Santa Claus for grown-ups
That's what registering for your wedding is like, you know. You make this big long list of things you want and then presumably, on a certain date, you get the things you asked for. Although I don't think a big fat guy in a red suit is going to be bringing them to us. I hope not, anyway.
I guess it goes without saying that we registered this afternoon. And let me just say this: whenever you go to register, wear comfy shoes. Bed Bath and Beyond is a BIG place. It took us two and a half hours. Luckily, it was a lot of fun.
Clearly I was very excited.
While registering, I noticed a trend that keeps occurring in the wedding planning, much like in life: I had this vision in my head of how things wanted to go. And when it comes down to making choices, I keep choosing exactly the opposite of what I thought I wanted (like my wedding dress...and venue...and on and on). I had my heart set on Kate Spade "Chapel Hill" patterned china (for obvious reasons). But when I saw it in person, I just didn't like it. So we chose something different, and I love it. Even better, we chose it together. We chose EVERYTHING today together, and that's what made it special.
Because after registering, after having dinner at Korean BBQ, after taking Luna on a walk and checking the mailbox, we found this envelope. That right there - that's why I -- no, WE -- chose what we did, why we walked around a store with a scanner gun for two and a half hours. Because this is US. This is our new life together. While we know we are on the same page about life's big things (finances, kids, politics, etc), this was the first time we had really stopped to think about little things such as, "What color are we going to paint the bedroom when we get a house?" "What kind of drinking glasses do we need?" and "Do we REALLY need a gravy boat?" (the answer, apparently, is yes).
You might ask, "Who CARES about a gravy boat?" You might ask, "Why do these things even matter?"
Because I am The Future Mrs. Brian Stevenson - that's why. We're planning a life together and we're gonna do it in style.
A New Addiction
Anyone that knows me knows I'm addicted to my Birchbox. $10 a month, and at least 5 samples to try, sometimes more (and sometimes full-size "samples!"). Now my darling coworkers have sucked me into trying something new.
One of them, whom I'll call Wife (because of HER blog, which you can click here to read), mentioned this new subscription thing - for CLOTHES. It's called StitchFix. And y'all, I'm not going to lie - I have been in a serious fashion rut lately. I'm bored with all my work clothes, aside from a few key pieces, and when I get home, I typically wind up in workout clothes to go to yoga, to the gym, or to walk the Labrador and generally get dog hair all over.
How it works is, you pay $20 up front, and they ship you a box with five pieces of clothing and accessories, all tailored to your size and specifications. You choose what you want to keep and mail the rest back for free in a pre-stamped envelope. If you DO choose to keep something, your $20 fee goes toward whatever you purchase.
So basically this is a no-brainer. I don't have TIME to go shopping. I have a wedding to plan, meals to cook, an 85-pound furry monster to walk, a blog to write, and, oh yeah, a full-time job. Not to mention a LIFE (seriously, I need more down time!). I don't WANT to go to the mall and battle through all the hipster-y teenagers huddling in clusters. I do not have the time or patience for that. But this - this will be delivered straight to my office. I can take everything home and try it on with my existing clothes. If I don't like it or it doesn't fit, or even if I like it but think it's too expensive, I can return it FOR FREE (which certainly beats some online retailers...RueLaLa, I'm looking at you!). And if it does fit and the price is right, I keep it - win!
My first box is scheduled to arrive September 12th. Stay tuned for reviews...
***Also - if you feel so inclined to sign up yourself, please use this link to do it so I can get credit. Thanks!
...of beer class. My mother, I know, is so proud. I'm sure she was concerned.
Regardless, tonight was our last night of beer class. We got to taste beer with different foods, such as chorizo sausage and horseradish cheddar cheese, and we also learned such gems as these:
Again, if you're in the Greenville area, PLEASE go check out the Growler Station. We're so not kidding. They are THE nicest people, and so knowledgeable. Big Jon = beer genius. Just...please go, okay? Do it for me. You can thank me later, preferably with a growler.
