Home From Our Honeymoon

View from our balcony
On the way there I was bright eyed and bushy tailed as I had my very first body scan at the airport and then sat through the five hour flight that put us in Hawaii around 5 pm.  The way home was much different.  I was so tired on our overnight flight that I could barely see straight.  The plane and the airports were freezing!  Red Eye flights are so hard for my body to take!  We got home and immediately unpacked.  I just hate letting it sit and dealing with it later so as tired as I was I wanted to get it done and Mj was on board.  It was nice not to have much dirty clothes to unpack because we did laundry on our last night.  This is something I've never done on vacation but it was nice not to have to unpack and wash sweaty gym clothes and salt water logged bathing suits.

We made it home around 9:30 am and Mj is still going strong like some kind of freaky energizer bunny.  I was laid out half asleep and partially incoherent during our flights and layover while he was  just as wide awake as could be.  He says, "No I'm not really that tired" while I stare at him in disbelief.  I'm a wreck myself.  After unpacking, sorting through some mail and catching up on some on blogs I finally had to to take a nap.  I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.  I'm catching up on some DVR stuff now starting with Gymnastics.  World Championships were televised last weekend and I've been dying to know who won what.  On the way home we stopped and got some Halloween candy to hand out.  I've already eaten a bunch!  I haven't handed out candy on Halloween since I moved out of my mama's house.  Our neighborhood is tiny so I doubt we'll get too many kids but it will be fun.  Provided I can stay awake that long.
My little nephew is ready for Halloween.
Don't think he'll be doing much trick or treating
We are both taking tomorrow off.  I get one more day to recoup, pay bills and mentally prepare myself for going back to work.  Is there some sort of time change that is supposed to happen?  After a food filled eating out extravaganza vacation I have no idea what we will eat now because there is little to no food around these parts.  The kitchen food supply is on E.  I am just barely accepting the fact that I am back home.  I love home but I LOVED Hawaii and I LOVE being on vacation.   Where oh where did I go wrong that my actual life can't be one long vacation?? I already miss that warm tropical breeze sifting through my sun dried hair.  We had such an amazing and perfect time together. Recaps to follow.  

Pack Your Bags

Ugg!  There is so much to remember!!!
Did I mention that I hate packing?  Well I do.  A LOT.  I like to think that I'm a pretty low maintenance person.  On a day to day basis I don't feel that I require that much grooming.  My hair is get up and go and my make up routine is usually just blush and lip gloss but when it comes time to pack for a trip I am overwhelmed by all of the things I need.  Hair dryer, flat iron, lotions and make up.  Don't even get me started on accessories. There is jewelry, hair ties and purses to consider. I have two pairs of sandals and two pairs of flip flops in various colors I want to bring.  Good thing those are fairly compact.  I need tennis shoes and work out clothes for the gym.  I need sweaters in a variety of colors for chilly nights and air conditioned buildings.  I have to have shorts, tanks and bikinis of course but I need capris, jeans and my sketchers just in case.  I checked the weather forecast again today and as of now it's supposed to rain.  Every single day that we are there!  I need to be prepared for that scenario.  I can't forget my iPod, iPod charger, camera, camera charger and heaven forbid if I forget my glasses or a back up pair of contacts.  It just goes on and on.  What seems so simple is suddenly complicated and I am worried if I can even fit it all into my suitcase!

I started last night just to give myself that one extra day to add in stuff and pick up anything else that I had forgotten about.  I stopped at the library to get a good book on the way home from work yesterday and I've got my latest Marie Claire and People magazine ready to go.  And so am I!  I've been looking forward to this trip all year.  Hubby and I have taken two shorter trips to Vegas.  We went to Delaware to visit his family which doesn't count!  This is our first big time vacation together.  Our flight leaves around noon tomorrow and neither my hatred of packing or rain will stop us from being on it.  I am officially on vacation and Hawaii- AKA paradise awaits!! 

