Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: My Texas Bridal Shower!!

I'm so behind in posting this, but better late than never!

After attending bridal shower after bridal shower, there was definitely a part of me that thought "Well I can't wait until it's me in that chair, surrounded by all of these fabulous people to celebrate me getting married!"  So once Brian and I were engaged and getting married became real, I had a little obstacle to face in regards to showers.  With Brian being from Massachusetts and me being from Texas, our people were spread all over the place, including my bridesmaids.  Knowing that I would never expect anyone to travel anywhere for a shower, considering they're already traveling for the wedding, I broached the topic of possibly having a shower in Texas and a shower in Boston, and everyone was completely on board (whew!).  So half of my girls planned one and the other have planned the other, and I just felt so lucky to get to celebrate with two different groups of my people twice!

Brian and I flew home late June for a whirlwind trip of lots of family, lots of food, and my Texas bridal shower!  It honestly could not have been any more perfect and still makes me teary thinking about all of the effort and planning that went in to that day.  The girls made sure that I had zero idea of the plans, aside from the location and who would be there.  Decorations, details... I didn't know a thing and I loved being surprised!

There was a very southern/Texan feeling, which was fabulous.  My mom brought my dad's cowboy boots and they filled them with hydrangea (one of my favorites) and had that on the gift table when you first walked in.  (And that would be a sneak peek of one of our engagement pictures in the bottom right of the picture!  Our photographer says our gallery should be ready next week!!)


Our family and friends were so beyond generous and gifted us with such wonderful things from our registries!  One of my oldest friends in the world, Carol, knows me through and through-- she showed up with a fantastic wine basket!  There were two bottles of Texas wine, a bottle tote that said "Keep Calm and Pour More Wine," a fun little sign that read "Wine improves with age; I improve with wine" which I promptly hung up once we were home... it was so cute.  And because we couldn't take the wine in our carry-on bags, we of course just HAD to open the bottles once we were back at my parents house and sorting through everything. 

Everyone of course knew that we would have to take our gifts back to Boston with us, so we received lots of gift cards to our stores, and several cards with the gift receipt for an item that had been shipped to our apartment!  So considerate and genius of everyone to consider the traveling when they chose what to bring to the shower.  

And because I know there are lots of y'all who have either planned or will be the bride-to-be at a shower where you'll have to travel back to your home with gifts, I have a suggestion for you.  We received a few items that were a bit too large/heavy to fly back home, so our solution was to return them to the store they were purchased from, take the gift card that we were given from the store, and repurchase the item once we were back in Boston.  It worked out perfectly, and since we registered at Macy's, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, it was easy enough to find a local store to make the swap.  

A gift that I want to remember specifically was from my mom's friend and coworker, Lisa.  Her daughter and only child, Lindsay, was killed in a horrifically tragic accident several years ago, and I had told my mom that I beyond understood if Lisa was unable to attend, if it would just be too hard to be at that kind of event.  Well, Lisa came and hugged me tight and it made my heart happy to see her there.  When I started opening gifts and came to hers, I unwrapped it and immediately noticed that the Pampered Chef cardboard box had "Lindsay" written in black marker on the top.  Inside was a cupcake pan, just like the one that I had registered for.  I started to tear up as Lisa explained that she had purchased the pan as a gift for Lindsay before the accident, and how when she was looking through my registry and came across the cupcake pan, it was as if Lindsay was telling her "You've got the perfect thing for that, Mom!"  By then we were all in tears and I love with all of my heart how I will think of her sweet girl every single time I use that pan.

The day just wouldn't have happened without these two wonderful ladies.  My mom and my Aunt Linda took over lots of the big planning after a little wedding party snafu early on, and they did such a good job with everything, from the food to the pictures to the centerpieces that they handmade (and I have to say, they are not known for their crafting skills).  They just kept saying that they wanted the day to be perfect for me, and IT WAS.  Love them so much! 

Me and my Keegan!  One of my amazing bridesmaids and one of the best friends a girl could possibly have.  And at the time she had a two month old at home-- she looked amazing!  She is that friend who I hadn't seen in FOREVER but as soon as I saw her and hugged her neck, it was like we were right back where we left off.  She added so many fun details to the shower, and gets major points for doing it all with a newborn! 
.

