Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Regarding name changes, FH and I have reached our final conclusion: for the time being we will both keep our current legal names. We've discussed me hyphenating, we've discussed both of us hyphenating, (one thing we did not discuss was me changing my name completely, I've worked long enough in my profession that I'm not willing to totally give up my name) and have decided that keeping the names we have now will work just great for us.

Why? Perhaps it's laziness. I mean, who really wants to get a new driver's license, social security card, credit/debit cards, checks, change all your tax and insurance forms, etc? Especially when you're keeping the name you have as part of your new name. I may eventually choose to hyphenate socially without legally changing my name but I just don't see it being worth the effort to make the legal change.

(me, filling out name change paperwork? I'll skip it.)

Most importantly, our names have served us quite well for nearly ... well, for some years now. If people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that we're married but have different names, we'll just write it off as part of our "mystique".

(And if you're thinking of asking, "but what about when you have kids?" let me say, IF we have kids we'll probably hyphenate their names, but don't go counting any chickens before they're hatched folks! :P)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Shower recap!

Last weekend I attended my bridal shower, hosted by my aunts at the home of my Aunt Ruth. It was great to spend the afternoon with my grandmothers, many of my aunts and cousins, my step-mom and my mom. I've really never been to any other showers (other than one I helped host for a friend) so I wasn't sure what to expect!

We started off with a few games (none of them embarrassing, thank you!!) First we whet our appetites with a game where participants had to fill in the names of 20 different types of cake based on provided clues. mmm, cake...

Next, the guests filled in Bingo cards with their predictions about what gifts would be received that day. On my mom's side of the family no celebration is complete without Bingo (it's an important part of our extended family Christmas tradition, invented as a means to keep 17 grandchildren occupied for several hours once dinner was over and presents had been opened.)

My favorite game was trying to match songs from a list to the guests whose wedding the song was from. My initial strategy was effective, basing my guesses on the era that each song was popular, but after the first few I was stumped ... everyone seemed surprised at the effort I put into getting the right answers, I guess I strive to be an over-achiever even at bridal shower games! lol

We spent some time opening gifts and I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my family and friends. More even than the gifts I appreciate the thoughtfulness of everyone's kind wishes, the support and excitement offered to me and to Bill as we get ready to take the leap into marriage.

Then we dug in to the cake and punch! My aunt and grandmother had collected a stack of antique cake plates, including a special bride plate, which was such a fun and lovely touch. I took the plates home at the end of the day and plan to save them for our next family bridal shower. Sounds like a new tradition in the making!

And finally, a few more family photos.

Me with my grandmothers
(Left is my maternal grandmother, Dorothy;
Right is my paternal grandmother, Mildred)

Me with my step-mom, Deb (on the left) and my mom, Amy (on the right).

Okay, off to finish my thank-you notes! We can't wait to see you all in just 2 weeks.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Downtown Dining: Breakfast Edition

It's Saturday morning, June 13, 9 am. You awake in Indy, hungry, and venture out into the city in search of sustainance. Where to go?

My very first recommendation is Patachou on the Park. Located on the SW corner of Capitol and Washington, this member of the Cafe Patachou family serves up amazing omelets, groovy granola, and cup after cup of delightful coffee. They use a lot of locally grown ingredients and everything is always so simply fresh. Patachou is open from 7 am-3pm weekdays, and 8am-2pm weekends.

If a bagel is more your style, try Einstein Brothers at 47 South Illinois Street, between Washington and Maryland on the east side of the street. Open weekdays from 5:30am-4pm, Saturdays 6am-4pm, Sundays 6am-3pm. But if you want a bagel on Sunday morning just come to our house!

For those who can't resist the 'buck, the closest downtown Starbucks is located on the east side of Monument Circle (the intersection of Market and Meridian streets, 2 blocks east and 1 block north of the theatre.)

Have a donut craving? There's a Dunkin Donuts on the corner of Washington and Pennsylvania, about 3 blocks from the theatre. Convenience a concern? The Circle Center Mall, connected to the Embassy Suites/Indiana Repertory Theatre has the standard food court fare. Breakfast-y offerings include Cinnabon, and who knows what else ... does Chick-fil-a have breakfast?

Hopefully this post gave you a few ideas of where to forrage for food during your stay. And, as always, you can find more choices of restaurants at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wedding Weekend Events: After-party and Sunday Brunch Open-House

With under 3 weeks to go I think it is about time I post a little information about wedding weekend events (other than the ceremony and reception.) We don't plan to issue formal invites for these events so feel free to spread the word to other non-blog-reading attendees.

As you know the ceremony will be held at noon. The reception will immediately follow and run until about 4:30 pm. For those who are staying overnight in Indianapolis we plan to gather around 7 pm for an informal after-party at Scotty's Brewhouse, located at 1 Virginia Avenue in downtown Indy. It's a leisurely 10-minute walk from the theatre/Embassy Suites/Hilton Garden Inn. Scotty's is smoke-free (not a law in Indiana/Indianapolis) and family friendly, complete with a great soda fountain drink menu.

Sunday morning-afternoon we will also host an open-house brunch at our home in Fletcher Place. We'll be there by about 10am and would love to offer you a bagel, cinnamon rolls, some coffee, and one last hug before you hit the road to head home. (And for those NOT heading home right away, perhaps a mimosa or bloody mary?) I won't post our address here but will say it's only a mile from the center of downtown. You can google map the return address from your invite or just email me for directions. Plentiful street parking is available near our house.

