Posts filed under ‘Good Things’

a good sign

I was in Boston for a conference in August. I came home from the conference, unpacked my stuff, moved the suitcase to my closet.

4 weeks ago, I looked through the closet and realized that I was missing two dresses.  One of which was the only dress I ever paid full price for.  Yep, it was awesome enough for this always-looking-for-a-sale girl to buy even though it was not on sale.  That should say something about how awesome it was.

I was super-bummed.

I called the hotel and left messages on random answering machines.  Then, things got busy for a few weeks.  I called last week and was sent (by the hotel operator) to random numbers where I left messages again.  Desperate messages.

So when I actually reached a real live person today, and that real live person told me that they’d call me back, I seriously doubted it.

And then, at 8pm tonight, I got the most amazing phone call – THEY HAVE MY DRESSES AND THEY’RE GOING TO SEND THEM BACK TO ME! The woman on the other end of the phone laughed about how excited I was to hear the good news.  So, even if she insisted on spelling Minneapolis Minneooiss (seriously, I could not get her to spell it right), I will likely get my dress back!  YES!

After I realized I had forgotten the dresses, I decided it was a sign that things in my life were too busy and chaotic.  So I’m going to take this as a sign that things are back on track.  Woohoo!

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October 20, 2008 at 10:38 pm 2 comments

cow shoes

Let’s be honest: this week was tough!

I’ve got a huge to-do list at work that doesn’t seem to be shrinking by itself. The truth is, many of the things on the to-do list are things that I’ve needed to do since I left Kentucky — 9 months ago. But papers take time to write, new experiments at my current job have been started, and I’ve taken on a little lot more than I can handle.

Not to mention, there is this little event called MY WEDDING that is taking place in exactly 11 weeks and 2 days. When it was 3 months away, it sounded like I had a whole bunch of time. But 11 weeks does not sound like a whole lot of time to put together the biggest party I’ll ever throw. Panic ensued. Only, I’m not sure why, because in all honesty, I think I am pretty on top of most things wedding-related. Our next task will be putting together and sending out invites. We’ve made the parts of the invites that we needed to make (I only have a little cutting to do – we printed 4 sets of directions/sheet and need to cut them apart). It’s not going to be an easy task – there’s about 150 to send out, and in an ideal world, I’d like the time to do calligraphy on each one. But still, I think we are on top of things – we’ve still got at least 2 weeks before they need to be sent out.

And I think that having the house in Kentucky is really starting to wear on me. I mean, I am trying to be patient since I really have no control over the situation, but let’s be honest: I am not always very patient. I just wish it would go away so that we can move on with our life here.

Jeez. Now that I list all that out, it doesn’t seem that bad. We should talk more often, blog friends.

But, these things have kind of worn me ragged this week and I’ve been cranky and generally no fun to hang out with.

But then! These showed up with the mail:

The note reads: Hi Jen! Thought these were fun and would brighten your day.  Love, Mom

I have the BEST. MOM. EVER.

July 17, 2008 at 10:09 pm 2 comments

gardening and more yard work

I know that the title of this post has you on the edge of your seats. Much excitement here to start off the work week right. Yes.

Anyways, while I was busy posting about every wedding I’ve ever been to, and you were busy snoozing on your computer because it was terribly boring, nothing much happened.

And now I am going to tell you about it.

First, our garden. It’s growing. See? Here is a shot of the garden from last weekend:

And here is one from today:

Notice how the pumpkins are ready to take over our entire property. Crazy pumpkins. Yes, you were right, should NOT have planted them in our 4-square-foot garden. I still maintain that I am shocked anything grew, and if you’ve witnessed my track record with house plants, you would know why.

In addition to giganto pumpkin plants, it looks like we’ve got some promising tomatoes and peppers growing. Which is exciting, because I’ve got a million leaves of lettuce (picked out of the garden, of course) and could definitely use something to put on them.

Second, we did some more yard work last weekend, and finished up one of the planting beds near the new brick patio that we built. This was actually quite entertaining, as part of our gardening experience included visiting coworker and friend, Dan, and his awesome wife, Cheryl. Really, we went over to their house to help pull some perennials out of their perennial garden so that we could plant them in our own. (We have to be frugal with our plant spending since we blew the budget on the brick pavers). We ended up staying and hanging out on their deck for the afternoon, drinking iced tea with mint and beer, just relaxing. It was excellent… their house overlooks a lake, and the back yard was designed for privacy, and also to attract all sorts of wildlife. We saw a bunch of birds and whatnot while just chillin’ on the deck. Very nice and peaceful.