But honestly, the best part of tonight for me? My B had his fantasy football draft at 7:45. We left the Growler Station at 5:40. He had his iPad in the car, ready for action...and apparently, Apple products don't cooperate with Adobe Flash very well. So he was driving, giving me his phone (a non-Apple phone, clearly) to do his fantasy draft. It sounds so unimportant, but here's the thing: my Mimi, who lived to be 95 and who is one of my role models to this day, used to say, "We're making memories" anytime anything silly happened. Driving down 385, hungry, with a Labrador waiting for us, while I tried to understand the finer points of fantasy football and do my fiance's drafting, was pretty silly. I knew remarkably little of fantasy football before tonight (he was explaining it to me between draft picks). But it was important to B, so therefore it's important to me. Likewise, when my computer is crapping out during the semi-annual Lilly Pulitzer 3-day sale and I'm having a spaz attack, I KNOW he'll be right there beside me, offering his computer, or at least comforting words and condolence for not being able to purchase the pretty Murfee scarf for uber-cheap. Not that I have any experience (yet!), but I think that's a pretty good idea of what marriage is - caring about what's important to your partner, even if it's not necessarily important to you. I could care less about fantasy football, but I love my B more than I can adequately put into words.
So to summarize: a) sign up for September beer school, and b) I can't wait to be a wife.
Life is good, y'all. Life is good. :)
Vineyards and In-Laws
My apologies to you, sweet and faithful readers, for my little hiatus last week. For starters, B was out of town for work until Thursday, so I didn't do much (okay, any) cooking. Also, this wedding planning stuff is slightly overwhelming. Although I will say, last week alone I ordered my wedding dress and paid the deposits for both the church and the reception venue. I was also able to set up a meeting with a potential photographer for tomorrow. So go me!
In addition, last week I did some house cleaning because we had guests this weekend! B's cousin and his wife came to visit us. We've gone to Atlanta to visit them a few times, so it was nice to host them for a change. And because they are always such wonderful and gracious hosts, we knew we wanted to give them a special visit to Greenville. So on Saturday, we took a little trip up to Victoria Valley Vineyards.
We began the day with a little wine tasting, then lunch and a split bottle of wine on the patio. The weather was absolutely perfect - sunny, breezy and a little cool. It was nice to be able to sit outside and just enjoy ourselves.
We then went downtown and gave them a tour, including a trolley ride up and down Main Street. We even did some shopping, and the boys wound up buying more than the girls. Not sure what happened there, but anyway. Then, as though wine wasn't enough for one day, we tasted moonshine at Dark Corner Distillery. Needless to say, after we got done with all that, I needed a nap before dinner.
Dinner was the 3-course Foodie Fest menu at The Lazy Goat. After fried goat cheese, Brussels sprouts, steak frites, and peach pie, plus complimentary sparkling wine, I was STUFFED. We all were. But it was delicious and totally worth it.
But the best part, the really best part, was getting to celebrate mine and B's engagement with my future cousins-in-law. I am SO grateful and happy to be marrying into a family that's actually really excited to have me be a part of it. EVERYONE (my family, B's family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances alike) has been so thrilled and happy for us, but it means a lot to me that all my future in-laws are actually happy about it. Some people don't get so lucky, you know? It's with a grateful heart that I will soon be Emily S. :)
Our poor wedding photographers. They kind of have their work cut out for them.
So that about sums up my weekend in a nutshell.
The actual explanations require a bit more space, so stay with me here. We went to Charlotte for the weekend to see B's friend John's new house, to celebrate my little bro's 26th birthday, aaaaand...for me and Mom to go wedding dress shopping! Unfortunately, as per normal in my life, everything didn't go to plan but it was a wonderful weekend nonetheless.
We arrived on Friday night and had a chill evening grilling out at John's house, or "barbecuing," as he calls it...he's from New Jersey, bless his heart. They don't understand that barbecue is a noun, not a verb, but he made some terrific steaks, so I'll forgive him this time.
We woke up Saturday to rain. B and John went off to fix John's bike, and I went off to meet my mama. After a harried lunch with Mom, the Little Bro, and Little Bro's fiancee (aka "Sort-of Seester") at the Cheesecake Factory, Little Bro set off to celebrate his birthday on the golf course with some buddies, and we ladies turned to the important business of wedding dress shopping. This is not an exercise for the faint of heart, or the easily discouraged. The first place we went was uber-fancy and creepily quiet. The saleslady informed us that we couldn't try on wedding gowns today because each bride had her "special time" and today was not my "special time." To which I wanted to reply, "Woman, the love of my life asked me to marry him. I'm nearly 30 years old and have waited AGES for this. Every minutes until the clock strikes midnight on April 26th is my @#$%ing special time!" However, I kept my mouth shut, even when she forced my poor mother into a horrible bright purple satin dress with peplum...my only response to that could be termed, "WTF?". Terrible, terrible mother of the bride outfit. BAD.
