Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wedding Progress Report - commence!

I am absolutely so excited I just had to write a little update.

I rang Jo at the African Reef Resort last Thursday to go over some details for the wedding, as Shane and I have decided to change the venue. The restaurant in the hotel was going to be the place, although it posed a lot of problems with where to put tables and decoration as it's an awkward shaped room.

We've now decided to move over to the Southgate Room, a separate room in the facility which is really spacious (we now have a guest list of 67 people), and also doesn't pose any problems with decorating. Because the restaurant is used the day before and after, we'd have to set it up on the wedding morning and then rush to clean the place up immediately afterwards. It would be very rushed as well as trying to get ready and I don't want to ask anyone to do that for us or pay a wedding organiser, who charges $50 an hour. In the Southgate Room, we can set up the day or two before and clean up the next day, rather than having to have it done on the spot for breakfast the next morning.

Jo was on her day off, so I ended up writing her a big email with all my questions about the room attached and left her to reply at her own convenience. I've eagerly checked my email every day and lo and behold, this morning there was my reply. I nervously opened it and nearly jumped with joy! Jo is so casual and her first comment was being so pleased about us wanting the extra room for dancing as that always makes for a fun party!

She basically has agreed and easily answered all my questions and even supplied a photo of the room so I could get an idea of the decor. When I saw it in June, it was being decorated for a wedding that Monday and had the white drapes hanging everywhere, chair covers and was really flash, so I wanted to see the room in its boringness. Jo mainly suggested the chair covers would be essential, and looking at the chairs I can see why; they're pretty ugly. But then made my day by saying the Resort is looking at purchasing some for ongoing use, so they might get those over the next 11 months for us to use! Yay!
Also included in the room hire of $800 is the staff, all tablecloths and skirting for bridal, cake and present tables, equipment for dance floor, lights, MC lectern and projector (hmmm!). One great thing is that I asked about a separate area for the kids so we can set up a DVD player. She said that outside the room is a lounge area with a TV and DVD player, and this can be set up for the kids including colouring books and crayons! How good is that? I have about 14 kids under 10 so its important for me to have an area they can run amok in, especially as I'm thinking of hiring someone from my sisters daycare to 'babysit' kids for the night.

She also gave me ideas of how many tables fit in the room and people per table, so I can finalise my seating plan (yes, I'd already started one knowing we were moving over to this room).

I feel super organised. I've spent the last couple of days on EBay and have bought my disposable wedding cameras, invite programs, guest cards and some gorgeous hair accessories for Cassidy. Jodie is checking out shells and starfish for my centrepieces and I ordered my bridal underwear yesterday too.

Adding to this joy is the fact that I spoke to the wedding dress shop yesterday and the dress fitter Debbie. She assured me that even with my large bust size (which was posing a problem for buying a dress off the rack), I shouldn't have any problem with buying a dress from their store. They go up to size 26 and I only need to get the bottom half of the dress altered about a month out from the wedding. This will be especially helpful as I soon intend to get off my butt and start walking again so I'm hoping my baby weight will FALL off with hardly any effort, heh heh.

Wow, I'm so ecstatic. Things are just falling into place for me and good timing too. I have so much going on, and therefore going on in my head, I was starting to get depressed and sick to boot. I lay awake for at least an hour in the middle of the night, running over things I have to do. It's getting a bit better now our holiday and trip to Broome is done, but we're going camping this weekend, so I have to starting packing and organising AGAIN today and tomorrow.

But I do feel so much better and hopefully this will reflect through to my health soon. All I need now is a few good nights sleep (yes Devon) and I'll be back to my old self. Shane will be so pleased! TTFN for now my friends, I hope you're pleased for me too!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spot The Difference!

Can you tell which of the two versions of Spiderman below is the transvestite? Hint: it's all in the shoes...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Going, Going, Gone...



And gone... Taken just a couple of hours ago. Poor bubba was staring out the window, a long thousand mile stare and I watched her for a bit. Sure enough, after a minute or two, the eyes started to drift shut and the head started to nod. Kids are fascinating, but only when they're your own...

Andrea and Rob's Wedding Pics

Cheeky me nicked these pics off Andrea's Facebook page. These are her official wedding photographs and the photographer did a damn fine job. Has given me a lot of ideas for my pictures too.

