Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best Job Ever

Somehow I landed the best job ever. In the whole world. Ever.

I got to work as an assistant cross country coach.
It. Was. Awesome.

I mean, where do you get to do exactly what you want to do/what you would be doing anyway AND get paid for it???

Those kids are hilarious. And so so sweet. Plus, I look just like I'm on the team. So if there is ever an angry motorist wanting to chew out the coach, they never come to me. They assume me to be another high schooler. See how sweet this deal is?

They kids even stole the clipboard during one of our meets to draw this really lovely picture.

Isn't it beautiful (in its own sort of way)? We're standing by the bus we take for all of our practices. Coach Grindstaff is the main guy (he's the head coach). The caption they have for me is "I'm the cool coach." Eh? Eh? Yeah...it's pretty much the best.

Anyhow. The season is over now. We had our XC Banquet tonight to end the season. And gosh, I'm going to miss those kids. I am excited to not work until 6 every night (think of all the time I'll have getting off by 3:30!). But I'm definitely going to miss these guys.

Go Bruins!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Big Fat Wedding Planning Advice

I think it's fair to say that almost every girl likes wedding planning chats. I just think that whether you are at that stage of life, not quite there yet, or completely passed it, you still don't mind kicking around ideas for you or friends. I mean, I remember planning hypothetical weddings with Petey clear back in our high school days.

I've been wanting to write about the specifics of my planning for a while now, so that I can reference it later. But writing in a journal is so tedious. So I figure this is my blog, I write what I want. Readers, feel free to give additional advice or anecdotes. If you aren't in the market for wedding advice, feel free to gander at your leisure.

My first post on wedding planning advice is specifically about that:

When you announce that you are engaged, a million people are excited for you. And half of that million already got married, which means that they have been there, done that. They had crazy experiences while wedding planning, and they want to share their wisdom with you!

Really. Here's the warning: You will get SOOOOO much advice the whole time you are planning.
You'll get advice on what your wedding should be,
What your wedding shouldn't be,
What you should do when you go to the temple (if you go that route),
What you should do to make your marriage work,
etc. etc. etc.

And here's my advice on advice:
Listen to it all. Take what you need. Leave the rest.

I loved hearing all the advice I got. Every piece came with a story. You really get the feeling that this person is so excited for you when they are offering their story. Not only that, but you feel so much more excited for your own wedding. If this person is so eager to talk about it, it must be awesome, right?

Some advice really was absolutely awesome. Like Bridgett who told us to make it our wedding and do what we wanted (honestly wish I would've listened to this a little better). Or the half a dozen people on facebook who let me know whether or not they regretted buying their wedding dress. Or Petey who let her marketing experience speak wonders on color ideas and themes. Or Whitney who, honestly, gave me so many good tips that she should just write a book.

Then there was the advice that reaffirmed my own opinions. Like Bridgett who told me to stay away from the super trendy mustache-bearing photos. She explained that, sure, they're cute now, but what about it 10 years? I never was a fan of those anyway.

There was also advice that was just straight up opinion. Like hearing that I should absolutley not serve fruit at my reception. I honestly don't even know if they served it or not. But if they did, I'm fine with that.

Some advice comes with a good story but that's all you can use it for. My hilarious boss told me about how right before she walked down the aisle, her maid of honor told her she has lipstick on her teeth, which, let's be real, was a good thing. But through the whole ceremony (which they got on video) is filled with her running her tongue up and down and over her teeth to make sure there wasn't lipstick. Her advice to me was to wear a non-smear, waterproof lipstick. Fact: I don't wear lipstick period. Verdict: Good story. Don't need the advice.

And then there are the tips that are just straight up wisdom. My wonderful Aunt Merry Lynn took Ben and I aside and told us that Satan would try to work his way into our marriage. He would make little things seem so big to plant resentment. She told us to not let Satan in. Ever. My Grandpa told us that more than 50 years ago he married my Grandma and it was the best decision he's ever made. He said that it wasn't always easy. But it has always been worth it.

