Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Life Updates

*pictures towards the end of the blog*

In November 2007, Dre, Izzy, and I had a month long of traveling. My whole family and Dre traveled to visit Pastor Vic in St. Louis, Missouri. It was an awesome experience. Although as much as I love the city, St. Louis probably will not do me well. One month living there would allow me to start cussing and establish road rage due to the traffic alone. There's a lot to do there but it's extremely busy.

We had dinner at the Pastor's house our fist night in Missouri. Christian and Sofia prepared the entrees and after dinner everyone played cherades and had evening vespers. They're such a wonderful family. On the Sabbath weekend, my family sang special music. After church and potluck, Christian, Izzy, Dre, Dad, Tatiana, Sofia, Pastor Vic and I went to the St. Louis zoo while Mom and Miss Angela visited the beautiful Botanical gardens. The zoo is huge! Probably 10 times as big as the zoo here in the Quad Cities. On Sunday weekend, we visited the famous gateway arch. It was interesting. The way in was very secured as if one was checking in to an international airport. The way to the top of the arch was also unique. One has to ride a bubble with small five seats. The top is not spacious at all. But it does feel like you're on a 3rd world dimention. Definitely odd but an awesome experience.

Towards the end of November, Dre, Izzy, and I traveled to Seattle, Washington to visit Marina (my future sister-in-law). I absolutely LOVE this Seattle.
1. It's a big city but it's not crowded2. The traffic isn't obnoxious. People give way and are not hostile with road rage3. It has a laid back atmosphere4. You will never get bored5. Multicultural6. Coffee Shops in every corner (Hallelujah oh my soul!)

We visited and experienced many locations and things to do in Seattle:

Pike Place Public Market (Oldest Market in the United States)
The first ever Starbucks store
Sci-Fi Museum
Music Museum
The Waterfront
Boat Cruise
Space Needle
Museum of Flight
Seattle Aquarium

Dre and I were thinking about moving to Seattle because it's just so convenient for the both of us as far as carreer goes - but after the heavy snow fall here in Iowa, we decided to move some place warm. :-) But I'm absolutely LOVING Seattle.
As far as the whole wedding planning - it's been wonderful. I've been motivated since it's getting closer and closer. I still have that student procrastination quality in me. I don't think I'll ever get that out. lol.

The holidays have been a blast as well. Lots of food which coincidently moved the digital numbers on everyone's scale up. lol. But there's about six months left to trim up for the wedding. :-P

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

When You Just Know

I always thought it was pathetic how brides write about their weddidng gown testimonials on how they found the dress of their dreams - like it was love at first sight. How can one fall in love with a dress when there are so many to choose from?

I fell in love with a dress but my heart didn't skip a beat. The wedding gown of my dreams, the one I fell in love with is displayed to the right. The fabulous gown is designed by Maggie Sottero, called Artia. As much as I want to wear that for the wedding I took into consideration the impractical $$$$$. Beautiful and unique but oh so expensive.

But today after looking at millions of gowns - my heart skipped a beat. POOF!!! I turned into one of those pathetic soon-to-be brides who is writing a testimonial on her perfect dress. Because I finally found a dress that I KNOW I'm going to wear - and it's within my budget! :-P

As far as the rest of the wedding planning - our planner, GINA, is wonderful. She's so supportive and on the ball - never late (I LOVE THAT!!!). I'm so glad we decided to hire her as our planner.

Marriage counseling isn't bad either. Since the first meeting to the second, Dre and I actually learned a lot about each other. Kudos for that.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


After much thought, we (dre, me, mom) all decided to hire a wedding planner. Basically it boiled down to stress levels during the wedding day exceeding boiling point inside a pressure cooker. In other words, none of us wanted to hate each other throughout this whole charade.

Good for me because I don't like planning this wedding at all. There are some brides who cant wait to pounce on the whole planning process. I - on the other hand - want to run away from it.

If I had my way, Dre and I would be married already. Small private ceremony... with the saved money going towards a business venture!!! Could you imagine!!! Start-up capital to add on what's already there!!! The entrepreneurial's dream come true!!! But this wedding isn't just for the bride and the groom. It's for their parents as well - so might as well give the parents what they want - their dream wedding vicariously through their children. lol.

