Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin/Apple Picking

Sunday we went with some friends to pick apples and pumpkins. It's something we want to try and do every year now that Raine is here. I have to admit that I had a lot of fun doing something that I avoided all these years assuming it was lame. Of course, everything with Raine is much more fun than it was without him ;) Enjoy some photos...


























Don't ask me how Raine knew to even EAT the apples. Maybe it's his fascination with trying to eat everything. We've never given him a whole apple though so it was unexpected but he loved it. We are thinking of going back once we get back from Florida (yay!! leaving saturday morning!!) to hit up a hay ride and get lost in the farms corn maze. We got there a little too late this visit to take advantage of those things. We'll be in Florida for Halloween but we are still excited about dressing up even if Halloween on the beach isn't ideal. Should have planned that one a little better ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Conversations With The Cuddler

{Conversations with The Cuddler posts are excerpts of conversations with my husband, James. It's a peek at the hilarious, sometimes bazaar, always nonsensical topics that come up around here. In short, my husband just says the darndest things.}

Jimmy:  *waves his fist at me randomly like he is going to hit me*
Me: Oh really?
Jimmy: Really. I think I am going to start abusing you in a couple days. I have to go to Kmart to get a couple of those t-shirts.
Me: T-shirts?
Jimmy: Yeah, wife beaters. *hamster*

Seriously, he's getting out of control. I need to start getting some of this craziness on camera...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Everything's Subliminal


I was looking up Disney ticket prices and this is what I find. I'd be lying if this isn't what I took from those movies growing up and while it's meant to be humorous it's also pretty true. Makes me remember feeling crappy growing up, like I had a standard to live up to. Also makes me question how much my kids will actually be watching these things. But I still like you Disney....in moderation. ;)


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Living Room Redo


Remember when I said I was going to start redecorating? Remember that awesome red couch I got for $20? Here is the before and after...





Please ignore the yucky wood trim. We've been meaning to get that fixed since we bought the place but things just keep coming up. If you're loving our coffee and end tables I found the tutorial here.

Still a little cookie cutter but in a much more "us" sort of way. We can't stay out of our living room now. I love my couch. I love the fact that I can wipe the furniture clean. That brown chair doubles as a uber comfy recliner that The Cuddler and I can cuddle in. It just feels so much more home-like for us and I find myself not wanting to move now when we buy another house ;)

Next up, bathroom redo!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Destroyer Loves To Eat!

Another useless video of my kid eating.....enjoy!




Telling you of nonsense things,

The Wedding

I have to say that the wedding turned out way better than I could have ever possibly expected. I did my best to savor every moment but I couldn't stop time from flying through my fingers at an alarming rate. I'm so glad I hired a great photographer and videographer to help me remember this day.

The night before we had a nice dinner at the restaurant that was catering our wedding (oh yum!) and rehearsal. I will freely admit that I felt that rehearsal wasn't adequate and that things would likely go to hell in a hand basket the following day but alas, I was pleasantly surprised.

Wedding day morning I was nice and relaxed. I slept great the night before! What happened to all these nerves everyone predicted I'd have? Nope. Nothing. Maybe I was burned out from stressing over this day for the last six months. Or maybe it's because all I had to do was shower, snuggle, and feed boy before heading to the inn I was getting married in. No makeup or hair. No cleaning the house or running around all crazy like. Nice!

I headed to the inn before noon with the boy, checked into the room I was going to get ready in, and proceeded to unpack the boys millions of necessities but my dear child wasn't having it. Something about that room was pissing him right the funk off so The Cuddler had to bring him home in hopes he'd nap for him a bit there. We would have to rush him back to the inn afterwards to dress him and get him ready. I feared this was the start of an ass load of chaos.

There was only one minor meltdown (people who know me know that I tend to have a flair for the dramatic. I'm the ultimate master of the meltdown.) during hair and make up. And it was tiny, barely any tears, just an eyeliner mishap. My hairdresser saved the day. When I stepped out of her chair and stood myself in front of the mirror I let out a very genuine gasp. I have never felt so beautiful in my entire life. I texted James "omg, I'm actually pretty" it's a rare thing that I ever feel beautiful. My hairdresser rocks, that's all I have to say.

I had a small icky moment putting on my dress but my mother saved the day there and it wasn't even a noticeable blip in my day. When The Cuddler returned the boy he was all sorts of crank yankers and it was a bitch dressing him. He didnt care that he looked fucking adorable, he was not having it. Took four damn women to dress the little turd and one of our bridesmaids (the one who was walking him down the "isle" coincidentally) had to walk him up an down the inn hallway to keep him amused. I silently prayed he'd lighten up a little for the ceremony. My kid is just NEVER this cranky.

