27 August 2010

College Advice

Stolen from this wonderful, thoughtful man - I wish someone had been around to tell me this when I changed my major back here.

Okay, that isn't totally fair - many of my friends were supportive (although I had to almost always tell them reasons - only Mary was nonjudgmental, from what I can remember), and Pete's family was very supportive. My family, on the other hand, well...not so much. People told me it was okay, but I wish that I had had a counselor that said these things.

Dear College Students:

You picked your major and determined the course of your professional life before you were really ready to do so.

Please don’t be offended by this.

Some of you were ready, because your passions aligned correctly.

But most of you picked what you thought would be best, well before you understood what it would mean in the decades to come.

Some of you are already discovering this to be true. I’ve worked and taught on a college campus for over a decade. I see it all the time. That’s okay.

You can change your major.

For those of you that didn’t just close this window:

Yes, it will suck. A lot.

But so will the lifetime you may otherwise invest in something you do not love.

Follow your gut. Especially when it is aligned with your heart. This especially goes for you creators. The drive to create will never go away.

Don’t do anything crazy. Don’t drop classes this minute. Talk to a counselor. A good one. One that loves what they do. If you don’t get one, make another appointment until you do.

Make it work.

Your future is worth it.

Hey, college students - from a person who's been there - this smart man is right. Don't finish just to finish. You're in college, finish it with something you love.

I have to say, the last three days at work have been a bit overwhelming but I am so glad I am doing that and not teaching. It would have been awful - not just for me, but I'm pretty sure for the students and my fellow staff as well.

26 August 2010


I took these pictures the weekend after we returned from our honeymoon. We were home and wanted - no, needed - to see our friends. So we had a big old party and invited a ton of people.

I made a blueberry tart. The cheater kind - from Real Simple - but it was delicious. The filling was delectable. And those blueberries just looked so pretty in the sunlight, they had to be documented.

25 August 2010


So. I'm totally employed.


I still couldn't believe that it was real. And I had my first day today. And it was glorious.

And I have my own email address! And my own phone extension! And my own laptop, PLUS a desktop that stays at school!

I still can't believe it, after a day.

Here's what I wore (my parents were ALL ABOUT the first day of school pictures, and since it was Pete's first full day, and my first day of grown-up work, well...)

Did I mention that Pete also works there? So we both work there? What a wonderful world.

Oh - in case you were curious, I'm working in the development office - working on recruitment, fundraising, communication for the school, etc. Today I proofed some letters and started putting together the parent manual!

So. That's my big news. I can access blogger on my work computer, so if the day is ever slow (although I don't think they ever will be!) I'll do some stealth-blogging.

20 August 2010

If You're Getting Married...

...here's my two cents.

1. Stand up straight ALL DAY. No, seriously - all day. I think I did a pretty good job throughout my wedding day, but there are some pictures I've seen (mostly taken by friends) where I am slumping over. I normally slump over. My posture isn't excellent. This doesn't bother me on a normal day, but when I'm wearing a beautiful dress with beautiful hair and make-up, I wish I had stood up straight more.

[not the most attractive picture of me, but it illustrates my point]

Also, here's a thing - standing up straight helps get rid of back fat. SCORE. Which, when you're wearing a tight dress (and most dresses will be so they will fit correctly), almost every girl inevitably has.

2. Really, really, REALLY love your dress. I did love my dress. It's beautiful. HOWEVER, I will always wonder what my wedding day would have been like if I had worn a shorter, tea-length dress. I wouldn't have been as hot. I would have been able to move more. My poor bridesmaids wouldn't have had to spend 20 minutes in the reception bathroom trying to figure out the bustle.

3. I wish I had looked at our guests when I walked down the aisle. I was so nervous beforehand, grinning like a fool and just looking at Pete, at the altar, made me feel oodles better. However, I'm pretty sure that looking at the beaming faces of our guests would have made me feel good, too. (Also, looking at the picture below - the wedding coordinator told me to hold the flowers between my hips. This is slimming but I was a bit distracted)

4. Smile! I have no problem smiling. And obviously a wedding is a super happy occasion! Remember that you're marrying the love of your life and that everyone that has come to see you share this day with each other LOVE YOU.

