Monthly Archives: May 2010

Lessons in Moving

There are lessons that you learn about your future husband (or future wife) only when it’s absolutely time to learn them.  Sometimes, these lessons don’t pop up until a crisis occurs, someone needs to have a taste of crow, or one or both parties have some deep inner reflection.  Other times, they just come out of nowhere and make you realize that you will learn something about this person for the rest of your life.

Moving Mr. Library out of his apartment was one of those smack you in the face times.

In the past six years, I have moved at least twice a year.  Three of those years, the count was four times because of summer job housing at the university.  I used to think that packing for trips was fun, but not anymore.  Not after packing up my belongings that many times and trying to make it fit into a smaller room each time.  You would think that I would learn my lesson and just have less stuff, but that would be too easy.  Besides, our registries are large enough as it is.

Mr. Library has had his fair share of moving as well.  He moved twice a year for college and at least two to three times a year for graduate school, so you would think that I would know his packing style.  This weekend, however, was the last time he will move out of his apartment.  From here on in, it’s going to be our apartment.  Crazy, right?  Crazy exciting!  But I’m getting off track.  With the switch from his apartment to our apartment comes the combining of stuff, processing what we each have, and making due with the gaps.  And the ridiculous items that neither of can imagine why the other needs it.

Ah yes.  The ridiculous.  To be fair, I can only come up with these things to easily because Mr. Library just moved out.  If we were to go to my house right now and pack it up (a task I am avoiding like a champ), I’m sure he would find items no sweat.  Most of the items Mr. Library has are complete useful and I am psyched to combine our belongings.  But come on.  Why does he need to keep two random playing cards?  He never owned the full deck; they were ticket type things that he got when he attended a play.  Now, no one he knew was in this play, so it can’t be that type of sentimental value.  I have no idea.  I think the man needs a manly hatbox to put his stuff in.

I also learned about our different packing styles.  I consider myself a champ at packing, thanks to my many experiences.  I like keep it or leave it piles, organized boxes with labels, and logical room identities.  Let’s not be throwing toothbrushes in with magazines for the living room, okay?  Mr. Library works a little differently.  He has piles of paper that he doesn’t know if it’s important or not, so his answer is to keep it all and look through it later.  I get uptight over slow packing and he takes it in stride.  Here lies the “opposites attract” hypothesis.

Obviously, this is a lesson for me in patience.  Did we get all of his stuff packed?  Yes.  Was it reasonably fast?  Sure.  Did organization matter?  Yes yes yes.  Hey, we’re moving into a new apartment sometime in the next month.  The less we have to search for stuff, the better.

What have you learned about your future husband or wife?  Anything surprise you lately?

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A Love Letter to Cambridge

Dear City of Cambridge,

Today is the last day I will spend with you in a while, and I want to tell you how much I will miss you.  You see, Mr. Library has now graduated from grad school, we packed almost all of his belongings into FMIL and FFIL’s truck, and now he just has a suitcase’s worth of belongings left.  The time has come for me and him to get married, and since I have to work on Tuesday, this is my farewell to all of the great times I have had in the past two years.

Cambridge, you have allowed me to be in two places at once.  You have allowed me to escape the hum-drum repetition of my life in Maine to come visit my fiance and his crazy graduate school friends.  You have allowed me to escape with my crazy graduate school friends.  You have been there for celebrations, parties, ridiculous rainstorms, blisters from flip flops and new shoes, new apartments, old apartments, new clothes and new job (attempted) interviews.  You have also allowed me (well, you and Boston… I guess you have to share) to gain perspective into wedding planning, fall even more in love with my fiance, and find the perfect wedding dress.


You have taught me about living in a city, finding my way around, and using public transportation.  You have taught me about the sparkle of Ivy League schools and how that can be taken away when snotty undergrads open their mouths.  You have taught me about my need for diversity in people, cultures, and food.  You have taught me where to find excellent Mexican food and amazing burgers.  You have also taught me to stay away from empanadas.

I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve complained, I’ve ridden on buses, subways, and trains, I’ve eaten, and I have walked.  And I wholeheartedly plan on doing more.  We might not be able to move back here for awhile because of money, but we still can hope that someday, we will indeed come back to the cute little city by the Charles.

