Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Turning The Corner

We're down to 2.5 weeks before Aron and I wed!  I've been a bit anxiety-ridden over the last month with final details, but I caught myself coming out of Wallowing Weepy Way and heading into Happy Hollow yesterday.  It's been way more overwhelming to plan a wedding for 200 (in an empty box) than one would have thought.  Alas, it's coming together and I am SOO elated that I will be a Riddle in 17 days. 

I couldn't have found a better life partner and when we talk about the wedding, we can't help but also talk about the move.  I'm slowly warming up to the thought of living in Reno and here are a few reasons why (this is without knowing very much about Reno at all, so bear with the simplicity of the list):

1.  Our Apartment!
Here is the link to the new pad.  Amenities include:
Putting Green
Tanning Spa
Exclusive Health Club Privileges
Yoga/ Aerobics Studio
Heated Swimming Pool and Spa
Executive Business Center with Copier/ Fax/ Printer
Professional Community Culinary Kitchen
Controlled Access Community
Massage Services
Cardio Center
Dry Sauna
Movie Theater
Social Room with Full Service Café
Private Garages
Incomparable Concierge Services

hmm....I don't know if I should start my day with the free coffee, THEN hit the yoga/workout/sauna situation, or scratch it all and just lay by the heated pool.
ps- We will have a guest bedroom.  Don't be a stranger.

2.  This Guy

Aron and I have so much fun together and I'm looking forward to waking up next to his face and falling asleep with him every night.  He possesses every 'non-negotiable' item I wanted in a spouse, works harder than anyone I know, would help anyone with anything, seriously loves him some Jesus, and loves setting goals for our future with me.  I'm a blessed little gal and I can't wait to get away with him for a while.  I'm sure there will be times when all I want is to get away from him, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.  ha.

3.   Grocery Stores- Not only will we make all of our alcoholic purchases at the local grocery store, but we can also hit the SLOT MACHINES whenever we choose.  Yes, being 'excited' about this could be a stretch, but it will making shopping fun(ny)/interesting!  I'll at least have an outlet when I'm feeling lucky.

4.  Lake Tahoe- I think this is pretty self-explanatory, but it will be wonderful to take days in the summer and be in the mountains, sun and on the water!  It's SO beautiful and peaceful at Lake Tahoe and I envision a lot of our time being spent up there since we're only about 15 minutes away.  (**Disclaimer**The following pictures are intended to make you so interested in the lake that you can't imagine going anywhere else on your next vacation.  They are not photos that I took; simply photos that I borrowed from Google images.)

5.  Hiking (with our new picnic basket specifically)- ain't she a beaut'???
When I mentally prepare myself for hikes with this basket I think of Aron sweating, carrying a cute (not so practical), heavy picnic basket on one shoulder, all while trying to climb 2,000 feet in elevation.  It will be a blast.  Reno is very similar to the SL Valley in that there are lots of outdoor adventures to be had.  I may need to join this outdoor group for ladies.  Perhaps I will make a friend or two while "lacing up my hiking shoes"? 

Here's a picture of a hike I want attempt next summer:
Pyramid Lake is supposed to be an amazingly breathtaking hike and I plan to find out for myself!

6.  Festivals- There are A LOT of festivals in Reno and some of them look quite necessary to attend while we live in this fine city! 

7.  Road Trippin'- We have goals to see some NFL games in Northern CA, partake in many wine tours, visit OR for the first time, San Fran, Sacramento, and the Redwoods!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

holiday happenings- 2010

This holiday season has been very different for me/us.  With all of the wedding planning and anticipation of our upcoming nuptials, we both sort of forgot that Christmas was coming and pushed it out of mind/minimized it quite a bit.  We let everyone know in advance that we had a very tight Christmas budget and I actually made most of the gifts we gave this year.  It made Christmas a lot more special by lowering our expectations and focusing solely on Jesus (the real reason for this season), family, quality time with the ones we love, and provided initimate time alone with our family before we see them next and can't talk very much. Here are some photos of what we've been up to: 

Small group holiday dinner... 
 me and G money!
 3 generations of ladies out for tea!

high tea @ The Grand w/some of my favorite women
This Aves. home is "all in" for Christmas...he even handed us candy canes as we drove by!

