Friday, September 30, 2011

"G" (a Sesame Street parody of Glee)!

The 42nd season of Sesame Street premiered this Tuesday, and Jay LOVES Sesame Street (and pretty much any show with puppets) and especially Elmo and Grover.

During Thursday's episode they did a Glee parody - called "G" with the focus on the letter G and words that start with G - and since I'm on a Glee kick since watching this week's episode (OMG! I can't wait to see what happens next - who gets what part in the musical and how Quinn thinks she'll get full custody of Beth despite being a trainwreck now...) I thought it was pretty amusing! Sad that Tina, Puck and Santana aren't in it though, but it's still pretty funny!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Product Review: Baby Monitors

I mentioned a few weeks ago that our baby monitor was starting to crap out on us. registered for The First Years 49MHz Baby Monitor with 2 Receivers at Target as it seemed to be the best value - we don't need a video monitor or anything fancy, just something simple and basic that serves its purpose.

The monitor worked pretty well for a while, the battery operation that makes it wireless worked just fine and the sound, while a little bit of static from time to time and occasionally we would hear a nearby baby coming over the frequency, it was tolerable.

Right around when Jay turned 7 months is when it started crapping out.

We turned it on one night and the static was pretty bad not to mention the monitor kept cutting in and out. It was very annoying! Just to make sure it wasn't the receiver in the bedroom going bad, we switched it out with the one we use on batteries and it was doing the same thing - horrible static and the constant cutting in and out. We checked the child unit and did everything we could think to try to correct the problem but with no such luck. Nothing had changed from how we had previously been using it. pitched it in the trash and the next day I went out and bought us the Sony 900MHZ BabyCall Nursery Monitor.

It has multiple channels to use (the First Years one only had 2), and the receiver charges when it's plugged in so you can use it wirelessly for a bit (no batteries, woot!). A lot of the reviews said it had no static, which I guess is true if you don't use a sound machine or humidifier in your child's room, but we do so it does pick up a lot of extra noise, but it does amplify Jay's cries and movements so we hear them over the background noise in his room.

Granted, this one only has 1 receiver, but honestly, the only time we use the baby monitor is when I'm either asleep at night in our room or if Jay's in bed and we're downstairs for an extended period of time. The rest of the time, if I'm in the family room or kitchen I can hear him just fine. The charging feature is really nice though  - I really like that!

I am liking it so far, but we'll see how long this monitor lasts - hopefully longer than 7 months! I did purchase the extended warranty on it too for an additional $5. I forget how long it covers it additionally, but if it stops working properly within the extended time frame, Babies/Toys R Us will replace it for us.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun with Our Phones Monday #5

It's Monday! Which means it's time for Fun with Our Phones Monday!!! I have quite a few to share this week too!

Being a silly boy on the couch

That's Tiger, laying in her usual spot on the loveseat in front of the window, only she's completely stretched out over the pillow there, her feet hanging out over, lol...

Maybe a little hard to see, but the license plate says Ryne S and it's a Chicago Cubs license plate. This was here in Rockford... I thought it was a bit odd and was curious if maybe it was THE Ryne Sandberg, who was my favorite Chicago Cub while growing up. I didn't get to see the driver unfortunately =(
I busted out my Apple Strudel candle we got from the Apple Orchard last year - it's officially fall, so I figured why not? I LOVE this candle, it's PERFECT for fall!
He decided to just climb over his activity table to play with the toys on the opposite side there, lol...
Caught him trying to break into the kitchen cabinet, lol...
My sis took this one - too funny though!
I ALWAYS put his hat on straight but within seconds (it seems) he has it flipped over to the side like this, lol...
We went shopping at Kohl's and I bought him a Clifford stuffed animal (it was $5 with proceeds going to charity). He loves it and fell asleep with it in the car.

