Thursday, August 20, 2009

Away We Go...

This is it folks! The next time you see me 'round the Internets, I'll be a married lady. Here's a sneak peek at the goods...

Monday, August 17, 2009

and then there were five

There's probably not going to be a lot of posting this week. The wedding is a mere five days away, and despite the fact that it has been more than one week since I had a meltdown (yay!), my body seems to be picking up the slack. Something has to fall apart, right? In the last three days I have acquired the following: a fairly deep cut on my hand, a burn on my finger (bith kitchen related), a very small burn on my eye lid (a result of an eyebrow wax), a zit on my neck, and the kicker, today I woke up with a sty on my eyelid. Awesome. I have to believe that all of these little mishaps will work themselves out by Friday... just like I have to believe the weather is going to be good.

So anywho... I am currently en route to work with a planned CVS detour to pick up sty cream. Lovely. I know. Things are busy, but I feel oddly in decent shape with the wedding. The house is clean(ish), honeymoon packing has begun, and all the details are seemingly coming together. I've been sensible about abandoning projects that are taking too much effort for little return (stamping napkins) and I've convinced myself that no one will notice my somewhat shabby homemade card box. Yes I mad my own card box. How crafty of me.

Right now I'm stuck on the train... fucking brown line.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Play My Favorite Song

You’re probably sick of the wedding chatter by now, but for me, it’s an eat-sleep-breath scenario, so at least I’m blogging about something, right?

The latest (and possibly last?) major element that needs to be finalized is the music. We have a DJ (who, after responding to my emails immediately, has gone mysteriously MIA without setting up our final meeting, and I’ll be honest, this is starting to make me nervous), and while we don't necessarily have to have “play” lists and “do not play” lists, it’s good to give the DJ an idea of what we’d like to hear throughout the night, not to mention, what’s appropriate and not appropriate for our crowd. We have no such lists, not to mention that we don’t even have a first dance song (collective GASP!).

Here’s what we won’t be doing: a father/daughter or mother/son dance; a wedding party dance; married couples dance; bouquet toss; garter toss.

Why? I have my reasons. My dad and I don’t have the best relationship (though he’s stepped up to the plate for the wedding, and I swear, I’ve had more meaningful conversations with him in the last 10 months than in the last 10 years, which counts for something I suppose). Regardless, all of our parents are divorced, some are remarried, and frankly I just don’t feel like calling out the family more than is necessary. We’re keeping it simple.

As for all the “special dances,” we have friends and family in attendance who are single, married, living together, engaged, in long-term, committed relationships, in new relationships, etc., and frankly, as long as everyone is happy, I want all of that to be celebrated rather than to only recognize those who are married. I know a wedding is “about marriage,” but really, I see my wedding as being “about me,” AHEM… “about us,” and our friends and family who want to be there with us regardless of what marital status box they are checking on a tax form.

And yes, no bouquet toss. Five years ago, I would have done it, without question. But more and more, when I’ve been at weddings in the last year or two, it’s not been something I’ve wanted to participate in, and really, it’s always caught by some 10-year-old anyway, so what’s the point? The garter was a non-negotiable. It was never going to happen. Period. End of story.

I hope I’ve not offended anyone. That’s not my intent. This is my wedding, and these are my choices, based largely on our family situations and the style of our reception. I love you all, and if I went to your wedding, it was beautiful (there’s one friend in particular who I keep stealing wedding ideas from, shhhhhh….) and I had a blast, guaranteed, despite the scene I made when I wrestled the bouquet from that junior bridesmaid. Sorry about that.

God, why did I just go into all that?

Anyway, now that everyone thinks I’m anti-family and bouquet tossing, I need your help to build my play list. Tell me, via comments, if you’re at a wedding, what song will get you on to the dance floor?

And don’t make me look like a fool by not commenting, k?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Where You Came From

Ah man. Just so you know, I was in the middle of finger typing an entire race report on my Google phone when suddenly, POOF! The whole thing disappeared. Oh the horror. It was, without a doubt, the best blog post ever. Probably.

So where were we? Yes. The inaugural Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on August 2, 2009. I spent Saturday night preparing for the race--setting out my clothes, filling up water bottles, etc.--or so I thought. Sunday morning it occurred to me that I had forgotten critical items, like oh... for example… my race bib and the timing chip. Preparation became hectic and in my haste to get out the door, I forgot the water bottles for my fuel belt.

Regardless, I felt great. This is probably one of the first races where I did not wait for the starting gun with an overwhelming sense of dread. So, you know… progress, or something.

