Archive for October, 2010

Winner chosen!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win the $75 Nordstrom gift card, and thanks again to DesignApparel.com for offering such a great prize! It was fun to read all the ways you’d spend it, but I promise I didn’t use those ideas to pick a winner. I used random.org.

And the nifty random number generator selected…

Drumroll please…

Number 5!

Based on the order in which the comments came in, that means Sarah Wagner is the winner! Which is kind of fun since she’s engaged and getting married soon. Sarah said:

I love Nordstrom (particularly Nordstrom Rack, which we have in GR)! They have great brands and nice clothes. My mother is extremely picky about dresses (she had the hardest time for my brother’s wedding), and it would be nice to check out Nordstrom for dresses and maybe even check out some fantastic shoes! If I wouldn’t spend the gift card on a dress, I would spend it on accessories.

Maybe the Mother of the Bride Dress tool will help your mom find something great. Congratulations Sarah! I’ll contact you soon about claiming your prize.

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It’s a wedding giveaway!

Mike and I were contacted by DesignerApparel.com who asked us to host a contest to give away a $75 gift card to Nordstrom! Of course we said yes – you people deserve something nice for being so awesome.

Though I have to admit that I didn’t use their website when putting together my wedding, I appreciate that they want to offer this gift to our readers! And even though they didn’t ask me to say this, it does seem like a pretty cool way to shop. Here is what they did ask me to say:

DesignerApparel.com has dedicated a tool specifically to help brides–to-be and their mothers find the perfect Mother of the Bride Dresses with brands like Adrianna Papell and Eileen Fisher. For great accessories to complete the outfit, they also have Tory Burch handbags, Cole Haan shoes and more.

Neither my or Mike’s mom bought a dress specifically deemed “Mother of the Bride,” but they both looked quite lovely:

(Me and my mama.)

(Mike’s mom at our photobooth.)

So you want to win a $75 gift card right? Here’s what you do:

1. Leave a comment.
2. Be sure to include your name and email address.
3. In your comment, tell us what you’d love to do with $75 from Nordstrom.
4. Make sure you do 1-3 before this Sunday when I’ll randomly select a winner.

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Two of my sisters had their weddings last year. My sister and I each got married this year. Four sisters in less than 12 months. And when all was said and done, my stepmom very aptly observed, “All four weddings were different, but each of you had the perfect wedding for you.” She’s right.

August 22, 2009 – Andrea’s was on the beach and included three flowers girls and a fifteen-person wedding party. She wore a flowing white dress and carried no bouquet; he wore linen pants and a pressed white shirt. They were both barefoot and walked down the aisle (or sandy path) together. The reception was on the deck of a lake house with food catered by a family friend.

September 26, 2009 – Kelli’s was in the groom’s mother’s backyard and did not include any wedding party. She wore a short black and zebra-print dress with zebra-print flats and no bouquet; he wore a red shirt, grey pants and black shoes. The couple walked down their aisle (or driveway) together. The reception was in the backyard with hamburgers, hot dogs and food made by the couple’s family.

June 12, 2010 – My wedding was in early summer in my dad’s large and lush backyard with 40 guests. We had no wedding party and we talked down the aisle separately (and left together). I wore a vintage green and ivory dress with no bouquet, and Mike wore long pants, a dress shirt and casual jacket. The reception was in the same backyard with 60 guests and food made by friends and family.

July 17, 2010 – Emily’s was a summer wedding in her mother-in-law’s backyard with less than fifty guests and no wedding party. My dad walked her down the aisle (and was forced to wear a tie!). She wore a gorgeous, modern, white dress and carried a colorful bouquet. He wore a grey suit and boutteniere. The reception was much larger and included extended family and friends, in a rented hall.

All different. All perfect!

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I finally unpacked from Paris this evening, and I’m about to pack my fourth bag in less than three weeks. I just keep going away! I haven’t been home for more than two days since before Paris. I was there for a week, I was home Monday night then headed right to a two-day conference. I was home two nights, and then gone for two running in a marathon relay with some family members. And I’m leaving again Wednesday morning for four days for work.

I love traveling, but I’m ready to be home for a steady stretch.

The other night on the phone – while I was away from home of course – Mike said, “I miss you. I’m sick of you doing things that I can’t do with you.” It was so sad! He didn’t say it in a selfish or mean way, but in a lonely way. I don’t blame him. I’ve been doing a lot of interesting things while he’s stayed home with the cat and worked too much overtime. A little alone time is nice, but we’re still newlyweds! I miss my babe and he misses me.

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Last night Mike told me about a segment he heard on NPR. Some expert of some sort (who knows) was relaying statistics from a recent study. Apparently one of the major misconceptions in America is that the divorce rate is increasing, when in fact it has been decreasing for a couple decades.

Also, research shows that couples who get married in their late 20s and are college educated have a higher rate of success in marriage (meaning lower risk of divorce).

Late 20s at the time of marriage? Check and check.
College educated? Check and check.

Looks we’ve got a pretty good chance! Although, I also remember reading somewhere that children from divorced parents are more likely to divorce themselves. My parents split up when I was 8, and Mike’s just a few years ago. So I don’t know, maybe we’re breaking even here.

Statistically at least.

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What does a man do when his wife leaves him for a week? Let’s recap:

Monday: Drop off wife at airport and head home after a long day at work. Watch Star Trek and eat corn dogs.
Tuesday: Work 10 hours and then drive home. Work out. Watch Jeopardy and Glee (oh yeah…I’m wild).
Wednesday: Drop off cat at vet. Work 10 hours and drive home. Watch District 9 (weird) and then go to bed.
Thursday: Work 10 hours and then pick up cat (he’s ok…just peeing on the floor due to psychological reasons). Make chicken quesadilla and watch NBC Thursday lineup.
Friday: Work, come home and work out, waste 2 1/2 hours watching Transformers 2 on DVD (yikes) and crash.
Saturday: Wake up feeling like crap, drink coffee, clean apartment and do laundry, watch Michigan State expose Michigan for the average football team they really are. Go to Meijer and hopelessly wander around looking for a bathroom scale, go home and work out (without weighing myself). Watch The Book of Eli on DVD. I know…lots of free time on the weekend.
Sunday: Work out, finally post on blog………..

Anyway, sorry if I disappointed anyone. No benders, no parties, no gambling, no bar fights. Turns out I’m a pretty boring guy when I’m on my own. I also have pretty mixed taste in movies apparently. I was 2 for 4 for the week. Picking up my better half (I think I truly believe that now) tomorrow afternoon.

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Au revoir mon amour

Poor Mike. I’m leaving for Paris tomorrow and he’ll be home by himself all week. You may ask “why isn’t Mike going to Paris with you?” and the answer is simple. I was saving money for this particular trip long before I met him. I had nearly $3,000 set aside when we met – money that accumulated slowly but with a distinct purpose. PARIS! I wasn’t sure when or with whom I’d eventually travel there, but sometime last year my friend Penni and I decided we’d go together in the Fall of 2010. Penni was going through a divorce and needed something to look forward to. PARIS! Eventually our friend Jamie joined the excitement and pretty soon plans were being made.

As much as I’d love to be in Paris with Mike, we decided I’d take the money I saved and travel with friends, and now the two of us are saving for our own European vacation someday. So while I’m eating fromage and baguettes, Mike will be chilling at home with the cat. I’ll miss him, and I know he’ll miss me, but dude, I’m going to PARIS!

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