Really? Late 20s?

J told me on Saturday that I'll be in my late 20s (officially) tomorrow. I cried. No, seriously. I did. I knew I was turning 26. But I guess I didn't connect the dots. Although at a christmas party that night, a girl told me that 26 is still technically Mid-20s. She's my new best friend. lol.

So, tomorrow another year older. But I'm quite excited that in the year I'm 26, I'll be married, a bridesmaid, and also finish my master's degree. Quite fun. And then the year after that is when J and I will decide if we should move and buy a house. Now that seems a lot more frightening than becoming a "mrs." Although I think they're equally a huge commitment.

This year's holiday season kinda sucks. Last year J and I bought this huge magnificent tree and decorated it with lights and ornaments. This year we have more furniture and have no where to put a real one. So instead, I busted out with my lovely 3 foot shiny pine like the one below, but mine's turquoise.

Cute I know. But J hates it. But it's the best we can do this year. I also have our stockings up, our lil snowmen figurines, and soon we should be getting christmas cards. I got one on Saturday, but I was drunk, and can't remember where I put it. Oops!


Why's it so hard?

I started looking at wedding dresses long before I was engaged. I think most women do. You might even tear them out of magazines and pile them up. Well, trying on dresses is a whole different experience. I went with J's sister when she was picking out her dress (before I was engaged) and she had me look through and try on a few. It was fun, but definitely not the same as when you're engaged. Before it was for fun, this time it's for real.

I have been to a few stores, and it's not exactly like it is in the movies or on tv. On those things, there's champagne flowing, the dresses fit perfectly, and the first one is the right time. Well, not so much. There's a lot more stress, DESIRE to drink champagne (but none unfortunately is around DAMMIT!), and LOTS of opinions. That was by far the most difficult thing to get around. I wanted it to be a bit more fun and laid back. But no. Everything I tried on was too big, too long, and just didn't look like "me." I felt like I was playing dressup and I wanted to be a BRIDE.

Others have told me "you'll just know." I didn't understand this before I had tried on engagement rings, but I found "the one" after a lot of tries. The rings before just looked like I was borrowing them from someone. But when I found mine, it was perfect. And that's why J bought that exact one instead of having one made for me. He's great like that.

So, back to the dresses, I tried on lace, organza, taffeta, A-line, ball gown, pick-up, trumpet. White, diamond white, ivory. It's amazing how many different styles there are. But none were the exact one. I liked them, some of my family I brought liked them (and, of course, some didn't). i was kinda getting a lil sad because I had been to a few stores, and the dresses' prices were getting more and more expensive. I was getting frustrated and needed to keep my budget in mind.

Then today, it happened. I went to another bridal store that (i thought) had closed a bit ago. But it had just moved. I waited for the woman to help me, and I had marked some dresses I liked. She came over, I showed her, and she had none of them for me to try on. There was one dress hanging on a rack and the front was just gorgeous. It had just enough beading, and just enough style, and looked like it'd show off my body really well. My friend K was there too to help me out.

I put it on, and it was just magic. It was my size, it laced up beautifully, and wasn't even that long (just a side note here. Some dresses were over 6 inches too long on me....) I'm taking my mom tomorrow to get the final approval. And I can't wait to buy it. It'll be my first major purchase towards the wedding. And definitely probably one of the most important :o)


Holy crap it's been ages

My. How the hell have 6 weeks passed and no blog? Probably because for the actual 2nd half of school I was having 2 nights of classes (6-10...sucks) and had to do homework. One of my classes involved a lot more work than the other...Research Methods. For those of you out of the school circuit, (ya know, all 3 of you that read this...lol) research methods is a lovely class most hate. In ours, you had to learn about the whole research project, create a 2 page survey, have 50 people take it, then enter all the data into a lovely program called SPSS. It took 3 hours to enter everything in, but once you do that, the program can do practically any statistical information you ask...in under 5 seconds.

Then, you had to write a Literature Review....another paper thing, and finally, turn in the whole stack of papers that was about 4 inches tall...and that didn't include any of the printouts from your statistical findings. That'd be about another 4 inches. Lots of trees!

But, Lucky to report, Got an A in the class! A- actually. but none-the-less. still an A. Last night I was working on some other stuff for my other class that wraps up next week. I wanted to just skip one of the assignments, but luckily I have a fiance that'd kick my ass. So, while he watched southpark, I sorta-kinda BS-ed my way through the assignment. I know, I suck.

But I'm less than a month away from my birthday, christmas, and the last thing I really want to do is school work. I have 6 weeks off, then I'll be starting another semester of torture. I think I'm going to take 4 classes. But I have to find out if I can. The program director only likes you to take 2, maybe 3 a semester. I'm an overachiever and want to be done by next fall. So, by this time next year, I hope to be a master's graduate that's also survived a wedding. And that'd be one hell of an accomplishment....Especially if everyone around me survives both my educational endeavors....and my wedding. Last week was a bit torturous. I almost didn't survive....


I can almost see the end...

I'm currently in the middle of my term paper for my first class. It's only been, oh, 3 years since I last wrote one. It's a bit hard trying to submerge yourself into the references, the APA writing style, and making sure you get all your points across, WITHOUT boring your audience. But I hit a wall. That's why I'm online. I just need to get back in the mindset to finish the damn thing. But, as soon as I'm done, I have about 15 other things to do. I started my other two classes this week for the 2nd half of the semester. They both will be quite a bit of work - both involve a research project...and did I mention the class is only 8 weeks long? It's like speed reading...

