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I’ve all but abandoned my blog October 5, 2010

Posted by missalid in Uncategorized.
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Been busy and all… traveling here and there and seeing people and friends…

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Just like that… September 20, 2010

Posted by missalid in Procrastinating.
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our wedding date changed to Saturday, May 21, 2011.

I guess I’ll stop dragging my heels on finding the ultimate venue.

Been so busy, so busy, so busy! September 1, 2010

Posted by missalid in Wedding Planning and More.
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Hello September! Where did the summer go? The Don and I are headed to Las Vegas this weekend for a much needed getaway and for his birthday. Happy Birthday to my Sweetie!

So what have I been doing? I’ve been busy scouting out wedding and reception venues and trying to get our budget in some semblance of order. I think I’m just about ready to pull the trigger and sign some contracts.

We decided to stay the course and work towards our initial date decision of May 14, 2011 and have a San Francisco wedding.  When I went back through some emails (I like to go back and read our initial emails to one another and gush), I realized The Don first contacted me on May 15, 2009 – so the month is timely and special.

As well, The Don and I have been looking for a place to live. We intend on waiting until we’re married to live together, so finding a new home for the two of us is in order. His condo is rented and my townhouse I believe won’t give us amble room to live nor grow as a couple. We simply have a lot to do between now and then.

I need to get down to business!

Bling August 16, 2010

Posted by missalid in Getting Engaged, In Awe.
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Some days I sit and stare at my engagement ring.

I just love the way it sparkles. 🙂

My 1st Bridal Event as a Bride August 5, 2010

Posted by missalid in Uncategorized, Wedding Inspirations, Wedding Planning and More.
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Sunday afternoon, my mother and I attended the most elegant of events at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown San Francisco. The champagne flowed and the food was plentiful. If only I wasn’t driving and Sunday dinner not cooking at home, I would have bathed myself in the delights.

The bridal event was presented by San Francisco Brides Magazine and featured some of the City’s top-notch bridal vendors, including photographers, cake designers, dress shops and more. The highlight of the day was the Spring 2011 Vera Wang fashion show. I took a few photos of the gowns that were previewed…

It’s All About Location! July 28, 2010

Posted by missalid in Having a moment!.
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Where in the h*ll are The Don and I going to get married?

I feel like I know the contents of HereComesTheGuide, more than I know what’s going on in the real world. I need to keep calm and carry on.

That is all…

The List July 27, 2010

Posted by missalid in Martha Martha Martha Stewart!, Organization 1-2-3, Wedding Planning and More.
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One of the first things I thought about when The Don and I got engaged was who I wanted at our wedding and who I did not (no need for a Vesta-type situation). In my mind I saw our relatives and closest friends, perhaps 80 to 100 people. Intimate. Sorta.

While bored in a meeting during week one post-engagement, I scribbled down some names of my friends and their plus ones, and in some instances plus three or four, if they had children, their parents were close to me, etc. Suddenly my list was 100 people alone. Just my little handwritten list formulated while in an hour-long afternoon meeting.

Fear set in. I asked The Don to begin scribbling out a list. I may as well have asked him to fly to the moon. I started a list for him in Excel, but found my dementia would set in. “What in the hell is Fly G’s real name?” and “Is it Uncle Danny or Denny?” and “Why don’t I know Parker’s first name?” And why must men address each other by their last name or funny nicknames? And damn it, why haven’t I been taking notes throughout our courtship?! I should have had everyone’s name, nicknames and such on individual index cards! I should have been on top of this!

Then I found the most perfect online solution via my hero, Martha Stewart.

With the Martha Stewart Weddings Guest List Planning Tool powered by WeddingWire, I used the Contact Importer tool which allowed me to import my friend’s and family’s contact names and email addresses. Then with the ease of clicking whom I wanted info from, the Address Collector tool sent a customized email to each contact with a request to update their mailing address for our upcoming nuptials. The address information was then automatically updated into our guest list. Voila! No more guessing if Aunt Marlene lives on Oak Street, Avenue or Drive. She can confirm it for me!