We then trudged through the rain back to the car and decided to call David's Bridal. They were booked up on appointments that day. I was starting to get really discouraged - would I even get to try on a dress?! Despairing, I then called New York Bride and Groom, recommended to me by my former college roommate, Meg, who is getting married this October. Their voice recording said you never needed an appointment there - yay! A lead! So we drove through the monsoon to NY Bridal.
When we arrived, they were accommodating, friendly, and SUPER easy to work with. They gave me a fitting room right away and told me I could pick six dresses to try on at once. BINGO. So I went, and after much helpless deliberation (seriously, it was a LOT of big white dresses), I picked my first six. Mom and Sort-Of Seester got ready to help me into all this. Seester asked me which one I wanted to try on first. Overwhelmed, I said, "Ummm, the one closest to the door." Geography seemed as good an indicator as any. So on it went (after much stumbling on my part...this is not for the uncoordinated, either). I liked it. I really, really liked it. However, I was expecting to like all the rest of them that much. I was afraid it would be a hard decision.
Nope. No way. Not even a little bit. After two dress shops and roughly 15 dresses, that first one remained The One. I ordered it today on my lunch hour. When you know, you know...can't wait to wear it on my big day!
Then, after all that hard work trying on dresses, it was time to go back, meet up with B, John, and John's lady, and celebrate Little Bro's birthday. We decided on a casual Mexican restaurant, which Little Bro and Sort-Of Seester assured us was wonderful. As soon as we were seated, a mariachi band came into the room in which we were seated. We thought they would play a song or two, then circulate through the rest of the restaurant. Oh, no. Not even close. They stood at the booth next to us (right next to my poor B) and played THE ENTIRE TIME WE WERE EATING. And they only had one volume: earsplitting. This went on FOR AN HOUR. Y'all, I'm so not kidding. I could barely hear my brother, who was sitting right beside me. My B kept saying "Huh? Huh?"
By the time we left, our collective heads were about ready to explode. We didn't even listen to any music in the car on the way to the next bar. We just enjoyed the sweet, sweet sound of silence. Ahhhhhh. The next bar went a little better - we even got to have conversation! So overall it was a great weekend. However, if you're at my wedding and I'm in my white dress, and B and I keep saying, "Huh? Huh?" to you when you try to talk to us, blame it on the mariachi band. Ole!
Longing for fall
Y'all, this engagement business is no joke. Oh, don't get me wrong, it's a ton of fun (especially all the champagne), but it's also exhausting. This, I suppose, is the downside of doing this at nearly 30, as opposed to 22. Six days in, and I'm wiped out. Last night after work I went to B's apartment and took an hour and a half nap while he took Luna to PetSmart. I've also been a day behind on every blog post this week. Sorry about that.
But I received an unexpected boon yesterday and today in the form of gorgeous, 72-degree weather. Emily Fact #3,845: I HATE summer. HATE IT. And by this time of year, I have really lost all patience with being sweaty, sticky and mosquito-bitten. But yesterday - well, yesterday the weather was heavenly. It was a lovely little taste of fall. So it was a really nice coincidence that I had planned to have a delicious, fall-like meal.
Last night's recipe was baked chicken with spinach, pears and blue cheese. It's a recipe from Whole Foods, but I found it on Pinterest (so what else is new?). I think it was the pears that drew me in. Seriously, is it fall yet?
You begin by putting salt and pepper on four chicken breasts, then searing them in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 2-3 minutes per side. My B did this part, and in retrospect, he said he would sear it on higher heat for a little less time to get the crispy skin without cooking it too much and drying it out.
Look at this deliciousness...and the steam!
Put the chicken, pan and all, into a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a new pan, saute 1/2 C of diced red onion until it's soft. The recipe didn't call for it, but I also sauteed two cloves of minced garlic for a little flavor. Then add the spinach and saute until wilted. Separate it onto plates.
Wipe out the pan with a paper towel (carefully - it's still hot). Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Once it's heated, add 2 Anjou pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch slices. Saute until soft.
Spinach and chicken, just waiting for the pears to cook.
