Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Wedding stuff!

I'm not a very consistent blogger anymore, but that's okay.

We've been busy like crazy!

1. We had our engagement session with
our photographer! It was a lot of fun. We loved it. My future in-laws are having Greg from Photography by McKenzie shoot J and I's wedding. And bridals/groomals. And engagement pictures. (J and I met McKenzie and Greg at the Grand America Bridal Fair*, and we just thought they were fantastic. And then they had great specials for March. And then it turned out that Roger & Anne had McKenzie do their wedding, too. Small world.)

We did our engagement pictures in Lehi, Utah. Our gallery has hundreds of pretty pictures, which we just love, but several good ones are posted on McKenzie's blog, right here. We ended up deciding to send one of the ones on her blog, but I won't say which one so that it will still sort of be a surprise when people get their invitations.

2. We also got our invitations! Erin helped me design them, and I love them! I had Mercurio Brothers letterpress print them, and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. They're gorgeous. To save money, I had them printed on smaller paper ("A2") instead of 5 x 7 paper, which I had planned to use. I also bought (smaller "A2") envelopes locally (at xpedx) instead of paying to have them shipped, and paying even more to have them rushed so that I could start addressing them. I did want the envelopes to be thick, though, so they are. We had inserts digitally printed (much cheaper) by Alphagraphics; they point people toward our wedding website. I wanted to line the invitation envelopes, but envelope liners get kind of (okay, very) expensive, so instead I lined the envelopes myself. I used 3 1/2 rolls of wrapping paper that I bought at the dollar store, and it just happened to be the perfect shade of blue! Partway through the envelope-lining project, I had some (much appreciated!) surprise help from J's mom and J's niece.

3. We've been assembling invitations. I wanted to write the addresses in calligraphy, but paying $2-3/ envelope was totally out of the question so I decided to do them myself. So I started addressing envelopes v e r y s l o w l y a while ago. I got a lot of them done, but we're still collecting some addresses. (My calligraphy is getting better and better! Now that I'm about done writing addresses, I'm getting pretty good at it. So. If your address looks a little, uh, messed up, know that it was written by hand, with so much love.) We sent one big batch of invitations out on Friday, more invitations out this Monday, and we have another batch of invitations ready to go out tomorrow.

We ordered our pictures from Ritzpix.com, and since the invitations were smaller, 3 1/2 x 5" was the size we wanted! We picked Ritzpix.com because they have a deal every Tuesday and Wednesday where you can get 3 1/2 x 5" prints, same-day, for 6 cents per picture. (Instead of 19 cents per 3 1/2 x 5" picture from them on other days, or 12 cents per 4 x 6" from Costco, which we would have needed to be trim.) That was our kind of price!

4. J ordered and received his tux. He was going to rent a tux, because we're not just so fancy that he needs to keep one. But, he was going to have to rent it for bridals/groomals (this Saturday), and then for a whole week from our wedding (20 March) to our California reception (27 March), and it was going to cost more to rent it for the three events than it would cost to just buy a brand new one online (at Buy4LessTuxedo.com). So instead of paying to rent a tux, J has his very own, brand new tuxedo, tuxedo shirt, man jewelry (= cuff links and button covers), and shiny man shoes, and he gets to keep all of them. He didn't try on the tuxedo shirt, man jewelry, or shoes, but he did try on the actual tux, and it looks really snazzy. As his future wife, I know that it will be my obligation to seek every opportunity for him to wear his tuxedo, and it's a duty I'm prepared to accept.

5. I picked up J's ring! It's... Hm. Well. I don't remember what it is, I guess. I think it's Tungsten with a band of silver around the middle? (Maybe?) I don't know. It looks very nice. And we got a very good deal on it, which was one thing that we wanted. (Although, not as good of a deal as Jess and Mitch got, unfortunately.) It looks very manly, but also pretty enough to look like a wedding ring. We both really liked it.*****

6. We got our marriage license! On Friday! We were really excited about it, actually. I asked the lady if we could take a picture inside the building, in front of the Marriage License bulletin board, and not only did she let us, she offered to take the picture for us!**

7. We had our Bishop's interviews! This Sunday! Tomorrow we get to meet with our Stake President. (Since we are choosing to be married in an LDS temple, we need to have interviews to obtain special temple recommends.)

8. Jess threw me an excellent Bridal Shower! I don't have any of the pictures from it yet, but we had a great time. She had printed up some of my favorite engagement pictures and she made cute decorations, and we had little chicken salad sandwiches, cream puffs and lots of fruit and vegetables, and a bunch of my favorite people came. Highlights included: a mad-libs game about how J and I met; a game where everyone wrote down a problem in marriage on one paper and a solution to the problem on another paper, and the papers were jumbled up and read so that problems had funny solutions; and fresh strawberries and pineapple. I loved being with friends from Provo that I hadn't seen in a while.

