Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Day At The Races. No, Seriously.

I swear to God, I didn't know this was going to happen.  See, I started writing my Pygmalion post in my head on the day we had our little party.  (That would be the 7th of August, for those of you playing at home.)  I totally knew what I wanted to name it because well, I enjoy attempting to be clever and I knew at least my mom would get the joke.  (And I know she's one of my limited readers so I may as well play to the crowd I have.)

At that point in time I had absolutely no idea that roughly a week later (and indeed, before I actually WROTE my Pygmalion post - even for the first time) Steve would turn to me and say something along the lines of "hey, you know what would be fun for my birthday?  Going to Canterbury and seeing the horses." I had to agree with him, that would be fun for his birthday.  And thus, last Sunday, we spent the day at the races.

We are not what you'd call "educated betters."  We tend to bet on the horse we feel has the coolest name.  We were once at Canterbury for the day and were totally psyched to bet on a horse named "Freckles O'Brian" only to lose him to a late scratch.  My favorite on Sunday was a horse named "Case in Point."  How do you not bet on a horse named Case in Point?  I mean, come on.  (He won us some money too, so that was pretty cool.)  Steve's parents, who joined us for the day, were a bit more scientific with their bets.  Tracking jockeys and following the odds and all kinds of stuff that's way less fun than picking the best name.  Of course, Steve's mom won in something like 6 of 8 races and his dad hit a trifecta in one race so theirs was probably a better plan.

Come to think of it, that kind of makes me feel like:
Get it?  That's a little horse humor for you there.  You have to admit though, as far as horses asses go, this one is awfully pretty.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010


I don't know if I've made this abundantly clear (it's hard when you're frequently gushing about how pretty flowers are and stuff) but I'm not very good at being a lady.  By that I mean polished and proper are not adjectives frequently found near my name.  I don't gussy very well.  I like clothes, very much.  I LOVES me some shoes, especially in the high-heeled variety and nail polish is a good friend of mine.  But my hair does exactly two styles when I'm in charge of it - air-dried and ponytail.  Though I like makeup I don't know how to use it very well and usually forget things like lipstick until I'm well out of the house.  I like dresses and skirts pretty well, but I veer more toward simple, clean lines than frilly and poofy.  Bows make me nervous.  On any day, at any given time, you are around 304 times more likely to find me in green, blue or gray than pink or purple.

This is all a very long-winded (sorry 'bout that) way of saying, I'm not very girly.

I'm bad at being a girl.


So anyway, this post is kind of about that, but not really.

A week after Steve and I got back from vacation (you know?  The one when we got engaged?) Steve's mom threw us an engagement party.  Now that is a lady who knows how to throw a party and make it look coordinated and elegant and lovely (also adjectives that are not commonly found near me.)  It was a beautiful party and a lot of fun.

And in the week leading up to it I kept thinking about my closet and ending on something like this: “ummm, I think I have an issue.”  See I have dresses that are appropriate for work and dresses that are appropriate for a wedding.  I have two prom dresses in my closet and a dress that I wore to a homecoming dance when I was a sophomore in high school (yeah....).  I have dresses that are appropriate to wear to the beach and dresses that really aren’t appropriate to wear anywhere at all.  Not a lot that says “I’m a lady, I’m an adult, it should make sense to you that I am engaged, I look like I belong at a garden/cocktail party.”  See there’s a little bit of this whole engagement thing that’s throwing me for loop.  Essentially that I think you kind of need to be a grown up to be engaged.  I’m no grown up.  I’m a very old teenager who’s just pretending to be a grown up because there are cooler shoes involved.

Here I’ll put it to you in math form (because everybody likes math, right?):
Classy /= Me.  Me = Klassy.  (See, math is fun!)

Sooo I bought a new dress.  I went out on my lunch break one day (there are advantages to working about 10 minutes away from one of the largest malls in the world – they are identical to the disadvantages, but still) and found almost exactly what I was looking for (and on sale!).  Thusly armed with a dress I felt would help me pretend to be lady for the day I really threw myself into the gussying process.  Makeup, grooming, etc.  I even, at that point, decided to just go ahead and rock the pearls with the ensemble because really, at that point, why not?