A friend posted on Facebook photos of all the dead fur and junk this product called the Furminator brushed off her cat. Tired of Tiger's shedding all over the place, I checked into it and found a great deal on it on Amazon. This is just the 1st 2 sittings I've done grooming her (she doesn't like to sit still) and it definitely got A LOT! I soooo recommend this product!

 Hubby got off work early on Thursday and we met him for a late lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. They gave Jay a kid's menu, which he had fun destroying, lol...

 I took Jay to the big indoor playworld again this week and he decided to play a bit this week (last week he just sat and watched the other kids, staying glued to me with a death grip!). Hubby came with, so I think that helped!

We went to our favorite sushi restaurant and let Jay play with a pair of chopsticks

 He had THE MOST fun with these little plastic cups you put soy and other sauces in - he even took it home with us and has been playing with it around the house, lol... it's just his size!

We stocked up on stuff at Sam's Club, including paper towels! This beast of 15 rolls took me a bit to figure out where to store them all!
Our 1st visit to the Edward's Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove this year!
We let Jay try an apple cider donut - he LOVED it and at probably 1/4th of hubby's donut! We also let him sip some cooled hot apple cider too, which he also loved and started smacking the cup for more, lol...
They have a mini-petting zoo, which we let Jay check out the animals
And there's this growth sunflower you can check your height at - hopefully we remember to do this every year!
He was FASCINATED by the huge fans inside the store.
Watching his Grandpap's team (the Steelers, as my parents are both from the Pittsburgh area) lose on Sunday Night Football while he plays with his daddy's hair, lol...

My Challenge for October

September is almost over and October is just around the corner.

One of the things I would really like for our house is a fireplace since it doesn't have one. I learned awhile back about electric fireplaces and have had my eye on a few, price comparing.

My goal is to get one for us by Thanksgiving, so I can decorate it for Christmas and hang our stockings from it. we have the fireplace we can mount our smaller flat-screen TV above it, get a small DVD player and our family room will be done enough for us (the only other "big" piece of furniture we need for the house is a futon for the office downstairs, but we don't really need that right away).

With the hours I've been working, I could easily get the one at Lowe's we like in about 2 paychecks if I really saved. But that's the problem - me saving!

Aside from getting Jay snow boots, dress shoes, the shirt for Thanksgiving I'm waiting to go on sale at work, and snowpants, he's pretty much set for winter (assuming my mom decides to get him a pair of bib overalls and the fleece sleeper 3pk at Target), so I don't need to spend too much more on him. And after my shopping spree this afternoon, I'm pretty much set for winter too, save for maybe a pair of shoes like I mentioned previously.

So the only things I really need to spend my own money on these next few paychecks are gas for my car and food when I'm at work.

I think it's doable!

Here's to trying - let's see if I have that fireplace before Thanksgiving!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A mini work vacation

I've had the past few days off work because my parents went up to Door County and so I have no one to watch Jay really when hubby and I would both be working so Little Man and mommy have been having fun together!

Today was a good day - did a bit of shopping and Jay was a pleasant little shopping buddy for the most part!

We had some stuff to get at Target and while there, we passed the $1 section near the front and I got him a plastic orange pumpkin bucket for trick or treat - he LOVED it and played with the whole time we were in the store and didn't want to give it up for the lady to scan it! He also threw a bit of a fit when we were riding in the car and he dropped it and couldn't reach it and of course I was driving so I couldn't get it for him either =(

He was a flirt at all the stores we went to though!

For dinner, hubby and I went got sushi and Jay sat in a high chair while we ate (we tried letting him sit in his carrier, but he got mad when he realized we were in a restaurant and he wasn't in a high chair at the table, lol...). They have these little plastic cups you can put soy sauce or other sauces in - we gave Jay a cup and a pair of chopsticks to keep him occupied while we ate. He didn't care much for the chopsticks but OMG he LOVED the little plastic cup! It was just the right size for him to pass back and forth in his hands and he had a blast playing with it, carrying it with him to the car, playing with it as he rode in his seat and then playing with it at home!

