Category Archives: Celebrations

I Know It’s the Middle of September But…

August just went by so fast!

It all started, as most months do, on the 1st. August 1st, that is, when I started my new job (same company, new position, whole new world).

And then the month ticked away, as most months do, without me hardly knowing where the time was hurrying off to. Though I do remember pausing to make it out on the water one more time and to see two wonderful friends tie the knot. And there was an earthquake and a hurricane in there somewhere as well…

Oh yeah, and then the last weekend of the month, Hugh proposed at me.

And a few days later, we moved from two horribly unorganized apartments into one smaller one. It will forever live in my memory as the move that took forever. We drove that trailer up and down the highway, back and forth 30 or so miles, stopped at each apartment a time or two, and by the end of it we came home to our new place full of stuff we could barely stand to look at.

Oh, moving.

It started so innocently, with this little helper guy guarding my packing paper:

And this scene of chaos with furniture and bubble wrap and bridal magazines strewn about in my old place:

And then we moved for 18 hours straight, went to sleep, woke up bright and early to move some more. I of course did not take any pictures as I was busy having a mental breakdown over the sheer physics of the stuff-to-space ratio of our new place.

But eventually, things started coming along.

First and foremost, the board games got organized.

We put pictures up as we unpacked them, and I instantly fell in love with the fireplace (wood-burning!) and mantel.

And there was still stuff all over our dining room

But I had already organized the kitchen masterfully!

It has already been a wonderful place for me to cook and for Hugh to clean up and pack our lunches. It doesn’t hurt that you can see the TV from the sink.

We did end up having to shove stuff in closets this past weekend (our first normal one in the apartment) when we had a guest for two nights and hosted a game-watching for VT football Saturday.

Hugh lead the charge.

And by Saturday we had a cozy apartment for eating, beer-drinking, football-watching relaxation.

Now we just have to finish finding places for things, organize the patio we use for storage, and plan a wedding.

Eeesh.

Meanwhile, Lily (who moved to the parents’ house to avoid the moving chaos) is living the life of luxury.

Yes.

Last Tuesday we survived a rare earthquake in DC, and this weekend we braced ourselves as Hurricane Irene swept through with high winds and an incessant downpour.

So yesterday, when the sun was shining and the sky was blue, after a necessary afternoon nap, we had to take advantage of the day. Hugh and I ventured out to the batting cages at Woody’s in Reston where I proved to Hugh years ago that I haven’t lost my eye-on-the-ball talents and am not too shabby in the batters’ box.

Hugh showed everyone up in the “very fast” cage while I took blurry pictures of him and fielded compliments from on-lookers on his skill (not kidding).

And then Hugh made fun of me for looking crazy in Woodys’ helmets and complaining that the batting gloves smelled like feet.

I think I was impatiently waiting for someone to get out of my favorite cage, the slow softball pitch (I said I could hit, I didn’t say I wanted a challenge). Look at this professional [blurry] stance:

I got really intense as I started hitting line drives up the [imaginary] left field line.

When we’d both hit twice and I was sufficiently grossed out by Hugh’s batting gloves, we headed back to the car so that we could make it to Manassas in time to have dinner with my parents (and borrow their truck for our move this week!). While I was sitting half inside the car changing out of my sneaks and into my sandals, Hugh suggested that we take a walk to “see what’s in the woods over there.”

Sure, Hugh. Whatever you want to do.

There, we were actually surprised to find grills, picnic tables and this old camp site complete with a triangle for summoning the cowboys to dinner.

And a path leading to who knows where.

And while I was poking around, investigating the area, Hugh said

Well, Lauren.

I turned around to find him on his knee, reaching into his pocket and shock set in as he recited a modified version of the speech he’d prepared (he admitted to having forgotten most of it in the moment, understandably so), which ended with

Will you marry me?

I was in shock, I think I said “oh my gosh, really?!” a few thousand times before Hugh reminded me to answer him.

I of course said, Yes.

Before the whirlwind of calling family and friends began, we spent some time reveling in the excitement and each other, and I asked Hugh a few times if he was sure.

He of course said, Yes.

True to form, before we left I had to take some self-timer photos to commemorate the moment and the spot in the woods behind Woody’s batting cages where we decided to take on a pretty significant adventure together.

We celebrated over a home-cooked dinner and a bottle of champagne with my parents.

It was perfect.

PS: Who wouldn’t want to marry this?!

I Was Off the Grid

Sort of.

Last week I was in Nags Head, NC with friends for our fourth annual Friends Beach Trip.

These guys came:

And so did these guys:

And these guys came to teach everyone how to expertly boogie board:

I was there, too!

We started July 4th with a salute to the Star Spangled Banner at 10 a.m. and continued it with American beer:

In between days with too-cold water and jelly fish-infested water, we played in the ocean:

And Benjamin enjoyed his half-day before having to head home to go back to work. Adulthood sucks.

Jessie was not a fan of Benjamin’s early departure:

But we managed to get a group photo before he left (unfortunately we were missing D for this one):

After showering up from the beach, our America celebration continued with matching (blurry) girls:

And unruly boys:

And slightly less unruly (blurry) boys:

Despite many, many attempts, Jessie and I got a blurry picture:

We feasted like champions the next morning on gourmet breakfasts of mac-and-cheese-with-cut-up-hot-dogs, pasta salad and eggs.

On the last night before all the friends left, we had an accidental/mandatory uniform night:

And on Wednesday we had a fancy group lunch at Sonic before everyone left Hugh and me to fend for ourselves the rest of the week.

It was quite the pig-out session and it was Jessie’s very first Sonic experience:

I think she liked it.

Then we said goodbye, everyone left, and Hugh and I went back to the big, empty beach house and settled into our friendless depression.

Just kidding, it wasn’t that bad.

But I will save that update for tomorrow.

MOH Chronicles: The Bridesmaid Dress Shopping Saga

I have never tried on so many dresses in my life.

Let me step back and let you know a little about me. Sure, I like to shop. But I will walk around a store picking up clothes for myself and eventually decide not to buy anything because I do not like trying clothes on. I much prefer online shopping.

But I am a dutiful MOH, so when Rebecca took Megan (MOH #1) and me shopping one evening last month I tried on every dress on the rack with a giant grin on my face. See?

Megan and I shared a tiny dressing room at this store, which allowed us to have side conversations about the dresses we were wearing and guess what the bride’s reaction would be before we walked out.

Megan and I both liked the dresses with pockets as well as getting pinned by a stranger. We have a lot in common.

After trying on 147 dresses each, Rebecca needed to look through a catalog for additional options.

Eventually, Megan had to re-try the front runner while I sat comfortably in my own clothes and took pictures.

And compare the current front-runner to a past front-runner from a previous shopping trip.

Alas, we departed for a store down the road which had an even more limited selection. After a trip to Rosalin’s Bridal the next week where Megan (MOH #1) and Maria (bridesmaid) tried on more dresses in similar silhouettes but different fabrics, the bride eventually made a decision.

The dresses are not black or pink.

And they have all been ordered, so there’s no turning back now.

There’s also no more trying on.

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