So that was last Saturday. We then spent much of Sunday finishing up the brickwork on the planting beds and then planting said beds. But I think it looks much better now, even if the plants look like they’re dying in the photos.

This is what it looked like last time I shared pictures:

And now:  (much better, no?)

And here is a view of the back yard from our side door.  Please ignore how horrible our grass is.  Jason assures me that we will fertilize and seed in fall and everything will be better next year.

View from the North, looking South.  That big ugly firepit was left here by the previous owners.  I would love to put it on the patio, right smack dab in the middle there, but it’s all rusty and will ruin our new pavers every time it rains.  So, instead, we will let it kill the grass weeds until we get a new one.

During our trip to Milwaukee 2 weeks ago, we managed to score some free lilac plants from my mom and grandma.  I was particularly excited to plant the ones from my grandma – they were off-shoots from her lilac bush, which she transplanted from my great-grandmother’s farm before the farm was sold.  Isn’t that amazing?  You should all know by now what an obsession I have with all things old and heirloom-y, so I am just pleased as punch to have these little guys growing in my yard.  Now let’s just hope JT can keep them alive.

July 13, 2008 at 11:17 pm 3 comments

Weddings That I’ve Been To, Day 5

Cripes. I have been to A LOT of weddings. I hope a lot of people will show up at MY wedding. Because we all know that the BEST part of the wedding (you know, besides the actual getting married part) is getting to spend time with ALL of your most favorite people at the same time. Anyways, on to today’s weddings:

Wedding #17: Phil and Nicki. Phil is one of Jason’s high school buddies, and he’ll be one of Jason’s groomsmen in October. Phil and Nicki’s wedding and reception was held in a greenhouse in Philly in the middle of January! It was a great weekend and a beautiful location for a wedding/reception! And, they had a string quartet that played Coldplay songs. They also included some Filipino traditions in the ceremony, since Phil is the filipino from Philly. Super-awesome. We originally were leaning towards a winter wedding, but faced objections concerns from those that would be coming in from out of town. So, October, it is!

Anyways, here’s a shot of JT and I with the bride and groom:

Jason and his high school buddies. We’re hoping these guys will make it to our wedding, even if they don’t know where Milwaukee is or why anyone would want to get married there.

Awesome friend Andrea and I. Conveniently, Andrea married Phil’s brother, Jeff, (more on that wedding soon), so they were at the wedding, too! (PS look who, once again, has a drink in her hand. yikes.)

Wedding #18: Kitty and Mikey. Alright, Katie and Mike. Katie Kitty is, according to a valentine’s day scantron that we took junior year of high school, meant to be my best friend. So every time we see each other, we yell “best friend!” and giggle. Anyways, these crazy kids got married in Chicago, so we got to visit yet another fantastic city on our weddings-across-America tour. Here’s a shot of Jason and I on our way to the reception. (I made someone on the street take our photo, yet another time when Jason just rolled his eyes at me and played along). Yay for downtown Chicago!

Christina, Kitty, and I. Isn’t Kitty gorgeous in all of her wedding get up?

The whole clan of high school girls (from left to right): Christina, Nicki, Kitty, Amanda, Emily, Me, and Carrie. After this photo, we danced, talked, and ate some seriously amazing desserts (yay for the late-night dessert table!). (Eeek! I just remembered that I forgot to list Carrie’s wedding, which was during my college years… Carrie and Chris had an awesome and truly original wedding at the Madison zoo… after their vows, we got to walk around the zoo and say hi to the animals!).

Wedding #19: Stacy and Sean. Unfortunately, no pictures of this one! I must have either forgotten my camera or forgotten to charge the battery. Anyways, I will give you a little description: Stacy and Sean got married in Minnesota (yay for no traveling to this one!), just North of Minneapolis. Their reception was in a tent, which is a super-fun idea when it’s the middle of summer in Minnesota because our summers here are FANTASTIC. Unfortunately, they got married 2 weeks before I defended my dissertation and JT and I ended up leaving a little early!

Wedding #20: Jeff and Andrea. Jeff and Jason went to high school together (Jeff is Phil-from-wedding-#17’s brother), and they both moved to MN the same week. For a girl! But let me tell you, Andrea was totally worth the move because she is one of the most super-awesome people I have ever met. She asked me to be her wingman, which basically meant that I got to hang out with her and the bridemaids for the day! Yay! We started off with a girls-only sleepover the night before the wedding (I plan on also doing this. Why? Because it is just so much fun.) We hung out all day the next day, getting hair done (Andrea and the Bridesmaids) and makeup put on and all that fun stuff.

