Sunday, April 29, 2012

silent auction and the weekend

Well, it's Sunday night... which means tomorrow is Monday (wahh). It's not so bad though really, I have tomorrow off. Well, that's a lie too. Mondays were usually when I had class, and now that classes are over (YAY!!) I am taking tomorrow to work on my take home final for ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) -- picture hippies sitting in a circle smoking reefer and talking about their problems. Kidding. (kinda). 

I accidentally had last Friday off too, and didn't know it. I took a shower and got ready for my usual Friday at court, and showed up to a virtually empty parking lot. When I got in the sheriff reminded me it was judge's retreat this week- so no court. I took the day to clean the entire house, organize my closet, and finally got around to making throw pillows for the couch! I had got 2, $3.00 pillow forms from IKEA a week or so ago. I went to JoAnn Friday and picked up 2 fabrics. One was a grey and yellow flower print, the other is a yellow flower print. I don't have a sewing machine, so I just hand stitched it. All it took was a half a yard of fabric, a needle and thread. I folded the fabric in half inside out, and sewed 2 of the open sides. I turned it inside out, put the pillow inside, and stitched up the last side. Repeat with the other fabric/pillow, and ta da: 

Friday night M was out with the guys having dinner, so my friend D from law school came over. We made pizza and had every intention of watching Crazy, Stupid, Love that she had on Netflix but instead got sucked into a Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids marathon, and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. It happens. TJ doesn't usually snuggle with "strangers" (non M or I) but he marched over, hopped into her lap, and started to purr. I melt. 
D and TJ. 

Saturday night M and I went with my dad to our church's silent auction. Last year we were the youngest ones there by about 10 years, but this year there seemed to be a few more "younger" couples. I go mostly because my dad LOVES when we come to these types of things with him, and really, it's a fun different night. Plus, dad pays for our tickets so even if we don't want to bid on anything, it's a night of free food (GOOD food) and drinks! They actually got a pretty well known act to sing too: Tim Mahoney. Or at least he's well known around here. He was on The Voice too. 

Here are some (potentially embarrassing) shots of M and I during the concert portion: 

we're so cool. 
Tim Mahoney!
And that "great food" I was talking about? Behold:
That's a mash(potato)-tini. Buttermilk mashed potatoes, bacon bits, sour cream, cheese, and chives in a martini glass. DROOL. I am hungry as I type this so naturally I think back to Saturday night and wish I ate more. This is a regular occurrence for me.
And lastly, they decked out the gym pretty nice. This was a chandelier that was hanging from the rafters, as well as drapings and christmas lights. This auction raises tens of thousands of dollars (live auction alone made $20,000!) for the school, and there's always a couple hundred people there. This was the largest turn out yet. Overall, a wholesome and fun night, and I know it means a lot to my dad when we go to those things and spend time with him. My brother (oh yes, not sure if I've mentioned him, I have a 21 year old brother) is still in that "too cool for school" age where he doesn't really hang out with the family unless it's a holiday or other organized function. Actually, that's not totally fair to him, I think he was working last night- but generally speaking that is how he rolls.

That's all for now- I have a wedding related post on deck for tomorrow or Tuesday! Stay tuned ;-)


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wedding Venue

Lets chat wedding venues, shall we? Since getting engaged obviously the number one question is, "have you set the date!?" This then leads to compulsively scouring the internet for suitable wedding venues. I have a couple criteria.. actually, really just one main one- it has to have windows to the outside, (as well as, ideally, access to a porch/patio/deck.) Windowless halls give me anxiety. I've seen some beautiful setups in said halls, but I love windows, natural light, and at home the first thing I do when I walk through the door is rip open the curtains and open a window. If the reception starts at 5:00, I don't want it to feel like it's 9:00 p.m. in a dark windowless room. I want to experience the sunset through the windows, the transition. Woah, end rant.

That being said, M and I have been looking at a few venues the last week or so. First up is the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Zoo:
 Stunning, no? I love everything about the room... the reflection pond, the fact that we can set up tables and chairs out on the grass, the fact that there's an option to add on a room called the "Fern Room".. yes, a room filled with ferns thats warm, lush, and tropical...that guests can wander through and sit on benches in and sip wine. zomg I get antsy at the thought. Lastly, there's the added option of renting a PENGUIN. or a SLOTH. yes, you read that right. When I asked the coordinator if it was extra for him to wear a suit and pass appetizers she didn't seem amused. (butiwasserious...wah). The only hiccup here is we can't get access until 6:30. that kind of craps a 5-6 cocktail hour, as well as some logistics about us using my church (which only offers a 1:30 mass..woof.) and doing a ceremony on site they only have outdoor options. (Um, Minnesota summer? not chancing it.)

