Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pre-Op Appointment Today!

I'm very excited!  I want to touch base on a few updates but want to start with my breast reduction surgery. It was finally approved on October 15th, after I had previously been denied. Let me back track for a bit and tell you why I want to have this surgery.

I have been heavy chested all my life. From the time I hit puberty, much younger than the average girl at the age of 9, I began rapidly growing breast tissue. By the time I was in the 7th grade I was wearing a C cup. I have struggled with back pain, sleep issues, chest compression issues, and large sizes lol for most of my life. Back in March of this year, 2011, I had this amazingly intense dream where I had breast reduction surgery, and I could feel the emotions, see my smaller breasts, etc. It was so real to me that when I woke up and realized it was just a dream...I cried so much. I talked to Cheryll about it and went to see my doctor to start investigating the process. I had my first appointment with the plastic surgeon on April 7th...Cheryll's birthday.  From there the surgeon's office prematurely submitted my claim and I was denied by the insurance in late June. I quickly gathered up more of my medical records, got  recommendation letters from all my doctors...made a second appointment to take updated photos to submit with the appeal. And on October 15th, the same day we decided on our wedding venue, when we came home that evening I had my letter of approval! YAY...so awesome! I am easily emotional to begin with but this whole process...as I'm nearing the date...I find myself even that much more sensitive and a bit overwhelmed. This is all I've known...and while the surgery is much needed and wanted...it's a little intimidating. I'm nervous and excited all at once.

I'm starting a video blog which I will post in YouTube and link here. I want to capture my experience for my mom and family mostly...but I don't mind sharing it with all of you either :-)

On the wedding front...we contracted the venue, wedding planner, have our officiant, all is on track. The culinary orientation went great also...I will start either full time or part time weekday evenings this upcoming February! Still hanging on at work. Today was supposed to be my last day but get this, they forgot to enroll me in the lay-off wave and now I was extended another two weeks hahaha We're going to Vegas for the weekend this weekend and I'm stoked! Never been there!!  AND our save-the-dates are amazing!!! Sara + Ryan Photography rocked it as usual! Also got is a great printing deal and it was awesome! Check it out, I freaking love it!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Updates, Updates and MORE Updates

It's been a while. This seems to be my usual tag line lol
Here's what I've been up to!

#1 - I SAID YES TO THE DRESS!!! I LOVE MY DRESS!!  It is nothing like anything I thought I wanted. I tried on only 3 dresses before this one in the style I thought would fit the theme of our wedding. Sheath, beach-y, flow-y...they were not as flattering as the Vera Wang I fell in love with!! I insisted that I was not buying my dress at the first place I went to, on my first appointment, so Cheryll came with. I had my BFF Michelle there, her mom, Cheryll and Jordan. I tried the dress on for shits and giggles because I knew it was nothing like what I had my eye on from the beginning. I just couldn't help myself...the fabric would make any bride feel absolutely beautiful! I've never felt so comfortable being plus size. I feel absolutely wonderful in this dress! So yes, Cheryll saw it and now we're making her attire our surprise at the wedding lol

#2 - My new dress prompted a theme change in the wedding. This dress just doesn't fit into the backyard luau theme! The venue must fit the dress, right? lol I don't want to look out of place at my own wedding! So we searched private homes to see if something would fit our needs. My old boss even offered his backyard to us at no cost!! An amazing gift! Ultimately however, we were given a great deal at a beautiful hotel in San Diego that we just couldn't pass up.  The wedding will be at The Estancia La Jolla!!  Take a look at this gorgeous property...we're SOOOO excited!!!

Valet area

 Evening on the property

Olive Lawn...where our ceremony will be!


#3 - Just over a month ago I was give my departure information at work. What a relief! I have to admit the anxiety I had been carrying somewhat dissipated. My last day in the office will be 11/17 but I remain on payroll through January and then receive more of a severance than I expected. I feel very lucky to have this gift of money that will go toward our wedding expenses and I am grateful for the down time to focus on my family through the holidays!

