Friday, October 29, 2010

Werewolves, Lovies, and Pumpkins

Oz: [eating Animal Crackers]Oh, look, monkey. And he has a little hat, and little pants. The monkey's the only cookie animal that gets to wear clothes, you know that? . . . So I'm wonderin', do the other cookie animals feel sorta ripped? Like is the hippo goin', "Hey man, where are my pants? I have my hippo dignity." And, you know, the monkey's just, "I mock you with my monkey pants!" And then there's a big coup in the zoo.  
Willow: The monkey is French?
Oz: All monkeys are French. You didn't know that?
--Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2 Episode 10

I was bored one afternoon, went to hulu, and discovered Buffy.
I remember the commercials for it when I was a kid, I was totally confused, sort of grossed out. Oh yeah, and there were people in lame costumes.I mean, seriously, blue demons? Come on, who's scared of giant smurfs?
So, started watching the show a couple days ago, it actually wasn't too bad for a teenage vamp show (at lesat the vamps don't sparkle . . . ).
Then Seth Green walked in, and I was hooked . . . at least to the one season hulu possesses.
Is it bizarre that while other girls were drooling over Angel, Spike, and Edward Cullen, a small red-headed nerd gives me the fan-girly giggles? Not a crush, honest . . . it's just adorable. Like kittens . . . but kittens with a taciturn sense of humor.
No, I don't even understand it. Seriously.
Yeah, I'm a sucker for sweet, quirky, nerdy musicians. This is why I married one . . . and at least mine is taller than me. Oh, and Chris is real. That's pretty key.

 In four days, my sis-in-law celebrates her 2nd anniversary. Congrats Julie and Ryan!

It's sort of a weird story, really . . . I'll give you the nutshell-version:
  • 1988 -- I turn 1, and Ryan is born. Our mom's are pals, so they start having baby-play dates. And the playdates continued . . . until we were all too old to have "playdates" and instead we just hung out. Ryan's parents liked to plan our wedding; we just gagged at the thought.. They'd picked out our first dance song to be "You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins from Disney's "Tarzan." Yup.
  • 2001 -- Julie and I meet at a high school bowling party. We get put on the same team because everyone else had already paired up . . . and it turned out we both loved Star Wars. Welcome to the beginning of best-friend-dom.  We used to joke about my marrying her cousin, Joe, and my brother, Matt, marrying her younger sister, Mel, so we could all be related.
  •  2002 -- I meet Chris, Julie's older brother, and boy, oh boy, was he a cutie!
  • 2003 -- My parents throw me a surprise LOTR party (yes, I was a super-nerd . . . still am) for my 16th birthday, and Ryan and Julie meet for the first time.
  • 2005 -- Ryan and Julie meet again at a youth group outing to the Wet-n-Wild water park. I leave for college, and, after which, Ryan and Julie start hanging out all the time. A month and a half later, they're going out. 
  • 2006 -- to everyone's shock and awe, including mine, Chris confesses a long-time crush on me, and we start going out. This creates some drama between we two couples, but, in the end, everyone's happy.
  • 2008 -- Ryan and Julie get engaged in February and married the following November.
  • 2009 -- Chris and I get engaged in March and married in October. The impossible happened: Ryan and I were in two weddings together, though no one danced to Tarzan and Ryan and I were not marrying each other . . . but we were officially related, which was bizarre. Oh, and Julie and I were finally sisters, which made us laugh because we never really thought it would happen.
And that's the weird almost cute story about how I became related to people I never expected. It's been an interesting but, in the end, a really fun ride. 

Oh, and, as promised, pics from Julie's and my pumpkin-carving "party."

Everyone (Matt, Lydia, Julie, and Chris) with their finished works of art
Lydia's undead cat pumpkin, dedicated to Julie's old cat, Cuddles, that for really-real looks like a zombie
My brother, Matt's, tribute to a sci-fi epic

Chris's half of our pumpkin: one of his favorite characters, Chewbacca.

