And then there were…

6 Days until we fly.

This time next week we will be somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, making our way to the Caribbean Sea heading towards the Grand Cayman Island. I have no idea how giddy with excitement Greg and I (but, probably more Greg than me) will be by this point next week. Gah! I can’t believe I’ll be on a cruise ship NEXT SUNDAY!

And, it still hasn’t sunk in – my level of excitement is no where near where I feel it should be! Actually, I believe I am starting to feel a little bummed that the trip is here; I’ve been looking forward to this cruise since last February, and I won’t have anything to look forward to (vacation wise) once the cruise is said and done. Well, we are thinking of a few things but we can’t really focus on those things until March. But, still.

In other news, Greg and I will probably be attending 3-4 weddings for 2009; this past new years two co-workers (one at his office, and one at mine) got engaged  and are planning for a wedding in the fall.

Michele moved up her wedding to March 28 (from October 10); Greg is a little freaked because he’s their photographer and he doesn’t feel he will be ready (at least equipment wise) by then. I assured him that he will do fine.

This past Saturday was my wedding shower, and belive it or not Greg and I forgot our cameras! So, my cousin took at the pictures and I’m waiting for her to email them, or post them on her MySpace page – then I will share with the world.

Today we spent a few hours with Greg’s Mom. We also celebrated Amelia’s 2nd birthday with her and Greg’s brother, Ken.  It’s nice to feel comfortable around the in-laws; I didn’t feel so comfortable around my ex’s due to my ex’s father – i just hated the guy and didn’t want to within earshot of him… but, Greg’s family is nothing like my ex’s and it’s so nice and refreshing. Even Greg’s brother, Ken, has warmed up to me – giving hugs and chatting with me and Amelia! Greg’s other brother, Pat, warmed up to me at the very beginning –  we even text each other on the occasion … and it’s fun to make fun of Greg (and some of his stupid decisions from his past – like leaving his favorite job to move to NY state for a girl) – in the loving manor that we do.

So, this is the final week of ‘normal’ life before I leave for ‘vacation’ life.  Greg and I have sorta started to get our home ready – we took down the Christmas tree and other decorations! I expressed my desire to have the place clean before we leave so that when we return we won’t have anything to do other than laundry and grocery shopping (as well as copious amounts of sleep – as I am sure we’ll need it).

During the long drive home last night (from my Cousins house), I asked Greg if he was really, truly, ready to be a married man.  Of course he said yes, and I asked him how does he know. And, he said the most beautiful things to me that I actually started to tear up! Basically, he broke down his past 2 ‘serious’ relationships and why he ignored the red flags and he told me that, if he could create the ‘perfect, dream girl’ he can’t think of anything else that I already posses as a person (physical looks don’t count when you’re thinking of the ‘perfect person’). To Greg, I am his dream girl. Awesome! So, we talked a little more about being married (I was so tired and I need him to talk to me to keep my eyes open) and he says that he doesn’t feel anything will change, to him, once we’re married because, to him, we’re already married. I begged to differ and explained why (which lead to the next topic of how does he know he’s ready to be married) – Greg and/or I could walk away and leave the relationship and there wouldn’t be any ‘mess’ to clean up (read: divorce) – there’s no real commitment (a ultimate, higher level, commitment) to each other like there is to being married; to me, when we’re married it means that Greg (and I) are going to be together in every sense of the word.  To me, at least, there will be a different feeling once Greg becomes my husband and I become his wife – Greg is promising to spend the rest of his life with me (and I him). Greg has chosen me as the one that makes him the happiest and that he wants me continue to make him happy for the rest of his life. That means a lot to me. Of course, it helps to know that during our whole friendship/court-ship, as Greg and I were denying our feelings for each other; telling each other that we were not interested in a relationship, much less marriage… that we’re actually going to marry each other! I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again – Greg has fulfilled every dream I’ve ever had since meeting him. Something I’ve never, ever, experienced – during my nearly 30 years of life – before. Guess that Magic 8 ball really is magic! LOL

Oh look, it’s 11:30pm and I have to work this week (4 out of 5 days). Guess I should get to bed, huh?

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Clean Up

For the last two hours I’ve been burning all photos and video clips onto DVD’s.