Two of my oldest friends in the world, Carol (l) and Amanda, my maid of honor!  They have known me since my supremely awkward middle school days of wearing khaki shorts and my dark brown Doc Marten sandals (and I've always been this pale-- picture it and know the unfortunateness of that pairing) and love me anyways.  From high school graduation to college graduation, to weddings and grown up jobs, we've been together through it all, and it's the best feeling in the world to be around people who know YOU, not the pretend you who sometimes has to come out to play to socialize and be social when you really want to be home in yoga pants.  They're the friends who I shared my very first drink with (Smirnoff Ice for the win!) and who I have been more drunkity-drunk with than I care to remember but will hopefully never ever forget because THE LAUGHS.  The laughs that we've shared, drunk and sober, happy and sad, good times and bad, just make friendship what it is supposed to be.  So these two faces made me so very happy that day.
 

There were a million little details that I know are recorded in pictures somewhere,  I just have to track them down!  My cake was actually two small cakes, one with Texas drawn on and the other with Massachusetts, and a trail of hearts connecting the two, similar to our save the date!  The favors were mini succulents that my mom's best friend had individually potted for everyone, as well as pairs of red socks for the guests to take home :)  

I honestly couldn't have asked for a more perfect shower.  At the end I thanked everyone for coming and nearly fell out in tears as I talked about how they're my people, the ones who have known me from the very beginning, and who I feel so blessed and lucky to have in my life and so grateful for them to have welcomed Brian into the big circle of crazy as well.  It's a wonderful thing to be surrounded by those who are closest to you, and I just love that they're all a part of such a big next step in my life!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites

Thank the Lord it is finally the weekend-- this felt like the longest week ever!  And doesn't the week always seem to drag even more when you have a particularly lovely weekend lined up to look forward to?  Fridays are always a good thing but today feels EXCEPTIONALLY good!!  


I think I can mark that up to waking up this morning and having my mama under the same roof as me.  She landed in Boston safe and sound last night.  I have to say, she's becoming quite the seasoned traveler.  I'm a big advocate of taking the time to park and go in and meet someone when you're picking them up, if even just because you're so excited to see them you can't wait any longer!  Well, by the time we had parked and walked inside, my mom had already claimed her bag and was waiting for us by the elevators!  So right back around we turned and headed to the car as my mom proudly said "I'm becoming quite the seasoned traveler!"  Yes mama, you most certainly are.

As I mentioned yesterday, while I'm working the day away today, she's going to spend the afternoon with the ladies in Brian's family doing shower prep (Lord bless her-- things may get crazy there), and Brian and I will meet everyone after we're off of work.  It's a fun kickoff to the weekend, which I feel like is just going to get better and better.  The only thing missing is having the rest of my people here-- my dad, brother, and my Texas bridesmaids!  

Because I'm always in such a good mood on Fridays, and because I've already given a rundown of our weekend plans, I'm throwing my recent favorite things out there, just because I can!  

1. This kitten, hat and all, needs to be in my life.

2. Fantastic does not cover these little bags of delight!

3. Gotta give creative props to this husband... 

4. A guide to using every possible attachment on your KitchenAid mixer?  Sign me up! 

5. I do not have baby fever.  I do not have baby fever.  I do no-- okay, maybe just a tiny bit.
 

6. And last but not least, because we have all felt this way time after time... 


Happy Friday, y'all!  Hope your weekend is fabulous.




Thursday, July 17, 2014

A little bit of this and that

We are officially at 114 days and counting until The Big Day and today is a very EXCITED day!  I mean, I'm always excited to be marrying Brian, but there have definitely been days where I've let stress and worry about silly little things overpower that excitement.  I made a conscious decision over the weekend to just keep hammering away at my list and to have everything taken care of that I can one month before the wedding.  I know that little things will come up, and that there will be final decisions to be made as last RSVPs trickle in and such, but aside from that, if something can be taken care of ahead of time, it will be.  For the sake of my sanity and everyone's around me.  


There was a really silly part of me that thought figuring out all of the little details would be the fun, relaxing part.  I lied to myself.  The little details stress me out MORE, whereas the big things were easy to check off of my list.  I know it will all be worth it at the end once I can see everything come together, but right now I'm just trying to power through and make a few big decisions so everything else can fall into place.


