Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quick Update and a Call for Ideas

Yeesh, I can't believe how much time has gone by since my last blog post.  I blame a combination of wedding planning mixed in during Christmas time.  So what have I been doing?  Being productive at least!

I can now check bridesmaid dresses, my mom's mother of the bride dress (or in her case pants), and invitations off the list of things that need to be done for the wedding.  I've got messages out to DJ's for the wedding as well, and Mike and I will be making that decision within the next week.  After that it's a bit of a break.  The next steps will be flowers, cake, tuxes, and wedding menu.  Those are all going to be accomplished during All-Star break when we can meet the vendors in person.  I can't believe how much closer the wedding has gotten since I first started the planning back in July.  Time is flying!

Aside from the wedding stuff, there was that whole Christmas thing this month.  I did the best I could with the little we travel with to decorate our place and make it look like Christmas.  And I actually managed to finish all the Christmas shopping with over a week to go until Christmas, which is ridiculously early for me, haha.  We spent Christmas with my family since they live only a few hours away from Binghamton.  It was fun and a nice break from having to think about hockey.

Mike, some of his teammates, the front office, and I have also been volunteering at the Humane Society here in Binghamton.  It's something we'll keep doing throughout the season.  I'm an animal lover, and any help we can give organizations dedicated to helping animals is important to both of us.  Especially in the aftermath of the flood here in September which displaced a lot of animals who had families that couldn't take them with them when they lost their homes, or couldn't afford to continue to care for them with all their money needing to go towards their own repairs.  The guys did a calendar with either their own pets or ones from the Humane Society and it came out great!  There are still some left, and you can order them through the B-Sens website for $20 with all proceeds going to the Humane Society.  I'm pretty sure you can also request to have your favorite B-Sen autograph it for you as well!

I'm definitely looking forward to the New Year.  There is so much to look forward to in it that I can honestly say that I haven't looked forward to a new year as much as I am this one.  I hope all of you had a great holiday and will have a great start to the New Year as well!

In hopes of not letting this much time pass between blog posts again, I just want to know if there is anything anyone out there wants me to write about?  With the holiday and wedding planning, my brain has just not been on this, so a little inspiration would be great.  Throw out some ideas and I'll take them into consideration/use them!

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving and the Spirit of Giving

I know it's a day late, but I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving had a good one!

On Tuesday my parents came in with their dog Nash, who happens to be Bauer's best friend.  We just spent the night hanging out and laughing at the dogs as they played.  Even though Thanksgiving was yesterday, we did our big meal on Wednesday.  Mike had a game Thursday night, but we still wanted Thanksgiving dinner (obviously) so Wednesday it was.

From the moment I woke up Wednesday, I was in the kitchen most of the day.  I love hosting, and despite it just being my family, I like to do everything myself when guests are over.  I turned down multiple offers of help, and got to work.

On the menu was: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and rolls.  You know, the classics.  Not shown was the pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for dessert.  I made everything except the turkey, cranberry sauce, and desserts myself on Wednesday, although I did assist on the turkey.  You can't underestimate the power of seasoning on food, and that was my job.  My brother made it to town just in time to sit down at the table and have dinner with us.

Thursday was game day, so while Mike did his typical pre-game stuff, I entertained everyone.  Okay, I put football on the TV.  It also happened to be my Dad's birthday so we celebrated that yesterday as well.  I got to the rink early so I could take donations for Movember before the game started.  Then it was on to watching Mike get a 37 save win!  After the game the team set up an awesome meal for the guys' and their families where we got a second Thanksgiving feast.  Then we came home and had my Dad open his presents before we all fell asleep.

My parents and brother all left this morning.  I'm exhausted.  Of course, part of that comes fromm whatever that ridiculously loud beeping sound going on in the neighborhood was that went on from about 5 am until 8.  Bauer's passed out from playing with Nash non-stop for the last 3 days, and as soon as Mike hits the road to Syracuse for his game tonight, I'm going to be passed out too.

For any fans in Binghamton - The Movember donations can still be made at the game on Saturday if you didn't get a chance to make one last night.  A table will be set up on the concourse with pictures of all the guys and their mustaches!  For every $5 you donate you get a raffle ticket to put into the jar of whichever guy (or guys) you think has the best mustache.  Whichever player has the most votes (and makes the most money) will draw one name from his jar, and that person will win a meet in greet with the player along with an autographed action shot.  You also get a fake mustache to wear (or pass out to someone who will) for every $5 donation.  I hope to see lots of those mustaches being sported at the game on Saturday night!

On another note (and keeping in the spirit of giving) I've just discovered that the B-Sens girls raised way more than I expected for Love for Lokomotiv through our bracelet sales!  There are a few bracelets left, but barely, so if you are still interested in purchasing one, get in contact with the front office!  It's awesome that we had the kind of support from the community that we did, even after the flooding in the region.  We also haven't even collected the donations from the guys themselves yet, so the total amount donated will be even higher!

I also spent some time one afternoon this week with a couple of the other girls making wreaths that are going to be auctioned off for charity.  I don't have all the information on that yet, but when I get it I'll be sure to pass it along!  One wreath is a B-Sens themed wreath with all sorts of team goodies on it.  Another is a lotto themed wreath full of different lotto tickets and some gingerbread goodness as well.

And last, this upcoming Tuesday the B-Sens are doing their annual Toys for Tots Spaghetti Dinner.  Dinner will be served to you by the players, and you can also bid on an opportunity to eat dinner with your favorite player!  More info can be found here.

Also, the girls and I will be doing one more thing for the holidays.  When we get all the details worked out, I'll pass that info along as well.  I know that it's holiday time, and money gets spread thin, but every little bit helps, so if you have the means, please donate not just to the above mentioned charities, but any that you feel strongly about supporting.  And don't forget that charitable work doesn't only need to be done around the holidays, but the rest of the year as well.  Also, money isn't all that is needed.  Any free time you have can be spent volunteering, which can mean just as much to someone if not more as the money could.  Sorry if I'm preaching, it won't happen again!

What did all of you do for Thanksgiving?  Who braved the crowds to do some Black Friday shopping?  Not me!  If you went, you're a brave soul!  I wouldn't have the patience or the balls, haha.  Happy Holiday season everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Being the New Girl

For a girl who was painfully shy as a child, and only got slightly better through adolescence, having to meet dozens of new people once a year and being expected to socialize with them is a horrifying thought.  It was the one thing I didn't take into account when I made the decision to live with Mike and follow him wherever his career took him.  I knew I'd be spending countless hours in hockey rinks, that he wouldn't be home half the season, not every game played would go well, I'd be giving up the chance at a career for a few years at least, and so on.  I didn't take into consideration that I would always be the new girl walking into a room full of people who know each other.

My first experience being the new girl was Mike's first year pro in Vegas in the ECHL.  I was finishing school so I was the out of town girlfriend.  Being the out of town girlfriend isn't very fun, because when you can't visit often, you don't really get to know the girls that well.  At least for me, when that happens, you tend to do a lot of standing around, nodding and smiling without any sort of clue what most of their discussions are about. That year I was visiting over New Year's and the guys were on the road in Salt Lake City for 3 games that weekend.  Some of the girls wanted to go and Mike's car was the only one we could take, so they relied on me to get them there.  We were stuck in a car for 6 hours together, so while I spent most of the time listening to the talk, I was forced to answer questions as well.  I still felt strange through the entire 3 week visit, like I was an intruder in a circle of friends.

The following season Mike was back in Vegas and I was spending my first year as the in town girlfriend.  Two of the girls from the season before that I'd met were back, so it was a little less awkward that year.  I didn't know them well, but they weren't strangers either.  It also helped that we all lived in the same apartment complex so we were together all the time.  It also helped that one of the couples were literally our next door neighbors in the complex, so there was someone I could get to know pretty easily.  It took about a month before I really felt comfortable there, but by the end of the year I never wanted to leave.

The season after that we thought we'd be returning to Vegas, but a week after getting there Mike signed with Portland in the AHL.  While I was excited about the opportunity, I was upset about leaving the girls I had gotten to know so well.  I didn't get to town until a month into the season after even the new girls had all met and formed friendships.  I spent the rest of the year feeling like an outsider because I'd missed that key part of the season when girls really bond.  While all the girls there were nothing but nice, I could feel my shyness overtaking me, and I basically became a hermit.  I wasn't myself that year, and I have no one to blame but me.  I ran scared from the friendships I'd seen that had already formed by the time I'd gotten there and never tried to form my own.  I even found myself making excuses not to hang out or to leave early when I did because I just never felt right.

The year after that it was on to another new team in Norfolk.  I was determined not to let what had happened the year before happen to me again.  Before games even started I sent Mike into the locker room on a mission to collect the phone numbers and email addresses of all the girls that would be in town so we'd all have each other's contact info.  There were a lot of new girls that year so it was the same situation for just about everyone.  Right off the bat one wife had the girls over to watch all the road games and I forced myself to go even when I wasn't in the mood so that I wouldn't miss out on any of the bonding.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and forced myself to interact and make an effort.  I'm glad I did, because that was one of the most fun years we've had.

