Thursday, June 30, 2011

So Sad, Not A Bee

I sent out my application to be a Weddingbee. And I was rejected. It was one of the nicest rejection e-mails I've ever received.

I did, however, remind me of the "thanks but no thanks" e-mails I was receiving daily back when I was still searching for a job. But I bounced back rather quickly.

I forwarded the e-mail to Easy because he is also invested in me becoming a Bee. This is mostly because he's super supportive of my need to blog.

And now I am devising a way to make myself seem like an even more attractive blogger so when I re-apply, they will have to have me.

They seem to be accepting Bees with wedding that are still this year, but they accept applications for weddings up to 8 months away. I'm just hoping they will pick me next time.

Pretty Pretty Please!! Uploaded with

But in the time before I can apply again (three more weeks now), you all will be inundated with what I'm taking care of in the wedding planning process.

I'm trying to think of non-wedding things to blog about, but I'm not as worried. I have to have more wedding happy content so they let me be a Bee. Send happy hive-tastic thoughts my way people!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Moving Into My First Nest

Easy and I, along with 10 of our friends, moved our stuff into our lovely third floor Hyde Park apartment Saturday. I'm just not getting around to blogging about it because I was in mourning for my lamps.

I have grown attached to my lamps. They were lovely and really fit who I am. If you are at all into decorating, you'll understand why I was so sad. Not one single lamp made it without being broken. Out of 5 lamps. Five lamp!!

But it's okay. Well, it's not. Careless people. Easy's friends, not mine by the way. But those lamps made it from Florida to Chicago to Champaign to Rockford to Alsip. But they couldn't make it from 127th & Cicero to Hyde Park. Sigh.

I will just have fun picking out new lamps.

We were amazingly efficient in moving. We allotted several hours to make it happen, and only needed about half that time. I'm very impressed with our people. Plus, most of the people helping us move were wedding party people, so it was one of the first wedding party "events" we've had.

We bought everyone Giordano's Pizza and Harold's Chicken as a thank you for moving. Seriously, you must buy food for your friends who help you move. But waiting until the people leave who broke all your beloved lamps before you actually place the order wouldn't hurt.

My parents came later and hung out for a bit. They brought champagne, riesling, and Coronas. Great housewarming gifts I think.

One of Easy's exes who he's still friends with (don't even get me started on the fact that she still wants him) also stopped by. She brought us gifts too. The cookie jar she brought is my favorite.

I've always wanted a cookie jar. It just seems so home-y. I can't wait to get everything unpacked and bake those chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies Easy loves and load up our jar.

Even though I was in pain for two days after the move, it was totally worth it to do it ourselves. Now, if/when we go to NYC, we're definitely getting professional movers. I just have to pare down my stuff so there's less to take.

I don't know what that means for our wedding registry, but I will figure it out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Key To Happiness

I could talk about some magical combination of love, family, friends, etc. But this isn't one of those types of posts where I wax philosophic about all the things in my life that make me happy.

Nope, this is a much simpler post.

The way to be happy is simply to want exactly what you want right at the moment you have it.

Case in point: At work I seem to be super happy it's quiet when it's not busy. And I seem to be extra glad to have a lot to do when it's busy.

I appreciate this trait I possess where I seem to want most at the moment what I have right in front of me. I'm not really a grass is greener kind of girl. I want what I have.

Living a life without much jealousy and with many feelings of being content is nice. It's better than nice. It's a good recipe for being happy.

How do you maintain your happiness?

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Can't Shop, But If I Could

I have this new job and that should mean lots of new money to spend on myself in ways lovely and numerous.

But that is not my reality. I just got engaged and my fiance Easy and I decided it would be a good idea to move right into a new apartment. So I have no disposable income and I won't for at least a couple months.

I do feel like it's worth it though. Starting a new life has startup costs. And new clothes and yoga class will just have to wait.

But, oh, if I could shop.... Here are some things I would pick up.

1. Delia's Floral Print Dress 2. CB2 Chaise Couch 3. Time at my favorite spa in Chicago

Do you ever dream shop? What would you get if you could, but can't (I feel your pain!)?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pandora Radio Is My New Best Friend

I've recently started listening to Pandora Radio my entire shift at work. I only stop it when my phone rings and I'm taking/making phone calls. I take my work very seriously, but when I'm not working, I'm jamming to music.

My favorite channels are my Michael Jackson channel, Neil Diamond channel, and Tony!Toni!Tone! channel. It's having a personal DJ and it's awesome.

I don't know why I never used this so much before. Actually I do know.

Before, I had a laptop and therefore used iTunes. I had most of the music I liked to listen to regularly. But things are different now as I spend 12 hours a day in the office.

Also, we eat at our desks. That's a lot of chewing to listen to. And some of my co-workers like talking with food in their mouths. The music helps drown all that out.

But how do I love Pandora? Let me count the ways. Oh wait, I just did.

Do you love Pandora? What are your favorite channels?

And also, should I go ahead and get Pandora One? Are the commercials really that bad?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adjusting to Work, aka, Lots O' Personality

I've decided that I like my job. I like it a lot and I could make a career out of it. I use my degree, there's room for advancement. And depending on the direction I go, the salary cap is really really high (adopt 6 kids? sure I can afford it).

So, the only thing about this job is the adjustment to all these different personalities. I like most everyone at the job, but they all have really strong personalities. It's hard to find that balance of friendliness and professionalism.

Professionalism doesn't seem to be high on the list of priorities. That makes for some moments, like when we broke into a game of catch. But it also makes for awkward moments when personal business of co-workers is being discussed behind their backs.

I'm still trying to find the tone I want to set in terms of how friendly (aka gossipy) I'll be at work. I don't want to be the stick in the mud. But it's not really in my nature to engage in all this conversation with co-workers. When I worked at Forever 21, I was there for a year before I ever went out with the co-workers who hung out every weekend.

