Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Choosing your VIPs: A study of numbers

So far, the hardest thing about the early stages of planning the wedding has been choosing my bridesmaids.  When I sat down and really thought about who I'd like to have with me, the list was 14 women strong. 14.  Plus me = 15.

How many people is too many? 15! 15 is too many! Bwahahahaaaaaa

When I told my mom, she was like, "That's a f***ing quinceanera."

This horrific image immediately popped into my head.

I almost died.

I didn't want to cut anyone out of the list, but if I kept going the way I was, every female that I know would be in my bridal party.  What? They're all special to me, ok?

I started trimming down the list to those who were not already married-as is more traditional in my culture and would most likely keep my super-traditional grandma from having a shizznizzle fit.  I also figured my friends would most easily understand that.  But doing that would mean, in order to be fair, my sister wouldn't be in the party. Since she's married. Technically.

Unfortunately, my sister's going through a really painful divorce (I hate that phrase. Aren't all divorces painful?) and I didn't really know for a long time whether or not she wanted to be a part of my wedding or if it would be too hard for her.  As much as I wanted her there, I didn't want her to do something that made her uncomfortable or sad.  Turns out, she was PISSED I'd consider leaving her out.  She's a trooper like that.  :)

But a lot of good that idea did.  Using this rule, I'm only down to 12.  Now I'm thinking someone should just pitch an effing circus tent over my wedding, because it's already a freak show.

12 is still too many. 12!  BWAhahahaaaaaa

So I thought some more and decided to maybe stick strictly to direct family.  That would leave me with....5.

Cue huge sigh of relief.  5 is a MUCH more manageable number.

That's more along the lines of what I was looking for, but it still felt wrong.  I was heartbroken because I really wanted my friends in the party.  So I added Toni and Kelly, my two oldest and best friends.  I asked them because, not only do I consider them my family, my family considers them family too.

That makes 7.


That line is a little longer, no? eeeeeh, I'll let it slide.... bwahahaaa

A little larger than I initially anticipated, but just right for me.  Thanks for the help, Count VonCount.

Did you have a hard time picking your VIPs?  How did you trim down your list?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bridesmaids? Check!

Since, now, almost all the girls have gotten their cards (Toni, seriously, when are we getting together?), I'm finally going to blow the secret and share them with you.

Most of my bridesmaids have known all their lives that they would one day be in my wedding since we're family and I'm pretty much obligated, but also because we grew up like sisters and I'd never want to get married without them there with me.

Even though it wouldn't be a surprise for most, I still really wanted to ask them in a special way.

I was inspired by all of the beautiful stationary I was seeing all over Etsy and Pinterest:

All found on Pinterest

I knew I'd get nowhere near that level of awesome, but I thought handmade cards would be really sweet.  I didn't want to go too over the top because I needed to budget, plus, my girls have known me since birth.  They're not the type to pretend to be nice to me--so they'd never let me hear the end of it if I sent them an envelope full of glitter and confetti. Although I do loves me some glitter.

My nail polish. Currently.

Besides, the present inside the notes would have plenty of sparkle on their own!  Since I decided to "propose" to my girls during Christmas, I wanted to give them each a little gift along with the cards.  It took me a really long time to decide but when I saw this picture on the Wedding Bee boards....

Will you be my Bridesmaid cards :  wedding bridesmaid cards invitation silver bridesmaids diy Bmcardsring
it was pretty easy for me to come to the conclusion that I wanted to "propose" with a ring, duh!  And to take it a step further, I decided that I wanted it to be a ring I could stack, so at every wedding event the girls attend, I can thank them with a little something to add to the stack.  I figured there'd be 5 rings total: 1 each for the "proposal", engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, and one more for the big day.

So I went on the hunt for a really special ring to be the first in the set; preferably something that could be worn alone, since it's the first.  And I found these puppies one day on an ideeli jewelry sale and knew they were perfect:


They're white, yellow and rose gold plated stacking eternity rings.  Each girl got one ring in her card.  

Speaking of the card...

Here's what I did:  I got a box of blank, clearance note cards and envelope, two rubber stamps, and some gray ink from Michael's, and got to work.

There's something about handwritten cards that I love love love!

I wanted to do ring boxes, but I thought I'd be shipping these out for Christmas and wanted to conserve on space.  I ended up just giving them to my cousin during our trip to Vegas so she could go back to Florida and hand them out to the girls down there-so it was a good thing I decided to conserve space so Jennica could put them in her luggage.

I cut a little slit in the bottom of the card and slipped the ring onto some Christmas ribbon and slid the ribbon into the slit.