I've managed to get a good amount taken care of so far in July, but there are still a handful of things left: 

*Decide on the color/design of ties and socks for our groomsmen
*Buy my veil
*Make another little DIY for our flower girl
*Finalize and order our invitations!!
*Finalize and order our guestbook
*Decide on day-of jewelry 
*Try out options for shoes
*Finish putting together wedding party gifts 
*Finalize guest transportation to and from the hotels to the ceremony, reception, and back at the end of the night 
*Order the little details for the cocktail hour/reception 

On the super bright side of everything, my mom flies in to Boston tonight for the weekend, and we're going to be checking off A LOT of those items, thank goodness!  Sometimes you just need mom there to help you make a decision.  I have the best little weekend planned for us which I think she's also pretty excited for!  I unfortunately have to work tomorrow, so she's heading down to spend the day with my future mother and sisters-in-law, and my MA bridesmaids while they do shower prep, and then Brian and I will meet her after work and take her to dinner.  Sunday she and I are getting up early and heading to the beach, and then hunkering down in the afternoon to clear away those to-do items.  Monday I have to work again but am hoping that I can figure out a way to work from home, so I can at least spend time with her, and then early Tuesday morning she heads back to Texas (sad face).

What was that?  I forgot Saturday?  Ohh that's right-- how could I forget?!  This Saturday is my Boston wedding shower-- and I'm SO looking forward to it!  I feel so lucky and thankful to have been able to have two wedding showers, with the first being with my family and the women who have known me the majority of my life, and this shower will be the new additions to my family and the women who have known me since I moved here, so for the duration of our entire relationship.  It's like a full circle celebration, and I've loved getting to have all of my favorite people in one room to celebrate with me.


Alrighty, ladies.  I'm off to Target and Trader Joe's-- I have a few last minute essentials and fresh flowers to pick up before my Mama arrives!  Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

At least it's only once a year...

How is it already Tuesday?  I don't know if it's the wedding countdown, failing at house hunting, or just the crazy amount of things that I'm trying to get done every day, but there are some mornings where I wake up and have no idea what day it is.  Last Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment and my doctor was trying to think of the name of something, and I laughed and said "Oh, it's okay-- it's such a Monday today!" And she looked at me like I was a little crazy because no... no, it was definitely a Tuesday, not such a Monday.  This week is throwing me for ANOTHER loop because it's already Tuesday, which means I have one full day on Wednesday to get ready for my mom flying in on Thursday, and then Friday I have to work and we're taking my mom out for dinner, and Saturday is my shower here in Boston!  So there's a lot of "When in God's name am I going to get it all done?!" going on.  At least we're coming off of a semi-relaxing weekend...

Saturday was, as expected, a little insane.  I dropped Brian and the boys off at the golf course around 10am on Saturday and went straight to the beach.  There had been big plans in my agenda to get wedding crafts taken care of but, alas, I ditched them for the beach-- always a good idea.  I love love love the beach that I frequent-- how can you possibly not? 


A good beach day just wasn't in my cards for that day.  The parking lot was packed when I pulled in, but I hoped for the best, and lugged my little chair and beach bag to the sand... only to see that it was basically wall-to-wall people.  The only spot that I could find was directly in front of a trash can, with a family and two toddlers to the left, and a threesome of older women to my right who were sipping wine coolers and talking about things that I wish I could un-hear (seriously).  Still trying to make the best of it, I pulled on my old lady sunhat, slathered on my sunscreen, and pulled out my book.  


After about two hours, I threw in the towel-- even for this Texas girl, it was HOT and the beach and I were just not getting along that day, so I packed it up and hit the road.  Back at home in my glorious air-conditioning, I showered, watched This is 40 for the thousandth time, and waited to hear from Brian that they were wrapping up.  Fast forward FIVE HOURS and I decide to go to the golf course and wait, rather than have to make the half hour drive while they stood around. 

As I said before, I've been doing this little chauffeur day for the last several years now, but it never. gets. old. seeing the crew of them post-tournament.  There is nothing sloppier, but I can't help but laugh at them.  I did take pictures, but for the sake of all of them, I can't share-- you probably would not even want to see.  Just picture 32 very drunk grown men acting like children in a parking lot as they have a trophy ceremony and try to gather themselves enough to load up and get home.  It did make me feel much better this year to see so many girls there to drive them home.  My perspective for that entire day is that they can be as drunk and stupid as they would like, as long as they aren't driving.  

