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#weddingsinmordor

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 -- 12:33 am

It's official!  I'm an old married woman now!  \o/

What a week.  Epic wedding was epic!  The final seven days ramping up to the big day were full of running and lists and phone calls and driving and printing and cutting and folding and flailing and just a general boat load of frantic insanity.

Thankfully, said insanity was interspersed with evenings of awesome such as my stagette party.  Much love and thanks to my wonderful posse of bridesmaids that orchestrated the epic WEM photo scavenger hunt filled with hilarious bead games, 18" dildos, escalators, funny hats, edible panties, and many cupcakes~  XD  Also, singing!  Amid an evening filled with ringing renditions of "Soft Kitty", Nancy proved her epic improv prowess when she fearlessly went up to the stage during the open mic night at the pub and made a song up off the top of her head, which was frankly freaking amazing IMO and can be heard here on her YouTube channel.  I've never been serenaded before!  :3

For me, the wedding sort of officially started on Friday, since the entire day from when we woke up to when we went to sleep was pretty much devoted to final prep.  We picked up linens, practiced a ceremony walk through at the Citadel, followed by the rehearsal dinner and then the setting up and decoration of the reception hall in the evening, and finally us ladies proceeded to all go back to my parents house and wrap 400 sugared Timbit favors.  I had meant to write a quick entry here the night before the wedding, a "last single girl blog post" sort of deal, but I just didn't have time :P -- instead I crashed into bed and had a surprisingly good sleep considering how stressed I had started out earlier that day.

The morning of the wedding was more or less pretty relaxing.  Coleen and I swung by Timmies for a sausage-egg-muffin breakfast of champions before our hair appointment, and all went according to plan other than my elaborate little hair curlies went a little long (I loved my hair!  :3  I was so sad the next day when I had to shower and wash away all the beautiful bouncy curls.  I should really buy myself a hair curler and learn how to do it myself.) which cut down time for the makeup session and thus made us sort of frantically hurl myself into my dress to get out the door in time.  ^^;

It's strange, because I wasn't nervous at all leading up to the wedding or when I woke up that morning.  Excited, but not particularly nervous.  It wasn't until my sister began lacing up my dress that I began to get the stomach butterflies; then sitting in the car as we drove to the Citadel, I started feeling more nervous.  (BTW, climbing in and out of a van in a very form fitting mermaid skirt?  Not easy!)  By the time I was standing with my dad behind the curtain, the music playing while we waited to walk down the aisle, I think I looked like I was close to hyperventilating, leaving my father no choice but to whip out the big gun, our magic family word, to make me forget my nerves and break out laughing as we were walking out.  (I was totally all "AHHHHH AHHHHH AHHHHH!" and my dad was sort of *sweatdrop* but then he was all "BANANA!" and I LOLed.  True story.)

My brother Sean acted as our officiant and did a spectacular job (much love and hugs, Seanathan!), though admittedly I don't really have a clear memory of most of the ceremony because I was so busy trying to remember to breathe.  I remember my mom crying during the rose ceremony, and I remember feeling so worried I would jumble my words and fail-whale up the vows (I didn't though!  Go Team Me!), and I remember Mason looking smoking hot in his very sexy, Bond-like tux~  Seriously yummy. X3  I'm looking forward to seeing the video of the ceremony from start to finish.

(As for my dress, it was gorgeous, but was intent on trying to kill me before the day was out.  The bodice had these bones running vertically up the torso that dug right in under my breast bone that was particularly uncomfortable when I sat down.  We ended up loosening the corset a few times which helped, but it was still easier to just stand than sit at all.  It was worth it though!  I loved my dress despite its apparent hatred of me.)

Between the ceremony and reception was: a) fancy limos! b) photographs! c) ice cream!  Awesome sauce.  We managed to make it to all three of our picture locations, and the photographers from Scade were great.  They took soooooo many pictures, I'm so excited to see them!  *Perches on edge of seat waiting for previews to be posted on the Scade blog*

And then the reception!  XD  It was so perfect!  The hall looked fantastic, the fully Brenna-approved buffet was delicious, and the photo booth was the cherry on the fabulous wedding reception cake!  (Only not literally, since we had cupcakes, and the cake tier we did have was in fact pineapple and coconut and not at all in any way cherry, but still tasty.)  But yes, the photo booth seemed to be a hit -- almost everyone got some snapshots done and some guests really went to town fancying up their guestbook page.  It was so worth the extra investment.  It really made the guestbook unique.  Mason and I were flipping through it the following day and there's some especially hilarious photos and entries.  Eventually I'll try to get around to scanning some and post them up.

