Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bridesmaid Dress Fiasco

My sister-in-law's wedding has finally arrived. We fly out to California bright and early Thursday morning for her nuptials on Thursday night. We arrive in California around 3:30 pm and need to be on the beach for pictures (which I believe is an hour away) at 4:30 pm. We are obviously cutting it real close. Let's hope we aren't delayed and the weather is perfect. For an idea on why we can't fly out on Wednesday, you can read a guest post I wrote a while back here.

So back in December when SIL asked me to be in the wedding, she sent me a link to a dress at David's Bridal. However, she told me not to order anything yet because she wasn't sure if those were the dresses she really wanted.

Cut to May.

I emailed her asking if she had decided on a dress since the wedding was fast approaching. She said she would contact her MOH and see if the original dresses were still available. Of course, they weren't. She then said she would contact me again to let me know what the plan was. I didn't hear from her for a while, and then a couple weeks ago she said we all should just try to find a light yellow dress. I looked around, but couldn't find anything, so I let her know that there were some other dress styles at David's Bridal in the original light yellow color. Again, a week or so goes by. She then contacts me last week to tell me that I should go and buy this dress:I call David's Bridal to set up an appointment and make one for this past Thursday. I show up at the store, thinking that they will have racks and racks of the dresses in many colors and styles, when in fact that is not how David's Bridal works. They have dresses in various colors and styles and then you order what you would like. Now that I think of it I suppose it is just like any other bridal salon, but my SIL gave me the impression that I would be able to go buy the dress at the store.

Of course, they don't have the dress in the right color in my size. The saleslady then calls around to see if the dress is available in any other stores in the US and if it can be shipped ASAP. No luck. I call my SIL frantically asking what to do, and she gives me some more dress styles that she likes. I try them on to figure out which size I need (their sizing varies a lot between dress styles) and we finally find that the dress below is available at a store in Woodbridge, VA in the style, size, and color needed (or so I thought). I pay for the dress at the original store and agree to pick it up at the Woodbridge store today, since the store is about an hour away from where we live.

So today we venture down to Woodbridge and when they bring out the dress, it is not the dress I thought I ordered, nor was it the size that fit me in that dress (does that make sense?).

Cue tears.

Apparently the saleslady at the original store gave the saleslady at the Woodbridge store the wrong style number and the size for the other dress. UGGGGGHHH. So we search the store for any dresses in the color and we find three that could potentially work. I try them on and luckily one of them fits. So now I will be wearing this dress on Thursday:
The dress is actually a lot cuter in person and resembles the cotton cady dresses from J. Crew. But OMG, could this have been any more of a hassle?!?

ETA: I must thank the helpful manager at the Woodbridge store. She allowed me to return the first dress even though it was a final sale and helped to calm me down and find something that could work.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Art and Soul

It's restaurant week in DC!

To celebrate the end of summer we headed to Art Smith's restaurant Art and Soul. If you are a Bravo fan, you probably know him from Top Chef Masters.


If you are looking for a place to enjoy some gourmet soul food, this is the place to go! From the complimentary skillet bread to the peanut brittle that comes with a cup of coffee, the entire meal was delicious!

Spinach and goat cheese ravioli with fresh vegetables

Chocolate cheesecake

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of my salad or any of AJ's food because it was all devoured before a picture could be taken. This will definitely become a regular splurge place for us. If you are in the Capitol Hill area, I definitely recommend you check it out! Chef Smith also has a restaurant in Chicago, Table Fifty-Two, so if you live or visit there you should check it out and let me know how it is!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Office Tour

I'm still here!

I have survived the first half of the first week of school. I have spent most of my time getting my office together and organizing everything for the school year. I even took pictures of my office on my BlackBerry. I am not done decorating; I need to fill my walls with posters, but you can get an idea of where I spend my days!

My half of the office (I share with the Speech Language Pathologist)

My kid table topped with bins of crayons, toys, and other things I need to assess students

My desk

My filing cabinet plastered with motivational sayings from the principal. I have since filled the two empty bins with my test kit materials.

