Newlyweds. Goofballs. Movie stars. We are Carbonated Jeans.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's not "Perfect Chef"'s PAMPERED Chef.

This past Saturday, my awesome sister-in-law Serena threw me a Pampered Chef shower. It was SO. MUCH. FUN! And I'd say it was a complete success for my very first shower EVER. (Er...I mean, I take showers. It was just my first, you know, party-type shower.)

So here's how it went down.

On Saturday, June 27th, a group of about 15 lovely ladies came from various places to the hot hot desert to hang out with me.

The end.

...Just kidding! There's soooo much more to tell.

The party started out with a little ice-breaker game, in which Serena stuck a sticker on each of our backs that had the name of people who were the "other half" of a well-known couple (example: Minnie Mouse). So we had to ask each other questions to try to figure out who we were, and once we figured it out, we had to track down our match. I'm pretty sure I was Lucy and I had to find Desi. My favorite couple that Serena included in the game? Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence. Yesss!

Before I get to the other two games, I'll tell you how the whole "shower" aspect of the shower went...cuz, you know, showers equal gifts. And a Pampered Chef shower equals really SWEET (no pun intended) gifts. But the cool thing was that Serena prompted everyone to, in so many words, "bring their checkbooks" rather than pre-order their gifts. Why? Because anything that is purchased AT a P.C. shower goes toward a sweet bonus for the person hosting. And that person is Serena. And Serena, in her awesome-sister-in-law-ness, gave her bonus entirely to ME. Which meant that in addition to the sweet gifts from all the lovely ladies at the shower, I got even MORE gifts from my registry because of the bonus.

Oh, but what I really wanted to tell you was the cool way that my "registry" was displayed. Jenny, the P.C. expert and demonstrator, printed out little tent cards with each of the items I'd registered for, and people just grabbed the one(s) they wanted to get for me and placed their orders at the end of the night. Genius, right?

But enough about presents.

Game number two was movie quote trivia. Serena picked out 15 quotes from well-known love-story-type movies, and gave us a cheat sheet with all of the answers, plus five more movie titles that didn't go with any of the quotes. It was pretty dang hard, but still fun! I only got four right, but the girls on either side of me (Nicole and Summer) had the two highest scores of 11 and 12, so I was surrounded by success! :-)

Game number three was probably the most fun: Guess Tabitha's Age in These Photos (not the "official" name of the game). Josh came to the house early to set up three little collages on the walls, with a total of 17 photos of me from birth through about the beginning of college. The goal was to guess my age in each photo, and you had to get the exact age, except for the photos where I was less than a year. Those you could be within a month of the correct answer.

Do you want to know how many I got right out of those 17 pictures of ME?

...Four. Yep, I fail at life. A few of the pictures, my guess was THREE YEARS off of my actual age. But it was fun anyway! And my mom got the most right, which I think made her happy since half the time she called me Lydia while we were growing up. *tee hee*

So, after all those awesome games, we got around to the whole "point" of the shower, which was to have a demonstration of some great Pampered Chef tools. I got to be the assistant, helping Jenny by chopping some almonds in this sweet food chopper thingy (which I'm totally getting), mixing up some fluffy whipped cream concoction, and layering everything on some puff pastry sheets. We made some kind of almond-strawberry tart thing, which (I hear) was delicious!

BUT...while the pastry was baking/rising/puffing, we had about 15 minutes to kill, so Jenny held me at gunpoint and forced me to tell the story of how Joe and I met. And when I finished that story about three minutes later (what? I talk fast), I told the story of our first date. And three minutes later, I told the story of how I interviewed at my current job the day after arriving home from Romania (and how I magically GOT the job). And finally, after being in the spotlight for 15 whole minutes (as if I didn't totally LOVE every second of it), we pulled out the stuff and put it together and everyone ate. Yay!

After that it was a bunch of hanging out and munching on the other goodies people brought, including my mom's fruit salad and veggie platter, my sisters deeeeelicious assortment of cookies, and some great seven-layer dip with "hint of lime" chips that Serena brought.

Like I first shower EVER. So thank you to the wonderful (and mommy-to-be) Serena, and to my mom and sister, and to everyone else who brought stuff (or just themselves)! It was an amazing night to celebrate my upcoming nuptials.

(...Phew! That was a long one.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Getting down to my sex weight.

To explain the subject, a funny story:

My housemate Sarah got married a few weeks ago to a great guy named Scott. He had been living in Texas, so he flew out to Santa Barbara a few times to help Sarah with planning and stuff during the months before the wedding. On one of his visits, the three of us were chatting and I mentioned going to the gym. Scott said, "So are you and Joe trying to get down to your sex weight?"

Sarah playfully slugged Scott in the arm and said, "Scott, that's so crude!"

I said, "Have you met Joe? I'm used to those kinds of statements."

Anyway, Scott had apparently heard this term "sex weight" on multiple occasions, so he figured it was a widely known phrase. I'd never heard it before that evening, but I got the point, and I said, "Well, yeah, I guess you could say we're trying to get down to our respective sex weights."

(End story.)