I finally rounded up the four riding in our car and took them to Wendy's, per request, for "lots of nuggets and a Frosty," as one of them kept repeating.  All I could think was "They need something to soak up THE ALCOHOL, ALL OF THE ALCOHOL!"  I honest to God wanted to wait in the car so I didn't have to witness their drunken shenanigans in public, but I braved it and followed them inside.  It was then that I witnessed the most impressive drunk ordering I have ever seen, as guy after guy ordered bacon cheeseburgers with extra cheese, "Can you put cheese on those?" fries, nuggets with ranch mixed with sweet and sour sauce for dipping... I could not stop laughing, while I admittedly counted down the seconds for them to finish and I could get them out of the public eye.  It was like their manners had fully reverted back to fifth grade-- I was mortified.

From there we went to someone's house where there was supposedly a fun after party going on.  I guess drinking heavily for 10 hours will take it out of you, because we walked into a living room with six guys sitting on a couch, watching Deep Impact.  We stayed about an hour before I told Brian that I was leaving (I was the only girl and while I know all of the guys, they were a hot mess and I was stone cold sober and wanted to go HOME), and he could round up his friends or I would do it.  I dropped seven boys off at their homes that night, and I can honestly say that I feel like I did my duty.  They could have sat in the trunk for all I cared-- if I could get them home safe, I didn't care if we had to roll them to their front door, at least they weren't in one of the other guys' cars who had zero business being behind a wheel.  We finally made it home around midnight and I fell asleep thinking "Thank God today only happens once a year." 

Sunday I woke up, hit the gym, and picked up coffees while Brian remained dead to the world.  He woke up up when I made breakfast and decided he felt pretty good, but it was that hangover fake-out of feeling invincible upon waking, and then feeling like death once you get moving.  I left to run errands while he huddled in the fetal position on the couch.  And then, I scored the biggest wedding victory that I've yet to come across.  We had just been discussing ordering all of our votive candles and were estimating spending around $150.  While I was out, I stopped into Joann's Fabrics to pick up materials to make our ring bearer pillow and happened to wander down the candle aisle... and did a victory dance.  They had ALL of their candles marked down, and I found 6-packs of filled votives from $5.99 to $1.97, 3 packs of flameless candles from $5.99 to $1.97 (to use in the windows at our reception), and a 12 pack of hurricane votive holders from $4.99 to $1.97.  I CLEANED THEM OUT.  

my candle haul

I went home with 114 filled votives, 6 flameless candles, and 12 votive holders for $40 because on top of the sale, I had a 20% off coupon that applied to my entire purchase, regular and sale items.  I may have danced out of the store I was so happy.  And then I went to Michael's and not only found our baskets for the bathrooms at the reception (marked down 40% off) but also our card basket!  


This little pretty was $24.99, marked 60% off for being spring merchandise, and I had a coupon for 25% off my entire purchase including regular and sale items, so I got the baskets and the card cage... thing for $13-ish total.  I love it-- it's different from a standard card basket/birdcage, and I can use it again in our home after the wedding!  I was a little bummed because they had a cage that had a super cute crown on top, but it opened from the bottom and wouldn't be ideal for keeping cards contained, so the fleur-de-lis it was!  

It was a much-needed weekend of fun and relaxation for Brian, and a fantastic weekend for me to get a few BIG check marks taken care of on my to-do list!  If you're wondering, Brian finally feels human again today.  I kept telling him that his liver isn't what it used to be, and after still feeling like death for most of YESTERDAY, I think he realized that I may be right.

Tomorrow I have lots of fun wedding updates to share, including my Texas bridal shower (finally, right?)!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Finally Friday!!

Why is it that the first work week after a long weekend feels like it's never, ever going to end?!  I try hard not to wish the days away but good gracious, there were a few times this week when I was watching the minute second slooooowly drag towards 5 o'clock.  But FRIDAY is finally here and I'm pretty darn excited for the weekend!  We've hit that point in the summer where it seems like there are things happening every single weekend, so we try to enjoy the rare relaxing Saturday and Sunday whenever we can.  The next handful of weekends are jam-packed with wedding (squee!) and family things, so I plan to soak up every second of my free time in the next two days!