When Mike got called up to Tampa that year, we knew there was a pretty good chance he could be finishing the rest of the season there.  Yet another new group of girls to get to know who had more than half a season to spend together, and for most of them, a few seasons.  Thankfully one of the girls I'd spent the most time with was there and she made the introductions for me.  I was too overwhelmed, and too busy crying, with Mike's first shut out in just his second start to be nervous when meeting everyone.  I'd always been super nervous about walking into an NHL family room, because it just seems like it's this huge deal.  It wasn't at all.  Each wife and girlfriend was super sweet and many of us got together every road game to hang out, watch the game, drink some wine, and have dinner.  It certainly helped already having a friend there to rely on, but I never felt out of place, or like I didn't belong.  That whole year and experience really helped me knock down some of those shyness walls.

The next year was another new team and another new group of girls.  I attended my first weekend of games and sat alone, too nervous to walk into the group and introduce myself, even after the previous season's progress.  It took until the team Halloween party before I really met the girls.  There's not much in the way of talking and getting to know each other in a loud and crowded bar, but the introductions were made.  That team had some very outgoing girls who weren't afraid to sit down and talk to anyone, and I find those types of people very easy to talk to because they always find something to discuss, and they're so outgoing that they somehow find a way to pull things out of me.

We returned there for the following season and it was my first time truly not being a new girl.  Of course that wouldn't last long as we are now on another new team.  I wasn't afraid coming to town this time.  Maybe it's all my experience being the new girl, maybe it's the fact that with my age has come an understanding that smiling and saying hello to a stranger isn't the end of the world.  You come up with a set of standard questions to ask every girl you meet.  The "Where are you from?", "How long have you been together?", and "How did you meet?" questions that break the ice and can lead to more topics to talk about.  While Mike and I didn't know a single person on this team when we came, we've been in hockey long enough to have a ton of mutual friends with many of the other couples.  That in itself is another kind of ice breaker.

It will always be difficult the first time I walk into a new rink.  It's still instinct to hunker down in my seat and sit by myself hoping that one of the other girls will recognize that I'm a wife and just let them come to me.  It's so much easier to let that happen than force myself to walk up to a group that obviously knows each other.   The fear of putting myself out there will never go away, but it does get easier.  Maybe by the time hockey ends I'll no longer be shy, but I wouldn't count on that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Love for Lokomotiv Bracelets

It was just announced today that us wives and girlfriends of the Binghamton Senators will be selling bracelets at the games this weekend, the 28th and 29th.  Go here to read the announcement.  NHL and AHL wives have been selling the bracelets during games all season long doing their part to help the families of those affected by the tragedy.  If you can't make it to the games in Binghamton and you can't get to any of the other team's games on dates they are selling bracelets please consider going to and purchasing bracelets from there.  They are also selling semi-precious jade beaded bracelets for $50 for adult sizes and $25 for child sizes.  Not sure if your hometown team is selling bracelets at an upcoming game?  Check out @Love4Lokomotiv on twitter here as they update when all NHL and AHL teams will be selling bracelets.  Also check out their facebook page here for information as well!  Thank you to all who have purchased a bracelet already and thank you to everyone who will purchase one in the future!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Costume Rant

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE Halloween.  It's right up there on the list of my favorite days of the year behind my birthday, Christmas, and the upcoming wedding day.  I just love dressing up and getting to be someone else for a few hours.  And I'll also take just about any excuse for a party, haha.  There is just one problem.....the costumes.

I've had this conversation with numerous people numerous times in the last week.  When did Halloween become a holiday that was only meant for people that are a size 2 and have no body issues?  It's ridiculous how difficult it is to find a costume being sold in stores for female adults that isn't completely slutty, showing off all of your business for the world to see.

Three years ago I ordered a costume that I never wore because my ass was hanging out.  Literally.  Two years ago I bought a costume that I had to wear leggings under so that I could walk without flashing everyone.  I've bought costumes in sizes way above what I wear and then pin them in the back to make them fit, just so that the skirt portion will cover me.  This year I managed to find a costume that covered me, but sitting and bending over to pick anything up were not options.  There was no room for error, and if it had been windy outside, I was in trouble.

You also can't even get an authentic costume anymore.  So what do you want to be?  A Disney Princess?  Sure, we got that.  Let's just hem the skirt until your butt shows, lower the neckline until you need double sided tape to keep your boobs from popping out, and a corset style back that won't completely close, no matter how tiny you are.  Wait, you mean to tell me that Belle's dress actually reached the floor?  She only had subtle cleavage?  There was no corset?!

Look, I understand the need for sexy/slutty (depending on how far you want to go) Halloween costumes.  I see nothing wrong with the fact that they exist.  I've chosen costumes for that very reason, because that was the vibe I wanted that year.  What I don't like, is that in order to find costumes that aren't sexy/slutty, you need to search, sometimes for long periods of time, on the internet.  Then you need to order them and hope that they'll get there in time, and they'll actually fit.  You shouldn't have to plan a costume so far in advance that you have time to return something via mail that you ordered and still be able to get Plan B in time for the party.

For example, I was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for the team Halloween party this year.  I wanted to look authentically Dorothy.  You know, high neck, dress below my knees, socks under my shoes, sleeves that went to my elbows.  Mike was the Tin Man, and he looked exactly like the Tin Man, down to the button details and the bow tie.  If he was going to look authentic, then so was I.  Problem was, we didn't decide what to be until a week before the party, so I had to buy my costume at a store, and couldn't order the most authentic one I could find off the internet.  I also can't sew, so making my own was not an option.  I ended up with a costume that vaguely resembled the dress Dorothy wore.  If I hadn't walked in with Mike and been wearing sparkly red shoes (yes, I clicked my heels together multiple times), my drindl style neckline, and too short to move much dress with puffy sleeves and an apron may have been misconstrued as something else.

You also better not have any body issues whatsoever if you buy a costume from the store.  You're not going to hide much, and there's just no way around it.  Don't like your legs?  You better be able to put a pair of leggings underneath the skirt.  Not a fan of your cleavage hanging out?  Maybe you should just make your own costume.  Don't like to show off your midsection?  Maybe you should just put a sheet over your body and be a ghost.

Bottom line is that there should be a variety of costumes for women in stores.  Not everyone has the ability to make their own costumes and they have to buy them.  Not everyone has the confidence to do sexy/slutty and they should be able to find costumes that fit and look good when they walk into a Halloween store.  Sometimes it's just not appropriate to wear something sexy/slutty.  What happened to options?

And on a related note, why can't costumes that you buy in the store be true to size?  I'm baffled that a costume labeled for sizes 6-10 wouldn't even go over my hips.  Now I realize I'm not supermodel thin, but come on.  Within the last few weeks I had to find out the right size I needed for my wedding dress, so I know what my measurements are.  There's no way that should have happened.  I was actually worried about it being too big.  I also can't get over that the costume that did end up fitting me perfectly in the waist and hips was way too big in the chest.  I spent the whole night pulling it up so my bra wasn't hanging out.  There was nothing proportional about that costume.  Figure it out, costume companies!

On a side note, I'm almost positive that Mike and I know what we'll be for Halloween for the next two years.  The only issue is going to be which one we'll be next year, and which one we'll be the year after.  I hope you all enjoy your costume rental/making/purchase and have a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back to Normal

Well, sort of.  I got into Binghamton last Friday in time for opening night of the regular season.  I headed over to the rink early to take in the atmosphere of attending my first Calder Cup banner raising, even if Mike wasn't a part of it last year.  I took some time to just walk around my new home rink and check it out.  It's an older rink, which means it's not exactly nice, but it has tons of character.  One side of the rink is straight windows so you can just hang out on the concourse and look out over the city.  The seats are right on top of the ice and the acoustics are pretty great.  Combine that with being a small rink that looks close to full with fans each night, and it's a cool place to watch a game.

We got our place on Monday and officially moved into it on Tuesday.  It's close to the rink, and super easy to get between the two which makes my life much easier than last year when I had to leave half an hour before game time to make the puck drop.  Parking isn't all that fun, and I'm pretty sure I was parked illegally last night, but I'm sure I'll figure it out once I get a little more accustomed to the area.

We have a pretty nice size fenced in back yard for Bauer to run around in which makes him happy.  There's also an insane amount of squirrels running around our yard which makes Bauer even happier.  I don't know that anything, besides maybe food, gets him more excited than chasing squirrels.  He's still getting used to the new place, noises still make him jump, but he went nuts playing with toys the last two days so that's a sign that he's settling in.

The place was mostly furnished when we moved in, which made life easy for the most part.  The only thing is that the kitchen was full of stuff, and we have our own things.  Right now our kitchen is a disaster while we figure out what to do with the stuff that was here so we can put away our pots, pans, and dishes.  I'm so ready for a good home cooked meal right about now.  We cook almost every day, rarely going out to eat, so eating nothing but restaurant food is really getting to me.

It's just nice to be back together as a family again.  The unpacking is done (except for the kitchen) and we're back to spending our days like we normally do.  I no longer have to live out of a suitcase like I did for the past month, and I don't have to plan out a time to talk to Mike each day.  I also have a job interview next week, so I'm excited about that.

The girls here all seem really great.  They've been a pretty big help on learning things about the area, the team, and so on for us new girls that are here.  It seems like we'll have a good group that lives here all year and an equally good group that will be in and out visiting.  We've also already started planning the different charity events we're going to do throughout the year to benefit numerous charities.  This is really the first time we've been with a team that allows us so much free reign to do what we want in the community, which is awesome.