Last night we looked at the Campus Club, at the top of Coffman Union on the University of Minnesota's campus. it's somewhat of a "peninsula" so 3 sides of the room are windows overlooking the great lawn, with views of downtown Minneapolis. Beautiful. BUT there's always a hiccup, isn't there? The only parking is in a ramp, and it's $6.00. Not a huge deal, people can pay a few bucks to have a kick-ass party.. BUT the ramp is a walk, a tunnel, an escalator, another walk, and an elevator away from the reception location. M, his mom and I got a bit turned around/lost and M WENT to the U, and spent thousands of hours in that building. SO we were a bit turned off by that aspect.
 Lastly is the Saint Anthony Main Event Center... located in the historic Saint Anthony Main.. I LOVE this area. M used to live down by the river (the Mississippi) and we'd go for long walks down here.. it's breathtaking with the nature, and then of course the backdrop is the downtown skyline. It was also after a walk along the river that we first said I love you back at that old apartment..SO it has some sentimental value as well. The woman on the phone sounded SO sweet and we're going to see it tonight!! I love the mix of contemporary chandeliers, wood beams, and brick walls. I'm not sure if they have windows.. I think the room is on the first floor, and should.. that being said I suppose I would trade off "windows" for a more unique interior.

So, that's what's on deck for now! I am waiting to hear back from the coordinator at the Minneapolis City Hall. I won't post a picture because we don't have a tour lined up and I don't want to jinx myself. That and I didn't think about it until I got all the way down here and Blogger is weird about adding a photo and then me tring to move it all the way to the bottom. You can google it though if you're super curious ;-) ... I'll just say this: floor to ceiling italian marble, giant pillars, stained glass, 30 foot statue. It's gorgeous. AND it'd be a nice little nod to me as a lawyer! (Knock on wood that I've passed the bar exam and been sworn in by that point....woof.)


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hump day

Well, that last post was uplifting, wasn't it? Let's face it though, sometimes just putting it out there in the unvierse, "I'm having a SHITTY day," is the best way to make it go away. That, and an impromptu dinner out with someone who can take me from a sobby hot mess, to laughing and smiling in a matter of an hour. Yes, that'd be M. And yes, this is why I am marrying him. :)

Anyway, I had/have more to say, but if I keep putting off posting anything until I have time to sit down and dump ALL my "recent photos" and blabbering into one post, it'll never come. I had saved these pictures into a draft, so it's easier to throw this one into a catch-up post.

Some instagram pics from the last week or 2. Baby TJ crawled up on the couch to snuggle with M and I the other day. He just stared at M until he lifted his arm and let TJ crawl into his nook. Then he stretched his paws out, and rested his left one on top of M's hand like this:

I. die.

My boys, snuggling on the couch. 
The makings of a pasta dish I threw together last week. I blanched some asparagus for 2 minutes (I had no idea what that word meant when I started cooking, but it's basically bringing water to a boil, tossing veggies in, and cooking them real quick for 2-3 minutes... you then pull them out and put them in ice water to halt the cooking process), then diced them up and sauteed them with some halved brussel sprouts, garlic, and about a tbsp of balsamic vinegar and garlic.From there, I tossed them with cooked pene, some vodka sauce I had laying around, layered it in a baking dish and topped it with the shredded italian cheese blend we had on hand. Ta-da, the "kitchen sink" dinner, as I like to call it.
TJ is a fantastic little sous chef. As long as he can lay in his "spot" on the counter, he really doesn't bother me while I chop food. Usually he's all up in my face and licking the veggies (so if you ever come over to our house for dinner and something tastes "off".. now you know). No we have not gotten our granite installed yet, hence the temporary counter. BUT it's coming on May 3rd, YAY!

Annndd lastly, because a crazy cat lady can never have too many photos of her cat, here's TJ mean mugging me. He's got the stink-eye down pat.

Let's see.. In other news, mom is doing well. I sort of bombed ya'll on that one. My mom has had MS (Multiple Sclerosis) my entire life. She was diagnosed at about 24 or 25 (so, my age). I hate to say that it feels "normal" to me, but it's all I've ever known is a mother with a cane, and eventually a wheelchair. We'd been lucky in that up until about 5 years ago it was pretty slow progressing, and even still it's been slow. It finally caught up to her about 2-3 years ago and she's been in a wheelchair permanently ever since. She gets bed sores from sitting/laying all day, which is what the current problem is and part of the reason she's at a care facility right now.

She's set up at a temporary care facility near the house, and people have been going to see her a lot. She's already made friends with the staff (surprise, surpise, mom's a chatterbox!) and we're hoping that after these 2 weeks are up we can bring her home. With her bed sores though the nurse said it could take up to a year for them to fully heal, since they're internal wounds. As a part of the process for them to heal, she needs to be turned every 2 hours. Well, unless dad were to quit his job that just doesn't seem feasible at home. That being said, we're looking into a bunch of options to try to keep her at home after the temporary stay.

I guess in writing this out and emailing my friends when all this happened it kind of hit me that I don't really talk about it a lot. It's not that I mind, it's just that dealing with these things seems so "normal" to us, that it doesn't seem like something I need to vent about. I talk to M, obviously, and will mention it in passing to others, but I think I keep it to myself because it gives me anxiety seeing other people's reactions. Either because I am usually pretty calm about all of it (again, because this has been "normal" for us) or because the thought that people might be looking at me differently, or with pity, makes me all sorts of nervous. I know that's not rational, but it's how i feel. And this is maybe the worst admission I've ever made but thinking about my wedding and having hundreds of strangers potentially looking at me with "oh, that poor girl and her poor mother" eyes makes me want to elope. There, I said it. It's not because I'm embarassed by my mom at all, it's the idea that people may look at me, or think of me, differently after. Alas, my goal is to be happily buzzed so that my "pity radar" is scrambled.