No matter who's telling you what, it is worth listening to. You never know when you're going to pick up a piece of info you wouldn't want to go without.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cruising to Paradise...and Ensenada

Oh my gosh, you guys. I feel like I have a bazillion things to write about and not enough time to actually sit down and write. Let's be real: I barely have enough time to clean my house (yep, it's looking pretty rough). And right now I could be cleaning. My out is that it's Sunday. And, as we taught our CTR 5 Primary class today--cleaning the house on Sunday is not resting. So blogging, here I come.

Today's lovely topic is the cruise that Ben and I went on for a honeymoon. Yes, we did our honeymoon four months later than regular honeymoon standard time (you know, the week after wedding festivities). And we loved it. While we were wedding planning we really had a hard time deciding on a honeymoon. We wanted to do something awesome while keeping it affordable. And frankly, summer time is not necessarily the cheapest time to travel.

We kicked around so many ideas. We loved the idea of a cruise (neither of us had been on one) but we had such a hard time figuring out the details and keeping that idea within budget. Long story short: we finally realized that booking a cruise in off season is waaaaay cheaper. Plus it would give us time to plan details and save a little bit more money. Couldn't ask for a better deal. So we went ahead and booked it.

Was I sad that we didn't go on our official honeymoon until 4 months after we got hitched?

Absolutely not.

It was the best decision ever. I don't regret it all. And I would highly recommend it.
Only problem with waiting was that honeymoon phase has long passed.
As you can see by the fact that Ben was not at all discreet about his nose picking.
Cruising was definitely a different brand of vacationing. Anyone who knows my family knows that we are NOT the sort to be waited on or even to just sit an relax. Our "vacations" usually consist of backpacking. And Ben's family is pretty similar. So taking it easy on a ship was a bit of a difficulty for us. Here are the things we liked and didn't like about cruising:

We loved hanging out in the middle of the ocean. The sunsets were extra awesome.
 We, however, weren't the biggest fans of the sea sickness. It didn't hit us bad, thankfully, but that first night we felt pretty dizzy and a little disoriented.

We loved Catalina. The town is super cute, very well kept,
and just all sorts of fun.

Ensenada was another story. Don't get us wrong-
we still enjoyed it. But the city was kinda trashy
and it wasn't really authentic Mexico.
I guess that's what you get when you only
go 70 miles south of the border

We loved the towel animals!!!!!
And, not to brag, I'm pretty sure they loved us too.
But we weren't the biggest fans of the fact that our room was right above the anchor. Hello shaking and crashing at 6:30 in the morning. I will admit that the porthole windows almost made up for this.

We loved snorkeling in Catalina. Pure awesomeness.
We didn't love how dehydrated we got while wandering the streets of Mexico.
We loved elegant night. It was so much fun to dress up for
dinner,a show, and some dancing
(interestingly enough, our dancing attracted some older Asian women to party with us.
They were completely infatuated with Ben. Kinda hilarious).
Anyhow, pretty classy, right...?
Unless you were these skanky chicks.
Yep, look closer. That old man is capturing wind swept photos
of these obviously teenage slu...I mean... girls.

Loved the food.
Breakfast and lunch were all you can eat deliciousness.
And dinner was three courses of elegant dining.
Best part: you're never the only one eating more than you probably should.

Won't beat around the bush on this one:
LOATHED the "churro" in Mexico.
I've been to Mexico once before and that time I got churros from a street vendor.
They were to die for. A million times better than any churros you'll find in the states.
This time I saw a vendor that advertised churros. Couldn't let yummy authentic churros pass me by.
 So I let my fluent husband order me some.
I received a cup filled with candied peanuts, crouton things, pig fat and tomato juice.
What the hell, Mexico? Yep, it's worth cursing for so I'll say it again:
What. The. Hell?
Luckily, that night the ship had a Mexican food night where they served real churros. Helped relieve some of the trauma.

There were lots of other things we loved and a handful of things we didn't care for as much (trust me, I'd keep going but I feel like I'm competing with one of Whitney's uber-posts...and I really think she's the only one who can pull those off so I'll stop). But overall it was a rockin' awesome time.