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One Month to Wedding

As of today, I have exactly 1 month to prepare for my wedding.


However, Clint's clothes - along with those of his best man - have been tried on, purchased and tucked safely away.

We're in the process of obtaining a true head-count and choosing the meal for the reception; I still have yet to compile the iTunes playlist or figure out the sand ceremony.

Details, details...

On a much less stressful note, my "bachelorette" party is this Saturday! Should be fun - and relaxing vs. wild. Let's face it, I'm 30 now :) Dinner, drinks, and LOTS of chatting sounds perfect to me!

I also have my 2nd dress fitting tomorrow afternoon...I have a feeling she'll need to let out the hip area a bit, since I'm a bit rounder than I was post-Italy. In my defense, it's from strengthening muscles, not gaining fat. Doesn't mean I'm not watching the diet more than ever now!

Stranded on 169 Southbound

This past weekend I went up to my parents' for a bridal shower...had a couple of really fun days up in the northland. I went hiking with the dogs, ate some good food, got to see a bunch of friends and of course, scored some awesome presents :)

Heading back today, however, was a different story. I drove the Durango (which Clint bought from my sister at Thanksgiving) because my lil' Honda's having some issues. Plus with the snow, etc. I felt safer driving the big 'un.


Nothing noteworthy for the first couple of hours - stopped for gas in Deerwood, got some Sour Patch Kids (which I promptly inhaled and am still nursing a raw tongue), sang along to the iPod, NBD.

Then I started noticing the RPMs were acting weird again...i.e., all of a sudden without me changing the gas the RPMs would race up to ~2,200 or slam down to ~1,700.

It wasn't bad, just annoying...but then when I slowed down for the light in Zimmerman, I noticed a "buzzing" noise in the engine. Got going again, and all hell broke loose. No matter if my foot was on the gas pedal or not, the RPMs were jumping all over the place - it got so bad I couldn't even go 60 without the car jerking.

I pulled over to the side - couldn't even find the hazard lights for about a minute (give me a break, it's a "new" car) - and called Clint, my mom, my 2 uncles and my sister. I might've been on the verge of a nervous breakdown. (Meanwhile, Zada - who played like a MAD WOMAN for 2 days - contentedly slept on, unaware, in the back.) Both uncles conferred - could either be an electrical problem, a transmission problem, both, or even of the uncles lost me when he started spouting out a bunch of terms which I cannot recall at the moment but either way, it ain't lookin' good.

Good news, though - my mom had left ~30 mins before me, since she's babysitting my sister's kids tomorrow (MLK day) and I caught her while she was shopping at Arbor Lakes. She came back and brought her AAA card with her - of course Clint and I don't have that - and I got towed to some random place in Elk River. But not before we had to transfer all my shower gifts from the Durango to her CRV...which was full because we're also celebrating Amy's birthday so there was a cake, Mom's bag, a sewing machine (longer story), plus whatever else she has in there. Oh, and since the back was full, that meant Zada had to leave her comfy, king-sized snoozery and trade it for one cushion's worth of seat...

Mom then brought me here to my sister's house where they promptly had me open a bottle of vino. Now I'm patiently waiting for the pork chops to cook and I'm sure my dog is wondering why on earth she's stuck outside with no food.


IF our tub wasn't broken - of course the drain thingy doesn't work so it doesn't hold water - I'd zip right home after this and take a nice, long, hot bath. Of course, I have to use my mother's car in order to zip anywhere, since Clint has my car. Oh, how I LOVE when things don't go the way they're supposed to!!!

Wedding Planning Status

Other than the setback with the apostilles on our birth certificates, our wedding plans continue to chug along smoothly. Granted, we still have some loose ends to tie up, but overall this is pretty easy. I find that whenever I'm freaking out about something, it's really just me creating drama that I THINK is there, when it's really not a big deal.

I battled with my iTunes for over a weekend - yes, I'm using my iPod for the wedding - and was getting frustrated but I got it all figured out, and purchased a bunch of new music. Ahem...not necessarily for the wedding; songs I've wanted for a long time. BUT, I did get an instrumental song for "walking down the aisle," and also chose the song for the end when Clint and I are heading back. Not sure he's as enthusiastic about it as I am, but let's be honest: unless it's something from Mötley Crüe, he won't like it :)

Those are the only 2 songs during the ceremony; everything else on the iPod will be for the reception. And, since there will NOT be a dance, all we have to do is throw on a bunch of Sinatra-type songs and we're good to go.

My Dress/Attire
My dress was safely tucked away in the downstairs closet until last week when I had my first fitting. I'd gained several pounds since I'd tried it on in October, but that just means the alterations will be cheaper, since she won't have to take it in! I have another fitting planned for the end of next week, and if she needs to let the hips out (let's face it, when I work out I get a tad rounder :) then we'll plan another quick fitting for the week afterward.