When we were just "boyfriend & girlfriend" status - we loved hanging out with the singles - now that we're engaged and almost married - we started being comfortable around the married group. Whereas before, we both felt out of place. Before, we promised never to abandon our single or "not married couple" friends - now we're turning into the, "Let's hang out with the married people" group. WOW!

But I still love my single and not-married-couple friends - and yes, I live vicariously through them at times. ;-P So enjoy your freedom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But it amazes me. What really irritates me is how much I started to enjoy talking about raising a family. Say what? Eleanor - the independent, Eleanor the non-domestic, workaholic, diva is actually thinking of being a business woman/soccer mom? Gag me right now! But it's true!!! Who am I!?!?!!??! lol. Still... I'm amazed of who I can become in the future - because I never dreamed of me being like this.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Belle of the Ball

One of the high points of wedding planning is actually trying gowns on - which was what happened today with my mother.

Today the wedding officially became a reality. It was extremely exciting for me - at the same time, it felt absolutely divine - a significant day of my life.

My gown consultant brought out dress after dress and I twirled with every single one. The lovely consultant, who had the feeling of "fashionable-sweet-grandmother" made me feel like the most beautiful bride in the world. She made me feel as if every event unfolding will be perfect - she made me feel calm and relaxed.

As I stood on the step she kept fixing me up, my tiara, my veil, the dress trail; she let the dresses flow and then made me admire myself in the mirror. She smiled and whispered, "Beautiful."

I'm finally wearing a weddidng gown! I never thought I'd see the day I'd wear one - wow. What an experience.

I wanted to keep all of them. Everything seemed to be perfect - except that they didn't have the dress of my dreams in stock... which was insignificant because the dress costs a lot of money. Kind of impractical.

But it was an amazing feeling. What was more amazing was my mother - she was actually supportive. :-) Wow.

So I have 3 months to make a decision on which gown to wear. Out of 15 gowns, only 5 passed the final stage. As for the winner, I'm still deciding. :-)
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Thursday, August 2, 2007

State Fair & Wedding

Dre and I went to the Mississippi Valley Fair last night. I had fun but poor Dre was too tall to get on the rides. They should make these things for tall people too. I won a little sheep stuffed animal - cute. very cute.

As for wedding planning - Dre is on vacation next week and we're going to look for apartments and then we're going "Wedding Invitation" shopping. My mother is nagging us to get our engagement pictures taken. I think it's way too soon for it but to shut her up - we'll just do it. GGggrrr. I think I've decided on a wedding dress. It's nice - a lace halter top with a built in choker (eastern influenced) - open back - with an A-line skirt. Very unique, I haven't seen any bride wear it before. Absolutely classy and stunning. But we'll see how it fits on me. :-)
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What Happened?

Wedding planning. Hey what's that? It's been left on the shelf for a while. I already signed a contract with the baker and the photographer, yet I haven't had time to fully sit down with them and tell them what I want. I still need to find musicians, a string quartet, a singer, and etc. All others seem to be taken care of.
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Brief Post

It's our Pre-Year anniversary. At around the same time next year, our relatives and close friends will be gathered at the banquet hall at the casino - celebrating the fresh hours of marriage of Dre and moi.

Okay, I cant wait! Everything seem to be set up properly a year in advanced. We need to find musicians and some other vendors. I already know the design of the invitations but not sure if it's doable. Hopefully we'll have everything set by December 2007. We have a lot done, but there's a lot more to do.

No worries for guests, there's a ton to do in the area which I will outline in the wedding webpage soon. :-)

My only concern are "no-shows". My friend's maid of honor no-showed an hour before her wedding. She was crushed. I trust my girls, but at the same time, I get a bit concerned.
Anyway... this is just a brief post of what's going on. More to follow later.
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Monday, May 28, 2007

To Russia, With Love

Dre's parents cant speak english well. It makes my heart melt when they try their best to speak to me via telephone. They're so so adorable. It means a lot that they LOVE me even though they have not met me.