My half of the pumpkin. I was going to cover it in cool swirls so it looked like a fun lantern, but Chris surprised us with his presence (we thought he was going to work late that night), and wanted to carve a pumpkin, so I gave me the other half of mine. Ah, the sacrifices of marriage :]

And now it's off to Halloween weekend . . . which means cleaning, washing my car for the first time in ages (hopefully >.<), grading papers, and entering grades . . . whoop-de-do . . . Oh, and we'll go putt-putt golfing with my fam. I AM super excited about that ^_^

What about you? Random fan-girl-ness? Crazy love/friend stories? Plans for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh reality, thou art heartless . . .

Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.
--Jane Wagner

I didn't really know what "stuck between a rock and a hard place" meant until I started teaching. Ok, well there was one summer where I totally knew, but that's another story for another time . . . maybe. Maybe I'll keep it to myself.You know, just to watch you twitch with curiosity.
Or not.
Teaching is tricky because you have to keep not only your employers happy, but your students AND their parents. That's the trick, really, the parentals, and parentals, you must understand, are hard to keep completely happy all at once. You grow up, move out, and, in some form or another parenthood follows you around. You can not escape the grown-ups. Not ever. Not even when you are one . . . supposed to be one . . . or something.

All I know is I feel stressed, exhausted, anxious, and unmotivated all the time, now . . . which is probably why blog posts are more frequent. It just ends up feeling like no matter what I do, people aren't happy, so why bother? Why face it? Because it's my job, and life is bigger than stress and unhappy people. I can do this. At least until summer time. First year teaching is hell, anyways, that's what people tell me. You start out at the bottom of the ditch because then there's no where to go but up . . . I'm hoping.

Then there's finances. Money's bothered me from the time I was little.
No really. 
It's not that there are any problems, really, but we're trying to figure out how to pay off my student loans . . . which may put us behind on saving up for a house, and Chris's car is almost 14 years old. No real problems, yet, but that sucker could keel over any minute. I'm trying to find ways to save money, so if any of you have any tips, please let me know. I'm probably just borrowing trouble, but I like being financial prepared for impending doom.
Here are things we've already applied to save a little cash
  • No cable or satellite television . . . or any television, really . . . we haven't bothered buying an antenna/receiver
  • I buy only what I need for recipes that week and minimal snackage. 
  •  Dinners out are a very special and rare event
  • Movies in the theater are an extinct breed of evening
  • The only luxury on our phones is unlimited texting because we realized it would be more expensive to pay the fees for over-texting.
  • We bought used cars and paid for them up front so we don't have car payments.
Chris and I are debating having me quit my summer job . . . but I'm not sure we can. It's at a theme park, horrible hours, horrible drive, and the pay barely pays for the gas trip there and back. Still, it's a nice cushion in case we need summer cash.

Any-who . . . lesson plans, project planning, and paper grading continue. We are soldiers marching on to battle.

At least the cats are no longer relieving themselves on the carpet.  No really, that's a big deal. Cat poo is no fun. Not even a little bit.

Oh and we had a little pumpkin party. Pics soon :)

For now, I relieve stress by watching new online episodes of Futurama (because, ya know, my TV doesn't work, and the internet is my only remaining link to modern society). Oh the hysterical glory!

How about you? What do you do to save cash? Favorite de-stressing TV show?

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Beef Stew with Barley

    The first time I made this, I found myself debating the definition of a "stew." For me, a stew just has more beef and more veggies in a slow cooker. Chris begged to differ, stating that a stew is determined by its consistency, and that my culinary creation was not thick enough to be a true "stew."
    Oh, boy, no, you didn't. Oh no, you did not just diss my cooking. Nuh-uh..
    In the end, someone came to another and said, "I was wrong, you were right." Guess who it was.
    To give you a hint, I did a little victory dance, because I hardly ever hear those words. Oh sweet, sweet victory . . .
    So yes, this is a stew: it's loaded with yummy beef, delicious veggies, and it IS thick, thanks to the barely. Oh, and Chris loves it . . . because it's awesome.