I was all set to go. My bridesmaids were all set to go. The minute our best man came into the room to ready everyone my heart began to pound pretty hard. I wasn't nervous. I was excited while at the same time realizing the weight of what I was about to do. I always rejected the idea of marriage, it's commitment, it's weight. Others may take this so lightly but me? I take it as serious as a heart attack. Here I was making the ultimate commitment to someone and I had no question whatsoever if I was making a mistake. I KNEW (and know) that this was right. The way it was supposed to be. This is the man I am supposed to be with and right now at this very moment the universe was aligning for this event and my heart was pounding in the excitement of it all. And that's no bullshit.

We gathered at the top of the staircase that would be the "isle" we would walk down. Jimmy's best man went down and took his place by Jimmy's side and that signaled that we were ready and the music started. The wedding party (Raine included) walked down to the instrumental Back to the Future theme music. It went flawlessly and my fears about rehearsal were put to rest.

My music started and so did the tears. I walked down to Coheed & Cambria's "Welcome Home" escorted by my Uncle/God Father/Father Figure. By the time I reached James I was a borderline wreck. I couldn't even look him in the eye in fear that I would just crash and burn with emotion.

It helped that our vows were humorous but when I reached the poem portion of my vows I started to cry. In the end I think it just made the whole thing genuine. I could hear family and friends shedding a few tears as well and it felt nice to know that they were there with us. Jimmy's vows brought us back to hilarity even if his random breaking into song terrified our son and he needed to be escorted out by my mother ;) We were pronounced "Man and Wife" and things just felt right in the world. We ran off (literally) to take photos and have a few cocktails while our guests got settled in the reception hall within the inn.

James wrote a rather entertaining introduction for the entire wedding party into the reception and our first dance was to the True Blood theme song "Bad Things" by Jace Everett. We had loosely choreographed it but things got a little messed up probably due to the cocktails we had but I think it still turned out well. Silly even which fits us well regardless.

Dinner was amazing even though we didn't have much time to enjoy a full meal. Raine was still pretty pissy. I think all the excitement and stress from the previous few weeks had taken a toll on him because he really didn't cheer up until the end when everyone left.

Cutting the cake proved entertaining too. At the last minute we decided that I would drop his piece on the floor as a play on the fact that he's famous for ignoring the "5 second rule". That got a big laugh. I threw a good chunk of it at him too without him realizing until like 20 seconds later. When he DID realize I had thrown it, he ate that off the floor as well. Worked flawlessly. I'm starting to think we were somehow meant to be entertainers ;)

The rest of the reception got silly but was so much fun. I danced with Jimmy. Jimmy danced with his best man. At one point Lionel Richie's "Hello" came on and James and I got caught up in acting out scenes from the video. We discovered that Raine really digs dance music and loves to boogie too.

Afterwards we cleaned up the reception really quick, ran home to put Raine to bed with grandma, then headed over to the bar we work at for our little wedding after party. I'd say it was fun but I can't really remember ;) I'm pretty sure it was though. We ended the night/morning snuggled up with take out from our local 24 hour diner.

After everything, the stress, the worry, the random craziness it turned out perfect. I'll be the first to admit it. It may not have been exactly what we wanted but I think it ended up being just right for US. It represented us and who we are quite well and more importantly, I had fun with my new husband. That's what really matters, right?






Stay tuned for pictures...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Introduction

Many people have been requesting the introduction The Cuddler wrote up for our wedding party so here it is. (last names have been removed to protect the not so innocent..)

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to this most joyous and quixotic event to which you are all equally blessed of attending. For it is with much pride, with privilege, nay, with pleasure that I introduce to you a couple who can trace their relationship all the way back to Gina’s Cafe. In fact, I can still sense faint echoes of the first time they really spoke to one another….it kind of sounds like Sinead O’Conner and smells of Goldschlager and cigarettes.

But first, without further gilding of the lily, beating around the bush, and with no more ado I introduce to you the wedding party.

(The wedding party entered to "The End" by My Chemical Romance)

He likes Gerber baby vegetable puffs and drools a lot. She likes Jagerbombs and then probably drools a lot. Put your hands together for the boy and boy bearer: 
 Master Raine and Ms. Melinda.

She is a successful business owner who works hard for the money. He takes long naps in a bed of chicken nibblets and can turn back time. Give a big round of applause for the bridesmaid and groomsman: 
 Ms. Gina and Mr. Jesse.