Then! Wedding time! The ceremony was beautiful, with all of the filipino traditions that Phil and Nicki included in their ceremony. The reception was held in downtown Minneapolis and it was gorgeous. The food was delish! We danced all night! I only snapped a few photos, though…

Here’s JT and I:

The gorgeous bride and I:

Check out this shot of JT… can you say “drunken phone call to a taxi driver to ask why he wasn’t picking us up yet?” (which is ridiculous in light of the fact that we had not yet called ANY taxi company).

Wedding #21: Sarah and Adam. Sarah was my roommate sophomore year of college, my teammate on the ski team, and my labmate when I was in grad school. So I was really thrilled when she asked me to be a bridesmaid, and she’s going to be one of my bridesmaids in October!! Like J, Jeff, and Phil, Adam is another Philly native. They got married in Minneapolis at the end of December 2006, but unfortunately, we lived in Kentucky at the time. Oh well, it was worth the travel! Such a beautiful wedding… Here’s a shot of Sarah getting her hair done.

Sarah and Adam during their reception at the Minneapolis Country Club.

Me with the beautiful bride!

Sarah and I breaking it down. My dance moves do not look very impressive in still photos. (Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not sure they’re very impressive in real life).

The obligatory Jason and Jen photo:

I actually managed to elbow out the competition at Sarah’s wedding and catch the bouquet, so it only makes sense that:

Wedding #22 will be our own wedding! Yay! So exciting!!

And this concludes the “Weddings That I’ve Been To” series. Now back to our regularly-scheduled blogging.

July 10, 2008 at 6:45 pm 2 comments

Weddings That I’ve Been To, Day 4

Are you getting sick of these posts yet?  Or enjoying the trip down memory lane?

Wedding #13:  Erin (Jason’s cousin) and Tim.  Erin and Tim had a very swanky event in the bride’s hometown, just outside of Philly!  They had a full mass at a beautiful old catholic church,  followed by a very nice reception at a country club.  Here’s a shot of Jason and I during the cocktail hour (you can see some of the golf course in the background of this shot):

Here’s a shot of most of the ladies in Jason’s family:

And here’s one of the beautiful bride, Jason’s sister, and Jason’s cousin:

And, just to end the fantastic evening in a very special way, Kevin and Jason had to break into their parents’ house because they didn’t have the key:

Wedding #14:  Emily and Drew.  I’ve known Emily since high school.  Em and Drew met at Creighton University and got married in St. Louis, in the church where Emily’s parents were married.  Isn’t that sweet!?!  Anyways, Jason and I decided to make the 9 hour drive from Minneapolis to St. Louis to attend (okay, I decided we should drive, Jason just went with it).  Here’s JT and I (yes, same outfit again, I know!!):

Emily and Drew’s reception was held at the botanical gardens in St. Louis.  Here’s a shot of my high school girls and I at the reception (from left to right: Kitty, Amanda, Me, Carrie):

A shot of the girls and I with the beautiful bride:

And, of course, I shot of the arch.  I made Jason pull off the highway for this one… only, we pulled off in kind of a sketchy industrial area.  Jason was NOT impressed.

Wedding #15:  Chuck and Jeanine.  Chuck was one of Jason’s college roommates, and Jeanine was the girl across the hall.  So, naturally, it only made sense for the wedding to be held at their alma mater, Loyola College in Maryland.  Here is the church (it totally reminds me of the church at St Olaf College, my alma mater):

Here’s a shot of Jason and two of his other college roommates, Thom and Erik.  We’re really excited that they’ll be able to make it to our wedding – Thom and his better half (hey! he admitted it on his own blog!), Onora, are coming from Seattle, and Erik is coming all the way from Italy to join us!!

Thom and Onora.  Thank goodness Onora was there… she was my partner in crime for the evening.


Jason and I.  Note my cheesy big grin.  Somebody (or two somebodies, actually) may have had a lot to drink at this wedding.  The next morning may have been rough.  Fortunately, there are no incriminating photos of me threatening to elbow the bridesmaids out of the way to catch the bouquet.