5. Remember that everyone there LOVES YOU. (I know, I sort of said that above.) My friend Lindsay gave me this piece of advice when I told her I was so nervous about walking down the aisle. The people that are there love you. They want the best for you. They are there to support you. If you trip or pass out or poop your pants, they won't hate you.

Also, it helped me to think about who, in our group of lovely guests, is a doctor or a nurse. So if I DID pass out, they would know what to do. Maybe that sounds morbid, but hey, it helped.

6. Take arguments or disagreements with family members with a grain of salt. My mom and I fought over things relating to the wedding A LOT. She didn't like the idea of a short wedding dress. We had some spats over where we are going to have the reception. Everything was like an argument - I was afraid to suggest things, for fear that mom would reject it right away. Like blue shoes and a snack at the end of the reception and fake flowers and and and. HOWEVER - the things that I wanted, for the most part, didn't work out for various reasons. And as it turned out (and how it ALWAYS HAS, for the most part), my mom was right. I DID deserve real flowers on my wedding day. Everyone loved the wedding dress and I did feel like a princess in it. The fact that we had our reception in the city, in a modern/awesome location, worked out a lot better than in a barn with Christmas lights strung up.

Another problem with my mom, and maybe even my parents and sister and other family members, was that they really just wanted a traditional wedding, complete with garter toss (shudder) and a send-off limo and all that jazz. Which, hey, if that is what you want, AWESOME. I'm glad you know what you want. But I didn't, and having them breathing down my neck was not the best experience. So. Take a bubble bath, watch some 30 Rock, do something to unwind during those stressful wedding planning meetings/

7. Garter toss. I shuddered in the paragraph above. I just don't get it. I think it's weird and awkward to watch as a guest (who wants to see a man stuck his hand, or worse, his HEAD) up his new wife's dress and come out with a piece of stretchy elastic in his teeth? I DON'T.) and I'm pretty sure I would be permanently red if I did that as a bride. So, be ready for all 120/200/300/whatever people to possibly see your under-roos, because that is definitely a possibility.

8. If in doubt, ask your bridesmaids/maid of honor. When I wasn't sure about something, they were my go-to girls. I didn't always like the answers that they gave me, but they were always on my side. They teared up when they saw me in my dress the first time (even though my hair looked like poop and I had horrible acne that day), they stuck my head in the freezer when I felt like I was going to pass out on the wedding day, they picked up my gown during pictures and danced the night away at the reception. Seriously, some of the best girlfriends I have. UTILIZE THEM.

Also - along with moms and daughters butting heads about wedding-related things, my mom bought a white shift dress to wear. At my wedding. And at my friend bridal shower, my sister (who was also a bridesmaid) and I talked about it and there, she heard all 16 of my closest friends saying how crazy it was for mom to have a white dress to wear. So, she said something to mom (I had tried to, but didn't want to see like a bridezilla). And mom returned the dress and got a pink one instead.

9. Crying is charming. It's okay to let a few tears drop during your day - and that goes for the groom, too. Although surprisingly, I didn't really cry at all. Must have been the Xanax.

10. Take a Xanax if you have to. I did. It was awesome.

11. Make sure you get PLENTY of sleep the night before. I know that there are people in town, people you never get to see, and all of your friends are hanging out somewhere. But seriously, you need your rest. Take some NyQuil if you can't sleep (again, I did). HOWEVER, if you do take NyQuil you need to get as much sleep as the bottle says. Because I didn't, and then I looked like crap when I went to get my hair and make-up done. That, along with having taken a Xanax, I have no idea how I managed to stay awake.

12. Saltine crackers are your friend if you're nervous. So is ginger ale. So is champagne. Pick your poison and make sure you have plenty of each to keep your nerves down.

[Marcy, Emme (my sister), and me - with saltine in hand and ginger ale close by]

13. Maybe this is only because I was married on a day in July that was 95 degrees and 95% humidity, but bring deodorant. I'm pretty sure most women get sweaty on their wedding day regardless of season, and you'll be hugging and kissing people and dancing and running around. BRING deodorant.

14. Try to do a first look if you can. I'm a pretty superstitious person (I try to not leave the house on Friday the 13th) but I think it was fate when Pete and I found out that our entire wedding party would have to wait in the church basement before we could all head upstairs for the ceremony. So, we decided (with the help of our faithful photographer, Ryan) to do a "First Look" - when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony.