I think I expected more of a work-ier environment because this is my "first real job." Like I said, it's an adjustment.

Anyone have to get over reality being different than expectations of a new job?

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Is Not A Wedding-Related Post

Yes, it is. I lied. Well, not really. Just a quick thing about the wedding, and then on to another topic.

I have personally designed our save the dates, engagement party invites, etc. And it only took me two nights of free time at work. This has given me the confidence to feel like I could save hundreds of dollars by designing our invitation suite myself. Want to see our STDs? I promise I'll stop with the immature jokes. After July. When our STDs are gone. Okay, I'm done now for real.

I think they're perfect. They're fun and casual, like an STD should be (lol, sorry), but they're also setting the tone for the rest of our wedding mailings. And they feature some of my favorites of our engagement photos.
Okay, moving on from wedding stuff. I read a new blog today that I want to plug. It's pretty awesome. It's called Colorful Rants of A Sista. It's written by thundercat. She's hilarious and irreverent. And you should read her blog. But not at work.

Thank God for Google reader so my supervisor doesn't have to see that day-glow blog covered in curse words on my screen at work. But I digress.

Tomorrow morning is when I begin moving my stuff into my new apartment. I'm super excited. Easy won't be there since he got a last minute gig at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

It was a great opportunity, so of course he had to go. I really encouraged it,even though it wasn't my decision to make. I'm marrying a may-an, not a puppet.

But he'll be back late Friday night and we'll spend our first night in our first apartment. It's a huge relationship first and I'm super excited. Really reeeeallly excited. Wish me luck that the move goes well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Photos, Venues, and Presents, Oh My!

Easy and I had our engagement shoot on Tuesday. We took our photos at my favorite spot on the planet. It's this little park in downtown Chicago right across the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Water Tower Place, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

I love this place because it's this lush green park with all these trees and lot of families and people just there doing park-y things, but right outside the gates, it's all bustling downtown metropolis. It's simply lovely for a city girl who likes quiet (ish) enclaves.

Our pictures turned out pretty great. Want to see my favorite one?

The Nu3 Buzz Photography
 This shot is exactly what I was hoping for. It's an intimate moment between us two, caught in the sunlight streaming through the trees. On a tangential note, there should be some good wedding luck because during our shoot, a bird pooped on me.

Yes, I got pooped on, right on my skirt, while we were taking a photo. Easy says no can ever call me a bridezilla because I didn't freak out. I just had sad face until out photographer's girlfriend helped sort it out so we could keep taking pictures.

But enough about pictures, I want to talk more about gifts. Vistaprint had an amazing sale, so I had to hurry and pick our stores for registry so we could order Moo cards. We got 1000 for $25.00 including shipping and handling. I feel pretty good about that. Giving people our registry info will be the kick in the butt we need to actually get our registry done because right now there are only 1-2 things in each store's registry for us.

My mom also got me a pre-wedding gift. It's a nice wine glass that says Bridal Shower on it. I love it so much. If you Google bridal shower glasses, they have some nice ones, but the one she got me is really elaborate. I plan on putting it to good use starting in December!

Speaking of gifts, a really nice man in the park gave us money! For no reason at all except as congratulations on our engagement. A couple of people asked why we were taking photos in the park and we were happy to keep explaining that it was our engagement shoot. Easy and I decided we are going to use the money the man gave us as the money we'll start our joint checking account with. I think it's nice and sweet and sentimental, or something like that.

And lastly in this wedding info overloaded blog post, we have settled on our wedding venue! It will be at Chateau Bu-sche in Alsip, IL. That is unless someone swoops in and steals our date before we make our deposit. My mother is going to take my father to have a look at it and then they'll put down the deposit. Cross your fingers for me that we can get our date.

I'll try to think of something non-wedding related to post about tomorrow, but no promises!

Also, Check out Kirsty Girl's Link Party here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Great Bridal Gifts Already

Since I got engaged, there's been this unexpected bonus to it:

Credit: Engagement Greeting Cards

I get gifts just for being engaged! Not engagement party gifts, not early wedding present, nope. Just simply-because-I've-been-informed-he-put-a-ring-on-your-finger gifts.

My aunt sent us the most lovely card. I guess it may be a good time to start investing in thank you cards so I can thank these people properly. The card was sent to Easy and I, and it had the sweetest hand-written message inside.

A family friend bought me a gift set with these bridal themed bath accessories. That wasn't for Easy and me, it was just for me. Everything in it smells so good and I can't wait to try it out.

Anyone else ever received any unexpected gifts?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Still No Girl Time Yet

Read the "Girl Time" post that preceded this one.

I miss my girls. I still haven't found time to hang out with them. I was supposed to spend time with them last Thursday, but Easy was sick and waited an extra day before going to St. Louis to pick up his things to move back to Chicago.

I stayed at his parents' house, took care of him, and did my first DIY bridal project. I was happy to spend more time with him... But I miss my girls!

Tonight, they were all hanging out with more of our friends. They were texting me at work so I'd be in on the new jokes they were making.

My friends have a lot of inside jokes. We've all been hanging out since we were children because we grew up in church together. While in youth group we spent an almost unhealthy amount of time together. So we have jokes that go back 10-15 years. It's great times.

Our new favorite thing is to start rumors about each other. Now don't think I mean anything like Rumor Has It or Jawbreaker. I just mean for inside jokes that we jokes with each other about (not in mixed company) for as long as we can remember the rumor.

They have one rumor about me telling a man to "scoot scoot" in a very snooty voice when he approached me in a bar. That never happened. Nothing like it has ever happened in fact. I'm very friendly to strangers who approach me for whatever reason. But it's absolutely hilarious when it's get brought up.

Whoever brings it up goes, "remember that time CeCe told that man to 'scoot scoot'?" Then someone else responds affirmatively and adds something even crazier to the story, such as throwing a drink at him, or demanding he perform tricks for my attention.