Wedding #16:  Josh and Katie.  Josh and I met my Junior year of high school.  He was always the organizer of things, most of the time, the organizer of crazy, random, fun things.  Like the night soon after Christmas where we pulled all of the Christmas trees that people had placed on curbs into our friend, Julie’s yard.  It was a hoot, and I’m sure she really appreciated it the next morning.  So, anyways, when Josh announced that he had met someone cute and she agreed to marry him, there was no way I was going to miss the wedding.  Even if it was in Indianapolis.  Unfortunately, I have only 2 pictures from the evening.  First, me and the Malmstrom brothers.  Troy is the cool guy on the left with the sunglasses – I used to carpool with him my senior year (actually, I just drove because he didn’t have his license yet), and I’m certain that I annoyed him the entire way.  Matt is on the right, and he’s the first guy I ever conned into going to the ballet.  We dated for 5 minutes, until I realized I was in high school and not really into dating anyways.

2.  Adam and I.  Adam is another BCHS (Brookfield Central High School) grad, and his parents live down the street from my parents!

Jason and I had so much fun hanging out with these kids that we all went out with them after the wedding.  Actually, we had so much fun that I got sick on the drive home the next morning.  Which was not great, since we had to make a stop in Milwaukee to take the annual Perry Family Christmas Photo.  So, if you’ve seen the 2005 edition of the PFCP, that might explain why I was slightly green.  Very Christmasy and festive.  Not quite so much fun.

Oh man, I STILL HAVE MORE!  So there will be at least another day of this wedding madness.  Perhaps I should have titled this latter section, “Times I drank too much and got sick the next day”  – might be more fitting.

July 9, 2008 at 10:49 pm 6 comments

Weddings That I’ve Been To, Day 3

Apologies for my lack of posting last night – Jason and I went to my cousin’s house for dinner and I came home with a migrane. I suspect it was caused by laughing too much… either that or my horrible posture causing the muscles in my neck to tense up and ache.

Anyways, up today: Jen does the chicken dance! This won’t be the last you see of my chicken dance moves… just wait ’till the wedding. I hope you all know and love the chicken dance and the electric slide – it wouldn’t be a wedding without those. And we’ll need a polka also. Because, come on, how much more German Milwaukee can you get?

Wedding #9: Uncle Brian and Aunt Jackie. I am so sad that these are the only pictures I have from this wedding. Jackie’s dress was amazing, and I wish I could show you all how cute she was! Brian and Jackie got married in this big huge old fancy catholic church, and Jackie wore her mom’s wedding dress (Jackie’s sister also wore the same dress – each had it altered just slightly to fit their style). I love it! I would totally wear my mom’s wedding dress… if it wasn’t horrible 80s style. I just don’t think any amount of alterations would turn it into something I’d ever wear (sorry mom, but you also said that you hated your wedding dress, so I don’t think I’m being too offensive here). Anyways, the chicken dance. Check out that huge grin on my face… must have been a good time. (also, look how much Robby has grown since Sunday’s post!)

Oh man, I am breaking it down in this shot: (I’ve since decided that those white shoes are not my favorite with the blue dress. What was I thinking?)

Wedding #10: Jake and Christina. This was the first friends wedding that I went to – Jake and Christina were college friends, and I had chemistry classes with both of them. They were married at our alma mater the year after graduation. Again, I have no pictures of the bride and groom, but here are some of me. Here is me with friends Jared and Katie (also fellow chemistry majors):

And, pictures of me with my awesome friend, Stacy, whose wedding you’ll hear about soon…

It’s a little bit sad to see these pictures, actually, because I haven’t kept in touch with Jake, Christina, Jared, or Katie. It almost makes me wonder who of our current friends we won’t be in touch with in another 5 years… I hope one of the perks of getting married when I’m a little older is that I’ll be able to keep in touch with all of the friends that will attend our wedding.

Wedding #11: Kevin (Jason’s brother) and Amy. Kevin and Amy’s wedding was by far one of the more fun weddings we’ve been to. I was a little nervous at first, having just met Jason’s family a few months earlier, but they are all just so darn nice that you can’t help but like them. The wedding took place in Chapel Hill, NC, and the weather was absolutely beautiful. Good thing, too, because they had a very impressive outdoor reception held in tents in their backyard. Again – this is one of those things that I am not brave enough to pull off – because I would have freaked out for MONTHS that it was going to rain. But not Kevin and Amy. They were cool as cucumbers that week.

Here’s a shot of the wedding party:

Jason, Bridget (his sister), and I: (note that I am guilty of wearing the same dress to 2 weddings. also, that dress only cost $20! I am proud of my deal-finding ways.)

