Archive for December, 2003

pressies! …and girly shopping!

December 21, 2003

Omigod! I just checked the wedding registry on Amazon and someone has got us the coolass toaster we wanted. Hoorah! Hip hip hooray! Actually, we’re pretty excited about everything that people have chosen to get us so far, I just get very bouncy very time I spot a new addition to our little home. Go us!!

Spent the day at Lenox Mall with Nicky and Lynsey having a great time. I had to get some makeup for the wedding so we went to Bloomingdales Mac counter and got one of the assistants to make me up. Was a little reticent at first but after much prodding by the girls I explained to the assistant that I was on a mission, showed her my wedding dress pic and we were off. The results were great and although I felt nervous Nicky and Lynsey’s noddings and sighs of approval reassured me.

Felt great to be able to hand over the gift card the BrightHouse ladies had given me and pay for everything I was recommended without blinking. Whoo hoo!!

Didn’t have much change left on the card after that little outing, but just enough to equip myself with some nice perfume. I feel very spoiled and pampered now. It was amazing to just be able to go out and buy what I really wanted without having to worry about picking up the bill too much. Many, many, thanks go out to the generosity of the BrightHouse girls.

Had a nice lunch at the Californian Pizza Kitchen and recuperated before hitting some more shops. Showed the girls Urban Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret before we headed into Rich’s Macy’s in search of a loo. Uhm, didn’t find one, but came out laden with goodies.

Lyns had said she was going to lurk at the entrance while Nicky and I finished up in the shop. We went to find her and she was nowhere to be seen. We’d arranged to meet Bill at Starbucks so I headed off to see if I could find him while Nicky scouted for Lynsey. Couldn’t find Bill so returned to the store to discover I’d lost Nicky too now.

Thankfully she jumped out at me just as I was wondering what on earth to do and said that Lyns had been in front of us all along. We just hadn’t recognised her because she’d been dolled up by one of the kiosk stall-holders and looked totally different. Really good different. It’s amazing what a few sparkly clips to hold her hair up did. Yay! Lyns made a purchase! She’s going to look fab for the wedding too. (not that she wouldn’t anyway, ack, you know what I mean!)

Meanwhile Mum and Dad had wandered around the Mall too but although I think they had a good time, shopping is not their thing so Bill escorted them back to the cars which we’d left at Candler Park so we could take the MARTA train to Lenox (yes, Bill sorted Daddy out with a hire car today too) and I think they concentrated on trying to sort out icing my wedding cake this afternoon. Mum’s been doing a great job considering that things here just aren’t necessarily what we are used to…can’t find roll out royal type icing anywhere.

Oh and Fran, Bill’s Mom popped around in the morning so everyone got to be introduced to her too. That went swimmingly actually and I think Mum, Dad and Fran are going to get along just fine. heh, Quince was all excited about all the guests and went a bit silly. He’s adorable.

Mum and Dad left to return to the hotel (which I’m not very impressed with, very noisy so they had to switch rooms, and Nick and Lyns have had problems with the heating and noise too) and the Prouts stayed behind for drinks and a screening of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (blimey that’s one messed up animated tale!).

Shame Mum and Dad were so tired (noisy hotel room kept them awake all night apparently) and jetlagged, but I had a really nice evening with my friends.

Guests start to arrive

December 19, 2003

Most happy now. Took two attempts to pick the Prouts up as after waiting at the airport for them we discovered that they had missed their connection in Toronto. Had to run back to the house so Bill could take a nap, then charged back to Hartsfield to try again. Success! Two tired farmer maids are now in my possession, or at least safe and sound and probably slumbering deeply at the hotel.

Bounced lots when I saw them and screamed “Prouts! There’s some Prouts coming!” as I spotted them across the concourse.

Bill took them into Atlanta the more scenic route and we showed them the pretty lights and Atlanta skyline, much to Nicky’s delight.

We had a couple of hours before the next visit to the arrivals lounge and so ensured that the bellies of the Prouts were full of nutritious veggie food. Next door to the hotel we discovered a little Vegetarian Southern Style restaurant. Carrot pita sandwich for Lynsey which she nibbled around the edges and then Nicky greedily finished off for her.

Left the sisters to recover and headed back down the interstate to collect the next package. My parents!! Oh yes. Had to wait around again as their flight was late getting in but eventually I spotted my Daddy ambling down the hall towards baggage reclaim. A few seconds later and Mum popped into view. I excitedly stumbled up, tripping over myself and raced over to give them huge hugs.

Hoorah! Felt like my Christmas presents had arrived.

Got back to our home well after midnight, introduced Quincy to his house guests and put the folks to bed.

December 18, 2003

Woot! Off to pick the Prout’s up at the airport now!
Wheeeeee!!!

