Friday, November 25, 2011


I know it's cliche to post about what you're thankful for, but I thought I'd do it anyways.  Here's a list, in no particular order.

  • My family.  All of them.  I love them 100% of the time and even really really like them almost as often.  They are awesome, supportive, and hilariously funny.  This even goes for our crazy dog Finley.  And is especially true for my new nephew that is finally at home with his parents and sisters.
  • My friends.  Reread the post above because everything applies.  I'm so blessed to have made some great, new friends at my job.  We all have a serious love/hate with relationship with the work that we do, but we are in love with each other.  My old friends are still as awesome as they ever where.  
  • Luis.  He's awesome.  He's tall, dark, and handsome.  He puts up with my rising levels of crazy.  AND he wears a uniform.  I'm marrying him FTW.  
  • The fact that I am seriously broke.  One of the things my co-workers and I hate about our job?  Our paychecks just make us sad.  The silver lining is that I'm learning about how little I can actually live on, how to wait and save and wait some more, that handmade gifts are just as well loved as ones from the store, and planning ahead will pay off in the long run. Ch
  • My internship.  I'm learning so much, making excellent connections, and it boosts my moral quite a bit.  When a visitor asked me the other day "if this was my second job?" and made me feel like I was the size of an ant, I was able to use this internship to make me sound big and important.  I still went home and cried, but whatever.  
  • My interview.  Prayers of all kinds are accepted.  I really need to get this job.  
  • Our new apartment.  The only furniture we have so far is a blow-up mattress and a shelf.  But it's ours, we can afford it, and it's almost 900 square feet.  I don't want to make you jealous, but the utilities are also included.  
  • Christmas radio stations.  Enough said.  (And also the Muppet radio station I found while searching for said Christmas tunes.)
  • DC.  We're headed to the museums and ZooLights tomorrow so I'm pretty excited.  I lovelovelove being in the city, living in the city, eating in the city (YAY for GroupOns and LivingSocial deals!), shopping in the city, and breathing in the city.  
  • Progress and Change.  (Maybe I have been in the city too long and am drinking the Obama koolaid?!) Seriously though, things are a-changin' and I'm loving it.  Most of the time.  I know it's all for the better though and that's really what's important. 
  • My new Cricut expressions 2... that I bought for only $200 at Michaels.  I reserve the right to remove this from my list if I can't get it to work properly.  The instruction manual looks a little intimidating.  
  • Cranberry sauce.  In a can.  No berries. 
  • My car.  It has heated seats and is beautiful.  I can't figure out how to connect my new iPhone to it's bluetooth, but I blame that bitch Siri, not my wonderful car.   
  • Good books.  I'm reading Game of Thrones right now.  I know it's nerdy, but it's great.  Give it a chance.  (I'm only on the second book of the series, so if it sucks somewhere down the road don't blame me.)
  • Faith.  Because it lets me know that I'm ok and will be ok.  

I honestly just realized that I'll be married next Thanksgiving.  AHHHHHHHHH.  SO EXCITED.  

Luis proposed to me the Monday after Thanksgiving last year... I bet you can guess what the next post will be about ;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Finally a Photographer!

We finally picked a photographer!!!  We decided to go with Chad Ainstworth.  His photos are gorgeous and his price was actually in our budget - what a shocker!  Instead of rambling on and on about how great I think he is, I'll let his work speak for itself.  Please check out the photos are on his blog: and "like" him on Facebook:

No we just need a DJ.... which is something that I don't even know how to go about finding.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wow I suck.

Sorry about the delay in posting guys!  Not that anybody actually reads this!  

I have a really great reason for being absent though.... I'll give you a hint: tall, dark, and handsome....

That's right!  Luis is FINALLY home!  

We've been doing a lot of nothing (well, he reads and I do homework) but a lot of everything as well.  We signed a lease on a cute little apartment (more on that later), and didn't go to our tasting because it was canceled (more on that later, too.)  

I did manage to send off our Save-the-Dates though!  Here are a few pictures from the engagement photos my mom took for us.

Basically, I just love him a whole lot.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Amazon is Awesome.

If you don't shop at, you should.  Why you ask?  Because their customer service is. insanely. phenomenal.  Not only can you get a sweet Amazon Prime membership (most things ship super fast, for free) as a student THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR, but they are super nice.

Luis's Kindle broke (though I think the correct way to arrange those words might be "Luis broke Kindle") and no longer even turned on.  I got online, live-chatted with Jasmine (who spoke typed in English... not all that common these days) who asked me a few questions before letting me know that they'd be sending me a new Kindle.  Not only are they sending me a new Kindle, but it will be here on TUESDAY!!!  (Less formally known as the first day of "not being in a long distance relationship" for Luis and me!)


Thank you Amazon! 

This blog is not, nor ever will it be, popular enough to have sponsors.  This is straight from my heart y'all.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead. AKA Running of the Brides!

Hi, my name is Rachel and I am crazy.  I participated in this:

You can see us at the 45 second mark!

