Wednesday, January 20, 2010

respuestas, parte uno

Yay for readers will fun questions - I'm having a blast answering these!  I've broken the questions up into categories so things won't be quite so schizophrenic... As such, if you asked me several questions on different topics, they might not be all together but I will get to each and every one!  Promise, promise, pinky-swear!

Without further adieu....

Wedding / Marriage / Family

I'm curious about Evs!  Can you tell us the proposal story?  I have seen pictures I think, but give us the deets.   Where is he from?  Did he go to Baylor undergrad?  Could y'all ever move to Austin? 

Proposal Story... I'll start off by saying that we designed my ring together (many people tell me this is unromantic but you have to wear the damn thing FOREVER and it costs a sweet chunk-o-change so you might as well get what you really love, yes?  yes.) so the proposal wasn't a total surprise.  However, I was expecting Evs to pop the question sometimes around Christmas.  Then I got a call from the sweet girl who worked in the jewelry store that was making my ring.  She said not to tell Evs that she was calling, but that she knew I was expecting a Christmas-time proposal and she didn't want me to be disappointed but there had been some hold-up with the design and the ring wouldn't be ready until the New Year.  So my guard was completely down about the whole thing after that.

At the time, Evs had already moved to Dallas and I was still in Waco for my last year of law school.  We spent the majority of weekends in Dallas since there's so much more to do but we had returned back to Waco on this particular Saturday, after attending AF's Christmas Party in Dallas (which is a whole other story involving my dear husband, his pre-proposal jitters and an assload of rum... but I'll refrain from touching that one for the time being), because Evs claimed he needed to take the attorney's oath in the county where he received his law degree (looking back.... hello??!  how does that make any sense - I can't believe I fell for it). RJB (my MOH) called to see if we might like to have dinner with her and her boyfriend at Diamondbacks (one of Waco's three "fancy" restaurants).  When we arrived at the restaurant, RJB said that Baylor's law review was having its Christmas Party in one of the private rooms and that some of our friends wanted to say hi.  So back we went and when the door opened, my parents and my grandparents were in the room, as well as a huge floral arrangement comprised of the types and colors of flowers that I'd said I wanted at our wedding!  Evs did the knee-and-really-sweet-words-I-can't-remember thing and everybody clapped and then we drank champagne and at lobster shooters to our hearts' content!   Ta da!

My wedding flower choices obviously changed but I thought this was such an incredibly thoughtful touch - he'd had RJB digging for info for weeks!

Nothing says "marry me" like a lobster shooter!

To answer your other questions... Evs grew up in many cities throughout the Southwest.  He was born in Miami, OK (our Thanksgiving Destination Extraordinaire) but lived in Texas and Louisiana when he was younger, and then spent middle school and high school in Madison, Mississippi.  He did go to Baylor for undergrad as well as law school.  We would love to move back to Austin at some point in the future (re: Kate is dying to move back to Austin tomorrow, and, while Evs would be happy living in Dallas forever, he is the awesomest and understands Kate's need to have some hippie back in her life eventually).  Because of the nature of Evs' job (hedge funds, corporate securities), there are not many opportunities in Texas to practice in his little niche of the law outside of Dallas or Houston - especially for a younger attorney.  We are hopeful that in five-plus years we will be able to move back to Austin!

I'm about to be the Maid of Honor for my best friend's upcoming nuptials... What do you think the most important job/task/responsibility of the MOH is?

Having been both a bride and a MOH... its not about throwing the best shower or the best bachelorette party.  The greatest thing you can do for your friend is just be there for her - allow her to call you and have mini-meltdowns about things that seem really inconsequential to you (I lost it over chair-ties... yes, chair-ties). I'm not advising allowing her to go all bridezilla up on your ass, but there were lots of times when I just wanted to express that I was overwhelmed or totally annoyed... and I wanted to be able to do that without someone trying to frantically "fix" whatever was wrong.  Awesome Listening Skillz also come into play when you are helping plan those showers and parties... For example, if the bride is super-shy and would be mortified by lots of center-stage-attention, kindly steer other planners away from shower games or flashing penis headbands.