The SLP let me steal some of her magnetic letters, but didn't have enough letters for "psych*ologist"

The view from my desk

Inside my desk drawer

I have enough pens/pencils/markers to last me my entire career

I heart Sharpies

My shelf filled with all my books and binders

Hope you enjoyed my office tour! Life is crazy the next two weeks, bear with me while I am MIA.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Feeling Grown Up

Tomorrow we are flying to Buffalo for a wedding. Our flight leaves the airport at 10:50 and we arrive in Buffalo around 12:30. I believe the wedding is at 2. Talk about cutting it close. Anyway, we are only going up for the night, so we are planning to carry-on and take a cab to the church as soon as we land. We will then put our bags in a friend's car and ride with them to the hotel, which doubles as the reception site. On Sunday we will take a cab back to the airport (unless someone is awake and offers to drop us off) after what I imagine will be a night of debauchery. We have another direct flight around 12:30 and will be home in time to make dinner.

Something about this trip really makes me feel like a grown up. Maybe it is that we are flying instead of driving. Maybe it is the direct flight. Maybe it is that we will be dressed for the wedding when we are on the plane. Maybe it is that we are seeing AJ's college friends for the first time since our wedding. Maybe it is that I finally am out of grad school and have a real job to talk about. Maybe it is the briefness of the trip.

It could also be any combination of those things.

I guess I don't know what it is, but I like it!

Side note: The hotel is right next to Niagara Falls. I am from Upstate NY, but somehow I have never been to the falls. Expect lots of pretty pictures upon our return!

Monday, August 17, 2009

First (Real) Day of Work

Tomorrow is my first day of work at my new school and I am freaking out. It's like I'm a little kid going to kindergarten over here! My stomach is in knots and my hands are a little clammy. Yikes. I need to relax! The kids don't come back to school until Monday, so this week will involve a lot of introductions, meetings, and preparations. I am most excited to organize and decorate my office. I will definitely take before and after pictures!

The sad part about the start of the school year is that I won't be able to post or twitter at work. However, I didn't post that often during the summer anyway (something about summer and blogging don't seem to mesh well for me) so I guess just my twitter feed will suffer. I am hoping to get back into a nice blogging rhythm once fall hits.

Anyway...in preparation for tomorrow I am planning to paint my nails a neutral color, lay out my clothes, and pack my bags before I attempt to go to bed. I probably won't get much sleep, but hopefully my adrenaline will keep me going tomorrow!

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gap Born to Fit Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone that entered my Gap Born to Fit giveaway! I received more comments on that post than I have for any other giveaway I have hosted. I am glad you are all so interested in Gap's new line of jeans. They really are amazing jeans. I stumbled across this article through Twitter that discusses why and how Gap went about designing the jeans. Very interesting!

On to the fun stuff! I have six jeans certificates to giveaway so here are the winners, as determined by the random website.

Holly Golightly of Holly Goes DC

Beach Blonde of I Teach for a Living...What's Your Superpower?

Sara of This Beautiful Thing

Law Girl of Law School, Love, and Life

Caitlin of A Galway Girl (in Chicago)

E of Some Like it Hot

Congrats ladies! I will email you to get your address and will send your certificates this weekend.

While preparing to pick the winners, I realized the coupons I previously blogged about expired on Wednesday. Oops! I have been out of it and I hope you can all forgive me.

Luckily, the Gap is offering $20 off any pair of their new jeans, so you are all discount winners!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So Stressed

It has been one of those weeks where I am so stressed I can't handle anything. I am once again on the verge of tears.

Why?

Comcast didn't install the right kind of land line for our alarm system. Today was their fourth visit since moving day. AJ had to leave work early to meet them because otherwise they wouldn't come out until next week. They finally got the system hardwired so it could be activated.

However, ADT could not activate our system and couldn't figure out why. A few phone calls later and a raised voice from AJ and they realized they had five accounts for our address and were looking at the wrong one. They finally figured it out and now the system is working.

I am officially back to work and am currently going through orientation. The same orientation I went through last year as an intern. I am talking the same handouts, same powerpoint slides, and same lectures. For 7 hours a day. To make matters worse, I have been working there for a year and have been DOING everything they are teaching us for the last year.

I'm PMSing and am an emotional wreck.

