Saturday, July 28, 2007
It still feels surreal. Yesterday was the best day of my life so far. It was incredible. Everything went perfectly. After the Thursday night pre-wedding bash, I was feeling more at ease about the wedding itself. It was a great way to prepare for what was to come.
Yesterday morning James and I went and had a quick bite of breakfast (what little I could eat!) with his mom and her hubby before I headed off to the hotel to start getting ready. My mom and I were organized to have our hair and makeup done on-site at the hotel. So while we got beautified we sipped champagne and prepared ourselves internally for the big event. I got into my dress and was all ready to go by 3:00. James and our photographer(s) met up with us and we had some pictures taken outside around the vicinity of the hotel. Yes, we saw each other before the actual ceremony, but it made sense given that we wanted to take some specific pictures outside together. Besides, we're not that superstitious and we're definitely non-traditional!
We got some beautiful shots and then soon enough it was time for James, my dad and brother to head to the yacht to start getting things set up while my mom and I continued sipping champagne in the hotel room. My aunt and 2 of my uncles were also there to help get things set up so apparently it all went by very quickly. At one point it seemed time was dragging on and I felt as if I was hyperventilating, but suddenly it was time for us to head down to the boat. My dad came up and the three of us went down to the yacht together, meeting up with a few late arrivals along the way. I didn't mind that people were seeing me before the big moment - again, I'm really not that superstitious! We got onto the yacht and discovered the groom's parents had not yet arrived...well, mom and hubby. I was not too impressed as we were ready to set sail at 5:30 and it was 5:28. I turned into Bridezilla for a brief moment, reminding people that we were leaving at 5:30 regardless of who wasn't there. Very lucky for his mother, she showed up at 5:30 on the dot. I was ready to kill her but kept my cool, as I wasn't going to let anything ruin my moment! Once they were ushered upstairs, we promptly left the dock and headed for the little bay by the Rowing Club at Stanley Park. Before I knew it, the ceremony began and my brother and I headed up the stairs toward the isle we'd be walking down. Everything by Michael Buble (James and my song) started playing and I took one last deep breath and smiled to myself, knowing I was just moments from being married.
The part of the song came up that was my cue to start walking, so I met my brother at the top of the stairs and we slowly walked by all our friends and family towards James, who was smiling at me adoringly. It was magical. Everyone stood to watch me and everyone looked teary eyed and smiled and I felt so special that despite being nervous, I just smiled and made my way to my place at the front. Michael (my wonderful brother and Man of Honour) took my bouquet (which turned out more perfectly than I ever could have hoped, filled with blue hydrangeas and white lilies) and laid it down on the signing table and the ceremony was under way.
The marriage commissioner, Marion, did a wonderful job of making sure we were calm and she got us to the point of saying our own vows. I was nervous and looked down at my 'cheat sheet' a few times, despite having fully memorized my vows days in advance, but I did well and everyone seemed impressed by all the loving words we shared. It was so magical, James and I held each others hands and smiled, and oh even just 2 sentences into the beginning of the ceremony I had tears! It was all so beautiful. We exchanged rings and before we knew it, we were introduced to our loved ones as Husband and Wife.
The signing ceremony followed, and then as Marion made her way off the boat (we re-docked to let her off), champagned was handed out to us and my brother started off with a toast. Well! My brother is a very quiet guy and not one for making speeches, but he left every person in the room either speechless or crying by the end! His toast was absolutely beautiful. He had us in stitches and tears and it was just so heartfelt. He got all choked up as he told everyone how much he loves and supports me, as well as how much he thinks of James and loves him too. Needless to say I was crying by the end, but tears of joy! It was beautiful. James' brother also had kind words to say, and then suddenly a lot of people stood up with a few words to toast the bride and groom.
From there the reception began. We continued sipping champagne, then wine, beer and hi-balls were available. Turns out James' biological dad had splurged and decided to pick up the entire alcohol tab - whoa! So it was open bar and while people didn't seem to be taking advantage, you could see people loosening up as the time went by.
