June 10, 2010

All these years of taking a bazillion pictures have finally paid off. Today, while I was browsing through some old photos, I thought, “Hey. Let’s see if I’ve got a picture from this day from any of the last few years.”
And as it turns out, I’ve got a picture for this day from the last four years.
Let me tell you. It’s pretty awesome to look back through some digital files and be able to say, “I knew exactly where I was four years ago.” 
I seriously need to get back into picture of the day mode.
But. Until then. Memory Lane?
Memory Lane.
On this day, in 2006, I was celebrating Gwen’s 7th birthday. (On Monday night, we celebrated her 10th.)
On this day, in 2007, I was getting ready to move out of my fabulous apartment, away from my fabulous roommates (except Jenna, who stuck with me). And Jenna and I stopped to take one last photo shoot in our amazing room, with our amazing three bed set up that we all loved. (Mandy belonged to the other bed, in case anyone’s wondering, but you can see here her mattress is already gone. I miss Mandy.)

On this day, in 2008, we were in the middle of the Great Couch War of ’08. Where we each brought home a couch that everyone else hated and than had to sell on craigslist. This was Jenna’s contribution, what we like to call the Not-a-couch. The Not-a-couch was scheduled to burn on what became known as Not-a-couch-burning-beach-bonfire night. It currently resides on our back porch. Still.

On this day, in 2009, the OSF gave me flowers because I was sick and he was leaving on a family trip and we had just started dating and we were all cute and mushy gushy like that. He happened to pick out a bunch of beautiful Gerber daisies, and I happen to think Gerber daisies are fabulousl, which was a happy coincidence.

And now here we are, today, 2010… and I had no picture. And it’s dark, so no good picture was going to be had. So I told the OSF, hey, get over here, we’re going to take a picture with my webcam!

And this is what I got***:

Love that guy. He makes me laugh.

Even though he wouldn’t take me seriously about my “but I always take a picture on June 10! I just found that out!” argument.

*** Disclaimer: That is NOT a hickey on my neck. It is a bug bite that happens to look redder due to the Cortisone cream I just used.. I have never had, nor do I intend to have a hickey. Even after I’m married. It’s just gross.


Location, location, location.

Wow. What a week. I thought with it being spring break and all I’d get so much done. Turns out, not so much.


We did get one thing done. And that thing was find and book a location for our wedding.

Say hello to Glorietta Bay, where if you will be attending our splenderific (splendid + wonderful + terrific) day, you will be staring out at if you look the OSF and I as we vow it up.

Yes, if you’re lucky, one of those white wooden chairs will be yours… on November 13th!

I found this place on Tuesday, on a 10 Greatest Places to get Married in San Diego website. I was a bit skeptical at first, as this is a community center reception hall which tend to not be fantastic… and sometimes are painted funny colors and have linoleum floors. But this one is the Coronado Community Center, and since public building niceness is directly related to property taxes extracted from homeowners in the area, let’s just say they’re not doing so bad at the Coronado Community Center. 

Here’s what the outside patio looks like at night.

Oh, yeah. Better come prepare to party.

Jenna drove down with me to check the place out on Wednesday, and we both loved it. 

Pause: Is my roommate not the cutest thing ever?

The view of the patio from the other side. It’s right on the bay. Rad, right?

And here’s me, approximately where Chris and I will be standing in 223 days. (That Jenna’s adorable, but she can’t focus a camera lens to save her life.)

Chris and I are very excited about this. We’d been talking with our guy over there, Steve, who’d let us in on the only available dates from here through November: July 23 (Friday, and really, really soon), October 31 (Sunday… and Halloween), and November 28 (Sunday, and sooooo far away). We were bummed about dates, but we were beginning to come around to Halloween… until the next day (Thursday) we called again and Steve told us November 13, a Saturday, had just become available.

Chris had Friday off (sort of), so we spent the day finishing up some work at his office (while I looked up wedding blogs on his co-worker’s computer – sorry, Erin, for signing you out of Facebook!), going to Robbins Brothers twice (see the ring fiasco story coming soon), getting lunch, and finally getting to Coronado at 3:45 where we were supposed to meet Steve at 5:30.