#4 - I was approved for my breast reduction!!! YAY!!! It's scheduled for 12/8 and covered by my insurance! This has been a long time coming!!!  While I have the usual reservations about going under and the recovery process...I am looking forward to feeling better and sleeping better!!

#5 - I have an orientation scheduled for 11/8 for a culinary program in SD. I'm very excited to see what they have to offer. It's a program that is free for SD residents and I can complete full time or part time. I'm hoping that we can afford for me to start this sooner than later and be able to knock it out full time. I'm praying a lot about it. I just want to finally do something I truly love. Now is the time! I have been blessed with so many wonderful resources and opportunities!

So all in all...not bad huh?? Wedding planning is moving along....I know what's up with work....I feel pretty darn good :-)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kinda...sorta...melancholy

So I'm kinda sorta melancholy...I keep having these anxious moments of how the hell are we really pulling this wedding off in a year!! I'm out of a job soon, taking on the new opportunity to finish a culinary program...new puppy...Jo & Zoe to keep taking care of on top of maintaining what we've got to monthly!

Am I being unrealistic?? This makes me sad during a time when I should be nothing but happy! I keep thinking about how we want a house so bad...is it responsible to have a "wedding" when we don't even own any property? Is it responsible to save $$ toward one day when we could be saving it for a permanent residence? I wax and wane all the time!!

God...I know you listen and I know that there are bigger things to focus on...but if my dreams of having a wedding are truly unattainable, can you step in and tell me so? I know through you all things are possible! You can move mountains to make a path where there is none. Please provide me clarity and discernment as we traverse through this rough journey. I promise to do as you wish...your will be done above my own! I just really need your presence right now!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our new baby boy!

This past weekend we, a midst the gazillion things I always plan for us to do, stopped by an adoption event at a local shelter. Unbeknownst to many...we have been talking about adopting a pup for some time now. Everyday my sweets sends me links to puppies she finds online. So on this particular Saturday we wanted to see the huskies that Coastal German Shepard Rescue had for adoption.

By the time we arrived (20 minutes after the event began)...the one husky we were interested in had already been adopted...booooooo. So Cheryll and I just walked around taking in all the furry chaos ensuing and probably sulking a bit.  Cheryll spotted a very sweet boy by the name of Arvin. He was in his crate with the other puppy they found him roaming the streets with on 7/15/11. He was so gentle and sweet...very calm. He reminded her of Babie. It took one question from me after I saw her interaction with him..."You want to take him home?" and she said "Yes!" so I said..."Go do the paperwork!".

And that was that!  We have a new baby boy....WELCOME ROMEO!! Named for his loverboy tendencies :-)


He is so precious! And such a great boy!!  Zoe is tolerating him...they are able to be in the same room with minimal stress lol. She is being very good too. Fingers crossed that they keep it up!!

This is her tolerating him lol

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yesterday's Epiphany

So there's a local radio show here in San Diego that my BFF turned me onto. Yesterday I awoke to the news that one of the show personalities lost his mother in the middle of the night. She passed away somewhere between 11p-1a.

The show, minus the one affected, went on to talk about how wonderful his mother was. They talked about how much of her he embodied by his spirit, character. How some of his reactions, gestures, reminded them so much of her. How her legacy carries on through her children because in knowing any of them...you get glimpses of her.

This got me thinking about how much Jordan is so much like me. We have the same attitude, spunk, vivaciousness for life! So many people when they're around her remark how she is so much like me. Her smirks, smiles, sassy-ness. I admit...this used to make me feel so uncomfortable. God-forbid Jordan turn into my true mini-me. The horror! Why did this bother me so much?

So after listening to all the radio banter..I resigned myself to the fact that hey...I'm not half bad! And if there is anything we should leave our children with...if there is anything anyone can take away from my life and who I was, how I lived...what a blessing it would be for everyone to see bits and pieces of that as Jordan lives on!!

Isn't that a beautiful gift? That one day when people are reminiscing about me and my life, they can still be part of part of me...as Jordan will radiate my spirit! So while this is not true for all, but many, how awesome is that??  Don't miss me when I'm gone...share in my daughter's life and you will still have ME!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's been a while...