Welp, should probably hop on this research memo at work here. Hope you all have a good hump day! M and I are going to look at another venue tonight, and a different one tomorrow. SO maybe if I get my shit together here, I can post some recaps, as well as a recap of the venue we saw last Saturday!


Monday, April 23, 2012

It's hard.

It's hard having a mom who has progressing M.S.
It's hard having to put her in a transitional care home for a few weeks while her pressure sores get healed up.
It's hard having to potentially plan for long term care because it's getting more difficult to give her the care she needs at home.
It's hard having relatives pop in, tell you what you should be doing with regard to your mother, who then get to go back to their "normal" everyday lives.
It's hard trying to do all this and having conflicting guilty emotions about being happy that you're graduating from law school (finally) and getting married.

I have a draft of a much cheerier post sitting on the computer... with lots of photos from the last week+ (sorry, I've been a bad blogger) but couldn't muster the "pep" today to care enough to write it. I'll get around to it tomorrow or the next day.

Tomorrow will be better.

Monday, April 16, 2012

machine guns and lunch dates

Well, suffice it to say this weekend was hands down the most exciting one of my life! (well, besides the proposal weekend). Let me back up first.

Thursday I had court for my clinic. Thursdays are just "payables." Basically that means there's no judge present and it's the second to last step that gives people a chance to come pay the fine to the prosecutor. Usually they're speeding tickets, driving after suspension, things like that. Fridays are legit court days, judge and all.
Saturday morning was spent hanging out with this little guy. Perfect morning for some window sitting. M was golfing with the guys Saturday morning...
So I had a lunch date with an OLD friend from college. It was nice to catch up with her. This is what I wore: my new F21 dress ($9.50 online!), an old H&M cardigan, and a jade-like necklace from Heritage I believe from last year.
NOW, let's go back to the excitement. Friday night I, along with the other girl that does clinic with me, went on a ride along. The 3rd clinic student goes to the U and for their clinic they HAD to do a ride along. So, we thought it'd be fun to do one as well.

We showed up at the precinct at 9:00 for roll call. We sat in as the sergeant went over bulletins and people to "look out for" so to speak. The "overnight" shift is also known as "dog watch." After roll call the officer I was paired with, "Officer B." got a call about a potential burglary over at a warehouse nearby, the alarm was going off. We walked out to the car and it started to rain pretty good,..and he mentioned that these types of calls are usually nothing especially with the rain like it was. We pull down the street, whip a U-turn to check out the parking lot, and see a black SUV pulling out of the parking lot in front of us. Officer B says "well look at that, we may have something." and he initiates a traffic stop. I will tell you, after watching hundreds upon hundreds of hours of Criminal Minds.. sitting in the front seat as the rain pours down, watching Officer B approach the car (with a hand on his gun, just in case) had my heart SLAMMING in my chest. 2 other squads showed up a few minutes later to check out the scene and see if there was any evidence of a burglary. The man in the car said he was out for a walk on the trails and had parked back there so it was a shorter walk. It's 9:45 on a Friday night and it's pouring. hmmmm, okay. The other officer looked around but saw no evidence of a break in, so they ran the guys license and plates and let him go.

We conducted a few traffic stops after that, but wrote no tickets.

Officer B told me that the dog watch crew tries to meet up at 11:30 at a particular Holiday station for soda. The officers can all instant message each other, in essence, on the computers in their cars. SO, to be funny, Officer B IMed the sergeant on duty to ask if it was "okay" if I came to their secret meeting. I started referring to this as their "secret soda stop." It was about 11:18 so we were going to go to the secret soda stop early,.. we pulled into the parking lot and got a call about an assault at a bowling alley nearby. This was the first time he really flipped on the lights and started to FLY down residential streets. I will tell you this: NOTHING, and I repeat NOTHING is as exhilarating, terrifying, and adrenaline-inducing as going 70 down residential streets in a squad car. We get to the bowling alley and Dude 1 and Chick 1 were saying Dude 2 hit Chick 1 (who was pregnant) in the face. I got out of the squad and was standing there listening. Apparently, Dude 1 said Dude 2 was "stalking him" because Dude 2 accused Dude 1 of sleeping with Dude 2's mom. chicka-whaa? OH and Dude 1 owed Dude 2 money. Chick 1's sister came out and was all "He did WHAT? he hit you" and the cops were like, "don't even, lady." and made her stand out of the way. All in all, no arrests and no charges were filed.

