Happy birthday, darling!

So, yesterday was Steve’s birthday! Yes, the 17th of March. Yes, that was St. Patrick’s Day, last I checked too. Yes, Stephen Patrick Quattrocchi… yes, funny.

And yes, it was a wonderful time!

We got most of the invitations off at the beginning of the week, though there are a tiny few left to go. I was very pleased that they came in comfortably underweight, so the postage was relatively cheap. We even have a few RSVPs in already! Wow! The feedback has generally been that they’re very pretty 🙂

Thursday night we were up late talking about Turkey and we’ve worked out an itinerary of sorts. We’re still only going to book the first few nights in Istanbul and leave the rest to whim and fancy, but we’ve realized we HAVE to book the first few nights: the Friday we get to Turkey is the last day of Ramadan, the Islamic fasting month… and the three days immediately following Ramadan (Ramazan in Turkey, I think), are much like the Islamic Mardi Gras. I forget the name, but it is a national holiday knows as the “Candy Holiday” and it tends to be Very Busy and Chaotic. Which, I suspect, will actually be Big Fun for us.

Friday afternoon, my friend Andie came over from Vancouver to visit for the weekend. She and I were good friends and then roommates until October 15, 2005, when she moved out to follow love to Williams Lake. I met Steve on the 21st of October. It was so strange to me that this friend, who was so important to me, didn’t know this man, who was also so important to me. Now that she’s back, it’s been a big relief that they get along so well. She’s the one doing the photography for us (and will no doubt be a huge help in every other department).

We all went to Di’s on Friday night, which was magical as always. Di and Andie got on well, too, which is good. I like it when my important people all like each other!

Saturday I worked, which was a drag. I still went for lunch with Andie (and snuck in some window shopping at Swallow’s Nest, which is my favorite store in Gibsons).

When I got home, I gave him his birthday pressie — he’s been coveting my windbreaker that I got from MEC a few months ago, and he’s been talking about going into town to get himself one. I got Andie to pick one up for him and bring it up on the sly. He’s been a bit sad (though mostly joking, Gayle!) about not having presents to unwrap, so I made this one a doozy. I wrapped it up, then put it in a box, which I wrapped up. Then I put the little box in a big box and wrapped it, too. I wrapped the whole thing up in miles and miles of curly ribbon. He definitely got some unwrapping bang for his… box? It was cute, though, and he was so pleased with the jacket that he wore it around the house for the next few hours.

In the evening, we went to a St. Paddy’s Day party at Mick & Mary’s over on Gower Point. The view, even at night, was amazing. Steve’s tandoori chicken wings were incredible, and were a HUGE hit. I even gave Clay my last one so that he’d have a chance to try them. The potluck was great, for the most part, though I was surprised that adult people would come in and hand the hostess a bag of cheese and bread and grapes — not cut up, didn’t bring their own plate… nothing. I thought everyone knew that was a no-no! I guess that’s why Gayle was so against having a potluck for the wedding, and I do understand. I cut up cheese and bread and assembled grapes at Mary’s house, but I’d be darned if I’d do that at my wedding. The music was also great, as was visiting and… eating cake!

Yes, Steve’s birthday was the day that we agreed we’d go off suger. I have to say that I’m not convinced. I had two bites of cake and three spoons of ice-cream and my stomach was a mess. It felt tense and sore and I got all bloated. I don’t know — I just feel so good off sugar that I’m not in any hurry to mess it up. Ok, a few bits now and then is ok, but I don’t think I’ll ever go back on it in the same way.

Steve, mind you, ate a huge piece with lots of ice cream, and then Graham got him another piece. He was halfway through it when the sugar hit. Poor Steve! We chatted about it this morning, and I think we’re still going to try and resist it. That said, Tanya (our lovely roommate) made Steve a cake last night and we found it in the fridge. It was good of her not to ice it, and we were able to have small pieces this evening without any obvious ill effects.

Andie left this afternoon, after brunch, and Steve and I raced off to the Roberts Creek Hall to meet with our caterer and so he could take a look at the kitchen and general layout of stuff. Note to self: ask Marlyn where the light switches are!

We went over some of the last details and confirmed I had contacted the rental place for plates & cutlery etc. The menu sounds INCREDIBLE and not to fear, there will be things for vegitarians to eat!

Needless to say, after this busy and late-night weekend, I was urgently in need of a nap this afternoon. Steve tried to get me up, he really did… but I still slept for three hours. Which would explain why I am still wide awake and blogging at almost midnight on a work night… Oh well.

Thank goodness there is a Starbucks three doors down from work 🙂 Perhaps I’ll get Steve some post-birthday coffee…

The Canada Post lady knows me by name…

because I’ve been in her shop for stamps, more stamps, emergency envelopes and some more stamps.