Oh hey, look at me.  I’ve been babbling for quite some time on this here “photo blog” with very little photographic evidence of anything.  The fully gussied Cait:

Steve clearly did whatever the man equivalent of gussying is.  What can I say?  The man can rock a vest like nobody's business.

I got so into this whole girly thing that I both blow-dried my hair and attempted a third hairstyle.  (Not a particularly hard style, but believe me there are points for effort in this arena.)  The party finally got started and I stopped stressing so much about the whole ladylike thing.  Steve and I returned (with 80% less crazy-eyes!) to our post-engagement googly-eyedness.

We had a lovely time.  The dress was a big hit – lots of compliments; which made me believe I was pulling off the ladylike look fairly well.  Which was reassuring and calming.  And embarrassing, but that’s a whole different psychosis I’ll bore you with another time. 

I spent much more of my time than normal (that is to say, any time at all) considering whether to cross my legs at the knee or the ankle; that was a little weird.  Especially because throughout the day I kept basing my opinion on Julie Andrews’ advice in the movie The Princess Diaries.  Though a few times ended up going with no cross at all.  Damn.

We got some other folks to share in our smileyness too.  Like Steve’s godparents:

And his grandparents:

Isn’t his grandpa the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in your life?  I love my grandpa to death and he’s quite the dapper man himself, but ever since the first time I met Steve’s grandpa I’ve been completely enamored by how completely adorable he is.

Our lovely hosts:

Many other people joined us for a little celebration.  Our friend Lyle even did his very best impression of American Gothic for every picture he was involved with. 

Though this may or may not have been intentional, I like to believe it was his tribute to my path of study and fully expect his impression of this next time:
(That was a little art history humor.  I’ll stop, I promise.)

It was really fun to celebrate with everyone and it was this really warm, loving atmosphere.

Oh yeah, did I mention the food?

Oh my God it was good.  Like I said, the lady knows how to throw a party and she sure knows how to put out a spread.

That reminds me – here’s a picture of what Steve and I look like when we smile with our mouths full.

There was champagne too!  (every time I think, say or type the word champagne I hear Zapp Brannigan in my head – “Sham-peg-en” – classic.)  Yes, I did photoshop that to make it look all weird; I like it that way.

And holy crap this cake was good.

No seriously.  It was not as good as it looks.  It was better.  (Wow, that was terrible.  Maybe I should go back to art history humor.  That was at least clever.)

See how that frosting looks both amazing and like marshmallow fluff?  Tasted that way too – marshmallowy and amazing.

Mmmmm, strawberries.

Don’t those just look good enough to… wait… that doesn’t work as well when you’re talking about food.  It better look good enough to eat.  How about this?  Don’t those look incredibly awesome?  Yes.  Yes they do.

I slipped once or twice in my ladylike veneer throughout the day but I’m pretty sure the only person around for them was Steve.  He’s pretty used to me being unladylike at this point, and he apparently wants to marry me anyway, so I guess that’s okay.  Someday I’ll pull off the lady thing for a full twelve hours or something and he’ll spend the rest of the week completely shocked.  That’ll be fun.

It was a great day and will be a precious memory for me for a very long time to come.  It was fun to dress up and be like Eliza at the races for a day (only without the totally awesome hat).  And I got rewarded with beer afterward.  Thank you to everyone who came, everyone who was there in spirit, and all our well wishers.

Now I’m going to go put on some sweatpants.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Okay, So I'm Kind Of Pissed.

I spent most of tonight and good portion of last night writing a really honest, lovely post about an engagement party that Steve's mom threw for us two weeks ago and blogger just, I don't know, had a stroke or something and now all but two paragraphs of this post I spent two days on is gone.  I am what you'd call angry right now.

No.  I'm pissed.

And I blame Blogger.  Because, despite going to college and having to write countless papers, I've been drafting, editing and creating my posts all on blogger, rather than creating it elsewhere and copying it here.  And seeing as how Blogger appears to save everything I write every two seconds I was lulled into a false sense of security.  Particularly when coupled with the fact that I was signed in and all that.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You Talkin' To Me?

So.... yeah.  Good vacation.

That is to say, GOOD VACATION.

Okay I guess it was more like BEST. VACATION. EVER.