The food was INCREDIBLE - we could not have asked for better food. Wow. It was mostly appetizer items, such as tomato and bocconcini salad, hummus and bread, a cheese platter, various salads and dressings, spanakopita, and a hot dish of vegetarian moussaka which was pretty much to die for. Everyone raved about the food and not a single person had a 'comment' about it being fully vegetarian. There was no need because it was so amazing and filling and TASTY, I just can't get over how truly delicious everything was - the food definitely went above and beyond my expectations.
After eating people wanted to get upstairs where the deck was more open and slightly cooler. The weather was beautiful, I don't think there was a cloud in the sky (despite that I felt I was on cloud #9!) We cruised up to Indian Arm, with spectacular views and a calmness that was so serence, it was breathtaking. Lots of photo ops...and Jeff, our DJ, did a flawless job with the music, we thoroughly enjoyed his performance. At first just my Nana was dancing, which was shocking to see - I never knew this before last night but apparently she and my Papa (who died before I was born) used to go dancing all the time. As Michael's girlfriend put it, 'She sure can cut a rug!' Soon enough a group of us were dancing and it seemed as though nothing could stop us! Especially once we did the Chicken Dance, that was SO MUCH FUN, people were loosened up and into the groove after that!
We just had so much fun mingling and dancing and drinking and laughing, and James and I kissing - it was INCREDIBLE! We ended up doing the cake cutting so close to the end of the cruise because we didn't want to stop dancing till the last possible second! We also did a few games - a 'Marriage Advice 101' game where people could win prizes for best, worst, funniest and silliest marriage advice - priceless! And a game where people passed a mystery prize around and each time the DJ turned off the music, one layer of wrapping was removed till the person who unwrapped the last layer won the prize. It ended up my Uncle Gord won the bottle of champagne (well, sparkling wine, but a nice one!)
Everyone seemed to love what we did. For the garter toss we mixed things up - as being a feminist, I was not at all cool with what the history of the garter was all about. So after sitting down and pretending James was going to remove my garter, we switched things up and, to the sound of "I'm too Sexy" by Right Said Fred, I lifted his pant leg and ripped a garter off HIS leg WITH MY TEETH! People lapped this up, they loved it!!! Soooo much fun. My brother caught the garter and James' brother's girlfriend caught the bouquet (sort of - she kind of threw it on the ground after catching it...hmmm, not sure if that's a sign or not!) Just GREAT TIMES were had by all, it truly was an amazing evening.
Literally the only 'problem' was that Cupcakes forgot to put our pretty cake topper on the cake, after all the hassle of getting it to them and confirming they had it. I was pissed off but the cake itself was beautiful and delicious so while I am going to call them on it, if that was the worst of the evening, I'd say we faired quite well!
I could go on and on...ok I will for a moment more! After things winded down, there were a few last dances, and DJ Jeff picked the best songs he could have to finish up the night. Then James and I went downstairs and handed out party favours as we said goodbye to our guests. People raved on and on about how spectacular the night had been. People who we knew had been to tons of weddings kept saying it was the best they'd ever experienced! We were delighted.
Waaaay too soon enough, the evening had ended and it was time for us to leave. Well it turns out, my parents had arranged for James and I to take A LIMO TO THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL where we would spend our wedding night in style! And boy did we ever! First of all, I'd never in my life been in a limo, so that alone was exciting. Once at the hotel, we discovered our room had been upgraded to a one bedroom suite on the 20th floor and we got to the room to see it was twice the size of our apartment! It was so unbelievably luxurious! I could honestly live there, let me tell you, it was sooooo nice.
We opened up a few gifts from my parents and my brother and his girlfriend, ate a few chocolate covered strawberries, and then, well, 'the rest is history' :)
We had a glorious time. Our wedding day honestly could not have been more special than what it was. It was the PERFECT day and I am SO glad we did what we did. I can't get over how incredible the whole thing was. The name of the yacht was the 'Magic Moment,' and a truly magic moment it was!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Last night was our pre-wedding bash, thrown by my brother and his girlfriend. It was AMAZING. I am speechless. There were about 17 of us there (so half of everyone who will be there tonight) and everyone seemed to have a great time. Party started at 6 and we closed the place down at nearly 12:30am!
