Thursday, August 21, 2008

First batch photos

Hi all --

Met with the photographer last night and got photos. I uploaded them into a slideshow overnight (sorry, no captions yet) and just wanted to get them up ASAP. Eventually I'll have them better organized but here they are for now. I'm pretty happy with them.

Click the colorful link in the bottom right of the slideshow to get a closer look.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two weeks and still going strong

Sorry for no action on the blog lately; we will have to decide what it's long-term future is. In the short-term I am planning to post a recap of the honeymoon and the wedding on Wednesday. In short, the honeymoon was fun.

I'm also trying to get together in one place all the photos that everyone had from the weekend. Hopefully that will be done and up by Labor Day.

In the meantime, I'm also working on a new blog (SoBo Football) that should be fully operational by Aug. 26. Check it out and leave comments.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Thank you!

We just wanted to say thanks to everyone who was part of this wonderful weekend. We had a lot of fun.

We are off for our honeymoon today, and will have more to say when we get back.

If you post photos or have some you would like to e-mail us, that would be great!

Love you all,
Nate and Allie

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Behind the Bachelor/Bacehlorette

Except for possibly some quick notes (like the one below about Restaurant Week), this will probably be Nate's last pre-wedding post. So now let's take you "Behind the Bachelor and Bachelorette" as Nate and Allie count down the final days before wedding week.

The story starts on a sunny Thursday morning, much sunnier than the previous night when groomsman Mark and Nate went to the Orioles game and got rained on (but scored free pennants). Luckily, it was the 25th anniversary of the Orioles last World Series championship, so former catcher Rick Dempsey was on hand to entertain the fans during the rainout with his patented antics.

Wedding attendee Andrew "A-Con" Conrad (seen below) also helped pass rain delay time by engineering a new travel bottle technology (patent pending, you'll have to see if he'll shares his secret spice).

After Nate dried out the next morning, he was ready to start his day. He started with a hearty bowl of generic Lucky Charms, while Allie opted for a more healthy breakfast. Or maybe they made pancakes with blueberries, either way they ate breakfast and were then ready to clean up the basement.

It seemed to be a mighty task, but they were able to conquer the disorganization. (Even though there was an argument about whether spiders should be killed because they are gross or whether they should be saved because they eat other pests.)

Basement before cleaning:


Later that evening, Allie was off to bridesmaid Lindsay "the Canton Hillbilly" Thomasson's house to design programs and place cards. As Allie and Lindsay pored over the details (and poured a little wine), fellow bridesmaid Becca and Nate were in the west Baltimore suburbs helping the Nighthawks improve their seeding in the Maryland Media Softball League playoffs with a 17-16, extra-inning victory keyed by a five-run seventh inning.

So, you're saying "Five runs in the seventh for a come from behind win? What a fluke. That could never happen again."


The Nighthawks followed up that performance last Thursday with another come-from-behind win on Tuesday, with a five-run, two-out rally in the seventh that resulted in a 7-5 playoff victory.

Let me tell you, if Accomac Caterers double-booked Preston Hall on Saturday and it came down to a good 'ol game of softball, I think the Sandstrom-McLeod wedding would go on as scheduled. I think Tessa is bringing the eye black to the wedding in case we have to rumble.

Several Nighthawks will be at the wedding but please allow them to finish their dinner before asking for autographs. Their Wednesday night semifinal playoff game will be on MASN3 at 6:15 tonight.

After the game last Thursday, Nate went over to Canton and approved of the programs drawn up by Lindsay, who has barely helped at all in getting the wedding ready. They were finished on Tuesday night. (Jeez Hillbilly, way to finally pull some weight).

With so much done on Thursday, you could hardly expect much to get done on Friday, what with Nate up at the crack of dawn to make sure the good people of Baltimore have an ample supply of Corona. Meanwhile, Allie was on the double shift at Phillips so the good tourist of Baltimore could have Filipino crabs. Not much else happened Friday, except Nate and Best Man Phil's Badger tickets came in the mail (see Friday's post).

Oh yeah, Friday was also possibly the day that Nate and Allie's new bamboo fencing was shipped from California. They bought it from a nice hippie named "Wavy Gravy."

The next day it was back to power shopping. After Nate and Allie finished fighting over the best way to get to the Towson shopping center on Putty Hill (definitely taking Northern Parkway to York to Stevenson), they purchased the final accessories for their bathroom. Sadly, they much-loved map shower curtain was retired in favor of a more so-called "matching" one. The Homer shower curtain hooks have also been put out to the pasture.

After Nate finished his Saturday night shift he also got to practice his dancing at a Christmas in July party hosted by wedding attendees Ken, T.J. and Pat. After Nate lost some money to Greg Dean gambling on beer pong at the party, he headed home, only to be defeated again by Mark and Angie at video bowling at neighborhood drinkery Taps.

Nate was ready to get over his bowling/beer pong losses on Sunday and head to the O's game, but he opted instead to go to Allie's parents' house to paint the bathroom, which now looks something like Michaelangelo's Sistien Chapel ceiling.

On Monday night, Nate practiced cooking for his fine guests while Allie was at work. He perfected the arts of making pork and beans as well as mac and cheese, so if you would like some at either the Sunday brunch at Nate and Allie's house or the dinner at Robert and Karen's (Allie's parents), make sure to let him know.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good news for foodies

So it is kind of bum timing that the Orioles are out of town during the wedding week for visitors, but I found one stroke of fortune for food lovers — it is Baltimore Restaurant Week. Basically, 90-some B-more restaurants, including the top 'o the line, are offering three-course dinners for $30.08. Some are also offering three-course lunches for $20.08.

Get the full details here.

Wedding week is here!

So, I had planned to write up a big weekend post, but instead I wound up getting caught up in a game of Scrabble at Becca's last night. I finished last in the heated contest, during which a fight broke out when Mark told Becca that remixer (think Puff Daddy) is not a word.

You may be asking yourself, what are you doing putzing around (I almost spelled putz last night, but instead went with hutzpah) when your wedding is six days away? I'll tell you, relax buddy, things are under control. The seating chart is done (send a check for $15 if you would like to be upgraded), we've killed the weeds in the backyard and I even made a trip to Bob and Karen's so their Sunday night guests can enjoy a newly painted bathroom. It looks great, and Allie's color-picking and my brushwork show we were truly meant for each other.

Allie and I even got a sweet deal on a hotel last night in the Pocono Mountains for our honeymoon.

So, in short, the wedding is pretty much here, I feel pretty much ready, and I am ready to celebrate with everyone!


Friday, July 25, 2008

An exciting announcment (for my brother and I) not related to the wedding

I came home from work today and saw the envelope sitting in the hallway. Return address: University of Wisconsin.

Like a kid getting a Nintendo 64 at Christmas, I quickly opened the envelope to see the glory inside: Phil's and my season tickets to Camp Randall stadium to watch the Badgers take down all challengers.