Another thing to take to heart is that you really are the "captain" of the bridesmaids... that doesn't mean you buy a whistle and act like a fool drill-sergeant, but it does mean that you're the go-to for all the other girls.  Know what the schedule is, know when and where you're supposed to be, what you're supposed to be wearing, etc for the wedding and all the pre-wedding events and make sure that everyone has your contact information so that the rest of the bridal party can ask you if they have any questions, instead of the bride (who, frankly, 24 hours prior to her nuptials could not care less if her bestie from elementary school wears the green or the blue dress to her rehearsal dinner).  Keep any behind-the-scenes drama ("Meg hates the bridesmaid dress!"  "Sue is complaining about the cost of the bachelorette party) away from the bride, if possible.

My fabulous MOHs!

I recently got engaged (holy shit, like this weekend) and now I'm in wedding planning mode.  The photos are a big deal to me.  What was your process in finding a photographer? 

First, HUGE congratulations to Kelly!  Victoria - a photographer - also asked me the same question....

Photography was a big deal for me too and was the second vendor we booked, after our venue.  I love photographs, love having loads of my favorites surrounding me, and knew that if I loved our wedding photos, they would be something I'd see hanging in our home every day.  I knew I wanted a very photo-journalistic style that would really capture the feel of the whole day and the people that celebrated with us - I didn't want to spend a lot of time on the day of the wedding taking endless posed photos, nor did I want to spend time trying to recreate magic moments that I'd seen in other couples' photography.  I wanted to find a photographer who I could trust to spot and capture our own "magic moments."  

I began my hunt by pouring over tons of different Austin photographers' blogs (a great source for me was The Knot's local vendors page).  Photographers' websites are fabulous and fun to look at, but they tend to highlight only a few shots from lots of different weddings.  Understandably so, those few shots are often the best frames of an event.  I wanted to get a feel for what the photographs from an entire wedding would look like - not just the "money shots."  Blogs give you a better feel for the whole kit-n-kaboodle.

Once I had four photographers whose style seemed to mesh with mine (and after confirming that they were within our budget), I met with each of them.  During these meetings, I asked to look through completed wedding albums, as well as all of the proofs from several of their weddings.  This enabled me to get an even better idea of what an entire wedding photographed by that particular photographer would look like.  Honestly, all of the photographers we met with were extremely talented and I know our wedding photos would have been fabulous had any of them been our photographer.  What it really came down to after sniffing out the talent was personality.  Aside from your husband, your wedding photographer is the person you spend the most time with on your wedding day.  Of course they aren't lounging around shooting the shit with you, but you want someone you feel comfortable with and who isn't going to annoy you while directing traffic during family and bridal party photos. I also knew I wanted to take engagement photos and bridal portraits and wanted to feel like I was hanging out with a friend during those shoots.  Stacy Sodolak with SMS Photography really was the perfect fit for us - I couldn't have asked for a more talented or more fabulously friendly photographer!

Maybe I haven't, but I feel like I've put a lot of effort into trying to stalk your wedding photos and I've been a mega failure.  You sparked my interest in this matter when you posted how your wedding was featured in a Texas magazine. I decided then that I MUST see the pictures, but I got lost in all 756,987 of your posts... Can you help me find them?

Of course!  To see them on Stacy Sodolak's old blog, click here!  To see more photos from our second shooter Stacy E, click here!  To see my big wedding recap on EA, click here!  To read about our entire wedding planning process, complete with photos, click here!  To see my bridal portraits, click here!

Do you have any siblings? 

Nope!  I am the dreaded only child!

What is your favorite thing about your hubby?