It's such a kodac moment the way Dre looks at me when I'm trying my hardest to speak to his parents with the little Russian I know, "Da" (yes), "Nyet" (no), "Prevet" (hello), "Speciba" (thank you). It's one of those "I'm crazy about you" type of looks. It feels good. But I cant wait to meet the future in-laws.
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Premarital Counseling

We had our first Premarital Conseling yesterday. It was interesting. The pastor gave each of us a 100 question scantron survey. The questions get intimate but our results will show areas we need most help on. The pastor helps our weaknesses become strengths.

During the conseling session, the pastor asked, "Have any of you read the book, The Five Love Languages?" The pastor looked at me thinking I might have read it, but Dre comes out and says, "Yes, I read it," followed by verbalizing the five types of love languages. That was interesting. It raised a brows. *smile*

When the pastor left, I made fun of Dre for reading more relationship books that I had ever read. He laughed and responded with, "Why do you think our relationship is working?" Exactly! But it also takes two... to tango!

Another thing I learned from this conseling session is the art of cheating in the work place (now also online), followed by a divorce. Usually when a need is not met at home, the need is longed for elsewhere. In this scenario, the husband or wife, would verbalize their problems to the opposite sex (at work, at the gym, online chatting, etc). This leads to an emotional attachment of a need being fulfilled by someone else other than the mate - which thus leads to immoral trysts. So the couple who previously made a commitment to each other no longer functions as a team, but functions as a separate entity void of love and a broken marriage. Marriage that was pure to begin with had become tainted because the couple lost focus on what was really important - their commitment, respect, and marriage to each other.

So the lesson learned is to never to voice out frustrations to any of your friends or to the opposite sex about your mate. True that relationships aren't always riding on cloud 9, but everybody doesn't need to know.

As for me, I'm trying to keep our problems to ourselves. Why does the world need to know? Our business is not the world's business. Likewise, the world's business is not our business. We work on our problems together. I guess this is a reason Dre and I are still together. :-)
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Saturday, May 26, 2007


It's been a difficult process choosing a photographer. Dre, my parents, and I want separate things. To settle, we all decided that we'll have two photographers present at the wedding: one professional wedding photographer, and one professional (non-wedding) photographer who is a friend of the groom.

But one day I went shopping at the mall and there was a display with gorgeous, dramatic, glamorous wedding photos. The monologues in my mind, "I think we have a winner" was automatic. My mom liked it too so we're going with that photographer in addition to Dre's friend. I guess it worked out pretty well.

I want the photos to capture the moment, the emotion, with lots of depth and glamour. Plain pictures are just bla. So are candid amature pictures. I'm just so picky.

As for the florist and the musicians, we're still looking around. Not too thrilled with the ones we've had contact with. So more on that later.
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Cake, Cake, Cake

The wedding planning is moving along. We got a lot done in one month of planning. The wedding is in June 2008, but our goal is to have everything done and settled by December 2007. But tomorrow is dedicated to the WEDDING CAKE alone!!!

Believe it or not, I'm not super prepared for tomorrow's excursion. Picking a baker and a wedding cake is harder than picking a wedding gown. We've looked through at least 2,000 cakes online and we didn't like anything. We came up with one design similar to Jessica Simpson's cake (google it) - but even hers is far too flamboyant. We had to tone it down a lot, then we ended up designing our own - taking bits and pieces of what we liked from several other cakes. The cake in this blog is just a general cake for picture's sake - not our dream cake.

There's something wierd about the cake though - we need to fall in love with it. It has to be LOVE at first sight. Even the invitations are an issue - which is why Dre and I are designing pretty much everything because we're extremely picky. We like simple, minimal, modern designs - but not ghetto, cheap looking, flamboyant, or ugly. It's going to be a fun project for us.

I guess we'll see how it goes.
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Engagement Bliss

They say that one year is the perfect time span to plan a wedding. They also say that one year of preparation will "go very fast". With all the hoopla from bridal magazines, family, friends, flowers, decorations, invitations, wedding favors, musicians, and the whole prenuptial shebang – how could it ever come sooner?

The perfect proposal, the perfect engagement, the perfect unstained love; what a dream come true! There's an enthusiasm that needs to be fed. The life constantly examined that cannot wait to be seized by one moment not too far away. The anticipations are moments of pure bliss.
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