The girls LOVED them.  They all called giggling like crazy and I didn't get made fun of once! (I think the shiny shiny present helped me there).  When I told them about more rings to come, they all bounced off the walls.  I'm so glad that they're as excited as I am about the wedding!

My sister (and matron of honor), Chris' sister (bridesmaid), and my cousin Jennica (maid of honor) got theirs in person.  I don't have a picture of Jen or Ashley because they got theirs Christmas morning and refused a close-up photo-op pre-makeup.  That's a lot of hyphens.  

But Jennica got hers during her birthday dinner at Lavo in Vegas.

She was super excited even though you can't tell.  She has a Victoria Beckham complex about smiling in pictures.  This is about as animated as she gets in front of a camera. Huge honor, lol!

I'm sure you're wondering about the boys' shirts too.  Well Chris gave most of them out in person to his brothers and best friends from childhood.  It was interesting that the girls were all giggling like idiots, but the boys took their rolls very seriously.  They all felt deeply honored to stand by my man on his big day. There were lots of one-arm man hugs and some tears may or may not have been shed, but I'm not naming names. ;)

Two of the groomsmen (my cousins) got their shirts through Jennica when she brought them home to Miami after meeting me in Vegas.  She was like my little pack mule.  The wedding's not for over a year and she's already my bitch. LOL, she's going to kill me.  Anyway, my two guys called to talk to Chris, and both were vehement about the bachelor party being scheduled on a day they could attend.  They totally have their priorities in order.....That's my family! Haha!

How did you propose to your maids?  Did your hubby insist on prezzies for the guys too?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Las Vegas for fun

Hello again, lovelies!

I'm continuing to hop across this little country of ours, so my schedule has been somewhat erratic.  This week I'm in Tampa; next week, West Palm Beach; the following week, Connecticut again; and after that is Louisiana and then bumf*ck nowhere Michigan.  Pray that I don't get eaten by a moose. Thanks!

But I do really need to get myself on some kind of schedule so I can get these posts out more regularly.

Anywho, 3 weeks ago (wow, time flies!), I went to Vegas with the fiance, my cousin Jennica and her boyfriend Jeffrey, and my sister and her friend Lindsay.  We walked a lot, ate a lot, drank a lot, spent a lot, and gambled a little.

I gotta admit, the gambling was the least appealing thing about Vegas for me.  I hate gambling.  By the end of the trip, we'd lost about $50, and all I can think is that with $50 I could have drank a hell of a lot more. We tried to get the most out of our money by ordering lots and lots of those free drinks while we gambled.  We hoped that whatever money we lost, we could recuperate in alcohol, but trying to find one of those pit waitresses is nearly impossible.  :(

While we were in Vegas, we saw as many of the hotels/casinos on the strip as possible, ate at fun/fancy restaurants, caught a bunch of free shows, and also saw some not-so-free shows, including Cirque de Soleil's "O" and Blue Man Group.

My favorite day was when we rented a car and drove out to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.   Jeffrey was really really hyper.  He was bouncing off the walls of the van.  We nearly peed our pants laughing at his antics.  At one point, he jumped out of the car, put his shirt on his head and pretended to be running across the boarder; which is extra hilarious for us because Jeffrey and Chris are always making fun of us Cubans for "swimming to the states", so we tease them for being central/south American and say that they ran across the boarder.


On the way to the Canyon, we found this ranch that had all this really random stuff on it, like a mini-Old Western town made up of movie set style facades-complete with a jail and gallows, dirty one-eyed dogs with bandanna collars, covered wagons, and tepees. It was so stereotypically "rest-stop in the middle of nowhere", that we ran around like nuts having fun and taking pictures before my sister made us leave because she felt like the ranch was a creepy place where people disappear. (NUT JOB, my sister is)

And then we got to the Canyon:

As you can see, we're pretty freaked out in some of these pictures.  Check out Jennica panicking in that middle one, lol!

There are no rails, guards, ropes, safety nets, fences, or any protection of any kind when you get to the Grand Canyon.  You could walk right up to the edge and jump off, and there'd be nothing and no one to stop you.  In fact, some people free climbed down the side a little.  We decided not to be that stupid.

It was beautiful, even thought it was a little crazy to be that close to the edge with crowds of people around. Chris was freaking out because he's afraid of heights and I'm so proud of him because he got really close to the edge!!  He realized it was so beautiful, that it would be pretty silly to not see it just because you're afraid.  This is what living fearlessly is all about.  It's not about not having fear. It's about learning to overcome it.   