The final details have just been ironed out on our Love for Lokomotiv bracelet sales.  I'm just waiting on the team to give me the okay to make the announcement, so keep an eye out for that.  Hopefully we'll have an announcement soon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wedding Dress Shopping Part 2

I left off on the last post saying that I didn't believe in the "you just know" moment and that if it did exist I'd never know it until I tried on the dress I've been obsessing over for the last 3+ months.  Yesterday I got that chance.  Let's just say that I now definitely believe in the "you just know" moment.

I had a 45 minute drive ahead of me to get to the one place in the area that had told me they had the exact dress I wanted.  I was giddy at the thought of finally being able to see what it would look like on me, while also being nervous that it just wouldn't be the one.  I was quiet and staring out the window nervously during the trip when it happened.  On an earlier post I mentioned that I loved Sublime because of the memories it brought back, memories about friends that are going to be in my wedding.  We were almost to the bridal store when Sublime came on the radio.  It settled me down, put a smile on my face, made me think of some of my closest friends, and the nerves faded and I had a feeling things would work out.

I immediately told the consultant I was with about the dress I knew I had to try on.  She pulled out three others for me to try based on what I wanted in a dress besides that one.  I decided to try on my dream dress last.  The first one was nice, but not exactly what I was looking for.  The second one was very similar to the dress I loved and when I put it on I loved it.  Honestly, it was the best dress I'd put on up to that point.  I would have been more than happy to get married in it.  The third dress I tried on was not at all my style and was nixed right away.  Then it was time.

I didn't let myself look in the mirror while the consultant helped me into the dress.  I didn't want to see it until I was ready.  I walked over to that little pedestal that all the bridal shops have and stood on it before looking into the mirror.  Before I saw myself my mom walked over to see it on me.  She looked at me and said "I think this is the one."  I could see her face getting red, like she was trying not to cry.  It made me even more nervous to see it on.  What if it didn't look good on me?  What if I didn't love it?

Then I looked in the mirror.  I was shocked.  I had that "you just know" moment.  What does it feel like?  I obviously don't know what it feels like for other people, but this is what it felt like for me.  My mom was still fighting back tears, and I got close.  Shockingly enough I didn't bawl my eyes out, even though everything makes me cry.  A few tears fell, but nothing like what I expected.  Instead I was just suddenly very happy, some big goofy grin on my face.  Erin described it perfectly in a comment on my last post.  I had absolutely no desire to see what any other dress would look like on me.  Not even the second dress that I had loved that was still hanging a few feet away.  When the consultant said she'd go grab the paperwork I didn't want to take the dress off.  The thought of not being able to put it on again for 6-8 months until mine comes in sucks.  Can I really make it that long without putting it on again?  That's how I knew it was right.  That was my "you just know" moment.  I wasn't necessarily overcome with emotion, I was just done.

There have been many times in life that I make a decision I am 100% confident in only to wake up the next day questioning it and changing my mind.  That didn't happen this time.  I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought of was how I'd look walking down the aisle in that dress and what Mike would think when he saw me.  And I smiled.  I know I made the right choice.  Maybe that's not everyone's "you just know" feeling, but that's how it worked for me.  And I'm already looking through this year's hockey schedule to figure out a time when I can maybe sneak back in to the store to try on the sample dress again just to see it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Dress Shopping Part 1

I've mentioned before that I'm totally a sucker for romance.  I've seen probably every rom-com out there, and more than once.  It can be a horrible movie and yet I'll probably watch it a second, third, fourth, etc time if I happen to see it on TV, and I'll probably cry.  Unfortunately, I'm also a crier.  However, one thing that you learn in just about every movie/TV show/book that involves a wedding, is that when you try on dresses, you will just know which one is "the one".

I always wondered how true that was.  For a romantic, that seemed a bit far fetched for me.  You just know?  What does that feel like?  Oh, I should also mention that I'm the worst decision maker in the entire world.  Seriously.  If I could have someone make almost all of my decisions for me, I would.  I always second guess myself, and wonder if maybe something else was a better option.  I fret over decisions until people tell me to just shut up already.  And is there really a much bigger decision to make in your own wedding than what dress you will wear?  Indecisiveness does not make me feel confident in that whole you'll just know thing.

I went wedding dress shopping with my mom and one of my bridesmaids today.  I was super nervous, but also really excited.  I ended up trying on 8 dresses and ended up loving 3 of them.  All 3 were so different and yet I could completely see myself in all 3 of them.  I walked out in the first dress I tried on, and I felt it.  This was the one!  Then I tried the second one on and it was the one!  Then the third and so was that!  Oh boy.  I did try on a few that just did absolutely nothing for me, even though I didn't know why.  At least I didn't have 8 options to think about!

And then something hit me.  THE dress.  The one I saw way back in June right after we'd gotten engaged and I haven't been able to stop looking at yet.  This store didn't have it.  Another store does.  Gah.  Why do I do this to myself?!  The thing is, no matter how much I love those dresses I tried on today, I will never forgive myself if I don't try on the dress I've been obsessing over for the last almost 4 months.

Maybe I'll try it on and it'll hit me.  I'll just know, and I'll walk out of that store with my wedding dress.  Maybe I'll try it on and find that it just doesn't look as good on me as the others from today did, and that's okay too.  Maybe I'll end up trying on yet another dress at this other store and that will be the one.  One thing I do know is that until I try on that dress, I won't possibly be able to make a decision.  If that moment, the you just know moment, actually exists I know it won't come until I know what I'll look like in that 1 dress.  And for the record, it had elements of all 3 of the dresses I ended up loving today.  Now I just have to wait another week in pure agony wondering.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Love for Lokomotiv

Visit this site and help out if you can! Love for Lokomotiv  Two kinds of bracelets, adult and child size.  If you don't want a bracelet, but you still want to help and make a donation visit the facebook page.  There is a Donate Here option.  A lot of work was put in by hockey wives around the world to get this together.  I just bought my bracelet.  100% of the proceeds go to the foundation that will help out the families who lost someone on that horrible day.  Want to read a little more about it then click this link:  We'll miss you Vasy.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'll only rant about this once.....

Sometimes I like to check my blog stats and see where the traffic to my blog comes from.  I never know who is reading it, and I think it's fun to see all the different places and people that have at least stopped by once or twice to see what I have to say.  Unfortunately I get to see a few places that link to my blog that I wish I never saw.

I don't take being not liked very well.  I understand that not everyone in the world will get along, personalities sometimes don't mesh, and it happens.  That still doesn't mean that I like to find out that people don't like me.  I go out of my way to be nice to everyone I meet, because that's just the person I am.  I wasn't always like that, but when I left high school I grew up.  If someone meets me, I'm nice to them, and still there's something about me they don't like, that's fine.  I hardly like everyone I meet.  I just wish people would actually MEET and/or talk to me before they publicly pass judgement on me and my life.

I didn't start this blog to pretend to be something I'm not.  I simply like to write things down so I will always remember them.  I also kept getting some of the same questions over and over from people and thought putting the answers down would help them to see how I feel/deal with things.  I also have a lot of friends all over the world, and this is an easy way for them to see what I'm up to when we can't connect in other ways because of our vastly different schedules.

If you meet me in person and you know nothing about me and ask me what my fiance does for a living I will do all that I can to avoid telling you what he does.  It's not because I'm ashamed or anything like that, but I want to be judged on who I am as a person rather than on Mike's profession.  I realize that this may seem strange when I don't hide it on twitter or on this blog, but does a salesperson really need to know that my fiance plays hockey when I'll likely spend 4 minutes of my life talking to her?  No, she doesn't.  If it ever gets to a point where I can't avoid telling the person what he does any longer, than I'll tell them.

I don't ever pretend to be something I'm not, and I don't pretend Mike is something he's not.  I'm not afraid to tell people the different levels Mike has played, and where he's spent the majority of his time.  When someone asks what team he plays for my response is always "for the (insert current NHL parent team)'s organization for their AAA affiliate in (insert current city)".  Is that incorrect information?  No, not at all.  When he was in the Coast, I just told them the team, because he wasn't with an NHL organization then.  I never acted like he was somewhere he wasn't.  It's actually a huge pet peeve of mine to hear people claim to be with/play for a team they really don't.

Ever see a "coach" claiming to have AHL/NHL experience wanting to work with your child but you don't recognize their name?  Go to, it doesn't lie.  You can find out what exactly their experience is.  There are people out there claiming to have that kind of experience because they simply attended a pre-season camp for 3 days once in their careers.  I guess technically they did, but they're advertising like they did something more.  Why lie?  Just be honest.  We ALWAYS are.  If the NHL comes up, I make sure to say he spent x amount of days on a call up due to injury.

To claim that both/either of us is delusional or weird because he's not an NHL regular over the past 10 seasons isn't fair.  That doesn't mean that our experiences are any less valid.  Nor does it mean that the experiences of other wives/guys don't matter because they aren't regulars either.  Our lives are real.  Our stresses are real.  Our feelings are real.  I could care less what level Mike is playing at, I will be just as nervous watching him play an NHL game as I was at a college game, and as I would an AHL game, ECHL game, etc.  The level doesn't affect my feelings or make them less real.  I just want him to be the best he can wherever he is.  That just means I love him.