Every year for the last four years, Brian and his friends from high school put on a huge golf tournament.  And when I say friends from high school, it's like all friends and acquaintances-- there are 32 of them that group off into fours and drink and play the day away.  I actually kind of love it because everyone ALWAYS makes it a point to be here for the tournament.  Kids that have moved away come home.  Vacations are planned around the Daly.  All girlfriends/fiancees/wives make sure to write the confirmed weekend in their planners as soon as the date is booked because it would take an act of God to interfere with this weekend.  And now the guys are starting to get married, kids will come along in the next several years, and they all talk about how fun it will be when THEIR kids show up at the end of the tournament to see dad.  I mean really-- melt my darn heart.  

On the other hand, one of the requirements of completing the tournament is that you have to consume an obscene amount of beer before the 18th hole, so they're pretty sloppy by the end.  Enter moi, the yearly chauffeur.  There is no shame in my "You have no choice-- I'm picking you up" game, and Brian's best friends have come to rely on my driving services as well.  I even show up at the end of the night with a bag of McDonald's and Gatorade (prize-winning fiancee, right here) and drop them off in their driveways.  


While the boys are golfing, I fully intend to make my usual rounds to Target and Trader Joe's, stop by Michael's and Pier 1 to pick up a few wedding-related items, and then park myself at the beach for the day!  My second wedding shower is next Saturday and there are few things that look worse on a pale bride-to-be than a white dress.  So I'm trying to safely get a little color so I don't look like Casper Katie.  And nothing beats relaxing with your toes in the sand, a a good book in your hands, and the ocean in front of you.


Sunday we have zero plans, which I'm hoping leads to a late morning sleeping in, a yummy breakfast, and putting together a few wedding crafts (me) and watching golf/recovering (Brian).  Round that off with a date night dinner, and I think I've just described my perfect end to a weekend.  Hope you lovelies enjoy your two days ahead of freedom as well!

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July weekend in New Hampshire!

Kicking off the Monday after a fabulous long weekend is always so tough, especially when your last few days have consisted of sipping cocktails and relaxing in the sunny weather!

We drove up to New Hampshire early Friday morning and were lucky enough to not hit any traffic along the way!  Armed with my Kindle and the new Jennifer Weiner book (honestly, I kind of loved it and blew through it in a day and a half!), I was the ideal co-pilot/navigator.


With Arthur blowing into town, we were a little worried that we'd either get hit with really bad weather, or get stuck with everyone else heading out of Boston, but things were smooth sailing and after a quick stop at the liquor barn, we made it to Tilton in record time.  After a quick stop to check-in at our bed and breakfast, we headed over to Brian's family's condo for some fun... right about the time that the skies opened up.

There were twelve people in that condo, including us, so we had to keep busy or we'd all have gone nuts!  So we alternated between games on the beach when the rain slowed down and it was just lightly sprinkling, working on a puzzle on the porch... and drinking.  When it's raining and there's nothing else to do, how else do you occupy your time?!  One of the cousins had purchased 120 sparklers for the weekend, so we spent a good amount of time outside playing with those and trying to slow-spell words (big fat fail, thanks to no better cameras present than our iPhones).

Please note all of the patriotic gear.  Every single person came decked out in red, white and blue, completely unplanned-- loved it!


We stayed pretty late, hoping to wait out the rain since we had a decent walk back to our car from the condo.  People around the lake were trying to rally and set off a few fireworks here and there in the rain, so we turned off all of the lights and were sitting around on the porch to see that.  The whole fun of the lake on the Fourth is to take the boat out and see all of the fireworks going off all above you and around the lake.  We did it last year and it was the perfect end to the day!  Oh well-- can't help Mother Nature!

At one point, someone proposed the idea of telling ghost stories since we were all sitting in the dark anyways.  I hate being scared.  Legitimately just... hate the feeling.  And honestly, thinking about ghosts scares me WAY more than thinking of someone coming after me in the woods or something, a la Halloween/Friday the 13th.  No, Paranormal Activity will about do me in and knock any possibility of sleep out my realm for a good few nights.  So add ghost stories to the fact that we were staying in a spooky B&B and I was fit to be tied sitting there listening to all of that mess.  We finally left around 11pm and you can bet that I slept with the TV on in our room all night long.

Saturday we woke up the most absolutely GORGEOUS day.  After a quick breakfast, we headed back over to the condo to find EVERYONE sitting around on the boat or floating off of the dock.  It was the perfect way to start the day and just RELAX.