The bridal party: James, Jo, Britt, Jordan in front, Shane, Brianna in front, Andrea and Rob, Bella in front, Chan (Andrea's sister) and Patrick (Rob's brother). Bella is Rob's daughter and Brianna and Jordan are the kids of Andrea's friend Angela.

Now I love this shot. There were a few like this he did, underexposing the light and concentrating wholly on the dress. Beautiful. I did offer to buy her dress from her for $50 but she said no. When I told Rob later he was most upset as he wanted the money to pay for the wedding!

Before the wedding: Bella, Britt Marie, Chan, Jordan, Andrea, Jo and Brianna.

Again, a single focus shot. Lovely.

The group shot of all who attended. Notice Cassidy standing down the front on the left and Shane and I behind the guy in the blue shirt. Great shot. I'd already seen this in a magazine and want to get the same kind of shot in the amphitheatre at our wedding. The tiers should make it look amazing.

After the ceremoney we all wandered down to the Sunset Bar while Andrea and Rob walked down to the water and got their photos done. They took shots right up until and after sunset.

Lovely black and white shot of the bridal party. There were heaps of people around watching too.
Quite moment for the bridal couple.

Absolutely one of my favourite shots. Andrea looks so relaxed and natural, especially her smile.

Again, a beautiful shot with the sun in the background and Rob staring wistfully off into the distance. At the camels perhaps?

Cutting the cake at the reception. I sadly didn't get to eat my piece as Cassidy demolished it on the night! But I managed to keep all our place settings, a menu, table number setting and pink ribbons for scrapbooking later on. It was a beautiful wedding and it's such a shame on one hand that I feel I have to compromise on missing out on so many beautiful features. Chair covers are damned expensive but in the room, they absolutely made the place look beautiful and brought out the pink everywhere. We'll have to see... TTFN.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Little Devon in the Big Bath.

I took this pic last night when Devon got in the bath to commemorate her moving up into the big girls seat. From birth I have used one of those lay down chairs in the bath and she's loved it. However, she has recently perfected the art of arching her back, causing her to slide down in her rocker (and fall out of it on her head one awful night, thank god we have a rug on the floor). But arching her back in the bath chair meant she nearly went for a swim one night, so Mummy made an executive decision.
BTW - that shocked look on her face is pretty standard these days. Comes from having an older sister who is constantly singing and yelling at the top of her lungs in the vicinity of the baby. What? You're taking my photo in the bath? No!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

LOL Kitteh

Rich Colours in Art.

I'm not into art by any means, but I definitely appreciate beautiful pictures when I see them. One of things I have realised about myself, doing research for my wedding and dresses and so on, is that I love vintage and shabby chic. I love faded bronze and gold, rich colours and how stylish and timeless they are. If I could do my wedding vintage I definitely would, with old style birdcages hanging from the ceiling, antique jewellery and crockery and hats and knotted ties for the men. Vintage style is so tasteful. TTFN.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Check out my Bulletproof Speedos...

The Trip. The Photos. The Food. The Zoo.

Me, Devon, Jodie and Tayla inside a giant Red Tingle at the Walpole Tree Top Walk. It was raining a little bit so we took shelter in the tree. This day was Tayla's birthday, the 5th of June and she had a great day. The best part of my holiday was spending so much time with my sister.

We hired one of these carts at Perth Zoo to carry the smaller kids around. We had Devon in her pram and Jodie took a stroller for Marlyn too, but it was still handy to have. So throughout the day, all us adults were dragging or pushing something or another. Although it was really annoying at first, because you couldn't move it out of the way or relocate it up the back without Marlyn and Cassidy thinking you were leaving and screaming their heads off running to it, in case they missed out on a 30cm ride. Tayla is an excellent photo poser, as you can see.

This beautiful girl (in between the other beautiful girls Jodie and Cassidy) is Utama, one of the most popular orangutangs at the zoo. She always comes up to the glass as she likes to see what people have in their handbags and pockets. She was born on 19 June 1979. Utama was on the TV news once we returned home, as she'd worked out how to swing over to the fence and escape from her enclosure!

Shane and I in front of a beautiful monument at Perth Zoo. Nice pic. And one in which no-one is eating, amazing!