Eight Days 'til Our Honeymoon

So excited we finally get to use these cute luggage tags!
We got an e mail with "upcoming Hawaiian vacation" in the subject line and it dawned on me.  Our honeymoon is next week!  We didn't jet off from our wedding and straight to the honeymoon mostly because the resort was booked until October but I'm actually glad it worked out that way.  We had plenty of time [3 months] to unwind and settle in after the wedding and by stretching out the festivities it gave us something else to look forward to even after all of the wedding day hoopla.

Hawaii was not our first choice.  At the beginning of the year we had our heart set on Europe.  Greece in particular.  But as we started the house hunting and wedding planning process the enormity of what an expensive year this was going to be hit us and we decided that it would be best to scale it back.  We have to save Europe for a year that we don't buy a new house and pay for a wedding.  Neither one of us has ever been to Hawaii and by going there instead we were able to keep costs low.  So low in fact that the whole trip is basically free!  We'll be staying at Hilton Grand Vacation Suites at Hilton Hawaiian Village right on Waikiki Beach in Oahu.  With our HGVC timeshare there was plenty of points to cover the hotel.  Mj had enough points earned from his USAA Credit Card to pay for both of our airline tickets.  We even have $150 in discover gift cards as spending money that I earned using my Discover credit card.  Score! We have a little bit of left over wedding cash but we will definitely need to bring more spending money then that.  And that's where things get difficult for me.  I am the type that will go on vacation and not spend a dime more then necessary while I am there.  I am already so overwhelmed by the expense of just getting to the darn place so I feel like I can't.  No souveniers no extras.  Spend as little money as possible.  But I can't do that this time.  Spa treatments will run about $300 and the underwater Atlantis submarine tour is $89.   We will be eating out.  This is our honeymoon and it only happens once so I'm going to really try to let go of that hang up.  The trip was basically free so don't think about the money and just enjoy it already!!  I'm also going to try not to worry about all of the excess delicious food I'll undoubtedly be pigging out on and how many LB's I'll gain.

Atlantis underwater submarine tour [Pic Source]. 
I'll be getting my mani/pedi this weekend.  I didn't need to buy much to prepare for the trip.  My bikini's get so little use that they last long time and I bought a few things during the summer that I've been saving for the trip.   My main concern was making sure I had some non greasy high SPF sunblock that I would actually feel comfortable putting on my face.  I got Aveeno which is a bit pricey just for my face and I will save the gunky Banana Boat stuff or whatever it is we have for the rest of my body.  The worst thing for me will be packing because I am such an anxious packer.  I am so terrified of not having what I need on my trip to the point where I triple check everything and agonize over every single thing I put into my suitcase.  The only thing that alleviates my stress at all is packing early so that's exactly what I'll do.

Next Saturday we'll be on a plane to paradise.  It's not the one way ticket I want but we'll have eight whole days of rest, relaxation and romance to ourselves.   There will be white sand between my toes and a margarita or two or three in my hands.  We actually have a 2 bedroom suite because that's all they had available but you know we didn't invite anyone else to come along.  This trip is exclusive.  It's not a group type of party and you can bet there will be a "do not disturb" sign hanging on our doorknob.