Unfortunately, "relax" isn't a word that resonates well with some of the family members, so sunning on the boat quickly turned into a field/beach day, involving several other families in the little condo community.  There were tournaments galore-- volleyball, corn hole, KanJam, washers.  

The volleyball crew, minus me and the girls.

 I can play corn hole all day long, but an athlete I am not, so volleyball just isn't my thing-- I actually kind of hate it.  So imagine my relief when the neighbors came up and wanted to play, too.  I quickly retreated to my chair with my Vino2Go and was ALL SET.



After lunch and a stop for drink refills, we headed out for a boat trip around the lake with some of my favorites!  Again, non-athlete writing here, so I enjoy the breeze and sip a beverage while cheering on and taking pictures of whomever may be wakeboarding at the time.

Fantastic friend, bridesmaid, and Brian's cousin's wife, Candice!

Brian all ready for wakeboarding

He's braver than me!

We had the big OAR/Phillip Phillips concert to get ready for that night, so we decided to head back to our B&B to shower and get ready (and to take a breather and relax for a hot second, justbeinghonest).  After a bath, coconut lotion, and a good sock bun, I was like a new woman!  I can't lie, after being going non-stop all day, I wasn't sure I'd be able to rally for the night (old person, party of 1), but once we'd made our way back to the condo, everyone's excitement for the night ahead was contagious and my yawns turned into smiles.  We had a quick dinner of burgers and salad, stopped for a few pictures, and then were on our way!



We went to see Journey (minus Steve Perry, so faux-Journey) last summer, and the venue was absolutely mobbed.  Apparently OAR doesn't draw quite as big of a crowd because the place was about half full.  I can't complain-- the sun stayed out all day, and once it went down, everything cooled off just perfectly, so on top of not being packed into our seats, and it made the evening that much more enjoyable!  We stopped for drinks then made our way to our seats for the show-- such a fun night!



#palepeopleprobs aka, our children have no chance of being tan


the scene of summer.


I was a little more excited about OAR than Mr. Phillips, so no pictures of them but they were pretty fantastic!  All in all it was such a fun night, and I think everyone agrees that a concert trip will become a summer tradition for everyone-- love that! 

Yesterday morning we were up and at breakfast pretty early (Hawaiian Eggs Benedict, oh yes ma'am!), made a quick stop at the outlets, then were back on the road by 10:30am to head home.  I'd heard horror stories about traffic coming back into Boston after a holiday weekend, so we both wanted to make sure we were well ahead of the rush.  Brian's cousins actually got stuck in the thick of it right around 2pm, so we were lucky!  We were back at the apartment by 12:30, and after a stop at the grocery store and easy dinner, I got to relax on the couch and finish my book while Brian cooked-- basically my perfect night.

And now we're back to Monday!  Thankfully the day is going by relatively quickly, but the work week after a holiday weekend always seems so terribly LONG!  Hope y'all had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend!!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

High maintenance.

We have big plans for the weekend of July 4th to head up to New Hampshire to Brian's aunt and uncle's condo on Lake Winnisquam and spend a couple of days with his cousins and their girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses while indulging in lots of beverages, boat time and a concert on the night of the fifth which I am nerdily excited for... nerdily excited to the point that I almost don't want to tell you who's performing.  But I've reached the age of "I have no shame," so i'll share-- it's Phillip Phillips and OAR.  


I'm telling myself this will be a good combo, because I love Mr. Phillips and his Dave Matthews-esque stomping and dancing around the stage (plus "Home" makes me at least tear up every single time I hear it), and I think Brian's having a big ole flashback to yesteryear with OAR.  We've been debating what kind of crowds these two acts will attract, and we've settled on a combination of the following: a fair share of teeny boppers with "Marry Me Phillip!!" signs, frat-tastic bros, hippies (we're in backwoods NH after all), and the ever-present group of girls dressed in sundresses and Jacks and guys in polos and boat shoes in their mid to late 20s (in case you're wondering that's where we fall).  I think it will be a fun night, although it definitely freaks me out a little that we're now attending shows of bands that we liked when they were new and at their peak, they went away for awhile, and now they're back for a comeback tour (so, we're getting old).