Her lucky number is fifteen point four five and would like to paint the world princess pink. His lucky number is one point twenty one and is on an unending quest to save the clocktower. Let’s all cross the streams for the maid of honor and best man: 
 Tiffany and Jacob.

(Fade out "The End")

And finally ladies and gentleman, please rise and pay your respects to our newlyweds, for the second time ever I present to you James and Traci Bananas……I mean Aerykssen.

(We entered to "Renegade" by Styx)

My Brother and I at the after party

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Vows


The wedding is finally over and it turned out way better than expected. I'm working on a full post of the days events but until then, many people have been asking for a copy of our vows. We wrote our own and they were a little....hmm.....crazy? funny? just plain off? Anyway, people loved them so here they are. 

(note: there is many private jokes going on here that I have not yet discussed on this blog so forgive me if it doesn't come off as entertaining. It may be just a "you had to be there" sort of thing)


 I, Traci, take you, James to be my rather large (the way you eat, possibly even larger) pain in my rear end.

 I promise to love you through tremendous amounts of flatulence, through endless days of terrible parodies, and mounds of yellow corn. 

 I will cherish each moment we have together. Even if that moment consists of you singing, making random strange noises, or humping people of the Mexican persuasion. 

 I promise to let you sing any and all female vocalist parts in any karaoke duets we do from this day forward. 

 I will work diligently to keep the floors clean in our home so that you won't get sick when you eat food that may have fallen and has been sitting on them for a prolonged period of time. 

 I will put all my trust in you even if that means believing that you are, indeed, heterosexual although your actions sometimes suggest otherwise. 

You can put your trust in me as well because I promise not to kill you when you forget straws from Wendy's, don't put the paper towels where they belong, or forget what I have said just 20 minutes ago including when you forget these vows 20 minutes from NOW.

But more important of course is how I feel. My favorite poem can explain it best... 

"I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topazor the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. 

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,in secret, between shadow and the soul.I love you as the plant that never bloomsbut carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. 

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,I love you simply, without problems or pride: 

I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of lovingbut this, in which there is no I nor you,so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,so intimate that when I fall asleepit is your eyes that close." 

 So, until the day that one or both of us heads to that big corn maze in the sky and forever after, I will love you. :) 


 I, James, take you Traci to be my wife, my partner, and my forever accomplice to the attempted vehicular manslaughter of an old bag lady in a blizzard. And in consideration of accepting me, and all my condescending, assburger ways I promise to do the following: 

- to protect you from all bees, spidees, and all manner of crawlee and flightee bugees and every randomly, spontaneously popping champagne cork that we may encounter. 

 - to drive with the utmost care and caution stopping at every light whether it may be blinky red, blinky yellow, or especially the rare and illusive blinky green. This I promise to do regardless of whether you are in the car with me or not. 

 - to always maintain an adequate stock of meals for you to eat with the caveat that said meals shall not be snacks, nor leftovers, nor anything microwavable, but rather Thanksgiving type meals with turkeys, mashed potatees, gravy, green bean cassarole, and pie. 

 - to do better than my typical half-assed share of the house hold chores, including following you around on pasta bake night with a mop to remove the trail of sauce you leave behind, to put the paper towel holder thingee back into its proper position, and to clean the cat box three times a week on all days that to not contain the letter “u” even in years whose digits are divisible by 4 also known as a leap year. 

 - and to always faithfully remain at least 51% homosexual *cough* I mean heterosexual at all times, okay….. 

 Traci, all these things and more I swear to do....

"because no matter what your friends try to tell ‘ya
we were made to fall in love.
And we will be together
in any kind of weather.
It’s like that. It’s like that.

Every little step you take, I will be there.
Every little step you make,
we’ll be together."

(cue singing Bobby Browns "Every Little Step")

Every little step you take,
I will be there.
And every little step you make,
we’ll be together. 

(note: when Jimmy broke out into song, he scared the crap out of Raine who began bawling like someone shot him therefore providing me with the perfect opportunity to tease to our gathered guests that Jimmy's singing even terrifies our child!) 

Sorry, I just really felt compelled to repeat that last part cause I think that is what it is all about for me. I love you Traci and I want to be with you for the rest of my life; every…tormenting….minute…of it. And if I ever get out of line, or renege on any promise I have made today I give you permission, in front of all of these witnesses, to beat me up…again. And I won’t press charges at that time either cause I know I would have deserved it…and because I would rather not be hassled by Susan B. Anthony. But whatever, I love you and I would consider myself blessed to be able to call you my wife. 


Stay tuned for the rest of the days shenanigans ;)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wedding Realizations

I've been insanely busy with the wedding being that it's....omg....only 2 flippin days away! Yep, I'm only single for two more days. Not that I have actually BEEN single. Honestly, the only thing that is changing is my last name...oh, the tax benefits. Can't forget the tax benefits.