Hello all...gosh it's been a while!!  I've been busy, but haven't we all?  I know...terrible excuse :-/

I'm still working at the big conglomerate pharmaceutical company. Responsibilities and workload have dwindled. All other departments here are also facing the same downsizing and realignments we've been dealing with since last November. At times, I have a heavy anxiety about everything we need to accomplish over the course of the next year, all those obligations pending, like getting married, moving and facing new work all in the next 12-13 months!!! But this week in particular, I've made it a point to constantly remind myself of who I am, where I've been and how much more I am capable of!  I am not that weak-hearted individual who cowers in the face of change and forgets that she comes from an infinite source of love and cannot fail!!

So new plans need to be made. Sure! Things are changing...quickly...but that's ok...it's always been OK!
When my departure from this job is set in stone...I'm looking forward to the new opportunities I'll have to recreate my destiny.

Cheryll is still on track to reach her career goals by the end of this year. While we had a minor set back there as well, because she fractured her right tibia and could not complete her training just yet, they think so highly of her that they kept her employed, on payroll, and she will finish by the end of this year! My baby is amazing!! She has perseverance and determination like no one else I know in my life!

I want to do something I love to do! My next steps toward that will be to take some culinary classes, get some formal training, if/when I get laid off. Of course, once I'm able to complete this step, there's absolutely no immediate money in the restaurant business hahaha So I will go back to an office job if I need to and do something on the side with my new training. I LOVE TO COOK! People love my food! I have some ideas on how to start up my own little side business. So we'll just have to wait and see!

Wedding plans are developing. We were gifted another engagement session with Same-Sex Photography by Sara+Ryan (http://samesexphotographyblog.com/) WHO ARE AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHERS!  SERIOUSLY!!! So being the typical Libra I am, I am now having doubts about the photographer we contracted for the wedding!!! Sara & Ryan were so comfortable to be around...our pictures were incredible!! I'll put up a separate post about this session with some of the great pics they took! We are scouting venues, just trying to see what the cheapest way to go will be! And we're not totally closed off to going the destination route. Mexico is close and cheap! So another area we'll just have to wait and see about!  We narrowed down the guest list...decided that Cheryll will be most comfortable in a vest/pant custom suit option (and she looks freakin' HOT in this!!) and I've narrowed down some dress options that are pretty darn cheap...so I'm excited about that.

(Cheryll trying on a random option)


Jordan had been on the east coast with family this summer. I miss her a lot more than I thought I would hahaha The house is quiet. We gave the guinea pig to a nice 11 year old girl who will take excellent care of her. We just didn't have the time in our schedules to devote to her. Now Zoe, our crazy pup, is acting really weird with Cheryll. We think she thinks that she's the next to go hahaha 1st Jordan left, then queso...so the dog is moping around and acting clingy with ME of all people hahaha

Mom came to visit and it was nice to get to spend time with her even if she stayed at my sister's place. That was a nice "privilege" to have them let her come over to the lesbians house hahaha Yes...still a source of contention  But I've resigned myself to stop trying to bridge this gap they've created. I love my nephews and I will see them when they are 18 and can make decisions for themselves. I have no other choice anyway.

(This is my mom!)

I'm done ranting and raving...
THE END...for now :-)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Really? It's MARCH already??

I swear there are some days when I feel like such a slacker!  While I think I'm slacking, I have many friends who get exhausted hearing about the amount of things I get done in a day :-) The past month and a half has been trying. Life is good but it's throwing us curve balls. I am so happy and lucky to now have Cheryll with me along the way.

I did it!  My former look, as I was trying to grow my hair out for this completely unattainable-without-a-weave hairstyle I envisioned for my wedding, is gone baby gone!

THIS is more ME :-)


Yup...chopped...gone...finis! I love my short hair...it matches my sassy personality!

In other news, looks like my current job is over by the end of June. At which time we will also be moving. Cheryll starts the police academy in April. There is way too much going on all at once! I am overwhelmed and spend a lot of my time when home alone crying about those things I can't control. I think this was a major motivator to finally chop the hair again...one thing I CAN control. I'm not sleeping well...mind is over burdened. So I think I'm going to start seeing a therapist again. I think that would be a responsible thing to do to help me manage all these highs and lows.