Christmas Day was amazing, but I have NO photos somehow!?  Aron's parents came over to my mom's and Nani was able to join us for breakfast, as well.  We had a delicious AM feast, opened stockings and some gifts and Aron's parents had to hit the road.  I spent the rest of the day working on wedding details and Aron spent the day packing some basic essentials to move in to our new apartment today!  We went to Denny's for a snack w/some friends and headed to the theater to watch "Meet the Fockers".  When Aron tucked me in last night things got a little emotional after, yet again, feeling like we don't know how anyone we meet in Reno could top our friends here.  Seriously.  God has been so good to us. 

Aron's on the road right now and once he arrives in Reno he will be signing the lease on our new place.  It's all feeling pretty real right now.  We're getting married in 20 days and Aron is living in OUR a different state.  Gosh.  During our emotional conversation last night I told Aron that while I am elated to be marrying him so soon, each day we get closer to the wedding means we get one day closer to moving.  I really do have some things that I'm looking forward to about NV, but there's a surreal feeling that I have as I see everything coming to a close for this chapter in life for us. 

Okay.  That's all for now.  Off to workout (Operation: UP IN THE GYM has commenced), clean, do laundry, and grocery shop for a dinner w/some close friends this evening.  Thank you, friends for helping to keep my mind off of Aron being gone. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bridal-Brain Break in NYC!

I booked a ticket to NYC about 6 weeks ago.  It was the most impulsive decision I had made in the longest time and I was SO excited.  About two days before I was supposed to leave, I started having serious doubts about my upcoming trip with Brittany.  I felt irresponsible/guilty for leaving the wedding-planning process and going across the country to hang out and spend money five weeks before I was to wed.  I even called Delta to ask about the terms and conditions of my ticket and what would happen if I backed out.

I ended up going.  and I'm sooo glad that I did. 
@ Rockefeller Plaza w/Britt and her bff's from college
me and Aubs!
Me and my mirror, Jordan.  We were close friends when I lived in Ohio and I don't get to see her NEARLY enough. 
Aubrey and Peter Bishai- Aubrey is Andy's (yes, the Andy) daughter and she is now married to this incredible guy.  They gave some great wedding advice and were rays of sunshine. 

This weekend provided an amazing opportunity to escape from my self-induced stress coma and open my eyes to the world around me!  It was so wonderful to walk everywhere, eat delicious foods, see old friends, shop, get to know newer friends, and not think about wedding planning for more than a few minutes at a time. 

Back to the grind... gluing numbers on pictures for table numbers!  33 more days!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

wonderful weekend in a UT winter wonderland

I have been cherishing weekends in UT when Aron is here.  I recognize that they are dwindling as time winds down, but this one was amazing. 

I started the weekend w/Dani @ La Caille for my company's party and we had a blast!! 

Aron and I had a very successful pre-marital session (soo beneficial- highly recommended for any engaged couples reasing this!!  It's totally changed out relationship) on Saturday morning and spent the rest of the day at Paul & Andrea's.  Erik & Deb McHenry are currently pregnant (she is...he just eats for 2. I hope he reads this) and their couples baby shower was Saturday afternoon.  They have been incredible friends/mentors to us and we would have been lost without them in UT.  I'm pretty sure a lot of other people could say the same.  It was so special to look around and be spending time with some of the most important people in our lives.  I am so happy that we could get together and happily anticipate Conner James' birth!! 

Here are some fun pictures from the shower:


Immediately following the shower, the girls stuck around to get crafty!!  Here are some of my projects from the day (mostly Christmas gifts):

We got a LOT done over the course of the day!  I was pretty proud of myself for having never made my own gifts before (beyond scrapbooking).  I'm totally into the creations of wood.  I may take this up in Reno.  Stay tuned.  :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Utah, Oh Utah, You Four Letter Word...Your Customs & Rules: Completely Absurd"

...but, I love you and I will miss a lot of things about this damn state.