If my wedding planning posts, triple berry crisp recipe post, 2 favorite songs post, etc. offended anyone because I don't have status, I apologize.  If you don't like me or my blog, that's fine.  No one is making you read it.  To go out and call us names when you've never once interacted with either of us is rude, mean, and unnecessary.  Unless you've talked to me about it, you have no idea what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling, or what I believe.  I don't think I'm better than people because I date a goalie, I was just simply explaining my feelings and experiences I've had in MY life.  And if someone thinks I'm weird for having a blog, then that's their prerogative.  Why go out and publicly say that to others?  It's mean, and hurtful.

People will tell me to get thicker skin, to ignore it, but come on.  How do you not get your feelings hurt when you see/hear someone say something mean about you or the person you love?  I am a human being.  I just want to ask people to do one thing: if there is something you read here or hear someplace that I've said that you don't like just come to me about it.  I'd be more than happy to explain my opinions/feelings.  I just write what comes, and I don't go back and edit my feelings, which can sometimes lead me into trouble.  Things don't always come out the way I meant them and I'd rather clear it up than be attacked by someone who misunderstood.  I may hate confrontation, but I'll always be willing to discuss things.  Sometimes I'll clear things up, other times I'll apologize because maybe I was being rude and didn't realize it until after.

This is the one and only time I'll write a post like this.  I think this one time struck a nerve because it wasn't just me the person said something hurtful about.  You go after me, I'll be hurt.  You go after the people I love, I get angry.  I won't say who said it, although I'm sure some will figure it out.  I won't attack or name call them, because that's just not who I am.  I'm sure this person has their reasons for disliking us, whatever they are.  I just wish they hadn't had to say what they did so publicly without bothering to discuss their issues with us beforehand.  End rant.

Wait, one more thing.  Another major pet peeve?  Irresponsible journalism/blogging.  When did it become okay to not check with sources before printing something as fact?  Wouldn't you want to only print the truth (if you're not running a tabloid anyway)?  Don't always believe what you read if there are no quotes from the actual source/sources, or even an anonymous one (although obviously those aren't always true either).  Now end rant, haha.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And the Wedding Planning Begins.....

I have been in NY for just under a week now.  After a very long and tiring 18 hour drive from St. Louis, we arrived at my parents' house.  I got to show Mike our wedding/reception venue, and he loved it just as much as I did thankfully.  It was a lot of pressure to pick the location without having him with me this summer to give me feedback.  He was so happy with it he took pictures to send to his side of the wedding party to show it off right away!

After I showed it to him, we spent a few hours wandering around the area checking out the bars, restaurants, activities, and lodging.  Since for a majority of our guests this will be a destination wedding, it seems like most want to make a vacation out of the trip and come in for a week.  We've been brainstorming up ideas for things we can plan on the week leading up to the wedding for everyone to do if they choose.  Of course, they can't go wrong just hanging out on the beach next to the lake staring off at the gorgeous mountains in the background.

The day after that was the day that Mike left for Ottawa.  Pre-season is never fun.  He's gone for an indefinite amount of time and I don't know when I'll see him again.  I realize that it's only a couple of weeks, but still, I get sad when he leaves for two days during the season, haha.  Bauer was depressed all day when he realized Mike wasn't coming back.  He's getting back to his normal self now with the help of my parents' dog Nash who wants to play all the time.

Now we communicate through a couple of texts, AIM (saved only for the times he's on the road, otherwise it never gets used), and skype if our schedules permit and his roommate isn't in the room getting annoyed at us.  I hate skyping with another person in the room.  No one wants to hear someone else's conversation.  No phone calls though, since he's in Canada and that costs money.  It sucks not to usually hear his voice right before I go to bed, but there's nothing that can be done.

Now I'll just wait and see what happens.  Every organization does their pre-season differently so trying to gauge a time when I'll be able to see him again is pointless.  He's been in the first round of cuts only a few days in, and in the last round of cuts making it down barely in time for the start of the regular season.  You just never know.  So I sit, check daily to see what's available for rent in the city we expect to be in, and wait for the news.

Thankfully this time around I've got wedding plans to keep me busy while he's gone.  There's a wedding association in the area with something like 70 different vendors of all types that I went to check out yesterday.  The advantage to using the association is that if you use at least 4 vendors in it, you get discounts from each of them.  I'm all for saving money.  My mom and I walked in thinking we were just going to grab a bunch of pamphlets and business cards and instead ended up talking to someone and decided to just make an appointment for next week to go over every vendor so we can more easily make a decision.

As we were talking to the girl helping us, what Mike did for a living came up.  She couldn't believe it.  Her husband had just retired this year from playing hockey and was back in school finishing up the degree he'd started.  When I told her Mike was a goalie she started to laugh, because her husband was a goalie too!  Turns out he played with a ton of our friends.  I know we say it all the time, but this was a prime example that hockey is such a small world!  We talked hockey long enough that she made sure to make our appointment at a time she'd be there to help out.  I went from being nervous to immediately comfortable because of our connection, haha.

When I got home I decided it was time to figure out my dress.  I sent out emails to all of the stores in the area asking about the designer that I've fallen in love with.  Don't bother asking who, I'm not going to say because I don't want Mike to have a clue about what my dress will be.  There is one dress in particular that I love so I wanted to know which stores carry it, if any.  I'd rather try it on before ordering it, ya know?  Just in case it doesn't look very good on me and I have to find something else.  I'm not a bet it all on black kind of girl.  My fingers are crossed that at least one of them has it.

I also got an email last night from the photographer from our first engagement shoot.  It was just a notice that we could send a link to family and friends to pre-register on a site to get $10 off if they wanted to buy any of the pictures.  She didn't say when the pictures would be ready, but I'm taking that as a sign that they'll be ready pretty soon, and that has me super excited as well.

When I was setting the appointment for next week to discuss vendors a bridal show in October was mentioned.  I figured I'd most likely be in Binghamton for it and wouldn't be able to go.  Imagine my surprise when I checked their schedule and saw that not only is Mike on the road that weekend, but playing in Albany the day of the show!  Now I can go and then drive up to Albany after to watch the game, then just follow the bus home after.  Thankfully it's a Sunday, so the game is early so I wouldn't be getting home too late.

I started working on our wedding website before we made the move, but there's still so much to do on it before letting people go on it.  I've got to get that up and running pretty soon.  Also I think my mom and I are going to be heading out tomorrow to try to figure out what exactly I want for my centerpieces.  I have something in mind, but not a firm idea.  We most likely won't get anything tomorrow, but I just want to look around, get some more ideas, and work my brain around what exactly I want.

I think once I get that stuff taken care of I'll be able to start thinking about what I want as far as flowers, invitations, and the cake.  Honestly, I don't have a creative bone in my body, so all of this stuff is going to be supremely difficult for me.  Looking at other pictures doesn't give me inspiration, it makes me want exactly what someone else had or know I want nothing that looks remotely like what someone else had.  My brain will probably hurt by the end of these next few weeks, but I need to get as much done as possible before moving.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Triple Berry Crisp Recipe

I made this for a Labor Day Party the other day and fell in love.  I was asked a few times for the recipe, and received multiple compliments as party-goers ate it, so I decided to put it up.  Read past the recipe for a few notes on options.  Don't mind the picture.  I wish I had a better pic, but I didn't think about taking one before Mike and I decided we better give it a taste before serving it, haha.


1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups butter


1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F
2. In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar.  Set aside.
3. In a separate large bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Cut in butter until crumbly.
5. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
6. Cover with berries.
7. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.
8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.


Make sure you drain/dry the rinsed fruit well or the fruit filling will be a little watery.  Frozen fruit is fine to use, just defrost and drain first or face the same problem.

You can use other types of fruits than the ones I did.  Substitute peaches for one kind of berry, do only peaches, do apple, do just blackberries and raspberries, etc. based on your preferences.

I softened the butter to nearly melted before mixing instead of cutting it in.  It worked fine and tasted great, but the crumble mixture was a little less crumby than if I had cut it in.  You can cut down the amount of butter used to just 1 cup.  That also will help with the crumbly texture, and should still taste great.

Adding white sugar to the fruit isn't necessary.  Depending on your sweet tooth, use your own discretion.  Many times frozen berries are already sugared, and don't need more added.  Going anything above the 4 tablespoons, however, might make this way too sweet.

I have a serious sweet tooth, so I used the max amount of sugar and butter so I'd get the max amount of sweetness (and fat too, ugh).  Be aware that using that much will be plenty sweet, and my stomach hurt after I ate my portions, but in such a good way, haha.  I also loved that it was just all the crisp on top like every other fruit crisp I've had, but that there is a crisp crust underneath!  It can be eaten just like this, cold or warmed up.  My favorite way to eat it is to warm it up and put a scoop of french vanilla ice cream on top.  Others like whipped cream on top.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as we all seemed to!  Any other ideas on altering this recipe at all (other fruits, other toppings, other measurements, etc.) are more than welcome in the comments!  Everyone has different tastes and what works for one, might not work for another, so I certainly don't mind having as many varieties/options of something as possible!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1 Picture

Last day of the blog challenge!  I can't believe I made it without forgetting!  Trust me, that's a total accomplishment.