It's probably not funny if you're not there to witness it, but it cracks my friends and me up. Do you and your friends do anything crazy that you only do with each other?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meeting My Future In-Laws And Being Late To Work

Since my family had an early Father's Day, I was free to spend time with my fiance. I was worried about his family getting sick of me being around all the time and having no time with him without me there too.

Easy assured me that they weren't sick of me. Also, there were family members he was going to hang out with that I hadn't met yet. He felt it was essential that I accompany him to the family BBQ so that I could meet as many of them at once as possible.

I put on a cute dress and natural looking (but still super flattering) makeup and off we went. He drove to my house and I drove the BBQ so I could head to work after dinner.

When I arrived, his family was all hugs and greetings. He did have a girlfriend of 5 years who only went away last year, so I was a bit worried about their reception (but I didn't tell him that). Turns out I was worried for nothing. They were so sweet and kind.

One of his aunts is the one who's opinion is strong and important to Easy. He came up to me after we had been there a half hour or so and informed me that she loved me. I was excited because I had liked her too. Some people just give off a good vibe, you know? I'm glad she liked my vibe like I liked her.

Easy has a much larger family that he spends time around regularly than I do. I'm looking forward to getting to know them better over time. And I'm feeling much better about having to invite all 109 of them to our wedding.

I ate some lovely Latin food, and then headed to work. Did I mention half of his family is Hispanic (Honduran by blood plus Mexican by marriage)? So there were elements that only seem to come in abundance from certain ethnicities (shout out to Greeks, Hispanics, and Caribbean Islanders!): music, great food, lots of laughter, never-ending amounts of children running around. It was fantastic.

When I finally left for work, I had just enough time to get to work. When I was just 5 miles away (around 7 min), there was a train. The world's longest train. Seriously. Someone from Guinness World Records should have been there to witness the occasion. I sat there for a very long time, called into work to let them know I'd be late, and then began people watching.

All the motocyclists were de-biking and meeting each other and making new friends. People were not only putting their cars in park, but turning the engines off. A couple people fell asleep and started snoring. These people had time to reach deep sleep and probably begin dreaming.

After the 200+ car train finally passed, I sped down the road, going 60 in a 30 mph zone. I didn't want to be too late to work. I made up those 5 miles in under 5 minutes. Don't judge me, I hate being late to work for something that's not my fault.

I love having eventful days and it seems every day is like that these days. Yay!

Super Random

I bought a fruit salad that has mango, kiwi, grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple and honeydew melon in it.

It's super yummy and I'm enjoying eating it while at work. It's a very healthy snack, you know.

But I'm noticing the weirdest thing as the flavors are melding. The grapes, mango, and pineapple have held onto their natural fruit flavors.

But for some reason, the cantaloupe tastes like mango. The kiwi tasted like grape. And the honeydew melon tastes like pineapple.

Remember, I said this is super random. But the scientist in me is dying to know why these particular fruits absorbed some flavors, but not others. A mystery that I can't (or won't) Google to solve.

Anyone ever have a totally random moment? You know, things that make you go "hmmmmm"?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day, Playing Catch, And Growing A Second Head

Saturday wasn't a particularly eventful day, but three interesting things happened that I wanted to share with the blogosphere.

The first thing was my family celebrating Father's Day a day early. My family is all about holidays. All about them, okay? And my father spends the time the holidays focus on him saying things like, "you really really shouldn't have gotten me anything," the rest of us still enjoy celebrating in his honor.

We all gave him our gifts Saturday and had a great meal of jerk chicken, beans and rice, and cabbage. Then I had to rush off to work. Why did we do this a day early? My father leaves for Reno at 10:00 am to go to a bowling tournament.

Want to see what I got him as gifts? They're great gifts, if I do say so myself. What makes it even better is that I paid for these gifts with money I earned from work, without input or help from anyone (except payroll, bahaha).

Great Gift Idea: The Knot Wedding Shop

Lennox Tuscany Decanter at Macy's

 I do love my Daddy so much. I was glad that my first gift purchases with my all-grown-up-and-working money went to him.

After I left for work, my second interesting thing happened. I found out that all my co-workers are just as incredibly silly as I am.

It started because one of my co-workers threw a ball of paper at another one. It quickly devolved into us throwing swag from previous employee meetings around the office.  It was like this:

Well, except in an office not a pool. And with those little hackeysack balls, not water balloons. But it certainly felt that festive. We had fun and then the phone range and we got back to work. It felt like some flash mob that breaks into dance and then resumes life as if it hadn't just happened. Or any musical ever. It was awesome.

The third thing is actually two moments that feel like they are exactly indicative of my life right now in this point in time. Easy brought his stuff back from St. Louis (that means he's officially moved back!!!!) and put it into my storage unit. Nothing says all grown up and standing on your own like sharing a storage locker with your fiance.

The other thing is I got some snacks from Wal-Mart before work. I finally pulled out an apple to eat it because I was hungry for something sweet. That's when I noticed it was the hugest apple ever! I mean, genetically altered, gonna-grow-a-second-head-if-you-eat-that-growth-hormone-pumped-fruit, big as a baby's head apple. And of course I ate it. It was either that or a Snicker's bar.

imagine this but like three times the size

In conclusion, my Daddy's Father's Day was early (and awesome!), my co-workers are buckets of fun in downtime, and I'm quite the adult in this genetically altered 2011 summer!

Did anyone else have an interesting day?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My First Bridal DIY Project

I decided that I was going to be a DIY bride. Our wedding isn't exactly on a tight budget, but I have a crafty side to me that I wanted to let shine.

If it were up to me, I would spend my most recent paycheck on a new laptop instead of rent, but that's not reality. I say that to say that I don't have pictures of what I've done because my work computer can't upload my digital camera photos, but trust that my projects came out great.