Here's my list of the things I'll miss the most about Utah:

1.  Mom, Nani and the ability to see Aron's parents in a 2.5 hour drive.  It's been SO wonderful to have our families here for holidays, birthdays, wedding planning, (and obviously everyday things).  I've never had the opportunity to live in the same state as a grandparent before now and I love that she's here with me and mom right now. 

2.  Friends.  Oh, friends.  I was in the car with 2 close friends last night having a very serious conversation and we each looked around and paused realizing that moments like those will be far and few between in the next couple of months.  I look at our line in the wedding and almost everyone there, we met in UT.  God has blessed us the MOST as a couple with our community and the people we are blessed enough to call friends.  We talk about our friends on a daily basis (and yes, I realize they will still be our friends when we leave...but, let me vent.  It's a blog!) and I get so depressed thinking about finding new friends in NV.  I know that we will. I know that because I'm a very social creature and need friends, but the process seems so gruelling.  I'm so excited about SKYPE, though.  I'll be able to see their babies, baby bellies, smiling faces, new clothes, and  facial expressions when I gripe about Aron/NV (just kidding- that will never happen). 

3.  Church.  I've called K2 my church home since I moved out in 2007 and that's where Aron and I met later that year!  We've created an amazing network of 'running partners' and love the leadership, worship and areas that we volunteer.  I will miss my first and second graders SO much.  They teach me wonderful jokes, how to relax and have fun, what they Bible looks/sounds like from their perspective, and allll about patience. ha. 

4.  Food.  I have a long list of my favorite restaurants here, but my favorite rotation includes: The Park Cafe (best.breakfast.ever), Greek Souvlaki, Trio, Em's, Blue Iguana, Crown Burger, and Zupa's. 

5.  Babies!  So, a lot of my friends have babies here, but I spend the most time with these babies and they call me Aunty Mara (since they're avid talkers):

Meet Garrett and David, kids of fellow-bloggers, Andrea & Robyn.  I've felt no need to think about children of my own with all of the babies we get to hang out with! 

6.  Wedding Planning.  Yes, being in NV meeans that I will no longer be wedding planning in UT (for myself).  However, one of my very best friends, Dani, is getting married in June and I'm her MATRON OF HONOR (post for another day).  I feel so very honored, but wish that I could be here every day while she's in prime planning season.  Thankfully, her wedding and the festivities that come before, will provide many reasons for me to come back this spring!!

7.  "Beautiful Mountain Views".  This is an amenity we list for ALL of our apartment complexes here...and for good reason!

8.  My job.  I honestly love going to work everyday.  I have some bad days at work (like everyone else in this world), but they never outweigh the amazing days and fun things I get to do.  I would also add, "my boss" to this category.  She's incredible, understanding, a strong leader, generous, honest, and admirable.  She's my career-world role model. 

9.  The cleanliness of downtown.  Thank you, Mormon Church!

10.  Our scooters!!!  We can't take them with us because our apartment is in a very rural area.  Also, we have a small garage that won't fit much more than my car/shoes/summer or winter wardrobe/wardrobe rack/childhood memory items, etc.  We will be selling them before we leave, but I'm confident we will buy new ones one day when we're living in a downtown area again.

Okay, I'm sure there are many more, but I'm whitening my teeth and losing focus.  There are plenty of things to look forward to in Reno, but I wanted to mourn for a bit. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Baby, Please Don't Go...."

My best friend asked me this evening if it's getting any easier dropping Aron off at the airport when he has to leave for Reno.  The answer is..."no".  Oh, HELLLL TO THE NO.  I lol'd when she asked this because I remember the first time I took him to the airport...

Me: Welp, this sucks...
Ar: Yeah, but I'll see you SO SOON and we'll Skype and we'll live in the same state in just a couple of months
Me: *one lone tear* Yeah...I love you. 
Ar:  I love you like whoa.  I miss  you already
Me: *tear leaves face* Love you more

2nd time
Me: *tears began rolling in car*  I MISS YOU ALREADY!  CAN'T YOU JUST STAY??
Ar:  Aw, babe...I wish I could, but I will be back for Thanksgiving in 10 days.  That's it! 
Me:  Yeah, okay *hugging Aron, won't let go of his neck*
Ar:  I love you, babe.  I can't wait to live in the same state.  We won't have to do this for very long.