Such a great day!  (Exhausting, but awesome.)  I couldn't even be bothered to try and pull out the hundred or so pins holding my hair up when we got home that night, I was so tired -- I just slept with them in and woke up the next morning in a what I'm sure many would call a very sexy state of dishevelment.  (On the bright side, I will never have to buy another bobby pin again ever, I'm set with a life time supply.)

Love, hugs, and hair ruffles to all of our friends and family who came out to celebrate with us on Saturday and helped make the day as fabulous and memorable as it was!  (Also thanks to everyone who's sending me their pictures from the day, there's some great shots, some of which I've used on this post.)  I would give you all extra cupcakes in thanks, but let's face it, I'm a big greedy cupcake hoarder and will probably stuff my face full of all of the left overs.  I have already eaten two today.  *OM NOM NOM NOM*

Next up... honeymoon cruise!  OMG only four more days!  *Glee*

Books and birthdays.

Friday, April 8, 2011 -- 11:41 pm

In all of the crazed wedding prep hubbub, I've sort of forgotten that my birthday is also coming up right away.  I had a lengthy debate with Mason a few nights back about how old I was turning this year; me insisting I was turning 27 and he quite confident that no, I would be turning 26.  As it turns out, apparently I don't even know my own age.  I am, in fact, only 25 -- not 26 as I've steadfastly believed all this time.  This realization is extremely discontenting.  I've been living a horrible filthy lie for the past year and I didn't even know it!  D:  *Awash in a traumatizing sea of sudden insecurity and double-guessing of oneself*

On the flip side, you know what the perfect present a man could get his soon-to-be 27 26 year-old confused wife?  That's right, a Miche bag! *Glee!*  I decided on the bigger "max" size bag, because I'm always cramming extra stuff in my purse, not to mention the occasional giant hardcover book.  Selecting my choice of two shells was hard, there's a lot of really nice ones, but I finally settled on the "Allison" and "Lauren" styles:

So pretty! Plus you can find pretty good deals on second-hand shells on eBay, so that'll be the next place I hit up next time I'd like to buy a new one.  Very excited for my shiny new bag(s) to arrive in approximately 5 - 10 business days~  :3

In book related news, here's the lowdown on my reads over the past couple of weeks:

  • Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
    A once-successful writer, Henry, living in a foreign city receives an envelope one day among his usual fan mail, containing a note asking for help and a single scene from a play featuring two characters named Beatrice and Virgil.  He decides to deliver his response to the letter in person and finds himself in a taxidermist's shop.  There he meets the eldery, mysterious owner who introduces him to the two characters from his play -- a stuffed donkey and howler monkey, and Henry's life changes forever.  *Du du DUUUUUUH*  (Can you tell I totally rip these summaries off from other sources at times?  I'm so lazy.)  I was really excited to hear that Yann Martel had written a new book, as his second novel, Life of Pi, is one of my all time faves.  For whatever reason this new book hasn't been very good reviews on Goodreads, but I liked it myself.  Not amazing, but enjoyable.  I think I actually appreciated it more than others because I'd accidentally spoiled the ending for myself beforehand so I was reading into all of the abstract stuff knowing what most of it meant before the realization is supposed to come at the end.  3/5

    BTW, looks like a movie adaptation of Life of Pi is finally in the works.  Like all great books I love that get turned into movies, I'm excited but apprehensive about this news.  Please do the book justice!
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
    The first novel in a trilogy, this steampunk-ish take on some of the events surrounding WWI splits its time between two main characters -- Aleksandar Ferdinand, fugitive prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; and Deryn Sharp, a daring British airwoman disguised as a boy.  The book pits the mechanical might of mecha-like "clankers" against fabricated splices of specially-engineered "beasties" in the place of the usual WWI war machines (hence the steampunk slant.)  The story was okay, slow to start off with (especially Alek's storyline, which I found dull compared to Deryn's) but it did pick up as the book went on.  To be honest I think the biggest turn off for me in this book was simply the steampunk theme itself, I'm just not a huge fan of the genre in general.  I also have some serious issues with the disturbing way the British forces apply the use of the spliced creatures they create...  Hurling bats into propeller blades as a weapon...?  Engineering giant flying whales with pipes and airship engines molded into it's gut...?  The creep factor is high here, folks.  I hope the WWI equivalent of PETA lays some much-needed smack down in the sequel.  3/5
  • Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
    I probably shouldn't even be talking about this one yet since it's our most recent book club assignment and we haven't had our meet up yet, but oh well; I'll just rant about it a second time in much greater detail at our next meeting.  If that wasn't a hint for you, no, I didn't enjoy this book very much at all.  It takes place in a high-tech futuristic version of Cape Town, South Africa, following around a couple different groups of all equally annoying, obnoxious, hipster-like central characters who I spent most of my time just wanting to smack across the face.  It's unfortunate that the characters were all so unlikable because the story concept itself could have been pretty interesting otherwise, if not for the constant feeling like it was being narrated by four punk teenagers from Nexopia.  *Rips at hair*  2/5

