November 2008


Thanks to everyone for all the lovely bloggy wishes and Facebook comments.  

And yes, we are married now.  I married the love of my life.  And he’s sitting right over there annoying me with hour 2,024 of playing Fallout 3 on our holiday time off.  And even that makes me happy. 

All is good.

The wedding was wonderful.  Absolutely everything that I expected it to be, and more.  I would change little and hope to remember those moments and special feelings for decades.  We are lucky people and that was blindingly clear these past few weeks.

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I have many pictures filtering in and landing up on Facebook — both the embarassing and the beautiful.  

But I’ll share them all later, with the exception of this one.  Because it kind of sums up our whole day.

It wasn’t our first dance, it was a stolen moment of our last.  The night had reached a pitch and the relief of a slow song had filtered in, thankfully at the same moment I actually found Michael near the dance floor.  Neither of us know how to dance, so we just swayed like it was an 8th grade prom.  

We were so very happy.  We still are.

Since that evening, we have spent four wonderful days of rest in Cape May, NJ — his place of birth and one of our favorite places to go together.  We stayed in a drafty, but beautifully renovated, hotel called Congress Hall.  We could see the beach and the ocean from all three windows…from bed.  We ate a renowned local restaurants (Ebbit Room, Washington Inn) and tried and true favorites (Uncle Bills for pumpkin pancakes).  We napped and took steaming hot baths in cast iron tubs.  We got a massage (Michael) and a facial (me) and wandered on foot.

It was so lovely.

Back in time for Thanksgiving, we ate too much, laughed a good deal, and (in my case) missed family who weren’t there.  We also opened legions of beautiful and generous wedding presents from friends and family.  We are definitely blessed.

Since then, we have decorated for Christmas, cleaned the house, and spent entirely too much time on our rears.

Life, is good.

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There’s more going on here, which is pretty darn typical.  I’ve been building a new website, because I honestly think wordpress is not the right platform for me and have been completely converted into a MacGirl within 10 minutes of turning my new computer on.

In the coming weeks, I’ll share the link to my new home.  It has pictures.  And a place for recipes and journaling everything — life and training.

Speaking of training…I’m a big pile of relaxed Jello right now, but no worries.  Because I’ve figured out what the next season will bring.  And it’s nice and big, of course.

140.6 big.

(Booyah.)

For now, though, I’m going to continue to sit here and play on my mac next to a pretty Douglas fir tree, trimmed in burgundy, silver, and gold.  Oh, and cycling ornaments, too.  With my sparkly new wedding band and my gaming obsessed husband on the couch.

Husband.

It does sound good, no?

I’m a pasty person.

No sense in denying it. I have a certain shade of paste that Almay calls “neutral.”

Neutral. Thanks. Worked hard on that copy, eh?

In addition to being pasty, I have a way of holding onto a tan line. I think I still have some from high school. Seriously, I can be out in the sun for two hours (really, just two) and get a tan line that sticks around through months and months of beach vacations and tanning salon visits. This year I spent a full week at the beach wearing the most hideous bathing suit (bandeau with my chest? pshaw) in an attempt to correct 2 hours of bad. No luck.

Not that I don’t get tan…it’s just that my tan line continues at the same pace.

A source of some consternation when you have a whole lotta skin showing at the wedding. I ignored it for a while, tried self tanning lotions and bronzing creams, and even did the tanning salon a few times a week.

No joy.

So, this weekend I decided to try something daring: the spray tan.

Everyone said it was safe. My makeup guy. My friends. My coworkers.

So I bit the bullet, read the instructions, and stepped into the machine.

It was weird. Efficient (a 10 minute — tops — experience!), but weird. The result is that I actually AM a bit tanner. At first, it was a wee bit fake looking, but after you shower and wash your face, it kind of mellows out and looks normal.

The only thing you have to be careful with is where you wash. For instance, it seems that I don’t spend too much time washing my forehead as much as I do, say, my cheeks. Cause today my forehead is mighty tropical, while my cheeks are more like the Keys.

Also, the “barrier cream” you’re supposed to lather on your cuticles, hands, and feet? Really lather it, people. I had ompaloompa hands for a day or so.

It’s supposed to wear off in 5-7 days, which is why I did it a week before the wedding. (In case I hated it.) But I’m thinking it’s not too bad, so I’m going to do it one more time on Wednesday, so it mellows nicely for Saturday.

Oh…and the irony? Totally didn’t help with the tan lines. I’m screwed. Photoshop much?

Yeah, I know there’s a lot going on nowadays about the wedding.

But don’t think I haven’t forgotten about next year.

And racing.

Just saying.

Because next Sunday — the day after the wedding — my former (and hopefully future) coach is toeing the pro line of Ironman Arizona.  And I’ve been reading about it and checking the course descriptions out and getting some insight.  

And I’ve been seriously thinking about doing it in 2009.  

There are a lot of pro’s.  Some of them look like this…

1.Flat
2.Friendly with spectators and bloggy buddies
3.A destination Michael seems to be jazzed about
4.A “Ironman” brand*
5.It’s do able for me.  Timing, terraine, etc.