We had some time to kill obviously, so we wandered around checking it all out. Eventually we went to talk to a couple guys manning the main desk, and turns out they could answer most of our questions about the room anyway, and took us on the deluxe tour. Then Steve showed up for his shift, and he turned out to be this guy who’s our age, about to get married himself, and goes to Flood. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer or more helpful guy.

So… we got our place! A little later in the year than we’d hoped, but at least that part’s done. Now the rest of the planning can commence.

Here’s Chris in our future wedding spot:

November 13, people!

Zoey: 5 Months

Jenafer decided to make a deal with me concerning baby pictures. She decided in exchange for me doing a photo shoot with Zoey, she would cut and color my hair for free.


The OSF especially likes this deal, because he’d been wanting me to go blonder for awhile now.

So we went and did Zoey’s second photo shoot at the beginning of February. 

Let me tell you: that kid is cu-ute. I can’t handle it. And she’s soooo photogenic. It’s really unfair, because it makes my part of the deal so easy. 

I mean, come on. Look at her.

Zoey seems to like the photo shoots, too. I mean, sure I have to let her suck on the camera strap every once in awhile to keep her entertained, but it’s worth it to get these kind of photos.

And then, just when you think she can’t get any better… Jen busts out the pink flower headband.

(which Justin finds absurd, but he wasn’t home yet.)

Jen had wanted to get some shots of Zo in her I Heart Daddy shirt as a surprise to Justin for Valentine’s.

(FYI: This is the look that gets you whatever. you. want. Not that I’ve ever tried it, of course.)

But Justin came home from work right in the middle of this part of the shoot and spoiled the whole surprise. What a punk.

(FYI: This is a cute little family.)

The next weekend, Jen made my hair look amazing while we had a great conversation about the old days. I really appreciate friends like Jen and Justin, who’ve literally known me since elementary school. It rocks so much.

My internet has been very spotty for the last ten minutes…

So I had to go for some non-internet activities to keep me occupied. My time-wasting poison of choice lately has been pulling up Photoshop alongside my Photos folder, finding an old school picture, and messing around with textures, layers, and actions until I get something cool.

This picture came from the February 2009 folder. In fact, it was almost exactly a year ago today this was taken (this day was the 28th). I’ve realized, now that I’m not doing Picture of the Day this year, how fun it is to be able to go back exactly one year, and see what I was doing, or at least what I thought was interesting enough to take a picture of then.

I may be picking the project up again in March. I’m pretty dissatisfied with the lack of folders in my 2010 Pictures. I think there were only 4 days in January that I took any pictures at all.

The previous pictures of the OSF and I are from a spur of the moment, Hey! I need to get back in the habit again! He happened to have the most amazing light coming in through the window, and I started snapping pictures of him, then self-portraits of myself, which eventually led to cutesy couple pictures where only one of us is ever in focus each time.

But at least we’re making pictures. That’s all that really matters, right?

*Even if I’m the one who’s always blurry?

All right, now that this here internet is back up and working, I’m off to finish up some to-do’s for National.

* Story of my life

Awakening: San Jose

So I’m finally getting around to posting about our San Jose Spring Awakening experience.

We started out early: Ryan, Brittany, and Ryan’s friends Michelle and Jess in one car, Chris and I in the other. We traveled for hours and hours, stopping only for lunch at Quiznos, Subway, Jack in the Box. (The Quiznos, we discovered when we pulled in, had not yet opened: “Maybe tomorrow!” the guy yelled to us. Um, what? You don’t have a set opening day, and yet you look like you’re open… Then the Subway across the street was closed too. And finally when we started wondering if anything in God forsaken Bakersfield was open, we found the others at the Jack in the Box, again across the street. Also, this Jack in the Box offered showers. I’m a little worried about Bakersfield as a whole.)

After driving way out in the country for more hours and hours (including a pass through Gilroy, California, the garlic capital of the world), we made it to our San Jose home. We actually made very good time, so we had a couple of hours to relax and get ready for the night’s festivities.