I decided to participate in Filene's Basement's "Running of the Brides" event.  I just found this list of advice that I think I posted on right after the event and thought I'd share what I learned with y'all.
My mom, my brother, and me at the DC ROTB 2011
We weren't playing around y'all.
Here's the run down if you'd like to participate in ROTB, though from what I understand Filene's has recently filed bankruptcy and there is a likelihood the event will no longer occur.  

My thoughts a few days after running around mostly naked for a couple hours in a department store:

- go in the early morning (we got there at 5am) if you want the full experience: some free stuff, making friends (and giving angry looks to the smokers in front of you) in line, music, and sitting on concrete.  Expect to RUN for dresses, grab what you can, and use a tall neon sign that everyone can regroup at.  Trades what you have, hoard smaller sizes and the more "desirable" styles such as trumpets and the better designers.  

- Girls who showed up at 10am-ish did just as well as the early birds.  By this time people will have stopped trading and most of the dresses will be back on the racks for you to browse.  Some girls will stilling be hoarding dresses, but most are down to one or two and will let you have what they don't want... even if you don't have anything to trade for it.

- Expect the dresses to be older and come from lesser known/cheaper designers.  All of the dresses were from past styles: heavy beading, lace, pickups, etc.  

- Smaller sizes are hard to come by but there are enough 4-10's (which I needed) to give you a good variety.  Just because you think it is way too big or too small based on the size doesn't mean the dress will actually
not fit.  I fit into (or could have successfully altered) a 4 and 14.  If you a plus size bride GET TO A ROTB ASAP!!!! There are many size 16-24 dresses and they were honestly the most gorgeous. 

- Don't expect to find your dream dress.... especially if you have one in mind.  It won't be there. SIGH. If you just have a basic idea of what you want, you will probably find something that you really like.  (Note that I didn't use "love."  Most girls left with a dress that wasn't "the one" but was the "I really really like it and the price was so great I'll get in case I don't eventually find something better!")  I had a basic idea of what I wanted: simple, ballgown or A-line, strapless, ivory or white, no shit all over it.  There wasn't one dress in the ENTIRE STORE (and believe me, I looked, stalked, and begged) that fit this description at all. Everything was covered in beads, embroidery, and yards of lace. Everything.

- Team up with another bride who wants something different than you, but is a similar size.  I worked with the girl behind me in line (after three hours in line together you should all be friends by now) and she bought TWO dresses that were gorgeous and just her style.  She traded for me, I traded for her, and we each made a really great new friend.  What's not to like?

- Don't be rude. Yes you can run in front of people once the actual running begins, but don't push or steal or elbow or rip. "Running of the Brides" is a play on words... don't actually act like a bull.  90% of people were super sweet and are happy to help you out.  

- Make a sign and bring it.  Tall, neon, and obvious. It'll work better as a tool for locating your group than telling people what you want, mostly because you'll give up holding it once you've established your area.  

- You might be on tv!!  You might win free stuff!  YAYYYY!!!!  FREEE!!!!  FAMOUS!!!

- I brought fun things to do in line, but we didn't use them. aka don't wast your money.  Bring breakfast and a blanket and a backpack for everything that can't be left in the car.  Remember that you will have to carry everything with you as you run for dresses.  

- Don't be afraid to ask a guy friend.  My brother Will was awesome, strong, and really committed to helping me find my dream dress.  As long as the guy isn't afraid of the situation, he'll be a HUGE asset.  Bonus points if his wingspan is large (so he can grab more dresses at a time!)

- Free alterations were offered.  Use the seamstress's opinions if you love a dress that is too big or small and then use her services - at least for the basic things if you don't necessarily trust them.   FREE!!!!!!

- Don't be upset if you don't find a dress.  There is one out there for you.  Go for the experience and be happy with just that - the dresses and tv spots are just perks.  

That's all I can think of for now.  I hope this helps some one else!

***I forgot to mention that the store will have photographers all over the place. You should be running around in something that you are comfortable with the whole world seeing you in.  AKA not a bra that is way way too small or thong underwear.  I wore a sports bra and short leggings which did the job without creeping William out.  

I'll post about the actual experience once I recover from my grad-school-induced coma. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I live under a rock.

It's true.  I have zero life right now.  The most sleep I've had in the last week?  3.5 hours in one night.  The number of papers I've written? 4.

This is an actual photo of me.  

Seven more weeks until I'm done with classes forever!  Then all that will stand between me and graduation is a 2 week seminar.  And then a week after graduation I'll be getting married!!!!! if only I could get a job before then too....
This is my actual life.  

This week in wedding news:
We are signing a contract with our photographer this week, mailing Save-the-Dates this weekend, going to our tasting next week, and hopefully Luis will be able to finally visit our venue sometime in there.  He FINALLY comes home on Monday.  He has the whole week off and I... do not.  Hopefully some of my lovely co-workers will cover a shift for me.  

***Update on my tiny 9lb baby nephew***

Junior is doing so well guys!  He has faced a lot challenges in his first week (no one want's their first airline experience to be a MediVac), but he's a little fighter.  Please keep him and his in your thoughts and prayers.  Hopefully he'll be out of the hospital in a couple weeks and I can go visit him!