Also, while at home and I was putting groceries away in the kitchen Jay was crawling around on the floor when he decided to pull himself up to his knees, holding on this walker. Then, once he was on his knees, he continued to pull himself up into a standing position, where he then proceeded to play with his Winnie the Pooh figures that were on the walker tray (which btw, in the few weeks he's had those things, they've taken quite a beating! lol...). Eventually the walker moved, but, knowing it would happen, I was right there when he started to fall and kept him from it happening.

He's getting to be so big! Hard to believe he's turning 8 months old in just over a week - I *just* got used to telling people he's 7 and a half months old when they ask!

He "crawls" (which for his the military crawl, but boy is he fast at it!) all over the place now and discovered today that he can drop toys down the stairs by sliding them through the rails of our metal gate!

Thursday hubby took off work a bit early and we met him for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, which Jay usually enjoys (restaurants have started giving him the kid's menu too, which is funny as he usually destroys the paper ones, lol...) and then he joined us at the indoor playground, which Jay seemed to really like having us both there doing something fun with him outside the house (that doesn't happen too often, aside from our Friday night trips out to dinner and Walmart). He played a bit more this week than he did last week (last week he stayed glued to me and just sat and watched the other kids play). We got him climbing and crawling a bit, smacking around the squishy noodles that hang down in one part of the baby play area and he had a blast hanging onto the safety netting too!

He also seems to have taken a liking to The Wiggles, much to his daddy's dismay, lol... when The Wiggles "Wiggle and Learn" segment comes on during the Sprout's Sharing Show I know that's a good 5-10 minutes where I don't have to hear him screaming to get out of the playpen when I'm trying to get ready to go out as for some reason it completely catches his attention! lol...

He's growing up so fast though! He regularly holds himself up on the edges of the furniture now too, like the couch and the coffee table... my baby's growing up! Not quite sure how I feel about this, but I guess he can grow up to be about pre-school sized, then he can stay mommy's little guy forever! =D

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fun with Our Phones Monday #4

I didn't take too many photos this past week as I have in previous weeks, I guess partly because I've just been really busy this past week with work and other stuff going on.

My anniversary gift to hubby!
Last Tuesday (September 13) was our 3rd wedding anniversary and my present to hubby was arranging and framing our Cowboys highlights from our trip to Dallas last fall! He seemed to love it and we're planning on hanging somewhere in our office.

Jay had his urology check-up at the children's hospital in Madison last Thursday. Since his appointment was done around noon I decided to take us to the infamous Ella's Deli and Ice Cream Parlor for a treat as they have A LOT of stuff for kids to look at while you dine. Here, Jay was a bit taken by the colorful kids menu.

And here's him staring at something across the way from our table.
And here's a view from our table of some of the stuff in the restaurant. It's a really neat place and we used to go there every so often when I was a kid and I LOVED it! They also have a working, old, carousal outside that you can ride at during times during the year. If you're ever in Madison, WI I definitely recommend checking out Ella's Deli, if not for lunch or dinner at least for a world famous sundae! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Urology update, playgrounds and the ghetto zoo

Tuesday was our 3 year wedding anniversary. We had an adult evening out, going to Texas Roadhouse for dinner and then stopping at Red Mango and just sitting around and chatting as we had a few hours baby-free for the evening.

Earlier in the day I had to run a few errands and decided to take Jay to Sapora Playworld which is the big local indoor playground area in the same building as the indoor ice rink. They have a baby area with a smaller set of play tubes as well as some squishy mats the kids can play, crawl and climb on too. I thought it might be fun for him and my mom pointed out last week that he should probably spend some time interacting with other kids and babies as he's mostly around adults.

Well, he was a little freaked out and stayed glued to me the whole time.