After I opened them, it looked something like this:

I also got a set of team player cards, another refrigerator magnet schedule and a book telling me about gameday rules and regulations

Can't wait for college football season. On Wisconsin!

OK, back to wedding stuff. You'll hear from me again later tonight or early Saturday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What a difference a day off makes

I always find I'm amazingly productive when I have a weekday off. That was the case today, as I went through "Operation: Clean the House and Finish Projects You Have Been Delaying."

In the kitchen, I successfully repainted the areas that were recently dry-walled, although I failed to finish installing a set of new, shinier, not-covered-with-paint locks on the door. Don't worry, it's aesthetic changes only and the current locks keep the bad guys out of the house (if not away from my chairs).

Later that day, Allie and I got some megashopping done after she finished with work, including picking up a sweet guest book for a steal of a price and securing a present for one of the bridesmaids. It was CENSORED.

Damn state-owned media stopping all leaks.

Meanwhile, I have the day off wedding work tomorrow. A full day shift at Wells, followed by Turn Back the Clock Night at Camden Yards, as long as it doesn't rain. You're on that one, Jim.

Blog Guest of Honor

Dear Nallie constituents,

I, Lori M. Evans, esq., was extremely honored to be invited to join in on the Bachelorette party fun! After learning about the Nallie 08 Blog I just had to be a guest blogger and share some bachelorette party antics! However, I didn’t want to give away too much of Allie’s last weekend of freedom so I’m not going to tell you about the 27 male strippers that we hired or about spending the night in jail…

we’ll leave Allie some of her secrets. Instead I have compiled my top 10 ten list of events that occurred over the course of the weekend.

10. 6 ½ hour car rides with 5 girls in one small Honda Civic
9. Sudden outbreaks of Facial Hair
8. Tracy’s unfortunate foot incident
7. The Wasabi Pea Slinging contest that never had a chance
6. Allies use of the space in the Kitchen
5. The uninvited/ invited “butt smack”
4. “You’re not my Friend” bed-time stories
3. Getting Low Low Low Low Low Low Low
2. Hillbilly accusations
1. The Soon to Be Forever Famous “Shelboure Elevator Brawl”.

So there you have it folks! A very vague account of what went on in the Big Apple this past weekend. Should you care to know any more about any of these “top ten” please feel free to ask any of the Bridesmaids (although I don’t recommend it… sometimes it’s better not to know). As for me I am keeping my mouth shut but I will leave you with one more thought about the weekend – and Allie this is directed at you:

Apple Bottom Jeans,
Jeans Boots with the fur, With the fur
The whole club was lookin at her
She hit the flo, She hit the flo
Next thing you know
Shawty got low low low low low low low low
Them baggy sweat pants
And the Reeboks with the straps, With the straps
She turned around and gave that big booty a smack [Ayy]
She hit the flo, She hit the flO
Next thing you know
Shawty got low low low low low low low low

See you all at the Wedding!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

12 Days Away

Well, the focus for Nallie has turned to putting some finishing touches on the house the next few days. Meanwhile, the rumor is we'll have at least one guest blogger filling in, and possibly one of our originators posting some thoughts.

With me under state censorship, will they spill the beans about the bachelorette party weekend?

Meanwhile, I found out about an interesting nugget for you HBO fans while driving up Key Highway today (pays to buy groceries in four places.) According to its marquis, the Baltimore Museum of Industry currently has an exhibit up on "The Wire."

P.S. You may notice we have a new picture on our page. It's from Gary and Tami's awesome July 4 firework display. I lifted it off Tami's MySpace page, so take that MySpace haters!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Two weeks left of bachelor/ette-hood

So I'm sitting here shirtless with a baseball game on a television and another on the computer. There are dishes that need to be done, empty beer cans on the desk and laundry that should be picked up.

Allie's away at her NYC bachelorette party this weekend; meanwhile I am definitely bachelor-ing it up here by myself (though I am going down to spackle and paint in the kitchen later.)

Despite the recent parties and final celebrations of single-ness, I can hardly wait for these last two weeks to pass before the wedding. Of course everyone (even me) makes the jokes about cold feet, but I am really excited to get married.

Allie and I are probably not in the typical situation, having lived together for more than five years, as well as having bought a house together and sharing a bank account. Because of that, it is hard to imagine that things will change very much after we get married. Most of my friends joke that I already am married.

Despite all that, Allie and I actually getting married I think is still an important way for us to show our commitment for each other. We both have shown that commitment many times over the past few years, but marriage to me represents kind of an ultimate declaration that we will be together for as long as we live. I feel great about that.

I am also excited to celebrate with everyone who can make it to the wedding. My friend Mike Swarbrick found out last night that he will be able to fly from Portland to make the wedding, just in time for the deadline I have to turn into the caterer on Monday. I have to double-check with Allie but I think we're going to have about 125 people. Hopefully in their dancing shoes (or planning to dance in bare feet!)

I'm also relieved to start getting many of the details out of the way. I can really see things coming together. I'm sure there will be some gaffes and stressful moments, but I think it is going to be a great day!

Things to do in Baltimore-Washington When You're Visiting

Anyone get the obscure movie reference in that title? Anyway, I think all the info on the right side of the page is done and updated, even the tourism stuff. I realize that since we're only two weeks away (note post above) it may not be as useful, but hopefully some people will find it helpful.



Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Hi all, it's just about midnight and again I didn't post all I wanted to. The "Useful Information Department" is fully updated. Although I updated some stuff in the "Things to see" I unfortunately didn't finish. As you can probably see from the post times, it's been a long day for me.

I'll do my best to have it finished this weekend, but because I know I need the final reception agenda and RSVP head count to be done tomorrow night I probably won't finish then. I have a big softball game Thursday and Allie has a hair appointment and needs to pack for her bachelorette party in New York so it probably won't get done then either.

In the meantime, feel free to contact Allie and I if you have any questions.

We're really looking forward to the wedding and can't wait to see all of you.

State censhorship

Allie tells me I've been leaking too much information on the blog and I am to stop. For instance, she doesn't want me to mention we decided to play REDACTED during the recessional. See.

Perhaps I'm ruining some surprises — I just really like to talk about myself. Tonight I've rehauled the right side of the page rather — the part that helps you — rather than talk more about my day (which was eventful as always).

Countdown ... 17 more days, wait, is it 16? ... must sleep

Up early this morning to tell you that even though part of procrastination's punishment is a lack of sleep, I've been sort of amazed at how much we've gotten done/essentially done over the last four days ranging from big things like the music line up to small ones like picking out art for the reception dinner tables.

I didn't get anything done Friday or Saturday (although Allie, Karen (Allie's mom) and bridesmaid/wedding planning All-Star Lindsay were burning through tasks) because I was of course away for Bachelor Party: East Coast with a rowdy bunch (though not quite as rowdy as Towson).

Here's a photo of us outside Dogfish Head Brewery:

It was a fun weekend. We didn't do that many organized activities, but the time just hanging out kind of blew past. I do have to say like my Midwestern friends, these guys did not let me win the poker tournament. (It's OK, my skill level makes it hard to do).