The two projects I've done are: 1) a Thank You wreath and 2) a Save-The-Date Banner.

If you are not currently immersed in the wedding world, I'll explain what these two lovely things are.

Easy and I have our engagement photo shoot coming up this Tuesday (thanks future cousin Buzzy for the great rate!) and I wanted to incorporate some cute ideas I've seen on wedding websites.

Couples take photos during their engagement shoot to be used specifically for other purposes throughout their wedding.

I want to use the Save-The-Date wreath for, duh, our save-the-date mailings. We're behind schedule on these, but seeing as how we are having a super-short engagement, people will forgive us. I think.

This banner is lovely (take my word for it until I post a picture). I will hold up one end and Easy will hold up the other and we will use that photo for our save the dates, which incidentally will be going out with the invitations to our engagement party. That way we'll save money on postage. Winning, duh!

The wreath is my own spin on the banner. I didn't want two banners, simply because I'm a rebel (or something like that). So in lieu of two banners, we'll have one banner and one wreath. I saw all these great photos around the internet of couples holding up banners that spelled out Thank You for use in their thank you cards after the wedding.

I love this idea because it shows that the couple was thinking ahead about their appreciation to everyone waaaay back when they took engagement shots. You know, well before the wedding. Everyone will see what gracious lovely people Easy and I are.

I bought a grapevine wreath and wooden letters, fake baby's breath, paint, and a glue gun. It turned out very well if I do say so myself.

Now all we have to figure out is what we will be wearing. We've got the date, the time, the location, and the props. We can't show up naked because that would not be winning. That would be a fail. And a reason to get arrested on the streets of downtown Chicago.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Girl Time

I pride myself on being an individual. This is something I hope to stay true even as I work on building a life with my fiance. To that end, spending time with my girls (without him) is a fading commodity that's becoming ever more important.

Last weekend, Easy had a gig at Andy's Jazz Club downtown. It was kind of a big deal and lots of both of our friends and family came out for it. My girls Michelle, Gloria, and Camille were there.

It was a fun grown-up evening for us. We were out having a drink and listening to great live jazz music. I loved having that moment with my girls.

That moment was also shared with Easy. It was very romantic because our engagement was announced (more than once) and the trumpet player serenaded us in a song. I loved being there with him. Having my parents and my girls there made it only better.

But I miss being out with my girls just by ourselves. The last time we went out was Gloria's birthday, but that was last month before I was even engaged. Honestly, it wasn't that long ago in terms of the calendar. But in terms of the whirlwind that has been my life since then, it feels like a long time ago.

So I've got to figure out how to make some time for my girls. They all lead busy lives as well. Plus, I'm the only one who works nights. Something has got to give though. I want some girl time out with my chicas that is an activity other than attending one of Easy's gigs.

The best part about this problem is that Easy and I always encourage each other to have our own lives. We don't do jealousy or neediness (unless we're being dramatic). So it's really just a matter of when I can find mutual free time. I just hope it's sooner rather than later.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wishing I Could Exercise

I wouldn't change anything about the last few weeks of my life. A lot has happened.

I got engaged. I started a new job. I signed a lease for an apartment. All of that makes for a very busy CeCe.

I don't have a whole bunch of free time that isn't taken up by working/sleeping, wedding planning, supporting Easy's music, and making time for my amazing friends and family.

Not having free time means not exercising. Being healthy is a priority, but the mechanics of it are not. I'm worried because my job is sedentary. I have visions of myself waking up in 6 months to discover that I've gained 20 pounds back and therefore can't fit into my perfect wedding dress.

I had plans of working out in the facilities at my job, but I spend my breaks blogging and working out after a 12 hour shift just doesn't sit right with me emotionally. I know, I know, drama!

So I need a new plan. I've been dying to get back to yoga and rock climbing and ballroom dancing. Paying for those things in advance will guarantee that I'll make the time to go. But they aren't in the budget yet.

First, I have to get back on track with my student loans. And I have to make a budget with Easy for how we're going to coordinate all of our new bills.

Then I have to get a new laptop, and of course, lots of money needs to be saved for NYC. And then there's helping to pay for wedding stuff.

Basically, my plans for exercising aren't really coming together like I wish they could. But writing this post is giving me a kick in the butt because I hate identifying a problem and not fixing it.

I've just decided that once we move in, Easy and I will go running together like we used to when I would visit him in St. Louis. As long as we can find time in our schedules, I think it would be great for both of us to get more active again. I hope he likes the idea. And I hope my anxiety over this soon subsides.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Applying To Be A Weddingbee And Other Related Wedding TidBits

Tonight I finally submitted my application to my favorite wedding blog to join up. I mentioned this waaay back in March. You can read the post here.

From what I hear, I won't know for a couple of weeks whether or not I'll get accepted. Until that time, you all will be forced to hear all about the planning details of my wedding.

Our wedding guest list is still still still not done. My family and Easy's family all sat down on Sunday afternoon. We managed to get the list down to 291 from 425. But that's not even close to where it needs to be.

I've long since given up on the hope of my small wedding. People keep telling me I shouldn't be surprised since our wedding party is so large. Kind of like this.

Image of Scottish wedding

But I think that's unfair. If it were up to me, it'd be that many people standing up with us and that many sitting in the audience. But now I've tried to be realistic and accept 250. I'd prefer 200 because I'm thinking of my parents' budget.

But there is good news from the weekend. I. Got. A. Wedding. Dress. And I love it! I will not be showing my dress here since my fiance Easy reads this blog all the time and he's not allowed to see the dress. But here were some major candidates.
anjolique wedding dress

These dresses are Anjolique, DaVinci Bridals, and Allure Bridals respectively. You can find them by just going to the websites of the three wedding dress designers.

Searching for a wedding dress taught me a lot about perceptions. I went in feeling more convinced of my pre-conceived notions about my dress should look, but my mother was convinced I was all wrong.