I'm not very good at keeping secrets that are happy secrets. I buy someone a present, and I want to give it to them right away. So it's pretty amazing that over the period of nine months, Pete never HEARD about my dress or SAW it. So seeing the look on his face, close-up, when he first saw me all made-up and in the dress, was just amazing. It also took the pressure off of walking up the aisle and kind of being able to see Pete, but kind of not being able to see him.

15. Finally, for the love of GOD - play Lady GaGa at your reception. Insanity ensued on our dance floor. I had no idea it would happen.

[Ryan, Marcy, and Shannon - Lady GaGa-ing it up]

all photos by Ryan Gladstone Photography

08 August 2010

Man V. Food

Does anyone else watch this show?

I think I may be obsessed. I saw that it's on Netflix Instant, which means that we can stream it through our Playstation 3 onto our fancy schmancy flat screen TV! (Thanks to Brendan for the PS3 and the Wissingers and Williams for the TV.)

The premise of this show, if you aren't familiar: Adam, the host, visits a new city every episode to taste each city's "known-for" or well-known meals. Then, he always participates in a food challenge. While the show itself is really awesome, it's the challenges that really make me squirm. Pete and I watched the St. Louis episode first, where he went to Crown Candy Kitchen to participate in the five-malt challenge.

Pete and I were just there with our friends Jared and Kate this past week. We each got a shake or malt and I couldn't even finish ONE (although I think everyone else did; I'm a lightweight).

But Adam couldn't finish the challenge! I wasn't sure if I should feel bad for him or feel proud of St. Louis for being able to defeat him.

In San Francisco, he ate a sundae that consisted of two gallons of ice cream - along with eight servings of whipped cream. What the what?! [in the video below, the second half is the sundae-eating]

And now, we're watching the Springfield, Illinois episode (Springfield is about an hour and a half from St. Louis) and he's about to eat five bowls of spicy chili. Uuuuuuuuuugh it just makes me stomach gurgle in an unpleasant way thinking about it. I HATE spicy foods.

Anyway - Man V. Food is on the Travel channel. Or instant Netflix. If you can stand some annoying little scenes of the host acting like Abraham Lincoln or a hippie, this is a great show.

If you're interested in just seeing what he's eaten without watching the show, check out this page. Disgusting, when you read it all at once.

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Honeymoon Day 3

On the third day of our honeymoon, we slept in at our hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona. The last two full days of driving had been exhausting.

It was about a five hour drive from Flagstaff to Las Vegas, and we started the day off at Target. The Target in Flagstaff was weird, for a couple of reasons - it was so like our neighborhood Target, but the layout was completely different. It really, really freaked me out. Also, they had BEER! Which now our Target does too, but that was the first time I had seen alcohol products in Target and that was also weird.

We were surprised to come across...the Hoover Dam! The drive was kind of boring for most of the way. Once we hit Nevada, the scenery became really, really pretty - we drove through parts of the Lake Mead Recreation Area and it was gorgeous. Some of the mountain ranges/canyons looked like they could have been as revered as the Grand Canyon. Pete and I both thought it was interesting that neither of us had even HEARD of Lake Mead before...

The Hoover Dam was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Granted, we didn't really get out of the car. It didn't seem worthwhile. The first picture is from a lookout point above the dam, and the second picture is a new bridge that they're building to keep pass-through traffic (like me and Pete) from having to drive over the actual dam. That bridge looks beautiful but terrifying. I would close my eyes and hold my breath the whole way across.

Then we got to Vegas. Hilarious. I'm glad I saw it, but I don't think I would like to go back. I don't have money to blow and I'm not a huge partier, which I think is what it takes to really enjoy Vegas. We didn't see any shows and we didn't stay at a place on the strip - we just spent like eight hours walking around and taking it all in...

Also - it was sad driving into Las Vegas from the Flagstaff side, as opposed to the Los Angeles side. We didn't see the famous WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS sign or anything. I also think it would have looked cooler if we had driven in at night.

So close!

View of the strip - Venetian on the right. Not sure what else is in there...

Right as I took this picture, a bus full of tourists drove by, mouths agape...

Just makes me laugh.

Pete at the famous Trevi fountain. Love the girl in the right corner.