So, my goal back in February or March was to lose ten pounds by our wedding.

It is now June 10th, 59 days before our wedding, and my weight pretty much hasn't budged. At all. Talk about lame...

I mean, I'm not worried about my dress fitting. I know that it will be fine. And I don't feel "fat" or ugly or anything like that; I just know that I would ideally like to be at least ten pounds lighter than I am right now (in general, not just for the wedding).

So I canceled my Curves membership and joined Joe's gym. I knew I wasn't making much progress at Curves, and I had reached a point where it didn't really feel like much of a workout anymore. I have been loving going to a "real" gym, and working up a pretty gnarly sweat.

The problem lately? I'll push myself too hard, and be SO sore for the next few days that I can't do much of anything at the gym without wanting to cry. Case in point: Monday, Joe and I did a full round of weight-lifting, leg-pressing, and then about three miles on the elliptical machine. The next thighs and my arms felt like mush. And two days later (today), it's even worse. It took me a full minute to walk up the stairs to Joe's place, because it hurt THAT badly.

And thus, I feel like everything I manage to accomplish at the gym seems to be nullified by the fact that I can't do anything for several days thereafter. Hence, no weight loss.

It probably also doesn't help that I've been feeling sick on and off for the last two weeks. Bummer.

P.S. Sorry for the downer here. Just thought I'd give you something to read besides a boring list.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Checking in, and checking off.

I know it's been awhile since either of us posted, and I'd like to say that this post is going to be amazing...but it's not. I'm updating the to-do list again, because I need to feel accomplished! Or something.

Here we go (blue is new):
  1. Figure out vows and pastor's speech/talk/whatever it's called
  2. Plan order of ceremony
  3. Pick songs for ceremony and reception (Getting there!)
  4. Send ceremony songs to Josh so he can practice
  5. Make sure Josh knows we want him to play at our wedding (He knows!)
  6. Get unity candles (Thanks, Pauli!)
  7. Figure out stage setup (Getting there!)
  8. Make flower arrangements from the metric buttload of silk flowers from Michaels (including bridal party bouquets, centerpieces, corsages/boutonnieres...) (We've come up with the prototype for the centerpieces, so now it's a matter of putting them all together. Still have to do bouquets and boutonnieres.)
  9. Finish gifts to my bridesmaids (Getting there!)
  10. "Something borrowed, something blue?" (Am I doing that?) (Meh. Probably not.)
  11. Send cake design and flavors to Kristen (Done! Now we just have to do a little taste test. My favorite part of wedding planning...tee hee.)
  12. Find a cake topper we both like (Done! Just gotta order it.)
  13. Practice for our first dance
  14. Get white keds for the reception so I can dance
  15. Put together wedding favors (need to add ribbon or something with color) (I've got the general idea down, just gotta make it happen.)
  16. Plan table decorations (table cloth overlay, place settings, etc.) (Pretty much done. Once we got the centerpiece designed, the rest should be pretty easy.)
  17. Choose meal and appetizers and stuff; send to Blennie (We know what we want. Just gotta tell Blennie.)
  18. Finalize invitation design with Mom; send around June 13-20 (The design is done; now Mom's putting them together to send soon! Yay!)
  19. Maybe have Mom design a program, too?
  20. Plan order of reception (cake cutting, first dances, etc.)
  21. Find a "going-away" dress (so I don't have to take my wedding dress on our honeymoon) (Done! Got the cuuuuutest dress from Target.)
  22. Plan what clothes to bring on honeymoon
  23. Plan some sight-seeing/show-seeing in Vegas for honeymoon
  24. Lose ten pounds so I can sunbathe in Vegas on honeymoon (Heh...workin' on it. I got a membership at Joe's gym, so we're going together now!)
  25. Get a flower girl basket (and maybe a flower girl tiara? Oh, and shoes!) (Got a basket - thanks Mom! - but may have to decorate it a little. Working on the tiara/shoe thing.)
  26. Cut and curl fabric for flower petals (it's the only way to have them in the right color!)
  27. Practice the three-second kiss with Joe (hey, this list was starting to feel too much like WORK) (We do this a lot.) :-)
  28. Make sure our registries are totally finalized (like, SOON!) (Done! I think. Probably.)
  29. Get ready to pack up and move things to Joe's.
  30. Make/get table numbers/place cards for the reception.
  31. Make some kinda sign for the foyer pointing out the "cry rooms" for use in case of noisy munchkins.
  32. Get Joe's wedding ring! How did this miss the list on the first go-around?
  33. Choose a sterling pattern (and DON'T register for it at Macy's...sheesh, it's expensive!).
  34. And most importantly, during all of this planning, remember that none of it is anywhere near as important as planning our LIFE together. Whee! (Gotta remind myself of this every so often.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Master Checklist

Adding more stuff to the list (in bold):

Things we (or in some cases, I) need to do before August 8th (in an only somewhat logical order):