My brother and his girlfriend made a slideshow for us of 'then and now' - pics of James and I as kids and as adults. It was so incredible, even I had tears, which for me is fairly unusual. It was beautiful, no one has ever done anything like that for me before. The songs they chose to play along with it were perfect, in fact everything about it was perfect! They even had a picture of me on a carousel when I was little and one of me on one a few years ago - things like that, it was just really special and well thought out.
We were so spoiled and loved the whole night through, it just blows my mind! We are so grateful for this time and to be spending it with those we love.
So tonight's the night, baby! We're gettin' hitched, once and for all!
Time to go nervously sip coffee and go over my vows. I am terrified yet OH SO VERY EXCITED!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Well, yesterday afternoon a pretty horrific thing happened to me. My computer crashed big time, and my computer programmer husband to be let me know that the situation looked grim. He took every measure he's aware of to get to my files with no avail. I will have to wait till we return from our honeymoon to take it somewhere to see if someone can fix it. But I have to be ready for the very strong possibility that my computer is toast.
Had I done a system back up recently? Of course not! I had stupidly put 100% faith into the damn thing, believing all the while that 'it won't happen to me so there's no need.' I would say there's about 6 months to one year of journal entries, for example, that are GONE. Why I decided recently to officially delete all my previous blogs is beyond me. If they were still floating out there I'd still have about half of what I'd written...
And in the past month or so alone, I've been writing more than I've been blogging, with little tidbits written out to remember with regards to getting set for the wedding. All of that? Gone. Not to mention my LAST MINUTE THINGS TO DO FOR THE WEDDING list, the exact amounts owing to our vendors, all the emails regarding the details of what we ordered, what we're allowed to do on the yacht as proof of permissions we were given - gone.
I feel as if I just lost part of my life in a fire.
I sobbed for a very brief couple of minutes yesterday, but I had to collect myself because I had my Hen night last night. I feel the need to let the emotions out now, but it's the day before the wedding, which is spa day and party night and omigod I am feeling SICK to my stomach. I feel literally ill, I have a headache, and I'm just praying I feel better by this afternoon. It's not cold feet, just nerves because it's a big event and I can't seem to help but get worked up about it!
I just can't believe I've potentially - and at this point it looks like most likely - lost so much data. Pictures that were not stored anywhere but on my computer, and a LOT of them for that matter. Mostly the writing, which helps me to keep my memories in order.
Why these things have to happen at the most inopportune times is beyond me...
But I have to remember what this time is about - I'm getting married TOMORROW and I'm not going to let anything stand in the way of my happiness about that!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I am so excited I could burst. It was my last day at work today and it was so sweet, my co-workers got me a cute wedding card and a whole bunch of people signed it, and they even got me gifts, all wrapped up in a pretty wedding bag! I felt so spoiled. I got $15 worth of gift certificates to Tim Horton’s (people at work love going there for coffee break!), goodies from The Body Shop in Papaya scent, so I can smell tropical on the cruise (in a make-up bag thing that will also come in handy), and a few gag gifts, which were quite hilarious to open – some ‘fancy’ lubricant (for lack of a better way of describing it!!) and…something no newlywed couple could live without apparently…furry handcuffs! LOL The reaction of those who got it for me were more priceless than my own! It was great fun. I don’t like being the center of attention per se, but I do enjoy feeling so cared about. I genuinely felt like people were going to miss me, and it felt nice to know that people care! It was such a nice little surprise!