I didn't get a sweetheart neckline, but it was definitely the most flattering on me. I didn't want a white dress, and though I fell in love with one, I ultimately chose a taupe dress. A line was the most bridal-feeling to me even though mermaid was damn sexy. And I was, and still am, completely opposed to any type of train, no matter how beautiful.

Next, I'll be figuring out how to make time to do a DIY project for our engagement photo shoot that is now only 6 days away. Yikes!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Six Degrees of Separation

Anyone ever found out their significant other dated someone you knew? How about someone you knew well? How about someone you knew really well?

Yeah, well that happened to Easy and I last weekend. We had already long ago discussed our past relationship history. Easy and I tend to over-share anyway, plus neither of us wanted the other to ever be in a situation to deal with surprises.

Easy has a friend from high school. They met up to hang out last weekend and Easy was telling this old friend from high school about his new fiancee. When he showed him a picture, the friend was surprised to find he knew the woman in the picture. He informed Easy that he knew me when I was in medical school.

Turns out I know this guy because I went on a couple of dates with one of his classmates in law school. When he and I discovered we had absolutely no chemistry and our involvement was going to go nowhere, I moved on... to another friend in their group. These guys weren't friends at all actually, but they moved in the same circle. I met the second guy through the first.

Moving on. This second guy is the one I dated for a number of months. He and I didn't work out because he had some habits I couldn't get over. We have remained friendly and Easy knew of this guy by name. I never mentioned his last name though. Apparently I should have because this guy went to high with Easy and the guy who recognized my picture.

Easy and I had a discussion about it on and off for a couple of days. He seemed pretty upset about finding out I dated someone he knew (years ago) and used to hang around (years ago). I got upset because I felt like it was his fault that it was a surprise. When he told me about his past relationships/dating folks, I asked follow up questions if there was a chance I knew them.

I ruled out names, professions, colleges, and ages. I know for a fact that I have a ton of degrees of separation between myself and these women. But he didn't do his due diligence. He recognized a name and college and just assumed it couldn't be the same guy.

We've settled the issue since then, but it was a lesson learned. Even with our over-sharing, it's possible to be surprised by information about our partner. He's fine that I'm still friendly with this guy because this guy know I'm engaged, and he's dating someone else now, so there's no torch-holding going on for me.

And this led to a discussion of our values about gender stereotypes and double standards. I won't get into it, but let's just say that there is some unequal judgement of pasts that was (is?) going on. Honestly, I'm just glad we're able to have these discussions no matter how uncomfortable because we know that there's nothing either of us could say to make us change our minds about spending the rest of our lives together.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Making Adjustments

I've made a couple adjustments recently to handle all that's going on in my new life. They're all over the spectrum, so I have no great introduction. I'm just going to jump right in.

1. Missing sleep for various reasons
When I leave work at 7 am, I'd like nothing more than to go right to sleep. That almost never happens.

There's always something. Between Easy's mother, my mother, my friends, etc., there's always something to do. There's a conversation to be had or plans and obligations to fulfill.

Easy is starting to get really upset at people for not being considerate of my need to actually sleep during the day. I don't want him to worry, but I appreciate that he worries. Also, he gets the brunt of my crankiness when I'm sleepy, so he's also got the most vested interest in me getting rest, ha ha.

But I'm hoping to come up with a plan to get sleep and do favors after that. If anyone has suggestions short of asking people to stop needing me (which I don't want to do), let me know.

2. Thinking about more than just what I want
I am kind of indecisive and there are a lot of things that I don't have strong opinions on (okay not a lot, but there are some). The point is, I don't do so well with stressing what I want when it concerns more than me.

Easy really encourages me to focus on what I want and to not be over-accommodating. My friends Top and Bad have been encouraging that for a while.

Planning this wedding is starting to make that really sink in for me. I still have decisions to make that are heavily influenced by what others might want, but some decisions are all my own. Our wedding colors will be a group decision with my vote counting the least (even though I have the "final say"). But my wedding dress will be my choice even if everyone else hates what I pick.

Baby steps, CeCe, baby steps.

3. Adjusting diet to suit metabolic needs
My job is now a sedentary job. I spend 14 hours a day basically sitting down and moving only minimally. I work a 12 hour shift and it's an hour to and from work.

And when I get sleepy, the only thing that keeps me up is caffeine or food. I can't drink coffee all day because I will be completely on edge. So I eat. And I eat. I've magically not gained a single pound, but I'm only 3 weeks in.

I'm worried that one day I'm going to suddenly jump up 10 pounds. It doesn't happen that suddenly, but unexpected and unnoticeable-until-it's-already-happened weight gain has happened to me before.

We moved forward on getting our apartment sooner than expected, so the money I thought I'd have to get back on the exercise bandwagon won't be there until next month probably.

I could work out at my job's workout facility, but 7 am just doesn't work for me, plus being in this building an extra hour isn't really my thing. I want to go back to yoga and ballroom dancing and rock climbing. I want to not turn into a fat ass.

Basically, I have noticed some things about myself that are requiring adjustment as my life changes. I just hope I'm able to handle the adjustments because the last thing I want to do is be a capitulating sleepy fatty.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hanging Out With My Groomsman

Easy and I chose amazing people for our wedding party. Yup, all 32 of them are amazing.

Everyone we invited to be a part of our day in a special way means something to us. The bridesmaids, bridal attendants, and groomsman are all good friends of ours. They are people we regularly spend time with.

This makes me happy because that means that by the time our wedding events roll around, we'll all be very well acquainted and maybe even friends.

Take Wednesday night, for example. I went out with Easy and several of his musician friends. Two of these men are going to be groomsmen at our wedding.

We had so much fun laughing and talking and listening to music and eating good food (with extraordinarily terrible service).

