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.


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