(Warning, this is a long post)
I’d like to start out with the short list of wedding-planning accomplishments that we managed to take care of during Nick’s break:
– Asked our bridesmaids and groomsmen to be in our wedding
– Asked a friend to become ordained and perform our ceremony
– Asked our ring bearer to be in our wedding
– Put together our guest list
– Discussed bands and narrowed it down to a few options
– Discussed photographers and picked one
– Took Nick to his first (and probably only) bridal show
For the most part, I’ve managed to post a blog about each of these items as they came along – the rest will be revealed below.
Nick’s break from school this time was a month long! It was so nice to have more than two weeks together. This time we were actually able to have some days to ourselves, even amongst the Christmas/Birthday/New Year Eve madness. We’re definitely a couple that stays insanely busy and keeps our calendars full:
12/12/13: Thursday night, Nick’s flight was supposed to come in around midnight. It had been delayed about an hour, but he made it home! When I picked him up from the airport I surprised him with his first Christmas present – the book “My Last Fight” by Darren McCarty (Detroit Red Wing’s ex-hockey player). I had to give him this present early because there was a book signing on Saturday he was planning to go to with other memorabilia (although FYI, car troubles prevented this from happening).
12/13/13: I did have to work during the day, but we used our first evening together to have a typical date night – dinner and a movie. Normally we get sucked into plans with everyone who misses him, but we insisted on a calm night this time. We had Italian at this cute little restaurant by my house and went from there to see The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. Can’t wait for the third movie!
12/14/13: We did not actually see each other this day. I spent the day baking Christmas goodies with my family, and he had spent the day with a friend. Pretty uneventful as far as “us” goes.
12/15/13: During the evening the day prior, a huge snow storm came through and made the roads nearly impossible to navigate. Unfortunately for Nick’s cousin, they were preparing to host a house-warming party and many cancelled. But not us! We braved the weather like true Michiganders and had a really nice time.
12/16/13: Every Monday I spend the evening with my family for dinner, games, and our Monday night TV shows. This Monday was no different besides the fact that Nick got to join. As an added bonus, none of the shows were new and we got to spend the whole night playing games instead.
12/17/13: On Tuesday we then had dinner with Nick’s family. They know me so well and prepared both lasagna AND mostaccioli. I love me some pasta. And by some I mean all. All the pasta. We then played numerous rounds of Rummikub, to which I definitely dominated. I was winning so much that I genuinely felt bad, thinking they’d never want to play a game with me again. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
12/18/13: On Wednesdays Nick and I enjoy a local dance club called Luna. It’s definitely our favorite and for a handful of reasons: Free (wells) drinks before 10pm, can reserve a table online, Wednesday music is a mix of top 40 and electronic/dubstep, music videos litter the walls the same way a sports event would litter Buffalo Wild Wings, and the crowd is full of hipsters/non-creepers. We danced our butts off.
12/19/13: On Thursdays, I have a few of Nick’s (and now mine as well) friends come over to watch the show Doctor Who. While he was home we kept this tradition alive, and he was able to ask his friend, Taylor, to be the officiant for our wedding. Taylor is not already ordained, so I’d printed out a few how-tos as well as a template for the ceremony so that he could make his decision. Luckily for us, he was more than happy to accept!
12/20/13: Since I work in advertising media, I very often get tickets to events and other special perks on a regular basis. This Saturday, one of our vendors was hosting a free screening of Anchorman 2 at a local theater, with pop, popcorn, and even alcoholic drinks included! We had a great time. And let me tell you – the guy sitting next to us thought it was the funniest movie ever, and his laughter definitely made us love this movie too.
12/21/13: This Saturday was the start of our Christmas-palooza festivities. We started the day hanging out with Nick’s uncle and niece (who is Nick’s godchild). Her name is Crystal, and she is one amazing girl: She is adopted, part Native American, and deaf (free ride to college anyone?). Nick is still learning sign language for her, and the two of them together are so cute!
We then spent the evening with my Mom’s side of the family. For this, Nick had purchased 4 foam swords to entertain all the little boys running around in my family. Oh my gosh were they a hit! When they were done opening their real presents, they just asked to play with the swords again. Nick is so good at this.
12/22/13: In the morning, Nick and I joined his uncle and niece again to see the movie Frozen (yay!). In case you’re wondering, no Crystal cannot hear the movie really. But she loves to watch still, and children’s movies are pretty easy to understand without the dialogue.
At night, the two of us went to see our first Detroit Symphony Orchestra performance together. So much talent was on that stage! One thing that drove me crazy though – in the middle of the show, the girl in front of me busts out her tablet and starts playing games! Are you kidding me right now? I let it last one song before I leaned forward to say something. I hope she was embarassed, and I hope her parents saw too. That’s just rude.
