Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Showered with Ribbons

No bridal shower is complete without the ribbon bouquet. Which I forgot to share in yesterday's post. Whoops. So, while I got to have fun ripping apart the wrapping paper (and very carefully taking off the bows):

my MOH and best friend S spent her time like this:

This isn't quite the finished product (apparently I don't have a picture of that, so you'll just have to wait for its debut at our rehearsal!), but it's close:

Am I the only one who had a very surreal moment at her shower thinking about how the next time I'd be carrying that plate full of ribbons would be at the rehearsal?? No? Just me? Ok then.

Thanks again MOH S for making the ribbon bouquet (and now I really hope that she still has it, because otherwise I have no idea what happened to it...), and C for all of the pictures!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Showered with Books

The day after Christmas my amazing bridesmaids hosted a second bridal shower for me in Seattle. The timing was a little bit difficult being right after Christmas and all, but it was the only time that all 5 of my bridesmaids would be in town at the same time, so we went with it. Unfortunately, it also meant that several friends who were flying in and out of Seattle around Christmas were unable to come. That was a little bit of a bummer, but there was never going to be a date that would have worked for everyone!

The shower was held at the Seattle Yacht Club and it was still decorated and festive for Christmas - we aren't doing anything Christmas-y at the wedding, but the decorations really made the shower feel extra celebratory. I've mentioned before that my bridesmaids are all girls that I went to elementary school with - I've known them all since we were 10. It felt so amazing to be surrounded by them and several of their mothers (including one who is my second mother - I even sign cards to her "from your third daughter").

My wonderful second mother. Her daughters are MOH S and Bridesmaid K (the ones whose birthday is on Mr. EB's and my wedding day!)

It ended up being really nice that there was a smaller guest list as we were able to all sit at one table - we had lunch and laughed while catching up with each other (I hadn't seen one of my bridesmaids in over a year!).

I have no idea what was so funny, but there are a series of these photographs - this was the least ridiculous!

My girls had decided to make this a book themed shower and they asked that everyone bring a book related to marriage or relationships. Now, I have to admit, I was a little bit concerned when I first heard about this theme. Part of me had expected that this would just be a regular bridal shower, with no theme beyond that, and another part of me was concerned that I was going to end up with 5 copies of Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed (which I do want to read, but I don't need 5 copies of it!). However, I have to say that my friends and family picked some of the most amazing and touching books - and there were no duplicates! Even more special than the books themselves were reading the cards and stories behind why a particular book had been chosen.

Mr. EB's sister wrote the nicest note welcoming me to the family and letting me know how happy she is that I'm marrying her brother. I'm pretty sure I hit the in-law jackpot.

Every gift I received was chosen specifically for me, by people who have known me nearly 20 years. I should never have been worried - how could you when you get a copy of Jenny McCarthy's Love, Lust and Faking It (from my second mother, no less!)? Or 1001 Escapes? (this book has been an excellent resource in trying to figure out where we want to go on our belated honeymoon!) I also received a copy of The Modern Family Cookbook, which was printed in 1943. It's hilarious, and contains some amazing "creeds" at the beginning of each chapter. For example: "Happy family relationships are part of my responsibility; therefore, I will save enough energy to do the job of being a happy and helpful hostess to my family day after day." And "Stretching the food dollar is part of my responsibility; therefore I will take such care of foods that none will spoil. I will use left-overs with thought and skill." They made me laugh when I first read them, but the core of the creeds throughout the book is something that I really appreciate - taking pride in creating healthy and delicious meals for your family. I'm not saying that I'm always successful at doing that, but it's a great thing to look through now and then!

But the most amazing book that I received is one that appeals directly to the attorney in me (or perhaps more accurately, the law student that's still inside me!). One of my bridesmaid's dad is an attorney and he is someone I have always gone to for advice when I need it, and to answer questions when I have them. He and his wife had a copy of Brand's Justices' Code for the State of Washington - from 1902. They gifted me a copy of all of the laws of the state of Washington as they existed over 100 years ago. I choked up many times during the day at the thoughtfulness and generosity of my family and friends, but this one still takes the cake for me.

Mama EB looking at the Code along with Bridesmaid C and her mom, who gave me the book.

Besides the books, I also received a few things off of our registry - specifically two glass pitchers from two already married friends. They each remembered I gave them glass pitchers for their showers and were returning the favor! (Do you have a go-to bridal shower present? Glass pitchers are apparently mine!)

After opening the presents we had more time to eat, drink, and fill out cards that my sister made which asked people to give me some advice for a happy marriage, as well as their favorite memory of me. I've saved them all, but I haven't quite decided what to do with them yet - they certainly deserve a better permanent home than the envelope where they're currently residing!