The Ross’ and I:

Jason giving his best man speech:

Wedding #12: Mike and Colleen. Leenie was my next door neighbor in high school, and of course I was *thrilled* when she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding (she’ll return the favor in October)!! Their wedding was also super-fun, and she was such a laid back, calm bride. Hopefully I’ll be the same…

Colleen’s mom hosted a bridal luncheon on the day before the wedding. She treated us to a delicious lunch, and then gave a lovely speech about how all the ladies in the room will be who Colleen goes to when she has a rough patch in her marriage, and will be who Colleen celebrates with when things are going well. It was kind of a tear-jerker. I just love the idea of getting all the girls together the day before the wedding, but am doubtful that I have the time to plan something like this. Anyways, the picture:

And on to the actual wedding day. Here’s a shot of the other bridesmaids and I – check out how gorgeous the flowers are!

The wedding party:

Jason and I:

Cutting a rug at the reception: (you’ve seen this one already, but I wanted to remind you how fun it was. we danced all night!)

Stay tuned tomorrow… just a few more in this series, and if you’re lucky, maybe I’ll have some good stories.

July 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm 4 comments

Weddings That I’ve Been To, Day 2

Up today: my awkward teenage years. This should be good.

Wedding #5:  My uncle Jim and aunt Vicki.  My uncle Jim is also my godfather, so I was given the extra-special role of junior bridesmaid in their wedding!  As a thank you present, they gave me a photo album with photos of the rehearsal dinner and wedding, so I have LOTS of pictures to share with you!  (Note to self: this is an excellent thank you gift idea…).

Here’s the new Mr and Mrs introduced for the first time!  (PS check out the back of the bridesmaid dresses – they had strands of pearls dangling from the shoulders.  Details!)

Here’s me and the junior groomsman (my aunt Vicki’s godchild) walking out of the church.  I still thought boys had cooties at this point, so I wasn’t entirely sure about getting this close to one that I didn’t know.  But, anything for uncle Jim and aunt Vicki!

Everyone in the bridal party was introduced wearing masks at the reception –  a fun touch!  We spent the rest of the night dancing.

Here’s my uncle Jim and I dancing!  What a cute picture!

Wedding #6: A wedding in England!!  When my grandparents asked me to come to England with them for their friends’ son’s wedding, I was ecstatic.  Mr and Mrs Court have been long-time friends of my grandparents, and when I was little, their daughter, Sarah, lived with my grandparents.  I don’t remember meeting their son, Simon, until the wedding, but that was fine.  Why?  Because I got to wear a hat and have my first sips of wine.  Check out my brace face along with the lovely Sarah (then Court) Blakstad and her hubby (more on that wedding later), David.  Look how proud I am of that glass of wine.  I probably had 3 sips and giggled the rest of the night.  Ahh… some things never change.

Good thing I was helping them drink the wine: check out that bottle.  It’s huge!!

Wedding #7:  My aunt Teresa and uncle Mark.  Teresa is my mom’s youngest sister, and Mark was our tennis instructor!  So I’d like to pretend for a minute that I’ve had some sort of matchmaking role in this one.  Anyways, heres a shot of all the ladies!  I was a *real* bridesmaid in this wedding!  yay!

The bride and groom.  Isn’t this a nice photo?  BTW: Teresa was the ultimate DIY bride and did all of the flowers in the bouquets.  Amazing, no?  I am totally not that brave.

Here is my dad and I dancing.  I can guarantee you that he’s saying, “STOP LEADING!”  And that is probably what he’ll still be saying during the father-daughter dance at my own wedding.  Eek!  I am just not a good follower!

A full Perry family shot – check out how adorable little Robby is in that tux!  And why is my hair piled so high on my head?  Did I really wear that?  And love it?  Because I think this was the first time I had my hair professionally styled in an updo, and I was pretty thrilled about it.

Wedding #8:  Back in England!  Ashley and I were asked to be bridesmaids in Sarah Court’s wedding!  Remember how she married David Blakstad?  I mentioned this above in wedding #6.  Here are the photos.

The ladies arrive at the church in style!

Robby was so cute that Sarah thought he should be a little ringbearer.  Don’t you love his little top hat and tails?  What a cutie!  Sarah’s wedding was at the church down the street from her parent’s house, and her reception was held in a tent in their backyard.  They have the *perfect* back yard for a tent reception – their garden is just stunning.

Just so you can check out Robby in his tux again.  Look at that cute little smirk!  Also, can you believe that our dresses were handmade in the 2 days prior to the wedding.  We came into town, met with the dressmaker, and suddenly, she had these lovely dresses all ready for us!

And that’s all the fun we have for today!  Stay tuned tomorrow for photos of me doing the chicken dance at aunt Jackie and uncle Brian’s wedding!

July 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm 2 comments

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