Christmas at the StarBar

December 18, 2003

Friday night was the Christmas Toys for Tots Spectacular at the StarBar so after recovering from my salon ordeal I bounced around the house and had fun getting ready to go out properly for the first time in ages.Thanks to my little shopping expedition with Michelle last weekend I was even able to dig my purple corset out and get all dolled up. Whooo hoo. Finally got out of the jeans I’ve been swilling around in for so long.

Crikey it was an evil night out, bitter cold and not at all nice. We had to queue up outside for the cashpoint and it wasn’t very pleasant.

Once inside the StarBar though things soon warmed up and the place was buzzing. We handed over our toys for the tots (Tigger glove puppets…what else?!) and went to lurk in a corner for a while.

Blinked, double blinked and blinked again when I spotted Jim wandering around the bar. He was stunning as a weird Santa Claus creation, having spent the afternoon bleaching his hair bone white. Suddenly we saw his exhuberant and determined hair growth over the past 3 months as the mad genius plan it was. Awesome. As was his band, Yule Log’s rendition of OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” .o0(Egggggg Nog!) Made me bounce and grin lots.

Bitch lost brownie points with me for being rude about the British, but I guess they were okay really. They handed over a bottle of grog to the US Marines who were there on hand to take the toys. One thing though, if you give a pressie, it’s always good to take the price off! Should be a golden rule of pressie giving. Tut tut.

Yeah okay, I kinda vaguely shuffled to them too.

Truckadelic also played but I’m afraid most of my memory of them has been taken over by visions of a giant scary Santa Claus with little ruddy cheeks jumping up and down singing his heart out.

Staggered home happy. Great night.

New Hair (what a to) Do

December 18, 2003

Last Friday I went to get my hair coloured ready for the wedding next Tuesday. One of the girls from Bill’s work kindly hooked me up with her salon and even drove me out there to have it done.

I went along not really knowing what I wanted to happen, though I fancied a change (but had been warned not to do anything too drastic until after the wedding) and was hoping to have something that wouldn’t show the regrowth so badly. I took along the photo of me in my wedding dress and hoped that maybe the stylist would be able to give me some ideas on what to do, and how to style it for the big day.

When I got there it was a bit strange. I was hoping for a considered chat and options on colour and cut before we went ahead and did anything, but instead the stylist jumped straight to work, began a heavy bleach job and made my head frazzle. She did do a great job of mixing up 6 different bottles of Special Effects hairdye to create a stunning fuschia which we hoped would tone better with my dress than the current pink, however, she just practically redyed the pink hair I already had, and then a bit more to create a more striking wedge of colour at the front. Slightly disappointing as she really did the same as what I would have done myself at home.

Was very taken aback but too polite to blink when after washing my hair the hairdresser asked me to return to my seat and begin drying and combing my hair myself. This was not a cheap salon, thought that was what I was paying her to do. Hmmm.

After the second wash to rinse the purple dye from my hair the stylist looked all concerned and suddenly warned me not to worry but that the dye at the front had rinsed off into the rest of my blonde hair and turned it streaky pink. Normally I guess it would have looked quite cool, but the whole point of the exercise was to get rid of the pink because it clashed horribly with my dress, so having a whole head of this pink hair was not good. Ugh, disaster.

More bleach then got piled onto my head, and my salon experience stretched onwards. My stylist handed me over to another lady to do this bit and I kind of got the feeling I was a bit of a nuisance.

Pinkness subdued (but not gone completely) eventually it came to cutting my hair and the girl wanted to know how I wanted it cut. I didn’t really know, other than that I was hoping for a change. As I don’t really pay much attention to hair styles and terms and rarely visit a salon so I had no idea what to ask for. Besides, I kind of thought maybe that should have been addressed before she dyed my hair in a particular way?

Anyway, I said I was hoping she might give me some ideas. Her response? “Well, I don’t know. I don’t know you.”

Okay. End of that then.

Had a trim, same as I usually do.

Also ended up making another appointment with them on Monday afternoon so that they can sort out the rest of the pink and freshen it up for the next day. This is so not good. I have no idea if this will be included in the cost of the cut or whether I’ll be forking out even more money for this bleach cap. I’m supposed to be up in Alpharetta by then too. Aaargh! Not good. Not good. Bit panicked about that now.

Dammit, why do hairdressers always make me feel so awkward, nervous, naive and stupid? I had been so hoping that this would be a treat to myself for the big day too.

Appointment was stretched out so long I missed Tang Soo Do as well. Rats.

Trish picked me back up and dropped me off at the house. She said she liked my hair very much, but I was so anxious and worried about it I was all unbelieving. Need to see it with my dress on to be reassured now. Where’s Nicky when you need her? Aaargh!

Hate hairdressers I do.

Woot!

December 18, 2003

Nicky, Lynsey and my parents are in the air!!

shower

December 11, 2003

Bill is a swine.