12/23/13: Mom surprised Nick (and my sister and her boyfriend) with tickets to the Red Wing’s game! We’re all big hockey fans and had a great time. Even though the Wing’s super lost. If they were playing beer pong, they’d have to do a naked lap. Just sayin’.
12/24/13 and 12/25/13: Lots and lots of Christmas parties. Like, eight of them.
And for funsies, here’s the Christmas card that went out from me and my roommate Doug:
12/26/13: Doctor Who night again! We got to watch the Christmas special together and see our new Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Afterwards we played a slew of games. During this I had asked one of my girlfriends to be a bridesmaid, and then proceed to verbally abuse her as she was beating me at the games. She must love me lol.
12/27/13: So excited that all this insane snow has an upside – we got to go skiing! Well, Denise and I went skiing, Nick and Lauren went snowboarding. The morning got off to a bad start when, upon arriving at the mountain, we realized that Nick forgot to put my ski boots in with the rest of the gear. So I trudged in all sour and rented a pair, but after that everything went amazingly. We had packed snacks and drinky drinks, and had a blast. We also got to see a stunning sunset – complete with shiny ice and a hilltop view.
Afterwards my girls and I had our annual Christmas party and hung out all night. It was great to catch up with everyone who is away at school all the time.
12/28/13: In the morning, my Nana took myself and a few other family members out for both mine and my cousin’s birthday. She is a Christmas Eve baby, and my birthday is the 29th. On top of that, one of my best friend’s birthday is the 28th! Sooo at night we went out to the bar to party with Lauren, and celebrate my birthday at midnight. Cheap drinks and karaoke made for a great night. On the way home I was so hungry/drunk that we had to stop at McDonald’s twice to get me a large fry! Normally I hate the idea of food when I’ve been drinking so this was really weird for me. And delicious as well.
And how did I want to celebrate? At a trampoline park, obviously. To my surprise, all my friends wanted to and did come along! There was a huge arena where even the walls were trampolines, a few dodgeball courts, and a foam pit to land in for tricks. We were there for an hour and were totally exhausted by the end. Something I learned there – my fiancé is ridiculously and dangerously good at dodgeball.
We then had dinner with my family, where Nick was so thirsty from jumping that he drank FOUR glasses of iced tea before dinner. As per usual, game time followed. From there we headed back towards my place and hit a nearby bar with some friends. It was super chill, and we just sat there and talked until 1AM on a Sunday night. Overall, a great birthday.
12/30/13: A day full of sleeping in and laziness before heading to my cousin’s house for game night. They’d just finished building it and had lived there for about a month – and it was absolutely beautiful. I also asked their son, Landon, to be mine and Nick’s ring bearer. We explained to him what he’d be doing, and then he looked at me with a big smile on his face and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He is adorable. My cousins showed him a video of their own wedding to show him what a ring bearer is. He will be so good at it.
After the kids went to bed, we played a slew of different games. They introduced us to some, and we introduced them to Cards Against Humanity. Sooooo good.
12/31/13: NEW YEARS EVE! I essentially spent the whole day getting ready – both myself and the house. When the party finally rolled around, we had awesome music, food, and drinks! And lots of Drenga (drunk Jenga) was played. I made my own set before Nick came home so that we’d be ready for parties haha. Once midnight came, there was SO MUCH NOISE in the house because I made the incredible decision to buy noisemakers. It was wonderful. We stayed up until 4 in the morning with these people, only going to bed because we had to wake up early the next day…
1/1/14: For the Winter Classic hockey game! It was definitely way too early with how little sleep we got, but we made it with time to spare. We trekked around the whole stadium looking at what was going on and waiting in line at the merch tables. For anyone who doesn’t know or follow hockey, the Winter Classic happens every year between two teams (different every year) and is held in some outdoor venue, like a baseball field or football arena, anywhere in the US. This year it was hosted at the University of Michigan’s football stadium and it was the Red Wings vs. the Maple Leafs (not leaves).
And it was flipping freezing! I was wearing at least 3 layers of everything, but by the third period everyone was starting to lose feeling in toes and fingers. Then it went into overtime. THEN it went to a shootout. Unfortunately the Wings lost, but we still went out to a local brewery for dinner and had a nice time warming up.
1/2/14: Mine and Nick’s 3 year anniversary! It was also my first day back to work after my 24th-1st break. Unfortunately I was actually busy too. Buuuuut after work, we went with a bunch of friends to Drag Queen Bingo in downtown Royal Oak. It was so much fun! And boy oh boy did Nick get picked on, the drag queen totally had a thing for him. Nick was even pulled on stage and made to lift his shirt up so she could touch him! It got awkward (but hilarious!) when Nick felt her styrofoam boobs. Such a good time, I highly recommend it!