Until we move and I have another solid job, we have to put the wedding planning on hold. But we took our engagement photos this past Saturday and I'm super excited for those (great beach shots at La Jolla Cove in San Diego!!)  We've tailored down a theme...we both love Hawaii...it's special to us. So we're going to try to throw a not-so-tacky Hawaiian luau for our guests. We've gotten some great ideas on-line. As soon as we get Heather on board and get the venue search going...I think we'll have a better understanding of how we'll be able to pull it off. I'd love a house that has enough space to have a dance floor and all the tables surrounding it.

Can we just get to October in one piece so I can start trying on dresses? :-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

1st vendor down....5gagillion@%*!xx to go!

On Wednesday night we signed our first vendor contract for our wedding. We met with Glenn Currie and his wife, Bev. They were funny, engaging, and very accommodating.

We had seen his work displayed at the small wedding expo we attended at the beginning of the month. Cheryll gelled well with him and this was important. He reminds us of Crocodile Dundee hahaha and yes, he is from Australia. He met his wife on-line as well some 15+ years ago and decided to come to the US to be with her. Enters Bev. Bev provided me some great advice as a fellow mom. She has three adult children and it was nice to see how proud of them she is.

We ended up chatting with them for over an hour and a half. Saw tons of albums and their artistic interpretations. Heard countless stories of the numerous weddings they've photographed.

So it was a no brainer after reviewing the generous packages and options. We are getting 8 hours of coverage by Glenn himself, a 2nd photographer, a leather binded 10x10 album of 70 pictures from our wedding, a 15-20 minute fusion dvd montage of stills and video they take at throughout the 8 hours, an engagement session, a CD of 50 high-res engagement photos with release to print, a CD of approx 350 high-res photos from the wedding with release to print, 100 engagement photo cards for the reception (leave on the table letting the guests know when/where to go to see all the wedding photos online), and we never have to pay sitting/booking fees for any other photo session with them ever!

We are very happy and excited to work with them. They are very professional and fun!

Next...meeting with the wedding planner, our friend Heather, in March to sign a contract with her and get the ball rolling with the venue!  YAY!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

To Plan or Not to Plan? THAT is the question!

Had a semi-meltdown last Tuesday when I took it upon myself to call about an estate home I fell in love with in pictures. This home is perfect...but the price I was quoted was ASTRO-F'IN-NOMICAL!!  hahaha MORE than having it at my beloved L'Auberge. Here started the tears....

I was so overwhelmed with variables of how to make this work, do we need to "stay" overnight, who are we trying to "help" with this arrangement, it's my f'in wedding - rent a hotel if you wanna come, yada yada yada. I can totally see how easy it is to become a bridezilla lol

I reached out to several friends...one of which had the time to talk and calm me down - thank you :-)!  I also sent a text to my friends Justin and Heather of O.C.D. Experience and O.C.D. Events based out of LA. Heather called me back and just in our brief conversation was able to offer up some great advice/alternatives.

I got home and Cheryll had the "what's up with you?" look on her face so I sat down and told her that I was beginning to really stress out about the IDEA of ALL that needs to get done with the wedding planning. I know...I have time everyone says...but with everyone that tells me that there are equally as many people that are screaming "Get the ball rolling as soon as possible!"  What's a girl to do?

Cheryll is the most amazing woman!  Within reason, all she wants is to make me happy and help make my dreams come true. I received an official quote from my friends on what it would take to have them plan our wedding start to finish and all the services they provide. Wow! It's really involved! And when I ran down the list there were things I didn't even think of! Like ushers?? like holy crap this is A LOT of planning and appointments! My head wanted to explode.

I see this just as I see paying to get your house cleaned. It affords me the luxury of time and piece of mind. Time being with my family vs. cleaning the toilet, etc. If i'm not broke and can afford to pay the $$, why not?? Also the lady that helps us once in a while with the house really works hard, does a better job in 4 hours that I could ever, and really needs the money.