We finish up there around 11:25 and head back over to the Holiday to try our secret soda meeting a second time. We pull in at 11:31, head inside, and Officer B gets a call. All I heard over the radio was "hit and run" and "gun".... Officer B's face gets super serious, he says "let's go." very seriously, and then we run, not walk, out to the car. Did I say my heart was racing during the potential burglary stop? This time it was damn near jumping out my throat. I know things are about to get serious. We're flying around and he's on the radio trying to get more information. [What ended up coming out was this: a toyota was involved in a fender bender with a blue van, the toyota stopped, but the van didn't. Toyota calls dispatch screaming about being involved in a hit and run and that he was following the van. Dispatch told him not to do that. Next thing dispatch hears is the toyota catch up to the van, and the passenger in the van say "just kill them! just kill them!" and the toyota freaking out yelling "he has a gun!"]

We end up over by a very 'trendy' part of town near the lake, and come up behind a teal van. Officer B asks what the plate was, reads off the plate of the van, and dispatch confirmed that the numbers matched. We're the first car there, so Officer B flips on his lights to initiate a traffic stop. In my head I knew it was going to be serious but I wasn't prepared for what happened next....

Officer B opens his door, uses it as a shield, draws his gun and starts yelling "HANDS IN THE AIR." I about shit myself, pardon my french. Next thing I know 4 or 5 other squads are pulling up, forming a V behind the suspect, cops are opening their doors, drawing their guns, and yelling as well. My door flies open (which in this situation almost induced a heart attack) and one of the cops is practically falling on my lap as he uses my door as a shield. (I went to college with the cop, actually...) It's only after I scoot out of the way/onto the console in the middle that I notice the sub-machine gun in his hand. (HOLY F%$# --was my first thought).

Officer B yells, "HANDS OUT THE WINDOW! Open the door from the outside, put your hands in the air, and walk backwards towards the sound of my voice!"... the driver isn't getting out of the car. So Officer B repeats his directions more firmly. The driver puts his hands out the window, opens the door, steps out, and then makes a move like he's about to turn around and face the officers. (my hands are over my face, jaw dropped, as this is going on.. just trying to stay out of the way of the cop that's sitting on my seat with the machine gun). Officer B (and about 3 others) scream "TURN AROUND. HANDS IN THE FUCKING AIR!" oohhhh god oh god oh god oh god- is what I'm thinking.

Finally the idiot does as he's told, and is cuffed on the ground. Officer B then directs my college buddy to "call out" the front passenger. So they tell him the same thing (this one was far more compliant) and he's cuffed. Finally the third and last passenger was taken from the car and cuffed as well. They then formed a shape like this ==> \ , with 3 cops, and tactically moved in to clear the van. They saw some alcohol in the back so that provided probable cause to search the rest of the car for evidence of a crime (oh look, crim pro coming in handy!)

During this, the driver was cuffed and in the back of the squad I was riding in. Officer B was off talking to other officers and searching the car so basically I was sitting in the car alone with the guy, which is when he started trying to TALK TO ME. I was panicking so finally when another cop came by and told me I could get out, I did. Not before I noticed he was on his cell phone back there, somehow, despite being cuffed. So I told one of the cops, who then proceeded to take his phone. They did a sweep of the car no gun was found...also looked in the grass near the area of the stop and couldn't find a gun. Dispatch got ahold of the victim's car and they said they wanted nothing to do with any of it anymore. After 4 unsuccessful attempts to get the driver to blow into a breathalizer (which was INFURIATING the cop, because it was clear the guy was 'faking' it on purpose) the driver only blew a .06. After all that, the officers had nothing to hold any of them on, so we let them go.

Once I stopped shaking I asked Officer B why the stop was treated the way it was, and he said any time there is a report of a gun involved, or a weapon, or the suspect is dangerous, they do that kind of a stop (called a felony stop). We performed a few more stops later in the night.. a DWI that wasn't actually a DWI,... a welfare check on an allegedly suicidal guy- except we only had his address as of 10 years ago. SO we just scared the crap out of a different person at 2:00 a.m. Last, we had a (VERY) drunk guy, who was on dialysis, wandering around the parking lot of a BP at 3:30 a.m., so we waited with him while the ambulance showed up, as he dry heaved (Bleck) and they took him to the hospital.

I highly recommend a ride along to everyone.. It's really a unique experience, and one I'll remember for the rest of my life.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