I love that we have compatible personalities. A fun game has emerged from Easy and I spending so much time with each other's friends. It's called "Who Will Hook Up At Our Wedding?"

We mix and match the friends based on personality and physical preferences. It would be amazing if any of our friends hooked up at the wedding. Mostly because Easy and I met at a wedding, and we'd love to keep the cycle going.

I don't know how many weddings you all have been to, but most of the ones I've attended didn't really have a good mix of single 20- and 30-somethings. But my wedding will definitely have that. Somebody better hook up, that's all I'm saying.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Putting Together A Wedding Binder

Seeing as how I don't want to pay money for a wedding planner, just a Day of Coordinator, it's imperative that I stay very organized while putting together the details of my wedding.

I'm not sure if anyone who reads this blog has planned a wedding, but it's no joke. Seriously, it's not funny at all.

The only details I have finalized seemed like big decisions at the time. I was so proud of myself for getting these thing accomplished.

Then five minutes later, I think about everything thing else left to do and that one item checked off seems like nothing. I feel this way every time.

The one thing still leaving me with a sense of accomplishment is putting together my wedding binder. Between Russel + Hazel and Office Depot, I'm able to keep a grasp on all the details and decisions to be made that are piling up daily.

Russel + Hazel has this wedding planner that will be my best friend (once it is delivered). Here it is.

Wedding Organizer

And from Office Depot, I got a calendar, page protectors, highlighters, colored gel pens, and a briefcase.

The briefcase has a dual purpose. This wedding binder will have to be carried with me everywhere I go from now until February 11th, so I wanted something to carry it in that wasn't my purse. Plus, I'd like some training materials from to be able to travel with me as well.

Keeping up with my work schedule, Easy's practice/gig schedule, plus appointments and meetings for this wedding is the biggest task with the binder, but with the highlighters, I have color coded our calendar.

Just writing this all out seems like soooooooo much to me. But it will be worth it to stay organized and on top of things. Or am I just crazy? Probably a little of column A and a little of column B.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Another Fast Forward For My Life

After feeling like I was standing still for a year, it's really nice to have things move forward again so soon. But first, I will recap everything else.

One year ago, I made the decision to leave medical school and it was pretty much downhill from there.

I was looking for a job doing research and I couldn't find one.

I was dating a man I really like and the future of the relationship was always more promising than reality in the moment.

My parents were freaking out at the limbo I had thrown my life into.

My friends weren't sure what to make of the situation.

But then I met Easy and after a roller coaster, things settled out and suddenly my romantic life improved.

Once I settled into life without heading towards an MD (for the first time in over 10 years), I was a person that my friends wanted to spend more time around and my friendships grew.

My parents finally accepted I wasn't going back to medical school and that withdrawal was just a formality.

Then April-May happened and everything flew forward. I got this job that I love and has promise to turn into a rewarding career that lets me be in an industry I love in a capacity that suits me much better than practicing medicine.

My wonderful boyfriend Easy is now my wonderful fiance Easy. He proposed and now we're in full swing of planning our wedding for February 11, 2012.

But the latest fast forward? We got an apartment! It's in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. I have to be honest, I never thought I'd live in Hyde Park and I kind of didn't want to.

It wasn't until Easy and I were looking at apartments Thursday afternoon that I suddenly decided that I absolutely definitely had to live in Hyde Park.

The second apartment we were shown was perfect and I was done looking. Easy made me look at one more, but my mind was made up. We filled out the paperwork Wednesday afternoon and signed our lease Thursday morning. By the time this posts, we'll be the proud renters of a lovely 2 bedroom apartment. And we'll be moving in in a couple weeks.

We have appointments Friday and Saturday to look at wedding venues and wedding gowns.

It's just amazing when I look back to the not-so-distant past where things were compared to now.

I have the most amazing fiance, job, friends, and family. I feel so blessed and I cannot even believe this is my life. Eventually, things will slow down and I'll have time to catch my breath, but I'm liking that for right now, everything just keeps getting better all at once.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Story About My Ring

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had to have my ring replaced less than a week after receiving it. To clarify, I just had to have the stone replaced. It's just a crazy crazy story.

So, I came home from work Saturday morning and both my parents are awake. They have to head over to our church for Bible Institute soon. My mother asks me to run to Dunkin Donuts to get coffee and donuts for the meeting before I go to sleep (this is what I mean by my fam/friends not helping me get rest).

I told her I would go and off I went. I get the coffee and the donuts and head back to the church. There are several meetings going on at once, and one of the church members is walking out while I'm trying to get my stuff together to go in. She sees me, tells me she's heard the good news of my engagement and asks to see my ring.

I love my ring and I think it is amazingly breathtakingly beautiful, so I held out my hand for her to see it in it's full glory sparkling in the sunshine. I promise I'll put up a picture of it the next time I'm blogging on a computer I can load photos onto. But as I hold my hand up for her to see, I notice a big gaping hole where the pink sapphire was.

All the diamond that encircle the sapphire were there, just no pink sapphire! I was freaking out only for a split second because my response was to come up with a solution rather than cry about it. I took the coffee and donuts inside, showed my mother the ring, informed her I was off to fix it and left.

Easy purchased the ring in St. Louis, but it was from Jared, so they are all over. I called the Orland Park store to make they were open. I told them I had a ring in need of repair and I was en route to the store. I was assured they could help me with a ring purchased in a different city.

I called Easy to tell him what happened and make sure he had gotten "the good insurance." He had because he's a very smart and wonderful man. I get to the store, they look up the ring info in the computer. And because we had the good insurance, they said they would replace the stone and I should come back in a few hours to pick it up.

I had to sleep before work, so I wanted to see if Easy could pick up the ring for me. When I called the store back to check, they informed me that only I or a designated person-- designated before I left the store-- could pick up the ring. I told them my fiance had purchased the ring and surely he would be able to pick it up for me since I had to be at work.