So planner, no planner? Someone I trust and the freedom not to carry the burden of every piece along the way?  A chance to help a friend too...more exposure for their new company, networking for them in the San Diego area and the opportunity for them to grow their business? The answer is simple for us. Cheryll said yes, as long as I remember that she is the planner and I'm supposed to be stress free in this process lol!

So I'm gonna call Heather this week and we're gonna go with her!  YAY!  I'm super excited!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Our Fabulous First Adventures in Hetero-Bridal-Land

On Saturday, January 8th, we attended the Kiss the Bride bridal expo at Pala Casino (about 35 minutes north of where we live).  I've heard some horror stories about LGBT couples attending hetero bridal events so I braced myself for the worst. I prepared myself by outlining what areas we really wanted to focus on such as photography, dresses, caterers, and photobooths. If we really liked a vendor, then I would engaged in the "we're a same-sex couple, got a problem with that?" schpeal. I prepped Cheryll by promising that I would not drag her to hundreds of these events, just one or two, to get the "experience" and see what deals we could get.

This was, from what I learned, one of the smallest bridal events in the area. Good place to start!  There were about 80 various vendors booked but when we arrived (around 11am, it was slated to start at 10) there were still many empty tables. 

We all registered as brides (Michelle my BFF included lol) and when asked about our wedding dates and grooms I always chimed in "we have no grooms, this is MY bride" and pointed to Cheryll. This was kinda ok...no one gasped. We got a few ok's. Is it terrible that I sometimes love to put people on the spot? hahaha



While we're not stuck on gay owned/operated vendors one vendor in which I feel compelled to book gay only is our officiant. We met an officiant, a pastor, who when I asked how he felt about officiating a same-sex wedding replied with "hey, I have my beliefs, and you have yours, I don't have a problem with it." Ok buddy...not gonna cut it for me...sorry. Is it too much to ask to have someone marry us who TRULY believes in our union?  I want our officiants beliefs to align with ours...that we are equal and deserve the same rights. I have someone in mind actually and she too is a lesbian so we'll see.

There were no caterers! We stopped at the only two bakers represented and I have to tell you...unimpressive! While one had samples with what looked like pretty innovative selections; I rather enjoyed the mango cake, they failed to deliver on aesthetics.  Their portfolio had cakes I could bake and decorate. The other had images in a portfolio book that looked great, but what they displayed in way of cupcake arrangements on their table was less than perfect. The decorated boxes in between each layer of cupcakes was tattered and sloppy, their cupcakes - dry.

Only one florist was represented. They were part of an all encompassing outfit of event planner, venue, florist, etc. Not my thing but I did like one of their bouquets.



Of the three photobooth vendors, one in particular stood out. All Star Photobooth of Anaheim, owned and operated by Josh & Monica Johnson. They call themselves "the Fun Makers". Very personable and easy to talk to. We visited the other booths and there was just no competition. I was very happy with the quality of the photos and all the options Josh walked us through. He & his wife come to your event, one mans the booth and props while the other helps with the scrapbooking table. You can choose color or b/w photos and the options of 3, 5, or 8 picture montages. Their prices were not bad and they provide you a scrapbook for one of the two copies of pics each session spits out. This way, your guests can paste a copy of the pic they took and write a little something to to you. Loved the idea of having this be our guest book! They can also personalize the border of the pictures for your event and showed us samples where they used the same graphics/font from wedding invitations.


All Star Photobooth #1

All Star Photobooth #2

The non-competition photo.
We look confused because you couldn't see your image on the screen!

Only one photographer displayed engagement photos and wedding photos of same-sex couples. Glenn Currie Photography of Escondido. Again, very personable and knowledgeable. He reminded Cheryll of crocodile dundee hahaha He took time to speak with us and went out of his way to make us feel comfortable. None of the other photographers came across this way. His pictures were stunning! Also, he has some amazing deals going on if you book him by January 21st! I'm talking 8 hrs of coverage, 2 attendants, engagement shoot, engagement cards, 11x14 signature mat, leather formal album...for UNDER 2k!!!  I'm kinda feeling it! lol  He showed us an album of a same-sex wedding he just photographed in Palm Springs and the shots were creative and looked so special.