Why you ask?  Well... let's see... ummm.... Oh yeah, THIS HAPPENED!!!!!!
Um yeah.  I got engaged.  I'M ENGAGED!  I'm sorry I just really, really like saying that.  Even typing that is really fun.  Engaged, engaged, engaged, ENGAGED!  Me!  Woo!  (that was all in a very sing-songy voice in my head, by the way.)

So here's the story... 

We were up at the lake with my family.  My mom's family has been going to the same resort (and by resort I mean, like 12 cabins on a lake, not a spa resort or something) for, like, 60 years.  I've gone for a week every summer since I was, well, I guess about a 2 month developed fetus in my mama's belly.  I've never missed a summer.  I've even thrown in a few MEA weekends and Labor Days.  It's my favorite place ever.  When I was 17 and went to France for two weeks I came back and told my parents I just wanted to buy Paris and just have it, like, as my house.  The Lake still wins.  The Lake > Paris, okay?

Another bit of back story:  For Mother's Day Steve's mom asked for a picture of the two of us.  While looking through our photos we found we hadn't really taken a nice photo together for about a year.  So we've been trying to take more pictures when we actually do things.  

So we wanted to take a couple nice pictures together while we were at the lake.  And weeks ago Steve started saying things like "well, I think I'm going to take one of my nice shirts, maybe you could take a sundress or something and we can take our Christmas card photo" and so on.  All of this seemed more or less reasonable.  Perhaps a little overly concerned about a picture... but sometimes it seems like Steve just forgets he's already told me something so he tells me a whole bunch of times.  Regardless, I did not think much about it at all.  So on our third day there it was nice out and Steve said "let's take the boat out later, take a nice picture with the sunset."  Seemed like a good enough idea to me.  Steve got my aunt and my brother involved in convincing my nieces that ice cream would be better than a sunset cruise.  (They were sold before my brother finished saying the word "cream.")

We got out on the lake, found a pretty spot and with a nice view...

I think it's a pretty nice view anyway.  I might be biased, but I don't really care.

Steve set up the camera on the tripod and (sneaky guy) actually put it on video (later he told me he actually didn't even know how to set the timer and the fact that he didn't ask me probably should have clued me in.)  He came back over to where I was and I started preparing for the photo and he said "well I have to get down on one knee for this one."

Ever the elegant, loquacious, lady; I replied, "What?"

He proceeded to get down on one knee and say some really very romantic things that I'm not going to share with the whole world.

My next comment - again because I am such a wordsmith - was "Are you kidding?"

I remember now having the little thought in my head "If he's messing with me, I'm going to punch him.  He's going over the side of the boat and I'm driving away without him.  This is not funny."

Reasonable assured that he was not, in fact, kidding (this had much to do with the AMAZING ring I now had possession of) I kissed him, told him I loved him, I think I officially said yes at some point, and started grinning like a crazy person that really didn't end for a long time.

After we came back in off the lake my aunt (Steve's co-conspirator) had prepared a little party for us with champagne and cheesecake and lots and lots of hugs, and explaining to a six-year-old the difference between a fiance and Beyonce, and oh my god my face hurt from smiling and I so didn't care at all.
Oh yeah, there was some kissing too.

We proceeded back to the cabin Steve and I share with my parents, there was more Champagne, I got to look at a whole booklet of stuff dedicated to my ring, more face-splitting smiles (seriously I look like a crazy person in most of the pictures.  I bring new meaning to "crazy-eyes."  Okay, not new meaning but... more... well I think I bring more crazy to "crazy-eyes.") and so on and so forth.  

At some point, thankfully, the sides of my mouth stopped trying to wrap around my ears and we calmed back into our general, all-around cuteness.

Almost entirely crazy-eye free!

I'd love to tell you that it's been that since then.  But we're back in the real world now.  I spent most of my first day back at work just reading my email.  Oh and let's see, on Sunday my brother and my nieces went home (which was expected and normal but it still blows) and both of my parents left for their new home in Dallas.  Sunday was not a good day.  Oh yeah and we have like 50 loads of laundry to do (because when you come within 20 miles of the lake makes all the clothes and towels and any other cloth-like material you may have with you immediately becomes filthy, it's one of the many charms of the lake) and still have to unpack about 5 boxes.  Joy.  Pure Joy.

Oh yeah and I have to get up in like 7 hours to go to work again.  Peace out.