I tried to sit him down on one of the squishy block mats and he cried so I sat on one and held him on my lap til he got comfortable with the setting and then I sat him down on the mat next to me, with him clinging one fist to my shirt. There were a few other smaller kids there - one little girl came right up by him and he though she was funny. A few 6 year old girls came over and were fussing over him, but kept inquiring why he wasn't crawling if he could do it and why he wasn't playing - why was he just sitting there, watching? My response that it was his 1st time there and he was just taking it all in and that he didn't want to crawl right then didn't seem to satisfy them, lol... I tried to get him to climb/crawl on one of the squishy mats up to the next one but he freaked out instead.

We spent a half hour there though, so maybe if we make it a regular thing he'll get more comfortable and start playing. Under 11 months is free and then it's $1 til he's a little older, but they also do half price Tuesday.

He had another night terror Tuesday night. I was tired and so was he so we both went to bed a little early, however he woke me up at 230am, shrieking. I jumped out of bed to check on him, picked him up, and sure enough, he was having one, eyes clenched shut and no sign of snapping out of it. It lasted a few minutes, however he didn't seem to be able to get comfortable in his crib, freaking out when I laid him back down, so he snuggled in bed with me for a bit til he was sound asleep again. I hate these. He hasn't had one in awhile so I guess we were overdue for one =(

Wednesday night Jay learned how his bottle nipple works and that if there's milk in it, then it probably isn't a good idea to squeeze it with his hands or flick it - while playing with the bottle nipple instead of drinking he sprayed milk all over his face, the couch and my mom's leg, lol... he startled himself too, as he didn't realize what he had done right away - it was pretty funny!

Thursday we got up early and drove up to Madison for his urology appointment with the pediatric urology specialist up there and also had an ultrasound so they could see how it's doing.

Nothing new really - they said his left kidney is slightly more dilated than before, but not much and that it was nothing to worry about at this point. He said he'll probably have us do another check-up around his 1st birthday, then come back for another one 6 months later and then at around 2 years old we'll start discussing doing the surgery. Unfortunately, we're not sure yet if we'll be seeing this specialist again yet - he told us he's transferring in the next few months to the children's hospital in Milwaukee to be the pediatric urology chairman there. He invited us to come see him there, but I'll have to check with our insurance to see if they'll let us go there. He also referred us to his associate there in Madison, whom he had us make an appointment with for next time in case we decide to stay there, and he also gave me the names of the specialists at the children's hospital in Chicago that he would recommend if we chose to go there.

Jay was amusing during his ultrasound - the tech needed to check both his kidneys and his bladder to make sure there was nothing new and while checking his right kidney she needed me to roll him on his side, facing away from her. Well... him being curious like he is, he kept wanting to roll back over to see what she was doing and check out the ultrasound monitor, lol... he laughed when she rolled the wand over his bladder area so I'm guessing he's a little ticklish there (he's also ticklish in his armpits and on his sides - both mommy and daddy's ticklish spots! lol...). She let him stay on his back for his left kidney but then he noticed the other ultrasound wands within reach and their cords and started grabbing for those! lol... He freaked out during the visit with the specialist when he picked him up to check him out, but was fine 2 seconds later when mommy took him! Silly baby!

They weighed him too - he's now 18lbs even! Yay! My baby's gained 1lb and 1oz in a month! stopped at the infamous Ella's Deli for lunch before heading back to town. My parents used to take me there when I was little as there's soooo much stuff to look at, including all sorts of things moving around above your head, a little train on a track that goes all around the restaurant, a working carousel just outside and lots of other fun stuff! Jay seemed to enjoy it - he was starring and looking around at everything. They're also known for their ice cream desserts so I ordered a small dish of mint chocolate chip and let Jay eat some of it after he had his lunch - he still likes it! (we had let him have some at the fair last month).

It was a tiring day and we spent the late afternoon out at the mall with my mom and sister, getting stuff for her and holiday clothes for Jay since that stuff sells fast at work!

Today I had my annual gyno exam and since I didn't bring Jay with me to my 6wk follow-up, I brought him with this time so they could all see him. They all fussed over him and he ate it up.