Take the chicken out of the oven and place on top of the spinach. Put a few pear slices on top of the chicken, then add about 2 tablespoons of blue cheese or Gorgonzola (we used blue) on top of the entire thing. That's it!
It was really, really easy, and a delicious mix of flavors. I especially love the pears - I think that's what makes the dish special. That, and the blue cheese on top. Next time I might even go so far as to add some more spices to the chicken before cooking, and/or add more garlic and spices to the spinach. This was absolutely delicious as-is, but there are also a lot of ways you could make it your own. I think that is the mark of a good recipe - after all, no one's tastes are exactly the same. Let me know if you make any adjustments that are really fantastic (or if they bomb, too!).
The finished product - yum!
Baked chicken with spinach, pears, and blue cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
3 T olive oil, divided
1/2 C diced red onion
4 C spinach (I don't remember how much we used - we just finished off a bag)
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 ripe Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 T fresh parsley (we left this out, as I hate parsley)
3/4 C blue cheese crumbles
Preheat oven to 375. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
In a large, oven-proof skillet, heat 1 T olive oil. Sear chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes per side.
Place pan in oven and bake until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes
In a new skillet, heat 1 T olive oil. Saute red onion until softened. Add minced garlic if you choose.
Add spinach and toss until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and transfer evenly among plates.
Wipe pan, and heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and 2 T of apple cider vinegar.
Add pears and heat until warm. Stir in parsley (if it doesn't make you gag).
Place the chicken on top of the spinach on plates. Arrange the pears on top of the chicken, then top the entire thing with roughly 2 T of blue cheese per chicken breast.
Eat, and enjoy!
I've missed school a lot, but we found an unlikely outlet: beer class. No, you're not hallucinating. I said beer class.
Beer school is at the Greenville Growler Station, which we visit every Thursday night for a free tasting and a growler fill-up. It's a lot of fun because Big Jon knows more about beer than most people know about ANYthing, so you can be assured you'll get a really good description of whatever you're thinking of buying. He won't let you walk away with anything bad. We LOVE the Growler Station. If you're a Greenvillian, please go check them out. They're good people, and they dispense beer. What more could you ask for?
So when they announced they were having beer class for three one-hour sessions in August...well, we were hooked. And last night was our first class. We covered the brew process and the history of beer. It was a LOT of information at one time, especially when you considered we sampled (and by sample, I mean had nearly half a glass each) of FIVE different beers. Despite the buzz, we learned a lot. My B made fun of me because I took two very full pages of notes, but hey - once a student, always a student. Here are some of the fun facts we learned...
I won't spill any more fun secrets for any of you who are going to September's beer class, but I'll tell you that so far it's definitely worth it. We met some nice new people, we tried some delicious new beers (and one of my classic old favorites, Lindeman's Framboise Lambic), and generally had a good time. Three cheers for beer class with my new fiance!
Meatless Monday? Meh.
In some misguided, bizarre attempt to be healthy, I thought it would be a good idea to implement Meatless Mondays (for dinner, at least).
So far, it's not such a hot idea - at least, not the recipe I chose for yesterday. And it sounded so promising, too, which always makes it an even bigger disappointment. Creamy lemon pasta with tomatoes and spinach sounds good, right?
The sauce? A little too sour, and a little too creamy. I get freaked out by anything with that much heavy cream in it. I think maybe it could use a little white wine in it next time. The spinach and tomatoes did not quite "cook" enough, which basically was like eating raw veggies in creamy sour pasta. We think next time it needs less lemon juice, a little white wine and half-and-half instead of cream. We also think the tomatoes and spinach need to be cooked just a teensy bit before putting them in the pasta, and we feel this recipe could benefit from some mushrooms also.
It wasn't a total loss, not by a long shot (believe me, I/we have done worse). But it wasn't great. You can check the original recipe here, or see it below. If you make it, let me know how it goes for you, especially if you do any other variations.
The finished product. Could've been better, but also could've been worse.
Believe it or not, I can't wait to marry this man ;)
Creamy lemon pasta with tomatoes and spinach
Make at your own risk
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound rotini pasta (or whatever you have on hand)
3 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup grated parmesan (we just used a sprinkling of the grated kind)
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Set pot of water to boil for pasta.
Heat oil over medium heat; add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for a minute or two.
Add cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened (supposedly about 10 minutes, but it took ours longer)
Cook the pasta.