Me: *pulling up to terminal...tears streaming down my face*  BABY, PLEASE DON'T GOOOO!!!!
Ar:  Babe, I will be home in FIVE days.  We'll both be so busy this week and won't even realize that it's Friday! 
Me: *serious death grip around his chest...hyperventilating*  I know, but we've had so much fun and this sucks and I really want you to stay here until the wedding. 

It may not get easier, but it's going to be so worth it.  I have never been more confident in the man that I'm marrying and I am so proud of Aron.  He's the most dedicated, hard-working, intuitive, go-getter I know.  I become more and more affirmed in my decision to marry him each time we go to the airport. 

Throwback Alert:  This is our very first photo together when we started dating in 2007! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Traditions and Happenings

Ahhh... the weekend is coming to a close and that makes me OH SO SAD!  We had such an amazing Thanksgiving holiday here in Salt Lake City.

Stop #1- We began our Thanksgiving by packing meals for people in the Phillipines at K2 (our home church:  It was so awesome to serve with so many people.  I loved watching some of my sunday school students not wanting to leave in order to keep up with their roles on the assembly line and meet our ultimate goal of 70,000.  I pray daily that we can find a church as refreshing, community-driven and life-giving in Reno.   

Stop #2- From K2, we headed to mom's to eat with her and Nani.  We had a small and traditional meal; it was perfect.  I made individual pumpkin pies for the first time and I think they turned out pretty well.  We then took silly photos and a nap in order to rest up for the rest of our day!
Stop # 3- From mom's, we went over to the Super Casa (aka: Dave and Britt's) for some Hot Buttered Rum and dessert.  Aron made this delicious cold-weather treat for the first time and it was an instant hit.  Dave's family was in from WI and it was so fun to sit down and chat with them for a while...such great people. 

Stop #4- After some quality time at The Rogers' home it was off to "Morning Glory" with the McHappy's (other may know them as The McHenry's).  This was my second time seeing this flick and it was JUST as fun.  I give it 2 thumbs up and plan to purchase the dvd once it's out.  There is a 5 minute portion of the movie that literally makes me laugh until I cry.  Bottom line:  go see it.  We decided that our time in the movie wasn't enough and headed to Denny's (where else at midnight??) for some random food selections.  It's times like those where I'm thankful to be an extrovert who loves to be impulsive.  Some of our best times with friends come in the wee hours of the morning when you don't initially feel like staying up late. 

Friday:  Day of traditions.  This is the first year I didn't do any "Black Friday" shopping in quite some time.  I literally only purchased gasoline...and it was great.  I don't know that I will ever be a crazy-wait-in-line-at-four-in-the-morning-shoppers, ever again.  We began the day by purchasing our Christmas Tree with mom!  She's a beaut.

Aron then took me for a surprise at Foothill Village!  We went and got a couples massage the The Spa Club!  It was so amazing to take a breather in the middle of a busy and get some time... just the two of us.  He's amazing and so much more thoughtful than I give him credit for.  After our amazing rub downs, we met up with mom and her friend for leftovers (HUGE tradition- not the day after Thanksgiving without repeating your meal) and went to see THE ROCKETTES perform!
While the show was a bit more kid-friendly than I thought, it was great to see such amazing, legendary, talented people perform. 
Once home, it was time for Christmas music, spiced rum and tree decorating! 

Not knowing what the future holds for holidays as a married couple, it was wonderful to have one more traditional Thanksgiving with my family. 

We went on to do even more fabulously fun things this weekend, but I'll save that for another post.  This one is already quite lengthy.  I'm so glad that I started to blog.  I don't journal so this will be a wonderful way to look back on the things I've been blessed enough to see, do, experience, taste, touch, and hear.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Utah SnowPocolypse 2010 (aka: Blizzard, Death Storm, or Mild Snow Fall w/Poor Visibility For One Hour?)

We started hearing rumors of a "blizzard" heading our way earlier this week.  Upon receiving this news, I began to get very worried. 