We had to run a few errands too, one of which was getting kitty food at Petco (we buy the Hills Science Diet stuff and the only places that seem to sell it are Petco and Petsmart) so I took Jay with and we walked around looking at all the animals and fishies. A friend on Facebook referred to it as the "ghetto zoo" which is quite funny, but true! Jay was once again fascinated by all the fish, as well as the ferrets and guinea pigs too this time! The turtles were mostly sleeping, as were the birds, hamsters/gerbils and cats. We didn't see that many people walking doggies with them this time either. He still enjoyed it though!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our wedding, 3 years later

I've seen this wedding meme pop up several times the past few months or so and it looks like a lot of fun! Since today is me and hubby's 3 year anniversary I thought I would do this meme in honor of it!

A is for Attending
We had right around 120 people, having invited about 140, despite our reception hall only being able to seat 120 in the main dining room (oops!). We got lucky though and were able to squeeze everyone in one room!

B is for Bridesmaids
My bridesmaids were (from left to right) my little sister, my best friend from Junior High and High School (she was Matron of Honor), a friend of mine and hubby's that we had both known since Junior High, and my roommate & best friend from college. No, they didn't wear the hats during the actual wedding - the hats were part of the guys' attire but they let the bridesmaids take some awesome photos with them! And as you can see, at the reception, some of them decided to wear their sashes as scarves =)

C is for Catering
We actually didn't have any "special" catering as our reception hall included the food as part of the building rental. We did buffet style for the dinner though, as we figured that'd be easiest for everyone. I honestly don't remember too much of what was served! But I do remember it was all really yummy!

Hubby actually made the suggestion of who to do our cake - a supervisor friend of his from UPS at the time, her mom makes cakes for a living and from time to time she would bring some in to share with them at work and he said it was the best cake ever. She makes her own special icing too, which is excellent! Everyone loved the cake and kept saying how good it was and the best part was just how reasonable her prices were compared to most of the other "big name" cake people in town. We also had her do my baby shower cake and I plan on calling her up and having her do Jay's 1st birthday cake too when the time comes.

Should also note our awesome cake topper! My Matron of Honor had one of these for her wedding almost a year prior to mine and I loved it! After having a hard time finding a way to do our WoW characters as a topper (as Figureprints is expensive and has their lotto system) I thought this was a nice alternative. The maker of the cake topper was originally a company on eBay called Ling's Moment (you can find their current site by Googling them). Basically you do "Buy It Now" on eBay and they send you an email with color palettes and a questionnaire about your attire, etc. They send you several pictures throughout the process so you can change a color or have them add something etc. I LOVE our cake topper - it's currently in a display cabinet in our house.

D is for Dress

I got my dress from One Stop Wedding here in Rockford. It's a smaller boutique in town and was the 1st place we went to for dress shopping. I tried on a handful but this one seemed to be the best of them and because it was off the rack we got it for a great price! I want to say it was an Alfredo Angelo. It had a row of buttons down the back of the dress which I loved and it's actually a light ivory instead of white. One of the straps was broken when we bought it but my mom, being the seamstress she is, could easily fix that and we did the unique criss-cross thing in the back. I tried a handful on at David's Bridal (and had a really pushy saleswoman who almost made it seem like I *had* to pick their most popular dress they were pushing) but this dress was in the back of my mind the whole time and I decided that was the dress and we ran back and got it before they closed for the night.

E is for Engagement
We got engaged at the beginning of January 2008 so we had roughly a 9 month engagement as we were married on September 13, 2008.

F is for Flowers
Unity Candle display (ignore stuff in background)
My bouquet
Bridesmaid bouquet
Pew bow
Reception table centerpiece, sat on top of mirrored glass
The chapel outcome
Our flowers were all DIY. I wanted red roses which are expensive and I have allergies so real flowers were out of the question anyway. My aunt used to do flower arrangements so she had some experience doing them and my mom is crafty too so between the 2 of them they did all our decorations and flowers. We used LOTS of the weekly 40% off coupons from Michaels and Hobby Lobby and my mom cleaned Michael's out of their faux red roses the day after Valentine's Day when they went on clearance too, lol...