Last night we were at the office and Bill said he’d have to work late that evening. I was a bit miffed as I’d been hoping to get down the YMCA again and it was going to be another missed opportunity resulting in good intentions but no exercise. I had my quilt with me so I decided to make the best of it and finish off the bias binding, meanwhile hoping to myself that we might still get home in time for a trip to the gym.

Bill finished up and just as I perked up at the thought I might still make it to the YMCA he declared that he had to run an errand and go pick up a prop from Ashley’s house. Drat! Oh well, maybe I could convince him to take us past Hancock’s Fabrics so I could have a mosey and see if I could spot some nice fabric there with which to fashion a wrap to match my dress? (Can’t be too hard to sew two rectangles of fabric together! …surely?) Anyway, I hoped that at least the evening would be put to some good use.

So off we went in the truck, Bill following directions on a scrap of paper and talking about the toy tractor he needed to borrow for something he was working on. Ok, whatever.

We found the house and navigated our way up a road crammed full of cars. Ashley lives up a dead end road and I was most impressed to find a nice turning roundabout at the end of it and enjoyed going around that one. Wheee! Bill parked and I was all set to just wait in the truck while he dashed in and picked the prop up, but he wouldn’t let me. I had to accompany him to the door, and I gladly went as suddenly I felt that sitting in the truck on my own in the dark was a bit spooky.

Saw Ashley spot us as we walked up her driveway and she ushered us in. Explaining that she had company she led us through to collect this stupid tractor. I followed Bill past a pretty Christmas Tree and into the front room and then almost died as a huge outburst of “SURPRISE!!” hit me. Took a while to register that the room was full of all the ladies from BrightHouse, that they were all grinning madly and that this was a surprise bridal shower…for me! I almost burst into full scale tears. Had to bury myself in Bill’s coat for a while before he hastily departed, leaving me with a big grin, a hug and a kiss. I was so shocked.

Definitely needed the huge shot (or three) of Raspberry Stolli I was handed in a glass adorned with a pretty pink bow. Blimey.

What followed next was just great. We had a wonderful spread of pasta and salad to eat, and when I adjourned to the living room I found I had my own special chair reserved just for me and bedecked with gorgeous pink and purple helium balloons and ribbons. Cool. With everyone else sat around in a big circle we talked and ate until I was presented with a really touching little notebook in which each of the girls had written a snippet of relationship or marriage advice. I was required to, and happily did, read each one out loud. For some strange reason people seem to like my English accent. Giggled at Michelle’s proffered wisdom which was cribbed off a fortune cookie, blinked when I got to the one that told me to “never stop dating” (apparently it just reads wrong!) and blushed as I read the last one which declared “Keep the sex fresh!” .o0(thanks Roseann)

Certainly wasn’t expecting anything more and was amazed when some more gifts were suddenly produced from nowhere. Michelle is such a wonder sneak too! You see, she was a star and took me shopping at the weekend and we trawled the malls together looking for lingerie to make Bill flip out. Heh. Well, while we were browsing Victoria’s Secret we’d both been admiring these beautiful kimono’s but I’d been trying to focus on what I needed for the wedding and not get too distracted. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I opened a gift from her and found the very same delicious flowery pink kimono that I’d been stroking in the shop all delicately wrapped up in pink tissue and MINE!!! I just felt so lucky and special.

Alongside this gift was a big heavy box which was presented to me as being the opposite companion to the kimono robe. .o0(a pair of matching bottoms?!! Surely my bum’s not that big?!!) Upon opening it though it turned out to be the set of pyrex dishes from the wedding registry. Hoorah! I’d been really hoping that someone would be kind enough to get that for us as we don’t have a great deal of cooking equipment and I’ve really been trying to make do. It’s going to be insanely useful and very much appreciated.

There was more too! I opened the group card from the “Brighthouse Lasses” and another unexpected gift fell out…a charged visa gift card with a really generous amount of cash on it!! I can apparently use it anywhere that accepts visa, including when I go to get my hair cut and coloured tomorrow. Crikey! That’s just too much! Thanks so much everyone!

During all of this my vodka kept getting topped up (oh and I even got to take the rest of the bottle home with me! yay!) and a huge marbled chocolate cake was produced. I had to cut this while posing for the camera. Yikes. In pink icing on the top it read something like “Cheers! Bill and Kay” (think that was fairly accurate though I had been on the vodka, and it has now been greedily demolished so I can’t go check!) I’ve nabbed all the adornments from it to either help decorate the wedding cake or just keep as trinkets.

I was so touched. Never had a surprise party in my honour, and certainly never thought I would either! Everyone is just far too nice. I’d like to bounce lots and scream out a big “THANKYOU!” to everyone involved in that tremendous secret!

Cheers!

Pressies!