He proposed right there in that crease.  And I love this picture.  Now it's time to get to packing.  Less than a week until we leave St. Louis.  That makes me sad.  Have a great day everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

2 Songs

I hope everyone's having a great Labor Day Weekend!  We had our annual Labor Day party yesterday and it was a blast like usual.  It makes me sad that this is the last time we'll see most of our friends until next summer, but such is the life.  Now on to the songs!

Song #1

Stuck on You by Failure.  This song is not only incredible, but has special meaning.  Ever watch a movie and hear a song in it that is awesome, but you can't figure out what it is?  That was this song.  I watched some low budget weird vampire movie on TV in like 9th grade one day when I was bored.  When the end credits rolled around this song started, and I loved it.  I spent hours trying to find out what the song was online, and never could.  The movie wasn't good, but it was replayed the next day, so I taped it just so I could listen to the song when I wanted.  Years later, in college I had long forgotten about the movie and the song.  Mike and I had first started dating and went to different schools at the time.  It was my first weekend in visiting him and he put some music on.  The first song that played was Stuck on You.  Three notes in and I realized what it was and freaked out.  The first song he ever puts on around me, and it's the one song I loved that I couldn't find?  That stuff doesn't happen.  I had it on repeat for weeks after I found out who it was by.  When I flew out to visit him during the summer I had issues with my flights and ended up not getting in until 8 hours after I was supposed to, so Mike had the CD set to play that song when he turned the car on, with a bouquet of flowers sitting on the seat.  It just kind of became our song after that.  It's not typical, but it will be the song for our first dance.

Song #2

What I Got by Sublime.  Really, I just want to say everything by Sublime.  I love everything by them.  Sublime is the soundtrack to my life growing up.  Every time I hear a Sublime song I remember driving around in the summers with my best friends with Sublime on repeat singing and dancing in the car, windows down.  Very rarely did we get together and not listen to at least one Sublime song.  Sublime is perfect summer music and those days driving aimlessly and listening to them are some of my best memories from those days.  I still have to roll the windows down and sing loudly when Sublime comes on the radio, and sometimes on a nice sunny day I put Sublime on, and drive around just to reminisce.  What I Got is the song that got all of that started.

Tomorrow is the last day of the blog challenge and it's just 1 picture!  It's going to be a tough decision on what picture to put up!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

3 Films

So I'm going to be taking tomorrow off from the challenge.  I'm hosting about 20 some people all day long at our annual Labor Day barbecue and just simply won't have the time.  I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

Film #1

Last of the Mohicans.  My favorite movie of all time.  It's not for everyone, which I tend to forget when I rave about how good it is.  This past season I tried to get 2 of the other girls to watch it with me one night, and I think they lasted about 15 minutes.  It's a love story told in the midst of the French and Indian War.  It can be slow at times for people, but the back story's and history is necessary to the plot.  Daniel Day-Lewis is incredible in it.  It's not just the storyline that I love, but the history.  The whole movie takes place in the Lake George area, where I'm from.  Kids can attend Camp Chingachgook or you can drive down Uncas St.  The Adirondack Red Wings mascots name was Hawkeye (obviously it's very similar to the word 'hockey').  The Fort they go to has a complete working replica built on the exact spot that gives tours.  They hide out in a cave under a waterfall in the movie, and I've driven over the real cave more times than I can count.  I mentioned previously that I'm a sucker for romance, and you get one hell of a romantic storyline in this movie, but you also get a bit of the history of my home, and you can't really beat that.

Film #2

Beauty and the Beast.  It was my absolute favorite Disney movie growing up.  I wanted to be Belle.  In fact, I still sort of do.  This movie is THE reason I'm a sucker for romance.  You can't really fathom love like that when you're a child, but it's all I ever wanted.  I just wanted my own 'Beast' if you will.  I related to Belle.  I was really shy as a kid and meeting people wasn't my idea of fun.  I much preferred reading and getting lost in a fictional world than being around people.  I have the movie memorized, own the deluxe DVD that came out last summer, and forced Mike to take me to a production of Beauty and the Beast.  I was obsessed with Belle's yellow dress, and yellow was the only color I would consider for my prom dress.

Film #3

Empire Records.  I saw this movie early in junior high and for years I wanted to work in a Record Store.  It just seemed so cool.  I still rock out to the music from the soundtrack.  I've seen the movie so many times I could probably recite it right now without watching it, and I still laugh my butt off every time I do see it.  Love.

Monday will be 2 songs!

Friday, September 2, 2011

4 Books

Book #1

Pride and Prejudice.  This book is it for me.  I re-read it once a year.  I watch the Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle mini series multiple times a year, because it is almost identical to the book, which is rare.  It's the only Pride and Prejudice TV/movie version of the book I will watch.  And not just because of Colin Firth (yum!), although there will never be a better Darcy.  In high school we were supposed to read it in Senior English.  I read the first 2 chapters, didn't understand a word because of the writing style, and refused to read the rest, not really caring at all what the book was about.  Then our teacher put the mini series on, and I was hooked to the story.  I didn't start over from the beginning, but picked up where our class was, and was just in time to read the letter Darcy wrote to Elizabeth about Wickham and his interference between Jane and Mr. Bingley.  I read every chapter after that.  I went out and bought my own copy when we had to return the book to the school.  It's dramatic, funny, romantic, and I smile my way through it as I read.  It will forever be my favorite book, and I'll never stop re-reading it.  "I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation.  It is too long ago.  I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."  Oh, Darcy.  Swoon.

Book #2

To Kill a Mockingbird.  It is one of the rare books I read cover to cover for English class.  The movie is one of my dad's absolute favorites and I had seen it long before the book was required reading.  I had enjoyed the movie so I was willing to give the book a shot.  I'm glad I did.  I haven't read it again since school, but it's on my list of books that I must buy.  Books that can weave a fascinating fictional story effortlessly into social commentary on the times are truly works of art.

Book #3

A Walk to Remember.  I don't care if people think that's cheesy.  I read the entire book in one day because I couldn't put it down.  I think I cried throughout almost the entire thing.  I kept looking at the clock and seeing time pass until I had finished and it was 5 in the morning, but it was that riveting.  I'm a sucker for romance, and holy did I get that.  I think that love is the kind of love everyone deserves in their life.  I've read the book multiple times, and I cry my eyes out each time.

Book #4

Jane Eyre.  Like Pride and Prejudice, I gave up on it pretty early.  The only reason I started reading it again was because my teacher was giving pop quizzes after getting annoyed that no one was reading it.  I started doing the infamous read the first and last sentence of every paragraph thing.  The story started off a little slow, but the second Jane met Mr. Rochester I had a hard time putting the book down.

Tomorrow it'll be time for 3 Films!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

5 Foods

Now it's time to introduce you to my favorite foods.  And now thinking about them, I'm having some serious cravings.  Which one am I going to convince Mike to get me tonight?  Haha.  Honestly though, when we go out to eat we try to have a completely different type of food every time.  We avoid chain restaurants like Applebees or TGIFridays at all costs, and very very rarely do you see us at Fast Food.  There are just too many incredible styles of food out there to waste time eating at those places.  Even when we cook, we make homemade versions of the styles of food we love.  Like I said in an earlier post, I love eating ethnic food over American.  There are just so many different tastes out there.

Food #1

Sushi.  I love it.  I can't get enough of it.  I used to refuse to eat it because like so many others, I believe sushi was just raw fish, and I hate fish.  That's so far from the truth.  I may hate fish, but I LOVE shellfish, so I sucked it up and gave it a chance.  What a huge surprise!  For the first few years I ate sushi, I didn't eat a single roll that contained any kind of fish.  It's totally possible to avoid raw anything, so don't let that scare you off!  Now I crave it.  The thing is, I'm kind of a sushi snob.  I only want to eat the best, and I've found that some places people love and recommend just don't cut it.  Thankfully we've found incredible places just about everywhere we've been.  Vegas has way too many to list.  With all the places out there, if you're a restaurant, you have to be good to stay in business.  If you're in Portland, Maine go to King of the Roll.  It's top 3 of the sushi places we've ever been.  In Norfolk, there were two places in downtown, and both were really good, and we used to alternate which one we went to.  In Tampa we loved Yoko's.  Albany had a place called Sake Cafe that not only had great sushi, but something called the Amazing Pancake.  It truly was amazing.  Then here in St. Louis we don't eat anywhere but at Sapporo.  It's incredible and if you ever happen to find yourself there, get the Sapporo roll.  Might be the best I've ever had.

Food #2

Indian.  Like sushi, I crave it.  Usually I prefer to go for lunch to the buffet so I can eat a ton of different things.  I haven't found anything Indian that I haven't loved.  Seriously, if you haven't tried it, don't let the smells and colors scare you away.  I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just so different than what many people are used to.  I was really nervous the first time I went because of that, but I gave it a try.  Now I want it all the time.