She said, "you'd be surprised how many people use repairs and cleanings as an excuse to take a ring back. For security purposes, only you can pick up the ring. I understand that he purchased it, but you'd really be surprised how often it happens that someone tries to take the ring back,"

I just cracked up laughing and told them my fiance wasn't going to do that, but I would just wait until the next day and pick it up. Easy and I went to the store the next day, picked up the ring. I dare say, it's even more brilliant. Pink sapphires come in many shades of pink, and I think I like this even better. It could just be my bias for things that are sparkly. I always think what's right in front of me is the best.

They said the stone should stay in this time. I don't even know how it fell out. I sit at a desk 12 hours a day and sleep in between. Literally, the most strenuous thing I'd done since receiving the ring was carrying a Dunkin Donut Box O Joe. But hopefully that was the only time such a thing would happen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In The Full Swing Of This New Life

I had been blogging during my breaks at work, but suddenly I didn't feel like it. I used my breaks to sleep. I was feeling pretty worn out. Getting adjusted to night would be much easier if it wasn't for my family and friends constantly requesting thing of me during the daytime.

So, let's see, what's been going on these last couple of days? I've been already in the full swing of wedding planning. We've got a list of venues and bridal salons to check out once me, my mother, and Easy can coordinate schedules. We set a tentative budget (concrete enough to pick a venue).

The hardest part so far? Coming up with a guest list. I have a list, Easy has a list, each of my parents made a list and Easy's parents made one list together. That's a lot of lists to reconcile. We're supposed to all sit down together on Sunday to whittle the list down to some manageable number (right now its 375 without Easy's parents' list).

We're flying pretty swiftly through training at work. It was supposed to take 8-9 weeks but it looks like we'll be done n 6 weeks. That's pretty exciting because then my schedule will be my own (at least more so) quicker.

I've really enjoyed spending time with Easy these last couple days. He takes such good care of me and makes sure I get enough sleep. This is the first night at work I actually felt rested enough to blog. I didn't need to nap during my break!

The one thing I have done with wedding planning is I have made formal invitations to all 32 members of our wedding party. That's right 32. We're freaking insane, I know.

2 Best Men, 2 Maids of Honor, 2 Bridal Attendants, 8 Groomsmen, 6 Bridesmaids, 2 Junior Bridesmaids, 2 Flower Girls, 2 Ring Bearers, 2 Hostesses, 2 Ushers, 2 Officiants.

That's a lot. That's all I have to say. I was party to this huge ass wedding party, so I can't complain...

Tomorrow, I'll post the story of how I had to get my engagement ring replaced less than one week after receiving it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gonna Get Married, But There's More To My Life, Part 3

The first two posts (parts 1 and 2) covered the first two topics. This one is all about #3. 1. Men I used to date who still don't know I'm engaged yet. 2. Looking for an apartment. 3. Settling into this new job and the financial situation that goes along with it.

3. This job seems like it will be pretty amazing. Once I'm settled and doing the work, i.e, done with training, I will love it. At least I think so thus far.

That's a great thing, but there is this extra part to getting work done. Getting paid for it! Whoo! I still have to have my gainful employment party, and I can't wait for it.

But being gainfully employed means car insurance, rent, heating bills, cell phone, student loans, saving for the future, as well as supporting my own habits (more ballroom dancing than meth, what were you thinking?).

Coming up with a budget of how to cover all these expenses worries me a bit. This will be the first time in my life that I'm covering all my expenses. I have to say, I'm not looking forward to it. I'd like to set a goal of having my budget all written typed out by the end of the month. If I can accomplish that, I'll feel better.

The one thing I'm leaning on right now is that my work salary and life budget doesn't also have to include wedding costs. My wonderfully traditional parents and future in-laws are taking care of most of the wedding associated costs! Yay for them. Easy and I will be returning the favor in terms of helping with retirement and throwing awesome retirement or 50th year anniversary parties.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why I Stayed Awake For Almost 36 Hours Straight

I drove home from work early Thursday morning with full intentions of getting lots of good sleep so I could enjoy the rest of my time off before having to be back at work Friday evenings. I'm not sure if I explained that I work nights. 7pm to 7am.

While on the way home, I spoke with Easy about my concerns over informing exes about our engagement. The reason I love him so much is that I can talk to him about anything. With only a very few exceptions, he and I don't seem to possess the insecurity or jealousy genes.

He had already informed most of his exes that he was going to propose. That's right, he told them before he even did it. But his way of telling them seemed very successful, so I made plans to call up my people and let them know that very day.

I got home around 9 am with plans to make a quick few phone calls and then get some sleep. But then no one answered. And then I remembered I still hadn't spoken to my godmother or my pastor. And then I remembered I wanted to call some family members of one of my exes to tell them since we are still very friendly.

Long story short, I didn't get off the phone until 12:30 pm. At which point, I had to leave the house to go pickup one of my bridesmaids to take her to the doctor (car trouble). Then I realized I still haven't officially told the rest of my bridesmaids I was engaged.

I intended to tell them when I saw them. Once that plan was in place, I suddenly didn't see them for four days. Go figure. So I made plans to hang out with two of them and go to the movies with two more that night. I called the ones who were going to the movies and told them over the phone since the movies weren't til later. I finally informed them all, just in time to go to have coffee with PT.

He wanted to catch up and we did. I told him about the new job and about being engaged. I was so worried about the conversation and how it would go, but he didn't ask about timelines, so I didn't have to tell him he and Easy overlapped. But then PT began giving me how-to-avoid-getting-divorced advice, which I will be taking with a grain of salt seeing as how he is divorced.

I finally went to see Hangover 2 that night. And I was deliriously sleepy. I never fall asleep on movies, but I missed a whole 4 minutes of that movie. I finally crawled into bed and chatted with Easy until I fell asleep.