The amount of files I copied over is… kinda startling and… sad. I am such a photo whore and I need to control my shutter finger!

I transferred nearly 5,000 photos/video’s !!!

And, that’s just from Dec 2007 to Sept 21, 2008!!!! not even a full year!

Yeah, don’t even look at my Flickr account… cause I will tell you how many photo’s I’ve uploaded… 9,037. I’m so ashamed.

LOL

I’m cleaning up my hard drive in preparation for the cruise (a little over three months to go!!); I’ve been meaning to do this for like the last month and a half, but I keep getting distracted. I was only able to do it tonight because we had no cable or internet (the things we do when we are without TV and Web). But, while the DVD’s were burning, I cleaned up a little and Greg and I talked, at length, about the cruise and what we’re looking forward to.

While talking to Greg about the cruise, I asked him a few personal questions (though, not really personal) about our cruise vs. his past cruise (that was with his ex, but not comparing our cruise, as in relationship and with his ex, but about the different cruise lines and entertainment/events/itineraries… things of that nature) and he feels this cruise is going to be far better than his previous cruise for many reasons. Mainly, this cruise is going to be longer, as in days at sea. There are specialty restaurants, enough that we could try a different place each night – for lunch and dinner! There are more activities on the cruise (he’s most excited about the casino), plus the two completely different destinations that are awesome!

I did express my concern to Greg about him comparing every minute detail (cabin size, bathroom size, customer service, etc) of our cruise to his previous cruise (and I used the examples “On the cruise that **** and I took…” or “The beds were so much more comfortable on the ****** Cruise”), and he assured me that that wasn’t going to happen, and stated that the cruise he and I are taking is completely different, in all aspects, from his previous cruise, and there’s no way he could compare our cruise to his previous cruise (as it’s like comparing a lemon to a kiwi).

My next, expressed, concern was that Greg was going to be a “schedule control freak” and that every minute of all 5 days were going to be planned out; as, you may or may not know, Greg and I are somewhat planners and like to know certain things in advance (I’m already bugging Daniel about our arrival in January!), but I do not want this cruise to be … so controlled. I want to be able to do things on a whim (especially on the ship) and just be carefree for the five days we’re on the ship. Greg assured me that it’s not going to be like that, as that was one of the negatives about his last cruise – it felt rushed; which is what I don’t want to feel.

I’m just getting more and more excited each passing day. Usually, the excitement lasts a few days then it fades (because I keep telling myself “stop thinking about it, there’s still XX months to go”), but this past week it’s been nonstop thinking, researching, shopping (for clothes, shoes, etc), message boarding, etc. The cruise is starting to take over my mind. I’ve marked my calendar at work (that’s posted on my wall), each month we’re closer (the 17th is the fly out date – that’s highlighted in yellow, and the 18th is the cruise date – that’s highlighted in green) as my countdown.  I am slightly thankful September has flown by (although, as Greg and I were talking earlier tonight, we can’t believe it was only 3 weeks ago that we went to PA for the day, as it feels like it was last month) and I am secretly hoping October is the same. I know November and December are going to zoom due to the holidays and then, it will be Amelia’s 2nd birthday and five days later we head out to Florida.

Weekend Notes

First, I want to say that I think I found my wedding dress!

And it’s only $135 (and free shipping)!

Of course, I don’t know how it will look on me until I try it on (which means I need to order it first); but it has all the necessities for my dress: halter top, not too full, simple yet elegant! I shared the link to the dress with my Mom and she loves it too and feels I should order it as well. I just need to decide what color sash to order but in order to do that, Greg needs to find a shirt to wear.

Now, onto the weekend – so far!

Saturday was lazy and boring; did some shopping at Target and then the grocery store. Oh, and we had lunch at Chick-fil-a. Oh, and on Saturday morning, Greg’s brother called to inform us that everyone is getting together at Mom’s (his Mom) as a farewell party because Pat is driving to Texas Tuesday morning (where he begins his 41 weeks of training). Greg doesn’t mention our plans about PA Parks. So, when Greg hangs up the phone with his brother… well, family before parks. I was bummed out.