So a good last day was had…and I’m feeling good about my job at the moment, which leaves the only stress in my life being ‘Emma Dilemma.’ We’ve called her that for years, who’d have thought she’d live up to it to this degree…She’s staying at the vet’s full time till Saturday, but at this point in time as far as we know she has not had any more seizures and is calm and resting. They have her all doped up so no doubt she can’t do much but sleep. We feel really sad that she’s there and not with us (or should I say, at home with my parents), but she is in the best of care all considered. Tessa is frantic without her though, she paces and whines and won’t eat her supper because she probably thinks her sister is gone and she’s going into mourning. It’s so, so sad. We had 2 springers before these two (in fact, my parents got them before having children, so they had always been in my life!) and when Sasha died, I remember what Star went through. It was so painful to watch, he would howl at the sky and pace and cry and he was just beside himself. He eventually stopped all of that but he was never the same again. I know in my heart of hearts that Emma will be coming home on Saturday and she and Tessa will be reunited, it’s just tough because Tessa can’t know that, all she knows is that something’s not right because Emma’s supposed to be there but she’s not.
BUT we’re doing our very best to focus on the wedding and remain positive about the girls. So much is going on right now, it’s a bit on the overwhelming side…I don’t think I’ll be switching careers to become an event planner, lets just say! But this is going to be an amazing few days, I just know it, and then the honeymoon, it’s all so exciting. It’s what memories are made of, and I want to take it all in and just ENJOY!
Monday, July 23, 2007
Everything seems to be coming together nicely. I keep adding new things to my ‘to do’ list but they’re all minor details that are easily taken care of over the next few days. For some reason this doesn’t calm my nerves, but I don’t imagine I’ll be able to calm them till after this is all over with!
Emma is a worry – she’s had seizures for the past 4 days and is extremely tired yet restless as a result. My parents took her to the vet early this morning (she even had a seizure in the car on the way) and they did some tests on her. I’m still waiting to hear back as to the results. She was given some valium to calm her down so hopefully that will help. I feel terrible though, there is something wrong and it could be epilepsy or it could be a brain tumor, no one knows for sure. We hope it’s epilepsy but it’s really hard to tell. For thousands of dollars we could rule out the brain tumor, but if we found there was one there’s nothing they could do about it anyway. It’s all very trying on the emotions, and especially so right now given that my parents are headed to the mainland in just 2 days and won’t be able to look after her. The vet doesn’t normally keep animals for days on end like a kennel situation, but they’ve made an exception and will be keeping Emma while my parents are away (for a hefty price, I would imagine). It’s good in that if anything goes wrong, they will be there to give her proper treatment right away. But it’s worrisome because she’ll be at the vet’s, not her home, which will add stress to her life, and as well to Tessa’s, because she’ll be at home on her own (with Grandma and then a pet sitter looking in on her) and she won’t understand where her sister is. Gawd, why did this have to happen NOW?? True, it’s better now than later this week, as we wouldn’t want Grandma having to deal with the seizures, but still. I feel exhausted just from thinking about this, and guilty for still thinking about the wedding while this is going on. I want to just drop everything and rush over there to see her but I don’t have the time to do that with the last minute wedding stuff to take care of.
So a mixture of happy and sad on this front. Bitter sweet, if you will.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
My parents' black and white springer spaniel, Emma, suffers from what the vet believes is epilepsy. She has done so well on the dosage of phenobarbitol prescribed to her, for months she went without any seizures, then she would have one or two here and there but nothing major.
Since Friday, she has had too many to count. They're short, but they are grand mal seizures. With it being Sunday, the vet is closed but they're going to one that's open to see about getting her something to calm her down. She'll have to go for a blood test tomorrow at the regular vet's to see if she can handle a higher dosage of phenobarbitol. Which could mean a lot of lethargy and less quality of life, although lets hope she springs back (as a springer should!) the way she did when she started the first dose - she didn't change much at all, 'cept for sleeping through things a bit more than she did in the past after pill time.
Emma is a very sweet girl, with the greatest character one could ever ask for in a dog. She doesn't deserve to be going through this. It's also a really terrible time because my parents are set to come over to Vancouver on Wednesday and then the wedding is on Friday...the people we're having look after the dogs while they're away well...I don't want to even think about my mom getting a phone call from them letting her know Emma is continuing to seizure. So lets hope and pray that the seizures subside.