Oh, and I mailed the invitations! Now THAT is an exciting thing to get off my list.

The invites ended up being a lot more work than I expected, but I think that is because I’m a little more anal than I expected (though just about exactly as much as Steve did).

Mid-invite-frenzy I was thinking that if I’d known making the invites was a) not going to save me any money and b) not going to save me any time, I would have just bought the darn things. However, Thursday night, as I was stuffing envelopes and the light at the end of the tunnel was rapidly approaching, I was so pleased I had done them myself.

I’m still pleased I did them myself — perhaps extra-pleased now that they are safely mailed — as they did turn out lovely. Steve will take some photos so that I can post them here.

Now, of course, I’m just paranoid that I have addresses wrong and people won’t get them. Or that I didn’t put “and guest” for an invitee who is in a serious relationship that I didn’t know about. Numbers just didn’t allow for inclusion of people we don’t know, sorry. If you’ve got a serious honey, then let us know! ARRRGHHH too much etiquette!

In other news… Boot Camp is going well — better than well. It’s been leading to lots of other positive healthy changes: still no sugar, lots of salad, leaner dinners with more veggies, more walking, meal planning etc.

In fact, we went and tried our wedding cake (again) when we met with the chef last week. It was the first real cake we’d had since January. Eight minutes after tasting the first bite, we were buzzing from the sugar — talking really fast, tapping fingers and toes — it was just loopy. Twenty-five minutes after that, we were almost asleep! You forget how much sugar affects you when you haven’t had it in a while.

On Friday night Steve’s parents were passing through town with Mike on the way up to Laura’s family’s cabin up at Halfmoon Bay. They stopped by with Costco goodness and we all went for dinner at Molly’s Reach. It was so much fun to visit and chat.

Saturday, I went to Boot Camp in Roberts Creek at 9am, then back to Gibsons to shower and be back in Roberts Creek at 11am to meet with the Hall Lady and show the Roberts Creek Community Hall to John & Gayle, who hadn’t been there before. The Hall is perfect for what we need, though I found it quite funny when Marlyn referred to our 90-person wedding as “small”. Yeah. Small. She was full of suggestions which were mostly very good.

After Hall-inspecting, Steve and I went up to Sechelt for lunch. We tried to show his parents the gallery where his art is, but it wasn’t open.

We then went up to Halfmoon Bay where I found myself a well-deserved coffee at the General Store.

We had a great visit with the boys (and the adults too, of course). Steve had his pre-birthday dinner with the family and I found out that Mike cooks a mean salmon. Mmmm!

I tapped previously unsuspected talents of on-the-spot story telling and told the boys about the exploits of Henry the Great White Shark and the Lightening Trout.

It was a lot of fun, and I feel as though I’ve come a long way from my first shell-shocked visit with The Triplets (duh duh DUH).

We ended up the evening with a rousing (and very slightly over-competative) game of Mexican Train, which neither Mike or Laura had played before.

This week: more Boot Camp, getting the last few invites out, hand-delivering the local ones, and Steve’s birthday on Saturday.

Steve go bragh?

I forgot!

That we booked our trip to Turkey! We did the deed last Wednesday night… we’re flying Luftansa/Air Canada to Montreal, to Frankfurt and to Istanbul on October 11, 2007 and arriving in Istanbul at 1pm on Friday afternoon. We’ll be in transit for 17 hours.

Booking the tickets was stressful and exciting and incredibly cool. We had to use the names that will be on our ‘government issued identification’ which, by October, will be my new last name. Filling in the little box on orbitz.com with ‘Lorien Islay Quattrocchi’ was both exhilerating and terrifying, which have always been the two feelings that accompany anything truly worthwhile to me.

I’ve talked about it in theory and practiced my signature, but this was the first time I wrote it down. Wrote it down! My new name! On tickets to Turkey!

Name!

Turkey!

It will be the trip of a lifetime: we’ll be gone for 24 days, returning Sunday afternoon on November 3? 4? It’s a blur. Steve has done lots of traveling, but this is the first overseas adventure for me.

Here is a photo of the Blue Mosque, which I shamelessly stole from a DragonWoman’s flickr account:

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonwoman/32655079/

Oi vey! This wedding planning is WORK! (kinda like maintaining a blog)

The invites are almost out — I’ve almost collected almost all the addresses and almost printed out all the things I need to print out. Almost. So, if you’re worried that you’ve not been invited because you haven’t yet received an invitation… don’t fret. I’m fretting enough for all of us!

Ah… soothing crows. In case you didn’t know, Steve takes all the photos I’ve been posting. Except the ones with him in them, which I usually take.

So where did I leave off… wow, does Baker seem like a long time ago.