I, on the other hand, have no fear of heights and have been to the canyon before, so I was running around like a loon and taking pictures.  Chris only yelled at me a little. :)

I took so many pictures, that I started getting bored and I messed around with some of them using different apps on my phone:

Not all of them are winners. Jennica looks like an Oompa Loompa and I look like a ghost in that top pic. 

Fuuuuuuuun!  This ended up being a really awesome vacation despite the fact that the three of us (Jennifer, Jennica and I) fight like reality star sisters whenever we get together.  We're always quick to forgive and forget though.  That's just how we roll.  We know that if the shizz ever really hits the fan, we'd each want the others fighting the zombies off along side us.

What was the last fun family vacation you went on?

One more set of pics!

Look at Jeffrey shaking his money maker with the belly dancer! LOL  I did it too! But I don't have pics :(

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yale via San Diego via Philadelphia

Did you miss me!?  I sure missed you!  I was really hoping that the holidays would calm things the eff down around here, but nay, 'twas not meant to be.  Things have only become more cray-cray.  And, if you're wondering: yes-I've had 4 cups of coffee this morning and it's only 11, so this is, in fact, the way I'll be writing this post.  Like I'm on crack.

I'm just trying to stay conscious 'cause I'm completely exhausted from our recent trip to Vegas!  But more on that in a future post.  There's so much to catch you up on that I'll have to break it up.

So first thing's first.  You know all that training I did way back when for the new position I was supposed to start a million years ago?  Yeah, I had almost forgotten about it too.  Well my shadowing period has officially begun!  It all sprang up so quickly that I didn't have time to tell you all.

Two weeks ago, I followed my mentor to San Diego and then followed my team lead to Connecticut.  All within 4 days.

San Diego was an ideal first site.  The city itself was gorgeous and the office we visited was in the middle of the city, in a beautiful shopping strip.  Oh, and did I mention it was a spa?  Yeah-I spent the whole day in a medical spa that smelled pretty and had soothing music, where a dermatologist offered me a facial during my next visit.  Yes, it was as amazeballs as it sounds.  Take a look!

Clockwise from top left: Nighttime view of the bay's lighthouse from my hotel room; Sunset from my hotel room; my crazy meal at Indigo Grill; the view from my office at the spa; my dessert at Indigo Grill
Also, it was restaurant week in San Diego, so my mentor and I had this incredible 3 course meal at Indigo Grill for $30.  It was a ridiculous amount of ridiculously good food......Ridiculous.  I highly recommend it if you're ever in San Diego.   Ridiculous. Seriously. Go.

Off to Yale via airplane from San Diego and Amtrak from Newark, NJ:

Clockwise from top left: My view from my Yale hotel room; me having a Rory Gilmore moment at the Yale bookstore (where I bought tees for me and Chris);  cuddled up in my room at the hotel that was meant to look like a dorm (um, fun?) watching foodnetwork; North Jersey swooshing by on the Amtrak; where they keep the smart people; the baggage carousel at Newark Airport

Then I headed to Yale to rub elbows with super smart people.  The OB I met there (my study works with OB/GYNs) is one of the best in the world and meeting him was a little intimidating just because it was hard to follow along with what he was saying.  This guy's brain worked on a whole other level.

A slide from a funny presentation our German team made about being a CRA

He was all "Blah blah blah, Yale gobbledygook, smart blah, Yale" and I was like "huh, what?"

I was really glad to have my team lead with me on this one.  Even she had trouble following what the heck this guy was saying.  He was so far over my head.  He wanted to know about the technology behind the device we're studying and all I could think is, "Dude, I haven't even seen the thing. We're just taking blood samples for it."  So overwhelming. And embarrassing.  I mean, who regards a top-level doctor, even in their heads, as "Dude"? I'll tell you who does that.  She's got two thumbs and didn't go to Yale.

I'm sure I'll have a ton more opportunities to feel overwhelmed and stupid as I meet more doctors across the country, and you all have the special privilege of following along with me on this journey.  Lucky you!

Next post I'll re-cap some of our not-for-work-but-for-fun Trip to Vegas!  And next week I'll be in Houston for work (which I'm super excited about because I have a ton of friends in Houston that I can't wait to visit!)

I'm kind of bummed to find out that Houston is so far from Austin because I really wanted to visit my pals Amanda (aka Wedding Bee's Mrs Cardigan) and her hubby Corey from Love & Renovations and make them go shopping with me for super awesome furniture.  On a map, the two cities look deceivingly close together, but I just googled it and it's like 3 hours!  Unfortunately, I've only got the one evening in Houston free. :(  Oh well, maybe I'll get a site closer to Austin and make it happen soon.

Have you guys ever been overwhelmed at work? How did you handle it?