While I was by the library today I picked up a few new books, the first one of which I just started this afternoon and isn't actually that new for me at all.  Beauty is a YA retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale that I absolutely loved when I was in Junior High.  I think I checked it out from our school library three different times, and I just couldn't resist picking myself up a copy today and seeing if it was as good as I remember it being.  Turns out -- it is!  :D  I'm really enjoying reading through it again, and I think I may need to track myself down a copy of it to buy permanently for my own bookshelf~

Who knows how to have a good time?

Friday, February 18, 2011 -- 12:45 am
Mood: 12 Nervous

If you've never played Telestrations you really should. It's a cross between the games Pictionary and Telephone, and is all sorts of awesome.


That's right, PRAYING MANTIS KNOWS HOW TO HAVE A GOOD TIME! (Kudos to Glen for drawing the best picture of the night.)

You know what else is a good time? Pretty purses! I was just introduced to the most fantabulous website ever: Miche Bags! One purse, so many easily changeable looks! What a concept! X3 So badly do I want one of these babies, one in each size, maybe a couple different styles of straps... oh the possibilities! *Adds to wishlist, gushing girlishly over all of the pretty bags*

Other news: I have officially put in my application for the Information and Library Technology program at Grant MacEwan! In just mere minutes all of a sudden I felt like I was applying to school for the first time all over again. It's nerve wracking! When will they let me know if I get accepted? What if I don't get accepted? :x What if I waited too long and anyone who applies after the holidays are just automatically branded with a big red FAIL stamp and tossed in the rubbish bin? What if I'm doomed to be forever diploma-less and continue to fruitlessly flail after this career like a gruesome, flesh-eating zombie chasing a juicy brain that will shun me for not having the qualifying paper credentials hanging framed on my wall? ;_; Good god, I don't know if they've even looked at my application yet and already I'm a stressed out college student again. *Pulls at hair*

I have been rebuilt. I am stronger… better… faster…

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 -- 1:59 pm
Mood: 02 A little less pathetic.

Well, sort of. Kinda. Not really.

My cast came off a couple of weeks ago, so I'm significantly less gimpy than I was last time I posted, but not 100% gimp free yet. While it's great that I can finally do things like write and type properly again, and use two hands for tasks like washing dishes and cooking, my wrist still has a ways to go. I have about half the movement and strength in my right wrist as I used to so it can only do so much still, and some times I accidentally put too much weight on it or jar it in some awkward way and that causes all kinds of not pleasant sensations. Currently I'm going to physio twice a week and it's definitely helped, but I was hoping to have had better progress by now. We'll see how it goes.

So we're half way through January now and I'm starting to take the time to do yet another revision of my resume and cover letter to format it for non-library related inquiries. These past months have been incredibly disappointing on the library job front. I suppose I was naive to think that it would be easy to eventually get in as an entry level page, but I never thought it would be this discouraging. Where I used to be optimistic and excited any time I applied for a new position, I'm now frustrated and anxious, and it's hard to keep a positive attitude now while I'm expanding my search into other areas and fields of work once more. Depending on our financial situation after the wedding, I may need to bite the bullet and enroll in some more schooling. The priority now though is to find something at least temporary until then.

On a more upbeat note, I was thrilled to read last week that the family-owned Paradise Pets store in St. Albert has taken a giant leap forward and made the decision to stop selling dogs and cats from breeders. Instead they're partnering with various rescue organizations in the Edmonton area to use their storefront to adopt out animals in need. It is such a positive step in the right direction and I'm immensely proud of them for taking the initiative to do so. I can only hope that some of the bigger pet store chains will see the value in this move and make the same change. It's positive media attention for the pet stores, it helps ease the burden of the rescue organizations, and it makes healthy adoptable animals more accessible and promoted to prospective pet owners. Everyone wins. (Well, except the breeders but I don't much care about them.)