Food #3

Barbecue.  Maybe that's not at all refined, but holy is it good.  Back in NY good barbecue just doesn't exist.  I always liked barbecue sauce, but I thought barbecue meant you grilled something and dipped it.  Then I came to St. Louis.  My mind was blown.  There are so many different types of barbecue out there depending on what region you're in.  My favorite is the Kansas City Style.  Thick and sugary, it's just so good.  Really though, as long as my barbecue is smoky and the sauce has a tiny bit of sweetness, I'm all in.  Not to mention, how good are real baked beans (not the kind from the can in the grocery store) and garlic bread as sides?  Healthy, not so much, but incredible.  Also, outside of the general St. Louis area, this doesn't exist, but pork steaks.  I used to hate pork, and then I ate a pork steak, slow cooked all day over a fire.  And I received a recipe for homemade beans.  That meal is a staple in this house.  Funny story about pork steaks.  When I first heard about them, I was confused.  I thought steak was beef, not a cut.  When Mike told me we were going to be having pork steaks for dinner I was so confused.  "What is it?  Pork and beef combined?  That sounds horrible!"  I couldn't have been more wrong.

Food #4

Mexican.  Not that Tex-Mex, fast food, chain restaurant crap, but real authentic Mexican.  We live at Mi Lupita here in St. Louis in the summer.  Seriously.  We're there like every other week, and sometimes a couple weeks in a row.  The owner has become a friend we're there so often.  My favorite thing to eat is chicken fajitas, as basic as that is, but when done right, Mi Lupita has the best I've ever had, they're incredible.  And I love that I can customize how much of everything I put in them.  I also love chimichangas, tacos, flautas, mole.....okay, the list could go on.  Truthfully I'm not sure I've tried anything that I don't think tastes good.  I have my preferences, and it's hard for me to deviate from them, but it's all so good.  And one other word sums up my love for Mexican.  Guacamole.  Enough said.

Food #5

Thai.  More specifically Pad Thai.  Every different Thai place I've gone to has Pad Thai that tastes so different, and I love to taste all versions.  They've ranged from being very brown and peanuty to bright orange and a little creamy.  All of it incredible.  While I'm not a huge fan of Thai curry specifically, I have really liked the other non-curry Thai dishes that I've tried.

Honorable Mention (because I can)

Peanut Butter.  I know, after all that I just wrote about you're probably going, um what?!  I don't care.  I don't care if it makes me sound like a fat kid.  I love peanut butter.  If there is peanut butter in it, I'm eating it.  It's my one real indulgence.  Peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cake, peanut butter cups, peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter topping, pb&j sandwiches, crackers and peanut butter, peanut butter on bagels and english muffins, apples and peanut butter, peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  I could go on and on, but I won't, because now I want something peanut buttery.  Good thing there's leftover chicken in a spicy peanut sauce (made with peanut butter) in the fridge.

Whether you like the food I listed or not, if you agree with my tastes or not, I seriously recommend you get out there and try everything no matter how scary it seems.  If I hadn't tried things I was nervous about trying, I wouldn't have listed a single one of the things I did above (minus the barbecue and peanut butter).  Be adventurous and step outside your comfort zone.  If you don't like something, fine.  But maybe just maybe you'll discover something incredible that you never saw coming.....

Tomorrow is 4 books!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

6 Places

I know that places is a pretty broad term.  It can be a country, state, town, restaurant, store, etc.  I chose to stick with cities I've not just been to, but lived in.  It was hard to narrow down that list.  I have lived in 7 states in 4 years.  Multiple cities in some of those states.  Lots of travel for mini trips.  I wish I could list like 20 places, but I can't, so this is what you get.....

Place #1

Queensbury, NY.  It's where I was born and raised.  It's funny how when you are a kid you don't appreciate where you're from.  I can't say that everyone is like that, but it's how I was.  I never stopped talking about how badly I wanted out of Queensbury, Upstate NY, and NY in general.  And I got out, just like I wanted.  And now I always go back.  I try to avoid it in winters, if I can, but that almost never happens.  In the summer and fall, however, Queensbury is gorgeous.  Right at the base of the Adirondack Mountains, a lake less than a 10 minute drive from my house, and decent weather.  There's a reason I'm heading back that way to get married, and why I'll forever return to visit.

Place #2

St. Louis.  My first impression of St. Louis was how terrifying it was.  6 lanes on the highway filled completely with cars?!  Eeeeek.  Just 2 exits north of where I grew up, the only highway went down to 2 lanes.  Then I started going places, experiencing what the city has to offer, and I went home in love.  It's scary to move someplace new where the only person you know is your boyfriend, but that's what I did.  I'll probably never leave.  It has everything someone could want, except for maybe glitz and glamour, which is not my style.  It has 4 true seasons, family friendly attractions, free museums and zoos, the ability to live in small town feeling neighborhoods just a short drive from downtown, and lots of shoes (you had to see that coming).

Place #3

Las Vegas.  Mike played there for 2 seasons.  I lived there for 1.  It.  Was.  Awesome.  The apartments were nice, and far enough away from the strip to not have to deal with tourists and traffic if we didn't want to.  The team was tops in the league, the organization was amazing, and I loved all the girls.  It was like one big family while we were there.  Being with the team there certainly had it's perks.  Like free tickets to shows, being on the guest list for nights on the town, and free drink tickets to any of the bars in the casino where the rink was.  It was by far one of the best places we've been.

Place #4

Norfolk, Virginia.  It was so different from Vegas, and yet just as incredible.  The apartment I loved most was there.  It was gorgeous and right across from the rink.  It was also located immediately behind the street that had all the bars and restaurants.  The mall was down the road.  We drove the car once a week to go to the dog park and grocery store.  I think I saw a grand total of 10 snowflakes that year.  And just like Vegas, the team was one big family.  I think I was saddest to leave that team than any other.  It was just such an incredible year, even before Mike's call up.  I'd go back to Norfolk in a heartbeat.

Place #5

Riviera Maya, Mexico.  It was my first time to Mexico and we went with some friends.  It was incredible.  Great food, great drinks, great beach, great water, great weather.  There was nothing about that trip that I didn't love, other than the snorkeling attempt in seriously choppy water.  But I did get to see a sea turtle, so worth it.  I love sitting on a beach, taking in the sun, a cool drink in hand, and that's all I did for 5 days.  Loved it.

Place #6

The Caribbean.  We haven't made up our minds quite yet on where to go for our honeymoon, but it will be somewhere in the Caribbean.  We have out list narrowed down, and are pretty sure that we have the place picked, but nothing's definite.  All I know is I can't wait.

Tomorrow is 5 foods!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

7 Wants

Like I said yesterday, I'll try to keep all 7 from being about the wedding, haha.

Want #1

For a bridal shop close to home in NY to have the dress I've been obsessing over since I got engaged.  I haven't been able to stop thinking about it ever since I first saw it.  I'm in love.  Not only is it so me and my personal style, but it completely fits the theme, if you can call it that, of the wedding.  It's perfect.

Want #2

For this upcoming hockey season to go well.  No one ever knows what the future holds, but if the season is a success, then next year will usually look good as well.  And it's not just happy wife, happy life.  It's hard for me to be happy if Mike isn't.  He'll be much happier if the season goes well.

Want #3

A new car.  I won't mention what I drive, but let's just say that it's slightly embarrassing.  I'm not terribly picky.  Just a new car.

Want #4

A permanent friend for Bauer.  I know it's not possible with all the travel we do, but that doesn't mean I can't want another dog.  Hell, I'd take another couple if I could.

Want #5

Sunshine on my wedding day.  We're getting married outside, and I don't care what they say about rain being good luck on a wedding day.  I want the damn sun!

Want #6

Shoes.  Not a specific shoe, but lots of different shoes.  I know I said it already, but I love shoes.  I can't get enough.  I'll never have enough.  And I'll always want them.

Want #7

A new bag.  I have clutches of differing sizes.  I have two oversize bags.  I however, do not have a middle of the road, average size bag.  I hate dragging my huge bags to work simply because the clutches don't hold my wallet + phone + keys.  I don't want security asking me about my "luggage" as I walk through rink doors anymore.  Just normal size.  Preferably in black.  Also in brown.  Can I list 2 bags under 1 want?  Too bad, I'm doing it.

Tomorrow is 6 places.  Tune in then!

Monday, August 29, 2011

8 Fears

Let me preface this post by saying that I'm afraid of a whole lot of things.  Not kidding.  Mike's still discovering all the things I'm afraid of.  The ones that I put on here are the worst of the worst.  The fears that don't just freak me out, but paralyze me.  These are seriously no joke to me, as irrational as I'm sure some of them sound.  Hopefully none of you use these against me! Haha.  But seriously.....

Fear #1

Death.  I know this is a pretty obvious one for most people, but it's what scares me most.  It's not so much the fear of dying myself, although that does freak me out.  It's just being around it.  I don't even have to know the person who died to still be sent straight into a panic attack that I mentioned a couple posts back.  I've lost all of my grandparents, and only been to one funeral.  I couldn't even walk inside the room for it.  I couldn't breathe and couldn't stop crying the second my foot broke the plane of the doorway.  My brother had to sit next to me in chairs just outside the door so we could still be a part of it.  I went to a wake to support someone I was close to who lost a family member.  I was fine until I walked into the funeral parlor, then my chest started to get tight, and breathing became difficult.  The second I stepped into the room it was a full blown panic attack.  Not good.