Hmmmm... that's a toughie.  He has super awesome hair!  Kidding!  Well, not kidding - the man does have fabulous texture that I'd kill for - but let's put the superficial aside for a moment, shall we?  Let's see... he's ridiculously smart and I love that we have real, honest, intelligent discussions and conversations.  He challenges me to be very educated in my beliefs - there used to be many opinions I held "just because"... most of those opinions haven't changed but because he pushes me, I can articulate reasons why I think the way I do.  He's always making up little songs about the Boom or just changing up the words to popular tunes on the radio.... and while sometimes his "renditions" are a bit, um, naughty (Beyonce's "Single Ladies" now goes "If you like it then you shoulda put a dick in it!" - please imagine this with the requisite hip-shake), they always make me laugh.  He encourages me to be creative and has been unbelievably supportive in regards to my current career conundrums, even though its meant making some lifestyle changes.  While he is not extremely social by nature, he understands that I am and doesn't (hardly ever) complain about my standing girls nights.  He watches Teen Mom, Jersey Shore, Top Chef, Millionaire Matchmaker, Flipping Out and Biggest Loser with me.  Oh!  And he has nice hair!  Did I already say that?

I've been married for all of 6 weeks, and my mother-in-law constantly asks me about when we're going to have kids.  Its a long, long way off for us, and none of my responses seem to get the point across.  Since you're much better with words than I am, do you happen to have a good response to that question?  


Tee hee!  Perhaps not what you were looking for but I'm sure that's what you wish you could say!  Only 6 weeks in and she's already full-court-pressing for a grandbaby?  Take a chill pill, granny!  All joking aside, we are really lucky in that neither set of in-laws are baby-pushers.  My parents didn't even know if they wanted kids and waited 8 years until they decided to give it a go... Evs parents were married very young and waited 9 years to start their family.

I did used to get this question ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME from a dude ("AC" for those that remember) at my old firm.  While you should in no way feel obligated to give a concrete timeline (or say anything for that matter but since we're dealing with an unyielding force here...), I found that mentioning some discernible point in the future appeased the Nosy Nelly for a bit.  For example, "we really want to wait until we've taken our dream trip to Italy and purchased a house before we settle down with kids" (that was mine) or "We plan on paying off all our student loan debt before trying for a baby."  For some reason, future milestones that are monetary in nature (buying a house, paying off debt, getting promoted, etc) seem to get Curious Georges to shut up.  Not sure why since they seem to think our reproductive timelines are on the table for public discussion, but people tend to get squimish if they feel they are prying into your finances - thus avoiding follow up questions like "Well how long do you think it will take you to pay off all those loans?"

Of course, since the pry-er here is your mother-in-law, she might not be deterred by these responses.  My second plan of attack would be having your husband sit down with her and say "Mom, we do want children but are not planning on having any for X amount of years.  I would appreciate it if you'd stop nagging us about it because it makes us uncomfortable around you."  I always think mother-in-laws take information more seriously when it comes from their son, rather than "that woman that stole my baby away from me and is now refusing to procreate."

I'd like to ask you what you think about babies?  Everyone around me seems to be popping them out, and as a newlywed, I'm feeling the baby peer pressure.  What about you?  

My response directly above speaks partially to this question... Gladly, I'm not feeling any pressure from our families.   I do see loads of acquaintances' babies on Facebook and my best friend from high school has an adorable son, but all of my other close friends either just got married, are engaged, or are single - so as of yet, as a group, we haven't drank (drunk?  drunken?  I never know which one is correct) the Pregnancy Kool-Aid.  But of course its just a matter of time until bachelorette parties become baby showers...

You know how they say men are never fully ready to be fathers until they actually become one?  Yeah.  That's me.  Except with female bits.  Honestly, I never grew up really wanting kids.  I never played house, wasn't a big babysitter, and only bothered with dolls whose outfits I could style.  Don't get me wrong - I love kids, but as far as the role of "Mom" goes, I think I could have gone either way.  Had I married someone who didn't want kids, I think I could have been very happy with that.  However... Evs wants kids, like, YESTERDAY.  Thinking about having them and raising them with him as their father makes me excited about parenthood as well.  We do have a timeline and sometimes it scares the bejesus out of me.  And then sometimes I have three glasses of wine and start bookmarking nursery decorating ideas.  So, you know, we'll see how it goes!