And we were off. I started the race with running buddies Meg and Lindy. We were clipping along at a solid 11:30 to 11:45 pace. My legs were fresh; I had no stomach issues or random pain. I was good to go. That is until mile 3 when I started to get hungry. Not like, "sure I could eat" hungry, but “pit in my stomach, running on fumes.” hungry, and yes, I ate breakfast. Now this would not be a huge deal or at all out of the ordinary if I had been at… oh say… mile 9. I bring food with me on runs longer than 10 miles now just because I don't like the feeling of being hungry. At mile 3, I ate half of the energy bar that I had brought.

I forged ahead, still feeling pretty good and easily maintaining an 11:30 pace. But within a few more miles, the growling in my stomach forced me to finish my energy bar. Luckily I did bring some sport beans and had those left for later in for the race. By mile 9, those were gone too. However, still feeling good, I knew if I pushed it I would be on track (just barely) for a PR and, maybe, my first sub 2:30:00 half marathon.

I became married to the idea of a PR. I attached all kinds of meaning to it. Think of the awesome blog post I could write: the first race of my 30s; my last race before I change my name. How cool would that be? Three miles from the finish, a mere 5k, I kicked it into high gear. A mile later, two miles from the last aid station and not another one in sight, my dry throat and aching legs forced me to give up. Well, not give up entirely, but I gave in, I started walking. Today would not be a PR.

I fumed for a bit. But then I reasoned, eh… this is my fourth year running the race, and even though it won’t be my best ever, think how far I’ve come. Somehow I’ve managed to wrap weave running through my entire life. Races have become life markers for me, and four years ago, at the Chicago Distance Classic (which was bought this year by the Rock ‘n’ Roll franchise), I was in the process of breaking up with a guy who I lived with; I was struggling to find my place in this city; and I could not have imagined the an impact running would have on the direction of my life.

I started running again. If I hurried, I’d still finish 10 minutes faster than that first Chicago Distance Classic. PRs are fun, but with or without it, a lot has changed in the last four years. And a lot is going to change in the next four, but this will be a constant. I crossed the finish line at 2:39:29. Nice medal too.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Separated At Birth

Oh decisions. They are hard to make... sometimes that is. The hardest part about this whole wedding mess? The decisions... so very many of them... so little time.

After being wishy-washy about dozens of details from the dress to the cake to the... oh right... state where we would hold the event, I finally decided that I did not need my sister to choose my hairdo thank-you-very-much. Not that she wanted to choose my hairstyle, but I basically put her in charge of styling me ("That's why I hired you.") for the wedding. If sister Sarah said ix-nay, then ix-nay it was.

But I'm not challenged. Ultimately, I know what looks good on me. I can figure it out... sometimes... if I try. So I went at it alone. I paged through hundreds (hundreds!) of photos on and I sifted through various styles, most of it prom hair gone bad. I was decidedly--staunchly even--anti-updo. But when I finally happened to find a photo that did not scream "Aquanet abuse," I learned the name of that particular style and simply put that into Google Image search. Within a page or two of results, I found my inspiration.

"side chignon"

It's pronounced "sheen-yon," and yes, I actually had to look that up via that Internets, which are good about those kinds of things. That is when I found this:

That is Jessica Biel, apparently, who was blond for all of 20 seconds recently.

I broke the news to my family when I was in Ohio last week. My sister attempted to hide an ever-so-slight cringe the moment "side..." came out of my mouth. I get it. Done wrong and I'd end up looking like the chick on Napoleon Dynamite. But with my inspiration in hand, I was determined.

Running buddy Meg and @ accompanied me to the salon in Sawyer today for my hair and makeup trial to provide the appropriate level of "you look awesome" support without going overboard or giving me any hint of insincerity.

Maggie, the stylist at Bella Salon and Spa who I might officially be in love with (but not in a threatening to MM kind of way), agreed wholeheartedly with my choice. Apparently I picked something doable for my fine, medium length hair. Um. Yeah. Go me.

Here is Maggie doing my makeup. She also seemed somewhat impressed with my extensive collection of eye shadow duos and trios that I did not even know I had. Some of these items date back to the 1990s. Relics of makeup trends past.

Here's another angle. On the "big day" the looser pieces might be pinned up just a teeny bit more, and the top will be just ever so slightly smoother. But yeah, do you see this? Something special is happening here.

Not the best angle on the hair, but this is the finished product.

I'm not going to lie; I'm fairly pleased with myself and this choice. When we were done, Maggie said, "Do you want me to unpin you?" Um... NO. I'm never going to touch my hair again. It's going to stay like this forever. In fact, when I finally gave in at 8:30pm and began removing bobby pins so I could get to bed (race day is upon us!), I really, truly didn't want to do it. In fact, with eight hours and counting, I realized I loved it even more. Check it off the list.

And yes, you just read and entire post about my hair. You're welcome.