  1. Figure out vows and pastor's speech/talk/whatever it's called
  2. Plan order of ceremony
  3. Pick songs for ceremony and reception
  4. Send ceremony songs to Josh so he can practice
  5. Make sure Josh knows we want him to play at our wedding
  6. Get unity candles
  7. Figure out stage setup
  8. Make flower arrangements from the metric buttload of silk flowers from Michaels (including bridal party bouquets, centerpieces, aisle thingies, corsages/boutonnieres*...)
  9. Finish gifts to my bridesmaids
  10. "Something borrowed, something blue?" (Am I doing that?)
  11. Send cake design and flavors to Kristen
  12. Find a cake topper we both like
  13. Practice for our first dance
  14. Get white keds for the reception so I can dance
  15. Put together wedding favors (need to add ribbon or something with color)
  16. Plan table decorations (table cloth overlay, place settings, etc.)
  17. Choose meal and appetizers and stuff; send to Blennie
  18. Finalize invitation design with Mom; send around June 13-20)
  19. Maybe have Mom design a program, too?
  20. Plan order of reception (cake cutting, first dances, etc.)
  21. Find a "going-away" dress (so I don't have to take my wedding dress on our honeymoon)
  22. Plan what clothes to bring on honeymoon
  23. Plan some sight-seeing/show-seeing in Vegas for honeymoon
  24. Lose ten pounds so I can sunbathe in Vegas on honeymoon
  25. Get a flower girl basket (and maybe a flower girl tiara? Oh, and shoes!)
  26. Cut and curl fabric for flower petals (it's the only way to have them in the right color!)
  27. Practice the three-second kiss with Joe (hey, this list was starting to feel too much like WORK)
  28. Make sure our registries are totally finalized (like, SOON!)
  29. (Later) Get ready to pack up and move things to Joe's (assuming Joe's is still standing after the fire)
  30. And most importantly, during all of this planning, remember that none of it is anywhere near as important as planning our LIFE together. Whee!
  31. Get a basket for the flower girl!
  32. Find out if our wedding coordinator is still going to be available...
  33. Try not to freak out.

*I'm so proud of me! I spelled boutonnieres right the first try!

I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff. Tell me, people! What am I forgetting? Anyway, I'll try to update this periodically to show our progress in completing these tasks. Accomplishment of one thing always makes me feel more motivated to keep at all the others!

Monday, May 11, 2009

One year ago today.

On May 11th, 2008, I met my future husband. I didn't know it at the time, of course, but that day marked the beginning of the rest of my life. That quirky stranger I met in my uncle's hospital room became, within a matter of weeks, someone I cared for deeply and couldn't imagine not having in my life.

Everything happens for a reason. That weekend in May, my uncle was admitted to the hospital less than a year following a major kidney transplant surgery, and that was scary. But if it hadn't been for that dangerous situation where his brand-new kidney seemed to be failing, I may never have met Joe. So thanks, Uncle Phil, for having those kidney complications. (And thanks for making it through that and being healthy again! This story might've been a bummer to tell if you hadn't made it... *wink*)

Everything happens for a reason. About five years ago, my cousin Sarah, Phil's daughter, married a guy named Jeff. Jeff and Joe are long-time friends, and Joe was in their wedding party. If Sarah hadn't married Jeff, I might not have met Joe.

Everything happens for a reason. About thirty-two years ago, Ben and Pauli found out they were pregnant. They decided to keep the baby, in spite of the many difficulties surrounding them and the readily available (and popular) "alternative" solution. If they hadn't kept their precious baby, there would never have been a Joe for me to meet.

As I'm thinking back on all the variables in my life over the past 24 years, and in Joe's over the past 31, I'm completely in awe at God's timing and His plan. It's absolutely amazing, the number of ways I can see my choices in life relating DIRECTLY to getting me to that hospital room on May 11, 2008. If I hadn't gone back to Azusa to start my credential program after I graduated, I probably wouldn't have met him. If I hadn't gotten the job at the church in order to make money while I was in the credential program, I probably wouldn't have stayed in Azusa after I quit the credential program, and then I wouldn't have met him. If I hadn't offered to go with my mom to visit my grandma and uncle in the hospital, I wouldn't have met him (but my mom probably still would have). If my mom and I had decided not to go to Sarah's daughter's baby dedication that morning, and instead went straight to the hospital to visit our family, I might not have met him. Or if Sarah had never asked Joe to be Felicity's godfather, he might not have gone to the dedication, and instead would've visited Phil earlier, and then I might not have met him.

...Are you getting the picture here?

So many variables. So many ways we could've missed each other completely. But we didn't. On May 11, 2008, we met. We talked for no more than ten minutes. And somehow we both made enough of an impression on each other that we kept talking.

Thank you Lord for blessing me with Joe.

P.S. This is totally not where I was going with this post originally. I wanted to write about our one-year (minus two days) picnic on Saturday! I guess it can wait for the next post. Or maybe Joe will want to write about it. :-)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Goodness, gracious, great balls of fi-yaaa!

I think God wants us to move away from Santa Barbara.

