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.