Friday, February 20, 2009

If you haven't voted this voting period in the Bissell MVPet Contest, please take a second to vote for Josh and my neph-dog Mauri. He's the cutest 6lb thing you will ever meet! :)

MVP Pet Photo Contest sponsored by BISSELL, maker of pet vacuum cleaners.

Thanks in advance!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a bunch of random things...

Obama will be speaking tomorrow at Dobson High School, which is about two miles from my house. I'm assuming I'll need to give myself plenty of time to get to school. Sadly I have an exam tomorrow so even if I had known about the tickets to see him speak, I wouldn't have been able to go. He is here to talk about the mortgage crisis, as the Phoenix area was one of the hardest cities hit as far as real estate and foreclosures go.

In wedding-related news, I bought two [used] books on Amazon that come highly recommended. They are both by the same author, but one is about activities to do in Kauai and the other is about activities to do in Maui. I think our honeymoon will be between 7 and 9 days long (hopefully the latter!).

Here's a link if you're interested in checking out the books:

(for some reason I can't post it as a link that you can click, it just shows up as a blank)

Josh and I are planning on going to Virginia next month to meet with a wedding officiant, and to do a "walk-through" of our venue to get some good ideas on decorating and such. I kind of want to meet with a baker and do a cake tasting, just because it would be fun, but we may save that until our trip in July.

I unofficially started weight watchers about two weeks ago, and have lost about 4 lbs since then. I plan on "officially" starting weight watchers once school calms down and I can figure out what days are best for me to attend meetings.

Monday, February 16, 2009

the venue

After the hiatus I am back to thinking a bit about wedding planning. We are a little closer to figuring out our honeymoon but haven't reached a final decision yet. As for the planning, I want to keep lots of details as a surprise until the big day, but thought I'd at least share some information and photos about our venue.

We're so excited about where we chose! It will look much different once we put our own style into the decorating, but the photos I have are good to get an idea of it. It's neat to be planning a wedding at a historic site of Fairfax County, especially because our hometown(s) are so rich in history. Below are some descriptions of the venue that I took from some documents the venue coordinator sent! We can't wait (but obviously have to).

Located 4 miles south of Alexandria, Hollin Hall is a gracious Georgian manor house surrounded by mature boxwood gardens. Events can spread out onto the lovely wisteria-arbored terrace in the back of Hollin Hall next to our boxwood maze. Hollin Hall is an historic property that is listed on the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites. This also serves as the grounds for Mount Vernon Unitarian Church.

The site of our grounds, the highest point in southern Fairfax County, was once part of a 2,000-acre plantation owned by Revolutionary War patriot George Mason. George Mason's son, Thomson Mason, built the original Hollin Hall home which burned in 1824. In 1916, industrialist Harley Wilson built an elegant new Hollin Hall. Many prominent Americans, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Carl Sandburg, visited the home and its brick-walled gardens.

The Meeting House is a spacious, contemporary site for larger weddings and receptions. With clean, simple lines, warm hardwood floors and a soaring ceiling, this is a wonderful reception location for dining, music and dancing. The Meeting House can accommodate 175 people seated with an ample dance floor. A lovely slate terrace, adjoining the Meeting House and facing the walled boxwood garden, provides an outdoor space for cocktail hour.

A beautiful curved brick wall surrounds our romantic, 3-tiered boxwood garden that is the perfect site for wedding ceremonies. Photographic opportunities abound in the garden and throughout our grounds. The boxwood garden is rented in combination with the chapel in case of inclement weather.