December 10, 2003

Ooooh! And I completely forgot to mention that we got a really wonderful nice surprise last night too. The door bell rang as I was getting ready for Tang Soo Do and Bill answered the door to a UPS delivery man delivering our first Wedding Presents! Wow! We were very excited to discover that Bill’s workplace had purchased us a really cool charcoal grill and outdoor cooking implements set to mark our matrimony. Bill is especially chuffed and can’t wait to be all manly and toss some meat on the barbie. He’s also promised to make me pizza on the grill too. Apparently cooked that way it is something else. Mmmmm.

We’ve also had a small dent made in our Amazon.com wedding registry which is equally exciting and very much appreciated. Hoorah. I’m also very relieved to see that it is actually working! *bounce*

Whoo hoo! Soon we’ll have nice plates to eat off and I’ll be able to mix up cookie dough without my arms dropping off! That is just so cool.

Festive spirit

December 10, 2003

Tang Soo Do last night was disappointing. I’m really concerned that my instructor doesn’t seem to like, or encourage sparring. He was talking about entering a tournament in February but that he would only be competing in the forms and self defence sections because the sparring was too dangerous! There has been no attempt to practice sparring since I’ve been going to classes and in fact we never actually practice anything on each other. We just do kicks up and down the room, or use a dummy target. It’s quite disconcerting. I know I shouldn’t but I keep comparing classes to the Manchester TKD club and I’m just not finding it as fulfilling. Poop. Anyhow, I think I’ll give it a bit longer before I start looking elsewhere and see if it picks up. What is also worrying though is that the instructor is soon to be moving to Houston and leaving one of his highest ranked students in charge. That would be fine, but to be quite honest I don’t rate the guy as a teacher. Last time he taught a session he didn’t inspire confidence when he said he’d just seen something cool on TV and wanted us to try it.

Anyway, I got home from TSD pretty grumpy because I’d felt today’s TSD had been a flop. Whereas TKD usually perks me up, I’ve been feeling like it could be so much more and that we never really get started in lessons. I was also pretty damn sleepy. I had a nice soak in the bath and used up some of my special bath oil while Bill was a treasure and fixed dinner. At least he fixed dinner until he realised we’d run out of food in the fridge and got as far as browning some meat before finding we were out of anything to accompany it. As a result we fell back on Grant Central Pizza and he ran out to pick it up while I collapsed on the sofa in my jammies.

I’d just zonked out and was drifting off to snooze when the phone rang. Took me a little while to register that the phone was actually ringing I was so sleepy. Bill was on the other end laughing and telling me to grab my coat and shoes and he was on his way back to pick me up. There was something out there he wanted me to see.

So I raced around the house and did as I was told, hauled my long coat over my pyjamas and forced my feet back into my TSD sneakers. Sure enough Bill arrived home and took Quince and I out on an adventure around the neighbourhood.

We drove up the street and he circled around the block to gain the best perspective, ordered me to close my eyes and then rounded the corner. I opened my eyes and OH MY GOSH! There in front of us was a full scale neighbourhood Christmas Decoration war! It’s insane!!

Bill had been telling me that every year this end of the area goes Christmas Crazy and decks out their houses with lights and yard ornaments, and last night we’d driven around to see if the first shots in the annual showdown had been fired. Yesterday there was one house in particular that had bedecked their yard in stunningly tacky Crimble glory and that had been impressive enough. Tonight however it seemed as if the elves had been hard at work and literally overnight full scale battle plans had been brought into play. There was simply a visual feast of several houses all trying to outdo the others in lighting up the frosty winter sky with Christmas cheer. It’s simply crazy and couldn’t help but make me grin and get into the Crimble mood. Splendid.

Back at our little cottage we decided to give up on the idea of having a Rankin Bass night and cracked open some of Bill’s sweetest childhood Christmas memories. We watched “The Year Without a Santa Claus”, a fantastic 1974 stop motion animation (starring Mickey Rooney and Shirley Booth .o0(who? who?)) that holds a treasured place in Bill’s appreciation of Christmas. It was great, far better than stupid Christmas movies like Elf. I’m a complete sucker for good stop action cinema at the best of times (I simply love James and the Giant Peach) and this was just fabulous and so cute. The part where the elves turn Vixen the littlest reindeer into a dog by putting socks over her pointy ears because they think the policeman has a problem with reindeer as he just gave them a ticket made me giggle. And…now I understand what Bill was on about when he wanted to create a Mr Heat Miser costume for Halloween.

Snuggling up on the sofa with Bill and watching that together was just a great end to the day. Getting more excited about the prospect of a Christmas Wedding now too!

The final countdown

December 9, 2003

In exactly a fortnight Bill and I will be husband and wife (well, give or take a few hours). How scary is that?!

This morning we went down to the Fulton Probate Court, handed over $32 and applied for our marriage license, which is now happily sitting in the truck. I had to fill out a form and declare what my married name is going to be, so it’s official Mrs Kay Allen it is.