We look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gardening: The Race Is On

Well, today is three weeks from flower arranging day so I thought I'd post a little update.

I'm sad to say that I'm 99% certain the annuals I started from seed are just not going to be blooming in time to participate in the wedding bouquets. They're surviving reasonably well in my little garden plot but given that we had a pretty cool April and beginning of May, coupled with the questionable soil quality, and the fact that I was rushing the little suckers anyway, I'm just going to have to be satisfied with enjoying my bachelor buttons, zinnias, and calendulas later in the summer. Here's a shot of the garden:
(The grass is clippings from mowing the lawn, it's really not over-run with weeds.)

There are glimmers of hope for wedding flowers, however. Yesterday, on my daily check, I spotted this!
That's right, it's a bud. One of my ranunculus has a bud! Inspiring, no? I have no idea how long it takes to go from bud to bloom but with 3 more weeks of sunshine and warmth I'm thinking there's a chance these guys will be flowering on June 12. And, now I know what the buds look like so it will be easy to spot more.
Here we've got my brand-new Asiatic lilies, transplanted this week from FSMIL's yard, along with some sweet peas. The lilies have formed buds but they're still tightly packed down in the leaves. Anyone know how long they take to flower from that point? I have a feeling they might be spent by the wedding but maybe they'll around for the party. The sweet peas are growing like crazy, I swear they're 3 inches taller from when I check them in the morning to when I check them in the evening. I am a little concerned that the rapid onset of heat will take them down before they have a chance to bloom. Sweet peas really don't like weather over 85 degrees and we've been pushing right up against that temp the last couple days. We'll see what they do, perhaps they'll grace our lovely reception tables in a few weeks.

The calla lily on the left illustrates why you should not impatiently mess with the bulb by poking your fingers down in the dirt to look at it as it's trying to start to grow ... the calla on the right is rockin though! This photo is from yesterday and already this morning the spikes are starting to unfurl into leaves. Cross your fingers folks, perhaps the men will end up with lovely flame calla lily boutonnieres.

Last we have the anemones. I have not seen a bud yet but they're quite leafy and lush so I expect one any day. Somehow I thought these were early blooming (like, right after tulips) but apparently they are later than I thought. Google tells me anemones bloom anywhere from spring to fall, depending on the variety, but of course I tossed the packaging so I have no frame of reference.

There you have it. Okay, off to check the plants again!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ready ... Set ... Traffic!

As FH and I were driving back from Buffalo tonight in a 16' box truck I started pondering this post about Indianapolis drivers. Let's just say, Indy drivers can be a wee bit aggressive. They have a tendency to weave in and out of lanes, cut off anyone leaving a full car length between themselves and the next car, and travel at speeds somewhat greater than the speed limit. I blame this phenomenon on the popularity of car racing here. I mean, when you grow up with all the Indy 500 hype how can you avoid trying to imitate it on the highways, right? I've lived in at least one larger city and driven in several other larger cities but still can't help but remark upon the rude habits of drivers here ...

Just don't say I didn't warn you! See you all in 3.5 weeks!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Due Dates

This post has nothing to do with the impending birth of a child, and everything to do with rsvps! :P Today is the official rsvp due date. Chances are if you bother reading this blog you've sent in your rsvp, but if you haven't mailed your little card back yet you'd better get on it! Or just expect a phone call/email/facebook message inquiring whether you plan to attend our nuptials.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Block reminder

Just a friendly reminder, if you plan to book a room in one of our hotel blocks now is the time to act! The block rate expires this wednesday (one month from the wedding, yikes!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thinking outside the block ...

Most of you are aware of our hotel block options (if not, look to your left, they're right there!), and there are plenty of rooms left in all the blocks at the moment, but for those of you who might be looking for other lodging options let me suggest Hotwire.

Now, Hotwire is a bit of a travel gamble because you don't get to see the actual name of the hotel you've booked until you've already paid for it. This, however, is why you can get such a great deal on a really nice room. For example, a quick search this morning for rooms in downtown Indy for June 12-13 brought up a 4-star hotel for $75/night. There are only four 4-star hotels in downtown (the Canterbury, the Conrad, the Marriott, and the Omni) so you can be certain it's one of those. I'm sure the regular room rate for these hotels is more like $175-$200 a night so talk about a steal!

If you decide to use Hotwire I would suggest limiting your search area to Downtown Indianapolis and also employing the "3-star and up" filter (so you don't end up in the totally sketchy Days Inn downtown, it's pretty bad.) I have personally used Hotwire for hotel rooms in the past and it's always worked out great!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Indianapolis Downtown Parking Part Two

This post contains information about overnight parking in downtown Indianapolis. For day-only parking see Part One.

If you are staying at the Embassy Suites overnight self-parking in the attached parking garage for $20/day with unlimited in/out privileges. The entrance for this garage is on the north side of Washington street, between Illinois and Capitol.

If you are staying at the Hilton Garden Inn, overnight self-parking is available in the Express Park Garage at 20 N. Pennsylvania, 1/2 block south of the hotel. This is a different garage than what is currently listed on the Hilton Garden Inn website. The hotel will be changing to the Express Park garage as of June 1. Self-parking rates for this garage are $14/day with unlimited in/out privileges. Valet parking is also available for $22/day.

Other parking garage options can be found on the Indianapolis Downtown website. In general, overnight garage parking in downtown Indy runs about $15-$20.