Fear #2

Clowns.  Clowns will also send me into a panic attack if I feel trapped by them.  They always freaked me out as a child, and then I mistakenly watched the movie It.  From that moment on, I've never been able to look at one since.  I can't even hear circus music without getting chills.  If I just happen to see one on TV or out somewhere, if I look away quickly and don't see them again, I'm fine.  It's when I can't get away that I'm not.  Before going into haunted houses or on haunted hayrides I always check to see if there are clowns.  When I went on one, I was told it was just a lot of zombies and such, so I went.  The last scene however, was a dead circus.  That's right, zombie clowns.  I had to listen to circus music, with my head in my hands, surrounded by clowns.  I was shaking, but managing to keep it together, until one jumped up and grabbed me.  Game over.  Panic attack.  It was a nice introduction night to Mike's new teammates that year, haha.

Fear #3

Heights.  This fear is situational.  I can ride tall roller coasters no problem.  I can fly on a plane with no issue.  I can be high up in a sky rise and look out the window no problem.  I can't however step right up to the window and look straight down.  Walking across a high bridge is a problem.  More than 3 rungs up on a ladder is a problem.  Roofs are not an option.  Drop towers at amusement parks are a no-go.  You'll never convince me to bungee jump or skydive.  I made the mistake one time of thinking cliff diving looked fun and spent over an hour crying at the top knowing that the only way down was to jump.  It even makes me nervous to watch other people do the things that scare me.  I hate seeing someone else up high.

Fear #4

Spiders.  I get their purpose.  I appreciate that they keep the insect population down.  That doesn't mean that they aren't ridiculously creepy to look at.  If they are outside, we have no issues.  Spiders are not allowed in my house though.  I see one, I'm calling Mike to get rid of it.  That's right, I won't kill one.  If I'm home alone, I will keep my eye on it until someone else shows up and will get rid of it for me.  I've literally been chased by a few.  Seriously.  Not kidding.  I'll see one on the floor and start to walk away, and next thing I know they're running across the room at me.  I'm always seen running and screaming in the other direction.

Fear #5

The dark.  I know, I sound like a child.  This is a fear that just never went away.  If I'm home alone, I just don't sleep well.  And I sleep with the TV on, so there is some light.  I can sleep in the dark if someone else is in the room with me, but even then, the second it's dark, my eyes won't open until there's light again.  I may be able to say that I know there are no monsters in my closet, or under my bed, but when the lights are off, my eyes are closed.  While there may be nothing there, I don't want to see it if it is.

Fear #6

Deep water.  Not the deep end of the pool, but lakes and oceans.  I don't like not being able to see my feet, and I don't like not being able to touch the bottom.  It freaks me out to think about what's swimming under me.  It's not a fear of a certain animal, like sharks - who I think are awesome, by the way - but just not having any idea what exactly is under me.

Fear #7

Using the phone.  I have no issue calling my family, Mike, or really close friends.  I have problems dialing a number and speaking to people I don't know well.  I will avoid making phone calls at all costs.  If a company says it's best to contact by phone, but provides an email address, I send an email.  I send friends texts.  If I have to call in a prescription or call a doctor I need a few days to repeatedly go over what exactly I'm going to say before I can do it.  If something I wasn't expecting comes up during the call, my brain locks up and I don't know what to do.  I get flustered, can't answer questions, and stutter like crazy.  Because of that, I'm always way more prepared for a phone call than is ever necessary.

Fear #8

Grates.  If I can see through what people are walking on, I'm not walking on it.  I will go out of my way to walk around a grate in the sidewalk.  If I can't walk around it, I'll try to jump it.  I don't care how sturdy they're supposed to be, I'm not taking the chance that I'm falling through.  I also get creeped out when people think it's funny to jump on them to show me they're not falling through.  Irrational?  Yes.  Do I care?  No.  I'll stick to concrete, thanks.

Tomorrow is 7 Wants.  I'll do my best not to mention wedding only things, haha.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A few Engagement Pictures!

We did two different sessions for our engagement pictures.  One was a more serious, typical shoot in the park.  The other was one where we just wanted to go out on the ice, joke around, and have fun.....take them less seriously.  Each shoot was shot by a different photographer.  These are courtesy of a friend of ours!  Haven't seen the ones from the first shoot in the park yet.  Seriously can't wait to get the full disks from both shoots!  And we didn't steal ideas, even if this is totally similar to another girl out there.  Mike and I knew from the moment we discussed engagement pictures that we would do one at the rink he grew up playing in, and put McKenna jerseys on us both.  I guess us hockey folk are on the same wavelength!  Oh, and don't be creepy and steal my pictures.  I realize putting them up here opens me to that, and just asking you not to steal them won't stop some, but it's worth a shot!

9 Loves

It's day 2 of the blog challenge and today is 9 loves.  Here we go!

Love #1

It has to be the obvious, my family both blood, soon to be, and furry.  My parents - who gave up a lot and did everything they could to make sure that my brother and I could do anything we wanted and have everything we wanted, within reason of course.  And also for dealing with my few years of terribleness in my teenage years.  My brother - who makes me laugh like no other and spent years putting up with me going out of my way to scare him.  And who also seems to be holding no resentment towards me for getting married on his birthday.  He's awesome.  Mike's parents - who were nothing but kind and accepting of me from the beginning and who welcomed me into their family with open arms long before Mike and I were ever engaged.  They've done so much for us, and have gone above and beyond time after time.  Bauer - who, despite what other people may think of their own pets, is the best dog in the world.  He cheers me up when I'm down, cuddles like no other dog I've met, and has so much personality.  Lastly, Mike - who more than 7 years later still gives me butterflies, knows exactly what to do or say to make me smile, makes me laugh, and puts up with me.  He truly is one of the kindest, sweetest, funniest, intelligent, and caring people I know.

Love #2

Shoes.  I'm obsessed with shoes.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, we pack bins and bins of shoes when we move, and they're all mine.  It's a struggle to walk past a shoe store.  I always glance longingly at them as I tell myself I will not go in.  If I was a millionaire, my money would go towards shoes.  At least one of every color is a necessity, multiple of each would be ideal.  I'm still working on it.  When I get new shoes I have to sneak them in and hope they're not noticed until they're already worn and not returnable.  I'm addicted.

Love #3

Animals of just about every variety.  I'd live at the zoo if I could.  I still semi-regret majoring in math instead of biology in college because now I'll never be a zookeeper/researcher/anything else that works with animals in any way.  I don't discriminate.  While I have no love for insects, and spiders creep me out, I can understand that they all have a purpose.  Big cats are beautiful, wolves are gorgeous, and I can't even make myself angry at the chipmunks digging holes under our front steps.  We had a 5 foot black rat snake in our yard, and I thought it was the coolest thing.  I spend my days watching Animal Planet and Nat Geo Wild soaking up all the information I can on all species, and I will forever advocate conservation of all.  Also, adopt pets from shelters!  They are there through no fault of their own, and deserve loving homes!  Mutts are the best dogs!

Love #4

Really bad horror movies.  The kind that SyFy puts on every weekend.  Bad special affects, bad acting, bad scripts.  All awesome.  October is one of my favorite months simply because all day every day it's just horror movie after horror movie leading up to Halloween.  I can't get enough.  They're so bad, they're hilarious.  I mean, who comes up with a vengeful swamp tree killing people building a factory?  See?  Awesome.

Love #5

Sports.  You all know by now that I grew up watching hockey, but that was hardly the only sport in our house.  Every Saturday and Sunday football was on.  My grandfather played in college, and captained the team.  The Bears wanted him, but he hadn't gone to college until after fighting in WWII, so he was nearly 30 with bad knees.  He chose to coach instead.  Every Saturday he'd have multiple TVs set up in the same room with different college games on, and the big screen was the game with the most going on.  Radios were also set up throughout the house so he could listen to non-televised games.  I played basketball into junior high, softball until 16, volleyball into college, and I was totally the gym class hero.  Go Giants!  Go Yankees!  Go whatever organization Mike is playing for!

Love #6

Sun.  Is there anything better than a sunny cloudless day?  It's so hard to be in a bad mood when the sun is out.  I do enjoy the occasional thunderstorm, but nothing beats a warm sunny day for me.  When I wake up and see that the sun is out, it automatically puts a smile on my face.

Love #7

Laughter.  If you can find a way to laugh when doing something, then it's just not worth it to me.  I like to put myself around people who generally are happy and like to laugh.  Laughter is contagious.  There are times when something happens that isn't even all that funny, but Mike and I will laugh about it forever because we can't stop laughing at the others laugh.  Laughter makes friends, cheers people up, puts people in a good mood, etc.  There really isn't anything bad about laughing.

Love #8

The color purple.  I don't care what it is, but if it's purple, odds are I'll love it.  My days of buying things simply because they are purple are over, but that doesn't mean I don't wish I still could.  I bought my hair dryer because it was purple, not because of its features.  Purple will be the main color in my wedding.  There isn't a shade of purple I don't love.  It makes me happy.

Love #9

Baking.  I may not be super creative, and I'll never have the talent to sell my desserts in a bakery, but I love it.  Cakes, cookies, breads, cupcakes, etc.  I make it all.  And I'm pretty damn good at it.  Sometimes when I'm bored I'll bake the first thing that comes to mind.  I love hosting parties at our house because then I'll get to bake multiple things.  It's fun, and I find it therapeutic.  If I'm upset about something, I'll bake something that requires me to hand mix.  I take my frustration out on the dough, and then the smell of whatever I made as it's baking puts a smile on my face.