But, there is some good news! There was a check from the local utility company in the mail for me!! It was for $200 and Greg received a separate check, also for $200, from his work because they miscalculated his bonus last month (so, its as if we received three bonus this weekend). W00t! Money for Philadelphia IF we were going.

So, my Saturday night was spent on-line chatting on the message boards, playing with Picnik, and looking at wedding dresses. So exciting.

Sunday started out lazy as well. Did more laundry, napped, cleaned the kitchen, and putted around. At 2pm we left for Michele’s party.

The party was nice, except for getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes. We met some of Michele’s fiance, D, extended family (ex-inlaws – long story) and some of D’s co-workers. The highlight of the party would have to be when the pig was dropped! Greg didn’t get a picture of that because he, along with everyone else, was laughing too hard and Amelia kept asking “what happened?”. But, there were pictures taken (duh):

literally SECONDS before the pig was on the ground

literally SECONDS before the pig was on the ground

Unfortunately, Greg wasn’t feeling all that well and we headed home a few hours after we arrived. I did taste the pig and it was pretty damn good! I only ate the meat as I was too afraid to try the skin… because… I know I would have gagged had I tried it; thinking about it now is making my stomach iffy. It’s too… un-nerving to know that I am eating the skin of an animal… nope, can’t do that. And yes, I even get squeamish when I eat fried chicken (which I rarely do for that reason).

Anyway, moving on…

So, we were home by 6pm. Baked a pizza, played around with Amelia, did more laundry (and it was for Greg – he has more clothes to wash than Amelia and me combined!), and just putted around the interweb and laptop.

Then, Greg receives a phone call from his Mom. We don’t know what the plans are for tomorrow, meaning when Pat is going to return from OC (where he is attending a bachelor party) – so, with that news we’re going to PA tomorrow morning! Yay! I’m excited. And, I should be going to bed… but instead I am here… and texting.

Nothing else to report for the day. I’m so uber excited about going to the park tomorrow… I’m excited about exploring a new area and the beautiful photo ops! I just wish I had my new camera! Oh well, get to practice with Greg’s!

Stuck

I am stuck.

I am stuck with lack of ideas and decisions.

And it’s all wedding related.

I’ve been thinking about the wedding and how I want to do something extra special for Greg; albeit a gift from the heart and/or something quirky that totally relates to us and our unique relationship and soon marriage.

Earlier tonight I was on eBay checking out the most recent sale I placed for my step-dad and decided to look up something: Wedding Garters.

I’ve mentioned before how Greg is a “leg man” and loves thigh-highs and garters. Well, just out of curiosity, because we all know everything exists on eBay, I looked up “Baltimore Oriole Garter” and found this:

Possible Garter

Possible Garter

There are many other styles as well, but I liked this one the most – not too O’s flashy. I’m thinking about buying it, but haven’t made up my mind just yet.

The second item on my brain is a wedding present for Greg. I want to get him something that will make his heart melt and just overwhelm him with such love and emotion; I want to be able to show him how much he means to me; something that will give him the emotions that I feel for him.

I don’t want to give him something… ‘standard’, like cuff links or a really nice watch (which neither would apply anyway since he never wears a suit and I bought him a nice watch a couple birthdays ago). I don’t want to give him a piece of paper that says “The day I married you, the day all my dreams came true” or something cheesy and cliché.

I need something that will connect his heart to my heart, always and forever (aside from Amelia).

And, I am stuck.

This has got to be the hardest thing I’ve had to think about (well, aside from when I learned I was pregnant… but I think this is harder).

Greg is the easiest person to shop for when it comes to Birthday’s and Christmas; I have a flood of gift ideas! But, this… something from my heart to his… is tough. And, I don’t want this gift to just be a material object, like a new lens; yes, he would love it to bits, he would use it constantly, but it doesn’t show it comes from my heart.

Greg doesn’t wear jewelery (not yet at least – wedding ring), and I thought about getting his wedding band engraved with something that only he and I will understand (such as “Want to have spaghetti tonight?” – because for a few weeks, that became our thing), but I’ve been told it’s time consuming to engrave a Tungsten band (it would take too long to get his ring engraved, in order for us to have it in time for the wedding).

