Archive | December, 2010

Are you my friend when I need one? (I need someone to be one.)

28 Dec

Hellosh, guys. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and survived their Monday morning without being too worse for wear. It’s another four-day work week for me, which is nice on the weekends but not so much fun come Monday. As much as I love having a day off, Tuesday comes without fail. It doesn’t matter if I’ve worked 40 hours or 40 minutes — come production day I have to have something to fill the paper.

This Monday was actually pretty hard for me.

As soon as I got into work I received a text message telling me that my Aunt Martha, who has been like a grandmother to me since the day I was born, was in the hospital. She’s always had heart problems, and the day after Christmas she suffered from congestive heart failure.

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping as well as it should to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the body. It can develop over the course of years, and symptoms typically get worse over time. As the heart tries to make up for its gradual weakening it enlarges and forces itself to pump faster, which usually causes fluid to build up in the lungs.

Continue reading

Palm tree Christmas

26 Dec
I wasn’t going to post today, because I really don’t have much to report, but I figured that there are a select number of you out there who were wondering how I spent my holiday. I’m going to apologize ahead of time — I didn’t do anything fun or exciting. It was really a bit of a throw-away day for me, so I’m going to keep this as short as possible.
I was off of work on Friday, but I didn’t really do much of anything besides sleep.  Addam was off too, so he rented a couple of movies. We spent the day watching The Other Guys, which was insanely funny, especially if you get down on Mark Wahlberg, and some straight-to-DVD movie about the Manson Family, which was really….strange. (We’re not psychos, but Addam and I have a sick fascination with true murder-mystery stories. The Manson Family, Amityville, that sort of thing.)
Other than that, Addam and I really didn’t get into much. I know that toward the end of the night he wanted to open stockings, but I had already opened mine weeks ago so that was pretty anti-climatic. Yoga seemed to enjoy the toys and treats she got, and after the girl had a few bites of dog-friendly peanut butter cookies we all headed to bed.
Saturday was Christmas, but it definitely didn’t feel like it.  After three weekends with Steve, Judy, Dave, Emily and Ryan, it was hard spending the holiday alone. And we were really, really alone. No one stopped by, and we didn’t go visit anyone either. (We’d been invited to some Christmas Eve cookout but didn’t go because it was over an hour away, and neither one of us felt liking bussing it.)
We opened gifts, but again, I had opened most of mine weeks ago, so there were only a couple of things for me to unwrap. Addam and my big gift for the year was getting our wedding location set, so we spent a little bit of time planning our next big steps. (AKA — reception, food, chairs, tables, music). Other than that we spent the day watching Home Alone 2 and taking Yoga on a walk through the park.
After a long nap Addam and I biked half-way across the bridge to Miami Beach and filled up on chinese buffet. (God bless chinese food — it was literally the only place open, and Addam and I had absolutely nothing in the apartment to eat.) Not your typical Christmas, but not…terrible, I guess. I mean. I got to eat, even if I did feel way too full after.
Today’s also been pretty low-key. Addam went to work around 1 p.m., and I spent the rest of the day watching wedding movies on TV. Apparently everyone gets engaged over the holidays, because it seems like as soon as the Christmas movies end, the wedding ones start. I’ve watched Made of Honor, Monster-In-Law and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Ok, ok, so the last one isn’t a wedding movie, but after the weekend I’ve had I could use a good laugh.
“Do they still make wooden Christmas Trees?” — Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts.

Close, closer, closest.

22 Dec

At this point you’re probably sick of hearing about my epically awesome weekends. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to sit through just one more, as this last one was just as good as the two previous.

Emily and Ryan came back from their cruise on Friday and got into Miami around 10 a.m. You can’t even imagine how unbearable it was — sitting at my desk trying to focus on the articles I was writing when I knew that my faves were less than six miles away.  I wouldn’t have been able to stand it if they didn’t meet me for lunch at Bayside.

I had some pasta that was drowning in some really watery marinara sauce, but while my food was terrible, my company was amazing. I spent an hour catching up on all of the happenings of the lovebird’s trip and looking through the photos they took, which were all super cute. While I was a little jealous that I wasn’t able to enjoy their vacation with them, it looked like they both had an absolutely amazing time. I was the only one at the table who hadn’t been on a cruise, but Addam’s a pro, so they had a lot of stories to compare.

After lunch I went back to work to finish up a few stories that I had lingering over my head. Addam, Emily and Ryan picked me up from work around 6:30 p.m., and we all headed out to Coconut Grove to catch an opening night showing of Black Swan.

Before we made it to the movie we stopped to pick up Ryan’s drummer, Pat, who was in Miami for some reason I can’t remember. He was a really fun guy, and we all spent a few minutes tailgating behind Ryan’s car before making it into the theater.