#1:  Aron was catching a flight from Reno to SLC during the very hours that the storm was to be dumping between 6 and 24 inches (depending on the station or co-worker you were listening to).  I was quite worried that his flight would be cancelled, forcing him to travel on Thanksgiving Day, assuming that there were enough flights to provide him options. 

#2:  The last time I heard the word "blizzard" was in 1996 when I lived in York, PA. 
Please see actual pictures from York during this blizzard, above.  People cross-country skiied or literally had to walk everywhere for days because the snow didn't melt and the whole city was shut down.  Very fun for school-aged children, but not so much as an adult who has to drive 30 minutes to work each day!

Fast forward to Wednesday morning.  I'm sitting at work and EVERYONE is talking about the blizzard that's to roll in around 3:00 PM.  I call Aron and encourage him to try and catch an earlier flight in order to miss the storm completely.  The best Delta can do is a 4:00 PM flight vs. 6:30.  We'll take it.  While at work, I begin to hear that city buildings and all universities around the state are closing at 2:00 to miss this storm.  My co-worker then gets a call stating that the building where her daughter goes to pre-school is closing at 3:00, per the recommendation of our weathermen who say that we should all be in our final destination for the evening by 3:00 or 4:00.  Wow, this thing sounds SERIOUS!  Therefore, I immediately head to Blockbuster and the grocery store on my way home to be sure that I had everything we needed to be completely snowed in.  5:00 comes around (4:00 in Reno) and Aron calls to tell me that the plane is taking off- still no snow for us, but the clouds get darker.  I am a bit worried since the storm is about to hit, but trust that the airport crew know whats up...ya know, since they do this everyday.  Well, at about 5:30, the snowstorm starts.  There was quick accumulation and visibility seemed pretty poor, from what we heard on the news.  Thank God, Aron lands safely, but has to take a cab because I was pretty scared of getting stuck on the freeway and freezing to death in the Volvo. 

At about 7:30, this is the sight I beheld:
*Be still my beating heart*  It had been 10 days since he was in SLC and it only gets harder when he leaves.  I was SOOO happy to have him here...and safely!

Shortly thereafter, the snow stopped.  You're reading correctly...stopped.  Altogether.  Downtown Salt Lake got about 3 inches and there were parts of the valley that didn't even see a flake.
I know, I know, "Better safe than sorry", but c'mon Utah: grow a pair and buy an ice scraper. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

"With a Little Help From My Friends"

I've been keeping myself quite busy while Aron is in NV.  Wedding planning is really hard work.  Especially when you're using a venue that doesn't include anything.  We're basically filling a box; which is REALLY fun, but REALLY time-consuming. I've made more lists in the last two months than I have in my entire 23 years on Earth combined. 

This post is just a big shout out to the friends who have voluntarily helped me with DIY wedding projects, meltdowns and freak-outs over the last month.  You know who you are and I would be lost without you.  Friends like you make thinking about moving, even worse. 

Here are some examples of some fun wedding projects we've worked on lately:
                             I can't tell you who the cards are for, but I am loving me some Cricut action!!

                    Centerpiece flowes.  Picture them in mason jars with blue LED lights and rocks.
My favorite project so far!!  The witty wording for certain stations at the reception. 

Alls I'm screamin'- I can't wait to marry Mr. Aron Riddle in a mere 54 days!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Living the Dream!

I can't believe that I'm posting on a blog.  Not just any blog.  MY BLOG!?  I have so many friends who do this and I read theirs so often.  All of them are so witty, honest and fun to read so I feel like I have a lot to live up to.  Here goes nothin'. 

The purpose of this first post is to show you how skeptical I am about finding a job once I get to Reno.  I've been blessed to have an INCREDIBLE job with a property management company since moving to Salt Lake in '07 and try not to become overwhelmed with sadness when I think about leaving them (again... ouy... long story). 

Please see an email that I sent to some friends a couple of weeks ago after perusing Craigslist in order to become inspired about the endless possibilities I may have while studying to finish my degree:

weeds cut (someone was smoking when they wrote this title)
MACHINIST A  (like a barista, but for machines)
Sanitation  (I like to think I'm clean?)
Clerk - 7-Eleven (I do love a good SLURPEE!)
Stay tuned to find out if I decide to take up installation, writing, or.. packing?