For now, though, thanks for the memories, Cambridge (and Boston).  I have loved it, and I will miss you.

For the last time you will really see me until I’m married and at the airport,

Love,

Ms. Library

New Initials

While I am the one receiving the most new initials, Mr. Library is taking a few new ones of his own:  M.F.A.  Nope, that does not stand for Mr. Fanastic A— butt… It stands for Master’s of Fine Arts!  It has been a long time coming, but Mr. Library finally has his diploma!  I couldn’t be more thrilled for him and proud of him!

With this new addition to his name, it turns us into a soon-to-be 13 initial household.  Don’t believe me?  Check it.  Mine will be E.E.B.H., M.A.T. (I’m keeping all of my names, plus my degree), and his will be B.C.H., M.F.A..  That’s right.  I will have seven with my degree and he will have six.  Awesome!  We should get that monogrammed on towels or something…

(Source)

What will your initials be?  Have you recently celebrated any graduations?

Read Directions Carefully Before Proceeding

As a teacher, I am constantly preaching the importance of reading directions.  I mean, as human beings, we wouldn’t live very long if we didn’t pay attention to them.  For instance, how would you know where to go when driving?  How would you know how to drive or the rules of the road (though some people don’t pay attention to those anyway)?  How would you know how to unlock your car if you didn’t read the labels?  Directions are important!

I can remember a test that my fourth grade teacher handed out one morning.  It had about twenty questions on it, the first one being, “Read through all directions before beginning this quiz.”  Like many of my classmates, I “skimmed” over the quiz and got to work.  The questions got progressively harder, like having to multiply 1528 X 2637, and I thought I would never finish in the ten minutes she had given us.  One of my classmates, though, seemed as cool as a cucumber.  He was done in about three minutes.  Now, he wasn’t a math genius or psychic; he simply read the directions.  You see, the last line of directions said, “Now that you have read all directions, put your pencil down, skip the other directions, and take a break.”  I could have saved myself so much time and energy if I had only read the directions.  From then on, I try to read them as carefully as possible.

What does this have to do with wedding planning?  Well, it has everything to do with our RSVP cards. There are a few lines that our lovely guests seem to be skipping, and as a teacher, this is seriously bugging me.

#1. Our RSVP cards have a date on them.  I am hoping that people follow directions and RSVP by the “due date.”  This date is June 7, allowing me and my helpers a lot of time to call those who haven’t returned cards, but please people!  Return them!  A verbal RSVP doesn’t tell me if you want the chicken or the fish!

#2 (and this one is BIG!). I get that choosing your meal for the wedding is exciting, but read. the. directions. people!  Above the three meal options is a simple sentence: “Please initial each attendee’s entree choice.”  Is it complicated?  Nope.  Is it clear?  Yes!  Do I curse under my breath when I realize I have to call another guest because he/she/they didn’t read directions?  YES YES YES!  Even Mom and Dad Library failed to do this one, and they proofread the invites for me!  Honestly, I love our guests and am so excited that out of 51 people who have responded, only 3 have said no, but seriously.  Save this bride some work and read the directions.  And while we’re on this topic, could your response on the food allergy line be in English and doable please?  I cannot ask someone to make a stirfry without the tiniest bit of oil.  Sorry, but I can’t.  Life-threatening allergy to peppers?  No problem!  But that’s a no on the oil front.

I guess that’s really only two, but out of the 51 people who have responded, a mere 14 have correctly followed directions.  The rest have either ordered the same thing as their dates (which I can suck it up and figure it out from) or should be expecting a phone call in the near future.

So please dear readers who may be coming to our wedding, PLEASE READ THE DIRECTIONS!  MARK DOWN YOUR INITIALS NEXT TO YOUR FOOD CHOICE!  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

And if you don’t know your date’s initials, I think we have bigger issues that whether he would like the chicken or the fish.

Take a Shower!

No, we’re not talking about what Miss Sox’s mom said before Mr. Sox proposed (that story is still legendary…).  We’re talking about my incredible bridal shower that took place just yesterday!

My bridesmaids, sister, aunts, cousins, friends, and parents worked so hard on this event, and it really showed.  It was a total surprise (because they know I love surprises) and totally fun.  Want to see some highlights?  Yeah, you do!