I know you're working with a trainer, but the trainer doesn't do ALL the work.  I'd like to hear more about what kind of eating plan you are on.  I've totally noticed a difference in your ITPitB posts!  Yay for you! 

First, thank you!  Sometimes I feel like I can really, really see great results and other times I feel like a gigantor frumpazoid.

Before I delve into eating habits, let me explain a little about my fitness routine.  I started doing personal training before the wedding.  With a job that required the logging of long hours, having a one-on-one appointment scheduled with someone was the best way to keep me motivated.  About 5 months ago, I started back up with personal training because there is a great franchise (Fitness Together - I highly recommend it if you have the cash) 2 blocks from my house that allowed me to come in and work out at 6 a.m. prior to heading to work.  Currently, I am still working out with FT three times a week (45 minute strength sessions) but my sessions are almost out and I am choosing not to renew since we are no longer a two-income household.  I joined a gym (okay, okay, its the yuppiest gym in the world but they have teak-floored showers and Kiehl's products AND IT MAKES ME FEEL PRETTY, OKAY?) which is saving us tons of cash and they have an incredible offering of group fitness classes.  I've been mixing in some classes and cardio there (for the most part, running) with the remaining FT sessions.  When those are completely gone, I will be aiming for five days a week at the gym with three days being a strength class as well as cardio. Modifications will obviously be made when I get another job, but, right now, being a gym rat for a couple of hours a day is a cheap way to pass the time and make me feel productive!

Eating... I'm not going to lie... my biggest fitness goal is to look hot in a swimsuit but still be able to shove as many delicious, cheesy, wine-y, carb-y things into my mouth as possible.   I am not an athlete in any sense of the word = I work out so that I may eat yummy things.  I've done Weight Watchers in the past, have been very successful on it, and think its a great program.  However, when I made the decision to lose post-wedding-weight this year, I chose to forgo the Lean Cuisine / Smart Ones / point-counting route for several reasons.  (1) While there are some frozen diet meals I can stomach (I like the quesadillas and the pizzas by both Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones), I find most of them disgusting and unsatisfying.  Yes, I can choke them down for a couple of months but it takes all the enjoyment out of eating and once I lose the weight, I kick those suckers to the curb and starting eating real pizza and real quesadillas and then I'm right back where I started.  (2) I am really trying to steer clear of foods that are over-processed and contain unnatural chemicals and ingredients.... and there ain't nuttin' natural about a pizza with only 130 calories. My body feels fitter and more energized when I feed it real, natural food.  And our bodies are able to break down natural foods faster... which equals more lean muscle and less fat!  (3)  I get obsessive about counting those dang points.  I'm probably losing weight more slowly than if I were really keeping track of each and everything I eat, but I want to reach and maintain my goal weight without all the mental-beat-myself-ups.  Psychologically, I'm much happier using the portion control and cooking tips aspects of WW rather than tallying every day.

Again, I'm not knocking Weight Watchers!  Its the only real "diet" I've ever followed that worked!  Its just not for me this time!

... So what is for me?  I'm not following any sort of specific eating regimen.  The biggest change in my eating habits (and thus, my weight loss) is attributable to no longer being at my old job.  Frankly, I was pretty miserable and when I'm miserable, I snack.  AF had a fully stocked pantry with every junk food imaginable available.  If I'm honest with myself, I took a lot of "coffee breaks" that included peanut butter M&Ms, Sun Chips, and gummy bears.  I also drank a TON of Diet Coke - sure, it doesn't have any calories but I've read a lot of studies that link weight gain to soda intake, even if the soda is calorie-free. I was also perpetually sedentary.  Now I don't have a snack unless I am really, physically hungry, and I also don't keep junk food in the house.  {A snack now is some apple sauce or a rice cake with some peanut butter or a couple slices of extra sharp cheddar.} I still drink a Diet Coke every now and then but not 6 or 7 a day.   I also move so much more during the day now.  I know that will change again when I find a new job, but I'm hoping that my hours (ie: the length of time my ass is planted in a desk chair) won't be quite so treacherous.