So, I guess I should stop procrastinating and finish that damn paper. The only thing I have to look forward to as my mini-reward is getting to work on my bridesmaids invitations - well, their little mini project to ask them. Wahoo!


Quite excited

Today feels like the first official day of fall. The air is crisp, I can wear my emus again, and a sweatshirt, and be comfortable. I'm excited to drink hot coffee again, and enjoy going to sleep at night without the AC on, and it's still a comfortable 70 degrees.

Last night I started my research class for my program. I did take this class previously for my undergrad work, so luckily I wasn't too nervous about it. But, it's technically only 5 classes long...5 weeks. And, in that time, we have to find our research topic, develop our survey questions, distribute, input, analyze, and write the report. Luckily the teacher is really laid back, smart, and most importantly, funny. Sitting through 4 hours of that a week can get pretty gruesome if your teacher doesn't have a sense of humor. I was telling J last night how he's from the same town as me, so he's familiar with the issues around here (which was great because he helped me figure out what to "research"). But, he's also had plenty of experience around the world - going about 4 times a year to other countries to help with their research, he's worked for aerospace companies, nuclear power plants, and his expertise is in Terrorism. How awesome is that? He gets paid to go all over the place! Of course, he said, it has his downfalls - he said his wife hates that he's gone so much, and he rarely gets time off. But, he can read a book a day, can play chess without even looking at the board, and likes to be called "Dave", not Dr. Ballard.

But, for now, between work emails, phone calls, and tasks, I'm just enjoying my cup of coffee, my emus, and my sweatshirt. lol.


Just a smidge overwhelmed

And when I say a smidge, I mean more like a lot. After a fun weekend driving all over CA, (well, up near the stockton area, then to Monterey, then finally, home), It was nice to sleep in my own bed again. Friday morning J & I headed up north to go to a college friend's wedding. It was so pretty, but had 300 HUNDRED people (well, probably more than that, but definately hit the 300 mark). I couldn't believe it! There was some funny parts, some teary parts, catching-up time and college reminiscing. On the way home (well, slight detour) we went to Monterey, grabbed some sandwiches from this delicious deli, and ate lunch on the beach. It was odd though...there was actually construction being done on the beach. Apparently they're building a sea wall to help stop eroding.

I also saw a seal there. And it was weird becuase it wasn't far out in the distance. It as pretty damn close. How close? Enough to scare the shit out of a surfer girl. The thing went right past her and she almost fell off the board. It was actually a little bit funny. But it was nice driving around the place I called home for 2 years. It's changed - a lot, but I still love going there. Hopefully one of these times J and I can go for longer than just a brief lunch. He keeps wanting to stay at this one hotel right on the water. Maybe next year! Right now we have way too much going on. Which brings me to why I'm so overwhelmed.

My first set of classes ends in 2 weeks, but unfortunately the 2nd set starts this week. So for the next two weeks, I'll be heading to school 3 times a week, having more homework, still have to finish my term paper (blech) and not go insane. J's working his 2nd job almost every night during the week, so now we only really hang out on the weekends...and we live together. It was nice the first week this happened - gave me time to catch up on my homework. But that wore off, and now it basically sucks. But, we're sacrificing now to work on the next year so we can enjoy our time after that.

I'm starting to work on my little arts & crafts project for my bridesmaids. No one knows who I picked, just my mom and J. Oh, and my maid-of-honor. She knows. But I'm having difficulties working on these projects since I have zero free time. I hope to get them done by the 20th, but that might be hard. But my dad is having a small dinner that night, and I'd like to have them finished up and sent out to everyone by then. Luckily I HAVE to turn in my term paper on the 17th, so I'm planning on working my ass off that Friday night and Saturday to get it done. I hope they turn out good!!!!


Over joyed

This weekend was the best weekend ever. And I do mean EVER. After almost 2 years being together, J proposed in the best way I could have wanted. I always wonder what he'd do when the time came. Would it be somewhere that was reminiscent of something from before? Would it be on a special trip? Special dinner? Would it be memorable? While it didn't happen in an over extravagant way, the way in which it would happen I'll never forget. He shocked me. Mostly because he kept it secret! He asked for permission and the blessing from my mom, dad, step-mom, sister and my aunt & uncle. He's been looking for awhile, he's made a few trips, and he said it was hard because he wanted to tell me so bad!!!

Being engaged is one of the best feelings. I keep finding myself staring at my ring (which J's sister told me to be careful with - she got engaged 2 months ago, and has almost been in a few car accidents...) but it's just so gorgeous, I can't help it. We went looking a few weeks ago (I did learn that the urge from his sister was planned all along) and I found the one that I wanted. And J did everything to get the one I wanted. So now let the planning begin. I'm so excited. I don't want to do any homework, just looking online, planning. But I do have to keep school in mind. We're winding down with the first section of classes. I only have 3 classes left, and at the last one my huge term paper. And so many things are going on, it's starting to get a little more difficult getting everything done! But J said he'd kick me if I don't do my work. But sometimes there's just many more fun things to do.


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