Some exciting recent occurrences in the Gill/Gray (soon to be All Gray) household:
1. Wednesday night, in the midst of hosting a very lovely little dinner party, I managed to neatly slice off the end of my left thumbnail. About a half an inch in. Whilst slicing up a chiffonade of basil with my chef's knife. I managed to not freak out, since our dinner guests were watching me prep dinner. Just wrapped it up and quietly dug the piece of thumbnail out of the pile of basil and continued on with supper. But oh man, it hurts like a mofo. I can't put any pressure on that thumb at all, making me a single-finger texter and incapable of putting on my own necklaces.
2. Last night we installed the HDMI cord on our new Toshiba 32" HD 1080p flat-screen television. We'd put the tv in on Tuesday but didn't have the right cable to make the HD channels show up. Got it all set up last night and watched the NBC shows and it's just astonishing. It kind of gives me a headache to watch because the picture is so precise. I'm sure I'm the LAST person on the planet to come to this realization. But it's a fun treat and just in time for March Madness...
3. Honeymoon in Ireland: Booked! We bumped it ahead to a month after the wedding (so June 18-26). Initially I liked the romantic idea of heading straight off on this big adventure trip right after the wedding, but the more I thought about it, I've come to terms with the fact that I'm an OCD asshole right before a vacation. And this is the biggest trip we've ever taken, and I didn't want to transfer any of those nerves/preparations/chaos to the wedding week. This way we can get back to life as we know it, post-wedding, and then be ready to take off a few weeks later. To Ireland! Holy cow! We're doing two nights each in Galway, Kinsale and Dublin. Taking an (expensive) train from Cork to Dublin, and otherwise knocking around in a rental car. Flights in and out of JFK, so we can see Jenny and Patrick for a day before we leave. We'll be there during the World Cup, so we can watch some games in Irish pubs and bash England with the locals.
4. Save-the-Dates: Sent! Later than I had originally planned, but they look gorgeous, of course. Designed by my future husband, the most talented man I know. We've also set up our wedding website, with just a placeholder now and a spot to sign up to be alerted by email as we add more info. We need to get the hotel stuff finalized (I'm kind of horrified by how hard this part has been...) so we can share that info on the website and help our guests get their travel plans in place. It doesn't look like we're competing with any major events or conferences in Nashville the weekend of the wedding, which is a relief. Downtown can be a madhouse sometimes.
5. Last night, we were woken at about 4 am by the sound of an elephant herd in the front of the house. This turned out to be Corvinius, who had caught a MOUSE and was zooming around the house torturing it. Austin got up, chased the situation down the hall and eventually lost the mouse in the office closet. He gave up and came back to bed, figuring it had gotten into the ductwork and there wasn't anything to be done. The cats held their vigil, though, and I was woken up a half-hour later by squeaking, thumping and fluttering on top of me in the bed. Corvinius had found the mouse and brought it to us in bed. I flung the covers off and heard the mouse hit the wall, then leaped over to the other side of Austin and started shouting. Austin understands the basic principle of our relationship, which is that if it *might* be a mouse, he has to deal with it, so he finally managed to get the damaged-and-traumatized-but-still-alive mouse into a box and out the front door. Not the greatest night's sleep for either of us. Luckily the dogs had gone out at about 3 (yeah, that part is awesome too) so they weren't around to further complicate the animal kingdom showdown. Good GRIEF.
Okay, so I missed a month or two here. I missed talking about the absolutely amazing night when I came home from work to find 19 of my favorite ladies in the entire world wearing hideous bridesmaid dresses shouting "Surprise!" We feasted, we opened an obnoxious number of lingerie-related gifts, and we danced in the dining room until we were about to drop. It was pretty much the best thing ever.
I skipped the holidays, too. They were mostly low key; Mom and Kam were gone before Christmas and Jenny and Patrick left the day after. Austin and I laid around a lot and cooked a lot. It's been a particularly productive cooking month for us. I've been inventing a few recipes, which I don't do very often (Peppermint Panna Cotta! Spicy Sticky Asian Baby Back Ribs! Grapefruit-Vanilla Bean Sorbet!). Basically, I get a vision for a taste I want, and then research to see if the recipe already exists, and if it doesn't, I cobble together concepts from related recipes until it makes sense. No disasters yet!
And if it hasn't been clear before this, now is the time for my Wedding Brain to take hold and not let go for the next four months. Last Thursday, I woke up wide awake at 5 am with a specific vision of the text for our invitations. Got up, went to the living room, wrote it all down exactly as I pictured it, and went back to bed. It's sort of like wedding autism. My mind is constantly clicking with To Dos and ideas, I can't turn it off. I never wanted to be one of Those Brides, but I guess if I'm honest with myself, I know I have always been. I've got my big binder and my lists and my calendars and I'm ready to get this show on the road.