LIFE: Meet Oxford!

A few weeks back, my friend’s father passed away. He left behind a five year old cat who desperately needed a home. Eddie and I offered to foster her until a home could be found – which ended up taking only a week. However, during that week, Eddie and I fell in love with having a pet in the house and were dying to have another.

Initially, we had made a promise to not look into adoption until after the wedding. We didn’t want to worry about having a cat-sitter during the honeymoon. But I couldn’t help myself from looking up pets on petfinder and finding the most precious kitten. We took the initiative to arrange a meeting and knew that he was the one.

Needless to say, we now have a new member in our household! Meet Oxford – named after the oxford comma, of course.

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He is an extremely rambunctious twelve week old kitten. All he wants to do all day is play with his hamburger, laser pointer, and feather. His favorite place in the house is underneath the rocking chair in the den, but he’s not afraid to leap up onto the bed or couch. He is very friendly and not at all shy, unlike my other two cats that live at my parents. I’m glad to know that I have a sociable and cuddly cat who will only grow more loving over the years.

The one thing I was only semi-prepared for was the amount of work it takes to care for him. He gets fed three times a day, constantly attacks our hands to play, and keeps us up all night wanting to cuddle. It’s like having a baby, but without the crying. However, I’m more than happy to get through the kitten phase if it means having a cat in our household for the next 20 years.

You can stay up to date on Oxford over at my Instagram.

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LIFE: Hunchback of Notre Dame

My cousin Jake is currently in middle school, but he did so well in his school’s play of Alice in Wonderland, the high school invited him to take part in their rendition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He was cast as one of the gargoyles in the bell tower, and had quite a few moments where he sang and spoke. I’d argue that he was one of the lead gargoyles, but maybe I’m biased since he’s my cousin.

The show overall was very well done, and I’m proud of the talents that these kids had. The students who played as Quasimodo, Esmerelda, Phebus, and Frollo had outstanding voices and acting skills. The supporting cast also had their moments to shine as they each had their own solo singing moments during certain songs. The set was minimal but well done, and the story kept true to the book. It was a very mature production, and it didn’t feel like a high school musical (no pun intended) at all.

I’m very excited to see what productions they put on next, and am happy to share some of the photos that I took of this show.

And yes, if you think that my cousin is familiar, you probably recognize him as the hurricane tortilla kid. You can check out his videos over at his youtube channel. He puts out a wide variety of content, including challenge videos, skits, and vlogs.

 

LIFE: Bridal Shower

This weekend, Eddie and I held our bridal shower. We’re both very blessed at the turnout of friends and family who were able to celebrate our upcoming wedding with us.

My aunt was kind enough to offer her house to us for the party, and decorate the basement with blue and orange balloons and streamers. My family cooked a huge buffet of Polish food in honor of my family heritage. We served golumpki (stuffed cabbage), sauerkraut and kielbasa, pierogis (both traditional and unique) and cheesy potatoes. We also has salad, pasta salad, and fried chicken for those who weren’t as inclined for the non-American meal options. Then of course we had our dessert table, where we had cupcakes in the shape of a wedding dress, butter tarts, and cookies.

As guests arrived, they were welcome to go to the bar to get a drink, guess how many Hershey kisses were in the jar, and set their gifts on the table to be opened later. Once everyone had taken their seats, we thanked them for coming and proceeded with lunch.

While everyone ate, Eddie and I revealed that there were already some winners in the crowd and told the guests to check under their seats. Twelve lucky people won free candles that were decorating the tables. We then revealed the winner of the kisses, which turned out to be my aunt who guessed it exactly – 212.

As everyone finished up, we went into the next game to see who knew us better. We asked questions such as “who takes longer showers” and “who is in control of the remote?” We actually had a tie of 11/12 correct answers, so we had to do a tie breaker with “who had the most pets growing up?” It seemed that everyone had a fun time with that game.

At the end of the party, it was time to open gifts. To keep everyone engaged, we let them play bingo by guessing what we would get. We took time to reach everyone’s card, unwrap every gift, and thank them individually. I must say, we were quite spoiled and blessed for everything that we had received.

Overall, it was a very successful party and it seems like everyone had fun! There were a couple of people who were unable to make it, and we keep getting random gifts delivered to our doorstep. We are very blessed during this time and can’t say thank you enough for the well wishes and kind thoughts.

Life: Being and Becoming Catholic

For those who don’t know, I’m Catholic. I’ve received the sacraments of baptism, communion, and confirmation. I go to church every Sunday and I try to pray as often as I can – especially when I see an accident or broken down car on the road. With that said, I am a firm believer of accepting others for who they are and not forcing my own beliefs. So, I don’t bring up my faith unless it’s the focal point of a conversation. However, I would like to share an important event that is happening this weekend for Eddie and I.

To prepare for our wedding, Eddie and I needed go to pre-marital counseling with our presiding priest. It’s a part of the Catholic wedding process, and one that I was looking forward to. A lot of the questions that we discussed were topics Eddie and I had had before, but we learned some things about each other and about our partnership that had never come to light in the past. It strengthened our relationship and made it clear how well we completed one another.

One of the questions that came up was how we were planning on raising our children. For me the answer was simple: they would be raised Catholic as I was. It was important for me to provide my children a faith foundation. Eddie agreed that having faith was importance, but found that he didn’t want his children growing up with opposing beliefs.

Eddie grew up in a family that wasn’t very religious. While his dad was considered baptist, his mom didn’t really have a set religion. Eddie became a non-denominational christian when he was in high school thanks to a past girlfriend’s influence. Eddie’s family didn’t focus on religion, and that’s okay.