I’ve been on the message boards and asked around what others are doing and it seems the general consensus is “bedroom pictures”. Which got me to wondering: Do women not play “dress up” in front of the camera with their significant other? Greg and I are much more open minded, I guess, when it comes to… bedroom stuff. Anyway, learning about that, the BD pictures that most other ‘B2B’ (brides to be), are doing as a wedding gift, struck odd with me.

Which brings me back to where I was before: stuck.

Friends & Family

This weekend was spent with our closest friends (mine) and family (his).

Saturday:

Well, I decided not to head down to La Plata for Olivia’s first birthday party. There were two (well, a few more) reasons: 1. Pat, Greg’s brother, is home for a few weeks (end of Aug) and asked to come over; and 2. Michele was coming down to visit us.

So, Greg and I spent the morning reorganizing the mess Amelia made in the two days she’s been home. Around 1:30pm Michele arrives with her new “friend”, M, and we hang out while we wait for Greg to return from the grocery store (to get goodies for our guests). It was so good to really catch-up with Michele. We didn’t even talk much wedding talk (except for mine; she’s trying to get the time off to come).

The plan was to head down to the Eastern Shore to our favorite restaurant, The Jetty (there all-you-can-eat rate was $26.99 for med/large crabs, a FANTASTIC price!). But, the traffic was horrendous to get over the Bay Bridge! So, we decided to turn around and find another place to eat. We ended up going to Seaside. I’ve eaten there a few times with my friend Lisa, and it was the only good place I knew of.

The crabs were not cheap ($45 a dozen), but I was with good company and decided to splurge. And, Michele’s friend, M, has never ‘picked’ a crab before; and it’s always entertaining to teach someone how to eat a Maryland Crab!

And, one can’t have Maryland crabs without a cold glass of beer:

Michele modeling the way to have MD Crabs

Michele modeling the way to have MD Crabs

Having Michele ‘home’ felt so good . I didn’t realize how much I missed her until she was gone again. We’ve been texting each other like mad since Saturday. We still have a lot of catching-up to do.

After a few hours we went home and hung out at our place for a little while and Greg was kind enough to take some pictures of me and Michele (and Amelia):

Best Friend Bear Hugs

Best Friend Bear Hugs

Michele, Amelia, and Me

Michele, Amelia, and Me

Is it me, or does my head look HUGE in these pictures?

Being Silly

Being Silly

We were able to do a little wedding talk and I know that I am going to be in her wedding party; she’s going to have the wedding in Washington, DC, the wedding is going to be in September 2009 (which I think I’ve already mentioned) and that she’s going “all out” for her wedding! Like, full blown traditional wedding. I can’t wait!

Michele and M left early in the evening, around the time we were expecting Greg’s brothers and Mother to visit. But there was a change in plans (Pat’s) and it was decided they would come over on Sunday.

Sunday:

The morning was rough; for me at least. Amelia was up at 6:30am and it was my turn to tend to her in the morning so Greg could sleep in. I got up easy enough, but I was still very sleepy and exhausted feeling. TMI, but this cycle was a nightmare for me; it drained me of energy, made me more cranky and just all around grumpy; Plus it gave me the worst lower back pain for 4 whole days – even the hydrocodine from the dentist didn’t have an effect on the pain. I was miserable. So, when Greg woke up around 8am I went back to bed.

Ever have one of those days when it feels like time isn’t moving at all; every time you look at the clock, only 5 minutes went by? Well, that was Sunday morning. Amelia was cranky and fought off her nap for as long as possible, I was cranky for obvious reasons, and the combo of the two wasn’t very good. Greg was a good guy and finished all the cleaning and vacuuming of the condo. He’s such a great husband and father.

Anyway, around 3:30 everyone shows up and we play catch-up with each other. Not too long, we break out the Wii and start playing some games (Wii Play, Wii Sports, and Smash Bros.). I let the boys play and watched. Amelia and Grandma K we’re having their own fun:

Amelia and Grandma K

Amelia and Grandma K

Greg and his brothers playing the Wii

Greg and his brothers playing the Wii

**I know. I totally need to hang up some wall art. Darn those cathedral ceilings**

Greg’s Mom and brother Ken (the one in the white shirt) left around 6:30pm. Pat stayed a couple more hours and we chatted about his plans while he’s home, his adventures over-seas, and more childhood stories (which are always the best to hear).