In the boys’ room, we discussed the options for dinner. Ry, the Yelp fiend that he is, discovered the Firehouse Grill, just blocks from the theater, so we headed there for a quick meal. The Grill turned out to be a bar and grill fashioned after a firehouse, with fire/burning related names for all their entrees. Good food, good service.

Please forgive these pictures. I didn’t bother to photo correct them, and the lighting in the Firehouse was very dim and very yellow. 😦

We opted to walk to the theater, rather than deal with parking closer by, and we set out through the beautiful streets of San Jose.

Let me tell you: I would not mind living in San Jose someday. It’s super clean and super safe looking.

The show was, of course, amazing. This was mine and Ryan’s first time this season (fourth overall!), so there were a few new cast members and swings to watch for. Of course, we were way up in the back, so we couldn’t see the swings well anyway.


During intermission, I was feeling a little mischievous. So I grabbed Chris and our stuff and headed down to the orchestra level, where I’d been watching two empty seats in the fifth row.

I’d heard of people moving to better seats at intermission, but I’d never attempted it myself. It’s unnerving trying to pull one past the the ushers.

Sadly, someone else had snaked my two empty seats by the time we got down there. 😦

There were tons of available seats in the back half of the orchestra, which all would have been perfectly fine seats, but for some reason I had my heart set on up close and personal.

Ryan and Brittany joined us soon after, and we had our sights on this one row which appeared to be completely empty in the middle. No purses, programs, or husbands left behind to watch the seats. I finally got up the nerve to ask the family sitting right behind those seats if they had seen anyone sitting there. And the super nice dad tells us, “Nope, there’s six empty seats, starting right here. Feel free?”

Thank you, super nice dad. Thank you. Because of you I was able to score this picture with my 50 mm lens:

I figure it’s okay to sneak pictures if it’s not technically of the performance, right? Right? Oh, well, I didn’t get caught.

Then it was out to stage door for us, to get signatures for our Spring Awakening books. I’ve been waiting since last Christmas, when Ryan got the book for me, for the cast to come back.

First up, Taylor Trensch, the new Moritz, and a total sweetie! You can just tell how excited he is to be touring right now with such an amazing show. 

In this picture we’ve got Kayla Foster, one of the new chairs, and Gabby Garza who plays Anna.

Steffi D.!

Shingledecker and Krystina!

And then, just when we thought the night couldn’t get better, guess who ended up being at the show? Skylar Astin, the original Broadway cast Georg. We’re talking from the days of Lea Michele and John Gallagher, Jr. here, people. And he was soooo nice, chatting with us about Glee and flipping through our books, asking how we’d managed to score Lea’s signature. He ended up being our third original cast member to sign, a total fluke right before our planned visit to get two more

So once again, it was a great Spring Awakening experience. And special thanks to the OSF for following us around as our own personal photographer! 

The One with the Camping Trip

Chris’ good friend Emily wanted to celebrate her birthday with a good old fashioned campout, and so at noon we headed off for Lake Perris, a campsite an hour and a half off Interstate 15.

Here’s a fun fact about Perris, California: It’s freaking hot.

This picture is before we even got there:

Yes. That’s a reading of 109 degrees.

There were seven of us to start out with, and two others arriving later that night. And since the temperature had topped at 111 degrees, we decided to set up camp as fast as possible, throw on the bathing suits, and head down to the lake.
It was pretty crowded, but we managed to section off our own little square of water, and Emily even found someone with an air pump to blow up the pool floats. If you’ve never had the experience of laying out on a pool float in a lake, drifting along in a rhythm that makes you want to fall asleep, with the sun warming your back… well, you should try it. It’s amazing.
I didn’t want to take my camera down to the lakefront, so this is the only picture I’ve got of the lake, with that cute OSF posing in front of it.
Then it was back to the campground, where the boys started a fire in the pit and Cody fired up the grill for dinner. It was still freaking hot, and no one bothered trying to keep the pit alive. Sad, since Cody and Emily had brought up a ton of firewood.
While Cody grilled up a ton of burgers and hot dogs, we sat around in our wet suits and camping chairs, snacking on Goldfish and french onion Sun chips, and wondering when in the heck the heat was going to stop.
Silly, OSF. Why do you hide from the camera?
Our amazing chef, Cody, taking his duties very seriously.
The OSF and I, in our post-swimming, lake gunk covered, gross and sweaty state.