    •  large zip-top bag
    • 2 1/2 lb boneless beef chuck roast (or beef pre-cut for stew)
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 4–5 petite red potatoes (rinsed)
    • 1 large onion (rinsed)
    • 8 ounces fresh cut carrots
    • 1 (32-ounce) box reduced-sodium beef broth
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
    • 1 cup quick-cooking pearled barley
    • Note: The originally recipe called for celery, but, because Chris and I aren't big celery fans, we used peas instead and it's still delish! . . . are you sensing a theme that I don't like to follow original recipes? ;]
    • Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. 
    • Cut beef into 3-inch chunks and place in large zip-top bag, beef, flour, and pepper (wash hands); seal tightly and shake to coat. 
    • Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Place beef in pan (wash hands); cook 2–3 minutes on each side or until browned.
    • While roast browns, cut potatoes into quarters. Remove ends and peel from onion; cut onion into quarters. 
    • Place roast in slow cooker. 
    • Add remaining ingredients (except barley); cook 4–6 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.
    • About one hour before serving, stir in barley. Do not replace lid. Cook uncovered 1 hour or until barley and beef are both tender. 

    Side note: When I first made this, I bought a large chuck roast, and it just about killed me to cut that sucker into chunks.  The original recipe says it takes 15 minutes to prepare, but it took me double or triple that. Maybe I have a beef-cutting handicap I wasn't aware of, but this time, I bought beef that was already cut into chunks with stew-making in mind (Publix Grocery, I love you!). Such a time saver!

    Island Getaway

    A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.
    --Dave Meurer
     For our one-year anniversary, Chris and I ran away to Sanibel Island for the weekend. For Chris, it was a return to his childhood summer getaway. It was my first visit, and I cannot wait to make my second :]

    Our cozy little room at the Sanibel Inn
    The beautiful beach, covered in shells. The water was crystal clear and filled with more shells, fish, and dolphins.
    What we did for one evening: Chris studied, and I graded papers
    Our fantastic (and free!) anniversary cake
    Our friend Slappy the Snail. We thought he was an empty shell. Um, yeah, no. He kept viciously hitting us with his snail-foot. We had no idea snails were so feisty!
    On the beach, before our anniversary dinner at The Bubble Room.
    The Sanibel Lighthouse . . . which looked nothing like I expected but it was still a fun trip.
    One last walk down the beach before heading home!

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
    --Oscar Wilde
     I love a good deal. Ok, so who doesn't? But, really I looooooove a good deal. The best deal of all? Pants.
    I can pass up clothes pretty much any day, even sales' rack pieces, but pants for sale? Nope, not ever. I must possess them.

    Allow me to explain: 

    Pay no attention to the cutie I am embracing. No, instead, look below my waistline. 
    To that bubble. 
    Yeah, that one. The BIG one. The one that, in no way, belongs on a Caucasian female physique.
    No one's really sure where it came from, but the moment I hit puberty WHAM-O! J-Lo booty galore!
    It has haunted me ever since -_-. 

    I've tried running, dieting, weight-training, yoga--everything but plastic surgery, and the stinkin thing will not leave. It is permanently attached. Luckily, my husband doesn't mind it, not one little bit. In fact, he sort of likes it . . . a lot, and in the process, I'm beginning to accept it, even like it, myself.
    Anyways, to the point, pants shopping is a NIGHTMARE. If a pair fits my massive rear-end, they're too big on my waist. Then there are the pants that fit my waist . . . and I can barely get over my thighs. Pants shopping is my own personal level of fashion hell.