I also turned 29 over the weekend, but I've been so busy I didn't really celebrate the B-Day so I guess I will just continue to be 28.

Of course with all this stuff going on I haven't loaded a lot of details up here in the past week. Fortunately, Vicki, my mom, helped me by grabbing these capsules of some Baltimore attractions. Just Google any of them that catch your interest to find out more. I will get the right side of page with other tourism stuff cleaned up hopefully by Wednesday early a.m.

Tourism info for Baltimore:

Inner Harbor
From breath-taking panoramic views of the skyline from the Observation Level of the World Trade Center to the up-close and personal experiences of street performances happening spontaneously at the waterfront, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor offers more to see and do than you might imagine and it’s all within walking distance!

Harborplace and the Gallery

Located in the heart of the Inner Harbor on Pratt Street, Harborplace and The Gallery offer unique shopping, diverse dining and a variety of entertainment right on the picturesque waterfront.

Baltimore Harbor Cruises - by Spirit Cruises

The Ladies (Bay Lady and Lady Baltimore) offer year-round lunch, brunch and dinner cruises, plus crab feasts, and moonlight tours in the summer. The Prince Charming offers narrated sight-seeing tours four times a day from April to October and all are available for private charter. Join them on a Thursday evening to experience Pirates of the Inner Harbor. It's the most interactive and unique family pirate show that ever set sail!

Maryland Science Center
Let your senses and your mind wander as you experience the numerous sights and hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. Featuring an IMAX theater and a planetarium, it's sure to please everyone.

Baltimore Aquarium

The National Aquarium in Baltimore houses sharks, dolphins, rays and tropical fish among the more than 16,000 creatures in naturalistic exhibits, including a walk-through rain forest, an exciting live-action dolphin show and a new Australian exhibit.

World Trade Center

Seeming to hover 405 feet directly over top of the harbor, the World Trade Center in Baltimore offers the best view of the city in every direction from the “Top of the World” Observation Level on the 27th floor. Constructed in 1977, its 32 floors make up the world's tallest equilateral 5-sided building.

Fort McHenry

A water-taxi ride away, you can learn about the Battle of Baltimore and the nation's history by visiting Fort McHenry. Fireworks conclude Flag Day and Defender's Day celebrations. And special events include living history weekends where the Fort McHenry Guard performs demonstrations.

Ed Kane's Water Taxi

For the perfect transportation in and around Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the water taxi is an affordable solution. Located on Lancaster Street, one price buys unlimited rides for the day and group discount rates are available. Native Baltimore residents and frequent city visitors often opt for the frequent floater annual pass.

Baltimore Maritime Museum

Located at Pier 3 and Pier 5, be sure to see the treasures of Inner Harbor by touring the USS Torsk, the USCGC Taney, the Lightship Chesapeake and more. Visit the Maritime Museum and you’ll receive a discount for the USS Constellation, the only Civil War ship still floating today.

Inner Harbor Restaurants

Elegant gourmet cuisine, ethnic foods from around the world and plenty of fresh seafood from Maryland's Chesapeake Bay abound. Come sample a taste of Baltimore at one of the many Inner Harbor restaurants.


The prototype restaurant/entertainment venue sits right in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Great banks of video monitors teeming with live and vintage sportscasts--- There are more than 150 monitors, including a high definition big screen for optimal viewing --- accompany a menu that runs squarely American, you know, burgers and pizza for the kids, a Cobb or an Apple and Walnut Salad for mom, and ribs, meatloaf or a grilled pork chop for dad. Snag a padded lounger in "The Screening Room" to dine while watching the big game on a 16-foot video wall. Afterwards, head upstairs to "The Sports Arena" to work off the calories in a 10,000 square-foot wonderland of video and sports-simulation games, such as ESPN Baseball and NBA 2Night, along with air-hockey tables, batting cages and interactive basketball. The formula works; the place is usually mobbed.

Baltimore Orioles

A visit to Camden Yards is just minutes away and, if you're a true baseball fan, be sure to see the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame exhibit and the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum located nearby.You can also visit the Sports Legends Museum which offers 22,000 square feet of artifacts and interactive exhibits, transforming Camden Station into one of the most spectacular sports museums in America.

Baltimore Ravens

Get in on the spirit of the Purple and Black when you attend a Baltimore Ravens football game at the M&T Bank Stadium just a short distance from the Inner Harbor.

Power Plant Live!

A block away from Baltimore's Inner Harbor is Power Plant Live, a premier dining and entertainment district that features a variety of restaurants and nightclubs surrounding a common plaza. There is also outdoor seating which often features live performances.

Fort McHenry

Located off I-95, just southeast of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the star-shaped Fort McHenry was designed by Frenchman Jean Foncin and named after James McHenry. McHenry served as Secretary of War from 1796 to 1800 and supported construction of the new fort.
During the War of 1812, the brick fort defended the Baltimore harbor and stopped a British advance into the city. Surrounded by water on three sides, Fort McHenry was far enough from Baltimore to provide protection without endangering the city. It was the valiant defense of the fort by 1,000 Americans that inspired Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and amateur poet, to compose the Star Spangled Banner, originally entitled Defense of Fort McHenry.

During the civil war, Fort McHenry was used as a military prison from 1861 to 1865. The National Park Service's Civil War Soldiers and Sailors system now allows visitors to search Fort McHenry's prison records online.

Administered by the National Park Service in 1933, Fort McHenry is the only area of the National Park System to be designated both a National Monument and Historic Shrine. Fort McHenry is open to the public year round and offers visitor programs and special events that highlight the park's history.

Baltimore Aquarium
Opened in 1981, the Baltimore Aquarium is world-famous and undoubtedly Maryland's leading tourist attraction. Whether you're an educator, a student or simply a visitor wanting to look at the magnificent exhibits, the Baltimore Aquarium in the Inner Harbor has a lot to offer.
Housing more than 16,000 creatures, the Baltimore Aquarium exhibits a variety of species in their naturalistic habitats. You'll find animals such as stingrays, sharks, sea turtles, bullfrogs, phytoplankton, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, puffins and thousands more. You can also catch an up-close view of dolphins as they leap and tumble with the Baltimore Aquarium trainers in the live-action Dolphin Show.