G is for Groomsmen
Hubby with his groomsmen
From left to right we have hubby's 2nd youngest brother, our good friend who lives about an hour away whom we originally met in World of Warcraft several years prior, hubby, hubby's brother that's a few years younger than him, hubby's youngest brother. Years ago in college I was at a party with some friends and one of the guys was talking about a wedding he was in where they were doing the zoot suit look and OMG I thought that was the coolest idea ever and had to have it for my own wedding. Hubby was all for it too and so we opted for the longer suitcoats and the fedoras and we got the guys all pocket watches with chains as their wedding party gift that they could wear the day of as well.

H is for Honeymoon
The view from our hotel room balcony!
We went to Vegas for our honeymoon, getting there late Monday evening and leaving early Saturday. We did lots of tourist-y things like visiting the Hoover Dam, a nearby chocolate factory, seeing a Vegas show (Bite - an adult show with "vampires" dancing to classic rock), walking The Strip and stopping into all the famous hotels and casinos along the way (we started at the south end at Mandalay Bay and spent and entire day walking all the way north to the Stratosphere), and road the indoor gondolas at the Venetian and checked out the wax museum too! We stayed at The Plaza on Fremont Street in the downtown area and had an amazing view outside our window too!

Some tips: 1) Don't walk from Fremont Street to The Strip and especially not in heels - it's A LOT further than it looks, the flat topography lies! 2) Slots A Fun is an AWESOME place to hang out and kill time - cheap, but good (and large!) booze, low pay-in costs at the tables and $1 footlong hotdogs!! We went to this place several times on The Strip (it's out in front of Circus Circus, across from the Riviera).

I is for Invitation
I went to a bridal show shortly after our engagement and for $20 down, if you got your tuxes from this one tux shop located in our local mall you would get your invitations for free (or rather, they would rebate the cost). Our colors were red, black and silver and our theme was double hearts, so we went with these simple invitations.
I also made Save the Date magnets for people too!

J is for Justice of the Peace
Hubby's dad is an ordained Reverend/Minister who has his whole missions ministry that he does and hubby specifically requested that his dad wed us. It was the only request he really had so I agreed to it (although the months before the wedding he did start getting a little bit more into some of the wedding stuff and became a little bit more opinionated than he had been, hehe).

K is for Keepsakes
For our favors to guests we made M&M tins with red and ivory M&Ms as well as placeholder cards that I made that sat atop little doubleheart topped bells (not pictured).

L is for Ladies Night
My bachelorette party... it was held 2 weeks prior to our wedding (as the night before is just tacky) and the same weekend as my bridal shower as one of my bridesmaids lives in Minnesota and it was easier for her to have them both the same weekend so she could just stay with family in town. Since my sis is underage and was a bridesmaid and I invited hubby's brother's underage girlfriend to join us we kept it PG13 to start and invited my mom and my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law and cousin (who were 10 at the time). We went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner (which had just opened the week before so it was a bit packed!) and then went bowling for a bit afterwards, where those of us old enough could get drinks from the bowling alley bar. Gotta admit, I was feeling a nice buzz when we left there and me, my 3 legal bridesmaids and my aunt (who was our DD for the night) went bar hopping for the rest of the night. They made me do that bachelorette scavenger hunt game where you have to take pictures doing random things, like dancing on top of a bar (which a bartender let us do on one of their empty back bars so long as he didn't notice, lol...), and get kisses (on the cheek or hand) by an assortment of guys and retrieve a condom from a bathroom, lol... it was interesting! The first bar we went to was laidback and played 80s hairband metal which I found awesome. The bartender also looked like hubby's brother's twin too which was a bit odd and we met some creepy old fart who was trying to teach us "golf swings". We went to a bar downtown that I liked and my aunt insisted we go dancing at the gay bar downtown as well, so we did (we were pretty drunk by this point, all I remember was dancing with my bridesmaids in the cage they had and some gay guys posing for a picture with us, lol... oh and I got a "goody bag" too from there!).