Since then, as you might have guessed, my parents gave us their poor old battered jeep (actually a little Suzuki something) (since they got their beautiful new shiny one) so that we can use it to go into the mountains without doing damage to my little car. Thank you! The photo was taken just a few months before I met Steve, while I was in the Kootenays visiting. My dad and I spent a day getting firewood (hence the firewood glamour shot in the last post).

Here are a few more photos of the jeeplet with the doglet, taken while hiking on that same trip to the Kootenays:



Hard to imagine now that there was a time I hiked without Steve… Here is the photo that won Steve’s heart (and which prompted his rather cheeky introduction “so, do you REALLY hike and camp?”

Anyway, I digress.

The weekend after Baker, we went into town to visit with John, Gayle & Lisa. They were looking after the boys, so we got to hang out with the triplets for the day, which was fun too. We received a wonderful surprise: Steve’s Aunt Mary Jane and Uncle Doug sent us an engagement present! The backstory is necessary here: John’s mum/Steve’s Grandma, Louise, passed away this year. When John & Gayle had gone out during the summer, they had brought back, among other things, Louise’s china for Lisa and Steve & I to share. It is beautiful and so very appropriate — it’s classic, beautiful shapes, but with PINE CONES all over! If ever there was a china pattern perfect for outdoorsy types, this is it. So yeah, we have china. And now, thanks to Mary Jane and Doug, we have beautiful candlesticks that match them. Thank you so much — they’re beautiful and perfect.

Here we are opening the present with a few boys to help:

And, on the subject of thanks, Mike and Laura returned for a sojourn up the Coast with the name of a pastery chef who — duh duh DUH — they are having make us a wedding cake as their present to us! Wow! Cake! We each tried a tiny little piece (our first sugar since January 6) and it was very good indeed. I think we’re going for chocolate, which should surprise no-one. So, thanks!

And thanks, too, to Gayle and Lisa who made invites until their fingers were worn to the… well, until their backs hurt anyway. Thanks to them, those darn invites are more ‘almost’ than ‘kinda’.

On Sunday, Steve went off to take photos of Chinese New Year and Andie and I hung out for the morning. We were supposed to meet up on Pender Street but the traffic was insane, and we missed our connection. Andie and I ended up back at her place in New Westminster, Steveless, leaving frantic phone messages at Steve’s parent’s house in Delta. I practically wore a path on the floor in anxiety. We finally met up and enjoyed a reward of Hon’s chinese food. New Westminster is my old stomping ground, so it was nice to visit.

Here are some photos Steve took in Chinatown:




Back on the Coast, I had my first two weeks of Boot Camp. Since the foot incident on the West Coast Trail, I’ve been more sedentary than I wanted to be. A guy came around with a poster for a six-week training program — twice a week for an hour — and Steve signed me up as a birthday present. I figure that with only six weeks, the light at the end of the tunnel is visible before I even step foot into the darkness. I’m hoping to be as fit at the beginning of April as I usually am at the end of a summer of hiking, which would make the whole wedding/summer/Turkey thing just that much easier.

I won’t let Steve take pictures of me doing the Boot Camp so you’ll just have to use your imagination. But thanks, honey! What a great birthday present! I’m not going to say what I’m getting Steve as it’s a surprise… shhhh 😉

What else? We’ve been doing lots of walking, and eating a lot healthier. Diana gave us a lot of really helpful information about nutrition. We’ve been meal planning and doing some trial budgeting in preparation for married life, which will hopefully maximize health and minimize arguments.

This last weekend, we went to talk to the flower person, who was great. We’re just having the bouquets and boutenthingies done by her, mostly in lisianthus, which is vaguely rose-like.


We also went to meet the cake lady ourselves (and had more samples! shocking!) and decided on cake. Mmmmm… cake.

This, with the invites being almost done, is giving a good sense of accomplishment, though the weeks are ticking away WAY too fast for comfort. Eeek! This was made even scarier by the receipt, in the mail, of Jody and Julia’s invites for the 12th (!) of May, which is one week before our wedding. Oh my! We sent away our RSVP card like good little guests.

[Deep breaths]

Well, on the upside, the invites ARE almost done. Like going out this week done. We have a caterer, a florist, and a cake lady. We have a hall, and some clothes on the way. We have favours coming in the mail. We have a veil. Ok _I_ have a veil. We have china, and candlesticks, and… Oh, and we have wine labels! Finally!

And we will persevere on the invites.

The sun slips down

Well here we are again on my blog. It has been a while. We’ve been busy as Lorien’s blog can attest, but I still get out to take in the sights.

This image is from Snickett Park in Sechelt. It was bitterly cold and windy and I could barely move my hands but it was worth it. Posted by Picasa