Friday, June 26, 2009

Little Did They Know.......

I dropped Ben off at the train station this morning, for his short ride to San Francisco to meet up with his buddies for his Mustache Themed Bachelor party. He's been growing out his facial hair for the last few weeks. He kept his goat, but just let it get bushy...eewww. It didn't look great, but I could live with it.

Yesterday before we left for Elk Grove, Ben shaved the goat and left the mustache. I haven't stopped laughing since. He looks creepy. I don't just mean creepy, but more like "cross to the other side of the street when you see him coming your way" creepy.

Kind of ironic that they guys planned the bachelor party for San Francisco, funny that they will all be sporting mustaches, but absolutely hilarious that it just happens to fall on gay PRIDE weekend.

I know he'll have a great time with his friends, and can't wait for him to get rid of that stache!

Us girls have known about the theme of his bachelor party for quite a while, and took full advantage of it on my bachelorette cruise. We had some fun with our staches, but kept them a secret until now. This morning before I dropped Ben off, I put a pic of us girls in our mustaches, in a frame and stuck it in his bag, which he found when he was on the train to S.F.

A tribute to our men, and their momentary (and hopefully never again) mustaches!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heading out of the Mess

We did it. We've survived our first couple of weeks together in "our condo". I'm not quite sure where everything went......oh wait. Right now everything we couldn't sell is in the garage, and everything we want to keep but couldn't quite get to is in the guest room. It is piled up, almost to the ceiling. It's not just the combination of "our" stuff, but also all the new things we've gotten from bridal showers and early wedding gifts. Not to mention, most of it is still at my parents.Things are looking up though. We get to "unload" some of our stuff this weekend at my parents, hopefully freeing up some space. We will also be dropping off the pups, Lola at my parents, and DUI and Deuce at Ben's parents houses until after the wedding. We will be leaving for New York next Friday, and will be returning to NorCal just a week before the wedding. This will be the longest we've gone without the pups since we got DUI. I'm going to really miss them, but it will be a perfect chance to really focus on "US" before saying our vows.

Here's a couple of my favorite pictures of our special pups.

Monday, June 22, 2009

40 Days to Go!!

I can't believe how time flies! It seems like yesterday that we had 6 months to go until our wedding. And now it's right around the corner.

I'm happy to say that I'm not nervous......just incredibly excited. It's been a rough couple of weeks. Ben's house sold and what we though was going to be a 30 day escrow, turned into a 20 day. This caught us off guard and right at the end of the school year. We were scrambling to move Ben's 3 bedroom house (with a full garage) into my already full 2 bedroom condo. It didn't necessarily bring out the best in us, but we did learn a lesson in compromise.

Then my family was in town visiting for a week and Ben was still teaching summer school. We were having a hard time working out the logistics of having an incredibly full house and what we were going to be doing with 3 dogs (one of which is a little slow, if you know what I mean, and goes to the bathroom wherever he is unless he sees an open door). We survived the week, just barely.

Today was our first day off together, alone, except for the pups. We went down to the county clerks office and got our marriage license. Even though we aren't legally married until our ceremony on August 1st, it was still pretty exciting. Just 3 signatures and we're officially Mr. & Mrs. Gravenkamp!

Father's Day

I was lucky enough this year to spend Father's Day with my Dad and Grandpa this year. My family has been at a beach house and stayed over one more night so that we could all go to brunch together before they left town. Not only was I so happy to celebrate this day with my dad, but fun to look back at all the remarkable things he has done for us girls over the years.

My dad is an amazing man! He is generous and kind. He has a gift for not letting things get him down. He rarely gets mad, and doesn't say much about the choices we make. But, when he does say something, you know he's thought about it, and it always carries a lot of weight.

My dad was a born athlete and has always enjoyed sports. Although he ended up with 3 girls, I'd have to say we are all pretty tough because of him. "Walk if off" are his famous words......and sometimes you heard them, even when you were bleeding or your foot was facing the wrong direction. Lauren was the only one who played team sports, but my dad never missed a gymnastics meet, diving competition, or dance show of mine. He has always been there to support me in whatever I've done, not to mention the hours of videotaping he would do, so that we would have memories to look back on.

Not only is my dad a strong athlete, but a handy man at that. He can fix just about anything and does a good job building things too. Being in my own place, hours away from my dad, I tend to let things pile up, but he always finds time to come down and fix things for me.

My dad has made sure I've been able to do everything I want to do (of course mom was right in there too). I went away to college, and he was there at my diving competitions and dance shows. He was there for me to talk to about my first years teaching. He was there to help me sort out my feelings about past relationships. He has been there to teach me about life.

Thank you dad! You're the best!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Up, Up, and Away

This Wednesday was definitely a day to remember!

My mom bid on a hot air balloon ride package at an auction a while back, but had totally forgotten to use it. The family is down in Oceanside, (San Diego Area), at a beach house for the week, and she thought it would be a perfect place to use it. My dad has a huge fear of heights, along with Krista's fiance, and mine. It would take a lot for our guys to take us, so lucky for us, my mom asked us to go with her!