The alterations gal is SUPER-nice and very accommodating, since she'll have had only 1 month to get in 3 fittings and all the altering. Mom's leaving for PV on February 4th and she's bringing the dresses down with her since she'll go first-class. Thanks, Mom - makes it a lot less stressful for ME to travel!

I have my shoes, I have my hair thingies...I'm all set!

Clint's Attire
We haven't even purchased anything for Clint yet...I guess we'd better get crackin' on that. I've already done the research on pants/shirts; it's just a matter of actually getting them. Of course, according to him, all he needs is a pair of flip-flops, swim trunks and his "tux t-shirt". My mom didn't laugh at that one :)

I'm heading up North tomorrow for my first bridal shower. It's going to have an undercurrent of "horse" since it's basically all the horseback riding lady friends! Should be interesting. I have a feeling there'll be games - which I despise - but I get fed and evidently I get gifts. Plus I get a weekend up at the Bernier Ranch & Spa, which is always good.

The following weekend is THE shower/bachelorette party, hosted by my sister and long-time friend, Kristen. It's not the buck-for-a-suck type of bach party; more like a we're-over-thirty-and-we-just-want-a-night-of-dinner-and-drinks get-together. Evidently it's being held at Muffuletta in St. Paul. We'll hang out for dinner and drinks, then whomsoever wishes can make the short trek over to the Dubliner Pub for Irish music and more cocktails. Even Mom is coming!

Last - but not least - my soon-to-be aunt-in-law is throwing a shower for the Danks' side of the family the first weekend in February. I thought that was extremely nice of her, considering she'll have just returned from a long vacation in New Mexico visiting grandbabies. Thanks, Aunt Vickie!

Whew. I think that's about it. And the rest, as they say, is in the details...

Apostilles on Birth Certificates

Well, we're 38 days out from the wedding...and we hit our first "snag" this week with the birth certificate fiasco.

In order to make a wedding performed in a foreign country legal in the U.S., the birth certificates need to each carry an "apostille," which, we found out the hard way, is an official seal from the Secretary of State. So, the normal birth certificate copies won't do...having already FedExed both certificates down to Puerto Vallarta (for a cool $60.oo) we started looking into how much it costs to do this with the apostilles.

*Note to anyone else getting hitched outside of the USA - do NOT use any of the online 'apostille services' if you can help it. The cheapest we found using those companies to get these documents was ~$180.oo. For EACH birth certificate. Plus the extra cost to get them down to Mexico. Um, how about NO, Scott.

My mother - God bless her! - did a little sleuthing and found out we can get this done at the Office of the Secretary of State. Conveniently located in St. Paul, and we can get the documents certified for $5.00 each. What's more, we can get our birth certificates at the MN Department of Health (vs. the county in which we were born...for me that's a tad farther away than for Clint), again nicely situated in St. Paul. I guess it pays to live in the capitol.

We're still debating on whether or not to do the "official" service to make the marriage legal both in Mexico and here, since now we're up against a deadline on their end for translating both documents and putting together all the paperwork. That's my fault, but of course I thought I knew what the apostille was and wanted to send them the birth certificates at the latest date possible. Not that I don't trust them, but you know...the less time they have to lose/misplace them, the better :)

So, we'll see what we decide - I'm still awaiting a reply to see what our options are from the contact at Le Kliff. Other than that, recent wedding plans are going well!

New Year's Sleigh Rides

Hitching Horse to Cutter Since we were up North at Mom & Dad's for a long New Year's weekend (it was our "Christmas" so the whole fam damily was there) we decided to head out to the barn. My mom has her mare, Joon, boarded and since she's been taught to drive, we thought we'd hook her up to the sleigh. Joon, not Mom :)

Buckskin Morgan While Mom & Max were hooking Joon up, Clint and I were amused by the antics of a young buckskin Morgan in a nearby pen...since I needed to get shots of him anyway (for Mom's blog) I thought I'd throw him in here, too. Just because he's SO CUTE!

Young Buckskin Morgan Mom put the brass "jingle" bells on Joon and after a test drive to make sure everything was working, we had fun taking turns riding in a one-horse open sleigh. I even got to drive! Which, by the way, is harder than it appears at first glance. Max was giving me instruction but she did forget to tell me you CAN actually tip the cutter! She told me that as we were actually tipping but I got everything righted.

Half-Arab Mare Pulling One-Horse Sleigh It was Clint's first time in a sleigh, so after I'd gotten the hang of driving we took off for a spin together. By the time we'd been out for 30 minutes, my feet were cold and my fingers were FROZEN. It was fun, tho'!