Drain pasta and put it back into the pot. Pour cream mixture over pasta and cook 2-3 minutes until the pasta is well-coated and the sauce has been absorbed.
Take pot off heat and add spinach, Parmesan and tomatoes. Toss until spinach is wilted (ours never did).
I'm starting to come down off my post-engagement high a little tiny bit, which is kind of a good thing. I have this thing called a job that I'm pretty sure my coworkers and boss would appreciate me being fully mentally present for, and plus, my new fiance and I still have to eat.
Which brings me back to the much-anticipated butterbeans. I made them last night - AND I got to break a rule. I made two new recipes at once. How did I manage this, you ask? Was it because my fiance was so thrilled I said yes that he was willing to let me do what I wanted?
Um, no. It was a technicality. Our main course was ranch pork chops - in the crock pot. I put them in at 3:30, so it wasn't like I was actually cooking two recipes at once. Technically, I only made one new recipe at a time. Technicalities, people, technicalities. I'm gonna need to remember this as a wife, I'm sure.
Anyway...dinner was still a little disjointed. For starters, I forgot the pork chops were in my freezer, and we were cooking at B's apartment since my AC is on the fritz (another story for another day). So at about 1:00 we decided to take the dog on a field trip to my house to get the pork chops. However, we stopped to "drop off" a plate of the baklava I'd made to James (creepy engagement photographer in the woods) and his girlfriend. "Dropping off" turned into drinking Cherry Cokes and eating strawberry cheesecake from Strossner's on their deck while Luna ran around in their backyard.
So it was pretty late when we got back to Brian's, and I had to wait for the pork chops to thaw. What did I do then, you ask? Fall asleep? A pretty good guess, to be sure, but no. Instead, I got completely lost in my new copy of Brides magazine and forgot such things at pork chops even existed until I finished the magazine at 3:30. Let me just reiterate: #fianceefail. First meal I'm cooking for my new husband-to-be and I kind of completely forget about the meal in the first place.
Luckily, these pork chops were ridiculously easy and didn't take much effort at all. We didn't make the mashed potatoes in the recipe (we used instant - but give us a break, it was a big weekend), so the recipe can basically be described like this: put thawed pork chops, a packet of ranch dressing mix (I used the spicy kind), and a can of cream of chicken soup into the crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours - or, if you're me, cook on high for about an hour, then reduce to low for about 3 more. They turned out pretty well, actually - we both though the recipe was worth keeping.
But the pork chops weren't what gave this blog post its title, so let's get down to the real star of this post: the butterbeans.
Begin by dicing a small white onion. Then dice five slices of uncooked bacon.
That's about as far as I got before I started deviating from the recipe. At that point you're supposed to put the onions and bacon in a Dutch oven, which neither of us have (idea for the registry, maybe?). So I just put it into a regular pot. I did cook for 5-7 minutes as the recipe suggested, maybe a little longer because the bacon didn't look quite done enough.
Then you put in a half-cup of tightly packed brown sugar and stirred until the sugar was melted. Easy enough. Then in went a 16-ounce bag of frozen butterbeans and 1/4 cup butter. I didn't quite put in a full 1/4 cup. I stirred, as instructed, until the butter was melted and the beans were coated with the bacon, onion and brown sugar mixture.
Then I was supposed to put in 12 cups of water. About that...yeah. As per normal, I hadn't read through the recipe fully and didn't realize I needed a pot big enough for 12 cups of water (although maybe your standard Dutch oven would have enough room for everything...I don't even know what a Dutch over IS. I had to look it up online). So I only put in 4 cups of water. And instead of simmering the beans for the suggested TWO HOURS, I only did it for maybe an hour, and the water never did seem to boil down. Instead, I just occasionally drained water from the pot because good grief, we betrothed people were hungry and needed to eat.
So yeah, that's how that went. They tasted pretty good, actually, just not quite as saucy and thick as expected. One day - ONE DAY - I am going to make these beans with the proper equipment and allotted time to make them as the recipe calls for. Oh, well...I tried. Bon appetit!
The recipe is below, or if you want to go to the original recipe, you can find it here.
The Difficult, Delicious Butterbeans
5 slices of bacon, diced
1 small white onion
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 16-oz package frozen butterbeans
1/4 C butter (half of a stick)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook bacon and onion in large Dutch oven over medium heat for 5-7 minutes (it took me a little longer).