Well, the dust has settled, for the most part. Still here, still engaged (still WEIRD to say that). Even weirder to think we're getting married. (I think M agrees, as you can see below). This week has been pretty busy, unintentionally so, or at least it's felt that way. Monday night I had coffee with 2 girls I met through M and his guy friends (one is a fiance of one of the guys, the other is an ex-gf).
Yesterday my Forever 21 dress came in the mail! I need to shop online more, it's much more fun to get packages instead of junk mail.
I posted the dress photo on Instagram (kellybea14) with the caption "somebody bring me a yacht!"...because seriously, that's all I feel like I'm missing. It needs to be shrunk a smidge (and with my luck I'll turn it into a bodycon dress instead of just shrinking it a teeny bit). But even if it doesn't shrink up a bit in the wash it's still a good fit. Now all I need is some bright jewelry and cute wedge sandals and I'm set!
All the exitement lately had my boys awfully sleepy every night this week. I snapped these 2 the other night. (I'm just waiting for an email or text about posting this on the internet, but I think he looks sweet when he's sleeping.) I had him wedged to my right on the couch....
and this little guy snoozing on my chest. That grey blob is M's leg thrown over me. I clearly wasn't going anywhere... not that I wanted to. I love it when these 2 cuddle up to sleep. It's precious.
I had a stupid day at work Wednesay.. I am sure it's pretty commonplace but I swear my boss only tells me when I'm doing things crappy and never tells me I've done a good job or at the very least whether ANY of the research memos I've turned in are remotely helpful. It gets a bit disheartening after a while. It's a little ironic that law students and lawyers are all Type-A's who want yes/no answers and clarity, when in reality the law is NEVER (or VERY rarely) made up of yes/no's.. it's always "well, it depends." Infurating, really.
Anyway, the point of that rant was to say that some days all a girl needs is her kitty to make her feel better. I barely get through the door and the little guy RUNS to see me and is purring SO hard he's squeaking. It's really the sweetest thing ever. He's nuzzling, rubbing, and crawling into my lap. He really has all the best attributes of a dog but the "I can crap on my own" beauties of a cat.
Also picked up this nail polish after seeing it on a friend's Instagram. It's Sally Hanson 07 Sea. A very pale blue. I like it :-)
That's about it around here right now. Headed to my dad's saturday to start working out some details about the list... I don't have a mom-zilla but I'm worried about dad turning into a dad-zilla. Who knew he'd be so opinionated about venues but he's already tossed out 2 and said he'd like to come to some of them when we go see them if possible. Pray for me, girls. I may need it. hahaha.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

lots of photos and words. but important photos and words.

Oh my oh my. This was quite a whirlwind weekend so I suppose I'll start at the beginning. Friday I had court trials, and both M and my dad came to watch. We had 2 of the most unusual trials we've ever had so it was fun for them to not only see me try a case, but see some quirks as well. Basically one guy was trying to enter motions pro se and bombing, and this other woman was a hilarious ball of sass. All around, a good day in court.

I got done relatively early, and M had the day off, so we decided to go to a nearby restaurant in a shopping district and enjoy happy hour on the patio. His mom got ahold of us and we ended up deciding to go over there for dinner. We had some time to kill though, so we wandered around the shopping area and I found a dress I loved for graduation!
I think it has the perfect amount of sophistication and spunk. :) I asked M if it says "I'm a lawyer!" and he said it that was enough for me.

Saturday we slept in a bit, and then M decided to go golf with his best friend, so I cuddled up with this little guy all morning:
Let me take this time to back up a bit. Earlier in the week M had asked if we had plans Saturday, and I said no, so he said he wanted to go out to dinner at a place we hadn't been before that his coworkers were talking about. I said sure, I love an impromptu date night!

Thursday my brother offered M and I hockey tickets for Saturday night. M reminded me of our date so I turned them down. Saturday rolls around and before he leaves for golf he's telling me he has to call to see about reservations because the last time he tried they were "full"... he then leaves the room to make a phone call, comes back, and says he got them for 5:30. I thought "well what the hell, we totally could've made it to the hockey game at 7..." but didn't say anything.

I start getting ready for dinner, and after he told me he was wearing a button down and nice jeans, I decided that was a green light for me to dress up a bit. So I curled my hair, and wore the same dress I wore to law school prom the weekend before, and put on some "fancy" makeup (aka more than just mascara and eyeliner). Before leaving M told me to "grab my camera" because there was a statue in front of the restaurant that people like to take pictures in front of. I thought this was strange because a) I ALWAYS have my camera on me and b) my phone (my nice new phone) has a pretty solid camera and lastly c) he's a boy, and boys never make it a point to direct girls to bring cameras places.
So we hop in the car and head downtown.. M's picking at his nails a bit in the car but this really isn't anything new. We get off a particular exit and my spidey senses are piqued even more because we start heading towards the part of downtown where we first met. (I then also recall that it was 2 years ago on Easter that I first told him I loved him and he said it back...) We take a left in front of The Depot- the indoor ice rink where we went on our first date. I see a restaurant with 2 huge fat naked man statues and said "Oh! are we going there?!"...."nope." he says. We pull around the corner and park at a meter, at which point I ask where we're going. He said, "I parked here so you can't see the restaurant." Well, I thought, that eliminates the other possible place I thought we were going, and as we round the corner and he stops me in front of The Depot it was like I was in a soundproof booth and everything was in slow motion. He points down at the sidewalk kitty corner from The Depot and asks, "do you know what this spot is?"... At this point I have the following thoughts, OMG he's about to propose but OMG if he doesn't and I just burst into tears I'm going to look like a LUNATIC, so I do what comes naturally to me: start babbling INCOHERENTLY. I LITERALLY looked down at the "spot" he pointed to and I said "umm, that's a dead worm?" (pointing to the next slab over, yes, I'm that smooth), and he replies, "this is the first place I saw you. I parked over there and it was when I was standing right here I saw you walk into the Depot in your white coat for our first date"....

again, true to form, I start rambling about how I parked over at the ramp across the street and couldn't find the front door, and blah blah blah, and finally he just gives up trying to say anything, drops to one knee, and whips out the ring box, and I'm in tears. I think I squeaked out "omg" and "Yeeeee" (which must've meant yes, because I don't think I actually ever said 'yes'..") and I vaguely recall him asking "will you marry me.".... I had so many visions of how that moment would go, and I sort of wish I'd shut up and let him talk and let it feel more sentimental but it was as if a bumbling idiot had taken over my body and I had no control over myself. I also imagined my reaction being way more dramatic (falling to the ground, sobbing incoherently, etc.) and I was a bit surprised by my reaction. Not disappointed, just surprised. Anyway, the way it actually went down was true-blue-US.