    Then, I discovered the glories of Ann Taylor Loft. I'll be honest, was not  the first place I'd choose shop. In fact, I almost didn't go in--the prices made my stomach hurt, and I couldn't see myself in those pretty, preppy styles. Then, I found them. My goodness, my gracious, my golly, Sarah-Bubble-Bootie Pants. But they don't call them that.
    My friends, allow me to introduce, the Loft's Julie Pants. 

    A glove, ladies and gents. These pants fit like a glove. I bought my first pair full price three months ago (and nearly cried doing so -- they normally range from $59.99-$69.99 -- I would have never spent that much except I was desperate for new work pants after over a month of searching). Yesterday, I bought two more pairs on clearance. For $25.00 each.
    Now do you see what I mean when I say "I can't resist a good pants sale"? I now own three pairs, each a different color, and love them all! Not too tight, not too loose. The fabric is thick without being too heavy or too clingy. They're the perfect length for a cute pair of flats or small, snappy heels. The waist is low enough to be comfortable and hip but high enough that you don't have to worry about mooning your boss.
    I don't dry my pants because I have a phobia of shrinking any pants that fit, so I can't tell you how they react to the dryer. I can tell you that they don't shrink in the washer, though, and don't wrinkle horribly.
    In a single word: LOVE!

    Just to point out some examples of other fantastic sales . . .
    I also found a fabulous moss-green cardigan for $20 that was normally $60. *sigh* I love a good cardigan.

    Another fun Loft steal? An online exclusive, normally $45 that I found for $15. 

    I have the chest to match the butt, so I need a little more swimsuit to keep the girls from making a surprise guest appearance . . . if you get my drift *wink. This suit was perfect! And the sales price was as much or less than some tops at Target (one of my favorite swimsuit stops) but better quality and better fit . . . and more fabric. Comfortable, modest, supportive, and just plain cute! Again: LOVE!

    Well-made, versatile clothes for every shape and size. Overpriced normally on the rack, but the SUPERB and frequent sales make it worth it.
    So, if you see a sale sign, definitely check it out. You may be surprised :)

    How about you? Favorite sale spot? Sale item you can't resist?

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . .

    Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give a fish a man, and he'll eat for weeks! 
    --Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata

    Wow. My last post was a downer. Sheesh. Sorry about that.
    Oh well. A weekend of being a bum and chilling with still living relatives tends to lift one's spirits. Being with anything alive tends to perk me up  . . . unless it's my in-laws' or parents' dogs, but that's another story entirely.
    That and I have lots of work to catch up on for this week's classes. Ay yi yi.

    The debate I've been having this weekend involves fish. My first graders are beginning a science unit studying fish, so I thought it was only appropriate to bring in Chris's pet beta, Queequeg, for one-time classroom. Ummm . . . yeah, not so much. Chris is adamantly against any excursions for his beloved fish. He suggests I buy a class pet. Um, yeah no, again. You see my classroom is shared space, so after every school day, I have to tear down my classroom, put everything in storage, and then set it up the next day. Poor fish would have absolutely no stability. I could send the fish home with students . . . but what if it dies on one?? Can you imagine being six years old and murdering the class pet?? Oh, foul villain! Oh, cruel fate!

    So maybe we'll make paper fish or clay fish. I'm not sure yet, but fish need to be involved. Somehow . . .

    How about you? Did you ever have a class pet? Or a fish?

    Saturday, October 16, 2010


    I made a sound that was something like crying.
    --Ingrid Michaelson, "Men of Snow"

    It has been one HECK of a week.
    It started Monday, even though I didn't know it until the next morning. Monday, my step-grandfather passed away. Lung Cancer. That's all there is. There isn't any more.
    We weren't close. He was a good, sweet man, but he hadn't spoken to my family in over a year. It's complicated and it's not. There was a disagreement between my mother and her mother, his wife. My grandmother doesn't like being disagreed with, even when there are efforts to reconcile. My step-grandfather didn't like people upsetting his woman. So there you have it. Silence. Then he's dead. Just like that. They found the mass in his lung, and that was it. The end.