Wedding Wednesday: You May Kiss the Bride

Our wedding was short, sweet and simple.  No sand ceremonies or poetry readings.  I didn't want a big production.  Just us saying our vows to one another and exchanging our rings.  The officiant started out with a brief introduction and a paragraph about love and marriage and then I started first with reading my vows. 
Mj wipes his eyes and I can barely get the words out as my voice wavers
I love to write so I was really excited about writing my own vows.  It really felt like I'd waited so long to say in front of everyone just how much I loved him and I was finally getting my chance.   I pretty much cried my way through them.  It was such a release saying those words in front of all of those people.  I didn't realize just how emotional it would be for me or for Mj.  I have never seen him cry.  I could hardly believe it when I saw him tearing up as I looked through tear filled eyes of my own and it made me cry even more.  I later discovered in pics that my make up was streaming beneath the trail of tears down my face.  Not a good look.  But at the moment that was the last thing I was thinking about.  A tissue would have been nice!    I turned around and mouthed to my little sis "tissue" and she just shook her head.  She probably had to use the tissue I gave her for herself!  We weren't the only ones that cried.  I think everyone was really moved.
Mj, ever the procrastinator was up the night before trying to figure his out.  I'd say he did it justice and the words he spoke to me were perfect.  Then, we moved onto the ring exchange.  The officiant made a statement and we each repeated after him as we put the rings on each other.  Then, it was time to kiss the bride.
At the rehearsal the evening before kissing in front of a group of people felt so awkward.  Our wedding coordinator didn't help any by making us kiss over and over just for kicks.  I started to get nervous about having to do it in front of even more people at the wedding.  Turns out I had nothing to worry about.  I was so in the moment and so excited that I happily went for it.  Mj went for it and the kiss was as natural as could be.  Which is a good thing because that kiss was just the beginning of more kissing with all eyes on us as the night went on.

Our officiant did so good!  Our midnight rehearsal the night before really paid off and everything went perfectly.  He is my bridesmaid Eb's husband.  He probably never thought in a million years that he would be officiating a wedding.  I wrote the script, we practiced, and he pulled it off like a pro. 
So happy!!!

Another kiss for good measure
I LOVE the song that we  played as we walked down that aisle after being pronounced man and wife.   Hearing the opening melody of that song start right when it was supposed to couldn't have been more perfect as we faced our guests and walked down the aisle together.  It Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk [Listen to it here].  Every time I hear it now it makes me smile and I think of our wedding day. 

One Lovely Blog Award

They like me, They really like me
Faith over at Life, Love & Marriage was kind enough to recognize me with a blog award that I could pass on to other blogs  that I enjoy.  This blog award is awesome.  It has no strings attached.  You don't have to answer a list of questions, make up knew questions to ask or confess a single one of your deepest darkest secrets.  Well, it did say that you were supposed to post a comment on everyone who you award it to but I just know that all my blogger buddies read my blog faithfully every single day of their life so the very minute this blog post pops up in their reader their gonna check it out anyways.  Right?  Just kidding. 

Thanks again Faith! She been married for almost a year and has a really fun blog where she writes about all the weddings she's been going to this year and the goings on of married life and home decorating.  Check her out if you haven't.   I also want to take a moment to say thanks to anyone and everyone who reads or comments on my blog.  I used to blog on My Space when nobody else was and I didn't even know that what I was doing was called blogging.  Needless to say, it was a very lonely space so it's been great to have this creative outlet where I can share my writing and my life and read about so many others.  I love reading all the blogs on my blog list and some of you I've recognized before pretty recently so the ones I'm passing this award onto are really just to name a few.  You have been recognized by little old me and please feel free to pass it onto however many blogs you want to.

One Lovely Blog Award Recipients:

Adorably Distracted
Bronzed Beauty
Dancy Days
Discovery Street
On A Tangent
Random Musings of My Life

Have a great Columbus day weekend everyone.  Which for me is like any other seeing as how we don't get Monday off.  In fact, I didn't even realize it was coming up at all but now that I do I will try to take advantage of some sales.  As if I haven't done enough shopping already!  I was wearing boots and long sleeves FINALLY this week but overnight it's supposed to climb into the 80's for the weekend.  So, it'll be a warm weekend in flip flip flops running errands, cleaning house and relaxing.

Bad Bride

Thanks for all the lovely Gifts! 

For some reason I thought I had up to a year to send out Thank You cards after our wedding.  After the frantic build up to the wedding and all the organizing that goes into that I couldn't even think about Thank You cards right away.  I needed a break!  I wasn't going to take a whole year of course but it was nice to know that I didn't have to rush right into it.  Then, I started googling wedding etiquette and found that I was actually a bad bride for waiting even this long. 

According to essortment.com, It’s impolite to procrastinate and send your thank you notes out late. They shouldn’t be put in the mail any more than two weeks after you return from your honeymoon. If you receive your wedding gift before the big day, it would be best to post an acknowledgement immediately. No matter when the gift was received, however, one must never wait longer than a month.