The evidence: this place is on fire. And not in a good way. I mean it is literally burning up, for the second time since I moved here, and the THIRD time in the last year. In case you weren't a regular reader of my old blog, here's a quick recap:

In November 2008, the Tea Fire burned down a whole bunch of houses and other stuff. About 14 homes in my immediate neighborhood were completely destroyed. Ours, thank God, was rescued by the firefighters and only a small part of one wall burned before they were able to put it out. It took months for the repairs on the houses still standing to be finished, and sometimes I can STILL smell smoke on my clothes. A week or two ago, they started rebuilding the destroyed homes.

And then yesterday afternoon, another fire broke out. It's several miles from here, and as yet, our neighborhood is not in any immediate danger. But the winds, much like in November, are raging and unpredictable.

The reason I woke up at 5:10 this morning was not to spend extra time coiffing my hair. If I had my way, I'd still be sleeping right now (it's 5:40 - my alarm is set for 5:45). The thing is, the wind woke me up.

This may not seem very significant, but it is. I am a really heavy sleeper. I've slept through thunderstorms and earthquakes. I've slept through wild parties our neighbors threw at all hours of the night, playing loud and distorted mariachi music and laughing hysterically. When I'm asleep, I'm basically dead to the world. So for me to be woken up by the wind?

Kind of freaky.

It was...SO...stinking...LOUD. I could hear trash cans flying around on the ground. The whistling of the wind between trees and houses and whatever else, sounded more like screaming than whistling.

So I sat up, turned on my computer, and searched for any news updates saying the fire was spreading and we were all going to die. So far, it appears things are still relatively okay. I'm kind of afraid to look out my window, and even slightly more afraid that my car isn't going to be parked in front of the house anymore (can wind blow a Honda stationwagon away when it has the parking brake on?).

They're saying that the wind advisory will be in effect until 9 this morning. Hopefully, once the wind dies down, they can get a handle on the fire before it does any property damage. I'm just thanking God that, as far as I can tell or read, it is still burning in a hillside/brush area, and has remained at least half a mile away from residential areas.

All this to say, as much as I love Santa Barbara, I am really okay with the idea of moving somewhere else, whenever God makes that opportunity available to us. And, as much as I love the house I'm in now, I will be really glad to move into Joe's place after we get married, because both of these fires (today's Jesusita Fire and November's Tea Fire) were a heck of a lot farther away from his place than mine.

(I'll be happy to move in with Joe for other reasons, too, of course...)

Alas, I suppose I might as well get up and ready for work. The question is: do I play it safe and pack up all the important stuff as if I might never see my house again?

And the answer is...

Nah. I'm reckless like that.

PS: Take this poll and tell us where we should live! You can put in an "other" response, but keep it short, because PollDaddy cuts off long answers.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

'Cause we're busy, busy, dreadfully busy...

On today's list of wedding to-do:
  • Hair "consultation" at a beauty school -- hopefully they'll also do a trial styling, but they were kinda vague about that part...
  • Meeting with our wonderful caterer to firm up the food plans
  • Um...that's about it.
  • Oh, and we're also planning to have dinner with Joe's friend Jason, who is supposed to be teaching a little swing lesson at the beginning of our reception! Yay!
Also, I just need to say that OH MY GOSH WE ARE TOTALLY GETTING MARRIED IN THREE MONTHS AND ONE WEEK. That's like...97 days from now. Yay!

(PS - Name the song from the subject, and I'll give great big, enthusiastic, "You rock!" Hint -- "...more than a bumblebee, more thaaannnn an ant!")

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cooking Chronicles: Chapter 1 Continued

As promised, here is my recap of the dessert portion of Sunday night's spur-of-the-moment cooking experiment.

I tried this double chocolate dessert thingy, also from the Five Ingredient Cookbook.

Holy cow...there was SO much stinking butter in it. Too much. I mean, once the thing had finally cooled and hardened enough, the butter was VISIBLE among all of the chocolatey goodness. Gross, right?

I took it over to Joe's yesterday and he played with it. He said he tossed it in the oven and re-melted the butter, then kind of poured a bunch of it out, cuz I guess it separated enough from the other stuff? Blech.

All that said, we tried it again tonight, and it was a bit more bearable. I mean, it tastes good. It's really rich, which, granted, was a warning in the recipe itself, so I shouldn't be surprised. But if I ever make it again, I will definitely play around with the butter factor. And this one also said to use a 9x13 pan, which just seemed way too big for the amount of stuff I had to pour in there, so I used a square one instead. Maybe that messed up the butter-cookage? I don't know.

I'm not losing heart, though. This is fun.

Stay tuned for the next Cooking Chronicles!


It's hard...picking out the songs, the colors, the compromises that are easy, the compromises that are not, getting the timing of guests and their ever-changing schedules/locations, getting the pre-wedding parties arranged and scheduled, table arrangements, ceremony outline, vow-writing, ring buying, dress wrangling, tux sizing, food deciding, cake tasting, the thank you note writing, invitation deciding, invitation sending, etc.

It's a good thing I'm only doing this once.

It's hard to take time out and just BE with Tabitha for a bit. We have to go to LA so often it's hard to have date nights much out. But when we do have a moment to ourselves, it's so...wonderful, like remembering why I'm doing this.

