I am here. I am okay. I'm just... busy. I feel like I haven't had a "normal" day in weeks. First we had the fire, then I went to Florida to my cousin's wedding, then Morgan went on TDY to Leavenworth, now we're packing so we can move out for 2 weeks.
wow, I guess I do have a reason to feel stressed.
However, I have been learning.... Lesson Number 1 (the fire): Even small fires can cause an incredible amount of damage/repairs.
Ours was small, only one or two actually burned items, the scorch mark on the wall is maybe 2 feet by 4 feet. Yet the water damage accounts for a personal property damage list running into 9 pages. And we have to move out, not just us but our stuff too, for 2 full weeks. (Our stuff will be in storage, we will be in the Clarion, insurance is paying for it all)They have to replace all the carpet, reseal and then paint the walls, even grind off the bumpy stuff on the ceilings and replace that. Apparently all of the above can absorb smoke particulates which can cause health problems later. Even though *nobody* can smell any hint of smoke in our apartment.
Silver linings: (a) the most thorough spring cleaning I've ever done, (b) my house will be (relatively) immaculate for the wedding, with most of the cat fur removed by simple dint of replacing carpets, and (c) my friends all have learned (hopefully) the benefits of renter's insurance. Seriously, if you don't have it, get it. It's like $10/month and worth every penny. We would be out literally tens of thousands of dollars for these repairs and the repairs of the apartments below us that got flooded if it weren't for insurance. Add it. Now. Lesson Number 2 (Kathryn's wedding): Weddings can be incredibly expensive if you're not careful, but you don't actually need all that stuff.
Seriously, she must have spend 20 or 30 thousand. OTOH, she can afford it. Her rehearsal dinner had 300 people at it, and took place the groom's parent's house. On their 60 foot ocean front veranda. Can I have a house with a 60-ft ocean front veranda? My birthday is coming up, that would be the perfect time to give it to me. Seriously, though, I went into this wedding stressing that the two events would be too similar - we're both the same age, we're both traditional, we'd both picked the same web page layout option and the same colors - I came out of the wedding worrying that mine will look cheap compared to theirs. Then I sat and thought about it for a while, and calmed down. Just because I'm not having a reception at a yacht club or leaving the reception on my private sailboat doesn't mean my wedding will seem cheap or tawdry. Also, I found out that a large number of my cousins will be attending my wedding. I think it's a mark of my low self esteem that I thought they would stay in Toledo. I mean, I am having the second reception in Toledo a week later, and they have kids, and they've already traveled once this year for a wedding... I assumed they would not come to Kansas but just do the second reception in Toledo instead. But they're saying things to me like "well, see you in Kansas in a few months..." or "can't wait to see your wedding!" Which made me feel loved, but also panicked as I revised my probable head count... My mom had been pushing me to invite three family members to the rehearsal dinner (we're already inviting the immediate families and the wedding party, these are aunts and uncles) because she thought they would be the only three in Kansas and what else are they going to do that night? well, now we'll have more like 20 or 30 of my family here, so my mom ditched having them all come to the dinner. Which is good, because I can't afford to feed that many people, and besides, Kathryn's dinner was chaos. I want a smaller, more intimate event, not a *huge* party. Also, some of my cousins are throwing me a bridal shower. Which is awesome! I never even thought they would do it, my mom just assumed she would throw one for me, but my cousins said "well, of course we'll do it... what weekend will you be in Toledo?"
Silver linings: (a) got to spend a week in Florida on the beach (always good), (b) no longer worried our wedding will be too similar (c) found out some of my cousins will be coming to the wedding (d) have a more accurate idea of headcount (e) some of my ideas became more crystallized (like I definitely do *not* want a huge rehearsal dinner. It's the night before my wedding, I want to spend a quiet evening surrounded by my closest friends and family, not a huge mob)Lesson Number 3 (Morgan's TDY to Leavenworth): Leavenworth would be an awesome base to get stationed at.
When I thought of Leavenworth, I thought two things: Army prison, and middle of no where Missouri. Well, it is a prison, but it's also a base. Morgan says it has almost a collegiate feel to it, probably owing to the CGSM school (school where brand new majors learn how to command bigger groups). Also, it's right in Kansas City, not the middle of nowhere. And Kansas City is actually a decent city. Not as cool as a huge major metropolis, but not bad.
Silver lining: another domestic base to add to our request list (which I'm sure the Army will ignore, but whatever)
Finally, I have a random poll. We're deciding what kind of cake we want for the wedding. We already know we don't want the standard white cake... here's a spot where we can be different and dramatic without spending too much extra money. Explanation of terms before the poll: the different layers of a wedding cake are actually called "tiers". Each tier is a two layer cake of the sort we make at home in the oven. . Now, when you or I make a layer cake, we open a can of frosting and put some in between the layers to hold them together and the rest on the outside. With wedding cakes, the frosting on the outside is just called frosting (butter cream, fondant, cream cheese, whatever), but the frosting between the layers, holding them together, is called filling, and can be any flavor you want.
One tier of our cake will be chocolate cake with mocha//cappuccino filler. We also know our outside frosting will be cream cheese frosting. It's the other tier where we need input. It will be a strawberry cake; we tried a sample and loved it - very moist, with a fairly delicate strawberry flavor. The question is: which filling should we put on the strawberry tier?
(a) white chocolate
- chocolate and strawberries always go together, the white chocolate is delicate enough to not overwhelm the strawberry flavor... but is white chocolate cream cheese frosting strawberry cake too many flavors?(b) more cream cheese frosting
- don't want to have too many flavors and already have cream cheese frosting on the outside, and cream cheese and strawberries also go together... but is that too much cream cheese and it might overwhelm the strawberry?(c) strawberry filling
(this one is sort of a cross between jam and strawberry pie filling, it has actual pieces of fruit in it) - it will intensify the strawberry flavor of the cake... but is strawberry cake with strawberry filling too boring?
Strawberry cake with ____ filling?
Cream Cheese Frosting