Paris! Or as close as I'll get for awhile.

Duh! I'm obviously acting like a flamingo.

At Hash House a Go Go - which is awesome. Go if you're in Vegas! That pancake was probably close to 11 inches wide!

Pete got a meatloaf sandwich.

Night lights.

The Bellagio

The Eiffel Tower

The guys from The Hangover

The famous fountain show in front of the Bellagio

The Chihuly ceiling inside the Bellagio (one of my favorite parts of Vegas)

Me losing money

Pete losing money

All in all, we had a good time in the Vegas. But we were exhausted after only one day and after we had only lost about $50. My highlights were the Chihuly ceiling and the Serendipity Frrrrozen Hot Chocolate we got (which of COURSE we didn't take any pictures of). We were ready to get on the road the next morning and head to CALIFORNIA!

Also, some other things about Vegas: over Las Vegas Boulevard (the major street where many of the famous casinos are) there are overhead walkways. So people don't have to wait to cross the street with all the cars. It took Pete and I...well, it took us awhile to figure that out. St. Louis just isn't as fancy. Also, to get the overhead walkways there are almost always escalators. Crazy!

There were rows and rows of men standing on the streets with neon shirts that say GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS that try to hand you business cards for escorts or call girls or whatever you want to call them. Along those lines, there were also kiosks of catalogs all over the place. The catalogs were again for escorts or prostitutes. Very surreal. Of course I took one and it was the talk of a party that Pete and I had for some friends last weekend.

Lastly, Vegas has a monorail system. WHAT?! I thought only Disney World had that! I said that exact thing to Pete, who said, "...well, Vegas is kind of like Disney World. A weird, twisted, adult version of Disney World."

I like Disney World better.

06 August 2010



I forgot.

So while Ryan was our primary photographer, we were lucky (oh so lucky!) to have Taylor Glascock join us as well. She was Ryan's number 2 (is that how it works?) and she was just awesome. She came on the bus with us the whole time and was pretty much the coolest person I've ever met. I may have freaked her out when I friended her on facebook and said something the effect of, "well. I think you're awesome and we should totally hang out whenever you're up in St. Louis. And that's that."

Regardless, she took some amazing, beautiful pictures. And you should totally go to her website and look at all of them, and if you live in Columbia, Missouri you should totally hire her to take pictures of you. Because she's super easy to work with, really laid-back, and she captured so many lovely little moments throughout the day.

And since I can right-click on her blog I totally know how to put pictures on here for you to see!

[I love the composition of this photograph.]

Still No Professional Pictures...

...but here are some lovely things from families and friends!

As I said, we're still waiting on Ryan to get back the full portfolio of pictures back from the big day, but here is a blog post that he wrote, plus a tooooon of pictures (the story: I was at Target with Pete, getting some stuff off of our registry that we hadn't received, and I accidentally pressed the Facebook icon on my iPhone. All of a sudden, I had a ton of new notifications on my phone, one of them being that Ryan Gladstone had tagged me in a post. I KNEW that it was wedding pictures and I squealed. Loudly. Sorry, fellow Target-goers...). SO, you should totally head over there and check them out. He did a beautiful job.

But anyway, here are some of my favorite shots from family and friends: (oh, and PS - any picture that doesn't have a credit was taken by whoever had my mom's camera)

Me and my flock of flowergirls. How adorable are they? And Pete's mom, Mary Helen, made the two girls' dresses on the right; Bridgett, OUR sister-in-law, made the two girls' dresses on the left. Aaaaadorable.

Pete and I and my immediate family - mom on the left, Dad (being the guy that looks like a dad) and my younger sister, Emme, on the right. Who looked gorgeous, obviously. Also obvious: we look nothing alike.

Pete's immediate family - his brother, Mike, and his family on the left (Mike is holding Leo, Bridgett is up by me, kind of, and they have two daughters - Sophia and Maeve - and Leo); Mary Helen in the yellow, me and Pete; Jeff (Pete's dad); his mother, Ann; Mary and Steve (Steve being Pete's twin brother/best man), and Christy (Pete's sister) and her two daughters, Maci and Delaney. Phew! Mine was easier to type.

Pete and I, just hanging out on a beautiful altar. No big deal.

