Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amy and Erik's Wedding!

On the morning of their wedding, we girls got together and had our hair done. Amy was such a calm and collected bride! Then we did our makeup and got into our dresses. One of my favorite parts of the day was when we went to Pike Place Market and had some professional pictures taken! It was jam packed - a sunny Saturday afternoon, so you can imagine - and we really felt like celebrities! People were clapping for Amy, shouting "Congratulations!", taking pictures of her, and one Asian lady wanted a picture with us! It was so fun!

Then we went to the church and waited for the ceremony to begin!

Here is the beautiful bride and groom after the ceremony:

My parents and Michael got to sit at a table with our lifelong friends, the Averys. I came over to get a group shot with them:

I've been friends with Keely since I was born, and Erik since I was 4. We lived near each other in Ohio, and then again in Seattle. Here we are together again, all grown up!

Michael and Luke dancing with the ring bearer after he'd changed into his jammies.

Us with the Newlyweds:

The wedding was perfect. As far as I could tell, everything went off beautifully and it was such a fun night! Our party of four were some of the last to leave for the night, seeing as we only had to take an elevator upstairs to our room! It was so great!

The next day we did some relaxing and exploring around Seattle before we had to leave. More to enjoy the experience than actually be transported somewhere, we decided to take a ferry to Bainbridge Island. I thought it was fun, the rest of the family thought it a tad windy:

It was a great weekend!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Michael's Birthday!

Even though I said the next post was going to be about Amy and Erik's wedding, I'm going to step a little out of order here. The reason is that we just had a little celebration of our own around here and I want to post about it!

On Friday, Michael turned 29!! We didn't have a lot planned for the occasion, because we had already had a trip to Seattle and were planning on having that be part of his celebration. Plus, my gift to Michael this year was a new golf club that he'd been wanting for a long time. He was in need of a new 3 Wood, so he picked one out and was able to use it the two times he played in Seattle.

Friday morning, Michael left work to meet me at a mortgage lender in Fountain Hills. Since I don't work on Fridays, it worked out nicely for me. We met with him and found out that we are approved for a loan to buy a house! I'm excited to get this, our second step toward buying a home, past us. The next step is to actually start looking at houses! Wow!

Michael went back to work, and I rushed home to bake some cookies! I then took them to Michael's office to surprise him. I was hoping to stroll into his office and give him the cookies...no big scene, just a quick smooch and I'm outta there. What I got: Michael in a big meeting with all his immediate coworkers and boss in the conference room! I was a little embarrassed to be standing there with a plate full of cookies, but they seemed appreciative! ;) I did get my smooch in, had a few laughs and then I left.

That night, we took it easy. We went out to dinner at Kona Grill, then came home and watched a movie. I know it wasn't the most exciting way to celebrate a birthday, but I was so glad to spend some time just the two of us after our recent exciting and eventful weekend trips.

Okay, so the next post will be about Amy and Erik's wedding, I promise!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our trip to Seattle

So I'm finally getting around to blogging about our trip to Seattle! Michael and I flew out on Wednesday, July 15th to visit Seattle for the wedding of my friends, Amy and Erik. The first night I got there, Amy and Erik picked me up from the airport and we had lunch together. (Michael flew in later that night). Later, we went out around Seattle for Amy's Bachelorette Party!
Here's a picture of me with the soon-to-be Bride!
The next day, my mom, Dad, Michael and I went to Pike Place Market. It was beautiful, packed with people, and full of interesting sights, sounds and tastes! (I loved all the free samples!)

Next, we all drove out to Redmond. We drove around and looked at all the places and things from the time that we lived there. Here Michael and I are sitting on the sign outside my old neighborhood:
We also got to stop in and see some old friends. At the Averys' house, Bob let us take a ride in his Ferrari! Michael and I both got to drive it! Friday night was the Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner. This whole trip was fun because I got to be so invovled in Amy and Erik's big day. Plus, I got to look back and remember all the excitement around our own wedding!Since I love posting so many pictures, I'm going to make a separate post for the wedding itself. Thanks for viewing!

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Night with Harry

I ended up going to the movie theater at about 4 pm. I had called the theater and found out that the line was getting long (already!) and didn't want to chance having to wait outside in the sweltering heat until midnight! I got there early and got a place in line, spreading out my things to wait for my two friends to get there.

Jaye, Lyndsey and I spent a good deal of time sitting around, talking, taking HP quizzes and playing games.
One thing that I brought with me to do was a pair of Michael's pants that had a seam loose. Michael had told me that he wanted to take these pants to Seattle, so I only had that night to get them done. Well, a news reporter saw me and decided to interview me! This was so fun, and I was totally psyched afterwards! I called a few people to see if someone could DVR it for me. Check it out! I'm at about the 1:40 mark: http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/entertainment/movies/harry_potter_movie_07_14_2009

As you might be able to imagine, sitting in very tight jeans for 8 hours can get a little uncomfortable. Specifically, my legs were hurting behind my knees where the denim was bunching (sitting cross-legged). Well, Michael was my hero and brought me some sweatpants to wear! Aww!