I was glad to get certain notifications out to the people. Since I'm not on Facebook, there was no other way for my exes to find out and I really am glad they heard from me early on. It's not like they're harboring torches for me, but it's just the principle. Plus, after what happened to my girl Michelle (another bridesmaid!) Friday night, I feel even more strongly that calling them was a good idea.

Speaking of notifications, I have to work on finding formal invitations to the wedding party to ask them to be a part. I have to have 24. Easy and I will both have a best man and maid of honor, we have two flower girls, two ring bearers, and he has 8 groomsmen, and I have 2 bridal attendant (males) and 6 bridesmaids. Crazy, right? Well, we do what we want cause we're rebels.

I have decided that I will still apply to be a Bee, but in the meantime, you all will have to listen to me yakkety yak yak about wedding stuff and I will also set up a classic wedding website. The classic site is for guests to go to to get info about the wedding, it won't be blogging. I may change my mind because I do that a lot. But thanks for the congratulations and please bear with me as I manage to put together a wedding in less than 9 months!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gonna Get Married, But There's More To My Life, Part 2

This post will be all about #2 since I've already covered #1. #3 will be covered tomorrow I think. 1. Men I used to date who still don't know I'm engaged yet. 2. Looking for an apartment. 3. Settling into this new job and the financial situation that goes along with it.

2. I need to find an apartment. Both my parents and Easy's parents have expressed that they are okay (more or less) with the idea of us living together even before we're officially husband and wife.

But where do we live? Hyde Park is more appealing than it's ever been before because my friends Bada and Jordan just moved there and I love their place. Easy would like to live in Hyde Park.

There's also Wicker Park, which I love and which we can afford. There are other neighborhoods, but there's a lot to consider.

Living somewhere that's convenient for me to travel to and from work is important, but also if it's near where Easy has most of his gigs.

Being close, but not too close, to our family and friends would also be nice. Both of our churches are far south as well, so that's a consideration.

Ranking importance between finance, friends, family, work, and religion isn't easy. Plus, we have slightly different priorities when finding an apartment. I want windows, in-unit laundry, and 2 bedrooms. Easy wants practice space, artsy neighbors, and affordability. Those are not in-sync priorities, though they're not necessarily out of sync either.

If we could just pick a leasing company or brokering company, we could start finding places and go from there. But finding the time to do that is easier said than done. I just feel like we're running out of time to find an apartment with a July 1st lease.

I will feel supremely better once we start looking at places and know we can find a place that we would love and afford.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gonna Get Married, But There's More To My Life, Part 1

I have only 8 1/2 months to plan a wedding! Yikes! What was I thinking?!?!

Well, I know what I was thinking. I love Easy so much, and I wanted to press fast forward on the process toward becoming his wife as much as possible. Still having a wedding that falls 1 year 7 months 9 days after we first met is pretty good timing I think. I'm just glad Easy agreed with me that moving forward at this speed is the best idea for the two of us.

That being said, there are other things going on in my life. 1. Men I used to date who still don't know I'm engaged yet. 2. Looking for an apartment. 3. Settling into this new job and the financial situation that goes along with it.

1. Yeah... so I didn't send out some sort of mass text to everyone I've ever talked to that may or may not pop back up again. I think that would just be odd. And since I'm not on Facebook, I don't have the benefit of spreading the news simply by changing my relationship status.

So what is my plan of action? I figure I'll tell them if and when they pop up. Except two got ahead of schedule; instead of popping up after the engagement, they popped up a few days before I was engaged.

One is my ex-boyfriend from college, who I have referred to as Light in my other blog, texted me to see how I was last week. I feel like I should tell him because we have so many mutual friends and I'm sure he will be offended if he doesn't hear it from me. But we only catch up every couple months or so.

Since we caught up last week, I'm wondering if I should call him up to tell him or wait until the next time it's reasonable to be back in contact and risk him hearing it from someone else? I only care because our break-up and subsequent roller coaster friendship cause quite a bit of hullabaloo amongst our college friends.

I don't want to once again be the asshole who didn't consider Light's feelings in the situation. Plus, if he were getting married, I'd like to know. Actually, I don't care, but I feel like I should care, you know?

Then there's PT. This is the guy I was still-sort-of-dating-but-definitely-still-liking when I met Easy. In fact, I wrote an interesting post comparing the two men that you can read here (sorry for bringing that back up Easy). PT popped up again right before I got engaged wanting to catch up.

I mentioned in a previous blog post that we planned on going for coffee but I have PT firmly in my unreliable category, so I didn't expect that we'd actually catch up. But he texted me again to set a specific time for Thursday evening to go have coffee. I feel like somewhere in there I should have mentioned the life changes, but all I mentioned was the new job. It just felt... weird... to bring it up via text. And when we first talked about meeting to catch up, there was no engagement.

Waiting to say, "I'm in a relationship now" makes sense. Waiting to say, "I'm engaged now" makes less sense. But the major concern is that I met Easy before PT and I were done. We were fizzling out, but weren't done yet.

When we fizzled out, I figured I'd never have to hear from him again except for the next time Cody Ross (google him, he's awesome) does something fantastic, and even then it wouldn't be to catch up, it would be a quick conversation that wouldn't include information about either of our lives.

If I'm lucky, he'll have a girlfriend and simply be interested in being one of those people who stays friends with all his old flames.

I wish Easy were the type of guy who was against staying friends with exes. But both he and I are pretty nonchalant about it. I'm nonchalant cause I mostly don't care to maintain those friendships myself, but I'm not the jealous type. He does in fact maintain those friendships, but he's also not jealous. So I have no reason not to try and make the best of these interesting situations.

I coffee tomorrow goes well and drama free, I may take the plunge and call up the ex from college before he hears it from someone else. And then I'll handle anyone else who pops up out of the woodwork as they arise. I guess that's what happens when I go through an.. abridged.. process towards the altar.

My friends who date people for like 5 years don't have these issues.

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