Work: Things are going well, for the most part. I received high praise from my boss on the progress that I've made on the security manual. I love it when my efforts are rewarded, even with only a few kind words. I'm moving quickly along this task and I think I'll make my April 15th Deadline, despite having to take time off for Passover. I've just finished another section. I was determined to get it done before I went to sleep, and now, at 1:25am, I am finished, hence my treat to myself of updating my journal.
Trope Class: I'm not nearly as afraid of class anymore as I used to be. I've been practicing as much as I can manage (which, granted, isn't much, but every minute seems to help immensely). I'm considering trying to schedule a Haftorah sometime this Spring/Summer. I'm on the Schedule for Shemini Atzeret, but I would like to attempt to get over my stage fright (for lack of a better term) before then. We shall see. Before I even think about it, I'd like to get through Pesach.
Wedding Planning: Things are status quo, I think. I put everything on hold when my grandfather died because I was so wrapped up in arranging to go down there and then trying to catch up at work after I got back. So far we have the date, the place, the rabbi, the band, and the photographer. I'm a bit terrified about florists. I haven't the foggiest idea how much this is going to cost and how much I'm willing to spend on it. I know I don't want to spend a lot of money on flowers, but I'd still like them to look nice. Invitations will happen eventually...my father gave me the name of the woman who took care of getting theirs. He reminded me that she is Jewish and shouldn't have a problem getting Hebrew Invitations taken care of.
I finally got ahold of the coordinator at the Sheraton to talk about the contract which she's been promising me for months. I did get confirmation that despite the lack of the contract, the date is still reserved for us. I'll be meeting with her on the 24th to talk about some details and finalize what the contract will include. She also said that she'd be happy to give me some assistance with flowers.
Lastly, tomorrow I'm going with my maid of honour and my mother to look again at dresses and to start the hell that is called shopping for bridesmaids dresses. (Fheyd...I'll let you know what's going on with that as soon as I know). Hopefully, I'll find something in both sectors...wedding gown AND bridesmaids gowns.
Friends: Jon and Laura have finally moved out here. I went to highschool with both of them, but they've been living outside of Maryland for the better part of 10 years now. For the last five years or so they've been in California. Jon got a job at NRL and they've moved out here. They just put a bid on a house, which is fantabulous. I can't even begin to describe how awesome it is to have them back. I've seen them half a dozen times in the last week and a half and that's such a great feeling. We went out to dinner with them tonight at Max's and then had dessert back at our house. While at Max's, we ran into Lis and Jason...quite a surprise. But it was a nice coincidence and I got a chance to introduce them to Jon and Laura...an unexpected bonus for the evening.
Also, my best friend (previously referred to as Maid of Honour; aka Diana) is moving here in August! She's lived her entire life in Connecticut and is now moving to the DC area. This is way cool. I've known Diana since I was eight years old and I've never felt like we've grown apart (we always seem to pick up where we left off when we see each other). Though we talk regularly, I haven't actually seen her in 3 1/2 years, so tomorrow will be great, and having her move down here will be even better. :) She'll be living here when I get married, so she won't have to rush in and rush back out just for the wedding; we can actually spend some quality time together. YAY.
Miscellaneous stuff: Seth and I went to Pittsburgh this weekend and had a great time. We spent the weekend with Monica and Dani [thanks so much!] and also got to go to Ralph and Lori's party [thanks for the invite!]. We really enjoyed ourselves. The last time that I saw Monica (which was also the first time), we didn't get a lot of time to chat. This weekend was entirely different. Seth and I got caught in traffic on the way up to Pittsburgh and made it there with only ten minutes to spare before Shabbat started.
But we did make it there and had a bit of a chance to chat before heading off to services at Monica's Synagogue. It was the first Reform service I'd ever been to save one Yom Kippur service 5 years ago. Though it was a very different kind of service than I'm accustomed to, it was lovely and very moving.
After services, Ralph and Lori came over for dinner. This was especially nice since we weren't likely to get to spend quality time alone with them at their party. I haven't seen Ralph and Lori since their wedding, so it was an extra-special treat.
Saturday we woke relatively early and went to the informal service at Monica's shul. Again, a very different style and content than I'm accustomed to, but I'm glad we went. After the service, there was a Torah Study group, which was discussing Leviticus, that I found fascinating (perhaps more on that later? Not sure if I'll get to it). We went back home and Seth, Monica, Dani and I spent some time just talking about random things until a delicious lunch was ready (yummy lentils...wish I could make lentils like that!). After lunch Seth took a nap and Dani disappeared (maybe into the office? Maybe to take a nap? I'm not really sure). Monica and I chatted until about 7 o'clock. I kept meaning to tell her that she didn't have to stick around talking to me if she wanted to nap as well, but the conversation was so fascinating, that I never managed to blurt that out. Finally, I woke Seth up and told him Shabbos was about to end and asked if he'd like to re-join the land of the living. We made Havdalah and then got ready to leave for the party at Ralph and Lori's....
The Party: I was a bit intimidated about the idea of going to Ralph and Lori's Party. I think I've got something akin to social anxiety disorder. I really don't function well when thrown into a room full of people I don't know. Though I was aware that I would know at least a few people (not the least of which were Ralph, Lori, Monica, Dani, and Seth), they were expecting about 100 people and I knew I wouldn't have a clue who most of them were. Fortunately, however, it was not the social disaster panic attack I'd been dreading. I met some nice people and re-connected with a few people that I'd met in passing at Ralph and Lori's wedding. I'd made Monica promise to introduce me to people, but the need wasn't there as every time she came into a room with me in it, I was managing conversation with someone. Laura bounced over early on in the party and I was wondering to myself if she still had any clue who I was. Eventually it became clear that she did, in fact, have a clue who I was and we had a wonderful conversation in the kitchen (must... stay... near... food and beer!) There were lots of yummy treats to eat (some of which I could eat and some of which I couldn't, but this is entirely normal for me).
I also had my first experience playing Carabande (sp??). I suck very badly at the game, but I definitely liked playing it. Takes me back to my childhood. I started first, but the other five players were all almost done with their second lap around the track before I even managed to get over the ramp in my first lap. Such is one of the hazards of the road, I suppose. Maybe if I ever get to play again, I will get better at it.
At any rate, after the party, we went home and crashed. Sunday morning we had brunch with Dani and Monica and then headed back home through four hours of pouring down rain. Not ideal, but we made it home.
So, I doubt anyone actually made it this far in reading...but if you did, you deserve a cookie! I definitely lied about this being a quick synopsis and not a "real" update on my life. This is my problem though...I don't write at all for days or weeks and then I write monster entries that no one in their right mind would want to read! Such is life. Theoretically this is for me anyway. Comments from anyone else is just an added bonus. ;)