Plus I can keep track of future information, such as who is attending the wedding and reception, rehearsal dinner, special food requirements, who is on the bride’s or groom’s side, gifts received, if they’re invited to any showers, and so much more.

Did I mention it’s totally FREE! Yay, no additional line item in the wedding budget!

It was easy as pie. I had The Don import his email contacts and off I went. In a snap I had a list, had emails out and addresses coming in, and could keep track of those replied and not. Within 30 minutes of having The Don upload his people, I had a pristine list downloaded to Excel.

That’s all I really wanted. Names on paper, sorted and organized.

However, our list now stands at 260 and continues to climb. Yeah, I know…

Next up, to trim, trim, trim!

Meet The Don July 26, 2010

Posted by missalid in My Fiancé, Uncategorized.
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Isn’t he just adorable? Look at those dimples! Did I mention he’s super smart too? *swoon*

I could go on and on and on about how wonderful he is AND how wonderful he is to me. I would be here all day.

The Don and I met online; he reached out to me first. At the time I was feeling very “ehh” about online dating, but I had a goal of “just dating” and wanting to meet new people. I was going out a ton, trading numbers and all, but not making any real connections. Time and time again, I would come home after a night on the town and think, “really?!” To be honest, I was probably feeling “ehh” about everything and myself.

I had tried the online dating world years back circa 2002 – when folks actually requested to speak with one another on the phone and then perhaps meet in person for at least a beverage of choice. But this time around, it seemed to be an endless cycle of guys emailing one or two half-thought out lines or “winking” (a way of not having to type a single solitary letter response), and never as much as trying to meet in person, let alone hear my voice. I found it to be peculiar and just another “womp, womp, womp” in the struggle of dating.

The Don first sent me a note on May 15, 2009 (ding, ding!) and mentioned he also just finished reading the Malcolm Gladwell book I wrote about in my profile. I thought “nice banter but whatev…” (read: “ehh”). Being I have proper home training, I emailed him back with a “thanks for contacting”, and some other witty Miss Ali D repartee. 

And so began the great email communication between The Don and Miss Ali D.

For almost three weeks.

He’s a patient man.

I almost wrote him off, when he finally suggested we meet in person. And from drinks to dinner to closing the restaurant down, so it commenced. He asked me out, again and again and again. Every few days. He pursued me. He courted me.

On what may have been our third or fourth date, to a Tuesday night after work movie, me being the I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T (do you know what that means) woman I am, thought well here’s the date when I am to open my wallet and I buy some tickets or perhaps some snacks (read: “conditioning”). Because that’s how it seems to be these days. Especially with men in the West, many of whom are known to stand there and not reach for their wallet. I arrived and there he stood with tickets in hand. I remember having a hankering for some Sour Patch Kids and making my way to the snack line when The Don held up a snack bar bag full of treats.

“I took the liberty of getting a little of everything – I wasn’t sure if you liked chocolate or fruity or what,” he said.

I stood there in awe. He’s proactive.

Now it’s not about being flattered by $5 worth of snacks or $10 worth of movie tickets, but The Don reassured me that old-school chivalry is not dead.

So yes, I was flattered. It’s the little things.

As lovely as our early dates continued to be (candlelight dinners where time stood still and we continued to close down restaurants to brunches galore), I was still side eye-ing him wondering if there was some trickery involved. He wasn’t trying to get inside my house after our dates. I thought, “odd” (read: “conditioning”) and at the same time knew it was quite nice.

About a month in, on one particular evening out The Don said, “Miss Ali D… I feel really good about this and about you.” He went to say he hadn’t been out with anyone else since meeting me. And then he said it, “I hope you will one day be my future girlfriend, my future wife, my future everything.”