The movie had assigned seating, which was kind of weird, but after figuring out a way that we could all sit together the mayhem began.

The movie was amazing, but I knew going in that I’d love it. I’m a huge Natalie Portman fan, and I’m kind of nerdy when it comes to A. Ballarinas and B. Swan Lake. I’m extremely uncoordinated, but I’ve always admired the artists/athletes who can make it work while looking like they’re not working at all.  AKA — my little sista!  She’s practiced from the time she was three until she went to college, and I literally cannot see anyone go on pointe without thinking about her.

I talked throughout the entire movie and probably drove Emily crazy with my slew of ballet-related questions, but I think everyone had a good time. I’d highly recommend the film to anyone who wasn’t overly squeamish. (Don’t get it twisted — this movie centers around ballet but it’s not for the weak of heart, or stomach.)

After we got home Emily and I went through about every article of clothing I have in an effort to put me together some cute work outfits. Everything I lack in style, Emily more than makes up for. She was putting together combos that I would have NEVER considered, and in the end I ended up with a huge selection of options. I didn’t think I had anything to wear, but it turns out I just didn’t know how to wear any of it.

On Saturday everyone had to wake up relatively early, as I had set up appointments for Emily and I to check out wedding dresses. (Since last Sunday ended up being such a bust, I wanted to make sure that we had everything set up for this weekend.)

We stopped at Burger King for a quick breakfast, and then the boys dropped us off on Miracle Mile. I had three appointments scheduled for the day, the first two of which were only an hour apart.

The first place we checked out did not have much of a selection and wouldn’t let us take pictures. Pair that with the fact that the attendant who was helping me kept asking if I was “ready to make my final decision” and it’s easy to understand why nothing I tried on there will be a contender for my final purchase.

The second place we went, however, was amazing. The lady who owned the shop wasn’t supposed to let us take photos but told us that she “didn’t see anything.” I tried on about seven or eight gowns, and there were three that I could see myself walking down the aisle in. And the best part was that everyone in the store was incredibly nice. I’ve never been called a princess so many times in my life, but I’m telling ya — I didn’t hate it.  (I don’t have all the pictures right now, but I’m planning on posting a wedding update later in the week. Keep your eyes pealed if you want to see the options I’m selecting from).

Emily got to try on a couple of bridesmaid dresses at this spot, but I don’t think that either one of us found anything that we were married to. (Pardon the pun.) One looked like it was going to be a contender, because it had an almost sea-shell like bust and looked really interesting, but in the end all I could stare at was Emily’s boobs. It made her out to be even more top heavy than she already is, so we decided to try out other options.

After the second location the boys picked us up, and we drove to our third appointment. We had a break, so we stopped for lunch at a little quesadilla joint where we almost, almost got rained on. After the close call the boys headed to a guitar and amp center, and Emily and I headed to Ever After, which is perhaps the ritziest store I’ve ever been to in my life.

I knew from the second I walked in that the place was going to be way too rich for my blood, but when I saw that the lowest price range on the questionnaire they gave me was $3,000 to $5,000 I had to pinch myself to keep from laughing. Not wanting to be rude and walk out of my appointment, (and not having a ride if I did), I decided to relax and make a fun time out of it.

The sales associate’s brought me some coffee on a silver platter and gabbed with Emily about her experience interning with Oscar de la Renta. From there they took me into their showroom and pulled out dress after expensive dress. I didn’t turn down anything and tried on absolutely everything. I knew it was a waste, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t fun! I tried on gowns that were more expensive than my Jeep and Hyundai combined, and almost all of them were absolutely beautiful.

And while they obviously didn’t know that I was making a bit of a joke out of the entire appointment, the women who worked there were very nice and made me feel extremely comfortable. I know that they get paid to be nice, but they were both extremely flattering and seemed really interested in what look I wanted for my wedding.

I fell in love with the Oscar de la Renta dress photographed above. While the model is gorgeous, the pictures I’ve posted really do not do the gown justice. The ladies who were helping me put an entire look together, complete with earrings, a bracelet and a net veil. I know for a fact that it was probably the most expensive outfit that has ever touched my body, but I was living it up. It’s sad that it takes a $10,000 outfit for me to say this, but I’ve never felt more beautiful. Thank God Addam will never see me in it.

After the lavishness that was Ever After, Emily and I decided to skip our final appointment. We all headed home to prepare for the night’s festivities — a moonlit cookout.