The day began with Mom and Dad Library saying that they were going back to their hometown to put memorial baskets on their parents’ graves.  They also had plans to catch up with an older couple who used to be Mom Library’s neighbors.  Mom Library had spent Friday afternoon making the memorial baskets for the graves at Aunt C’s house, so I figured it sounded legit.  Wrong!

I woke up and had a feeling something was up.  I had received a text message from Bridesmaid Al the night before that said, “Hey lovah!  Yyyaaayyyyy!”  Um… Yay what?  Okay… Red Flag #1.  Sister/MOH Library also came home pretty early from her boyfriend’s house, but he had to work a lot on Sunday mornings and we had made plans to go shopping for a dress.  Oh well.  Maybe it would happen later in the day after we went shopping.  When I put on the dress I had planned on wearing just in case my shower was that day, Sister Library told me I looked “ridiculous” because “we weren’t having tea with the Queen.”  I tried to stand my ground, but decided maybe I could come up with something more casual.  We jumped in Sister Library’s car and headed to Portland.  Halfway there, she exclaimed that she needed to sign up for a swim instructor licensure course at Saint Joseph’s College on the way to the mall, so we needed to swing by.  Red Flag #2.

When we pulled into the college, Sister Library started rambling on and on about what room it was going to be in.  She also started to think that we should have parked in another lot.  Red flag #3.  Once I got out of the car, I noticed Bridesmaid C’s cute blue Ford, and I knew.  Why on earth would she be here if it wasn’t a party?  They were busted!  We walked into the student center and into the room filled with friends and family.

The best part?  It was toga themed!

Miss Sox and Bridesmaid/Cousin A rocking their togas

Bridesmaid C in her lovely floral toga

The invitations had asked our guests to either wear a toga or something green to celebrate our honeymoon locations (get it?  Rome equals Romans who wore togas and green equals the color of Ireland… all caught up?  Excellent!).  Sister Library had even made a toga for me with a veil attached to the back!

The man on the bag behind me decided to start the bachelorette party early…

I was so excited for all of the people who came to celebrate with me.  Aunts from my family and Mr. Library’s family, both of our grandmothers, tons of cousins, family friends, and even Dad Library were in attendance (I have to admit, it was one of my favorite parts that my dad was a part of this party!  It meant a lot to me!  I’m tearing up as I even write this down!).

Dad Library working his griddle magic on our delicious crepes

Sister Library and I when we walked into the room

Closest to farthest away:  Old neighbor D, Mom Library’s old neighbor J, Gram Library, Aunt K, Cousin K, Cousin B, Cousin Ke, Nana G (not my nana, but close enough), Aunt P, and Aunt CClosest to farthest:  FMIL’s family friend A, FMIL’s family friend J, Second/third grade teacher B, FMIL Library, Granny Library, Mr. Library’s Aunt S

And oh man, was there ever delicious food!  These ladies knew what I liked!  We ate crepes (mixed by Bridesmaid C and cooked by Dad Library) with different types of fillings, fruit salad made by Aunt P (she totally carved our bird symbol from the invites onto the watermelon bowl!),

yogurt parfaits, champagne (which I am totally a fan of now!), juice, coffee, and lemon water.  There was also trail mix on all of the tables.  Yum!  Oh.  And there was…

CAKE!  Mmmm cake.  Delicious marble cake with beautiful frosting flowers.  You can be sure that most of this was gone by the end of the shower.

Once people had had some delicious food, I was ushered over to my decorated chair and instructed to start opening presents.  Aye aye, Captain!

See that mountain of gifts?  Our guests really were generous!  I could not believe how big and bold all of these lovely ladies went to make me feel special with their shower gifts.  Honestly, having them there to have fun with was good enough for me!  It felt like the pile was endless.  Actually, it got to the point where people were getting a little antsy, so we took an intermission to get more food, cut the cake, and play a game!

We played my new favorite bridal shower game:  toilet paper bride!  Oh my gosh, I love love love this game!  We had four teams, and there was no shortage of laughter from anyone.  I may want to reinvent this game for other types of parties…

Aunt C in the first picture was named “Pirate Bride,” and Cousin K in the third picture was named “LA Bride.”  The lovely lady in the last picture, Family Friend A, was the winner, though I gave old neighbor D (second picture) style points for being modest when her dress fell off!