    My mom called me Tuesday morning to let me know that Jack was gone.
    Funeral was Wednesday. I didn't cry. I'm not a crier. I stood there sweating at the graveside service, listening to my mother's uncle smack on chewing gum behind me, and not a tear. The minister made jokes, and nobody laughed. I don't know how to express sorrow to people in mourning. I know nothing I say will make it better; I don't know how to react to the outpouring of emotion. I try, I feel for them, but everything I say is so inadequate. So I whisper I'm sorry to all of these people I don't know. I left that morning at 11:00 to meet up with my family for the funeral. I didn't get home until 9:00 PM, with so much to get ready for class the next day.

    Thursday, the principal made trips to new teachers' classes, just observing so she could give them a pre-evaluation evaluation to help them better manage their classrooms. She called me into her office, and I was terrified. I love my boss, and I know she loves me, but golly, terror. She starts talking, and I just lose it. I am sobbing in that leather seat, choking on tissues, and I cannot stop. I haven't cried like that since I was fifteen, when my biggest crush asked out my friend instead of me, then both stopped speaking to me. That's the only other time I remember sobbing. I couldn't pull it together. I am the queen of emotional control and I could not reel myself in. I'm so stressed about pleasing every single parent with my teaching, and that's impossible. Jack was dead, I would never see him again, and I don't know how to ever be normal with my grandmother. I was stressed, I was tired, and, for the first time in my life, I was mourning. And I could not stop.

    I had to stop. Had to try. I still had a phonics lesson and spelling test to get through. I had just managed to pull it together when my kids came darting in from lunch. One little girl looked at me, stopped, frowned and said, "Mrs. Bocchino, why are you crying?"
    The Hoover Dam could not have held my flood back. "My grandpa died." I've never called him grandpa. He was "my step-grandfather" or "Mr. Jack," never grandpa. Not until he was dead and buried. So my students crowded around to give me hugs; some offered, "my grandpa died, too," and one little girl wrote "I love you" on scraps of paper and passed them to me. They were all angels for the rest of the day. I think they were afraid I would break like a china doll.

    That night I had my first Bible study group. I had forgotten about it until I found a piece of mail from our current church on the table. My mother-in-law is attending it with me, and was kind enough to give me a ride.  I went, stressed about everything I have to finish, stressed about Jack and the aftermath, stressed about my job, and I was refreshed, even if it was only for two hours. The women there shared much bigger stories than mine, much harder circumstances, and it made me want to shut up and deal. No matter how small my circumstances are, though, God cares, and God wants to carry me through. I'm not alone.

    Friday came and went. I worked, I ran errands, I cleaned, I cooked. I cleaned cat-poop off of the carpet because the newest fad is to crap not in the litter box but right beside it and try to bury it in the carpet. Cute. I refused to turn on my computer because I couldn't stand to see school emails. I didn't want to deal with it. I bought new litter, and Chris hates because it smells funny, so one of us is going to make a grocery run to replace the new litter. It was one more thing I failed. How silly. I was upset over cat litter choices.Chris even said it wasn't a big deal, it wasn't my fault, but it was one more burden I carried. Cat litter. How ridiculous.

    I am weary. Jack is dead. I don't know how to speak to my grandmother. I am doing my very best at this school, loving their children, and still some parents are unhappy with me. I don't know how to deal with that. I feel like a heartless failure. I don't know what else to do. I'm looking for the confidence I have never possessed. I can't find it.It's out there, God is holding it out to me on a silver platter, but it feels so far away.

    So today, I am purposefully allowing myself a mini vacation. My husband gave me permission, with a smile, to veg a bit. Still, I answer parent emails, my stomach clenching as I open my inbox, and I write lesson plans. I will clean because I hate that I'm a clutterbug.

    I am weary. I think that's the only way to say it. Weary.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Pesto Rice Salad

    Whoot! First recipe post!