9. Also this weekend, J and I celebrated our one year anniversary, of when we first met***. For Valentine's Day we went to Rubio's (on 13 Feb, actually), which is where we met up for our first date, but I don't really care for their food all that much, so instead we went to JC Penney to spend my $10 free JC Penney money (which randomly came in the mail) on red shoes to go with my wedding dress, and then we made**** little chocolate cakes (which I had been craving) and worked on invitations (of course). We did talk about some of the neat things from the first year of our relationship, though, and we expressed our love for each other, and hopes and excitement for this next year together. It was really nice.

I really need to get back to homework, so I think I will.

* (More stories about the bridal fair to follow, probably.)
** Getting our marriage license was the best government experience J and I have ever had, I think. The ladies in the office were super efficient and friendly, and didn't make us wait much at all. When we went over to pay, one of the other ladies raced over to swipe my card before our main lady could get to it. It really was a race. When would people race to help you at the DMV, you know? (They smiled and told us we were a nice couple. Which, you know, they probably tell most couples, but that's fine.) Also, our marriage license cost $50. J and I agreed that our marriage license was a much better value than vehicle registration fees.
*** J is much better than I am at remembering these--we have anniversaries for when we first talked, when we first actually went out on our first date, when we first became a couple, when we had our first kiss, etc.
**** J doesn't have an oven, since we're cheap and we don't want to spend money to replace his, so we used his toaster oven. It actually worked all right.
***** It has no diamonds. J kind of liked man-rings with diamonds, and we've had an ongoing joke about how he wants one that matches mine. I think I sometimes embarrassed store-people when I would suggest rings for J that were thick bands that were clearly still bride rings. We knew it was a joke, though.

CALVES!!! part one

Every time Gina blogs about their calves, I want one. They're so cute!

J and I have also been talking a lot lately about eating better meat. We want to switch to grass-fed no-hormone beef even though it's so much more expensive. We're just pretty convinced that commercial beef is not too good for people. Someone in one of my classes talked about the movie Food, Inc. and we watched it a couple weeks ago. That contributed to things, too.

On 13 February, we were talking again about getting a bull calf. J thought they would be pretty cheap, but on KSL, they're all like $400. Until! We realized! It's because those are the Angus ones that are meant to be steak. Male dairy calves would be cheaper. And they are. We found someone in Ogden who was selling one for $20. Sweet! J and I talked more about the logistics of it--where would we put it? How long would it take to grow big enough to be slaughtered? Does Jersey meat even taste good? J is worried about safety issues: what if the bull hurts someone?

We decided that we could put our little bull in the pasture area, and it would be fine with the renters' dogs. The right amount of time to raise him is 16-17 months, we think, and he can get up to 1200-1800 lbs. We're planning on moving later this year, so what we will do is: either slaughter earlier and not get as much meat, (but really, how many hundreds of pounds of beef do we need anyway?) or leave him in the pastured area and come by to take care of him after we've moved. People online say Jersey meat tastes really good, so that should be ok, and as long as we castrate him when he's fairly young, he will stay gentle.

Okay! With everything figured out, J said I could call about the day-old bull calf. So I did!
But we didn't hear back from the guy on KSL. We didn't hear from him that weekend, or Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday...

So we supposed we weren't going to have a calf after all. (Oh well. We're busy people anyway.)

EXCEPT! The guy called me back that Thursday! He had two bull calves, and did we want them? They were 1 day old (born Wednesday) and they'd had colostrum (= a Big Deal). We had only planned on having one. Calves are expensive to feed. The guy said he would call the next people on his list of people who had replied, and maybe there would be another single one by the weekend (when I said we would probably pick him up), so we could have one then. We talked some more about what if we did take both. The guy said most people want at least two because they keep each other company.

I told him to hang on, I'd talk to J, and I'd let him know. Mayyyybe we could take two. If we did, would he want us to pick them up that evening, or what? He said YEAH! If we could pick them up that evening, that would be great! He would take $30 for both calves.

So I called J at work and we decided that Yes! We would take them both! I called and let the guy know, and I hurried off to IFA to get calf milk replacer. And bottles. And some straw. I went back home and cleaned out the barn. After work, J borrowed his dad's truck and we drove up to Ogden to pick up the boys! The guy had suggested that we bring large-dog crates for them, but said that if we couldn't find any, we could hog-tie them, and that would work. We couldn't find any (sorry, guys!) but J's dad did put a tarp across the back of the truck, to keep so much air from getting down into the truck bed.

I told J that I was planning to name mine "Carne," and J thought he would name his "T-Bone." But then we thought of better names-- J named his "Stew" (like, as in "beef stew"), and I renamed mine "Chuck" (like "roast chuck" or "ground chuck"). They're perfect names for bulls, we think-- Chuck and Stu sound like buff, muscle, manly-biker-guy names. Also, perfect names for steak.

So we went up to Ogden and picked them up, and they were so cute!

I hadn't slept the night before (homework), so J and I had talked about me going over to his house early so we could bottle-feed the calves together in the morning, but we decided not to so that I could sleep in. And then I could just feed the calves by myself.

HAH! Yeah right.

[to be continued...]

[This last picture is from a couple days ago. Chuck is in back (with the orange rope) and Stew is in front (with the blue rope).]