Just like that. A proclamation which kept me walking on air for at least 48 hours straight. I was smitten. Honestly I had been since date two, but was afraid to really let my guard down. In that moment I was truly reassured about my feelings for him.

I reiterate all this to say, it’s been so easy. Like Sunday morning, easy. There was never a question of “what are we doing?”, “am I your girlfriend?”, “where have you been?” Never.

He is honest and true. He’s giving. He trusts me. He speaks his mind. He is no pushover. He says what he is going to do and not, and sticks to it. He’s there for me when I need him, and even when I don’t think I do. He’s treated me like a queen since the moment I said, “Hi, I’m Miss Ali D”.

He loves me.

My friends and family adore him (*let me pause here for a moment* Let me say something about friends and mamas – who are not haters in general – being “ehh” about someone – take note and believe them). 

I love him.

The Don. My future husband. 

Getting from there to here July 21, 2010

Posted by missalid in Falling In Love, Getting Engaged, It Can Happen to You!.
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It happened on Saturday, July 3rd in the third hour of the afternoon.

I.GOT.ENGAGED!

Can you believe it? Because I still find myself shaking my head and pinching myself in disbelief. I’ll get to the proposal details later.

What’s most important, he asked. And I said yes.

It’s been quite a two weeks since “The Moment”. Many friends and family have called, emailed and sent postal notes of congratulations to us from across the globe. I have new Facebook friends and having been shaking hands and hugging people I don’t know. To say it is exciting is an understatement. Our engagement news was even blogged about by my ever-famous friend, Monica Mingo.

The outpouring of love has been tremendous.

But let me talk about love for a moment. I’ve got “a special kind of love” (I have said this throughout our courtship – perhaps a wedding theme, pondering and making a note…).

I have dated, and I have “dated”. And I can say I’ve seen and been in love before. But the depth of love and understanding I am feeling and experiencing in my relationship is something so great, so big, so generous, that even as I sit here it brings tears to my eyes. (I have been crying many tears of joy lately, so let me have it.)

Before meeting my fiancé (said like Dwight on the Real Housewives of ATL), I can’t quite pinpoint it, but perhaps I simply gave up. Hell, I was 35 at the time and as I expressed to my favorite aunt recently – about my last relationship which seemed to go and on and on with empty promises (ie. “I ‘think’ I may marry you… one day) and no real progress – I began to think “Well, I am approaching age of spinsterhood.  Maybe I am to get in where I fit in and marry him when he finally gets around to asking. Even though he doesn’t do this, or say that, or blah, blah, blah.”

I was settling. And deep down I knew it.

He never asked.

A good girlfriend of mine said the other day about our last relationships (both very much the same in a lot of ways – successful men, long distance, etc) that we seemed to become conditioned to accept less, or something. It’s as if somewhere along the way, the notion of real love became tarnished. I’ve seen my fair share of other relationships fail (hell my own!), rampant cheating, and women cupping large glasses of wine while saying, “everything’s fine, everything’s fine!” when they had no idea I saw their husband hours before out doing unhusbandly things (and some wives doing things too). Not to say I didn’t have plenty of great relationship examples, my parents, grandparents, friends and others. But still, dare I say I became a little jaded about love.

Well, jaded and Miss Ali D don’t exactly match, by the way. I needed to make some changes.  First, I walked away from that relationship I was holding onto. And then I tried again. Right on over to Match.com. All I wanted to do is date, and date local. It wasn’t exactly a cake walk either, but being open, honest and accepting with myself really helped me stop and discover there are so many great people out there.

Yes, it is about timing, but I also think it’s about really being open to the possiblities. I proclaimed last May I wanted Summer 2009 to be my best summer ever. Don’t they say, write it down and make it happen.

It happened.

Love with promises and progress.

I logged onto TheKnot.com today… July 20, 2010

Posted by missalid in Procrastinating.
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Hi Miss Ali D

298 days until your wedding!

I suppose I should get down to business.