It's almost like I can't wait for this to be behind us so we can move on with life together.

In my mind, it's a done deal unless I find out she sacrifices puppies during the full moon or something.

Cute story to illustrate what I mean...the other day, I was putting my wallet in my left pocket, and I had a sudden panic attack: "HEY! Where's my wedding ring?"

It was a moment of relief, like when you realize you are only dreaming that you are in high school in your underwear, when I realized that I wasn't married yet, therefore there wasn't anything wrong with me not having a wedding ring.

Weird couple of moments afterward when I realized the full implications of what just happened.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cooking Chronicles: Chapter 1

My mother would be so proud of me. I cooked TWO meals this past week!

Those of you who know me are aware that I am seriously inexperienced in the realm of cooking. I'm still afraid of raw meat. I mean, seriously, I keep finding recipes that require browning ground beef or boiling/baking chicken, and I can feel my heart rate skyrocketing at the mere thought of such an undertaking.

Baby steps, people.

So last Thursday, Joe and I cooked a meal for our pastor Jim and his wife Jenny. It was an easy one which we had done before, but this was my first time kind of taking the reins, as Joe is a tortellini pro. Anyway, I like to call our meal the "Twelve Cheese Extraordinaire" - because, um, there was a lot of cheese in it. The tortellini was the seven cheese kind from Costco. The sauce was four cheese from Ralphs. And then we grated fresh parmesan to top it all off.

It. Was. Delicious.

I added some garlic and herb seasoning and pepper to the sauce, which was a gooooood plan. Then I steamed some broccoli, also adding the garlic and herb seasoning, and that worked well too. (Thanks to Joe's mom for the tip on how long to steam broccoli!)

Jim and Jenny brought some great garlicky bread, as well as two bottles of wine - a red and a white. All in all, a complete success!

So last night, fueled by Thursday night's delightful experience, I decided to bust open my cool new Five-Ingredient cookbook, which I bought from Ross for a whopping FIVE DOLLARS! See, Joe came over to my house so I could do some laundry, and we were watching Jeff Dunham's ventriloquist comedy stuff, but Joe started to fall asleep. So he laid down to rest, and I was totally not tired, but I didn't want to disturb the angelic creature in my presence.

Then a little lightbulb went *ding!* and I thought, Ooh, I could try one of those five-ingredient recipes! Woohoo! I ran into my room and started thumbing through the pages I had already marked with post-its as ones I wanted to try. I found a dinner recipe and a dessert recipe, jotted down the ingredients, and took off for the store...oh, and I left Joe a note saying, "Don't go anywhere! I'll be back soon." (Funnily enough, he woke up to my note and the sound of my housemate and her fiance, and I think it threw him off a bit. Hehe.)

Anyway, I came home and set out to make the most fabulous dish ever:

"Peppy Macaroni"

That's right. The base of this meal is a box of mac 'n' cheese. Don't judge me. I just figured it looked like something I could throw together quickly, since it was a spur of the moment sorta thing. It turned out pretty good, but definitely not gourmet. Basically, you make a box of macaroni and cheese, then stick it into a greased baking pan (the size they recommended was way too big, so next time I'll use a smaller one). You spread some pizza sauce on top, then layer pepperoni and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake it for awhile, then serve!

Like it said, it was decent. A keeper for a casual, quick meal for Joe and me, but not really an entertaining one, unless we're going to like, a potluck or something? And I will add a LOT less mozzarella next time, and use a smaller pan. And maybe add some more spices/seasonings. And make bread to go with it.

Then it was time for dessert. But since this post is already getting long, and we didn't actually TRY the finished product yet because it took too long to cool/set, I'll post a "part two" later tonight or tomorrow after we try it out.

Things I've learned about this particular cookbook:
  • You can't always trust the quantities or sizes of things (proved in both the dinner and dessert by the pan issue, the cheese issue, and (to be explained) the butter issue.
  • Five ingredients doesn't always mean FIVE ingredients. The box of mac 'n' cheese was counted as one, even though you needed the box, the butter, and the milk. Still, it seems like it's gonna be a great tool for a beginner like me!
To all you pro cooks out there: do you have some way of organizing your recipes like, what worked and what didn't, or what you and your family like and don't like, etc? I'm thinking of getting two separate recipe files and putting all the MILLIONS of recipes I'm collecting in one (I'll call it "To Be Tested" or something) and then moving them over into another one once I make them. I guess once we hate I could just throw out. I dunno.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's all getting real...

First, a warning. Though humorous, this post might make those with low tolerances for bodily functions a little...squeemish.

Let me take you a little through our experience planning a wedding.

First there was the awkward dating at the beginning. I was fortunate that Tab let me know early on that she was interested in me. We dated and dated and dated and discovered that we really liked each other's company.

After a good long time of being around each other every day, we realized that this relationship was heading in a marriage direction. We looked at it from all angles, and came back to each other and said, "yep, forever would be awesome with you."

So, we then went to Pre-married's at The Church on the Way for twelve weeks.

