Friday, October 29, 2010

Penalty: Delay of Planning

Here's the thing about having a job where you work months and months for one day: as the day approaches, you have no life, and all activities, with the exception of sleeping and eating, cease.

I apologize for the lack of wedding details here lately.  It's certainly not because I'm not thinking about it, or because I have a lack of things to write about.  It's just that I have a job that leaves my brain mushy at the end of the day, and I can barely spit out words, let alone craft a carefully detailed and witty blog post.

I work in Elections: not on the campaign side, but on the administration side.  I love my job.  It's very reminiscent of wedding planning in that you plan and panic and wait for one day, and when it's all over, you wonder how it passed you by so quickly.  In a lot of ways, It's how I feel the planning process is going--when we got engaged, we had thirteen months.  As of Monday, we'll have six!  Plenty of time for all the details to sort themselves out, but I can't help but think that it's going by too quickly!

Anyway, I'm going to try to get through the next few days, and I'll be back after all the noise of the election has died down and the sanity is mostly restored.

Tuesday can't get here soon enough!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Approval Ratings

After college, I had two friends get married within about three months of each other.  Here’s what I learned from those weddings:  
1.       We won’t be serving barbecue ribs at my reception (I enjoy ribs as much as the next girl, but it’s just inviting trouble to eat BBQ in a white dress.  Don’t worry, the bride’s dress was fine!).  
2.       We will have a short, but sweet ceremony.
3.       We will definitely be serving alcohol.
4.       We will not have our reception outdoors in July in the middle of farm country (in 116 degree heat).
A few years ago, I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding.  Here’s what I learned from that experience:
1.       I will not be a bridezilla.

I Take This Venue....

So, when we left off,  Mr. Goodlaff and I had three venues we were deciding between: Monte Verde Inn, Empire Mine, and the Miners Foundry. 
Which one did we choose? 

The Miners Foundry!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Where Do We Say "I Do"?

Let me just say, at first the decision on the where to get married was not easy.  A few months into dating, Mr. Goodlaff mentioned that he had always pictured himself getting married in a church.  Me?  Yeah, not so much.  He loves the architecture and the sacredness, and while I think them beautiful, I also find them incredibly intimidating.  The last thing I want to be on my wedding day is intimidated.  Neither of us being particularly religious, the idea of getting married in a church was quickly dismissed.

So then what? I’d always loved the idea of getting married outside surrounded by nature. A garden, a vista, a park--now that I could get behind.

Can you imagine getting married with this in the background? 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Something Tasty This Way Comes...

I don't know how many of you watch the TV show "Chopped" on Food Network, but it's a favorite in the Goodlaff household.  The premise is this: four chefs compete to win $10,000, but they have to cook dishes that include the four mystery ingredients inside a basket.  Everyone gets the same ingredients, and sometimes they get crazy things that they have to cook with: Flank steak, chicory, granola bars, and pepino melon; treviso, octopus, lotus root, and guava nectar.  There are three rounds: appetizer, entree, and dessert, and after each round, the person who cooked the worst dish (for whatever reason) gets Chopped. 

Mr. Goodlaff and I are both really into cooking, and I also love to bake.  Early on in our relationship, we decided to cook dinners together once a week, every Thursday night. Once we moved in together, we cooked together more and more often, trying new recipes and techniques and cuisines. It made us better cooks, but I think it also helped make us better partners.  We had to work together to prepare dinner, and trust that the other person knew how to properly cook the chicken, chiffonade the basil, or not brown the butter. We had many great successes, and quite a few misses (cocoa coated pork with sesame seeds—not so much), but learning to cook together has been a great adventure.

Every now and then, we do a Chopped-style challenge, where we try to use random ingredients sitting around the house to make new, exciting dishes. Cooking a new recipe is great, but there's something about the possibility of complete and total food failure that makes experimenting so much fun!  So, even though it's not strictly wedding-related, I present to you the recipe from our latest "Chopped” night: Cauliflower Tacos.

What you need:
Taco Seasoning (we use this recipe, minus some of the chili powder, but you could use a seasoning packet)
1/4 cup of water
1/2 to 3/4 cup of sour cream
Your favorite taco fixin's

What to do:
Cut cauliflower (including some stems) into small, hamburger-esque bits.
Boil or steam the cauliflower until it's soft, but hasn't lost all of its crunch.
Place your taco seasoning in a saucepan over medium low heat, and start streaming in the water. You may not need all of it. Your sauce should be about the consistency of a marinade--not too thick, but not runny either. Once you have a good consistency on your sauce, add about a half to three quarters of a cup of sour cream (whatever your tastes--adding more sour cream will mellow the taco seasoning's heat). Stir in and heat through.
Toss your sauce with the warm, cooked cauliflower and then build your tacos with your fixin's of choice. The cauliflower turns out nice and creamy, and it's an interesting alternative to beef.

We had it for dinner last night, and I couldn't wait to have the leftovers for lunch today!  Tastiness!

Have any of you experimented and come up with great recipes (or cautionary tales)?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let Me Check My Calendar and Get Back to You...

In the beginning there was a boy and a girl.  They were set up on a chaperoned blind date, forced into awkward conversation, and subjected to magic tricks. Somehow they made it to a second date.  Fast forward two years, and that boy and girl (Mr. Goodlaff and I) are planning a wedding that will take place three years and a day since that lunch, and two years, three hundred and sixty four days after what they consider their first date.

First things first: we set a date for the wedding. I’m a planner; I love lists, I love files and organization and get a little thrill from putting all my ducks in a row. Knowing we didn’t want to get married too soon, but didn’t want to wait forever, we (I) immediately started looking at dates in April and May of 2011.  Looking at the calendar, I made a discovery: we could get married three years to the date from the event now known as “The Lunch!”  Plus, it would also only be two days off of our anniversary.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

"Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."-Unknown
Welcome to the Goodlaff Blog—a place for musings on life and wedding planning!
What’s with the name?  Well, aside from being a proponent of a good laugh whenever possible, my blog's name comes courtesy of California’s Name Equality Act.  In 2007 a law was passed allowing people to do almost anything they wanted with their names when they got married.  You can take the name of your future husband as your middle or last name; your husband can take your name; you can take each others' names; or, for the creative, endeavoring few, you can make a new last name for your new family using only the letters in your current last names.  It's a bit like having Scrabble tiles sitting in front of you, rearranging until you can get your tiles to add up to an insane point total and land on the triple-word score;  Smith and Jones can marry and become the Jomiths, the Mones, the Jonsmithes, etc. 

Naturally, being a resident and soon-to-be married citizen of California (and a lover of word games), I took my last name, my fiancee's last name, and came up with what I believe is the winning combination: Goodlaff.  Though I’m not planning to, if I were going to create my own last name, this is what it would be.

There are humorous moments to be found in every day, and though fraught with serious subjects and issues, wedding planning is no different.  So, here I am: the future Mrs. Goodlaff, coming to you with tales of wedding planning highs and lows, wedding woes and oh-no’s, and I promise to tell it like it is—funny or not—all the way to the altar and beyond.