Emily and Ryan invited over some friends they had met on their cruise who were going to be in Miami for a couple of days, and Addam and I invited Vicki and Tati. The entire night was incredible. Addam grilled up shrimp and lobster tails for the group and some asparagus and tofu for Emily and I. (Vegetarians — we’re always making things difficult.) Ryan brought out his guitar and entertained everyone with some of The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show’s finest,and I’m telling you now that if you’re not a fan on Facebook — add them. Look them up on iTunes, check them out on Myspace, Google them — do whatever you have to do, but make sure that you check them out, because Ryan is amazing. The most relaxing parts of my weekend were listening to him work out new songs on the guitar while I combed the internet.

The best part of the night, however?  Addam asking Ryan to be a groomsman! He’s been planning on asking since last weekend, and I couldn’t have thought of a better time for him to “pop the question.” Emily and I were so happy we were practically balls of mush. I know it’s still early, but I can’t wait to look out at the wedding party and see all the family and friends we have supporting us and our life together.

After a long night of food and drink, Ryan carried me to my bed, and I settled in to a long-night’s sleep.

The next morning I was in the mood to do something Christmasy.  Ryan had missed Emily’s performance as Clara in The Nutcracker her junior year, but luckily Addam and I have the video. We watched the entire performance, and I was reminded of the chill bumps I had while I was watching her perform the part on stage, three years ago.

After watching the prima ballerina, we all headed to South Beach to make some sand castles.

The boys seemed to be a lot more into it than Emily and I, but it was fun watching our men at work. Ryan was completely consumed with digging a trench and sculpting a drawbridge, while Addam worked construction. He ended up knocking over more towers than he built, but in the end the guys really made it work!

After the beach we dropped Yoga off at the apartment and headed to dinner at the O.G. — Original Gangsta — Olive Garden. I was starving and hadn’t been there since Chicago, so I maxed out. I had my usual —  fried lasagna bites. Emily had cheese ravioli (I got to take her left overs into lunch the next day and just looking at them made me want to cry missing her), Ry had the “man’s meal” — the tour of Italy, and Addam had  seafood pasta (surprise, surprise). It was extremely busy, so we ate at the bar, which was just as nice. I wish I had a photo to post, but we were all so hungry that we barely even talked.

We had such a busy weekend that once we got home we all just wanted to relax. We put on the movie Waiting and went to bed shortly after it ended. By that point Addam had taken some bad Robitussin and wasn’t feeling well at all.  He was still feeling weird the next morning, but I think he’s finally back to normal.

The next morning was the hardest I’ve had in Miami. Everyone woke up early, and while I got ready for work Addam, Emily and Ryan packed up. Emily and Ryan had a 10.5 hour drive to Myrtle Beach and made a pit stop to drop me off at work.

It was the hardest goodbye I’ve had in awhile, and I was a blubbering mess for most of my work day.  I’d be doing fine and then another reporter would ask me if my sister was headed home and I’d tear up. It sounds ridiculous, because I’ve had to say goodbye to Emily so many times, but last time it was so long before I saw her again. I can’t go that long this time, and my heart hurt just thinking that I might have to. She’ll be in the wedding, but as much as my fellow staffers tried to assure me that the time would fly by, I know that it doesn’t. Not like it did when I could stop by on my way home from school and see her any time I wanted. Not like when I knew that she was always in the room next door. I don’t know what needs to happen, but I know that this distance thing won’t ever work for me.

I, somehow, made it through my work day, submitted two stories and brought one home to work on. I wrote the entire time Addam was at work, and when he got home we headed outside to watch the lunar eclipse. It was the first time in 400 years that it has occurred on the same day as the winter solstice, so as an astronomy geek, I was pretty excited. It was amazing to watch, and I hope that everyone had a chance to witness history. As you can see by the photo I’ve included in this post, taken by my talented friend Mackenzie Grimes, the moon glowed red.

I crawled into bed way too late, and woke up way too early for a full production day. Having successfully made it through another week, I feel like I should be more tired. I have Friday off, so hopefully I’ll be able to cage up my excess energy and get a lot of work done tomorrow and Thursday.  While I’m trying to remain optimistic about the holidays, it’s going to be hard bouncing from three amazing weekends into a lonely Christmas. Still, it was worth it. I wouldn’t give up the past three weeks for anything.

“And I love my sister,
Lord knows how I’ve missed her,
She loves me,
And she knows I won’t forget.
And sometimes I get jealous,
Of all her little pets,
And I get lonely,
but I ain’t that lonely yet.”

— The White Stripes, I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet).

Lord knows how I’ve missed her

14 Dec

Just when I thought that this weekend couldn’t possibly top last, Emily and Ryan make it into town for a full three days off fun and fabulousness. I would have posted this update on Monday, but I was so tired I think I may have fallen asleep on the bus on the way home from work. I had to use the majority of Monday evening to recuperate.