Four weeks before the end of the class, I arranged for the ring to be made, attended the final few classes with the ring in my place.

A week after classes, after much planning, I arranged a total surprise (awesome!), and proposed to Tabitha.

So now...we plan...and wait...and wait.

The weird part is that I'm basing almost every date I find around our wedding date. The string cheese I have in my fridge will be good until after our honeymoon. My next birthday will be as a married person. There will be 7 more paychecks until I am married. There are five performances of the Esquires that we can attend before we are married. There are two paid holidays until we are married.

All that to say, the other day, certain female-exclusive regulatory functions started up with Tab. The first thought through my mind was, "only three more periods until we are married"


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Believe it or not, we have decided to honeymoon in Vegas (probably).

I can hear you gasping with horror and surprise, Mom.

But's not actually VEGAS. It's 17 miles outside of Vegas -- far enough away from the strip and all the "sin" and stuff, so we are confident that it'll be a relaxing, quiet time. And maybe we'll stop by to "see the sights" while we're there, since I still haven't ever been to Las Vegas. But for the most part, we'll be...ahem...taking it easy.

Relaxing by the amaaaazing pool.

Taking strolls around the gorgeous gardens/flower beds/green stuff I saw in the pictures.

And, you know, other honeymoon stuff. *blush*

Anyway, the original plan was to go to Monterey, but that plan fell through when the place we were looking to stay didn't have availability on the days we needed it. If, by some chance, it does become available again, we'll probably go there instead, but for now it's looking like Plan B.

And I'm thoroughly excited about Plan B. Not only is it a shorter drive than it would've been to Monterey, I'll finally get to say I've been to Vegas. And on the slim chance that we get, like, bored or something? There is tons to do. My co-worker spewed off about 30 ideas she had, all of which sounded really cool, so I'll have to look into some of it.

Did you know there are ROLLER COASTERS in Vegas? And one of them suspends you over the city, or something? Then there are always shows to check out, the skyscrapers, some fancy schmancy restaurants, etc.

Oh, and the Hoover Dam is apparently on the way there/back, so that could be cool.

All good options.

But chances are, after an insane bunch of months of preparation and one very full, wonderful, exhausting wedding day, we are going to need the next week to catch our breath.

AND after being together and in love and WAITING for over a year (by that point) and finally saying, "I do,"

Well, um...we WILL.

I'm just sayin'.

P.S. Sorry we've been such blogging slackers! This wedding planning stuff is a leeeeeeettle time consuming. Feel free to leave us comments, or email me at tabitha[dot]blog[at]gmail[dot]com, and ask us questions about ourselves, our relationship, or whatever you wanna know. It's always good to have input on what you -- our friends, family and other random onlookers -- want to see here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm ready for my close-up.

So on Saturday we got to practice for our engagement photos. What do you think? :-P

Okay but seriously, how genius is this:

At the wedding we went to on Saturday night, they had a photo booth, just like the ones in the mall, and everyone went in and took pictures of themselves to add to the couple's guest book! They had all kinds of blank scrapbook pages, markers, little photo corner things, etc. So people could decorate their own entire page, write whatever they wanted, and now they have pictures of all of their guests on the day of their wedding. It's brilliant. And the best part was that the photo booth spit out a duplicate strip, so you could keep one for yourself and use the other for their guest book.

I really might be tempted to steal that idea for our wedding.

Another idea we probably WILL steal from their wedding: having a dance lesson at the beginning of the reception, while we're off doing our photos. It'll keep the guests occupied, and they can learn some basic swing/line dances, too, since we'll have a mix of primarily those two types of music.

Oh, and the one thing that we are unintentionally "stealing" from Saturday's wedding: the dress.

That's right folks. The bride was wearing the exact same dress that I bought for my wedding. This is what I get for shopping at David's Bridal. But you know? I'm okay with it. It's a beautiful dress, and Jenny looked great in it, and I will look great in it, too. I'm at peace. (Slightly bummed that Joe has now seen "the dress"...but he won't see ME in it until the wedding day, so it's all good.)

Anyway, it's getting to be lunch time and I am huuuuuuuuungry! Time for a Subway run.

P.S. How great is the second photo in our strip up there? I seriously LOVE how it came out! (It might have something to do with the fact that I just love kissing my fiance...but it's a good pic too, no?)

Friday, March 27, 2009

The engagement story.

It's official! We are finally engaged. Here's how it went down:

First of all, Joe let it slip (after I bugged him for the zillionth time) that he would be proposing sometime before my birthday (April 5th), so I knew it was coming, but didn't know what to expect or when. And I really tried not to think about it too much, or assume every little suspicious thing he did was an indication of the impending proposal. I wanted to LET it be a surprise.

So, yesterday Joe suggested that we go out to lunch today, since my friend and bridesmaid-to-be Megan was going to be in town, and he asked where I'd like to go. Coincidentally (or so I thought), my boss asked me to run an errand for him at noon: he wanted me to go to the Elephant Bar to pick up a new catering menu for our department event planning. Totally did not faze me at all; and I suggested to Joe that we just eat there since I had to stop by anyway. (See how he made it seem like it was my idea? Sneaky.)