1/3/14: Date night! Since we didn’t go out just the two of us for our 3-yr., we made an evening for it on Friday. Dinner and a movie, again, because I’ve missed doing both for the past 4 months. This time we saw American Hustle, which was really good. I particularly liked when Jennifer Lawrence’s character blew up the “science oven.”
1/4/14: On Saturday we celebrated all the December/January birthdays that run in my family. No joke, there are 12 of them. March is apparently a very cold and boring month.
After that we went with some friends to play laser tag and waste some time at the arcade. We ended up pooling all of our tickets together and went in on a bunch of ridiculous stuff. I got some airheads, monkeys in a barrel, two of those half-spherical rubber popper things, a deck of SpongeBob playing cards, and some sweet yellow sunglasses. And that was just me! I think we did pretty well.
At the end of the night, we headed back to play a game of ClusterFu**. It’s a new game made by the same guys who created Cards Against Humanity. But it’s super weird/awkward. It’s hypothetical sex with your friends, and you get points for hooking up and having threesomes. Not going to lie, it took like 15 minutes of playing before we were able to play without feeling uncomfortable. But after that, hilarious! There was so much backstabbing and peeping-Tom moments, it was a very entertaining night.
1/5/14: While Nick was home, I wanted him to join me at a bridal show just so he could share the experience. There weren’t any of the massive shows happening, but a friend of mine manages at a golf club and they were hosting one of their own. We stopped by to check it out, but with the smaller scale we didn’t actually find anything helpful this time around. BUT since we knew the manager, we got a few drinks on the house…
We finished the evening at Red Lobster with Nick’s family, battling the snowy roads after yet another snow storm day. Nick’s mom actually wanted to cancel – to which we said, “it’s just snow, we live in Michigan. Bring it on.”
1/6/14: Just like every Monday, we scheduled dinner with my family and spent the night playing games. Really nothing else to report here.
1/7/14 & 1/8/14: What did we do these two days? I seriously cannot remember. I think we snuggled on the couch and watched Sherlock? Sounds about right.
1/9/14: After meeting Nick’s mom for one final dinner date at Roger’s Roost, Nick and I had everyone out to our favorite piano bar for his Going Away party. The bar is called 526 Main – it’s in Royal Oak and has such an entertaining staff of pianists. I always request “One Week” by the Barenaked Ladies, to which the pianist always jokes, “So Sarah has requested a song with 5 billion words in it.” Those words usually end up being sang like, “Chickity China the Chinese chicken, ah nananananananananananaaa.”
Even better was when our friend Bobby requested the theme song to MJR Theaters. I swear everyone in the bar sang (and clapped!) along. It was the perfect farewell between Nick and all his friends.
1/10/14: Since today was Nick’s last day home, I took the day off from work to spend it with him. We slept in until about 1PM (neither of us are anywhere near morning people) and woke up to take it easy for the day. We had a grilled cheese breakfast, and FaceTimed with my English friend, Jess. Her and I have been friends since 6th grade when we became pen pals via NeoPets (who remembers this?!). This was Nick’s first time actually getting to meet/talk to her and I’m pretty sure they hit it off. It was awesome.
While on that phone call, Nick and I got the urge to play in the snow. This started when we began talking to Jess about all the crazy snow we’ve been getting, and comparing that to the never-any-fun English weather that happens. So Nick began making a giant snowman and I climbed the towering pine tree in the backyard. I was soooooo sappy when I was done. But I managed to climb a tree and have a FaceTime conversation at the same time. Skill.
My parents for the evening offered to take us out to dinner at Buca, and Nick and I would never turn down a free dinner, even if we had already vowed to just spend the day with the two of us. We ended up getting dinner and a show because the intense weather had caused half of the restaurant to lose power. Like quite literally half – in each room, half of the ceiling lights were on. Then with the computers, orders could be rang but credit cards couldn’t run. It was weird – and just enough where corporate wouldn’t let them close down for the day.
After playing a few games, Nick and I headed back to my place and put on the first Lord of the Rings movie. He was originally determined to watch all three and not sleep before his flight in the morning, but once we were halfway through the first one that idea went out the window.
1/11/14: At 5AM I took Nick to the airport and watched him leave for hopefully his last flight ever back to Dominica. We are now in the home stretch with only one more semester on the island left – so exciting! After this he will spend his summer semester in the US taking pre-rotation courses, and then in the fall he will actually begin his rotations. I think once he’s back state-side it will feel like our lives are finally starting together.