Baltimore Museums

American Visionary Art Museum
This national museum and education center highlights the outstanding original works of art created by intuitive, self-taught artists.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-244-1900

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum
This fascinating, fun place for kids, families and lovers of history and American railroading features the most comprehensive collection in the Western Hemisphere.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-752-2490

Baltimore Museum of Art
Now offering permanent free general admission, Maryland's largest art museum features an internationally renowned collection of 19th century, modern and contemporary art.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-516-5589

Baltimore Opera Company
Enjoy fully staged grand operas featuring international singers, directors and conductors.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-727-6000

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Featuring award-winning Music Director Marin Alsop, the symphony performs classical, pops, family, summer and holiday concerts showcasing world-renowned artists.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-783-8000

This professional theater presents a variety of home-produced plays, from Shakespeare to August Wilson, Sondheim to Shaw.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-332-0033

Contemporary Museum
This unique museum promotes the art of our time as both educational tool and catalyst of progressive social change in Baltimore and surrounding areas.
Attraction & Ticket Information | 410-783-5720

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
This 18th-century brick fort defended Baltimore harbor during the War of 1812 and is the
birthplace of the American national anthem.
Attraction Information | 410-962-4290

Maryland Historical Society
Discover the history of Maryland and America at the home of the original manuscript of the"Star-Spangled Banner," Tench Tilghman's revolutionary war uniform and Benjamin Banneker's almanac.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-685-3750, x 321

The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum
America's first wax museum of African American history and culture features more than 100 life-size and lifelike wax figures.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-563-7809

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
This museum highlights the history and accomplishments of Maryland's African American community, featuring exhibitions, resource centers, a cafè and a gift shop.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 443-263-1801

The Walters Art Museum
Now offering permanent, free general admission, this world-class museum offers 55 centuries of art, including Egyptian mummies, medieval armor and 19th-century masterpieces.
Attraction & Ticket Information | Phone: 410-547-6000

The Lexington Market
400 W Lexington St. 8:30 -6 p.m. Monday - Saturday
Old as the nation itself, Lexington Market has been a wonderful Baltimore
tradition since 1782 at the original site it occupies today, on Lexington Street,
between Eutaw and Greene Streets.

OK, I am getting late for work. Go A.L. tonight! And props to Justin Morneau for winning the HR Derby despite no one cheering for him (I swear I was hard at work and only had it on in the background).

-- Nate

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Countdown ... 22 days, and almost 21

Hi all --

Sorry not to get all the tourist info up, but trust me it is being collected with a firm posting deadline of Monday.

Best news of all is the plumber was out today and got our new sink and vanity in. We love it. Pictures soon.

It's the end of night and I'm dead tired before heading off to Rehboth for the weekend. We'll be back Sunday night with a thorough post and the beginnings of tourist info.

Last two nights have been softball for me, but the old Nighthawks fell in both of them, including a 6-5 heartbreaker on Weds. Dropped 22-10 to undefeated team tonight. The Homerun Hunters will have to bounce back on Sunday as they go for the 2-seed in the upcoming playoffs.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Countdown ... 23 days

23 is Allie's favorite number. I associate it too much with Michael Jordan and LeBron James, so I can't stand it.

Hopefully that doesn't mean I'm in store for a bad day. So far, it hasn't started out as bad as yesterday, when I went to take out the trash and found that someone broke into my backyard and stole my Redskins tailgating chairs (and their carrying bags!)

Guess I know something to add to our registry. I also think I may need to add a power saw, after spending about an hour sawing boards for the bathroom floor yesterday.

On a positive note, the plumber is coming Thursday morning to change out our bathroom vanity cabinet, which means if things go right the bathroom should be completely finished by next Tuesday.

I also found out yesterday that our caterers/event hosts, Wickeys, have been bought out. The new company is honoring our contract though, so I guess there's no worries. Allie is going to meet with them to finalize details on Friday.

Last night we were working on music and chose some classical music for the processional. However, we are thinking of going with something contemporary for the recessional — we just can't decide what.

Got any suggestions? Post them here.

I only have two full days of work left this week before I'm off to Rehoboth for a bachelor's weekend, so that's exciting. It may not be the most organized event ever, but we should still have fun. We are going on a tour of the Dogfish Head Brewery on Saturday, which should be a highlight.

If you're in Maryland, stay dry today!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Countdown ... 25 days

Hard to believe that we'll be married in less than four weeks. Even harder to believe is the number of small details that still have to get fine-tuned over the next two weeks.

The past two weeks have also been quite a whirlwind. Two Saturdays ago, June 21, we landed in the Quad Cities where my old reporter buddies Jim Butts and Andy Walters picked us up at the airport and drove us to the couples shower my parents were hosting in Waterloo.

We decided to stop for lunch in Iowa City, but we couldn't get downtown because of the flooding. Instead we headed to Coralville and stopped at one of my all-time favorite places, Pancheros. My burrito was good but the set-up had been converted to make it eerily similar to Chipoltle. I searched The Burrito Blog for a while, but couldn't find out if they are now the same company. In other burrito-related new, Qdoba e-mailed me a certificate for a free birthday burrito (I'm July 12), so that was good news.

Once we arrived in Waterloo things were really popping. We had a pretty good turnout at the party and also excellent food (props to everyone who helped).

It was nice to spend time with some relatives and friends who I hadn't seen in a few months, even though the time always go by so quick in those situations. My cousin Kim, on a whirlwind tour through the Upper Midwest, was kind enough to take photos for free.

Here's one of me attempting to pin Allie without stabbing her:

I also got to meet Matt and Erica's daughter, Lana, for the first time:

Later on, a good 'ol wiffle ball game broke out as well. Moreau won round 1, and I think Kent won round 2. Looks like my Mom's smack talk really got into Andy's head.

Later that night was my first bachelor party, organized by Matt Daddy Schafer. After a day of drinking beer, we had to freshen our breaths with some smooth shots of peppermint schnapps (Walters loves this stuff)

I wrapped up the night by going from the chip leader to out of the money in the poker tournament. Oh well, at least there was free beer.

The next day was a little bit low-key, but Allie found a necklace and matching earrings for the wedding. Meanwhile, I scored a new pair of shoes and a Northern Iowa Panthers basketball jersey that has come in quite handy the past few hot days.

On Monday we were back to the city, but of course our flight was delayed. We didn't get home until after midnight to Captain Toes and Joey, a pair of cats who were none too happy. Then we were right back off to work and they really let us know how they feel.

During the party. my family and others had given the shower a "pair" theme, dressing up different couples like these little fellas.

We brought some of them home, but Joey took none too kindly to the other dressed up brides. Seems she wants to be the top female in the house (after Allie).

She may look innocent:

but we believe she is responsible for this bride skunk losing its tail.

We also used our weekend in Iowa to pick out preferred songs for the DJ, but when I went to load them up today it looked like they had been erased. I have one idea about how to get them back though, so hopefully it's not back to the drawing board.

When we got back it was still nose to the grindstone time. As you've read earlier we met with our photographer on Tuesday and decided to risk it and go for the outdoor photos at the Washington Monument. The next day, I was working with our hotel manager to make sure that people were getting the rooms reserved by the time they could no longer be held.

Some good news on that count ... as long as you can still get a room at the Plaza Hotel, the lower Sandstrom-McLeod wedding rate will be made available.

As you can see, there is little rest for a procrastinating planning couple like us. On that Thursday, we took a nice leisurely trip to rural Virginia where family friend Suzy helped us get a great deal at Wollom Gardens, where she works.