SO, after 4 minutes of freaking out, strangers on the street congratulating us, we round the corner to go to the car (at which point he tells me there is no dinner downtown and we were going to eat at the place we had our 2nd date) and there's a meter-maid writing him a ticket. We couldn't have been there more than 5 minutes. M tried to get him to stop/not issue it but he claimed it was already in the system..He asked the dude to cut him a break because he'd just proposed, and I could tell the guy was agonizing over it, but it was "too late".. at which point M told him "oh, okay. you're really going to do this? this makes you a bad person. what's your name? okay thanks." and gets in the car. I couldn't help but laugh because those 5 minutes summed us up in a nutshell: I'm an awkward, anxious, bumbling person, and M is the guy who can go from calm and composed to an unparalleled level of "annoyed" at people in no time at all. We laughed, he realized he probably was a bit hard on the dude, and said "well, at least we have a time, date, and location stamped piece of paper of when we got engaged!?" SO we're going to try to pay the ticket online and frame it. Makes for a good story, right??
After the engagement, we went to dinner and both were so anxious to go tell people that I barely ate my salad, M wolfed down his meal, and it felt like we were only there for 10 minutes. Not before getting the man at dinner to take our picture (which is still on my camera). I'm sure it was longer. We zipped over to my parents, having just missed my brother (who was going to the hockey game M turned down... NOW it was all making sense!) and surprised them. I didn't say anything, instead I just pulled my hand up in front of my face. My dad and mom both said variations of "oh wow! congrats!" and gave us hugs.. my mom cried, and then we proceeded to have a beer with my dad and call/text everybody else. My best friend Tori's parents were in the area and my dad called them and told them to stop over for some "news".. the minute Tori's mom saw me she said "show me your left hand.".... I guess I'm transparent? haha.

I had always wanted to tell SOME of my "important people" in person first, if possible, so I texted my good friend Leah and asked if she was home. I played it off like I just wanted to see her cats/her and chat since we were in the area. I walked up to her apartment and she asked where we went to dinner. I figured if I told her where she'd know what happened and I wanted to wait until we were upstairs, but I kind of fumbled on where we were and she finally just says, "show me your hand. now." so I pull it out and she's spitting out, "omg. is that real? omg. shut up. OH wow. okay, OH that's for real!?" and I'm cracking up. M hadn't even locked the car yet. So we went upstairs and told her the whole story.
After a long, happy, exhausting day, we crashed hard. This morning we headed to my parents for easter mass where my dad took inordinate amounts of joy out of telling everybody he knew at mass. We stopped back at the house and played with Squish (above- those are my brothers hands, haha) before we headed to my dad's friend's house for Easter brunch at 1:00. My mom's entire family was meeting at 11:30 at my Grandma's, and while the 2 houses are about 45 minutes apart in opposite directions, we really wanted to go over and surprise everyone to tell them. None of them knew we were coming, so when we walked in they all looked a bit confused. They said "we thought you were going to your dad's friend's house?" and I told them "oh we are, but we wanted to come share some news with you guys" and flashed the ring.

There was a collective "OMG, AHHH! CONGRATS!" from the group, and M and I sat down for a mini-brunch (we were starving and I'd had coffee on an empty stomach... combine that with my nerves and I was a hot mess) and told them the story too. My grandma rustled up a bottle of champagne so...

we had a champagne toast to celebrate.
and my uncle Michael made a speech. I'm so unbelievably happy we got to go over and surprise them and share that moment with them all at once. It just so happened one of our special historical moments was a holiday so I'm even more glad M chose to do it around that time again so my family was able to be together.
The rest of the day was spent at my dad's friend's house, and then over at M's mom's, where we showed off the ring and had dessert and coffee. Finally sitting on the couch in sweats with the kitty and M relaxing. I'm anxious but excited to start the week, as no doubt I'll have some more storytelling to be doing. It's still SO surreal. I'll be sitting in normal conversation throughout the day and then wonder "why does 'normal' feel weird? why do I feel so excited?" and glance down and see the shiny rock on my finger and think "OMG that happened. that's real." 'Normal' feels weird because I want to run around SCREAMING 75% of the time" and there's a constant undertone of me beaming with excitement.

SO I suppose some of this space will be dedicated to wedding planning from here on out!? (OMG. wedding planning. wow.)