Other than changing my bad snacking habbits, I'm doing a lot more cooking / less eating out.  I'm a huge Cooking Light fan and can always find something there that Evs will like that also doesn't make my hips grow exponentially.  I'm trying to focus more on veggies as a meal component and a little less on the carbs at dinner time because I tend to have a carb-heavy lunch after working out (a sandwich or pasta with cherry tomatoes and broccoli).  I don't deprive myself of anything - I just eat less of it or amp my cardio up the next day if I really indulged.  Cardio, Cardio, Cardio, Cardio, Cardio.... I would say my weight loss is 95% attributable to the Cardio and the No More Snacking Rule.

How is the running going?  Ready for a 1/2 plan anytime soon? 

The running is going pretty good!  I slacked a little over Christmas and New Years when it was effing freezing in Texas and I hadn't yet joined a gym, and then we went to Pasadena... But I am back on schedule and will be ready for a fabulous 1/2 Plan from the oh-so-fabulous Mrs. Everlasting so soon!  I've always disliked running on tredmills but am getting used to it on days that the weather is crappy, and it looks like Texas weather is taking a turn for the better so I'm pumped to get back outside as well!

Wphew!  I'm one long-winded SOB, yes?  Stay tuned tomorrow for more rambling answers!


  1. "And then sometimes I have three glasses of wine and start bookmarking nursery decorating ideas. So, you know, we'll see how it goes!" You, ma'am, are hilarious!

    Boo to no Equinox gyms in Austin. But I may just have to join pretty soon in DC! :)

  2. Thank you for the insight!! I need all the help I can get :)

  3. Loving all the answers! That's how I have changed my eating also (it's been a slow and steady evolution). I feel like I can eat whatever I want, yet can keep my weight in check. And I too, do workout to eat cheese.

  4. Thanks for your answer! My mother-in-law is generally not amused with my answers of, "I think we'll try getting a dog first and see how that goes." And it does take everything in me not to tell her that my "lady place" and it's activities are not up for discussion. Your answers will be much more effective.

  5. Love your responses--you're so witty! I love it.

    Yay for running! If you DO sign up for a half, please tell me which one and I'll sign up too :)

  6. Love your style of writing and your honest answers. I found myself nodding my head in agreement to your sentiments about your husband. I concur on almost every one of them, especially making up the pathetic songs to god only knows what. Just wait until you have a child and he starts singing them to your child, who in turn recites them to you - just think Paparazzi, Poker Face, 911...some of my 2-year olds favs at the time!

  7. I am a huge fan of cooking light as well.

  8. Oh boy, do I have some good one-liners for when people ask when I'm going to have a baby! I've been married long enough that now the one-liners are a work of art. Or stolen from a website.

  9. Fun! As in, well, really fun!

  10. Hahaha, I love this. So cute, and so much fun to read.

    And dearest darling Bekah, share your one-liners please. I've gotten to the point where I'll "accidentally" leave a website up on my computer at work to Baby's R Us *just* to mess with people.

    Too mean? :P

  11. I love your blog. Seriously funny stuff :)
    I find too that cardio is the major reason I lose the poundage (so then I really should get back to the running!), but I'm trying to update the cooking skills... so I will have to check out cooking light.
    Looking forward to the next set of answers!

  12. Thanks for the answer! i also changed my mind about wanting kids only after I met my guy.

  13. YAAAY! Thanks for the links to the gorgeous wedding photos! I enjoyed them very much, absolutely beautiful day!

  14. I loved your answer about fitness and eating. I'm also trying to eat less processed foods and trying to cook healthier. I'm also a stress eater, and when I'm miserable I want comfort food. So I can totally relate. Do you have a hard time staying away from the snacking or bad choices when you're out? I find I do ok at home, it's when I'm out and about that I have a problem.


happy little comments!