    I actually found this recipe at The Nest.  It's a cute extension of The Knot website that soon-to-be-married couples love; The Nest is for newlyweds or any weds, really, filled with pics, tips, and recipes.
    It was one of those nights when there's nothing in the fridge or pantry, grocery runs were not an option, but dinner needed makin'.  Luckily, I had chicken in the freezer and a container of pesto in the fridge dangerously near its due date, so I gave this rice/pasta salad a whirl. Umm . . . . YUM! (Chris thought it was awesome, but wants to try it again with bow-tie pasta as opposed to brown rice--picky, picky ;]).
    It was super easy--just cook the meat and rice/pasta, and throw everything together in a pan! Voila!

    Photo from

    • 2 Chicken Breasts, cubed or shredded
    • 1 T. olive oil
    • 2 T. garlic
    • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • frozen peas (thawed)
    • cooked brown rice or bow-tie pasta
    • Pesto (I used a 7 oz package from Barilla)
    • Parmesan or mixed Italian cheeses
    • Fresh diced tomato (optional)
    • 12 jumbo shrimp (optional -- I did not use shrimp because Chris isn't a seafood pasta guy; it was still delicious with only chicken!)

    • Cook rice or pasta according to package directions, drain, set aside. 
    •  Heat olive oil in a pan on medium/medium-low heat.
    • Add garlic and onion until translucent; raise heat to medium-high, and add chicken. 
    • Cook chicken until no longer pink
    • Lower the heat back to medium-low, and cook your shrimp until it turns from gray to pink
    • If you like, splash in some white wine. I'm not a wine drinker, but I am a HUGE fan of using it in my kitchen. Not only does it make the entire room smell fantastic, but it gives your chicken a tender little kick. Yum yum. Allow the wine to evaporate for about a minute.
    • Add your rice or pasta to the mix
    • Now, add pesto, peas, and cheese. Keep the stove at low heat so the pesto and peas warm and the cheese melts
    • Add whatever toppings you like -- the original recipe lists only almonds, but I threw in some diced tomato and it was delish! 
    • Maybe sprinkle on a little more cheese. Come on, you know you want to!
    • Dig in! Yummy! (Serves 4)
    Original Recipe from The Nest

    Photo from website  . . . my camera is no where near this nice and my cooking is hardly ever this pretty, haha. :) 

    Enjoy, peeps!

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Little Girly Treasures

    "I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception."
    --Groucho Marx

    I'm not really someone who tries a lot of beauty products. I'm cheap as all get out and beauty products are not, but I discovered some really fabulous skin care products for under $5.00 that work better than the big brand names.

    After I hit puberty (oh puberty, how I loooooathed thee), I struggled with acne for years. I tried super expensive skin care, but nothing worked. The only thing that helped were oral medications, and those had to be taken under certain times and only after eating certain foods, so, needless to say, teenage me forgot them as often as I took them.
    When I started taking birth control right before my wedding, they told me this would fix acne. It didn't. It made it worse.

    Then, I discovered these gems:

     If you have never tried "Freeman's  Feeling Beautiful" line, you must. Oh, you must. I have used both the Clay Avocado and Oatmeal (above) and Cucumber Facial Peel Mask. I was shocked at the results. After using, my skin feels flawless and soft. It helps minimize pores and exfoliate your skin beautifully. I currently use the clay mask once to twice a week. The best part is, Freeman's products can be  found at any Publix, Wal-Mart, or Walgreens for under $5.00. I didn't think anything so cheap could work so wonderfully, but it does.

    I discovered St. Ives products in college, but never really used them. My fourteen-year-old sister recommended it, and, by golly, if this isn't the best exfoliating scrub I have ever found. I love exfoliates--I've tried several and, if it's a good scrub, it's my favorite part of facial care. St. Ives Apricot Scrub is rich in texture, real grainy so it actually SCRUBS (I've found several more expensive exfoliating washes that were really more like creams), but it is gentle enough that it doesn't over-dry your skin. I have very oily skin, and my sister has dry, sensitive skin--St. Ives has worked beautifully for both of us. I don't know how, but it works. Again, another steal found at any Publix, Wal-Mart, or similar store for under $5.00. I use it during my morning face cleansing routine and sometimes at night. I really, really started to notice a difference in my skin after applying this scrub. Amazing.