We also met with florist Cammie, of Like Water for Tulips,who helped us pick out some great bouquets and centerpieces. I don't want to give it all away, but we some of the more prominently featured flowers include dahlias


As if all that time thinking about flowers would make you passive, Allie proved otherwise. As our softball team was about to be one girl short on that Thursday, Allie stepped up and showed true Nighthawk spirit. In a match-up with the rival Firestix, bad blood again began to boil. The Firestix complained about every call, and when Allie used her speed to leg out an infield single their third basemen got so mad that the umpire kicked him out. He looked like this:

Alas, the Nighthawks fell short 15-11, but still it was a good effort.

Well, of course with all this work on wedding planning I don't have too much time to spend blogging. This week's main agenda is to finish bachelor party II planning on Tuesday, have thorough attraction info on Wednesday and wrap-up music by Thursday. We have also settled just about all the details for the ceremony, which will be nice to have finished.

Hopefully I'll be back up here Tuesday night, but faithful readers know I have not always been that diligent. I am trying though.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

We're no poetry critics

Allie and I have read a lot of love poems in the last week, but nothing has struck us as perfect for our main reading during the ceremony.

So, I'm launching a contest. Please send in any suggested readings you have either to Nate via e-mail or by posting them by clicking on the "comments" link on the bottom of this post. If we select your suggested reading, you will win an awesome (as defined by Nate) prize.

Void in Massachusetts — those bastards.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

--Reminder--Book hotel now!

Hi everyone. Just wanted to remind people that the reservation block at our hotel expires on July 3 (a.k.a this week). If you would like to stay there at the discounted rate, you have to book the room by then.  Detailed instructions are available on the right side of the page.

It's been kind of a whirlwind week otherwise, with us taking a trip to Virginia to pick out flowers, possibly coming up with a honeymoon plan and Allie getting an opponent to get kicked out of our Thursday softball game. 

I'm going to post a week in review on Sunday morning, 'cause right now I have to jump in the shower, get a haircut and head to work. :(

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Here's hoping the weather cooperates

Having an August wedding in Baltimore means you are taking a risk that it will be extremely hot and humid. Combined with the inevitable chance of rain, Allie and I had decided fairly early that we probably wanted to keep most wedding activities inside.

However, outdoor wedding photos are always nice so a few weeks ago we decided to scout some possible outdoor photo sites. We swung by Mount Vernon Place (pictured left) and decided that the park's mix of scenic elements and urban features would be the perfect fit.

We met with the photographer and last night and he agreed. The parks department says that so far nothing is scheduled there that weekend, so our new plan is to meet here two hours early and get wedding party photos prior to the wedding. Now we just have to hope that the weather cooperates and that no one decides to be a jerk and interfere with the photos.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Succesful weekend

The couples shower this weekend went great. Had fun catching up with many relatives and friends. Also survived bachelor party part I and Allie had some fun with the girls. More photos and stuff when I get back to Baltimore tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oops. I'm an idiot.

I have a calendar on my Blackberry that I use to keep track of important dates, and last week I noticed that -- holy crap -- a final head count on the rehearsal dinner was due on June 23, according to my calendar.

That seemed awful early for an Aug. 1 party, but I couldn't find my copy of the contract so I decided that the Blackberry and its loyal operator could not be wrong. Then I mailed out invitations with an RSVP date of June 21.

After an hour of extensive cleaning in my office tonight, I found the contract AND found that the actual head count due date was July 23. Woops.

I wasn't the only one making mistakes though involved with our wedding though. We've had a few trips to Glen Burnie this week that were the source of frustration.

First, on Monday, I stopped by MWTux to drop off measurements for some groomsmen. I was told something like this:

"Woops, nothing you requested was put into the computer. And the person you worked with is no longer here. So you have to do it all over."

At least they were nice. But it took about an extra 30 minutes so I didn't have time to make it down to Marley Station Mall to straighten out things at Kay Jewelers. Allie and I have gotten about 10 different answers over three conversations regarding when Allie will get her engagement ring back (it's being used to create the wedding band) and when we will get the band.

So today we went to the store, talked to manager and I think it will all work out. We also got Rita's afterward (bonus), but they were a little off their game in terms of flavor selection today. I settled for peach.

Also the Twins and O's both won tonight, so overall I call Tuesday a good day.

Now, I'm looking forward to the Iowa trip this weekend. As long as I can find a place to land. For those who aren't familiar with it, floods have battered the Cedar River Valley (where I'm going) this past week.

Complete Waterloo Courier coverage here.

Can't wait to see those of you who are going to be there for the party on Saturday. If you somehow didn't find out about it, here are the details:

4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday
Nate's parent's house
3904 Oak Park Circle
Waterloo, Iowa 50701

Fortunately the forecast is mostly sunny.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spread the word

So.... if you're getting your invitation today you're probably noticing that's it short on details. I'm regretting that it doesn't have this Web site address on it. I hope people are not annoyed that the invitations themselves don't come with accommodations/directions. If anyone asks you about this information and doesn't know about this site, please refer them to it so they can get the info!


(Most) invitations are in the mail!

If you live in Maryland, you're probably getting your invitations today. If you live elsewhere, you should see them this week (except for a few people I'm tracking down updated addresses for.)

Hope you can make it!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Back to blog

So I don't know if anyone still checks this because I've done a lousy job of keeping Nallie '08 up-to-date. Some of you may even be wondering if this thing is still happening.

Well, here's my proof:

Allie and I got our marriage license on Monday and can legally get married in about two hours from the time I am writing this (there's a two-day waiting period — just like buying a gun!). Not that we plan on changing the date from Aug. 2, I'm just saying.

The process of getting a marriage license is not too hard, at least here. Mostly you just need to answer a few questions, like saying no to"Are you two related in anyway?", then you fork over $35 and its yours.

We also picked out wedding bands on Monday. Here's a photo of what mine will look like:

It's titanium, which the jeweler tells me means it will be durable. I also like the plainness. I've never worn a ring so I think it will be weird, but I guess I will get used to it.

Allie's is going to be custom made, so I can't show you what it looks like yet.

On Tuesday, friends and family in the Midwest probably received an e-vite for a shindig my parents are throwing on the afternoon of June 21. If you didn't get it it is probably because I don't have your e-mail address. Just send it to me or e-mail the blog or whatever and I will get you the info. You can also come even if you did not get the e-vite.

That night is also bachelor party Part I, the Iowa version.

Matt Schafer is organizing that and I am sure he is doing a fine job. He may also be getting a bus for transportation. Contact him if you need more info.

It's hard to believe that we are less than two months away from the wedding. Invitations should go out late this week/early next week. We have all of the big things done, like booking photographer, DJ, reception, etc; but according to that damn checklist at The Knot we have like 100 more things to do.

I can tell you at least one thing we got out of the way — the first round of songs that we will be on the "Do Not Play" list.

Drunk requests sound like fun, but don't expect to hear YMCA at my reception.

Hope to have more tomorrow. Blogging is back.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Christmas in August?

How the weeks go by so fast. On deck this week has been gift registering. Is that a noun? Spell check doesn't flag it so I'll run with it.