We left the boys at home and headed off a couple hours before sunset to the meeting spot of the balloon company. We parked in a Del Mar shopping center and waited for our pick-up to take us to the launch site. At 5:15 a van with a trailer attached pulled up, carrying with it, the hot air balloon and basket.

Once we got to the launch site, Krista started to get a little nervous. They laid out the balloon on the ground, and started fans to inflate it. The basket was attached but on its side. It all happened pretty fast. The pilot called 2 couples over and they climbed in while the basket was still on its side. A moment later the basket was right-side-up and he yelled for us to climb in.

In a matter of seconds we were 400 feet in the air. The ride was incredibly smooth. You wouldn't know you were so high in the air, in just a wicker basket. We flew in the air up to 7000 feet, over Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was an amazing experience. They served champagne throughout the ride, and although it was so fun to be with my mom and sister, it would have been very romantic to be with my fiance.

If you ever have the chance, this is something you should do. It was unbelievable and somewhat surreal to be that high. Overall, it was a perfect day!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Engagement Photos

We finally got the CD back from all our engagement photos. The first time I looked through them, I wasn't that excited. I wasn't stoked about the way I looked or the funny faces we made on so many pictures. It took me a little while to get used to them, and now I love them!!

Our photographers are Ariel & Josh Green of Anika London Media. They were so fun to work with. They managed to get a few shots with us and our 3 crazy dogs! I can't wait until our wedding! Only 51 days to go!

Check out their website! They travel all over for weddings.

You can find us under clients if you want to check out all 580 photos of our session.

Best Bridal Shower Ever!!

I've gotten so behind in blogging with all this wedding and moving stuff, but I have to tell you about my bridal shower.

My Zehnder Aunts organized a perfect bridal shower. I'm not much for games, but we did one game, organized by Danelle, where Ben had pre-recorded answers to questions on DVD. Then at the shower, I was asked the same questions to see how well I knew him. I was sitting there, kind of nervous. "How much do I really know about him?" I knew more than I thought I would. I hesitated on all the same questions he hesitated on, and I knew more than one of his smart ass answers.

The shower favors and decorations were absolutely adorable. My Aunt Kathy painted little pots in the colors of my wedding, with "Anna + Ben 8-1-09" on them. They are so cute, I'm trying to find a way to incorporate them into other wedding things.

There were so many people at my bridal shower. My new sister-in-laws and their girls, all of my family, and my some of my friends who could make the trip from SoCal. I had so many gifts, I didn't know if the present opening was ever going to end. The only complaint I had, was that I didn't have a chance to really talk to everyone at the shower. There were so many people and not enough time.

Thank you everyone for the beautiful bridal shower!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Flashback 3 years

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, and I have not had a moment to blog. Between baseball games, bridal showers, and thank-you notes, I have not had a minute to breath.

I'll give you an update on the last couple of weeks, but first a little flashback to when Ben and I met. I was reminded of this as we finished out another year teaching together. I was the new teacher at school and a little nervous to be at my first staff meeting. Another newbie and I sat in the second row together, eager to show our enthusiasum for getting involved. It hadn't been but a minute or two when a gorgeous guy (Ben), walked up and asked if anyone was sitting next to me. We exchanged notes for the entire staff meeting, like school kids.

I'm sitting there thinking, "Could it be this easy to meet an attractive, single guy, that works with kids?" In the next couple of days of teacher in-service, I found every opportunity to talk to the cute Activities Director. I couldn't tell if he knew I was shamelessly firting with him or not. But it did take him another three weeks before he asked me on a date....and I think it may have even been his roommate Mike who asked me for him.

Ben and I had what I would like to call, the WORST first date ever. We planned to do dinner and a movie. We had decided on a movie time at the place right around my house, so the planner I am, went to the theater earlier in the day to get tickets. Ben was supposed to pick me up at 6pm and at 6:20 I still hadn't heard from him. I thought for sure I'd been stood up when he finally called to say he was running late. At this point we only had 45 minutes or less to eat dinner before the movie started.

I knew we were in a rush, but I don't know that Ben looked up from his salad once. He was looking down, shoveling food in his mouth, in between one word answers to my questions. Can we say "awkward"? We ended up making it to the movie, but we may as well have been sitting in separate theaters. There was no hand holding, no leaning in, and definitely no hand on the knee. I knew he must have been nervous, but I wondered where Mr. Confidence from the first day we met had gone. Needless to say, I wanted to avoid the awkward good night kiss, and had him drop me off in front of the building. (He still gives me a bad time about it)

Ben's says it couldn't have been that bad of a date.....I did go on a second. I could tell he was a great guy under it all, but I seriously contemplated avoiding him after that day. Here we are three years later, and very much in love. Less than 60 days to the wedding!