    I use a couple of Neutragena products as well, but the difference really began after applying the Apricot scrub. It's been a few months, and I have only had a couple of very minor breakouts.
    Just I thought I'd share the joy. :]

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Home Again, Home Again . . .

    When beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang.
    Herman Melville

    So we made it back.
    A 4+ hour drive, and we are back, only to find the fridge empty and the once clean apartment a mess again with our luggage occupying the sitting room. Our cats seemed oblivious to our ever being gone . . . except, my sis-in-law tells me, that the first day of our absence they decided to make a mess outside the litter box. -_- 
    So, I started laundry and dinner, Chris started on his "homework" that he didn't complete during the trip . . . and by homework I mean a brief WoW session before academics, haha. I'm preparing for tomorrow's class, planning lunches and dinners for the week, and trying to remember what else I'm supposed to be doing. Yay for the real world, haha. Vacation is just never long enough -.^

    Sanibel Island is perfectly lovely. Because we were there over off-season, the island seemed practically vacant except for the more mature inhabitants. South Florida seems to be the main roosting place for retired folk. The beach was beautiful, covered in shells, with calm crystal waters. Every time we went out to the beach, we saw dolphins playing, found awesome seashells, and had fun swimming with little silver fish. Chris missed his fishing pole; his childhood summers had been spent fishing in Sanibel, and he hadn't realized how much he missed it until our trip. We stayed up late watching movies on cable television and slept in late the next day. We ate out, bummed around, snuggled, laughed, and watched the sunset. No internet, no phone calls, no work. Just us.

    All in all, a great long weekend and an awesome first anniversary! Whoot!

    As soon as we find (or buy) Chris's camera cord, we'll post pictures.


    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Five Hundred Twenty-Fve Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

    How do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights? In cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife? ... How do you measure a year in the life? How about love?
    --"Seasons of Love" from Rent 

    It has been a year.
    Exactly to the minute, one year since the pastor said, "I pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride." We kissed, and Chris dipped me in epic Hollywood fashion, a perfect moment.
    Chris's boss, Scott, made a point to text Chris right then so that we could remember the clock's proclamation when we were first made man and wife.
    It was 1:35 in the afternoon, October 3, 2009.

    It's a shame that some of the wedding details are a blur . . . but here are just a handful of what I do remember. :) (pics can be found here since they were somehow deleted from this post  . . . poop)
    • Everyone kept asking me if I was nervous, and I absolutely had no nerves whatsoever, not that entire week. I was completely at peace, just excited. I don't know whether it was exhaustion or my ability to stifle emotions . . . or maybe it was just God.
    • Two days before the wedding, my mother, myself sister, awesome pal (and bridesmaid) Martha, godmother, and some other incredible family friends who helped plan the wedding came to the church to decorate for the wedding. It was long, it was hard, and it was so worth it. Everything was beautiful, so much better than I had thought it would be. I had my candlelight, blue accents, and my paper lanterns; Chris had blue beta fish as one of the centerpieces (we had three: little cakes in our colors, white flowers, and the betas). Really could not have done it without all of the awesome women who helped. They were amazing! 
    • On the way to the church to get ready, my sister randomly asked me if I was wearing a thong . . . yeah no.
    • We had chosen to forgo the "first sight down the aisle" to see each other privately before the ceremony.  Chris had  never smiled wider,. I burst out, "TA-DAAA!!!" and then babbled on about pictures because, when I'm emotional, the last thing I'll talk about is emotions. I was so giddy, I couldn't think straight or say anything truly coherent. Chris just smiled and kissed me, whispered in my ear that I was the most beautiful bride ever. We loved our special time and would not have done it any other way
    • Between pre-ceremony pictures, I entertained my baby sisters/flower girls with a "fill in the blank" stories. "Once upon a time, there was a princess named . . . "
      "Ellie!" the littlest shouted. (Her name is Ellie, in case you didn't know, haha).
      Somehow, every time I left a blank in the story it would involve horsies or the color pink.
    •  Shoes were a big deal-- Chris HAD to wear his black converse and I HAD to have blue ballet flats. It was one of the few things we really, REALLY insisted on . . . that and Chris's blue beta centerpieces haha