As much as I love my job, the nine hours I spent sitting at my desk on Friday seemed unbearable knowing that my little sister was slowly making her way down to me. Emily and Ryan woke up to a flat tire, so they ended up being a little later than they expected, which was horrible for them, but great for me. If they would have gotten in before six I don’t know how I could have stayed to finish up the articles I wanted to submit before they got in.

My favorites made it to my apartment right around 6:15 p.m. and met me around 30th street shortly there after. After a few squeaks, squeals and bear hugs, we all made our way to Bayside, which is quickly becoming Addam and my favorite place to take visitors. We parked at my office, and I gave them a quick tour before we headed out.

Emily and Ryan were starving, so we got some pasta. It was an absolutely gorgeous night, and we decided to sit outside and catch up. It’s strange how having Emily near me for even one minute makes me realize just how much I’ve missed her. Every time I see her again I always wonder how I stand being away.

We walked around Bayside for awhile, seeing the sites and taking some fabulous photos. We had a brief upset when Emily lost her purse (would she be my sister if she didn’t?), but relax, relax. After three days of calling Bayside and the police, the only kind soul left in Miami found and returned it. I know, right?! I thought that she’d never see it again, and yet, there it is, sitting by my feet as I type.

After after-dinner drinks, some fun photos with the local Swisher Sweeties, and a few trips around the city on the Metromover, we headed back to the apartment, where we all stayed up ridiculously late laughing and planning the weekend festivities.

Before I go on and on about the rest of the weekend, I think that I need to point out to everyone who does not already know that this is the first time I’ve ever met Ryan. We’ve talked a bunch, we’re Facebook friends, but I’ve never quite met him on the face-to-face. Needless to say…I was very impressed.

I don’t really know how to describe how good he is to my sister, which is the best thing about him, but suffice it to say that I know she is being taken care of, which lifts a great weight from off my shoulders. I also know that she’s happy, which is quite possibly the most important thing in the world to me. In fact, her happiness completely coincides with how great I think he is, and from where I’m sitting, they’re both 10s.

AND — the dude is incredibly funny, which I always appreciate. I don’t really hang with people who can’t make me laugh, and he had me cracking up all weekend. It makes me feel fortunate that he’ll be in both Emily and my life for a long time to come.

After a late night and (somewhat) early morning, we all hopped in the car and headed out to Key Biscayne to check out wedding locations.

We got a little turned around finding Crandon Park, but once we found the place we got the full tour. Every place we saw was amazing and would make for a beautiful location, but I think Addam and I are going to go with Club Paradise because it’s private and has the most shade.  Addam’s putting the deposit down tomorrow morning, so I need to make sure to get the finishing touches on my save the dates.

Addam and I have decided not to have the reception on the beach. It was a hard decision, and something we didn’t want to give up, but we love music, and Crandon Park doesn’t allow for any sort of amplification. Which…just does not work for us.

After checking out the hot spots the whole gang headed down to the Rusty Pelican for dinner. We had been told by park officials that that is where most couples end up having their reception, but when I went to inquire about rates they told me that they were going to be closed for renovations over August.

I don’t get why they plan to renovate, because the place was absolutely amazing.  I honestly didn’t think that any of us would be able to afford it at first, but we stuck it out and were glad we did. The food was epic.  I literally could have filled up on bread, and I think I kind of did. I got the best tomato soup I’ve ever had in my life and a salad.

The only thing better than the food was the view. Our waiter, who was a bit rude and absentminded, placed us near a big window by the water, so we got to watch sea planes and yachts jet by while we ate. We even got a glimpse of a wedding reception, which only made me more excited about my big day. (Oh, and one of the groomsmen was From Fergie.  I mean, really. I think it was him. I wanted to hire him to work my reception.)

Right after dinner Emily and I went wedding dress shopping for some quality bride/maid of honor time.  It was about 5 p.m., and I thought a lot of places would be closed, but David’s Bridal was open and accepting.

Guys…I tried on soooo many dresses.  I’ve said before that I am not the typical bride. Since I had no idea what I liked, I wanted to try on everything. I put on mermaid cuts, strapless cuts, form fitting and flowing. I tried trains, no trains, veils and tiaras, and in the end, I still love the first one I ever tried on.

I’m not including the photos of actual contenders on here, because I am sure Addam will be reading this blog post. The one I’m including is a total princess cut. Definitely not what I’m going for, but I had to try it. Don’t worry. I plan on posting an update, for your eyes only, later this week. I’m not very traditional, but I want Addam to be amazed when he sees me in my dress for the first time. Which means that he absolutely cannot see me in my final pick. He seems ok with that. In fact, I think he may be more concerned with keeping the dress hidden than I am.

I do have to say though — I never knew how much putting on a wedding dress would affect me.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I never thought that I’d ever feel so bridal. Seeing myself in a gown for the first time really got to me.  It all seemed so official, and I couldn’t wait for Addam to see me walking toward him on a beach in Key Biscayne.