As Pat was getting ready to leave, I decided to take a few pictures of the two (and one we me and Pat):

Greg and Pat *trying* to look serious

Greg and Pat *trying* to look 'serious'

We Mean Business!

We Mean Business!

The boys had a little fun with their photo shoot.

Me and My brother-in-law

Me and My brother-in-law

**yeah, I’m a little blurry ’cause Greg didn’t adjust the focus/depth of field properly**

Anyway, once Pat left Greg and I talked a little more and then I started uploading pictures on to Flickr, got in the shower and then went to bed. I was sleep around 10:30pm; it was an early night for me.

What I’m NOT Doing

And that is sleeping.

As soon as I posted the last entry, I took my prescribed pain meds (2) and laid in bed. Too afraid to move because I was in some pain. More than I was expecting/remember. Greg laid in bed next to me, holding my hand and petting my hair as I started to fall into sleepy-land. Greg ended up taking a nap as well. Greg woke up before me, a few hours before me. I slept from 3:30-ish to just before 8pm. I could easily go back to sleep right now. But, I’m not.

Nope. I did some MORE laundry (just the clothes I wore over the weekend and some towels); we cleaned out the refrigerator (and it’s now COMPLETELY empty – no joke) and the cabinets and threw away anything and everything we haven’t touched. Yeah, that was about three bags of food (unopened or expired). Greg switched out the car seats and transferred the water and drinks from my trunk to his (I was going to do the driving to Ocean City, but after today’s events it was decided he should drive… just in case I need to sleep). I played a little Guitar Hero. Basically, I’m pushing off bedtime until absolutely necessary because I want to be able to sleep as deeply as possible.

Greg, for some unknown reason, wants to LEAVE the house around 6am. Our plan is to head up to Sonic’s for breakfast, go through Delawere and Rehobeth Beach before reaching our hotel. Also, we plan on getting to Ocean City as early as possible to get some pictures before the crowds come.

**on a side note about photography, Greg submitted 7 pictures onto a professional site for selling. After the site reviewed the submitted pictures, 4 were approved to sell!! And, when we used their calculators for price suggestion, one photo alone had a price tag of $750!! that the Site suggested! So, Greg has four photos up for sale!! Cross your fingers that we sell something and soon**

Since we’re going to get there uber early we’ve already decided on what places we want to visit for photo ops (and Greg is bringing the tripod). I have a few photo suggestions in my mind as well and the tripod is going to make the pictures so nice!

I talked to my Mom this afternoon, when I got home from the appointment (sometime around 1:30pm) and asked if there was anything she specifically wanted to see or do in Ocean City and her only answer was: Beach and Boardwalk. So, she’s going to be easy to please. I haven’t decided on what I want to see or do. Greg’s main objective is to get sunset/sunrise pictures. So, basically it looks like we’ll be lazy and play in the sand.

I’m debating if I want to bring along the laptop or not. I know we’re only going to be gone a day and a half, so the only real reason I would bring it is for Greg to have a place to upload his pictures and clean out his memory card… he can fill up his 4gig cards really quickly (and he has 2 of them plus the 1gig that came with the camera). I, on the other hand, rarely use up all my gigs, unless I take a lot of videos.

I don’t know how many other Flickr fans there are (that read my blog) but I have a vent about Flickr. Their newest uploader, the 3.05, sucks! I’ve been using it for a few weeks and last night was the last straw for me. The uploader freezes, a lot, and tends to always have some weird issue for me. So, last night I said good bye to Uploader 3.05 and reinstalled the 2.5 version. I was writing and trying to post pictures about the family reunion last night, but I… just gave up on the uploading. The only thing I liked about the 3.05 uploader was that I could mark the pictures I wanted non-public prior to uploading, which I can’t do with 2.5 (it’s either all or nothing).

Ok, so it’s now 12:02am. The dryer just went off so that means my clothes for the beach are done. The gum is starting to hurt again, so I am going to take this as a sign to take more meds and crash for the rest of the night.

Hope everyone has a Happy Tuesday and Wednesday!!

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!