I grew up Catholic thanks to my mom, who’s entire family is pretty devout. My mom and her brothers went to Catholic school, and so did a few of my cousins. Though I went to public school, I did have catechism every Monday through middle school and my faith has grown over time. My dad and his family weren’t very religious – to this day, I’m still not sure if my dad believes in anything. That’s okay, too.

So when the topic of kids came up, I was comfortable with having one parents who was Catholic and one who wasn’t. We both believed in God and Jesus, so it wasn’t that crazy of an idea. But Eddie realized that he didn’t want that for his kids.

Now, the Catholic church has some teachings we don’t agree with – and with how I was raised, we shouldn’t agree with everything. As Mom put it, “it’s important to question authority.” That includes God. Otherwise, we’d just be sheep. I think this revelation, as well as the idea of a future family, is what was what helped Eddie to decide to take the proverbial plunge into Catholicism.

So this year he went through the RCIA to begin his journey to joining the Catholic church. All of his teachings and preparation comes to a head this week as we prepare for Easter, the most holy day of the year. Palm Sunday we received our palms and had them blessed. On Monday we went to the Communal Penance to complete the sacrament of reconciliation. Tuesday I went to the Catholic store to buy a cross for our house and will have it blessed on Easter. Eddie went to Holy Thursday Mass and participated in the washing of the feet ceremony. On Good Friday we will take time during 12-3PM to go to church and do the stations of the cross and read the gospel. Then it will all come to a close on Easter Vigil, where I will be Eddie’s sponsor and witness as he receives his sacraments.

I am very honored to have been a part of this process. While I love Eddie regardless of his religion, it brings me great joy and comfort knowing that we share the same beliefs. I know that God has put us in each other’s path for a reason, and this time of year helps me recognize it even more.

 

LIFE: Murder Mystery Dinner

For the last ten weeks, my fiance has been practicing with his improv comedy group, RPG Comedy, for their upcoming murder mystery dinner theater. The show was titled Holmes and Watson “Parliamentary” He Said,Β and was part two of a three part mystery.Β The story for this show focused on stolen legal documents, foreign spies, and a double homicide. However, there is an overarching mystery as to who is Moriarty.

Eddie was cast as Mycroft Holmes, who would be hosting the dinner party and at the head of the case. Included in the cast were Sherlock and Watson, as well as various outrageous characters including a crazy doctor, two suffragettes, and various businessmen and members of parliament. Those attending the show were encouraged to participate by doing our own detective work, which included interviewing the suspects and reviewing dossiers.

The entire show lasted about three hours, which was broken up between a four course meal and an interactive show. By the end of the night, every table made their final guess. Our table hypothesized that one of the suffragette’s was sleeping with the son of a man in parliament, and they conspired to kill his father to rise in power. So, they poisoned the tips of the suffragette pins that were being passed out to everyone. The pin successfully killed the lord in charge, but his secretary was accidentally killed instead of the man’s father. As for the foreign spies and the missing documents, we had no clue.

Turns out the victims had been poisoned as we expected, but not from the pins. What we missed was that several of the suspects and the victims met at a bar before the dinner and the poisoning happened there. A mind-control drug (that actually exists) was being administered slowly, and an overdose cased the murder. As for the foreign spies, it was one of the victims who had accidentally been murdered by her partner.

Needless to say, I’m not a very good detective. But our table did win the prize for the most incorrect (and creative) answer of the night. We won bars of chocolate, so I guess it’s better to be the best loser than anything else!

Overall, the mystery was very well written, albeit a bit difficult to piece together. I learned during the after party that this was due to the previous show being too easy. So, the writer cranked up the difficulty. Granted, it probably would have been easier if it was easier to hear what the actors were saying. There was a birthday party in the next banquet hall over and their music was extremely loud; and while Eddie blew out his voice to project over the music, quieter characters such as Watson tended to get drowned out by the noise. This left a lot of clues go unnoticed.

That being said, the actors did an amazing job of staying in character throughout the entire night and for really acting their hearts out. I’m very excited to see part three of the mystery and finally learning the identity of Moriarty.

While there, I also took many photos of the event for RPG Comedy to use. Some of my favorites are down below for you to check out!

LIFE: Bachelorette Party!

As the wedding creeps closer at an alarming rate, my weekends are growing increasingly busy with appointments, family events, and last minute planning. This weekend we had my bachelorette party with my closest friends and family. The day started off with lots of cleaning and preparing the house for guests. Eddie was kind enough to surprise me with a small gift for the evening, a Mooncake plush from Final Space. Ever since the show came out I’ve been wanting a Mooncake, and I was surprised to see him appear on the kitchen table.

Shortly after my Matron(s) of Honor showed up to help decorate the house with blue and orange balloons, streamers, and candy. It’s a good thing that Eddie’s birthday is in a few days – I don’t have to worry about decorating!

Slowly, people started arriving at the house and we all went to Painting with a Twist! We had about thirteen of us painting a sunset that I had picked out. It was great getting a to listen to Panic! at the Disco and paint with my friends. Everyone’s pieces turned out great, and I hope they all liked the painting that I picked out for us.

Once we were done painting, we went back to the house to eat dinner and play games – particularly, Cards Against Humanity. The night ended with opening some gifts, both family friendly and not-so-family friendly.

I am very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who want to celebrate this moment in my life and spoil me with their love and kindness. I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for them in my life, and I’m glad to share this special moment with them all.

Life: Engagement Photos!

Back in August and September, my good friend Kaiden took me and Eddie’s engagement photos. We’ve been waiting patiently for our photos to be edited, and they’re finally here! While we ended up getting about 80 proofs back, I’m going to share some of my favorites with you guys. I’m so very happy with how they turned out and am thankful for having such a talented friend who was willing to help us.

All photos credited to Kaiden Dunn. You can check out more of his work at his deviantartΒ andΒ instagram.