Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011…it was a big one

2011 was such a big year, I can’t believe it is over.

We are headed to some ring in the new year with a few friends in not too long so this will be bullet style.


- I got married!

Wow, this one is pretty amazing. I am beyond thrilled to be married to such a great guy but the thing about the actual wedding that I just can’t get over is how supportive and loving our friends and family were for the whole time we were engaged. I have never felt as loved or as lucky as I did on our wedding day. I used to not really have an opinion about whether people should or should not get married/have a full blown wedding but now I have to say if you have found the person you want to spend your life with the DO IT. Everyone (even those who don’t couple) deserve to feel the way I did on my wedding day. Being on this side of the altar has changed my view of weddings and I can’t wait to attend one now.


bonfire setupcenterpiece glowingseating chart

kimbro joel amber weddingAmber & JusticeAmber Michael Jenna VictoriaIMG_1397IMG_1390


- I gave up blogging. Sorry about that. I am going to try to be better in the new year.

- M and I decided we were going to TTC. This feels really black box and open ended and VERY SCARY but I was pretty ambivalent about kids…then I found a partner who makes me feel strong and capable and excited about the idea of raising a child or two. I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else so I am ready to give it a go. My mom gave me this book for Christmas…ha!

Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence

- I ran two half marathons (yuck!) and did the 3-day walk (yay!).

I feel like fitness was SO VERY MUCH on the back burner for the past year and that must change. I hate to admit that I fell into the newlywed nine trap but I did. Big time. My #1 intention this year is to take care of my body so hopefully that will help some of this unfortunate weight go away.


- I got a niece!

I am so excited to see who she turns into and how very spoiled my mom will make her.


- I did not kill anyone at work.

It was close though. Stress is high and times are rough. This area brought me a ton of grief this year and I need to work on fixing it in 2012.

- My mom got sick and is still trying to get better.

If anyone has ideas on how I can help in this arena, I am all ears.

- I read a TON.

Thanks to bus riding and a glorious honeymoon I read a lot this year and got to remember how good it feels to read a great book. I am looking forward to keeping up this habit!

- I went to both a new country and a new place in WA this year (I steal this one from DSF)

We went to the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon and it was basically the most relaxing time EVER. There will be more beach vacations in our future.


M also took me to Leavenworth for my birthday this year. Super goofy.


- I turned 30.

No too big a deal honestly. I like where I am…though sometimes I am surprised when I hear myself saying I’m 30 Smile


- I attempted to do something about my hair.

After both a Brazillian blowout and a keratin treatment I still feel like my hair is crazy. Not sure what the next step will be here.See below at DSF’s wedding…still pretty darn curly, right?


In summary, this year has been so full and mainly of really great things. Because I am a nut I sometimes get scared of the new year after a really great one…cause how can this much goodness hold up for any longer. But I guess the best I can do is work on the things I can control and ride out the rest.


Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting old

Ok, insert preamble about what a terrible blogger I am. I'll let you write it.

I just landed in San Diego to do the Susan G Komen 3-day walk. I felt old about two things today so far.

1. I found a gray hair. I think this will look pretty in time in my standard braid and my hair is generally unruly so that aspect doesn't bother me. This was mainly just a passing note.

2. I am getting a fear of flying in my old age. It may also have to do with being in love and feeling risk adverse for my baby family. But it sucks. I was never jumpy when there was turbulence but now I get semi panicked.

These observations make me even more grateful that Speedy convinced me to do this walk. Feels exciting to have a new experience in front of me.

3 days
(oh and camping with thousands of women for 2 nights)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Golden 30

For the last four years I have done the B-fit B-day Challenge. I found it when I did Team in Training for my first triathlon and was scouring the internets for info about my new exciting hobby.

I really loved it. I sort of hate my birthday. Not for getting older reasons but because I am not great at being the center of attention and, honestly, ever since my older cousin died at 20 I have a really strong reaction to getting older. In the five years it took for me to catch up to her it was a sadness but in the ten years after that it became a true appreciation for each day. Anyhow, enough with the heavy reasoning, the bottom line is that I loved it. It was fun, proved to me that I am strong and it is a relatively private celebration.

27 was my first and very special. My mom and I started at midnight on my birthday and finished in the wee hours of the morning.

 28 was more low key and my mom and I started the trend of swimming in the evening before and then me finishing up later. This year I was newly in love and did a worse job blogging about it; it was merely a footnote.