I kind have a guilt thing going on in registering for gifts, but it has gone OK so far. Well, the first day didn't go so great. We want to Target and only picked out five things. Probably going back this Sunday to add to the list.

Just got back from Crate and Barrel where we managed to pick out nearly two dozen items. We have been cooking a lot lately so maybe some of this stuff will be useful.

Not sure where else we will register but will have a final list up here by Memorial Day. Also think we are picking out the rings this weekend. I'm just now realizing that whatever I pick is going to be on my finger until I die, so I guess I better take it seriously.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuxes picked, rehearsal dinner booked, making progress

We picked the tuxes for the wedding party tonight, which was less of a task than I anticipated. I've never been able to figure a way to show examples of the full ensemble online, maybe I'll just post links to individual pieces.

We booked the rehearsal dinner site on Monday it is at Red Star in Fells Point if you didn't read previous post.

The photographer and DJ have also been booked — that happened some time last week.

Take that, Knot checklist!

Meanwhile, it's the end of the month, which is the worst week of the month work-wise for both Allie and I. I'm proud to say that despite the down economy, good weather seems to have motivated people to keep drinking, which is in turn keeping my employed (and product coming in the door!)

This weekend is kind of up in the air for us. Allie is looking forward to gift registry on Sunday. I'm hoping that I can register the Wizards to get out of their hole against the Cavs, tonight was a good start.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The full staff was back at work today so I was out the door at 4. Add to that the Caps being out of the playoffs, the Wiz being off and the O's playing on the West Coast I had few things to distract me from bringing the site a little more up-to-date.

But as Murphy's Law would have it, Blogger was down for a good chunk of the evening. Nonetheless, you should notice a couple updates.

1) I added an agenda on the right side of the page that will become more completely filled in over the next two weeks.

2) I updated flight info and included instructions for reserving a room in the "useful information department."

3) Please note the post below for info on a couple shower hosted by my parents on June 21 as well as the bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Meanwhile we picked a DJ last night. Got song requests now? Post 'em in the comments section or send me an e-mail. We're also starting to plow through that damed Knot checklist – the one that's always showing me items with explanation points. I know it's overdue!

As I finish writing this post I'm being told that I can not contact Blogger, so we'll see if anyone reads this.

I'm hoping to put together a line-up of the official wedding garb up here Thursday.


Party! Party! Party!

That's not only the name of the place we bought our invitations, it describes how Nate and Allie, a/k/a Nallie, will spend three weekends sending off their pseudo-singleness.

The first event on this itinerary is a couple shower/engagement party at Nate's parents house on Saturday, June 21, tentatively scheduled from 2-5 p.m. at Nate's parents house at 3904 Oak Park Circle, in Waterloo, IA, 50701.

We know not everyone will be able to make it to the East Coast for the Aug. 2 wedding, but if some people would still like to give good luck wishes, please stop by the party. It will include free food and beer, so even if you don't wish us well you might as well take advantage.

Later that night, bachelor party #1 gets started. That's right, I get two bachelor parties. Awesome! Seriously though, since so many of my friends and family are spread out I thought it best to have parties in two different places. And, of cours, having two bachelor parties is awesome.

Groomsman Matt Schafer (seen below, left) is heading the Iowa efforts. I'm not sure what's in store for me. but as you can see, he and attendee Blaine can rock. Track him or me down if you would like to get in on this bash.

--Image should be here. Problem fixed soon?

The East Coast bachelor party is slated for the weekend of July 11 and 12 in Rehoboth Beach. I know we are planing to stay here and drink lots of beer here. Groomsman Mark Goldman (seen below) is running this show and has the details, so contact him or me if you want to party in Delaware.

--Image should be here. Problem fixed soon?

No formal invites on any of these. If you know about this blog you are welcome to go.

Allie gets down with her bachelorette party the following weekend in the Big Apple. I know there is karaoke involved and am otherwise staying out of the loop on this one.


Monday, April 21, 2008


There are few things I hate more about watching television, than the "teasers" you see promising big stories on that evening's news. The reason I hate them so much as because they almost always fail to live up to expectations.

That being said, and because I have to leave for work, I am offering a teaser of what I will post this week rather than the actual info. But these announcements will not disappoint!

We'll have:

• News about two bachelor parties? Find out more this week;
• A look at the hot summer fashions the wedding party will be wearing;
• Who the DJ is who will get this party started; and
• A run down on Baltimore's hot spots you can see on your visit.

Live. Local. Late-breaking. Nallie08.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Scoop! Nallie campaign headed to Iowa in June

Details are not yet confirmed, but this blog has learned that Nate and likely Allie plan to visit Iowa, one of 2008's most important campaign stops, at sometime in June in advance of the nallie 2008 wedding.

Although pundits speculate that residents of perhaps a dozen states will attend the Aug. 2 wedding celebration, current and former Iowa residents are likely to make up the greatest constituency of guests. They will also have the most dirt on Nate, should they find any reason this couple should not be bound in matrimony.

Some speculate that invited Hawkeye fans, sick of losing football games to the Cyclones, will conjure up vicious rumors to tear down former Iowa State attendee Nate, because, like Iowa football, they suck. Among them is Jim Butts, who also likes the Cubs and is an idiot.

One source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Nallie hopes to have more official details in place before formally announcing the visit, say the couple is planing to land on a runway in the middle of a cornfield, otherwise known as Eastern Iowa Airport.

The source said the couple is likely to arrive on Friday, June 20, and host a cookout at Nate's parents that weekend. Some form of bachelor party could also be in the works.

Rehearsal dinner tryouts

Went to Red Star in Fells Point on Saturday evening as a potential rehearsal dinner site, and it fared pretty well with reviewers Allie, Mark and Becca.

Nate also liked his dish, sugar cane-skewed pork tenderloin with mango habanera salsa, but thought he should have gotten a larger portion.

Nonetheless, how many former brothel sites do you know that get overall high marks for their food? Red Star also has an isolated space upstairs that should accommodate our group of approximately 40. It also has free parking across the street, which is a definite bonus in Fells Point. There are also tons of bars for some nightlife in the area, for those interested in hanging out after dinner.

However, there are some potential pitfalls. One is that it is almost 2 miles from the hotel — still a short drive but too long for most people to walk. Secondly, as part of our impromptu visit, they didn't have anything on the menu that evening that is part of their group buffet offering. They can probably give us a sample before we decided to go with them.

Here's a look at their buffet options.

1) House salad with grapes and grape tomatoes with 2 dressings
Chicken breast marsala

Penne pasta with ricotta and marinara

Roasted flounder roulade with lemon butter

Chefs choice of fresh vegetable

Red and sweet potato hash with caramelized onions

Choice of house salad or Caesar salad station
Chicken and shrimp jambalaya with sausage and rice

Cheese or vegetable lasagna

Grilled London broil in rich mushroom sauce

Chef's choice of fresh vegetable

Roasted red potatoes with garlic and rosemary

3) Choice of house salad, Caesar, or spinach salad with strawberries and raspberry dressing
Herb roasted salmon with dill butter

Sautéed shrimp and mussel penne with asparagus and fresh tomatoes

Sesame chicken breast with orange ginger sauce

Sautéed tenderloin tips with wild mushrooms and port wine

Mini baked potatoes with traditional accompaniments

Chef's choice of fresh vegetables

#2 is probably out because Grilled London Broil is one of the options at the reception dinner (although Mark doesn't see this as an issue.)