M is for Music
We put together our own playlist for the ceremony and one of my brother-in-laws performed a song that my father-in-law wrote and sang at his wedding years ago that he let us borrow for our wedding. For the reception we had a set of DJ's (Sounds Unlimited from Rockford, IL) who I met at the bridal show I went to - they had polka on their playlist which sold me as my dad and grandpap are both big on polka and I had to have at least 1 polka played, lol... whatever they didn't have in their catalog they said we could submit on CD for them and they did a great job. They were older guys but had been in the business since the 80s and were known for DJing the annual fireman's ball event every year and they were a lot of fun and did a really good job! They also had the best price in town too!

Our 1st dance was to our song - "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol
The wedding party's dance was to "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey
For Father/Daughter dance we used "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle (which btw, is a REALLY long song when everyone is watching you!)
And Mother/Son dance was to "Moon River"
For our last dance we played "Closing Time" by Semisonic

N is for Newlyweds
We spent the day after our wedding at my parents house with family and relatives from out of town for a brunch and we opened our gifts too... and fell asleep on the couch for a bit before running out to Target to buy some last minute stuff for our honeymoon, like a camcorder we had on our registry as well as a luggage set.

O is for Old, new, borrowed, blue
Old and borrowed was a ring I wore, new and blue were my underwear I ordered that had "Bride" printed on the butt, lol...

P is for Photography
We had Solko Photography for our photography and well... it could have been better. Originally when we booked we had the owner slated as our photographer. We went with them as my matron of honor had them for her wedding and they did a really good job. Well, a few weeks before my wedding I get a call, requesting we permit them to have one of their other photographers shoot our wedding as another bride they booked on our day decided last minute she wanted their videography services and the only ones that could use the equipment were the owner and her husband (who was already slated to shoot that wedding, meaning she would have to do the video). They gave us a great break on our package, basically giving us our album for free, and we agreed after seeing the other guy's work and it looking fine. However I was a bit disappointed in the lack of candids he took and that we didn't get some photos with relatives we never see that I really would have liked to have gotten. To be honest, one of my bridesmaid's dad's was taking photos the whole day too and I really liked more of the ones he took better! And the album... I was under the assumption I'd get to pick which photos went in the album, but apparently not - they chose them and had it all put together by the time they called me and some of the photos... I would have chose others. I was told I could switch out 3 for free and then a fee for others. Yeah... since I owned the copyright for the proofs I bought an album and compiled the ones from the photographer and the one's from my bridesmaid's dad (and others who took photos) and put together my own wedding album which we display on our coffee table. Don't get me wrong, our photography was fine, just... iono... not quite what I thought I guess you could say.

Q is for Question popping
My ring!
 When and where he proposed was a bit of a surprise! I knew it was going to be sometime after my college graduation in December 2007, as we had talked before and he said I had to finish college before he would propose (as a way to motivate me to stick with it as I was really hating school the last few years). Christmas came and went with no proposal, as did New Year's, so I was expecting maybe for Valentine's Day. (I knew he already had the ring as I came across a receipt for resizing so I knew it was going to happen to eventually). We went out for lunch after church that Sunday to Chili's with one of his brother's and his brother's then-girlfriend. Him and I got to talking about when he was going to take his 2 vacation weeks that year and I told him it all depended on him and he slide down from his chair, pulled out the ring and asked if it all depended on him asking me to marry him. Obviously it did and that was what I was implying. While I still am a bit confused by the location (up until then we had never gone to Chili's together and even now we don't frequent there often, lol...), it was definitely us - laidback and a bit random, lol...