We finished the afternoon with a few games (I am horrible at identifying spices, fyi!), but all too soon the party was over. It was just so nice to spend the afternoon with some of the most amazing women I know, women who have been there for me for the last 20 years, and who will continue to be there anytime I need them for the next 20 years (and hopefully much, much longer!). 

MOH and sister EB, Mama EB and me

Still no idea what we're laughing about, but I'm anticipating many photos of my bridesmaids and me like this at our wedding!

There's a good one of us! Bridesmaid C, Bridesmaid K, MOH and sister EB, me, Bridesmaid N and MOH S 

All of the guests! Many thanks to my wonderful friend C (far left standing) for taking all of the photos in this post. Thanks C!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun Weekend!

My girls have planned an amazing weekend of fun, relaxation and WINE to send me off into married life in style. I'm so grateful to them all, and appreciate everything they've done for me. So I'm busy packing and getting things together before we take off in a few hours.

I'll be back next week with more on our invites, my shower in December, and of course whatever bachelorette shenanigans we get up to that I want to share with y'all. 

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back to Reading

I used to be an absolutely voracious reader. I would read ALL the time - including at the dinner table until my mom finally had to make an absolute rule that there were no books at the table. 

Then I went to law school and had no more time to read for fun. And since graduating from law school I've never quite gotten back into habit of reading as many books as I used to.

I finally decided that it was time to change that, especially with the number of books that B and I own that I haven't read yet. I came across the idea of the Unread Library and decided I would do that as well, and not buy any more books until I finished my Unread Library.

Well, I've done a good job of not buying more books myself, but for Christmas I got a bunch of books that I immediately started devouring. So while I haven't made much progress on my Unread Library, I have gotten back into the habit of reading for fun. And it feels so good to pick up a book and see it through to the end. In case anyone is looking for some new books to read, here are a few that I've recently finished:

This trilogy was amazing. Some parts were hard to read simply because of the depth of human cruelty that Suzanne Collins described in her post-apocalyptic world. The story was so compelling that I read all three books in only a couple of days (so glad I didn't find these books earlier and have to wait for a year in between novels!).

I still haven't seen The Social Network because I really wanted to read the book that it was based on first. I enjoyed this book as a dramatic narrative, but it does make me wonder how accurate it is. Yes, Ben Mezrich based his book on documentation and interviews with key players, but when the people you're interviewing have all felt deeply betrayed by Mark Zuckerberg, I'm not positive you can get an unbiased look at what took place 7 years ago. In any event, I still think it's a compelling piece of drama so long as you realize that this is probably not the absolute truth of what happened. Next on my list to read is The Facebook Effect, which was written by David Kirkpatrick who had access to and cooperation from key employees at Facebook. I think it will be interesting to see what's different between the two accounts.

I finally finished this trilogy! I read the first two books ages ago, but this one was on my dad's kindle which broke so I couldn't access the book for a long time. But. I finally picked it back up and I'm really glad that I did. I still think the first book was my favorite and I'm not thrilled with how it ended - but I think that's more because Stieg Larsson anticipated writing more novels and he just didn't have the chance. Overall, I think the trilogy was excellent and I highly recommend it.

What's next on my list? Oogy by Larry Levin, The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, The Lion by Nelson DeMille and The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant (and since these were all given to me, they're now technically part of my Unread Library, so I'm not even cheating on that!). 

So what's on your list?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Showered with Wine

I think I have the best friends. No, seriously, I really do. See, as soon as I got engaged I think the first thing one of my best friends from law school, Marie, asked me was if she could throw me a shower. My response - yes, please! And then she made it even better - she decided to make it a "Stock the Cellar" wine shower! Perfect for someone like me who loves wine and loves finding new wines that other people enjoy.

It was great to have a chance to spend some time with my Portland friends (Mr. EB and I had moved to Seattle just a couple of weeks before the shower so I loved having an excuse to go back so soon!). Also, this way my Mom got to meet some more of my friends who she'd only heard me talk about before.

Me and my mom.

Marie did an awesome job with the decorations (and the food! Seriously - more showers need to involve mini-corndogs. Just saying). Also, how fantastic is the wine rack art piece that they have above their sideboard? I love it!

There was lots of champagne and orange juice for mimosas, but Marie had also made strawberry and mango purees that were SO good with the champagne.

Handmade cupcakes - Marie was our baker-extrordinaire who always made sure we had snacks in law school. I very much miss living close to her!

Marie also planned a couple of different games, including covering the labels of six different bottles of wine and then we had to guess the variety and how expensive each one was (I was shockingly bad at this game - I blame the mimosas!). She also had Mr. EB answer a bunch of different questions and then I had to guess what his answers were. This has become a little bit of a tradition at our group of friends' showers, so I was really touched that she continued it for me (and I was not nearly as bad at this one as I was at guessing the price of the wine). 