Will probably try to hit a few of the last spots this weekend and then will make a decision.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ever wanted to stay at the Plaza Hotel?

Well, it's not the same Plaza Hotel in New York so often referred to in pop culture, but then again it won't cost you $800 a night.

This morning I visited Baltimore's Tremont Plaza Hotel and it seems to be the best combination of location and price I can secure. I hope to have a contract signed by early next week so those who are ready can begin reserving rooms at our group rate for Friday and Saturday. I'm not sure if many people plan to come in earlier than Friday, but if you do let me know. If I have enough I can try to get a group rate earlier in the week.

A little about the place:

It is located a little more than a mile from the wedding/reception site. For those from out of town, that translates to about a $5 cab ride, seven-minute drive or 25-minute walk. (I will find actuals for sure within in the next two weeks.)

The hotel is also a short walk from the Inner Harbor, which is kind of Baltimore's main tourist area. If you are looking for some things to do on Friday evening or Saturday morning, you should be able to find it as long as you don't mind panhandlers too much.

The rooms in the hotel are suites. You can choose from one of two studio models either with a king bed or two queen beds. There also rooms with one bedroom set aside from the rest of the suite and two-bedroom suites. You can see photos here and specs here. If you get a room high enough on one side, you will get a view of Baltimore's harbor, the other side has a view of Baltimore's more historic but perhaps less visually interesting west side.

The Plaza also has an outdoor pool, although it is kind of small, and a health club. There's a bar and restaurant that serves brunch for $15. There's also a pretty decent deli with carry-out sandwiches, specialty dishes as well as beer and wine. For more on the amenities, click here.

So, what's the price tag? The studio suites are $159 a night, the one-bedrooms are $189 a night and the two-bedrooms are $339. After looking at the rooms, four people can easily fit in the studio, and I would add that you don't really get much more for a one-bedroom for an extra $30.

Even though it is possible to split a room, I recognize that the rate is kind of expensive for those who are already buying a plane ticket. The consolation is that it should not be necessary for you to rent a car. However, you may be able to find a room and rent a car for a little bit cheaper if you would like to.

I searched and for lowest rates in the metro area and found rooms for as low as $70 per evening if you would rather stay in the suburbs. For instance, I found the Ramada Inn in Catonsville (about 8 miles away) starting at that rate. If you are OK staying away from downtown and staying in a lower-tier hotel, an option like this may be your choice.

If you have any questions about a neighborhood I would be happy to tell you more about it. I would suggest that you also read hotel reviews for any place you pick either at, Travelocity or another travel site.

After checking a few rental car companies, it looks like you could rent a car for about $70 from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Again, I know travel can be a pain so if you need any help feel free to call or e-mail me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Praise for the U.S. Postal Service

I know many people complain about service at the post office, but I have to give the much maligned government agency some praise. I didn't drop off the Save the Date cards until Saturday, and by Monday people in Maryland were already getting them. What a deal for 26 cents!

Some may accuse us of having a pro-Post Office bias as both Allie and I have uncles in Illinois who worked for the postal service. If you think that's interesting (and who wouldn't?), here's some more Nallie fast facts.

• The Orioles hosted the Tampa Bay Rays for Opening Day on Monday. But did you know Nate and Allie's dating anniversary is marked by the Orioles-Rays game they went to on April 19, 2000. That game turned out a little better for the O's, with Cal Ripken hitting a walk-off ninth inning home run to win it 3-2.

• From that day, Nate and Allie would date for seven years, one month, and four days before becoming engaged. That's longer than the Seven Years' War!

• Nate assures you that the delay was not because of bleak predictions from astrologists like this one, which says Cancer and Gemini are "Not a match made in Heaven." Really, that doesn't describe us at all, stupid astrologists.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What a week...

Actually made some progress on the wedding over the weekend. Allie picked a dress, but she won't let me see it so I can't tell you about it. We went to one place we were considering for the rehearsal dinner, but we're probably ruling it out. Also almost have all the addresses.

Hotel is the next priority as well as nailing down some of the ceremony details. Sorry for the boring post, but actually doing wedding planning takes away some time from writing about what I'm not doing I guess.

We're meeting with a potential photographer tomorrow evening. Maybe I'll have something funny to say about that.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bridesmaid dresses

Sorry about the two-week hiatus. At least I've managed to become an Orioles season ticket plan holder and made moderate progress on the bathroom since I last posted.

But onto the wedding news. Kate, Kelly, Karen and Allie went wedding dress shopping last week, and have moved closer to selecting a bridesmaid dress — now the trick is picking a color.

Allie was initially leaning toward the dress in berry, but is concerned that it may clash with the carpet color at the reception hall (win, and yes, these are all colors.)

She is now considering the same dress in olivine.

Here is a look at the dress. You can click on the different colors it is available in on the Web page. You can see what the carpet at the reception hall looks like by clicking on images on the site's Web page.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Does your bathroom have a view?

Sure, wedding planning takes plenty of time. But why not take a few minutes to knock some holes in your wall in the meantime?

Bathroom renovation is in full swing this week. Here's the before pictures:

1) We've removed the stand beside the vanity

2) and the mirror

3) And there's a nice view of the office from within the bathroom. Perfect for hosting a puppet show

We'll post the after photos when we get there.

Other news on Fort Ave. includes a shooting down the street last night. I was at Lowes in White Marsh looking at wood trim so I didn't hear anything.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's all about the paper

That's right, the "Save the Date" cards were printed Saturday and will be in the mail soon. Plus we got it done at Kinkos at an affordable price. As Dawn from The (British) Office would say: "It's not often you get something both romantic and thrifty."

Here's what it looks like on white paper, although the final version was printed on sandstone:

It's going to come as a postcard, although I'm not promising any calligraphy on the back.

Allie and mom Karen followed up the progress by selecting invitations on Monday. Should have a proof back this week.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Time to feed the beast

Sorry devotees who have come here for new weeks but found nothing new. But let me assure that this blog will soon be the posting site for several breaking news items, including information on rehearsal dinner, flowers and more!

Vicki (Nate's mom) is coming to town for a one week visit next week, so I expect things to get rolling again.

In the meantime, why not learn about marriage in other cultures — like scientology.

On their Web site, scientologists promise that they can teach you how to have one of the few "stable and happy" marriages out there.

Skeptical? I guess you haven't seen the testimonials from reliable sources like "a jeweler in Hawaii" and "a man in Austin, Texas."

From the man in Austin:

“In 1983, after my first marriage collapsed, I took a course at the Church of Scientology on the subject of marriage.

