Archive for the ‘Parties’ Category

Mike’s birthday was waaay back in September, but I just realized we never wrote about it. Well, Mike told you about how I bought him a corndog maker, but we also did some fun stuff to celebrate. We got all dressed up and went to dinner at a nice place that offers free lobster to birthday boys and girls.

I was quite frightened of Mike’s lobster, and I was glad I stuck to the halibut. After dinner, we went to the local comedy club. I had never been to a live comedy show, so it was really fun. We intentionally sat in the back to avoid becoming part of the act though.

So now Mike is 30… less than two months before I turn 31. He’s such a baby.

Happy (belated) birthday hon!

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Recently I turned 30, an age I feel pretty good about. And to celebrate, Mike spoiled me rotten. He surprised me with flowers and candy, then took me out to dinner where we had an amazing three course meal. He even asked the wait staff to put a birthday candle on my dessert!

They next day a surprise package came in the mail – a warm and cozy sherpa-lined sweatshirt that I had been eyeing. I wasn’t expecting a gift from him, so it was a great surprise. And speaking of surprises…

Mike, with the help of my family, totally planned a surprise 30th birthday party for me! The Saturday after my birthday we were supposed to be going to a graduation party for my sister who just earned her accounting degree, but when we walked in, we were met with a mass of people yelling surprise! and happy birthday! And best of all, they were all wearing ridiculous 80s clothing.

The whole thing was awesome. Or should I say radical? I was blown away by my husband’s and my family’s thoughtfulness. It was the best possible way to kick off what is sure to be a good year!

Now to think of something to do for Mike when he turnes 30 in September…

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The Bachelor Party

First, my apologies for my serious lack of posting. I wish I had an excuse involving a plane crash on a deserted island (apparently people like those), but I’m afraid I can only blame it on personal business, exhaustion, and writer’s block.

That said, my bachelor party was Saturday. I don’t have a lot of experience with bachelor parties. I went to one bachelor party in college, and none since. So I didn’t have a lot of expectations or intentions with regards to mine. In fact, until my friend Joe offered to throw one, I hadn’t even really thought about whether I would have one or not. I had thought maybe I’d like to hang out with the guys and play poker, but I had way too little energy to go about planning it. I just didn’t have it in me. But Joe came to my rescue. In corresponding with Joe for planning, I came to some realizations.

First, I am not a tradition-bound guy. I didn’t really discover this until a co-worker found out I was having a bachelor party.

She: “You’re having a bachelor party?!?”
Me: “Yeah…”
She: “With strippers?!?”
Me: “No…why?”

Apparently guys often have strippers at their bachelor parties. I knew this, but never made the connection to me until confronted about it.

Second, I don’t have many friends. I emailed Joe a list of invitees, and among them were 2 former college friends, my Dad and brother, my future brothers-in-law, my future father-in-law and step-father-in-law, and my boss. I don’t know quite how, but I lost contact with most of my college friends. And the ones I still talk to live between 2 and 32 hours away. So, small crowd.

All in all, it was a good time though. Shannon’s Dad graciously sent Oberon (with matching baseball cap) and Molson, although he couldn’t be there. Several guests generously provided food.

We grilled burgers,

played poker, ate ourselves stupid, and then, in a late-night fit of foolishly misplaced energy,

played Nintendo Wii Fit for about 2 hours.

I woke up the next morning with stiff muscles instead of a hangover.

I feel satisfied with my bachelor party experience.

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My bachelorette party was on Saturday. I got ready for the night with my sisters.

Then we met everyone at the restaurant. Including me, we were a table of 20! I was so thrilled to have so many awesome people there, people from the many different walks of my life – high school friends, past and present work friends, mom and sisters – it was perfect. And they very generously spoiled me with gifts. Because I didn’t want the usual bachelorette party, I got everything from massage oils, spa gift certificates and lingerie…

… to popcorn makers, towels and a power drill.

It was absolutely the perfect combination for me, and oh how I felt loved. After dinner several people broke off to head home or to other plans, and a group of 9 of us went to the bar to drink…

… and dance.

There were several other bachelorette parties in the house, all much more recognizable than mine. My sister stole that pink bow from a gift to tie around my neck, and that was about the extent of it, thank god. After the bar, my sisters and I headed to a local dive for some hotdogs.

And by then, my feet and ankles were so swollen, we went home. It’s a long story, but I’ve been having issues with my knees, ankles and feet lately, so my rockin’ bachelorette party didn’t help. They were so ugly, I just have to show you.