Joe said it would be his treat, on one condition: I had to dress up kind of nice, because he wanted to "show me off" -- as he so enjoys doing. Again, I thought practically nothing of it. I admit, a teeny tiny suspicion arose, but then I thought, "Nah, he's not going to propose on my lunch break!" He also mentioned he would dress up too, maybe even in a tie.

Fast forward to this morning. I got all ready and prettified and headed to work. Then, within an hour or so of arriving at work, I got the WORST migraine EVER...

(Oh, and I know it's not TMI Thursday, but I also had the runs. I mean, literally, I was running to the bathroom every half hour this morning. Not fun.)

Luckily, I have er, HAD the greatest boyfriend in the world, and he brought me some aspirin to alleviate my migraine. At noon, he picked me up and we headed for the Elephant Bar. He mentioned that Megan was already there saving us a table, since there was a big lunch rush. Then as we pulled into the parking lot, he said, "Oh, I have to show you something really awesome that just landed out back, so you need to close your eyes until we get there." I asked him what he meant by "landed" and he reminded me that the Santa Barbara airport is right behind the restaurant. So I figured there was some missile or huge plane that Joe thought was super-cool, cuz he's a nerd like that, and again brushed off any slight suspicion that this could be "it."

I should also mention that I was a very diligent employee, because I said, "Well, I need to go to the front desk first to grab that catering menu for my boss; I don't want to miss the person I'm supposed to meet!" And Joe said, "I'm sure she'll still be there, but the thing outside might not be there for long! Let's go there first." I was hesitant, but I said okay.

(Oh, and for the record, by this point, my migraine was 90% gone and my bowels had calmed down at least enough that I didn't fear any embarrassing incidents - PTL!)

So Joe began to walk me through the restaurant, with my eyes closed, and I was really nervous about running into stuff or tripping over things, so I was holding on tight to his arm and reminding him to stick close and not let me face plant into a window or anything. As we got out onto the back patio of the restaurant, Joe positioned me, then I heard a subtle, "Shh!" and he said, "Okay, open your eyes!"

I opened them and saw...

Some airplanes. Some helicopters. Nothing that screamed, "AMAZING! EXCITING! REMOTELY INTERESTING!" I was confused.

Then Joe said, "Oh, actually, you should turn around."

So I turned around, and there, sitting before me, were about 25 of our friends and family! And suddenly Joe was on one knee, and I was completely in shock, and he said something along the lines of, "We've been on quite a roller coaster, and I can't wait to see where else it takes us in life. Tabitha Rose Petrie, will you marry me?"

"YEEESSSSSSSS!!!" I squealed!

I hadn't even noticed the ring box he was holding open in front of me, and then he was putting the ring on my finger. Ack! It was so perfect -- the ring, the moment, his words, and the fact that so many loved ones were there to witness it.

My parents and his parents were there, along with a bunch of people from work and our small group, friends of Joe's who I've also become close with...and Megan! There were a bunch more people who knew about it but weren't able to make it, but I was still so excited to know that people were celebrating with me in that moment, wherever they were!

Needless to say, I am one happy woman. Wait, scratch that. I am one happy FIANCEE!!

And then we ate a delicious meal, and then I had to come back to work. Talk about anti-climactic, but hey...I'm engaged!! I'm a bride-to-be! I could be lost in the middle of a desert and still be the happiest person alive right now.

The end.

Oh, wait...did you want to see some pictures?

Okay, okay. Here you go.

Thanks to Jeff and Justin for these pics! I can't wait to see others, since I know a bunch of other people were taking pictures and video, too.

So surprised!

Is that...THE RING??

Yessss! It IS the ring! And apparently I'm holding an invisible jump rope!

I literally jumped up and down with excitement as I said "Yes!"

It's perfect!

And THIS guy is amazing! I love him so much. (And there's Daddy in the background!)

This moment is so precious to me. Look at his smile! :-)

This one makes me think of all the people who were there, and how excited I was to share this event with them.

Okay, can we eat now?

(Okay, we ate. Yay!)

Pretty, right? Wait till you see the rest of it. (Actually, I haven't even seen the rest of it yet!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh hi! Yes, I'm the bride-to-be. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

So here we are. It's March 23rd, and yesterday marked the twelfth and final week of our premarrieds course. I can't believe how quickly it flew by! I almost wish we could have twelve MORE weeks, because I feel like we've both gained so much wisdom and insight into married life, and I'm sure there is so much more we have yet to learn. But I'm really excited that we've finally finished it, and I feel like we're ready for this. Ready to be married. Husband and wife. One flesh. Man, it's such an invigorating thought! It keeps becoming more real as days pass, plans come together, and I practice (in my head) calling myself Mrs. Carnes. I'm so looking forward to taking his name...not because mine is bad or anything, but because of all that it signifies. A new family. A life together. An adventure.