After everyone had laughed themselves silly and I had made a run to the little bride’s room, we settled back in to finish the gifts.  Man, it still looked like a mountain!  There were some amazingly generous and heartfelt gifts to receive, like this afghan that Gram Library made for us:

Sister Library’s face in that photo?  Priceless!  Mom and Dad Library also got us a Kitchenaid mixer (YES!) in cornflower blue (DOUBLE YES!).  I cannot wait to try it out!

There were, of course, some unmentionables that cannot be shown but can be giggled over.  Miss Sox had the exact same thought as me when shopping for gifts and told Bridesmaid Al that she wanted to be that bridesmaid.  Sound familiar?  It’s the exact same thing that I wrote in my post about her Panty Line!  I must say, though, she was much nicer than she could have been!

My shameless and devilish thoughtful bridesmaids made me a “Honeymoon Survival Kit” that I had to open in front of everyone, including Dad Library, who had shown up to help haul stuff home.  Thankfully, Cousin Ke told him to take a walk.  I think he ended up passing back and forth outside.  When a trooper!  This “kit” had some interesting contents… Tylenol, lip balm, lingerie, message oil, and the one thing that we only “really need”:  a foldable toothbrush!  Hilarious, albiet embarassing, to talk about lingerie and massage oil in front of Mr. Library’s grandmother, who kept a stone face throughout most of the lingerie gifts.  Hah hah… oops.

Once the gifts were all opened and the last of the games were played, we began clean-up and “put Ms. Library’s stuff in Dad Library’s truck.”  I got so many hugs and “see you when you walk down the aisle!”s; it makes me so excited to be getting married in 54 days!

To all of you who attended and/or helped out, thank you.  Thank you thank you thank you!  I felt incredibly loved and special, and I couldn’t have planned a better shower for anyone.  It was perfect and I loved it.  And I love all of you!

How did your shower go?  It did have as great of a theme as mine?  (Good luck achieving that!)

I Liked Him, So I Put a Ring on Him

Or I will be putting a ring on it in July.

But do you know what this post is really talking about?  Our wedding rings!  We have them!  They are really really here!

We ended up going to two different stores for our rings.  I have read wedding blogs where brides were upset that they had not purchased their wedding rings at the same store, but for us, it was more important that we loved our rings and they were in our budget (which was pretty small, according to many of the stores we went to).  Mr. Library picked his ring out at G.M. Pollack and Sons Jewelers in Portland.  It’s a 14k gold 6mm band with a fabulous shine.  His main concern was that the rings he originally looked at might come off as too feminine (he has skinny fingers for a guy), so he went full circle and chose to go for a traditional ring.  I don’t think he could have made a better choice for his ring finger.

Though it was too hard to photograph with my new camera (I need a different lens), we had the inside of his ring engraved with “BCH ❤ EEB.”  I must have rambled off like ten different options for what we could put in his ring, but ultimately it was his decision.  Our initials are something that, while mine will change a little, stay true for us as time goes on, and they are the same initials we had when we first fell in love with each other.  Mr. Library was originally hesitant when I mentioned changing my last name, so this is kind of a way of keeping who we were when we first got together.

My ring took a lot less time to pick out.  It was one of the rings I tried on at the second store we looked at.  I knew I wanted something with sparkle, a skinny band, and a higher setting to go with my engagement ring’s Tiffany setting.  At first I had my heart set on a band with sapphires and diamonds (Mr. Library knows my love of sapphires), but it just didn’t look right.  Once we went to the store to look, I fell in love with this ring:

Isn’t she pretty?  I love her so much.  I might even have tried her on a few times since we bought it… It has five diamonds set up higher than the rest, and side diamonds go halfway around my finger.  When I first tried the ring on at the store, the woman (who had already told us she knew nothing about the wedding ring selection) looked at it and went, “Meh, I don’t think it works well.  Keep looking.”  Oh.  So I did, but my mind kept coming back to this ring, even after we left.  I knew it had to be the one when all I could picture was this ring.  It was in our budget, it was sparkly, and I loved it.  Case closed.  Once the once-a-year sale rolled around at Day’s Jewelers, we snatched it up in a hurry.