      • Along with my bouquet, I held my daddy's handkerchief as my "something borrowed." Daddy always had a handkerchief in his pocket "just in case." Tucked inside, I clutched the purity necklace he had given me on my 13th birthday. He passed it on to Chris before presenting me.
      • My brother, Matt, was supposed to unroll the runner before the flower girls' and my grand entrance. He forgot all about it, until Pastor gave him a weird look, which Matt passed on to my bro-in-law, Ryan, in a panic. So the two of them unrolled the runner . . . and it was oh so many feet too short. All that anyone could hear was that odd, hollow "throm thomp" sound empty cardboard rollers make while the guys tried desperately not to laugh. I was completely oblivious until Matt told me the story later. Can you tell it's a little short? haha
      • I nearly tripped on my dress walking up the steps on the stage. Good grief -_- haha 
      • Before sending us down the aisle, Pastor whispered in great concern, "Chris, how DO you say your last name?"
        He promptly turned around and proclaimed loudly, "I present, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Boh-cheeno!"
        Yup. It was awesome X-D 
      • A week before the wedding, Chris and I decided to "practice" our first dance. I had chosen "Come Rain or Come Shine" by Danny Gokey, and, oh gee oh golly, I hadn't seen Chris look that uncomfortable since the night he met my parents and my father "interviewed" him. Fake grin, girtted teeth, hardly moving. The song ended and he barely managed, "I hate this song."
        "Well, you have a week to find something new," I said, laughing.
        Chris immediately turned on his computer and started dissecting playlists. The man was on a mission, Indiana Jones after his Holy Grail. In about fifteen minutes, he found a song by one of our favorite artists: "The Dress Looks Nice on You" by Sufjan Stevens. It was unique, something we adored, and absolutely perfect . . . and yes, so much better than my original choice, haha. Chris wins yet again.
      • Two words: Zelda Cake. . . . yes, it was the groom's cake, and yes, the actual wedding cake was beautiful and delicious . . . but come on! ZELDA!
      • Chris's best man almost wasn't his due to a sudden move overseas. At the last minute, after Chris had promoted groomsman Asher to BM, Joe was able to come home for the wedding. So, ever so kindly, Asher came to Chris and said Joe really should be best man. At the reception, the DJ told the story, introducing Asher, and then introduced Joe as Joe had introduced himself: "the original best man."
      • As a musician, Chris is pretty particular about musical selections. Along with helping me pick out ceremony music, he mixed all of the music for the reception (except for the dance music because he doesn't like dancing, haha). People still ask for copies of that mix because it was so awesome. Yes, Chris is very proud of that fact. :)
      • We surprised Chris's mom with a mother-son dance. The surprise and joy on her face was priceless.
      • Chris's '97 mustang, our getaway car, was covered in nerd and gamer jokes, and, when Chris forgot to open my door, the mothers, without thinking, shouted, "HER DOOR!!! OPEN HER DOOR!" 
       And that was the day I got married. The first day of the rest of my life.

      It has been a year of learning, a year of laughter, a year of struggle, a year of learning to love and how to be loved. Chris lives out loving me how Christ would love His church, and I only hope he feels the same about my love for him. I  married my best friend, my soulmate. I would never ask for another. It's been an epic year, and we have the rest of our lives to go. I can't wait. :)