Everything's done. It better be anyway. I refuse to fall victim to chaos until the day of. Then at that point I intend on being too drunk to care (that's a lie but whatever) so it should go off without a hitch. Dare I say, I may finally actually be looking forward to it. Certainly the food is enticing me as it should after what I've spent on it...

Although it's not EXACTLY what we had started out wanting, I think that in the end it will turn out pretty darn fantastic. I put some MAJOR work into this little hootenanny. Too much for it not to rock. A "do it yourself" wedding isn't all unicorns and mozzarella sticks (yum). Add writing your own vows and teaching the klutzy husband (to be) how to dance (even if he IS a little less klutzy than expected) and what you are left with is a nasty ulcer and a one way ticket to your local psychological day program. People told me not to stress but it was because I was stressing that things actually got done. 

.......and lists. Making lists saved my life. I like lists now =)

Either way we are glad that the wedding is upon us and almost over so we can get back to what's important, our family. We've been so busy planning this thing that there hasn't been much time to just be together or to really spend time with the boy. I went ahead and planned a little outing (weather permitting) for The Cuddler, The Destroyer, and I the day after the wedding to pick pumpkins, apples, and maybe a hayride or two. Hopefully it will be a nice way to decompress from all of this and keep us rejuvenated till our honeymoon in a few weeks.

If given the choice though I think it unlikely that I would wed The Cuddler this way again. I think I would have done it privately. On the beach in the bahamas perhaps? I have to appreciate the wedding I ended up with though because without it a lot of things wouldn't have been revealed to me. I've made some real realizations as a result of all this. Both harsh and welcome. People can be so self righteous and self serving =(

But I choose, as a new beginning, to only focus on the welcome realizations this wedding has brought me. The guy I am marrying is the fucking SHIT! but I sort of knew this already ;) I've just realized he's even more smucking spectacular than I first thought. He really is my best friend. Finally someone I can depend on and who gives as much as I do in our relationship. I didn't realize how compatible we really were too until we had to work together on this project. Writing our vows, arranging our wedding music, and even choreographing our first dance together showed me that we make a pretty sweet team. I'm a lucky gal to have a true PARTNER and not just a husband. 

And let me tell you, there are friends that I have whom I didn't realize were such GOOD friends. I spend so much of my time being hurt by the bad ones that the good ones have always slipped passed my radar....ok, maybe I don't even HAVE a good friend radar because, well, you know. But my eyes are totally open now and it's time I appreciate the people who freaking deserve it. 

See? not all negative. I'm not all "I hate you wedding. You're an asshole." all the time. Course, all the crazy shit is out of the way so it's easier to say "It's not so bad" now. As much as I am a Debbie Downer I do have it in me to appreciate something in everything. Give this gal a little credit why don't ya?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nightmare Before Christmas Birthday Party

We had The Destroyer's first birthday last week (I know, I'm a little behind with the wedding being only 2 WEEKS away) and I thought it went very well for someone who rarely has people over and sucks at hosting anything ;) I suppose it's time we learn to socialize now that we have a kid! It was a little stressful getting things done but mostly because I am also planning this wedding and I literally had to fit in this party amongst all that. 

We went with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme to match his nursery and without Megan's posts over at Polish The Stars about her sons Nightmare Before Christmas birthday party I would have been like a deer caught in headlights....... or a terrified road squirrel. Take your pick. Generally, I am not all that creative and with the wedding on the way it was hard for me to come up with much as far as ideas. I needed something to copy inspire me and her blog was VERY helpful. She has a load of creative ideas going on over there and I'm loving her shop right now so go check it out.

Well, without further ado...

I made Raine's invitations on Microsoft Word, printed them on white card stock, then matted them on black card stock.


Jack pops tutorial can be found here
I just grabbed some things from Raine's nursery and voila! Themed party ;)


I found a bat silhouette on google, printed it out on white card stock to make a stencil then used it to draw and cut a load of bats on black card stock then I folded them at the wing to get this three dimensional effect before taping them to the wall.


The birthday boy socializing...
I failed miserably at this cake. The blue velvet cake itself was rather tasty but I have never been any good at decorating. I think this was my last and final attempt but at least the sort of "off" look of the thing only made it perfect for this party..
What's this??
Does it go in here?
Oh my god.....
.....oh my god....
THIS IS THE TASTIEST THING EVER!!!
He literally growled at his grandma when she took it away from him.
Mid party bath time for the boy...
Presents!!



Dads favorite gift =)
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