Hope you had a good Easter weekend as well :)


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apple and prosciutto sandwich & life lately

As you likely already know know, Instagram was released for Android the other day. I feel somewhat pithy saying something like "OMIGOSHHHH I was waiting forevverrr" because let's get real, I just got my smart phone near 3 weeks ago. Regardless, I'm happy it was a short wait, because I am in LOVE with it. I'm not sure why but every photo looks better when taken and filtered by instagram.

Here was one from yesterday, I was sporting a "springy" outfit: bright nails, bright top, bright necklace. I grew up with a mother with little fashion sense (bless her...) so my one concern growing up was at the very least, did my clothes match? WELL As you can imagine this meant a youth of monochromatic clothes, similar toned jewelry and accessories to my outfit, etc. Twas boring. I'm cautiously stepping into the "colorblocking" type trend where it's popular to mix bold colors.
Last night I made brie, apple, and prosciutto sandwiches on foccacia bread... got the recipe out of a Taste of Home cookbook. Really wasn't much to it..
Brie, Apple, Prosciutteo sandwiches:
1/4 cup of walnuts
1 medium apple
Focaccia bread
4 (or more) slices of prosciutto
(We also used 4 slices of Salami becuase M noticed the prosciutto and quietly asked, "that's it for meat..?".. Must appease the biggest tummy!)
I fired up the grill, sliced up the apple, and grilled the apple slices until they were a little brown and charred. I also drizzled olive oil on the slices of focaccia and grilled those a bit to, to give them a nice crunch.
Meanwhile, (because I like my prosciutto crunchy) I crisped up the prosciutto and salami in a frying pan over medium heat.
The recipe called for a rosemary/walnut pesto, but I did something a little different: I took a half a stick of butter, 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts, and a tbsp of finely chopped basil and made a walnut/basil butter by mixing it all together. When the bread was done, I spread the butter on the bottom slices, loaded up both sandwiches with apples, the meat, and thinly sliced brie cheese (drooool) and then popped it in the oven on Broil (at about 400 degrees) for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese nicely. Finished it off with a few more leftover walnut pieces, and voila! easy, and SO delicious sandwich.

Was a lazy night last night after dinner.. we watched Criminal Minds, our guilty pleasure. TJ, on the other hand, was busy stalking a spider. He was acting goofy (which isn't that out of the ordinary) but I noticed he was staring up at the doorway. I looked up and sure enough, a decent sized spider was crawling around the top of the doorway (BLEEAGHHARHA) so I whined for M to kill it. TJ must've stalked it all the way upstairs because he was making a racket down there. He didn't get the memo that the spider was dead, even though M "showed it to him".... :-/, and kept staring at its last known location.
This morning while getting ready for work, he was perched in his usual spot at the top of the stairs. I laughed because all I could really see are his eyes and ears. He'd gotten irritated with me snapping photos at this point and relaxed into his "WTF" face, as I call it, but when I first saw him his eyes were bugged and his ears were slicked back in "pounce' mode. Hard to take him seriously, really.
That's about it for today (er, yesterday I suppose).. At work now drafting up some discovery documents for one of the associates. Tomorrow I have clinic all day. I'm doing a clinic called the Misdemeanor Clinic through school, and am paired up with the city attorney for the same city I live in. It's been fun, and I'm counting on the fact that I know the city attorney (;-) ) and am getting to know a lot of the cops. It's always good to know the important people in the area..haha.
Basically I show up Fridays, get files from the prosecutor, and meet with pro se defendants. That means people with no attorney, or who didn't qualify/didn't a public defender. I tell them their rights, that I'm not their attorney, and give them the offer. They can either accept it, or deny it and set it out for another appearance. Then, we wait for the case to be called and I stand up at the podium with the defendant to get it "on the record" with the judge. I tell the judge the deal we've reached, go over the defendant's rights (right to counsel, trial- trial rights like calling witnesses, contesting evidence, right to not testify, etc.) and then the factual basis for the charge (i.e. the nitty gritty: "is it true that on ____ date, you were at Target (or whatever store) in the City of _____ , in ____ county? And is it true you picked up shirts and pants and passed all points of sale without intending to pay for those items? -- that'd be the facts questioning for a theft case).
I LOVE doing it. It's great to be in court, talking with attorneys, talking with defendants, and it makes the day fly by. Tomorrow actually, M and my dad have off work for Good Friday, so I think they're going to come by and watch the court trials (for traffic tickets) in the afternoon..and get to see me prosecute a case! Not that high stakes of a case, but I get to enter evidence, and call a witness, and it's still technically a "trial".. which I was told not a lot of attorneys ever even get to do that much.
Anyway, that's about it. Hope the midweek is going fast for the rest of you!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

a day in the life

Sometimes I wonder why the neighbors don't really talk to me, and they all chat up M. Then I stop and think about all the times I've busted out some strange dance moves, hopped around, squealed, or otherwise talked in our "lolcat" language while they may have been within earshot. (if you're not versed in lolcat, please see this website). basically it's a bunch of weirdos who send in photos of cats (and other animals) and post captions in this strange language. M and I are kind of losers and kind of love it.