The coolest part? There was no mirror in the changing room, so the first reaction I ever got was Emily’s.  I’d come of out the little closet and immediately look to her for an opinion, which kind of helped me judge what I would think upon seeing the dress.  (Yeah, she has that much of an influence over me, and I really just want her to think I’m pretty on my wedding day. Is that so insane?) We immediately sent all of the photos we took to Steve and Judy, but as they had completely conflicting opinions, I really don’t know what that to take away from it all…

After picking out of ton of swatches, (I think I’m going to go with a jade green and tan-ish color), Emily and I headed out to meet the boys, who apparently spent two hours drinking whiskey and shooting the shit.  We had planned to go see Black Swan, but I incorrectly thought that it was already playing in Miami.  We’re going when Ryan and Emily get back from their cruise on Friday.

Without plans for the night, we all decided to head out to South Beach.  A couple of five-hour energies and we were more than good to go.

After Emily and I  followed this troll of a woman into a ritzy hotel to pee, we met up with the boys and headed to the water. We spent the evening munching on leftovers and taking ridiculously cute and funny photos.  Addam would shout out a scenario, and we would all pose to act it out. I wish my descriptions could do the game justice, but it really was a good time. If nothing else, we kept each other laughing.

After Addam took a jump in the December ocean, and after taking about a thousand pictures of these classic CJ’s we found near Collins Avenue, (Addam is obsessed), we headed home.

Addam had to work on Sunday, so Ryan, Emily and I planned to spend the day checking out wedding dresses and bridesmaid gowns. Unfortunately, it turned into three hours of driving around in search of any open bridal stores. After wandering hopeless for a couple hours, we decided on Macy’s, which also had absolutely nothing to work with.  I’ve already scheduled a ton of appointments for next weekend so we don’t run into the same issues.

Addam got off around sixish, and we all headed to this BOMB Mexican restaurant where we fueled up on chips and tacos. The service was lack-luster, but the food was amazing. The woman who rang us up was simple and foolish, so my food was free, so I honestly can’t complain. The sauces were amazing, and Addam and I plan on hitting it up again in the near future.

Back at the apartment we had an easy evening of The House Bunny and  Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  I don’t know what time I went to bed, but I do know that Monday morning was a tough one.

Luckily, we all went out for breakfast, which was a good start to what would be a long day.  I maxed out on a much needed egg and cheese sandwich from Subway, and Ryan and Emily set out for their cruise. Addam spent the a.m. making sure they were all aboard, and I was jealous that I couldn’t be there to send them my love as they set sail.  I pictured myself waving furiously as their boat made its way out of the port.

It’s now Tuesday, and I’m much more rested. I plan on going to bed early everyday this week in anticipation of the incredible weekend I have coming up. Dress shopping, tattoos and Black Swan? Yeahhhh. I can deal with it. I just wish it never had to end. Not to get sappy, but it’s going to be really hard to embrace the cold after being engulfed in sunshine.

“I’d rather laugh with sinners than cry with saints.” — Billy Joel, musician.

Hotel Yorba

8 Dec

I love the White Stripes. And yes. If you know me, that is the most obvious statement I’ve probably ever made on here. But follow me for a second…

I was searching through photos of them today, and I found a bunch that gave me some really good ideas for my wedding.  I’ve never wanted a cliche wedding, so I don’t want cliche wedding shots.  I thought I’d throw out a few ideas that I have floating through my head so I can garner some opinions.

(I know, I know. Everyone’s thinking that I’m taking this White Stripes things too far and that it may be getting to an unhealthy level, but everyone is allowed one addiction, and this is mine. Everyone should be happy I’m not making my wedding colors black, white and red.)


Kind of sassy, but I like it. I’m not sure what kind of dress I’ll have yet, but I’m sure it will be a lot more form fitting than this one. It’s going to be hot as hell in August, and I don’t need a lot of extra fabric weighing me down. Still, I think there may be ways to make it work, depending on what I go with.  It’s a beach wedding, so I’m not going to have the opportunity to take many indoor shots. This would probably need to be taken while I’m getting ready.


So, I definitely wouldn’t be holding a cigarette, but besides that, I really like the picture.  Of course, as much as I love Jack White, Addam could probably work out a better facial expression. Although…it adds a little humor. It reminds me of that photo of the farmer holding the pitchfork next to his wife.


Addam’s a musician, so I like the idea of sitting on an amp. And since I’ll be wearing a long, white dress, it shouldn’t be too hard to pull this one off. Of course, while I think this picture would work really well with a beach background, it would mean the light bulb would have to go. I’m sure we could think of something to use in its place.