Tomorrow, 8 fears.  I don't know how I'm going to narrow that list down to only 8, haha.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

10 Secrets

So I totally stole this idea from another hockey wife but I just loved the idea.  I think it's a fun way for any readers to learn more about me without me having to come up with a million different topics for different blog entries.  I will be posting everyday for the next 10 long as I don't totally forget, which is completely possible.

The rules for this blog challenge for me (if you don't follow her and haven't already seen them) are as follows:

Day 1: 10 secrets
Day 2: 9 loves
Day 3: 8 fears
Day 4: 7 wants
Day 5: 6 places
Day 6: 5 foods
Day 7: 4 books
Day 8: 3 films
Day 9: 2 songs
Day 10: 1 picture

Without further ado, here we go!

Secret #1

I was a "unique" child growing up.  At least that's what the shrink told my parents.  I guess I've been a little "off" my whole life (which would explain how I can manage to date a goalie, haha).  From before I was a year old until I reached double digits I would have night terrors almost every night.  Apparently I screamed "don't touch me" and other similar things.  My parents were worried someone was abusing me when babysitting me so they brought me to a child psychologist to try to figure it out.  That's when she told them I was having night terrors, I wasn't being abused, and I was just a "very unique child".  Haha, thanks Doc.  I also used to sleepwalk on a fairly consistent basis, and somehow always ended up searching out our dog.  One Christmas my parents and grandparents were setting up my Rainbow Brite kitchen set for the next morning and I walked right into the room.  My grandparents freaked out and my parents just laughed.  "She won't remember this in the morning."  Then they sent me back to bed, and I freaked out when I saw the kitchen set for the first time the next morning.

Secret #2

You couldn't catch me when stealing bases if you wanted to.  I played softball for a large portion of my life, only stopping at 16 to concentrate solely on volleyball.  Coaches learned very quickly that I needed to be behind a fast runner in the lineup because I was going to steal a base.  I wasn't the best hitter, and certainly not a power hitter, but I also almost never struck out.  I walked a lot, and I was fast enough to reach first even on infield hits, so I was on base all the time.  I loved base running.  There was nothing like taking a big lead off first (or second) and staring down the pitcher or catcher as I slowly walked back to the base after a pitch, daring them to try to throw behind me to catch me off base and get me out.  They did it more than they should, and I always took the next base.  My dad was always an assistant coach for my teams, ask him, he'll tell you.  I was hell for other teams, and I loved every second of it.

Secret #3

I have undiagnosed OCD.  I know a lot of people say that they're OCD, but I have someone who was diagnosed with it tell me I was worse than her.  I also took a test in college for a friend's psych project, and came up off the charts for OCD.  I still know that doesn't always mean anything, but when I do explain to people things that I do, they all think I'm nuts, and they'll often try to secretly test me.  I always catch them.  I'm not of the things have to be clean OCD, but things better be in their place and organized the way I want them.  My closet is a prime example.  I will count how many of each color shirt I have and then figure out how they need to be organized.  For example, black will be every 4th shirt, blue every 5th shirt, purple every 6th and so on.  Unless it's a special occasion I wear whatever shirt comes up first in the closet and put it in the back when it's washed.  That way I don't wear the same color too often.  It takes me hours to figure this all out every time we move or I buy new clothes and have to rearrange, but I simply can't live with my closet not being like this. When I got a syllabus in college I divided up the work by how many days I had to do the assignment.  3 days to read 90 pages?  I read exactly 30 each day.  It kept me from doing no work one day and nothing but work the next.  I never did work after 8pm, which was a rule I had for myself.  I pulled one all-nighter in college and that was studying for two finals the next day.  I'm very scheduled.  And that's not even close to everything.  Some things are worse.

Secret #4

I'm a TV-a-holic.  I don't watch the crime shows, because honestly, how many can you put on that are all the same?  Everything else though, I'm watching.  I will give any show a chance, and the DVR is always filled with my stuff.  I can't get enough.  I'll even sit in front of the computer and watch stuff online that I couldn't DVR.  It's bad.

Secret #5

I grew up in a haunted house.  Well, I can't say for sure it was, but too many weird things happened for me to not believe that.  And most of it centered around me.  One time I was playing solitaire in my room and left mid game just to grab a glass of water.  My mom and brother were in the living room watching TV and I had to walk past them to go to the kitchen.  I filled the glass and went straight back to my room, and my mom and brother were exactly like they had been when I'd walked through the first time.  When I got back, the cards were in four piles, by suit and in numerical order like I'd finished the game, but I hadn't and my mom and brother didn't have time to go in and do it and get back out to the living room in the 2 seconds it took me to fill a glass with water.  Loud bangs that would shake the house came from the attic, but nothing had ever fallen over.  I heard footsteps coming up the basement stairs when I was home alone one time and grabbed my brother's hockey stick and waited for someone to come out the door.  No one came out, and there were no footsteps going back down.  I was the last to leave the house every morning for school and always had to lock up.  We didn't have automatic garage doors at the time, and I remember struggling to lock the garage door one morning because I couldn't line up the lock.  It made me late for school.  When I came home the garage door was wide open, but no one was home.  Both of my parents worked half an hour away and didn't come home for lunch because of it, and my little brother didn't have a key and got out of school after I did anyway.  Nothing was stolen or even moved, the door wasn't damaged so it had to have been unlocked to be opened, and that freaked me out.  A shirt I knew was coming for Christmas wasn't under the tree, and my mom remembered wrapping it because my dad commented on how much he didn't like it while she was doing it.  They searched the house and it was nowhere.  The day we were going back to the mall to get a new one my mom woke up and found it, still wrapped, half sticking out from under a chair that had been looked under, and moved when the decorations came down, and it hadn't been under there before.  No one in my family claims to have put it there.  At least a dozen Christmas presents have gone missing and have never been found.

Secret # 6

I'm superstitious, but only when it comes to sports.  I won't list everything, but when I played volleyball I had little things I had to do, and they differed depending on the situation.  It had been 7 years since I've played a game and I realized halfway through the game I played in last night, I was doing them again.  I also have certain things I have to do when Mike plays.  It doesn't calm me down at all, and I don't even know how any of them started, but I have to do them.  The other girls make fun of me all the time, but I can't help it.

Secret #7

I have panic attacks.  Geez, all these weirdo things with me, I should probably be seeing a therapist.  I don't always know what's going to cause them, and sometimes they just start for no reason.  I'll start to see black spots, and it'll get difficult to breathe.  Usually I can stop them because I've learned to realize what's going on almost immediately.  That doesn't always happen though.  If it goes full blown I'm in trouble.  Next thing I know it feels like everything in the room is suddenly super close to me, but the second I try to touch something the entire room feels like it shoots away and I then can't reach anything.  The best way to describe it is a scene from the movie Poltergeist.  The kids are under attack and the mom is trying to reach them, and suddenly the hallway extends and it feels like she will never get there.  That's what happens to me.  Very few times has it gone further, but sometimes I'll throw up and I've even passed out once because I was hyperventilating.  It's a horrible feeling.

Secret #8

I'd much rather eat ethnic food than American.  People call me a picky eater all the time because I don't like to eat things that they eat regularly.  I don't like Taco Bell, so I'm picky.  I hate ham, so I'm picky.  I don't put condiments on things most of the time, so I'm picky.  I'm not a big fan of cheese, so I'm picky.  Well, guess what?  I'm so far from picky.  I will literally try absolutely everything, except organs.  That's where I draw the line.  I don't like fish much, but I will try every variety of fish to see if I like one.  Turns out I love Chilean Sea Bass.  I never would have known if I was picky and refused to try fish.  I also believe that if something is cooked right, it doesn't need condiments.  If I have to put steak sauce on a steak, it's not done well, and not worth eating, at least to me.  I eat every variety of meat, every vegetable there is (except eggplant), almost all fruit, etc.  I'm way less picky than half the people calling me picky.

Secret #9

I am science oriented.  There is not a creative bone in my body.  I am a very logic driven person.  I used to get horrible grades on papers in grade school because there wasn't much flow.  I simply spewed out the facts.  I spent my whole life being told that college professors wouldn't be impressed with any papers I wrote.  When I got to college I was repeatedly told how well I wrote.  They didn't want all the superfluous crap, they wanted the facts and to see that you understood what you were writing about, and not just bullshitting your way through hoping they wouldn't notice you didn't quite grasp the concept.  I love numbers which is why I majored in math (and also, no papers!) and I wish I could have taken chemistry all four years of high school.  Don't ask me to draw anything.  You'll get a stick figure, and still won't be able to tell what it is.

Secret #10

I'm a klutz.  I run into everything.  I fall.  I hit my head off of things that haven't moved from their position in years.  I can't count the number of stairs I've slid down, things I've kicked, or tables I've run into.  At work yesterday I wasn't looking as I walked and ran straight into a display in the walkway that has been there the whole time I've worked there.  I managed to catch it before it fell and broke, but a couple of guys commented on how I'd be a hell of a football player.  I get bruises that I can't explain, because running into things is so common that it doesn't even really register when I do.  At least I can laugh at myself when I do it.

So that's my 10 secrets.  Tune in tomorrow for my 9 loves!