“Amazingly, I learned what a marriage is, how to put one together, and even how to find a person who was compatible.

“Putting the information to use, I found a great person — who had been present on the same floor where I worked, right under my nose for a year, but whom I had never noticed before. Young, beautiful, smart — everything I ever wanted.

“We got married a few months later, and have been happily married ever since — 14 years now — and very stably so.

“In fact, in our 9th year, a man stopped us in a shopping center to say, ‘You two must be newlyweds!’ When we told him we’d been married for 9 years, he was dumfounded.

“We told him, ‘That’s Scientology!’

Interested in taking a course?

Scientology Marriage Courses are fast and easy to do. They don’t require a whole semester or thousands of dollars.

At most, they take a week or less, depending on your schedule, and all of them are very affordable.

After all, Scientology Churches are 100% charitable non-profit entities. They are manned by staff who are dedicated, who want to help others the way they have been helped themselves.

The staff of Scientology organizations are the friendliest people on Earth. If you knew the underlying laws of life and were truly happy in your relationships and activities, you’d feel friendly toward others, too.

They may be the friendliest people on Earth ... but what about other planets? Sorry Dan Snyder, our wedding may have Redskins colors, but I haven't been convinced we should have a scientologist ceremony.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

9 is Rhyme Time

Nallie has set out to drafting Save the Date cards. Here's the scoop: Rhymes will be involved. So will Clip Art and possibly some principals from Eric Meyer's design class, which I took in 2004.

I have no doubt he would be very disappointed in my final design.

Nonetheless I plan on mailing them to most of you. That means I need addresses! Post yours on the comments section if you would it them to be more easily perused by stalkers. Alternatively, text them to Nate or Allie on their cell phone numbers or e-mail them to

If I can figure out how to post a Word Document on here, or convert it, I will post a sneak preview of the card. Go Clip Art!


Weddings — they're contagious

Nallie would like to give a shot out to wedding invitees Mike Lefeave and Erica Rothmier, who got engaged this past weekend.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ugliest Bridesmaids' Dresses Ever

Allie's foray into wedding planning unofficially began on Super Bowl Sunday. Coincidentally, Becca the bridesmaid, was planning on a proposal from Tom Brady after his Super Bowl win, so they thought they'd start planning together. Armed with notebooks and a spot-on Gisele Bundchen accent because that's what Becca thinks he likes about her, they headed to the Convention Center's Bridal Expo to learn about all things bridal.

Whoops. Things took a turn for the worse later that night for Becca's guy(s). But, Allie took away some valuable tips and goodies, including seven pounds of cake samples,

some badass accessories,

advice about registering,

and some info for Nate too!

Later that night, the half-time show wasn't bad either.

Nate opened for Allie.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is hanging mini-blinds an accomplishment?

You may ask where we've been. Is f&*)ing working an answer?

Sorry, it's been a stressful few days for me. Allie too. The good news is we managed to hang new mini-blinds in the kitchen. The bad news is we didn't manage a whole lot else.

The hotel place I last blogged about promised to send me a contract but hasn't. That could be a bad sign. Got a (slightly more expensive) quote from the Radisson so maybe I'll follow up on that and let you know how it goes.

I don't know how lunch there is. Please, no more Fargo references.

It's a little farther from the reception site, but a little closer to tourist stuff downtown for those who are into that.

In other wedding news, here's a story from New Delhi straight out of Jerry Springer.

'til next time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No news from me, but check out what the Brits think

Not much to update you about our wedding, but I don't want the blog to become stale simply because we are not meeting wedding planning benchmarks.

As a news man myself, I'll turn to the papers to entertain you.

Here's a story on British attitudes toward marriage with several interesting findings — including that Brits don't necessarily believe what they read (or are illiterate) and that most people see weddings for their party-dom more than their commitment-dom:

The survey exposes the decline in the importance of marriage with the finding that most people see weddings as an excuse for a party rather than a public declaration of lifelong commitment.

The average cost of a wedding may have soared to £17,370, but 53 per cent of people regard it simply as a celebration.

Despite a Government-funded media campaign three years ago, half of adults still wrongly believe there is such a thing as "common law marriage", which gives cohabitants the same rights as married couples.

If we in "the States" are anything like those in the U.K. I guess we have high hopes to live up to.

However, there's no way we're spending £17,370 — even if the economy is down. We also plan to say at least something about commitment during the wedding; hopefully that won't bring the party down too much!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Biltmore sweet!

On Friday, Allie and I viewed the first hotel we are looking at for our guests, the Biltmore Suites, about 10 blocks from the reception site. Dougherty's Pub is also on the way.

I initially decided to check here because its the closest hotel to the site, but admit I was a little leery after reading some of the reviews here.

However, after checking it out we were very impressed. I think some people may have confused old with dirty. It has an awesome courtyard and with only 24 rooms, we are thinking of booking the whole thing for our party.

Still negotiating rates, but I'm hoping to make it happen for less than $100 a night. Also, many of the rooms have beds and futons if anyone wants to double up.

Let me know what you guys think. Click on the comments button.

Poll winner

We have a winner! Leading the way with 2 votes for songs that should be played at the wedding was "We Like to Party" by the Vengaboys. Get ready to dance on tables Pat!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tax victim

That Maryland sales tax hike has hit us in the pocket book for $109.

Here's the pleasant reminder:

Dear Nate,

As you are probably aware, on January 1, 2008 Maryland increased its sales tax to 6%. I have updated your proposal to reflect this change. As always, give us a call if you have any questions. Thanks!

A. Matthias Hess
Assistant to Charlene Calvert

Wait until I have to buy a car without a trade-in!

Oh well, someone has to pay for the governor's trips to Ireland.

Checkin' that check list and looking for music ideas I headed off for Christmas Break, I set out to accomplish the following goals:

-- Ask people what they are looking for in a hotel
-- Schedule appointments to view some possibilities for a hotel
-- Review potential DJs for the party
-- Consider the possibility of not hiring a photographer
-- Check my checklist

A poll of wedding-goers predicted I would finish two, as the last two on the list would only take a minute.

Well, actually by the time I missed my flight to Iowa and had to re-book a flight on the way back, I didn't even manage one (I am currently boycotting Northwest Airlines).

However, I did at least start to develop some potential places for the rehearsal dinner. Among those in the running are Bo Brooks Restaurant; Ammicci's, which is my Mom's favorite; Shuckers, which has more affordable options than I had guessed; and Milton's, which doesn't advertise private dining but has great food.

Lest you think I'll call that accomplishment, I've already contacted three DJs, and have two front runners, DJ Dunick and DJ Danny T (this page plays music).

I'm also compiling "do play" and "don't play" lists, so if you have a preference on either one, post it on the blog or send me an e-mail.

Allie and I are going to see a hotel on Friday night that we are considering for guests in Mount Vernon. More on that this weekend. (After I go to a candidates' forum that day. Why do we have to live in a Democracy?)