I just think this is a cool shot, taken for one of the group’s best albums. Addam could hold his guitar, I could hold a reporter’s notebook or a potato or something.  (I’m joking, but how funny would it be if I was holding a big spud in my wedding photos?) I like how Meg and Jack are reaching behind their backs for each others hand. It’s like a disconnected connection. Of course, this isn’t one to send out to friends and family. I mean, it’s really a strange photo. But isn’t a wedding supposed to be about the couple making the commitment? This shot would be for Addam and me.

Of course, while I think he’d love it, Addam could think the entire idea was completely ridiculous. In which case, Heather? Feel like being in this picture with me? I’ll hold a potato…


Again, I just like it. The birds-eye view, the cat’s cradle, the coy little smiles. It feels really innocent. I think I’d even be willing to sit my southern can in the sand, if that’s what I have to do to pull it off.


If you know Addam, this is kind of fitting. He loves the guitar, and I know he’d want it featured in many of our photos. While I’d like to be in a sexy white suit, I’ll probably be in a dress. I also think it’d be funny if we were either both handcuffed to the guitar or each other. Ball and chain reference, if ya get my drift.


Ok, great shot for a beach wedding. I like that they’re facing opposite directions and that neither one is facing the camera.  I know, I know, probably not what the typical bride would want for her wedding shots. But not only does it have a somewhat spacey feel to it, which I like,  it would let me show off the back of my dress and my hair.


Don’t worry, there won’t be any animals at my wedding. I just like the composition. Meg in the background, Jack close too the camera. Meg toward the bottom of the shot, Jack toward the top. I don’t know, I just don’t think you have to be standing right up on each other or gazing passionately into each others eyes to show a connection. The White Stripes perfected that tactic.


Again, no animals, and most likely no swings either, but a good shot for a beach wedding. Like the last photo, this one plays around with depth of field by featuring subjects in both the foreground and the background. I can’t exactly describe it, but I feel like it almost portrays a sense of ownership.


A very simple dinner shot, but I love the contrast. They’re both looking off in separate directions, relaxed, relatively slumped over. Unlike some of the other shots I’ve chosen, it seems natural.


Great outfits, great composition, great lighting, great everything. She’s looking at the camera, he’s not. He’s deep in thought and she’s kind of…well, by the looks of it she’s kind of annoyed, but I’d play it more happy. Addam’s not allowed to see me before the wedding, but I think this would be fun for the reception. Of course, we’d be outside and probably sitting at a table, but I think it could still work. If nothing else, maybe Addam and I could find a bench nearby for a quick recreation. (Dirty.)


Cheesy! But what else would you expect from my big day if not a bit of cheddar? I’d even consider the Santa hat, but only once all the other photos were over and I didn’t need to care about how my hair looked. I mean, it’d make for great Christmas card photos.


Ok, so this is the real first dance shot, and I think that anyone who looks at it would see why it’s beautiful.  My wedding won’t have so many screaming fans, but a few smiling friends and family members is just as good.


I love this photo! Addam and I don’t have a car, but hopefully we’ll be able to work out some sort of vehicle to take us home, because I really want some pictures like this one. The older and classier the better. I love the vintage feel. In fact, I should wear gloves or something. I mean, at least in the car. If there is a car.


Gah. Isn’t he so handsome? Sorry — I had to take a moment.

Besides Jack’s face, I’m loving how the edge of the door frames the shot. Meg being out of focus and the fact that the window is half up makes it look as though the photographer caught a split moment in time.  Like if he would have waited a second longer the window would be up and the car would be speeding away.

That’s it. Sorry if my choices seem a bit ridiculous but I warned you, and there is no accounting for taste. Even if you think I’m crazy, I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to send me on some ideas. (And while I know I’m a bit obsessed — they REALLY don’t have to be White Stripes photos. Although, I would not deny them.)

“You’ll probably say I’m silly,
to think childish thoughts like these,
but I’m so tired of acting tough,
and I”m gonna do as I please.
Let’s get married,
in a big cathedral by a priest,
cause if I”m the man you love the most,
you can say i do at least.”

Hotel Yorba, The White Stripes, 2001.

The Clevelander(s)

7 Dec

Sorry for the delay between updates, but if I had a second to post I would have. My entire week as been jam packed. In fact, I think I need a weekend to re-cooperate from my weekend.

I worked late nearly every day this week in preparation for Friday, because that was the day when Addam’s family came into town. I can’t believe it, but it’s been nearly a year since Addam and I have seen everyone.  I know that Steve and Judy follow this blog, and so I need to take a moment to really express how much it meant to both of us that not only his parents, but his Uncle Dave, made the trip all the way from Ohio to Miami to spend the weekend with us. It’s hard packing up everything and moving to a new city, but having them around definitely made it feel like home.