Me looking at hairstyle photos


The only dress shop there was Isis Bridal from San Diego. I did a little research on them before the show but was excited to see some design books from Maggie Sottero at their table. Maggie Sottero is one of my favorite wedding dress designers. The ladies at the table were WAY too engaged in their own conversation and no one said a word to me! This was a complete turnoff! There were at least 5-7 women behind the table; one would think someone would've said hello!  I'm not writing them off completely, because they do have some very eclectic designers featured in their shop and I'm looking for something different. 

Before the fashion show presented by Isis, the MC asked for 4 couple volunteers to participate in a kissing contest. I was like...Heck! Let's give 'em a run for their money! hahaha but it's just not Cheryll's thing to be THAT public. Here is a pic from the contest....typical!!


Me and Michelle waiting for the show

There were a few dresses I really liked. But OMG...the models sucked! Well, all but one really! Looked like something they threw together at the last minute and no one was paid for their time hahaha This one girl couldn't even smile...she looked miserable...she was even chewing gum! How crass! Also, they ALL held the dress as they walked which really annoyed me and looked so unprofessional. You could tell that many of them were too short for the dress they were wearing and/or their shoes were too big causing them to stumble! Here are the dresses I liked...please excuse the quality...a) the girls walked WAY too quickly, b) our camera is crappy :-/


I did NOT like this dress but HAD to show you this chick.
This is the fabisina punim! lol
(sour face for those of you who don't know any yiddish)



This was the only girl who walked and presented as a model


THIS is a dress I am definitely checking out!
Carmella by Maggie Sottero


This is what the dress is supposed to look like

Cheryll liked this dress!

I really liked something along the lines of the next few dresses
for our summer 2011 nuptials 





This bitch! lol I did not like this dress but
had to put this pic up here because of her expression.
Girl must've known I was talkin' shit hahaha


All in all it wasn't a complete bust. I found a photobooth vendor and photographer we both agree on. Next will be the BIG bridal event at the Del Mar fairgrounds later in the year...something like 300+ vendors! WHOA!  We want to bring Jordan with us so that she feel like part of the planning.

We ended the day by hitting up the buffet and losing some money in the slots lol It was an exhausting day!

Michelle didn't want anyone to see her food lol

This is why I love her hahaha


I DID NOT put them up to this hahaha

During the holiday break, because I get the week between Christmas and New Year's off from work, we had Jo's BFF Aimee come spend some time with us.

I'm in the kitchen cooking and I hear "Mom...get the camera ready and close your eyes."

THIS is what they did!  They got into my fedora stash and painted their faces to look like men!


Jo & Aimee dragged out hahaha


Some pictures from Christmas...late late late ;-)

I didn't remember us taking any pictures but low and behold...Cheryll came through!

Christmas morning was spent opening gifts at home then we visited Cheryll's family.

Proud of her new cap


Jo and her makeup


Zoe trying to lick me haha

Yes we got Zo gifts too

She could care less that we tied this ribbon around her body lol

 Jo getting her new Uggs


Later that day at Auntie Gigi's house


Cheryll's Inay making veggie lumpia...YUM I overdosed on this!

Cheryll and Jeter-Claus...this is her family dog! He smiles in every picture lol


That big dog is Spartan. He loves Jeter and tries to hump him haha
we think he's gay too! lol  he seems to like Cheryll too!

This is Drew. Cheryll's 28 y/o grown ass brother lol 

Jo with the little cousins, Madison & Meagan

We also took the kids to SeaWorld during the holiday break

Jo, Jade & Elijah

Jade is Cheryll's goddaughter...she is the sweetest thing ever!
  
Me & bug


Elijah & his LaLa (that's my mom!)

This is the only New Year's pic.
Cheryll & I stood home in PJ's and had couch time all day.
There are NO pics of us :-)
We sent Jo to Michelle's...here she is.