To make matters worse, Tessa, the liver and white spanny, it turns out has a growth in one of her legs that can only get worse apparently. She's on medication now for pain management but that's all they can do for her, since she's 12 and too old for surgery. You can imagine the state my mom is in, especially knowing she has to leave them in other people's care for 5 whole days starting mid this week. What timing...
I love these dogs like they're my sisters, my very own flesh and blood. Why do things like this have to happen any time, let alone at the most inopportune time possible?
Friday, July 20, 2007
Lately, everything has been wedding, wedding, wedding. I think about the wedding when I’m eating, sleeping, and doing just about anything. It’s hard not to be one track minded when you’re planning for such a big event! However, I don’t want to put absolutely everything else in my life on the back burner. So here is a post from the anti-bride!
I recently finished reading a really amazing book called Lullabies for Little Criminals. Set in
I’m currently reading a much fluffier book, although if I’m not discussing weddings in this post I can’t say anymore than to share its title! It’s a book from the Shopaholics series, titled Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella. It’s hilarious and while I’m not that far into it, it’s a great I’m-about-to-be-married-let-me-read-cute-stories type of book. I’m loving it, and plan to have it finished by the big day!
Other than that…there has been a ton of stuff going on but I guess it has mostly been wedding related. I know, I know, enough already!! But come on, it’s one week to the day and I’m excited and I can’t hold it in =)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I should be exhausted, in some ways I am. It’s after and I have to be up by . I should be catching up on sleep as much as possible but I know that this is one of those rare moments right now where I actually have the time to sit down and write just because.
What I should be doing is writing the letters to close family members that I give them the night before the wedding. I’m pretty well 100% sure no one in my family knows about my blog, so I can safely say that I’m loving the idea I came up with for the letters! Since our wedding has a beach/nautical theme, I’m putting the letters into these glass bottles with cork tops – so basically they will be like a message in a bottle. I have to find some coloured sand or some kind of shells to put into the bottom of the bottles for effect. I’m quite thrilled about this keepsake idea.
Things are really coming together. I just wish I’d written more throughout this time to document everything we’ve been going through in the lead up to the wedding. I don’t imagine it’s something I’ll ever forget though! It’s such an amazingly exciting time. It really consumes me and part of that is in an anxious way that perhaps I could do without, but for the most part I am loving every minute of it!
And, just for kicks, lately I’ve got into saying ‘bride’s prerogative’ over things I want or don’t! It’s so much fun to see what I can get away with! OK so far I’ve only really said it a few times, and only to James, but I’m thinking I could start using it more just for the fun of it, and because, well, I can =)
The excitement just won’t stop building…the wedding is all I can think about but really there is so much else to think about – like going to New York and on the cruise and all of the romantic honeymoon stuff we have to look forward to!
I only wish that everyone in the world could be as happy as I am right now.
Monday, July 09, 2007
I wish I had the energy to properly document this exciting time in James and my life together. Getting married might seem like a simple task to some, but it takes a lot out of a person when it actually comes time to sorting it all out! It’s such a happy, emotional time, so much to think about, prepare for, and get done in a short amount of time.
I’m finding I’m getting so weepy lately too – if I hear a love song, my eyes well up with tears, which is soooo not like me. I’m not usually this emotional! I don’t usually take so much to heart. Well I do, but not to the point of having to fight back tears of joy! But I’m all about the love and tenderness these days. And the romance!
We got some engraved gifts for people for wedding gifts (it’s not just the bride and groom who are pampered – we’ve got gifts for quite a few people in our families as thanks for all they’ve done to help us make our wedding a reality!) and when we were at the engraving store, James bought me this little love token that I can put in my purse and have with me all the time. It says something about how we will grow old together, and that the best is yet to come. It was such a sweet gesture! It wasn’t an expensive item, yet it is priceless to me.