Steve, Judy and Dave got in around 5:45 or 6 Friday night and picked me up from my office around 7. They got a rental car, which was amazing, because there would have been no way we could have done all we had planned without it.  I showed them around my office and introduced them to Yudi, who was the only one there besides me, and then we hit the road to fight the Miami traffic.

Everyone was starving, so we passed up my apartment for the Red Light, which was surprisingly…not great. Addam had suggested that I take the fam there, and it seemed like an awesome choice because we’ve both wanted to check it out for so long.

It’s this cute little restaurant overlooking a river,  right by Biscayne Boulevard, but it was kind of chilly and all they had available was outside dining. There were heat lamps, but apparently if you touch them they reset themselves and turn off for about 45 minutes. After a couple of drinks it didn’t seem so cold, but it took awhile to get them!  Dave practically had his meal by the time he got a beer.

But, the food was amazing. I had the coconut rice and pink lentils and could probably eat it every day of my life. Steve’s burger was about three inches thick, and Dave shared his home fries, which were a bit greasy but still pretty tasty. When discussing my weekend with Zach in the office today, I found out that I should have ordered the grilled cheese, which, along with shrimp, is kind of their specialty.  Next time.  And without Dave.  (He was such a good time, but he definitely did not have one at the Red Light).

From the Red Light we all went on to Smuckers. (Ok, I thought it was called Smuckers, but I can’t Google it. It was a bar halfway between Miami and Miami Beach, right on the water). It was Dave’s idea, and I’m still not entirely sure how he found the place given that he’s never been to the city. Either way, he took us straight there, and it was fabulous.

We had a few after dinner drinks and caught up. I wish Addam could have been there, because I know he would have loved it, but he’s a cook. If he wanted the weekend off, he had to work Friday night. We all missed him, but I think everyone had a good time.

From there we all headed back to the apartment.  I showed them the place, which Steve likes more than our Chicago apartment, and they headed to their hotel, which was about two blocks away.  It was a late night, but we had an early morning. I think I was asleep before Addam even walked in the door.

We got up early on Saturday. I had a momentary lapse of judgment and assumed that Addam would want to get up at the crack of dawn to see everyone even though he didn’t get off until about 1 a.m. Whoopsie.  I told everyone to be there by 9 a.m. and was the last one out of bed.

Shortly after everyone got there, Addam and his parents headed to PetSmart to pick up flea medication and by the grocery store to get some more food for the weekend. (And yes, ok, yes. The fleas came back. You get what you pay for, and Sentry just did not cut it.  As a former PetSmarter and dog trainer myself, I knew that the stuff wouldn’t work, but it was our only option, and I had to try.  I can now, however, happily report that the K-9 Advantix worked like a charm.  My girl is FINALLY bug free and should be for at least four months, when we’ll have to buy more medication. Addam applied the drops this morning and said the fleas were literally jumping off her.)

While everyone was gone, Dave and I planned the day and watched some Soul Train. Yes, I said Soul Train, and no, it was not a typo. BUT, if I told you how many times doing the “lasso” came in handy over the weekend, you’d totally understand why it was a good choice.

Dave and I decided on a day at the  Miccosukee Casino and South Beach.  Steve and Judy had to meet one of Steve’s former co-workers for lunch, so it was just Addam, Dave and me at Miccosukee.

It was also really fun. The casino was on an Indian reservation, and to get there we passed a string of iguanas, turtles and alligators, sunning themselves by a small river that ran by the road. Judy was consumed with the critters, and I have to admit that I squealed a bit upon seeing my first live gator.

Addam’s parents left as soon as we got there, but Dave, Addam and I got to enjoy a few hours of gambling. Ok, ok, Addam and I spent a total of $15 and didn’t play anything but slots and video poker, but it was so much fun just being there! I’ve always wanted to go to a casino, but the people watching was more entertaining than the games. I couldn’t believe the number of people throwing $20, $50, even $100 bills into the machines, only to go through it all in about 2 minutes. A lot of people seemed to be having a great time, but the majority seemed kind of lonely. It made me feel very fortunate that I was there with Addam.

We all ate lunch at the casino, and as I slept through breakfast, I was starving! They had about 17 restaurants in the building, but we opted for the buffet.  I maxed out on salad and cream of broccoli soup while the boys fueled up on prime rib and lasagna.  Dave MADE me try this vegetarian tamale, which was probably one of the sickest things I’ve ever had. Consistency is a big factor in how much I enjoy what I eat, and slimy/mushy does not work for me.  Dave got a good laugh out of it though, so I guess it was worth it.

After a few more hours of gambling, Steve and Judy were back from lunch and ready to head on out to South Beach.  I got Judy and I a couple of cortaditos, and we were on our way.

