Friday, September 28, 2012

Why I scare myself sometimes...

So, if we are real-life friends, you know I have some seriously effed up dreams sometimes.

Last night's is a perfect example of that.

I dreamed I was driving down the highway with Brent, and the Mastiffs were chillin' out in the back seat as usual. Then all of a sudden I looked out the window to see a huge Mack truck...only the truck was my dog, Max - see? That doesn't even make SENSE. Whatsoever.



And for some reason, this Max truck thing was trying to run us off the road. And when I looked in the back seat, Casey was a cat. An evil hissing cat ready to pounce and eat our faces off.


I woke up and was almost afraid to look at the end of my bed, just in case Max and Casey really did morph into deadly creatures overnight.

Maybe this is how these best-selling sci-fi authors get all their crazy ideas?

I mean, how else would one come up with Sharktopus?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honeymoon Recap: Day 1 & 2

We still have some time to wait before we get our professional wedding pictures from Tracy Sheehan, so I'll take this opportunity to share some of our Honeymoon in O'ahu!

Alright, where to start?

On Monday morning following the wedding, we departed Boston at the ripe hour of 5:40AM....which meant we arrived at the airport around 3:30AM....we got all of maybe 5 hours of sleep Sunday night, but whatever - we were so high on adrenaline at this point anyways, we didn't care! We flew into Dallas, had a 3 hour layover, then continued on our way to Honolulu, where we arrived at 2PM local time (8PM EST)...and behold, it was still Monday. We picked up our awesome rental car:

My handsome driver
And jetted off to our home for the next 10 days, the Hilton Hawaiian Village:

Kalia Tower
We dropped our stuff off in the room and decided to take a gander at what the resort had to offer...

Waikiki Beach
Parrots doing some people watching...I don't blame them, the people watching was definitely a highlight of the trip ha!
SO happy to be in Paradise!!
Conveniently, we happened to stumble upon a bar on the resort right in the middle of Happy Hour...

Cheers to the beginning of a wonderful honeymoon!
We were a little lame that night, given the fact we were awake for 26 consecutive hours. And lucky for us, the time difference screwed with our schedule for the first couple days, and we were awake before 6AM - which forced me to get to the gym since there wasn't much else to do that early in the morning. We also were able to catch a great view of the sunrise from our balcony:


As well as a rainbow after a morning shower:


We decided to go grab some breakfast at the hotel...little did we know, this would be the most expensive breakfast either of us had ever eaten: $50 for banana pancakes, a yogurt parfait, 2 coffees, and a glass of OJ.

RIDICULOUS.

Brent and his gold banana pancakes

Brent booked us a couple's massage for later that morning, which was the most perfect way to start out the honeymoon, I tell ya! This was hands down THE BEST massage I had ever gotten. It was a traditional Swedish style with some Thai massage mixed in - I'm telling you, the stretching...wow.

Wow.

We spent the rest of the day at the beach, with this awful view:

Seriously, look at that water

Diamond Head in the background
And we enjoyed some happy hour drinks...


For dinner, we opted for some Japanese cuisine at Benihana's, which was a totally new experience for us. You sit around what's called a teppanyaki table (which has a built-in iron griddle), and the chef cooks the food right in front of you. The chefs entertain you as they cook by doing all short of "tricks" with the food - they toss shrimp tails in the air and catch it in their hats, juggle the food on their spatulas as they cook, etc. After dinner and a few drinks to round out day 2, we headed back to hit the hay. We had a long day coming up...hiking Diamond Head. I'll save that for my next post though!

View of Honolulu from our balcony at night

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm baaaaaack!

I have so so so much to tell, I don't even know where to start!

So I think I'll make this a quick post and just share some random wedding photos that our friends and family have been posting onto Facebook of the wedding.

There are many, many pictures to come - we took 600 pictures on the honeymoon alone. We are still waiting to hear back from our photographer for final wedding shots, so I'll hold off on a wedding post until then...Enjoy!!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My last post as Jennifer Mangini

On my way to work this morning, I realized it's my last day here at Adnexus as Jennifer Mangini. After today, I'm gone for 2 1/2 weeks, and when I return, I will be Jennifer Morse - kinda crazy, huh?

Countdown is just 3 days now...I can hardly believe it! We have been busy making list upon list and packing up all the wedding shtuff into nice organized boxes with labels for the wedding coordinator. I had to say goodbye to the Mastiffs this morning, which was a little harder than I expected. Brent dropped them off at daycare, where they will be for the next 16 DAYS. I continued to remind them they will no longer be illegitimate children when we return, but all I got was confused stares:


Next on the radar is picking up my new dress from the seamstress after work today - cross your fingers all goes well, pleaseeee! I don't think I could handle another dress breakdown 3 days before the wedding! But to be honest, I have a really, really good feeling about it and am actually not worried at all. So I'm going to go ahead and roll with my positive intuition right now.

I am so looking forward to spending the weekend with my family and closest friends. They are so incredibly dear to us, and we are very thankful for all the love and support we have been showered with since our engagement. All I can say is, I hope you all are ready for one hell of a party on Saturday!