 

There are, of course, the con’s.  Like these…

1.Travel costs are a bitch (like $1500 with a bike)
2.The lodging costs are ALSO a bitch (haven’t even looked yet…upwards of $500?  More?  Sigh.)
3.Yeah…can’t really think of more.

So, I’m thinking.  If my only reasons for not doing a race that is otherwise ideal is money…well, maybe I can plan ahead for that.  Maybe I can do some freelance grant writing on the side, or sell my road bike, or something. 

Anyway, point being is that money can be solved.  Motivation, health, timing, etc…well that kind of stuff can’t even be bought.  And I have those things now. 

So…yeah.  I may be signing up for another race in about a week.

Just saying.

 


(* As for the IM brand discussion from before.  I’ve decided that if I have any hesitation (e.g., will a non-IM iron distance quiet the voices in my head?), I need to just pull the trigger and get the IM done.  Those who I’ve talked to who see little difference between the two types of races are also those who came easily to their conclusion.  As Brent suggests, might as well avoid the repeated caveat of “iron-distance, not IM.”  I’m considering this concluded for now.  Go red or go home.)

My MIL and I just picked up my dress.

It’s beautiful.

Fits perfectly.  The hem is perfect.  The changes we made around the hip area turned out to be taking it in 6 inches total.  Now it’s less like a ball gown and more elegant and refined.

Tracy — I finally love my dress.  I really do.

Eight days to go.

What a week.

So, on Monday, I got sick. Like kick my butt, rip my throat out, shivers and fever and shakes and whatnot sick.

If you do Facebook, you endured every little update of my sickdome. Patient folk you are.

I don’t usually get sick, so I must have been RUN. DOWN. Go figure.

I left the office early Monday and slept for most of the day and night, but it was restless because of the throat pain and having an impossible time of regulating my internal temperature. Covers on. Covers off. Covers on. Covers off.

Michael loved it.

Tuesday came and I pushed through. Cause I’m stubborn and an idiot, all rolled into one. I did work related things and wandered through my to do list with the feverish resolve of a zombie on ludes. It wasn’t pretty. All the while, my wedding work isn’t getting done, my body isn’t getting better, and my perspective is becoming grossly twisted.

By 1:30, I dragged myself to therapy out of habit rather than real resolve. Kind of shocked my counselor with my appearance (let’s just say I brought a blanket to keep warm and looked a bit washed out). I told her how disappointed I was in all of this. This last month was not supposed to be like this. I was myopic and selfish and cried a lot. And she offered to me that maybe (just maaaaybe) my perspective was a bit off because I was sick.

To which I promptly burst into tears.

Kind of sums up how my week was going.

By the end, I had agreed with her wise advice to head home immediately for rest and medication and to take the following day off. And within 5 minutes outside of her office, I changed the plan to head back to the office to “finish up a few things.”

Memory of a flea.

Finally at 5 I dragged my sorry ass home to the store for medication and then home to the grocery store for food and then home to sleep make dinner.

Yes, my priorities were screwed up. I get it now.

I did ultimately call in sick for Thursday. The entire day. I did not once log onto my work email and I only did one wedding related errand that simply could not be rescheduled. (A walk-through with the photographer. Unavoidable, but blessedly quick and painless.)

Now, it’s Thursday. (How the hell did that happen, people??) I’m feeling a million times better. Work is coming back in line slowly but surely. Wedding lists remain do-able. And a pot roast is waiting for us in the slow cooker at home. And somehow I managed to find my sense of humor again.

Whew.

So, seems I’m getting married in nine days.

Wow.

I’m excited. I’m actually getting all teary and smiley and excited. Which is great because I was kinda bitchy there for a week or so. Whew.

Tomorrow I pick up my wedding dress. Squeeeeeee!!!

Seriously…how much fun is that?!

It’s going to be so pretty. I just know it.

And after a weekend of help from the masses, all the wedding projects will be done and boxed and off our collective plates. And that, my friends, makes me happy just thinking about it.

It’s 12 days away.  It’s so close that soon I’ll need to spell the day count out in sentences to keep my grammar on point.  Our wedding is sooooon.

I’ve had lots of points of crazy in these past few weeks.  Part because I’m a bride.  Part because my work is offering some very real challenges.  (Try coordinating a 100 person even that is happening in TEN days, while only 25 people have rsvp’d so far!)  And part because I took on a lot of extra projects for the wedding that were fabulous in conception and a little rocky in execution.

And the usual, predictable stuff has OF COURSE happened, even though I naively thought it wouldn’t happen to me.

We had the DIY Breakdown Project that never wanted to work.  So we tried something to fix it, and then we tried something else to fix it, and now we’ve found the solution but need three boxes of moss to ARRIVE ALREADY so we can actually execute it and get it off my plate.  Note to self: hand made centerpieces for 20 tables is Un. Wise.