I am so stressed about boarding Kona. We have a wedding to go to next weekend and will have to board her for a night and then AJ's sister's wedding in CA in three weeks, for which we will have to board her for five days. I wouldn't be freaking out if I could find a place I feel comfortable with, but every place I've researched seems to have horror stories attached to it and they freak me out. I miss the place we used to board her in NC. She loved going there and I know they treated her well!

AJ is beginning to interview for summer associate positions. He scheduled his first interview today for early next week. I'm stressed about buying a plane ticket and/or figuring out how two of us will use one car in different parts of the northeast (did I mention the interview is in my hometown in NY?). Plus I'm freaking out about being alone (for the night and potentially for next summer). I should be happy about his first interview, but the stress of it all is just making me crazy.

I hate being sad and grumpy. Hopefully I will snap out of it soon. Luckily I went on a power walk with Landlocked Mermaid at 6 am this morning, and that made me happy for a few hours. Speaking of LM, she has decided to go private, so if you want an invite email her. If you need her address leave me a note in the comments.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tidbits

Thank you all for your comments on my last post. It makes me feel better that others have gone through this as well. I am currently waiting for Comcast to arrive and install our land line so that our security system can work properly. Hopefully this will help me feel more comfortable!

I am busy cleaning up the house and doing loads of laundry, so I leave you with some tidbits of what is going on in my life!
  • We are still without our TV. We had two technicians come look at it last Saturday and they determined that a panel is fried. Luckily the warranty will cover this and we are getting a brand new TV. The process has taken forever though, and we likely will not get the replacement until next week. My parents brought down a little TV that we have in the second bedroom and we have been watching stuff on there. It is weird not hanging out in the living room though...
  • This weekend we went camping with Sweet Bea and Florida. We had a lot of fun and I am proud of myself for making it in the wild. I went into the river (although Bea said it didn't count because I only went up to my knees), but passed on fishing. All I could think was "Fish are friends, not food" from Finding Nemo. Funny how it doesn't bother me when I am eating fish (or anything else for that matter).... I have lots of pictures that I will share later this week when I get a chance to upload them.
  • While camping, my car decided to fail yet again. This time it was the battery. We had to jump it three different times before we realized the battery was super dead and it needed to be replaced. My car is only 3 years old, but you'd think it was 20 with all the problems I have had lately. Not cool!
  • My summer vacation is officially over. This week I start orientation and marks my last 3 day work week. Next week I work 4 days and then the week after that the kids are back in school. Ummm, where did summer go and what did I do?? I am excited for fall, football season, and school to start, but I really have no idea where summer went.
  • Today is my grandmother's 76th birthday. I hate being away from family on birthdays! I am sure my family is going out to dinner and it makes me sad that AJ and I don't get to be a part of the celebration. It is also starting to hit me that my grandparents are getting older and I don't know how long they will be with us. I definitely wish I could spend more time with them....and maybe give them a great-grandbaby sometime in the near future.
  • It is supposed to break 100 today. I am staying indoors!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Scaredy Cat

My parents came to DC last Wednesday to help us pack up and move to our new place. They left yesterday and I would be lying if I said I was sad to see them go. I hate to sound mean and inconsiderate, but they were staying with us and after 7 days with my mom I was going insane. I love her to death and I am so appreciative of everything her and my dad did for us during this difficult transition, but I was ready for things to get back to normal.

Well, now I am eating my words. Last night was the first night in our place with just the three of us, and I was up the entire night worrying about someone breaking into our house. I don't know what it was about having my parents and their dog in the next room the previous nights, but it made me feel safe and I had no trouble sleeping. I hate to write this, because it sounds like I don't feel safe with my husband and dog, because I do. I know that my husband would be up in a second if something actually happened and that our dog would freak out if she heard something serious. It's just that our new house is old, so big, and is in a pretty quiet neighborhood, so I hear EVERY little creak and crack, yet don't think I could hear if someone was in the back of the house because it is so far away. Our old place was much, much smaller, and I felt confident that I could hear if someone was trying to break in. Also, we had bars on all our windows and had a double entrance; one into the building and one into our apartment. Our new place is basically the exact opposite.

We do, however, have an alarm system, but we don't have a land line yet, so it doesn't work properly. After lying in bed for an hour last night, I decided we had to turn on the alarm system, just in case. It appeared to arm fine, but then a little while later it started beeping and I about had a heart attack. Once we checked the house to see that no windows or doors had been opened, we finally realized it was an alert that the system wasn't functioning properly because it is not connected to a phone line. We turned it off and went back to bed, but instead of sleeping I stayed up reading blogs and watching TV because I was feeling so anxious.