Us at Perth Zoo. Shane, Cassidy and Devon, Marlyn, Jodie, me and Tayla. We sat down for a rest just in time as we were knackered. So we refueled and kept going! The canteen sold these great kids pack meals, with sandwiches, crackers, juice and yoghurt all together and they came in very handy later on when the kids got peckish.

My brother Wayne, his wife Nicole and Wayne's daughter Britney, who's now 14.

The cousins and the kids. Tayla, cousin Mandy and her twin Kelly, Jodie with Marlyn, me with Cassidy, cousin Sharon with Amber. Lots of cameras around so none of us are looking at the same one. Taken at my mums cousins place in Albany where we'd have a casserole tea for dinner with ALL the family. And yes, we went out for dinner a LOT.

My bro Wayne with his daughter Britney, Cassidy and my sister's kids Marlyn and Tayla. Taken at Wayne and Nicole's place in Bunbury when we went for tea. Nicole is a great cook. Yum.

Grandma with her 4 kids, Rodney, Mum, Lester and Marilyn. Taken at the pub in Narrogin where we had tea for our mini reunion. We stayed at a really nice hotel, The Albert Facey Motor Inn, in Narrogin. TTFN.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Us on a Bridge in Broome

I know I have yet to post any fantastic pictures from my holiday on here yet, but there are a few hundred to sort through so you'll forgive my tardiness. Having just returned from a long weekend in Broome for Andrea and Rob's wedding, I have a nice shot of Shane and myself taken at the Cable Beach Club Resort on our way to the reception. Nice ay. He drives me insane sometimes but he scrubs up well. TTFN.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You Spin Me Right Round Baby...

I love Mandalas. I love the balance of them, equal left and right. All things the same even though they change. I am a true Gemini I guess.
I'm out of touch for a few days so I want to leave some of these beautiful images for you all to meditate on in my absence. Don't miss me too much. TTFN.

How A Real Man Plays Golf

Shane's brother Andrew sent us some photos from work tonight. They're from a work golf day taken a few years ago (pre-children) where Shane shows off his finesse by sinking some putts and smashing some niblicks. Whatever that means. Note the absence of shoes; all the better to toe-grip the grass for support. Note the cigarette in mouth; apparently the squint helps plan your shot. The Pirates baseball hat is mainly because of the hot day and of course, the ever present Billabong shirt. Coz he just wouldn't be Shane without it. The only thing missing is his beer. It must've been out of shot!

My Blow Up Doll...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Location, Location, Location...

My wedding ceremony location - the Queens Park Theatre Amphitheatre. Beautiful. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. We'll have some carpet on the dias and some topiary trees or something to cordon the area off. And I'll walk down the centre steps between my gathered guests. Nice huh?!

You know, I'm actually finding it quite hard being an 'engaged' person. I haven't been blurting it out and shouting it from the rooftops at all; I seem to go quite shy and quiet (I know! Me?!) at the chance of saying anything and just expect everyone to notice this new ring I'm wearing.
I think I'm feeling self conscious about my ring, because although I LOVE it, I've had a few funny responses from people. Instead of looking at it and going OH it's gorgeous or OH it's so nice and being polite, I get, OH okay. Or just Oh. Maybe if they were paying for it, I would get something so stunning and huge that I'd have bruises on my knuckles from dragging my hand on the ground all day, from the pure weight of it. Why can't people just be polite, admire and be nice rather than make a face?

I've always told everybody that I've never believed in spending thousands and thousands on a wedding and that I'd rather elope to Vegas and get married by an Elvis impersonator. Or the real Elvis if he's free that night. But now that I'm actually in the stages of planning my own, I can totally understand how easy it is to spend so much money on making the day just right.
Shane and I have chosen a local Geraldton restaurant and resort as our reception venue and we had 2 areas to choose from. One is the Southgate room which is regularly used for weddings and it has it's own bar and dancefloor as well as access to an outside smoking area. The other is the restaurant area which is a sandy coloured bricked area with a waist high wall and large windows overlooking the ocean. It adjoins a separate serving area for food and a bar. The difference between hiring the 2 is $150. I chose the restaurant area because the Southgate room requires quite elaborate decorating, such as chair covers ($5 each chair for 60+ people), wall coverings (up to $60 each), table decorations (anywhere upto $100 easy), let alone flowers and table runners. And place settings? Placecards? Don't even go there. So as much as the separate room would make more sense, it would blow out our cost dramatically.