And sadly, I don’t even think this photo fully does them justice. But look at that left foot. Damn!

Everyone kept asking me if I was having a good time, and truly, I was. I didn’t drink a whole lot (much to a few peoples’ dismay), and I wasn’t in a hideous 80s wedding dress like one bride-to-be we saw, but it was exactly what I wanted. A good time with some of my favorite people. Thanks everyone!

(I didn’t feel comfortable posting several peoples’ faces on here, so I was limited in photo selection. Sorry it’s so me-centric!)

(Hopefully Mike eventually¬†gets around to telling you about his bachelor party. Don’t worry, it was even tamer than mine!)

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Before I show off our awesome wedding invitations, let me show off the bachelorette party (sort of) invitations that Robin of Plume Creations made (same designer (and friend) that did the wedding invitations).

Aren’t they so cute? These were printed and pasted on nice black cardstock, and of course didn’t have giant ugly black blocks on them.

I can’t wait to get a good mix of my friends and family together next week to have fun!

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Friends and Grownups

Growing up is hard. There’s bills, work, continuing education, schedules, housework, family obligations. You have to keep a routine, or life’ll get you every time. Traffic will be totally different at 6:30 if you’re used to driving in at 5:30. If you try to navigate the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon you will contemplate suicide. If you don’t have a reminder set you will forget to pay your rent, even though the money was in the bank and the check was written and taped to the refrigerator. The point is, you gotta stay on your game. Friends will help you do that. But what if you don’t have any friends?

Remember life in college? You could grocery shop at 9pm on a Tuesday. You could sleep til noon. You could hang out with the guys on your floor and instantly have a support system. It was easy to make friends in college. Everyone was on a level playing field.

But when you and all your “life-long” friends graduate, you’re all going to get jobs (theoretically). Three of my best friends from college all got jobs. One works as a teacher in California, one writes music in Indiana, and one is back in school in Eastern Michigan. We’re still close, but we’re not very close. You don’t pop over for a beer when you’re hundreds of miles away.

So what? Make new friends. That’s all I have to do. I’ve realized that making friends as an adult is freakin hard. How do you just go up to a guy at work and ask him if he wants to hang out? He has friends, right? Who doesn’t?

Thankfully, my friends, distant as they may be, are willing to work for me. My good friend Joe called me out of the blue the other day, after not seeing him since Christmas, and asked if anyone was planning my bachelor party. He was astute enough to know that, since Shan and I aren’t doing the maid of honor/best man thing, I might not be getting the traditional best man bachelor party experience (not that I wanted it). I was slightly embarrassed to admit that, no, I was bachelor partyless. He offered up his services, even though it means driving several hours and calling in a favor with his in-town boss, whom he works for long-distance most of the time.

What a guy. He’s not going hog wild or anything. He wants to arrange a bbq and poker night for me, my brother, a few college friends, and my future brothers-in-law. There will be no binge drinking, no strippers, hookers, or dancers. Just burgers, beers, and brothers. Good times.

But seriously, what’s up with trying to make friends? Anyone else know what I mean?

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It’s not really a bachelorette party. Not in the buy-her-crazy-shots-make-her-wear-a-tiara-and-carry-lots-of-penis-paraphernalia sense. I wanted to have a celebratory get together with the gals in my life, and so I asked my friend Robin to help me plan something. She made a reservation at a restaurant where we’ll have a nice dinner and some drinks. I requested that we skip the penises and the pink bridal veils and that nobody try to get my drunk. I just wanted a fun night with friends.

Although… my sisters say they have “plans” for after dinner, and I don’t know what that’s all about. I said I’m willing to go out for a little while, but nothing embarrassing.

It’s traditional to give a girl lingerie at her bachelorette party, because when she gets married, she’s totally gonna have sex. Gotta look sexy, ya know? And I wouldn’t mind getting a few fun things, but I’m just not a lingerie-wearing chica. I’d feel terrible if I had hundreds of dollars of sexy attire in my drawers that was never worn. So instead, Robin and I decided since this isn’t really a bachelorette party in the usual sense, we’d expand the boundaries of the gift-giving a little. She’s going to put my registry information on the invitations for anyone that wants to bring a gift in lieu of lingerie. Although really, the fun part is having all the women from the different parts of my life together to celebrate with me. Seriously, I’m so excited! We’re inviting my sisters, my mom and stepmom, my high school friends, college friends, work friends, work friends from past jobs… A big smorgasbord of awesome people. I really think it’ll be fun.

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