It still hadn’t cooled down by the time the sun went down and the “games” started. I’m just going to say that these games may or may not have involved red cups, a deck of cards, and various bottles. In the middle of the “festivities,” Sarah and Kristen finally made it to the campsite, bringing more ice and snacks with them. We stayed up until around midnight, chatting about Disneyland passes and our favorite characters on The Big Bang Theory, before the “game drinks” and two hour swimming excursion finally caught up with us.
I think it was actually cool for a total of one hour during the night. All I know is that I eventually fell asleep feeling hot and woke up around 7:30 feeling hot, with a brief reprieve at 1:30am when I ventured out into the cool for the bathroom.
Cody was up bright and early when I woke up, already working on breakfast for the troops. Bacon and eggs, baby. Because Chris and Sarah demanded it.

The plan was to stay until checkout at noon, but as the temperature rose higher and higher, we decided to “get the he out of he” as Chris put it. So while breakfast was cooking, the rest of us packed up tents and bags so we could make a quick exit.
Chris and Emily work on breakfast’s finishing touches.
After breakfast, we loaded up the cars; somehow, even with all we ate, drank, and/or left behind (ahem, firewood), we still had a heck of a time getting everything back in the two cars. It took awhile, but we finally managed to squeeze in the last camping chair, and jumped in the air conditioned cars to “get the he out of (t)he.”
We were back before eleven, to find that San Diego was a measly 86 degrees. 86. Phfffshh. You haven’t felt heat until you’ve been to Perris in July.
And the final trip picture: Chris and Sarah jumping on the pile of blankets and sleeping bags as we unpacked the car.

Baby Barbecue

At which we barbecue babies… or at least that’s what Justin was telling us. Justin, the guy who’s going to be a father in a month.

Details to come!

Details are here!

So on Saturday, Jen and Justin had a family/friends barbeque baby shower, mostly because I think Justin wanted to get presents too. Anyway, it was a great afternoon filled with friends, pink streamers, and babies galore (none of which were harmed in the making of this barbeque).

There were lots of pictures taken between me and Justin’s mom. I think every single minute is captured somehow on one of our cameras or another. We’ve got the pictures of the kids (us kids, I mean), pictures with the parents, pictures of present opening, pictures with the cigars (check out Luke Lumsden with his cigar below!). I chose just a few of my favorites to show off here.

I love this group of pictures- it’s Jen opening my present. I ironed on a bunch of cute designs, sayings, birds, and little letter Z’s onto newborn onesies and hats. I’m so glad they loved them, because I had a blast making them specific for little Zoey and her bird-loving, camo-crazy parents!

The baby barbeque was also the first time a lot of people got to meet Chris. I’m pleased to say everyone has decided he is just splendid, and he even has an open invitation to go the Deyling’s for a cigar anytime he wants. And for the record, I did not tell him he couldn’t have a cigar at the party!

She’s just so stinking cute!

Alternative title: “If I were ever to kidnap a child, it would probably be this one.”
I stole Lucy for a bit of a photo shoot today before the sun went down, and for the first time she was so accommodating. Look at these cute faces we got out of her! But I think this one here is my favorite. Those blue eyes just kill me.
After I got awesome pics of Lucy, Lucy and me, and Lucy and Justin G. (who so graciously helped me in the making Lucy laugh/keeping her from eating grass department), Jessica complained that she never gets pictures with her own kid. So we hauled her outside in the last of the cold and waning sunlight, and made her pose for the picture of the day. Such a cute little family- if only Gwen hadn’t been at Girl Scouts it would have been a perfect family photo!

And this one, I just couldn’t resist, even though it’s a little blurred and dark. Such a fun baby!

And kudos to Justin G. for taking this picture of me with the little cutie. Cuz I love being in my own pictures, too!