Oops.  My wedding was July 10th-almost 3 months ago.  I kept searching for a site that would tell me I had a year so I could move myself out of the impolite bride category but alas I did not.  I promptly or not so promptly as it were ordered my Thank You cards last month which was two months post wedding.  They've been sitting in my closet for the last two weeks so I finally pulled them out this past weekend and got down to business.  It's definitely less work then doing invitations.  Not everyone you invite comes to your wedding and not everyone that comes buys you a gift.  There is also less assembling which is less time, but there is a heck of a lot more writing.  They must be personalized.  That's one rule I won't break.  I used Vistaprint.com and they only cost me $41.14 for 40 including delivery.  Their standard delivery is 21 days.  Even they refer to it as "slow."  They did ship early but with a 21 day expected delivery it's still late if you asked me, which was actually mostly fine seeing as how I obviously was not in any rush to do this.  Seeing their Thank You cards made me even gladder that we didn't use them for our invitations.  I used one of the few mostly Pink and Black patterns they had.  I got them personalized with our names on the front and a small black and white picture from our wedding day photo session inside but overall they are a bit flimsy.  No embossing on the print and just not the quality that I wanted for our invites but just fine for Thank You cards.

So now they are addressed and impolitely sitting inside the drawer of our coffee table.  They will definitely be mailed out before we take off on our honeymoon at the end of the month, which was always the original plan.  The rules of etiquette does say two weeks after your honeymoon but I'm assuming they meant a honeymoon taken right after your wedding day and not 3 1/2 months later!

Fall Shopping List

Can you believe I only just discovered the joy of boots with leggings and skinny jeans just last year?  Thanks to the Joe's Next Model contest last year I am totally with it on a fashion trend for once.  I took home a pair of distressed skinny jeans I would have never bought on my own that I LOVE from the shoot and with the $500 Joe's Jeans online store credit I got some pretty pricey denim that I didn't have to pay for.  Two pairs of jeggings, another pair of skinnies in black and a great pair of boot cut jeans as well.  I also bought a few other fall wardrobe items but there are still some things I want for this year.  So Cal winters aren't exactly harsh and some people live year round in shorts and flip flops but not me.
  • Brown Knee High Boots
  • Long Sleeved Tops 
  • Nude Pumps
  • Black Pumps
I snagged the perfect boots at Aldo so that's one check off my list.  Real leather boots are so expensive which is why my black knee high's are fake.  I saw some great Guess boots at Macy's and DSW for $189 but I didn't want to spent that much.  I found these online on clearance for $119.98 and they even offer free delivery.  They were sitting on my door step today when I got home and they fit perfectly.
Got my brown boots!!
I want pumps because like knee high boots they just look really hot.  They look great with skinny jeans too.  I feel like I can wear them with anything and be instantly sexy.  At least that's what I'm hoping!  Pumps are not a priority so if I can't fit them into my budget now they can wait until next year.  It seems like every year around this time I look in my closet and have hardly any long sleeves.  Or maybe I just don't like what's in there from last year.  Which very well could be the case because I think I made some pretty bad choices just trying to get what was cheap.  I'll be sure not to do that this year.  Either way I need to buy new stylish ones and retire what I don't like to lounge wear and/or Goodwill.  I've got some Express,  Limited and DSW coupons and don't plan on spending too much money.

I've done quite a bit of shopping the last few months.  I got shoes, dress pants and some cotton tops.  Once I got away from focusing on wedding and house shopping I just sorta went for it, but once I get what's on my list I'm satisfied and the shopping is done.  Then I'll go back to buying things for the house and with Christmas practically around the corner I'll be shopping for that next.  There's always something.  Spring and Summer wardrobes are so much easier to build. Tanks and sandals cost a heck of a lot less then knee high boots and sweaters.  I feel like it's taking me a long time to build up that basic winter wardrobe because I can't buy everything I want at once.  It's kinda like decorating my house.  One piece at a time.