Anyway, this got me thinking a few minutes ago as I got this email from M, if the neighbors only they knew.. M is no better than me. In fact, he's an instigator! Behold:

Sorry for the crappy photo, and the redacted portions, but this was an email exchange I just had with M. I told him it was rude that he commented on my recent facebook photo of the cat that the cat views me as his prey (which is true, and which is why he stalks me around the house sometimes and pounces on me). He said "iz not rude, iz da troof" that translates to "that's not rude, it's the truth"... see how this works?? and that's my pending reply in the top of the screen.

I tell ya, when you and your significant other are crazy, lolcat speaking, weirdos...there's never a dull day.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Law school prom

Yesterday my law school held an event called "Blackacre"...also affectionately known as law school prom. Picture your high school prom, smaller dresses, a cash bar and double the drama.

Blackacre is the boilerplate name for a piece of property that has no other "name"... they also use the terms Whiteacre (which also happens to be the name of our "winter dance") and Greenacre...well, you get the picture. Color+acre, basically. It's also the term professors use in exams and hypotheticals.

Friday after court I stopped by the mall and picked up this little number at Len Drusken outlet for $35.00. That's a tiered lace bottom half of the dress. I loved it. The right amount of "class" and "sexy."
We spent Saturday morning signing the contract for granite (!!! FINALLY !!!) and putzing around Target, and then came home where M read Catching Fire (I'm still waiting for him to finish to start the series. I know, I'm late to the party on this one) and I laid on the couch with the kitteh. TJ is an excellent nap buddy. See:

To die for, cute. Lurve him. While walking around Target I picked up a few more things I've been lusting over. I saw over on Steph's blog that she picked up some cheap makeup tools and basics from Target's e.l.f. line. So I went out and copied her :)

Here's a somewhat embarrassing confession: I've never owned a face primer, bronzer, concealer, or "real" makeup brushes before, nor did I really know how to use them. My go to look had always just been eyeliner and mascara. I went to a Mary Kay party a few weeks ago (my 3rd or so..) and finally got to thinking I should invest in some of these things, not necessarily for "every day" but for special occasions when I want to glam it up a bit. I don't really need (don't hate me) coverup, or concealer, or things like that- I have pretty good skin, but as is the case with everyone I have some slight skin pigmentation differences that I figure it'd be nice to blend in for special occasions. I have a hard time spending money on anything really that doesn't go in my stomach or on my body, or get displayed in my home, so when I saw Steph post about the elf line, I decided this may be the window I needed. WELL, at $1.00 a pop for the brushes, bronzer, and eyeliner, and $6 for primer, I decided it was a good "starter kit"... I'll play around with it and see how I like it and notice the difference and then perhaps upgrade to "real" makeup later (aka once I have a full time job and can afford to drop $$ on things like that)

I also had been lusting after this ruffly tank top ever since I saw it on one of the paralegals at the firm. I checked both Targets near our house, and one didn't stock it, and the other only had XXL. I was bummed. Until we stopped by the Target in a nearby suburb on our way home from signing for granite to get a few other things, and I saw they still had it in my size! To be honest I haven't even tried it on yet to see if it's the right size or if I like it, but I'm not terribly worried about it. Thinking of sporting it at court on Friday, a little fun spring blouse for under the suit :) Lately I've been chopping up lemons to put in my tumbler to flavor up my water. I had heard a long time ago about diffusing pitchers, but the one I had seen a link to (maybe on Pinterest) was something like $40. No thanks. THEN I saw Katie post on her blog about a diffusing pitcher she got at Tarjay for $7.99- sign me up! (I'm noticing a trend of discoveries via blog, and I'm okay with it). SO I bought it, and now he lives here in my fridge. Here he is all loaded up with lemons and limes.

Saturday night I headed over to my friend Dana's to get ready with the other girls for the dance, and we met up with everyone else (and M) later at the boys' house. I thought the time at the guys' house was fun, until I got the recap this morning and apparently I was moderately oblivious to all the drama going on- 2 of the guys have new girlfriends, and one of the ex's of one of the guys' was there, and 2 "pseudo-exes" of the other guy was there, as well as the new girlfriends (sorry if I lost you there). Throw in copious amounts of alcohol and it was a hot mess, apparently. (M and I at the boys' house)
We all trekked the 2 blocks to school to wait for the shuttle to the event, and after 30 minutes and no shuttle we lost patience and started walking to a nearby shopping/bar district to try to catch a cab which resulted in everyone getting separated. Long story short, I wound up standing on the street alone when M went to the bathroom and the remaining 4 people I was there with hopped in a cab and left me there.. (I wasn't about to leave M) and of course the wine was kicking in, which resulted in me crying. We walked across the street to a restaurant to try to eat food, and have water and sober up a bit, but M still didn't feel comfortable driving and neither did I so we cabbed it all the way home. $35 later we were tucked safe into bed.

Today, we drove over to my parents, and M and my dad went to the sportsman's show to see the booth of the place they're going fishing at this summer. 2 more months to go, and thank jeebus because I'm getting tired of hearing about tackle and fishing poles. Solid male bonding experience, though.

Just sitting on the couch now winding down,... likely going on an ice cream run later. That's about it- hope ya'll had a good weekend too!