I still can't believe in 3 days, I will be a married woman. Last week, I sat down to write my letter to Brent that he will be reading right before the ceremony. For those of you who know me, you know I am a super feeler, and this task definitely stimulated my emotions big time. I found myself smiling, laughing, and crying during the course of writing this letter to my groom. We have been through a lot together in the past 3 years, and I wanted to make sure I captured everything. He truly is the most wonderful person I have ever met, and I am so incredibly lucky to be spending the rest of my life with him. In 3 days, I will be marrying my best friend - how amazing is that?

With that being said, I am signing off for the next 2 1/2 weeks while I'm off getting married and enjoying my honeymoon on the lovely island of Oahu. When I return, summer will be over, and fall will be in full swing - not sure I'm happy or sad about that yet. Until then, I hope you all enjoy these last few weeks of summer!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crazy? Yeah, just a bit...

I think Ally, Brent, and Julie were ready to have me committed last week...between the fiasco in New Jersey on Tuesday and breakdown #2 on Friday. Yep, I said #2 - it happened again.

See, while I may be a perfectionist at times, I have remained grounded through the wedding planning process - as Brent calls it, the anti-bridezilla. I may harp about little things for a few minutes, but I usually talk myself out of it (or listen to Brent) and realize how unimportant it is in the grand scheme of things. And then BAM, done. I move on.

So why the hell was Friday so different? Well, it wasn't about decorations, seating charts, food, vendors...nothing that can be fixed by a pen, a phone call, or readjustment.

It was my dress.

And just in case you haven't had to deal with getting your bridal dress yet, this is how it goes: you begin your search an entire year before the wedding, you are surrounded by salon attendants (who might as well be sales people, they can be so pushy and opinionated), all the dresses you try on are at least 4 sizes too big and the attendants use clamps to fit them onto you,  many of the dresses are heavy - and I mean HEAVY - it takes about 6 months for your size to be made and sent back to the store, and then you proceed to have 3+ fittings.

Sounds fun, right? Sigh...men have it so easy.

Nonetheless, I was so ecstatic to start this process last September. I tried on a good 6 or 7 dresses before I found THE ONE. And much to my surprise, it was a style I never thought I would like. I fell in love with it, my mom and sister cried, my best friend cheered, we popped open a bottle of champagne in the store, and celebrated: the deed was done.

It took 6 months for the dress to be made and sent back to the store. I was SO excited to be able to try it on in my size without the clamps squeezing it shut. So off to the store I head for my fitting. Of course it was super long on me - I am only 5'1" after all - and it needed to be taken in on the sides and hips. The seamstress pinned it all up and in, and I was told I could come back anytime this summer for the next fitting.

I waited for the bridesmaid dress pick-up day and headed back for my next fitting. When I put on the dress this time, something changed. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking this doesn't look right; it didn't look like it did the first time or even the second time I had it on - it changed when it was altered. The shape of the dress - mermaid, which was one of my favorite parts about it - was lacking. It was as if they removed a foot off the bottom of the dress without re-forming the shape. It didn't have the typical hourglass shape it was supposed to - it just fell straight down. Not to mention, the top was about an entire cup-size too big - something that was supposed to have been altered after my first fitting.

I brought this to the attention of the attendants, who proceeded to tell me "no, no, it's supposed to be that way."

Aw, hell no.

I had them take in some of the ruching on the top, but because of the boning inside the bra region, it was unfortunately going to sit like that no matter what. Why was this never mentioned in my fitting, I wondered. Everyone in the store was coming up to tell me how beautiful it was, and I looked in the mirror one last time and thought to myself "you know what, Jen, you're being crazy right now, this dress really is beautiful - you're just having an off day."

Fast forward to this past Friday...I decided to put it on one last time while Brent wasn't home to make sure everything was all set - and because I was getting super excited to be all dressed up in my bridal gear! So I wrestle it out of its huge dress bag, slip it on, take a look in the mirror...and gasped. I stared at it for a good 5 minutes, lips shaking, heart racing - I think I saw stars. I freaked out, I started pacing back and forth. I realized that "off day" was not really an off day...it was real. I was mad: mad at myself, mad at the bridal shop. What was I going to do? The longer I had the dress on, the more I felt like I was suffocating in it. I hated it. It wasn't flattering, it was uncomfortable, and it was not the dress I had first tried on.

Was it my fashion sense that changed? My body shape? Was it the mirror? I looked at it in every angle, and it didn't matter what the reason was: I knew I hated it, and I couldn't wear it. I called Allyson, who was coming over that afternoon, and I cried my little heart out on the phone. I told her I was going to go find a local store and see what my options were. Then I called Brent and broke the news to him. His first question was "are you having one of your off days?" (he knows me so well). I called a local bridal shop here in Waltham, explained the situation, and they took me in right away.

We pulled about 5 dresses off the rack, and I began the process again. First dress was a definite no, second dress was a mehh, and then the third dress. Oh, the third dress. I slipped it on, the attendant clamped it back, and I took a big deep breath before I looked up in the mirror. And then I cried. It was perfect - everything about it. I walked around in it, tried it on with my shoes, my veil, my beaded sash I had bought to use with my first dress - and the more I had it on, the bigger my smile got. I didn't want to take it off.

I did end up taking it off eventually, and I walked out of the store with my new wedding dress - 8 days before my wedding.

Crazy? Yeah, just a bit.