Me and my wonderful friends from law school. A couple of other guests had to leave before this picture was taken, so unfortunately I don't have one of all of us.

Thanks for the awesome shower Marie! (Also thanks to her cat for putting up with me trying to pet him all day. He was not a fan.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to be the Almost Perfect Wife*

One of my bridesmaids gave me this book (along with the companion "How to be the Almost Perfect Husband"), and while I thought it would be more of a laugh or a how-to type of book, it actually contains some interesting advice from husbands and wives about how to maintain your relationship and what you need from your spouse.

Some of my favorite advice from How to be the Almost Perfect Wife:

"Be my cheerleader. Believe that I have the talent to achieve my dreams, even if it takes longer than I ever imagined." Ed, 47, married 25 years.

"Accept your husband as the man he is, instead of wishing you could change things here and there." Charles, 38.

"When you're upset about something, talk to me about it. Don't let it become a landmine that later explodes." Norman, 32, married 5 years.

"When I ask for space it doesn't mean I don't love you or that I'm abandoning you: I just need time to regroup." Gary, 41, married 12 years.

And a few from How to be the Almost Perfect Husband:

"When I'm having a bad day and complaining a lot, please just listen. Forget the advice on how to make things better. Just tell me you love me and give me a hug." Becky, 33, married 12 years.

"Hold her hand just because." Debbie.

"Don't just tell others how proud you are of me. Tell me!" Judy, 50+, married 30 years.

"Don't embarrass me or make fun of me in front of other people." Barbara, 68, married 49 years.

*Just to be clear, I don't anticipate ever being a perfect anything! But it doesn't hurt to aim high, especially in your relationship with your partner.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Win the Day

I am a proud Duck and will be cheering for them loudly as they take on Auburn tonight in the BCS National Championship Game. I love my ducks!!

In the words of Chip Kelly, "Win the day."

Friday, January 7, 2011

Falling off the Fitness Wagon

Miss Eggs Benedict note: I wrote this post back in the beginning of January to help me stay on track for the final push to the wedding. But I still wanted to share this to let you know what I've been doing these last two months before the wedding with regards to fitness and my health.

Oops. It's been 11 days since my last workout. And it's only 7 weeks until our wedding. The hazards of a wedding not too far after Christmas!

But, I've made a couple of decisions which should help me shed a few more pounds before the wedding. I know that it won't be a lot, but my main goal at this point is toning and feeling good about myself, and I think these will help me reach those two goals.

1. I'm not drinking alcohol before the week of the wedding except for a couple of pre-defined instances. I'm allowed to have a beer during the Seahawks game (because it's likely their last game of the season. Though how awesome would it be if a team that went 7-9 ended up winning a game in the playoffs?). I'm also allowed to have a beer on Monday night when Oregon plays for the National Championship (go Ducks!). And I'm allowed to drink during my bachelorette party which will be taking place in a couple of weeks. The only other exception I'm making is if we're tasting wines for the wedding. Then I'm allowed to taste those (but only sips)!

2. Get back on the P90X bandwagon. I've really liked these workouts, and while I haven't seen huge results in terms of the scale (probably because I didn't follow their eating plan), I am feeling better and seeing differences in how my clothes fit. So if I can keep it up for the next 6-7 weeks I think I'll be happy with the results.

3. Finally, I'm trying really hard to not buy any junk food so that I don't have the excuse to eat it. If I want a snack I should be eating vegetables, not chips. We don't usually have lots of sugary things or other junk food in the house, but over Christmas we ended up with all kinds of cookies and candy and I ate more of it than I should have. So, if it's not in the house then I won't be tempted to eat it! 

As I said before, I know that I won't be losing drastic amounts of weight before the wedding given how close I am, and I'm ok with that. B loves me for who I am, and who I am includes the way that I look. But I do want to feel good about how I look on my wedding day and when I look back at photos I don't want to be focused on my imperfections. So, I'll do what I can right now and really enjoy the wine at the wedding!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Putting our stamp on it

Finally, after what seemed like forever, the invites went out! After a long day of printing out all of the pieces and then two full days working with my mom and sister over the holidays to stamp, assemble and address them, they made their way at the end of December to family and friends all over the world!

Before I reveal them, I have to give a big huge THANK YOU to the post office for coming out with a great new Forever stamp (although I think I heard somewhere that in the future all stamps will be Forever stamps? If so, that's pretty awesome for all of us who won't have to worry about trying to find a cute 2 cent stamp to add up to whatever new amount the post office deems is the price for mailing).

My mom found these stamps a few weeks before we finished up our invitations and I'm so excited about them! They are perfect for both our invitations and our woodsy wedding in general - I love them!

So thank you Postmaster General for not making me use the Liberty Bell Forever stamps for my invitations. Post Office win!
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