29 was the most hasty. The weather sucked and I was to go out of town for my birthday. I ran, swam and (painfully on a stationary) biked. My efforts for the challenge sucked but it was a most wonderful b-day.

This year I really debated doing it at all. I haven’t been doing triathlon at all and I am now kind of afraid of my bike. I have though been walking and running a lot and I’ve swum a time or two. Plus, I really love this method of celebrating my b-day (see above) and 30 is a biggie.

So I did it. And I was going for gold.

3000yd swim, 30mile bike, 10mile run- in 24hrs

My mom has been sick so she couldn’t count my laps but M gallantly stepped in to help. I was most nervous about the swim since this is the area that does the biggest jump when you hit a decade marker. 3000yd=1.7mi. Which is freaking far.

This went relatively well though. The first 500 flew by, the next felt good. Then the next two 500yds felt LONG. But once I was over 2000yd I felt pretty good that I’d finish. I also held a surprisingly steady pace of about 60s/50yd. Not terribly fast but honestly better than I expected for such a long swim.

With the swim behind me, I felt good about the rest of the challenge.

I kept the bike ride entirely to a city trail because of my new fear of biking. I FULLY lucked out and got a beautiful day. The ride was really awesome other than the fact that my rear derailleur was completely shot (ride much, Amber?) so I was pretty much stuck in gear. I was more than a bit saddle sore at the end but VERY glad to be done.


Before the run M took me to lunch and then I headed out from Bellevue to run to Redmond. It was a great run. Since I’ve been walking so much I was nervous how I’d do with running but it went really well.


I LOVE the park near us since I was able to get 3 miles in by passing through the park and back. My biggest mistake though was leaving the giant hill up to our house for last. But I made it and was surprised by a finish line party replete with flowers and balloons and gifts.


It was a great start to a great birthday and hopefully a great year!

The next day (my actual b-day) I worked hard to replenish calories

starting with breakfast in bed:


Then getting extreme at the faux-bavarian town:


Monday, September 12, 2011

More wedding

God it was good to see and touch him. It felt awesome. I am worried though, that the excitement made me lose my head a bit. I was freaking GIDDY and completely turned over responsibility to the photographer and was totally down to try whatever she wanted. And she wanted what felt like some wacky stuff. So far, I am in LOVE with everything we’ve seen from her but things like our pics alone are in front of a garage door. Michael objected at the time but I was so excited that I didn’t care.




I probably should have in hindsight…cause he was right, the door was bland and odd.


We took a bunch of shots together and then it was time for bridal party pics.

Here is the closest I had to stress the whole day. I have to preface it by saying that my mom and I have this issue all the time and it drives me batty on any day. My mom (who had my bridesmaids, 2 sugar plums and my nephews’ little cutie tuxes with her) had gotten lost. I get lost constantly (but now my phone saves me, mostly) but what gets me with my mom is that she wants you to give directions on the phone as she continues to move. It seriously kills me. I don’t understand why she thinks I have the ability to see where she is in space and time. So yeah, we get into it about this quite often and it is something I am working on being less of a brat about. So I tried to be less of one on my wedding day too, I gave her my best advice based on where it sounded like she was, listened patient-but-not-amused to her jokes about stopping for lunch and got off the phone. I wasn’t stressed about them being lost forever it was more my typical annoyance with my mom while driving (this also extends to asking me about directions when we’re somewhere that neither of us have been and to her asking me which lane is north when we’re both looking at the same sign).

To keep on time the guys started their photos and I waited in some shade with our little entourage at the nearby restaurant. I shockingly had no bodily needs. I wasn’t hungry or thirsty and I didn’t need to go to the bathroom (the thirst and hunger came back but I never did need to pee in my wedding dress).  

Once the ladies made it we took some pics while my nephews got dressed. I was so excited to see them in their suits. I really hope I got a good shot with those two. They are both so special to me and I am over the moon that they got to be in the wedding. I am also glad I gave my nut-case 4 year old nephew a job. It wouldn’t have been right not to have him be a part.


With pictures all taken it was time to head to the venue. More pictures were to take place there. But first, we got to see the room one more time. The cake had delivered but apparently didn’t fit on the stand we’d supplied. Whoops (though we had followed their guidelines). The rest of the room looked so freaking awesome! DSF and her hubby and a few more good friends were busily lighting our centerpieces.