We got together with my aunt and uncle tonight and they gave us some wonderful gifts. We had a nice visit with them, complete with champagne in some fancy new glasses they gave us. We went for a bike ride through
I feel very lucky and fortunate to have the life that I do, to have all these people around me that love me and want the best for me and have given James and I their blessing since day one.
Getting married isn’t a simple process, but celebrating the love you share with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is GLORIOUS!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I can’t believe how long I’ve neglected writing. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say or write about, but I’ve been busy, so the blog has taken a back seat.
James and I are getting married in LESS THAN A MONTH, in fact it’s almost 3 weeks to the day! We are so excited that it’s nearly killing us, the suspense. Yesterday I was checking the calendar at work for something and it just hit me – 3 MORE WEEKS and I swear, I nearly had a heart attack from anxiety!
I’m so happy and excited – this is a big time for us. But I keep getting these butterflies when I wonder how it’s all going to turn out. I want everything to be ‘just so’ – mainly, I just want for everyone there to have a good time. And I want to get through my vows without stuttering like an idiot because there are 33 pairs of eyes on me!
I wrote this on June 28th:
My mind races, and even though I know sleep is the best thing for me, my brain just doesn’t want to rest.
One of my favourite sayings is, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Anyway, everything seems to be happening so fast lately. Yesterday (the 27th) marked one month till the wedding. Just one month! I’m getting so excited, I can barely even stand it.
The day before last I went for my consultation re: hair and makeup. I was apprehensive at first…I don’t tend to wear much makeup at all and I’ve never done anything fancy with my hair. But I was thrilled with how it all turned out, and I can’t wait to get all dolled up on our big day! Not that I went about it too extravagantly…simple elegance is what I like to call it. I love the look though! The makeup is subtle but makes such a difference when it comes to having pictures taken! And the hair, oh my god the hair. I could get used to having it curled and twisted up and done all fancy. Soooo beautiful. I’ve been told by numerous hairdressers over the years that because my hair is so ‘poker straight,’ as they like to put it, it can’t be curled. Well these ladies who made me up proved them all wrong! I am still adorned in curls 2 days after the fact – and loving it!
The stresses of certain people’s behaviour will not get me down. I am not letting it. I have too many happy and exciting moments to look forward to and enjoy! Getting married can be stressful and it’s not something anyone should jump into just for the heck of it. But it sure has its moments of excitement and sheer joy when it’s planned out right! Everything is going to fall into place and while lately I’ve been in a really overwhelmed state over everything, I’m now finding myself easing out of that stage and relaxing into a more zen state about the whole thing. These are memories in the making!
Back to the present day…
I’m still doing my best to be mindful about the whole process of getting hitched. But it definitely is a time of ups and downs! For the most part ups, but I am turning into quite the stress ball. I thought I had trouble getting to sleep at night before, but now…I lie awake going over all the little details we still need to take care of. New things pop up every day that have to be added to the list. The big stuff is all taken care of – and my dress alterations, thank goodness, turned out perfectly! James’ outfit is all set and he looks so handsome in it, if I do say so myself! I love the moments when he comes up and whispers in my ear, “I can’t wait till you’re my wife!” Sweet nothings like that make me smile!
So much more has happened lately…such as going to the island and going on a winery tour with my parents, purchasing some really great bottles of wine and especially the raspberry wine and blueberry port! Soooo good. We’ve mostly been working and preparing for the wedding but it feels like so much has been going on lately. I should have recorded everything as it was happening so I wouldn’t be sitting here now trying to find the words…
We saw the Canada Day fireworks on July 1st. And what better place to see them from but the yacht we’ll be cruising on for our wedding! We didn’t so much sit on the boat but just the back end of it, since we weren’t really supposed to be on it. We had a perfect view though, and it ended up being quite a romantic evening.
James and I have always been fairly lovey-dovey – not in a sickly sort of way where we’re rubbing it in people’s faces, but just in the sense that we can’t help but adore one another. Lately though, it seems as though we’re falling in love all over again every day.
Love really is in the air!