When we picked it up and brought it home, I pulled it out of the box to show FMIL Library.  And then I gasped.  There was a side diamond missing!  After being sick to my stomach that the store wouldn’t help me out, we waited until the next morning and called the store.  The woman on the phone had the same reaction I did when I saw the missing diamond and told us to bring it back in immediately.  We did, they fixed it without any questions asked, and we picked it up last weekend.  Now I get to marvel at both rings any time I want!

I cannot wait to put these on our ring pillow on the big day.  Little things like this make me so excited that the day is so close!

What rings have you chosen?  Did you want yours to match?

Where’s the Food, Dude?

Mr. Library and I have already picked most of the food for our wedding weekend:  the rehearsal dinner, the reception, the brunch, the BBQ for the pool party.  What more could we possibly need to think about?

Hey, Ms. Library, how about the rest of the food on the wedding day?

Oh, right.  That.

I love breakfast.  When Mr. Library started learning how to cook, I told him that he needed to learn how to make two key things in order to keep me happy:  breakfast and pie.  (Somehow I have yet to see the fruits of either of those requests… any day now, hunny!)  But I really hadn’t given any thought to breakfast on the morning of the wedding until Mom Library mentioned something about it.  I thought we could all just go to the cafe in the resort, but that would entail running around, hiding behind plants, and making sure Mr. Library doesn’t see me.  Effort?  Yeah, that’s a lot.

I emailed our awesome wedding coordinator, Meredith.  Have I told you how fabulous she is?  Not quite enough yet?  Well, don’t worry.  She’ll have her own post when the time comes.  I asked how much it would be to get one of the resort’s breakfast packages delivered to the room.  She said it was more than doable, and with the minimum order for 15 people, it would run us about $131.25.  Hmm… it was a good starting point, but the price seemed a little high, so I searched for some more options.

Next stop:  Hannaford Supermarkets.  For those of you who read this and do not live in the New England area, Hannaford is one of our staple grocery stores.  They have some great party platter options that we had used for past graduation parties, so I thought I would take my hunt there on the way home from work.  Brochure in hand (along with a cluster of bananas), I drove home to find that perfect breakfast arrangement.

Behold!  The holy grail of “we need to eat breakfast in a hurry so that everyone can get ready and we’re not stressed out from hiding from the groom!”

(Source)

I know, you didn’t expect the holy grail to be so small in a picture, but in real life it serves twenty to thirty people.  We will be munching on green and red grapes, mini muffins, and bagels with cream cheese while we get beautified.  I figured people wouldn’t want to have to sit down and consume something, so they can grab and munch as they please.  And at the price of $29.99 for almost the same thing as the resort, I feel good about this option.  We’ll also be adding some juice and water to this order.

Since I was on a roll (or a bagel in this case), I thought I would also see what they could whip up for lunch too.  Do I really plan on eating a ton that day?  Not really before the wedding, but I do want some reception food, so lunch would be light as well.  Yet again, Hannaford had a platter to suit the masses.  Mom Library suggested forgoing sandwiches because we’ll be busy and won’t want anything too heavy, so fruit, veggies, cheese, and crackers made their way into our menu.

(Source)

Looks delicious, right?  I know they’ll be a hit with a lot of the ladies, and even though Miss Sox doesn’t care for a lot of veggies, she is a huge fan of cheese!  When she saw us cleaning us from her shower, her reaction to the unknown cheese plate was, “There was cheese?  I missed the cheese?!”  Yep, this ought to work!

Using the prices on the order menu and fudging the drink prices a little bit, I expect that this bill for both meals will come up to something like this:

Breakfast:

Bagel platter:  $29.99

Extra strawberry cream cheese (because I love me some strawberry cream cheese):  $3.00

Juice:  $9.00

Water:  $5.00

Lunch:

Cheese and Fruit platter:  $44.99

Water:  $5.00

Veggie Platter:  $39.99

Grand total for meals: $136.97 — five dollars more than just breakfast at the hotel!

I have no idea what the guys are eating (this is not my area to worry about that day!), but I’m sure FMIL Library will come up with something.

What are you doing for meals on your wedding day?