After this little interlude it was more picture time. Family pictures. I had given Devon  a very long list of family pics. They were/are so important to me. I know they aren’t arty or beautifully composed but I want them minimally as family artifacts. I hope so badly that the pic of my sisters, mom and the children turns out. I also wanted a pic with each nephew/niece. It was a long list and Devon was a champ about getting them in but I gave her permission to just do her best…the models were difficult.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Give the people what they want…Wedding Recap 3

Day of (leading up, part 2)

When we left off, our photographer getting there meant it was time to get rolling. My hair and makeup was done and, while Devon was scurrying around taking pictures of the flowers and my shoes and my dress, I got into my dress (after going potty).

Then I was ready. And early.

I wish I had our pics already so I could see if any of the pictures she took of me in the alley turned out. This was the first time I had ventured out in the dress and it was interesting starting to figure out what I could do in it and how much I could move. I had almost the entire range of motion and she put it to use having me squat down and lean and contort for what are hopefully pretty pics.

We killed time in the alley and then the second shooter (the photog’s hubby) came to pick us up to go down to see my handsome groom.

And we were early again.

We parked and waited for the men to arrive with my immediate-future husband. They pulled up directly in front of the car I was in! Luckily I think he was distracted and didn’t see me. I did get to say hi to the groomsmen and they all looked so nice and I was already completely floating on air.

I will re-iterate here that seeing M before the ceremony was THE best decision I made for myself. I was too full at 2pm! If I had to wait until the ceremony I would have burst and the torture of not immediately getting to talk to him at the ceremony would have been too much.

The plan was that I’d walk up behind him on the pier and tap him on the shoulder. I couldn’t resist giving him a back hug. I was so happy and touching him in his snazzy suit made it feel actually tangible. He managed to turn around and, honestly, I don’t recall the look on his face. I pulled him into a hug and started tearing up. There may or may not have also been some jumping.

(sorry no pics but the link to our photog has some and I will try to remember to update)

This feels like a good place to stop. I didn’t want to have too many recaps but oh well. Should work on being less verbose I guess…and not starting writing at 10pm.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Give the people what they want…Wedding recap 2

Day of (leading up)

We had a pretty detailed schedule for the day of. I had told M that I wouldn’t be able to sleep and hence put my wake-up at 6am. To my lucky surprise, I slept until almost 8am! This was only the first of many calming  happy-stances that occurred that day. The plan was to have M head to the venue and get our helper-people organized and feed them donuts and coffee while I stayed at the rental to get our other helper’s cars loaded with all of our d├ęcor. Much to my surprise all of our stuff fit easily into the first two cars. So we threw up a sign (and sent text messages) to those who were one there way and everyone was headed to the venue.


2011-07-22 09-37-33-227 2011-07-22 09-48-36-455

(every picture said Groom Ride or Bride Room, whoops!)

We had 1 hour from 10-11am to get the decorating done and our super crew came through! We finished almost on the dot and the room looked exactly like what I had imagined. I was SO ecstatic about how great everything looked and (to toot my own horn) really proud of how organized things were. That being said, M and I each had our own snafu; he had forgotten the webcam for the photobooth and I had failed to pack the scoops for candy. The best man graciously headed to our house to get the webcam and the scoops were just lost forever.

2011-07-22 10-13-51-1832011-07-22 10-13-43-5292011-07-22 10-14-27-1432011-07-22 10-14-35-0282011-07-22 10-14-49-3122011-07-22 10-14-54-4052011-07-22 10-34-50-512 2011-07-22 10-14-18-405

Seeing M so early in the day and helping decorate are some of the best decisions I made for myself for this whole thing.


My mom and others had tried to implore me to leave it to others but it was one of the most fun and relaxing hours of the day. With decorating done the ladies headed back to the vacation rental for hair and makeup. This was an area of fear for me; if the hair/makeup person didn’t show up and I was left to scramble…that would be bad. The stylist I found (on craigslist) was there a touch early which was a huge relief and she did an awesome job, even stayed calm when we had to wash some gunk out of my hair (bonfire grit and general dry scalp don’t make your updo pretty).

Everyone kept trying to feed me and make sure I had everything I needed. It was too sweet and cute…though even for them I couldn’t eat the fake meat sandwich they brought me.


In the meantime, the men were hanging out and having sushi for lunch and taking pictures of air fresheners.


Time felt CRAZY slow and then all of the sudden the photographer was there, and it was REAL real. Before I knew it I was putting on my dress (there is no sweeter sound than an effortless zipper on such a big day). 

OK, I will sign off here for tonight so I guess there’ll be a bit more before we get to the good stuff.