Friends and wedding party! Bottom row: Sarah, Emme, Megan (maid of honor), Steve (best man), David, Matt, Jason. Top row: Shannon, Marcy, me, Pete, Brendan, Frank, Tim. You guys like the look of the thumbs sticking out of the pockets? I kind of dig it.

Friends since first grade. Seriously. L - R: Bridget, Katherine, me, Kevin, Sam. Bridget and Kevin are twins. I had a crush on Sam for oh, about nine years. I haven't told him but it would be pretty easy for him to find out now, I guess. Also. I am not normally that short. The heels came off pretty early into the reception... PHOTO BY MARY GOULD (thanks Mary!!)

Me and Pete at dinner. So I'm just now realizing. I ate maybe ten saltine crackers before the wedding, had a shot of vodka on the party bus (awful idea; my sister almost threw up), had about half of my Crater Copernicus at Ted Drewes (weddings in St. Louis! You show up on your wedding day, with the wedding party, all decked out, and EVERYONE GETS FREE ICE CREAM! Seriously. Any size any flavor. Do it!), maybe two bites of salad, and five of my vegetables from the actual dinner. I was so exhausted by the time we got home on the wedding night, I could barely manage to lick icing off of one of our wedding cupcakes and have a few forkfuls of two-day-old Vietnamese food. How I survived I will never know.

Wedding party during my dad's toast. Do you see he's wearing chucks? He's totally wearing chucks. My dad is awesome.

Right after the cake cutting. Of COURSE cake would fall into my dress.

Us at the cake table. Speaking of the cake table. This picture was taken by Lindsay Harvath, who is a dear friend. Also, at the time of the wedding, she was almost seven months into her pregnancy. Also, she baked every single cupcake and the adorable cake you see in the picture above. In something like NINE HOURS. WHILE SEVEN-ISH MONTHS PREGNANT. Basically, she's a superstar ninja. And her cake/cupcakes were so good. SO SO good.

Dad and I during our first dance, taken by Shannon. Thanks Shannon!

Pete and I during our first dance. Look at that bustled dress! Shout-out good job to Sarah and Shannon, who bustled it while I did the potty-dance in the bathroom of the reception. Then they attempted to help me pee, but I totally did it myself because I am a ROCKSTAR. (But the important part is, they were there to help if I needed it.) This picture was taken by Katie. Thanks Katie!

Laura (of the lbeau room fame) and I. So cute! I don't remember who took this picture, but it was taken with Laura's camera. Thanks whoever took this picture!

Me and the ladies from my childhood again. Notice the super watery eyes on all of us. I walked over to them and Katherine (in pink) just looked at me and said, "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!" and then we all started to lose it. Also taken by Mary Gould - a very close high school friend to all of us!

Okay, phew! Think you've had enough? Yikes, I hope not. Here are a ton of pictures that Bridgett took. If you want to stalk me or her, this is where you can find some more eye candy I MEAN photos.

Pete and his mom during their first dance

Steve giving his best man toast. It was very classy - well-written, well-spoken...and with a glass of bourbon. Awesome.

Mike and Maeve. This picture just makes my heart giggle.

Trying to look coy during the reception...I was so nervous. Every second that passed I thought I would throw up. So I took my shoes on and off twice. It's so awful to watch it in the video. Sorry to everyone that had to watch me do that...

But I just tried to smile a lot. Smiling apparently relaxes the face. I don't know if it helped or not, but I look pretty happy in this picture so let's act like it does :)

Andy and Mary (sisters!!) singing up a storm. They did such a beautiful job. Also, have I told you what our recessional song was? No?

And yes, I definitely chose it because of The Parent Trap. You guys, you should of heard Mary wailing it out at the end of the song. SO amazing. Gives me goosebumps just thinking of it.

Okay. One last thing. If you want to know what it was like to really, truly be at our wedding events, check out these valuable and excellent sources:

Bridgett - the rehearsal + rehearsal dinner
Bridgett - the wedding
Shannon - the bachelorette party
Shannon - the rehearsal dinner and wedding
Matt Essner - wedding events part 1
Matt Essner - wedding events part 2
Laura - wedding
Steve - wedding (with his best man toast, BONUS!)
Rosemary - mmm cake.

If I missed anything, let me know! And if you're still reading, you get 100 Stanley nickels! And 200 more if you recognize that reference!