The one negative of the weekend is that we'll be staying in a hotel instead of at the condo with everyone else.  That's not actually a negative for me because I love staying in hotels, but long story short, it would be saving a lot of buckaroos because the rooms weren't exactly cheap near a hugely popular lake the weekend of July 4th, and while Brian suggested a tent and I think he was half-kidding, I laid down the "I would rather not go than sleep on the ground outside in July" law.  The hotel ended up being our only option because while the condo is the perfect size for his aunt, uncle and their kids (and significant others), but once additional people start adding on, it gets a little cramped.  Plus there's only one bathroom and no air conditioning, and as bratty and first world problem as it may sound... I need the air conditioning.  This need is a source for many pointless arguments between myself and B, but I will argue for cool air probably until the day that I die.  This has earned me the honor of being called high maintenance, and I'm totally fine with that.

I blame it on being a born and raised Texan-- as soon as the temps hit the high 70s, the air conditioning came on, because although the heat may not have been bad yet, you could guarantee that the humidity would be stifling.  In the summer, you race from the house to the car, crack the windows and crank the AC to get the heat out before you get in, drive to your destination, and then sprint into the air-conditioned building.  I am not made for heat-- my hair loses its curl, I get angry and irritated REAL fast, and I will potentially sweat to death.  High maintenance.

When I first decided to move to Boston and began the apartment search, I was laughed off the phone by real estate agent after real estate agent when I said that I'd like a unit with air conditioning.  Needless to say, that was not in my budget.  But you can bet that the day after I moved in, I took the train to Best Buy, bought myself a window unit, carried it home in my arms on the train, and set it up myself.  It may have meant I spent the majority of the summer locked in my room with a towel shoved under the door so the cold air couldn't seep out, but I was nice and cool.  High maintenance.

When Brian and I first started looking for our first apartment together, I knew that central air would, once again, be a necessity.  If you're wondering, yes, we found it, and yes, aside from in-unit washer and dryer, it's the best decision we've made.  While central AC is becoming more and more common around here, there are still plenty of apartments and homes that just... don't have it.  Growing up, Brian's house had zero AC, and then when his parents remodeled once he was in high school, they took the jump and added it on.  So, he grew up with open windows 24/7.  There have been times that we nearly came to blows over the fact that we have central AC, I'm absolutely burning up, and he's covered up under a blanket, but he insists the windows are open.  We've come to a semi-compromise that if it's cool enough outside and the humidity isn't terrible, that we'll leave the windows open until bed, and then turn on the AC so I don't have to be hot during the night.  High maintenance.

And now we're house hunting.  Our budget is pretty fair for the average late-20s couple in our area (or so I'd like to think), so it is, shall I say... sort of limited?  We've been on the hunt for several months now and we've found maybe three houses that had "Our First Home" potential, and we lost them all.  I may or may not be complicating the process by refusing to look at any home that either does not already have central AC, or does not have the duct work already done to easily install central AC (a mere $1000, which I would gladly pay myself and YES, I have looked into it), and I refuse to feel guilty for that.  I want to be cool and comfortable in my own home, and there is nothing cool and comfortable about immediately beginning to sweat when you get out of the shower.  High maintenance.

At least I come by it honestly.  My mom, aunt, and two of my bridesmaids are planning my shower at home in Texas (which is next weekend, whoop whoop!) and when they went to look at the venue where it's being held, they had two options of rooms to decide between-- a loft space which was tight to fit everyone but had full access to the open deck, or a larger open room with plenty of space to spread out but no open patio.  My mom told me later that when the coordinator kept pushing for the smaller room with patio access, my mom finally told her "Look ma'am, it will be mid-June, and we do not like to be hot.  We would like the room with all of the air conditioning PLEASE."  High maintenance-- I got it from my mama.

Now, I'm not a completely ridiculous person.  I do love a good summer day like anyone else.  Being outside when I'm dressed and prepared for the heat?  Totally fine.  I love a good run outside on a hot and humid summer morning-- there's nothing more cleansing than spending an hour sweating all of the junk out of your body.  Going on a hike, sitting at the beach or on the boat, doing outside things... all fantastic, because I can prepare myself.  I can not do my hair, put on just a little makeup, and wear clothes that are going to make me the least hot.  But when I get full-blown ready and end up sweating my makeup off and trying to make my hair work in a topknot, things are going to get ugly.  So let's try to keep things nice and cool and I won't lose mine.