At the end of the premarrieds course, one of the elder couples who had taught a session, Wayne and Althea, got together with us to give us some final words of wisdom, and to pray over us. I am so glad that they were the couple we got paired up with, because God spoke through both of them in a powerful way. Althea reminded us (me, especially) that it's so much better to leave things in God's hands and let Him bring about the changes, ideas and actions, rather than try to force it. She was referring to my career, but I feel like it applies all over. Too often I forget to let God be the provider and I struggle to make things work out for myself. And whenever I do manage to open my hands, give up my weak-sauce attempt at doing it on my own, and let Him move, amazing things happen. Kind of like when I took a job in Santa Barbara and just trusted that if it was the right thing, it would all fall into place -- as unlikely as it seemed at the time. How could I find an affordable place to live in such an expensive area? How would I be able to start paying my student loans? What kind of reaction would I get from the people close to me, who thought I was crazy to be moving to a new place primarily because of a guy? And a guy I'd only known a few months? How would I react to being so close to him? Would I find a church I felt at home in? Could I make new friends, and could I keep the ones I was leaving behind? All these questions could have easily hindered my decision, altered it even. But I chose to trust, and to let it go. Leave it in God's hands.

Wayne also said something that felt really good: he remarked that I was mature, and that he could see that both Joe and I are ready to take on this commitment, and the challenge of marriage. I mean, I've been feeling that way, too, but it was so awesome to hear it from an elder couple who know what marriage is really like, and they know how hard it is, and they know how often young people get married who aren't ready or equipped to succeed in marriage.

Anyway, it's March 23rd, and I'm anxiously awaiting a little something that will make this whole thing even MORE real: a proposal. If you read my blog at all, you've already heard the explanation about why we're NOT engaged yet, despite having a date set, a dress bought, a venue booked, and now a twelve-week premarital course under our belts. The short version is: we wanted to go through the whole course first.

So's all about patience. I know (because I'm a jerk and practically beat it out of Joe) that it's going to happen before my birthday. Which is thirteen days from now. Ack! I'm going to be a fiancee in THIRTEEN DAYS OR LESS! And not only that -- I'm going to be JOE'S fiancee. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy it makes me to think of that. He is my world. He's the funniest person I've ever met. He's also the most loving, and the sweetest, and the goofiest. He knows me better than anyone -- even people I've known my whole life. He knows all of me, and still he loves me! THAT is spectacular. And I love that I can say it with confidence: Joe loves me, ALL of me, and I have no fear or worry that that will ever change. He is fresh air. He is comfort. He is laughter. He is safety.

And very soon, he is not going to be my boyfriend anymore; he'll be my fiance. Ack! How awesome is that?

Anyway, just wanted to finally write my first post here at Carbonated Jeans. Stay tuned for more as the excitement unfolds! I'll try to keep you apprised of wedding plans as they unfold, and maybe share some fun stories about how we met, things we like to do, and all that cheesy lovey-dovey stuff. Who needs romantic comedies when you've got Carbonated Jeans, right?

138 days and counting! Woohoo!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A first REAL post...

Ok, so, I got it out of my system. Given Tab's ability to whip words around until they form a rich creamy lather, I suspect my attempts to log the events surrounding our life together will be somewhat...basic by comparison.

So, wedding plans, they are a'happening. I've intentionally let Tab plan things as she sees fit, getting involved only when something I REALLY don't like is about to take place.

And a good thing too.

My ideas for a wedding ceremony would have been remarkably That is to say, probably have more explosions and fire-based distractions. I thought of blank gunpowder-actuated trumpets blasting as she marched forward, combined with pneumatic confetti dispensers actuated when we are told "you may now kiss the bride."

Some ideas still might make it in. I am working on an idea to get magnesium strips such that the candles can be lit via a bright-white flare, sure to catch anyone's attention, and light the candles without struggle.

Another idea I had was a remotely triggered flower girl dispenser system, remotely actuated by an adult, so the flower girl would simply have to haul the basket up the aisle. I mean, how many weddings have you been to where the flower girl either dumps her load at the very beginning, then wonders what she is supposed to do next, or runs up the aisle, having failed to drop even a petal after her basket. Of course, she *could* run up the aisle with a show-basket, and hit a button, and pre-mounted dispensers on the aisle could auto-dispense their entire load of flowers into the aisle, enabling a uniform distribution of petals across the entirety of the center aisle. Or her dad could trigger a pre-mounted cart that would race ahead of them, dropping petals the entire way uniformly.

Someone suggested a version of a seed mulcher dispensing petals. However, I think it might give some the mistaken notion that we are, in fact, serving in-chapel refreshments, and would upset them greatly to discover that not only is ice cream unavailable, but there is no documentation that can tell them how many points they are on a weight watcher's scale.

Early on in the planning, I was stressing the cost of a limo ride from the wedding hall to the reception hall until Tab reminded me that they are 50 ft. from each other. I'm still thinking that still might a possibility.

Just to be weird...

Fr1st P0st!

I've always wanted to do this:

In Soviet Russia, Hot Grits invented Al Gore to data crunch the information in 4 libraries of congress. Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of these things.

All your eyeballs are belong to us, and BSD is dying: Netcraft says so, you insensitive clod!