When they finally let us into the theater (about 10:30 pm), it was a madhouse. The three of us had to throw out our carefully-laid plans when we got held up behind a pack of slow-moving older people. Taking charge, I swiftly maneuvered around them and bounded up the stairs to find the perfect seats. We were pretty excited:

The whole experience was great! I was pleasantly surprised that the fans weren't screaming throughout the movie. We were able to enjoy it and still hear the whole thing! There's something really fun about going to a midnight showing. Everyone there is really devoted and loves the characters as much as you do. You have that one thing in common with everyone in the room. It's really fun.

So here's my review for the film: It was wonderful. I might say that it's the best one yet, but I'll have to go see it again to really be sure. It was definitely the funniest HP film yet. Even though it is full of darkness, as the characters are getting older and the danger is growing, there are so many comical and light scenes. Specifically, it's such a pleasure to watch the romantic scenes between all the characters. Amidst all this magic and fantasy and darkness, these scenes remind us that these characters are, after all, teenagers.

It's hard for me to say whether you could see this movie if you haven't seen the previous ones. A part of me wants to say 'yes' because it is a really good movie on its own. However, I'm going to go with 'no'. At this point in the series, too much stuff going on has to do with what has been done in the past. Plus, you have to understand the characters in order to really appreciate what is happening to them in this one.

Overall, I thought it was great. There were some things that were added that shouldn't have been, there were things that were left out that I would have liked to have seen. But it was still great. It was exciting, fast-paced, funny and heart-breaking. And it was magical. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Potter Plans

Well, we've been gearing up for a big week ahead! We took it easy this last weekend in preparation.

Tomorrow is when it all begins, folks. What begins? you might ask. I'll tell you:

My friend Jaye and I have been to every midnight showing of the Harry Potter movies (with the exception of the one when I was away at college). So we're sticking to tradition and going to see the next, sixth one tomorrow night at midnight. For those of you that don't know, this includes showing up at the theaters at around 5 pm, sitting on the uncomfortable floors for hours on end, taking relay trips to find sustenance, and generally engaging in dorky behaviors with all of our comrades in (ch)arms. Such behaviors may include, but are not limited to: re-reading the HP books, asking each other HP trivia, watching HP movies on portable DVD players and engaging in heated discussions about the underlying themes of the books. Can't wait. I have my list of things to pack all ready, including my "I [heart] Harry" tee shirt. Michael has chosen to forego this particular evening excursion.

The next day, we both head out to Seattle! I leave in the morning so I can make it in time for my friend Amy's bachelorette party. Michael comes out that night, and together we will take on the rainy city! (The forecast is actually very pleasant). I'm so excited to get back to the Evergreen State! I haven't been back for 8 years. Plus, I get to participate in a bunch of Amy's wedding festivities since I am one of her bridesmaids. So here's hoping we have a smooth and fun trip out there! I'm sure to be back with a lot of pictures and stories.

So I'll say goodbye! Just let me know if you want me to call you as soon as the midnight showing is over so I can give you my detailed review. It might, after all, be close to you east-coasters' time to get up!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

Last Tuesday I flew out to San Diego for the NEA conference. I was so excited when I got there. It was so beautiful, perfect weather, the hotel was right on the bay. My hotel room had a gorgeous view of the pool and the marina and the bay.

So the first night was great. Oh, how quickly things change.

Based on my experience with every other conference I've been to, I ordered a set amount of materials to be delivered to the conference. We ran out of these materials within three hours. Seriously, there was a constant stream/line of people inching past our booth. People were just asking for a freebie (we give away free home drug test kits) and not really interested in our program. My boss and I were exhausted and stressed, plus unsure about what we were going to do for the rest of the trip. I was worried that this would reflect poorly on me. Well, after a bunch of phone calls we arranged that a fellow employee would bring some materials out to us in San Diego. She was already going to drive out this weekend, and it would be a lot less expensive than overnighting materials. I was drained by the end of the day. But any day that ends with dinner at a place like this can't be all that bad:

Once the conference was over, Michael flew in town and we met with our friends Russell and Alexa. One of our first stops was Pacific Beach.

That night, Russell had to work at his bar on Pacific Beach, so the rest of the group ate dinner and got some margaritas. Then we headed to Russell's bar and had a great time.

Saturday we had a day full of partying. First, we all went to a house party. It was such a crazy atmosphere - within sight there were six houses that were having huge parties in their front yards. People were just wandering from one party to the next.

Everyone did a round on the ice luge.

Then we went to a party at an apartment right on the beach. It was on the ground-level patio and it was so pretty there!

Here's Russell and Alexa, then me drinking champagne out of a watermelon :)

Then we got to see some fireworks over the bay. This was the highlight of the day for me.