Today I am exhausted because I didn't fall asleep until 5:30, when it finally started to get light out. I have always struggled with night time and being afraid of the dark and intruders, but last night was crippling. I felt short of breath and had the worst feeling in the pit of my stomach.

It doesn't help that I watched Captured, NCIS, CSI, and Law & Order yesterday. When we first moved to DC, AJ implemented a no crime show policy to help curb my fears. It definitely helped, so it looks like this policy is back in action. Also, I like being informed about what is happening in the neighborhood, but maybe reading all the blogs that report every crime ever committed is making me a little too anxious.

And I am fully aware that we chose to live in a city, we knew what we were getting into with the house/neighborhood, crime does exist, yada yada yada..... I did not, however, think I would react so negatively and now must find a way to handle this.

Sorry if this is jumbled and incoherent. I just wanted to get it off my chest and maybe see if anyone else deals with something similar.

We are getting the land line installed Monday and then we can use the alarm system properly. Hopefully that will help me relax and sleep, because I cannot be dealing with insomnia and anxiety once I start working full time again. This is really hard for me to admit because I have always felt that someone who works with people that have psychological issues SHOULD NOT have their own issues. I know that this is flawed thinking, but I can't help but feel like a fraud/failure.

Sigh....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gap Born To Fit Party!

Last night I hosted 18 lovely ladies at my new house for a Gap Born to Fit party! We all had a great time eating, drinking, socializing, and enjoying all the goodies Gap and Brand About Town sent for the party.

We had so much fun I didn't take that many pictures! Oops! Luckily I took some pictures before everyone arrived and we got a group shot at the end of the night.


Everyone got to try out the new premium jeans in all three styles; Always Skinny, Real Straight, and Sexy Boot.


In an effort to be fair and to make sure everyone got to try all three styles, I had all the girls fill out a card ranking the three styles and the size that fit them best. More than half of the ladies preferred the Sexy Boot, but Real Straight and Always Skinny got a lot of love too!


There was a lot of talk about the overall construction and feel of the jeans; you can really tell that all three styles are high quality. People also noted that the jeans are more on par with designer jeans than previous Gap jeans. The ladies loved how the Gap jeans have a nicer price tag than traditional designer jeans. And while all that stuff is important, I think everyone was most excited about how they looked in the jeans. There was a lot of talk about the jeans being sexy!

In addition to sending the jeans, I got some snacks, bowl, digital camera, jump drive with a short movie about the jeans, and a digital video camera! How cute are the M&M's, popcorn, and snack bowl?




Everyone received a reusable tote bag filled with a pair of jeans in their favorite style or a certificate to purchase their favorite at Gap! They all loved being able to try out the jeans and take home a pair of their choice! By the end of the night, ALL of the jeans found new homes and I am sure their owners will get a lot of great wear out of them.


I also was able to give one lucky lady, Landlocked Mermaid, a gift card for 50 dollars!


I have a bunch of jeans certificates and coupons to give away so leave a comment telling me which style you want/need! Make sure you also leave me an email address so I can contact you if you win. If you tweet or blog about the giveaway I will give you an extra entry for each. You can put all your entries in one comment. You have until Friday the 14th at 12pm to enter!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Moving: The Numbers

One:
-Broken toe (AJ, not me)
-Near death experience for Kona
-Meal cooked at home (tonight)
-Meltdown (me, following Kona's near death experience)

Two:
-Trips to Home Depot
-Visits from Comcast (plus one more in the works)
-Pieces of new furniture that have been assembled

Three:
-Days left to finish unpacking and organizing before my Gap party.
-Additional pieces of new furniture that still need to be assembled

Four:

- Times we were able to park directly in front of our new house when moving stuff (WOO HOO!)

Five:
-Neighbors met thus far

Six:
-Days since the first boxes were moved

Seven:

-Trips between the old and new place before everything was moved

Countless:
-Arguments
-Subsequent make-ups
-Boxes unpacked
-Boxes left to unpack
-Babies in our new neighborhood