greg took a load of pictures on the way up…

Just entered the Baltimore Harbour Tunnel
neat blur effect
Heading towards the light...
through the tunnel

and finally…

Ikea!

we make it to Ikea!!

We immediately have lunch when we arrive (food porn can be seen on Flickr – I wonder how many site hits I’ll have now for writing ‘porn’..)

After lunch Greg and I pretty much loose Sean and Aaron. Greg and I already knew what we wanted so we headed over to that section to check the dressers out. The dresser I wanted was out of stock so I ended up choosing the dresser that Greg wanted, so we bought two – one for each of us and we chose the colors we wanted (I chose the birch veneer and Greg chose the oak veneer). Greg really wanted a nightstand but I didn’t feel there was enough of a selection for my taste. Greg found the one he liked and I passed – for now. We talked about dining room tables and chairs and a computer desk. Currently, our dining room table is really a waste of space – it fits but it’s more than we need. So we were looking at something a little smaller with room to grow (as our family grows) and would give a little more space to rearrange our current furniture settings to include a desk out in the living/dining rooms. We found a table that we liked and added it to our ‘wish list’ for later this year.

Once we jotted down the item numbers and isle location of the dressers and night stand we headed down stairs to the kitchen, textiles, and all the other goodies. Greg wanted to get some things that I felt we don’t need right now but would be great for the wedding registry (considering Ikea, along with Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and JCPenny – sounds like a lot but I feel it gives people a lot of choices). We picked up some new glasses and wine glasses for the kitchen. Then, it was to the bedding section (which I love). There was an awesome sale going on and I bought this quilt, a king size, for only $12.50!! I am seriously considering going back to Ikea to buy more for Christmas presents this year!! In order to get the additional 50% off the ticketed price, you had to ask a floor assistant for a coupon – which I did. And got extras!! But the promotion expires on the 10th so I need to hurry up and make up my mind. Anyway, since we bought the quilt so cheap I had to buy a new duvet and I chose this one. I have wanted an Ikea quilt and duvet cover so long long (I love how fluffy and comfortable the look in the tv commercials and catalogs) and I was so excited to finallyhave one!! I couldn’t wait to get home and put the duvet on the quilt and make the bed! After bedding we wandered into the lighting section (another part of Ikea that I love) and argued (not really) over changing the light fixture in the dining area; Greg feels we would need to hire an electrical contractor to change the fixture. I kept telling him he’s over exaggerating something so simple to do and that my brother could do it (as he’s done it before). Greg doesn’t want to change the fixture. Boo on him. But we did get a new lamp to include in the living room (high ceilings make the room difficult to light – when there are no lights from the ceilings). I can’t believe the lamp was only $14.99(which cost about $38 at Target for a very similar lamp)! Greg and I really did some good shopping at Ikea.

When we were checking out we were trying to figure out our total. Greg was estimating $600 and I was guessing mid $400. Our total was $473. Not bad for two dressers, a night stand, lamp and lamp bulbs, glasses, quilt and duvet, and a few smaller items (cookies, kitchen brushes, etc). Sean and Aaron met us at the check out and helped Greg and I bring everything up stairs (the dressers alone weighed 138lbs a piece) and to show our gratitude we took them out to dinner of their choice and they wanted to go to Old Country Buffet.

Greg assembled the first, his, dresser once we were home from dinner. Neither of us watched the super bowl. I talked to my Mom I believe for the 6th time that day and around midnight, again, we went to bed.

That is my birthday weekend in a nutshell.

Today, Monday, Greg sent me a very… hhmmm… I don’t know how to describe this… email from his Grandfather. We may not be going to Alabama after all…

to be continued…

Stuff about Stuff

Oy! What a weekend. It seems that the nasty cold that attacked Amelia and me in December has spread like wildfire amongst my friends and family. Michele, along with April, Olivia, and Clayton were not able to attend due to the cold. Greg is the only person that I know that hasn’t felt the wrath of this cold (until now because I probably jinxed him). So, we had a small turn out for the party and that’s fine. We were worried about not having enough space anyway.

Greg’s Mom and Ken came over this afternoon and stayed for a little over an hour. I get the feeling that Greg’s family have ‘accepted’ me into their family (I know Greg’s Mom didn’t like any of his previous finacees and she made it known to him). I know his Mom tries to include me in conversations and she’ll tell us stories of Greg’s childhood if I ask (like on Christmas day when she pulled out the old VHS tape of Greg’s middle school performance in the concert band).

OMG, we have so much birthday cake left over! As our guests were leaving (yesterday and today) we tried to have people take some cake with them but no one wanted any; so the plan of action is to take the left overs to work. The cake was alright; I’m not much of a cake eater – especially when it comes to the icing (the worst part of the cake in my opinion). The only think I liked about this cake was the chocolate mousse filling in the center (and the paperwork stated there was 2lbs of this yummy stuff).

Last night, after I loaded up the pictures onto Flickr, I bought a new phone for myself (and renewed my AT&T contract) and I am excited about my new phone (I am obsessed with cell phones – weird interest, I know)! I bought the Samsung Blackjack! It has some features that I don’t really need (at this point in my life) but I felt that I needed something a little more than the regular phone; something to keep track of appointments (mine and Amelia’s), and anything wedding related. Plus, I only had to pay $39.99 and I couldn’t pass it up! The phone should arrive tomorrow (as I received the email that it was shipped today); I just hope FedEx will be able to deliver without signature…

Greg and I haven’t returned the furnature as it was prior to the party; we kinda like it the way it is now but we’re not sure if we like it enough to keep it this way. The layout of the condo is weird, it’s a big L with a fireplace in the corner.  Before, we had the couches and tv by the fireplace and now they’re apart and we have a huge open space…

eh, i’ll post pictures for a side by side comparisson later. I am tired and heading to bed. Unlike someone (greg), I have to work tomorrow but I have Tuesday off (though booked with appointments every 2 hours, literally). Oh, if FedEx needs a signature, Greg will be here! yay!

 Nighty night