Add brown sugar and cook until dissolved.
Stir in butter and butterbeans until butter is melted and beans are coated with the mixture.
Stir in 12 cups of water (apparently)
Bring entire mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours (unless you're like me and just can't get it together).
Stir in salt and pepper and serve.
...to bring you this very important public service announcement. And today's announcement is brought to you by the letter E. E is for Emily. E is for excited. E is for....ENGAGED!
So I'm sure you can understand why you'll have to wait until tomorrow for a review of the butterbeans, no?
It happened yesterday, August 10th. We were going to go hiking at Paris Mountain and take Luna, but it had monsooned again on Friday and we were afraid it would be super muddy and then we'd have to give her a bath (and for the record, bathing a reluctant 85-pound Labrador? Not fun). So we left her at home. Off we went...and I wasn't particularly enthusiastic about it, either. I kept saying, "Let's just take a short hike. We have to go to the Farmer's Market to get groceries. We'll have to eat lunch too late," and on and on and on. And my B just smiled and said, "Sure, we can take a short loop today." Spoiler alert: he was lying :)
The trail we typically take starts at the top of the mountain and the middle point of the trail is in a valley at a lake. Right after we cross the dam over the lake, there is a little clearing in the shade by the lake with a bench that we use to rest and stretch and get some water before beginning the uphill part of our hike.
Our spot :)
We reached our bench as usual, stretched a few minutes, and then B sat down on the bench. I thought he was going to pull out his phone to see how far we'd hiked, but instead he pulled out a piece of paper. And then he said, "I have a note for you." The minute he said that, I knew.
B reading me the note :)
He read me the sweetest note, which was so incredibly written and so amazing that I think he may have been lying all this time about not liking words. And then he fished the ring box from the bottom of his backpack, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.
B standing up so he could get down on one knee :)
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
I love him, so ridiculously much.
I think I said "Yes!" like 12 times. I just wanted to make sure he got the memo :)
And then - well, then there was clapping behind us in the woods. I thought it was just some random hiker who had happened to stumble upon us and witness the proposal, until Brian said, "Say hi to the camera." It took me a good 30 seconds to realize that the guy clapping was his friend and coworker James, who was hiding out in the woods to take pictures of the proposal.
I know - it sounds so creepy, but it was hilarious. Especially when he told us that about five minutes before we had gotten to "our spot," a family of five had been hanging out there. He had popped up out of his hiding spot in the woods, scaring them to death, saying, "No! You have to go! My friend is coming here in a few minutes and he's going to propose to his girlfriend. You have to go NOW!" To which they had replied, "Which way? Where do we go?" and he said, "Anywhere! Just get out of here!" Pretty sure I'm going to be laughing about that for a long time. That poor family. I think if I had been them I would have wanted to hide out in the woods with James to see the proposal.
So what did we do after the proposal? Well, first we had to do the uphill portion of the hike to get OUT of the woods. During that time I managed to call my mom and dad, my brother and his fiancee, and my best friend. Once we finally got out of the woods and to our car, I called my great-grandmother and my grandmother. We went to the farmer's market to get produce (I wasn't kidding about our need to go food shopping!). And then we went back to B's apartment, where we cleaned up a little and busted out leftover Mexican food and a fresh bottle of champagne to celebrate. We then proceeded to call remaining family and friends whom we hadn't been able to get in touch with before. And then B turned on the golf channel, snuggled up with Luna (who is thrilled her parents are going to be married and she will only have to live in one house instead of two), and we all took naps.
For dinner, we just went to one of our favorite sushi restaurants, and then we went back to Trappe Door, where we went for our first date. It was all pretty low-key, and that's the way we both wanted it. That's what keeps striking me the most about this. I always assumed that when I got engaged there would be thunderbolts and trumpets sounding and angels descending from heaven to witness this momentous event. But it's just normal. It is incredible and I'm excited and SO happy. But it's really just normal and comfortable and feels like exactly what we should be doing. B is my best friend and the person whom, without a doubt, I want to spend the rest of my life with and raise babies with and all that stuff. I couldn't ask for a better person to be by my side. So while I'm DYING to start planning my wedding and I cannot stop looking at my ring (seriously: so sparkly. So, so sparkly), the most important part of it is that I officially get to spend the rest of my life with the love of my life, and THAT is a major WIN.