R is for Reception
Our reception was at the University Club in Rockford, IL. My aunt had her wedding there nearly 11 years or so prior and since then I had always envisioned mine being there. It's an older historic building in downtown Rockford and very pretty. We had a sit down, buffet-style dinner and then dancing in the next room later in the night. There was also a bar however we only had open bar for hubby and I as I had heard of horror stories where the whole wedding party had open bar access but gave drinks out to LOTS of the guests, making the bar tab nearly half of the reception cost!

S is for Shoes
I wore strappy block heeled sandals in an ivory color to match my dress.

T is for Trash the Dress
Yeah... no thank you. Granted I'll only wear it once, but I can't bring myself to trash it like that.

U is for Unique

Well we did the Zoot Suit type suits for the guys, we used my dad's 1965 Corvair as our getaway vehicle, and our cake topper was custom-made.

V is for Vows
We just stuck with the traditional ones.

W is for Wedding Woes
Oh we had quite a few!

1st, my grandma (mom's mom) passed away the night before. She had been sick in the hospital for awhile now so we knew it was going to happen sometime soon. I hadn't been close to her in years though, but it was still a bit sad. All her kids and her brother were in town for the wedding and got to say goodbye to her though and they said the wedding was a nice distraction too.

The morning of my wedding, while on my way to the hair stylist, my mom calls asking how much I really wanted to wear a veil. I wasn't that crazy about them to begin with so we bought one from Hobby Lobby for a fraction of the cost of a bridal shop's. Apparently while steaming my veil that morning my mom got the iron a little too close and it melted part of the veil - oops! Oh well, I didn't want to wear one really anyway, lol...

Then, my mom never met us at the salon as she got held up at the reception hall fighting with them over the chairs in the dining room setup. We were paying them extra to set it up banquet style like they did at my aunt's wedding (as that fits the most people in there, which we needed) which I guess they no longer do very often, but apparently half the chairs they used were too high that when sitting you couldn't get your knees under the table!! My mom got my aunt's inlaws involved, in which her father-in-law had been president at the club several times, and they took care of it for us so my mom could meet us at the church in time.

What we refer to as
"the hairspray incident"
As we're getting ready before the ceremony my mom said she wanted to spray my hair with hairspray one more time to make sure it held. As she spraying my hair like crazy we notice 1) it doesn't smell like hairspray and 2) my hair is wet. Turns out, my sis had used the spray bottle awhile back and used it for water on a hot day to spray on herself and my mom forgot and so she had soaked my hair we had just paid to have done! Fortunately we had a big curling iron to fix my curls and my matron of honor had heavy duty hairspray with her that we used and we saved the day!

It rained almost all day - we didn't get to take very many outside photos at locations we had planned and we couldn't do the dancing outside like we had wanted.

My dad's side of the family left and went back to the house to hang out between the ceremony and reception so we didn't really get any photos with them like we had wanted.

Hubby had trouble getting my dad's Corvair to start several times.

The DJ messed up my sister's last name during her introduction - I gave specific notes on how to pronounce it, as it rhymes with Harris...  yeah, he just said Harris instead /facepalm

During his speech before dinner, my dad goofed and said hubby had fallen in love with my sister many years ago instead of me. There was a pause after he said it and everyone burst into laughter at his mistake which he caught right after he realized what he had said, lol...

I'm sure there were others but those were the most memorable, lol...

X is for X-Rated
No one that does this meme seems to know what this one is supposed to be, lol...

Y is for Young Kids
Since we didn't know any little boys at the time (besides our nephew but we weren't sure if they would make it or not) we didn't have a ringbearer. Hubby's little sister and my little cousin, who were both 10 at the time, were our flower girls - hubby's sister carried the rings and my cousin did the flowers.

Z is for Zzzz
We slept good that night (took hubby forever to get me out of my dress and then it took me forever pulling all the bobby pins out of my hair, lol...), had brunch with family the next day and then Monday morning we left for Vegas which was nice, fun and relaxing!

Happy Anniversary, Hun! 
We've had our share of ups and downs these past few years we've been together, but like our vows say, we take each other "for better or for worse." Here's to many more years together!