Also, I've never been so excited for movie documentaries! National Geographic's The Last Lions is coming out in February and it looks beautiful. PLUS, it's narrated by Jeremy Irons! My brain just exploded with awesome! XD In addition to National Geographic's production, there's also Kevin Richardson's project, White Lion: Love is a Journey I want to see; as well as DisneyNature's African Cats. It's a good year for lions~

EHS Volunteering

Saturday, September 11, 2010 -- 2:11 pm
Mood: 07 Warm and fuzzy inside

This morning I attended a orientation session for new volunteers at the Edmonton Humane Society. It's actually the second one I've gone to in the last year or two, but after the first one I never heard anything back from them on how to proceed to the next step, so I'm not sure if I got lost in the fray some where down the line or what. Luckily this time around seemed much more organized and I walked out happily at the end with a yellow EHS volunteer shirt and everything~

The lady from the EHS (who has also served as an EMT) who headed the session started it off by talking a little about her time in New York several years back, and how she was there the day of and helped out during the events of 9/11. She showed us some of her own pictures that she'd taken during and after the attacks, as well spoke about and showed us photos of some of the animal rescue units that assisted in the aftermath; like how the search and rescue dogs were transported across the rubble and debris. Also how in addition to the typical medium to large sized breeds that you usually see with emergency crews, 9/11 had a lot of tiny miniature dogs like poodles and terriers working with the team as well since they could get into so many smaller spots than the rest of of the search and rescue animals. It was really interesting to hear about.

I chose to sign up for the EHS cat socialization volunteer program (you had the option between cats and dogs), so I'm going in for a mentoring session for that on Tuesday. In passing the staff also asked who of us had any experience with smaller mammals like rabbits (I think there was only two of us in the whole room), so I'm arranging another much smaller session to cover that so I can volunteer with both.

I love the EHS, they're such a wonderful organization with the nicest facility and staff. I've wanted to help out some way with them for the longest time. So excited~ :3

Hello ladies. How are you? Fantastic.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 -- 1:20 pm
Mood: 07 Content

Survived camping in bear country, hurrah! \o/ Next week I'm off again for our biennial Road Trip of Sisterly Win to visit equally awesome Brother of Awesome and Sister-In-Law of Rad over in B.C. This involves our traditional 12 hour drive through the mountains, the same ones I just returned from this past weekend; the only difference being that if we encounter bears, I will already be safely in our car traveling at 130 km/h on the highway. Ha HA! How do ya like them apples, bears?! *Smug*

Still no interviews. *Sad face* In the mean time I've begun taking on contract work again to at least bring in some sort of income aside from my EI. Last week through word of mouth I managed to pick up a couple new web projects, so that's keeping me nice and busy during the day when I was formerly just laying around watching episodes of Secret Diary of a Call Girl and napping.

In addition to contract work, I've started volunteering at the St. Albert Public Library! :3 (I've also put in an application at the EPL, but they haven't contacted me back yet.) It's great because it'll finally give me a little experience to put on my sad, library-lacking resume; plus, I'm really enjoying it. The people there are super nice and I find the shelving work very relaxing. They have me for a couple evening hours each week, though I'm hoping that I can eventually increase my hours -- then the next time they have a part-time page position open for hire they'll be all "Hey, that Brenna girl sure is a hard-working, enthusiastic volunteer! She's just the lady we're looking for, yes sir!" and BAM! Hired. That's my brilliant plan anyhow.

Over the past week, Mason and I have paid a couple of trips to various home hardware stores in an attempt to start planning out a tentative budget to remodel our very sad, ugly kitchen. No huge construction renos or anything, mostly just aesthetics -- painting the cupboards, new countertops, hardware, light fixtures, getting rid of ugly apple-print drapes, maybe a fancy shmancy new faucet~ I would love a new dishwasher as well (because it's getting to the point that our cat could lick clean our plates and utensils better than this silly machine) but that's a whole different time and budget all together. We've also picked out some paint swatches and have wonderful plans for when we eventually want to spruce up the upstairs walls. Very excited. (For the work to be finally done and finished, that is -- I am not looking forward to the actual physical labor of remodeling at all.)

FYI, the sexy Old Spice guy has managed to somehow defy the laws of awesome and become EVEN MORE AWESOME. They're putting out new spots (some of which that are quite hilarious) on their YouTube channel in which he personally responds to comments and questions from fans. This man is so awesome, in fact, that I have added him to my Hug Bucket. I bet hugging him would be like hugging every awesome person in the world at the same time, while listening to Journey, while standing in the the most beautiful sunny and grassy panorama, among the grand scenic backdrop of looming mountains made entirely of chocolate, immediately after being rescued single-handedly from a hoard of ravenous bears. Ooh. Not to mention my Hug Bucket would forever carry the wonderfully manly fragrance of Old Spice scented body wash.