My sister introduced me to the joys of Ebay, which I had joined but never used, and I've already found a myriad of things to use. Such as shells. I thought I could sprinkle some beach shells on each table around a candle for decorations. Goes with the beach theme and colour I've chosen. So I found 2 bulk lots of little seashells for sale, one for $11 and $14. I missed out on both of them but thought, never mind, got heaps of time yet. Then bugger me, but I got 3 small bags of shells at Thingz for $9.00 the lot! Insane, I thought Ebay was meant to be cheap!

My main problem though is talking about this wedding. I mean, it's my wedding for crap's sake! I can tell Shane and my Mum are so sick of hearing about it and now a couple of my friends are acting the same as well. But the thing is, yes, I have a year to go, but who am I meant to discuss things with and talk them through with? Year or no, I still have a lot of decisions to make and things to organise, especially regarding the stress of my dress. I have a day and a half to get it. If I don't find it, I'm stuffed. I mean, I'd end up having to get an evening gown and quite frankly, I don't want to. I've got my heart set on an actual wedding dress because I'm only going to do this once so I want to actually look beautiful and have everyone looking at me. And coz I want to knock Shane's eyes out of his head!
So I have some planning ahead to do regarding the shop I'll be visiting on the afternoon I arrive in Perth, as the dressmaker wants to talk to me before I arrive on the day. Talk about stress! It'll be 9 months early, but better than nothing. Thank God for Ani whom I'm staying with while I'm there, she is one of the main people being patient with me about all this. Probably because she's getting married soon too, so she knows what it's like!

So you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna put it on here. I'll vent and worry and stress and discuss to my blog, so not only will my stalkers be able to see how I'm thinking but hopefully I'll work out some knots as well! Nice! Now, to go and sell EVERYTHING I own on Ebay to make some more money...those chair covers are a must!! TTFN!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wampire Cat Alert!

Another successful book down the drain.

Or should that read? Done and done! The latest book for Book Club was The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Luckily Britt found 4 copies of the book at the library, so we ran to grab them and start reading. Britt even joined the library to do so! I, of course, have been a member since the first month I moved back to town, so I casually strolled in like an experienced reader type person.

The first night I started the book, I read about 30 pages and was hooked right in. It was great, a love story mixed in with a fantastic time travel twist that continually surprised. But I was tired so I didn't read for long.

The next night, I happily got stuck in and read til late, and got through the first third of the book. I was hooked. I love it when a book can instantly transform your attention so that nothing else matters (except crying 4 month olds) and you can't wait to get back to it.

The next night, I went to bed at 9.15. For me, that is EARLY. But I was being sneaky, as it was for the sole purpose of reading a big chunk of this book. Big chunk! Understatement! At 1.20 in the morning, I finished it. I couldn't help it, I just steamed through it and each episode of time travel and part of the story was more and more amazing and I just had to know what happened next. And I absolutely loved it. Britt chose a great book and I told her so. Now I have to wait for 5 weeks for the next meeting!

I also have to put some thought into what book I would like to choose when it's my turn. I'm really torn between choosing something I already own and have read, so I can show my taste in books, or choosing something I haven't read before. If I pick something of a Top 100 or bestseller list I should be okay, but there are some fabulous books I own that I'd love to pass on, such as To Kill A Mockingbird. The Memory Keepers Daughter. The Smoke Jumper. The Moonstone. Wow, I could go on and on and on.

At the library, I also picked up a book I'd ordered which is a non-fiction biography about Marie Antoinette, which I have already started. Anyone who knows me knows I'm madly into Henry the Eighth and his many beheaded wives, although he actually only beheaded a couple of them. I love reading about Mary and Anne Boleyn and Katherine the Spanish Queen. I find real history absolutely fascinating, although I would have hated the constrictions of living in that time. Having to do everything a certain way, the corsets, the dressers. Did you know they used to bath with a giant sheet covering the tub because it was made out of wood and you'd get splinters? Ouch! So I shall keep you updated on my new obsession, the French Revolution. Nice. TTFN.