Addam and I have been to South Beach a few times now, but it was so much fun to be able to show it to his family. The beach was cool, so no one wanted to go swimming, but we spent some time taking photos and walking up and down the shore.  It was near high tide and the water was beautiful.

After it got dark we all walked around South Beach, soaking in the sites.  With Art Basel going on, everything was pretty packed, which was kind of a good thing. It made it a bit harder to get around, but the crowds really made it feel like Miami.

After awhile of walking, we settled into The Clevelander.  (It figures, right? Addam’s entire family is from Ohio, here for a Browns game, and we go to The Clevelander). We got a table and settled into what was probably the best night I’ve had in Miami yet.

At the bar we all ordered a couple of drinks and a brick pizza, topped with all sorts of veggies.  It may not have been the guys top choice (they’re all meat-eaters), but I don’t think anyone turned down a slice. There was a live band playing, so Addam and I spent a little bit of time dancing and introducing ourselves to the craziest people we could possibly find.  I don’t know what it was that made this night stand out, but I think I was just happy to have family around me.

We headed home after The Clevelander, and I think I poured myself into bed. I was completely exhausted.

But the next morning the entire family was at our apartment, bright and early, and ready for a full day of tailgating.  We loaded up the rental, ran by the grocery store and headed to the Dolphins v. Browns game.

I’ll admit, I’ve always kind of dogged Addam for liking the Browns, just like he’s always got at me for liking the Bucs.  I’ve always rooted for the team, because that’s who he was for, but I was never very invested. Well, the Dave experience is enough to make anyone a die-hard. My voice has been raspy all afternoon from shouting so much.

First off, not being a big sports fan, I’ve never tailgated.  Little did I know, I had NO IDEA what I was missing. Between the veggie turkey burger, the fresh chips and salsa and the Pineapple Smirnoff Ice, I could have spent the entire day in the parking lot.

There were actually a lot more Browns fans in attendance than I expected.  I thought we were going to be kicked at and spit on, but I’d say that at least 15 or 20 percent of the crowd were Brownies, and we were parked right next to a big group of them.  Dave spent the morning teaching me all the chants I needed to know to prepare me for battle and covering me in my warpaint, aka a hat and jersey.

The game started at 1 p.m., so after a few hours of chilling and grilling we headed into the stadium, and wowza, was it close.  Honestly, the game really came down to a few field goals.

In the second quarter the score was 3 to 0, but a 60-yard field goal by the Dolphins tied up the game.  (Nope, not a typo.  The dude actually kicked the ball that far.  I wasn’t for him, but I gotta give credit where it’s due).  Both teams scored touchdowns, but in the end one kick separated the winners from the losers.  The Browns brought it home, and we all celebrated like it was the Superbowl.  Ok…not quite, but close…Dave was particularly excited as we made our way out through a string of high fives and “woof woof”s.

After a few pretzels in the parking lot, we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner.  We ended up switching tables a couple of times, but that just seemed to make things more fun.  (We were all seated inside, but Judy wanted to sit outside to look at the bay and listen to the live music playing in the bar across the street. Once we got out there it was way to cold, and everyone was uncomfortable, so we moved back to our original seat).

The food was amazing, though! I planned on going with a healthy option, but I can’t resist Hard Rock mashed potatoes and twisted mac.  Carb-central but so, so, so good!  I didn’t make it too far on the mac, but Addam didn’t have a hard time helping himself to my left overs.

After dinner we took Judy back to her hotel, headed to the apartment and settled into the Steelers v. Jets game.  Steve and Dave needed to watch for a fantasy football competition, even though none of us really like either of the teams.  As a newly-converted Browns fan, I’m obligated to be against the Steelers.  (Sorry Heather…I know it’s you’re team.  Something tells me we’ll make it work though :).)

The family had an early flight, so when Steve and Dave left we had to say our final goodbyes.  The guys joked that they’d see each other in a year, but I really hope not.  Seeing everyone again made me realize how much I’ve missed them all.  To quote Jim Brown, “The parents are the key.”

The good thing is, unless the family plans on missing the wedding (and I hope they don’t), we should see everyone again in August.  As an early Christmas present Addam’s parents are helping us with the down payment we need to reserve our location on Key Biscayne.  Emily and Ryan will be here on Friday (YAY!), and we’re all checking out the spots they have open on Saturday.  I called today and our date, knock on wood, is still available, so I really hope we can get things set in stone.  I can’t wait to send out our save the dates!

But it’s getting late, and tomorrow is an early production day, so I’m calling it a night. I have to make sure to get plenty of sleep so I’m nice and rested for my Emily Ann <3.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” — Jane Howard, writer, actress, model.