We also had The Printing Fiasco, which led to the Unexpected Astronomical Bill.  Michael is a designer.  I’m in development, which has its fair share of publishing and printing involved.  Between the two of us, we couldn’t manage to get a fleet of printers, nor our friends at Staples and Kinkos, to print on our fancy-sized Crane program kit.  Nobody could do it.  Or so we thought.  Seems our favorite stationary store can do it…for $650.  Unassembled.  Le sigh.  This was the most painful check to write so far.

We’ve also had Seriously, Do You Think That’s Appropriate? guest issues.  The inlaw who insisted on bringing her children and needed us to find her a sitter, who then arranged her own sitter without us and didn’t tell us.  (And when she did finally tell me, it was with a big scoop of attitude that I didn’t get in touch with her soon enough.  Um, sorry — we were busy planning a wedding and a funeral.  You are SO not our first priority!)  And don’t forget the couple that nobody expected to come who replied this weekend only after too many phone messages.  Oh…and the aunt and uncle who just casually responded that their uninvited teenagers will be having the beef and chicken.

And seating?  Yeah, seating.  Amazing how it takes 20 tables to seat 165 people so that no divorced couples sit together and no feuding siblings are within shouting distance.  Sigh.  Why can’t people just get along?

We haven’t had The Dress “Issue” yet, but I’m not due to pick it up until this Friday.  Keep your collective fingers crossed.

And lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about the cookies.  What cookies, you ask?  The ones that now haunt me.  Daily.  I had the bright idea to make my mom’s favorite cookies as favors for the guests.  They’re delicious chocolate oatmeal coconut drop cookies that don’t even need to be baked.  Easy, right?  Well seems it ain’t so.  I’ve been making cookies for weeks now.  Weeks.  Four people were added to the guest list this weekend and I calculated the pain in cookies.  That’s 16 more cookies I need to make.  And they’re going to be great — packaged up in simple wax paper in kraft boxes, with the recipe tucked inside and a cute brown ribbon tying the box closed.  Would I do it again?  Yes.  But, boy is it tempting to swear off cookies for a year now.

~~~~~~~

All these things aside, we’re doing just fine.  I have a nagging sore throat this morning, but we’re keeping afloat and getting things done.  I’m nonstop working on the wedding on my personal time and trying to make this other event work during my day job.  I’m tired and wired and easily frustrated.  And yesterday I took a bath at 9:30…in the morning…because I had been at it for hours already and just needed a few minutes away from my computer, glue gun, and the various to do lists.

The only thing that has never once — and I mean not once — caused us a problem is money.  My father was very gracious to sport the finances for almost everything that was related to the ceremony and reception.  (We handled things like the gifts, the donations, and a good portion of the attire, and Michael’s parents hired an amazing photographer to capture the day.)  A year ago I gave my father a budget that I guessed was close to what would work.  He didn’t bat an eye, looked over it carefully, and said yes.  And since that moment I’ve made 110% sure that we would never need to go to him and ask for anything else related to the wedding by being reasonable and responsible with the cash.  And it worked.  We’re under budget with 12 days to go.  I’m proud of that.

So here we are.  So very close.  I’m hoping with every bone in my body that we can get through the tasks this week we have on deck so that next week will be quiet.  I was telling my mother in law yesterday that all I really want is to be able to spend a little time next week anticipating the day, because I know it will all go so fast and I want to be able to be present for as much of it as possible.  You know?

So, me and this triple venti skinny vanilla latte are going to tackle this work event for the next seven hours, and then it’s time to rock some errands and glue some moss.

Cause we’re getting married!!

Yet again, I blame Wes.

After his stellar performance at IMFL this past weekend (a sub-14 on his first try?!), I couldn’t help but have Ironman needle it’s way into my subconscious again.

It’s like a disease, you know.

I mean…I don’t have a lot on my brain right now, right? Only 19 days until I get married. Totally serene between the ears.

Not.

But, there it was, in my thoughts again. And I’m about 90% sure I want to try again in 09. There’s no better time for me. But the question is where. Here’s where I am with it…

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE

Pros

  1. Within driving distance
  2. No struggle to sign up in under 3 nanoseconds online
  3. No flight cost and no bike shipment cost

Cons

  1. Hilly in a way hard to replicate here (sharp, frequent)
  2. Did I mention the hills?
  3. Less of a fun destination for support crew.

IRONMAN COZUMEL

Pros

  1. Um…it’s in Cozumel
  2. Can combine as one year anniversary celebration with Michael
  3. Flat

Cons

  1. MUCH more expensive — flight, bike transport, hotel, etc.
  2. Different kind of race support, so may need to ship more things (e.g., water, nutrition)
  3. No wetsuit
  4. Saltwater swim
  5. Humid. Very humid.

IRONMAN ARIZONA

Pros

  1. Long gradual “hills,” no sharp grades
  2. No international travel

Cons

  1. Heat
  2. Flight, bike transport costs

Thoughts, everyone?

[update: Lesser had a really good point — there’s also the option of a non-Mdot race.  There’s a race nearby that would be positive for cost, distance and terrain, but would not have the same race organization experience and emotional impact of the Mdot.  What do you guys think?  What’s the difference?]