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TBen received his diploma today! Yesterday was the hooding ceremony (see video immediately below) and then we had a GREAT dinner with family and friends.

Then we came home, and Becca slept over, and right before bed, at about 10:45 PM: THE KITCHEN FLOODED! Yes, icky kitchen sink water backed up in our kitchen and made a HUGE mess. We went through the BBB plumbers for Boulder County and NO ONE was willing to come out! Eventually someone gave us another plumber to call, in Denver, who had to send someone from Castle Rock (about an hour away when the weather is good and there’s no traffic, which was the case last night). The plumbers got here at about 12:15 to take apart the sink and snake the drain. BTW, this drain had already been replaced on Tuesday this week when on Monday night the PVC pipe had cracked and slowly leaked already! So, thankfully had just hadn’t had time since Tuesday to put all the cleaning things back under the sink so nothing was ruined by sludgey kitchen water. It was gross. The guys had to snake the mainline all the way to the street and then Ben cleaned up while I took a quick shower and then he did the same. Becca left early to go shower at the gym at school before heading into the lab because we all looked like zombie people in the morning!

In spite of all the drama in the kitchen, and the fact that my dad still had Ben’s poofy hat (which he needed to be allowed to process today), I got to a Weight Watchers meeting this morning, Ben got there in full regalia in time to process with his classmates, and my dad and Ben’s parents all got good seats (though no together) for the big convocation.

The ceremony was lovely, we started with a moment of silence after the color guard presented the colors for the victims of Newtown, CT, and it was lovely how personal the winter convocation was compared to the HUGE spring one. Pat Mason, a baritone, voice professor, award winning performer, award winning educator, and all-around awesome guy gave a great speech about how homework and time in the practice room really do prepare you for real life. I wish I’d had a chance to take a class with him, but everything he teaches is oriented to vocal studies from what I recall.

Anyhow, I know you’re all just here for the photos, so here’s Ben at the big graduation and a cute shot of me at the end.

And now, it is time for some quality time with my pillow. Tomorrow we’re going to the bank to take care of stuff in the morning with my dad before meeting his friends for lunch, and then wandering around town trying to find Ben a graduation gift. I got my own wife-of-the-graduate/channukah present today, some beautiful amethyst earrings from our favorite jewelry store in town. :)

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Since mid January I’ve been working part-time, as a contract legal assistant in Golden. It’s great. I really enjoy estate planning, it’s helpful! Seriously, law mostly feels like civilized arguing, but estate planning is helpful to the people who seek it out. OK, I’ll stop kvelling.

What else is going on….. Our betta fish, Mr. Rocky Balbetta, has been adopted out after eating my oldest cherry shrimp, one of the younger shrimps is now pregnant (although it’s her first clutch and she drops an egg or two every time she shifts her gestational sack to poo). We also added two spiky dwarf snails to the aquarium, who ate all the algae off the windows in 3 days! Now we have to add algae tablets to the tank once a week to keep them well fed.

Two weeks ago was Ben’s lab ski retreat. I did the meal planning and took the two first-years who organized the trip to Costco. They seemed to think it was going to be a bachannal, it wasn’t. Some of the older students (Ben’s age and post-docs) brought their Magic The Gathering cards, and someone else brought National Parks Monopoly. It was what we all needed, two days of great skiing and evenings of eating too much and hanging out in the hot tub.

Last week, Ben and I went to a preconception class at the Boulder Community Hospital. It made us realize that 1) BCH is awesome and it would be a great place to birth a baby, 2) we’re not financially or really even emotionally ready to have a baby, and 3) I need to loose 10-15% of my body weight to have as healthy a pregnancy as I can. That might take a while. The good news is that I can indulge my selfish emotions and spending habits by continuing to ski, buying new skis, and exercising on them in the meantime. So the only thing that’s changed since the Affordable Healthcare Act has upgraded my insurance to include dental and maternity care is that I’m going to the dentist next week and I’m experimenting with starting pre-natal vitamins and trying to find one that doesn’t block me up (apparently high doses of good-for-you-stuff makes me have sad tummy). Please, don’t ask about anything until Ben graduates (December at the earliest).

This past weekend I fell in love with a pair of demo skis. I’ve been using Becca’s old skis, but they’re not right for me, so I rented a pair of regular old intermediate skis and HATED them. Seriously, I don’t know how to ski on those, it was like skiing on 2x4s, so I went back to the rental shop and told them as much, after chit-chatting with the technician he asked what I usually ski on (busted old hand-me-down 156 Nordica Dobermann skis with some seriously heavy racer bindings). He gave me last year’s Volkl Kenja skis, 149, and ultralight Marker bindings, and I fell in love with them. They’re some of the lightest skis in the all-mountain category, and they felt GREAT, but I’m not sold yet. So, Thursday, Lisa and I are going up for a Women’s demo day, up at Loveland, to try out my dream skis and some cheaper ones too. Becca and her dad, Ed, have sourced my dream skis for $425, un-mounted, and I’ve heard rumors of financial assistance when it comes to bindings…. That’s still a lot of money compared to the free ones I was on, but those no longer suit me.

Also this past weekend was  a big fundraiser dinner for Aish Kodesh, the local modern orthodox congregation. I got a free ticket by being one of the board members for the local Jewish CSA (Tuv Ha’aretz), since we donated a large share with a fruit share to their congregation (the original idea was that it could be used for kiddishes but they decided to auction it off, whatever), so they gave us a ticket to the gala as a thank you. It ended up being one of the highest valued ticket items, and one of the most bid on too. Ben was able to go as a representative of our Young Adult Minyan for only $36, and we entered the iPod Touch raffle and big on a pair of earrings (and won!), so we didn’t feel like complete free-loaders. It was fun and we actually knew a lot of people there.

Finally, this week my boss in Golden is out of town (thus the Thursday ski trip), so I’m working about an hour a day from home for her. It’s nice to have a mini vacation! I get to blog, catch up with my TiVo, give the aquarium a through cleaning, and I’m going to experiment with making granola tomorrow and elaborate challah braids later this week.

So there you go, great voyeurs of the internets, you should all be caught up on the past month’s major goings on now.

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hysterical laughing

(c) Kokoro Photography

Amanda (one of our photographers), Ben, and I have been working on finalizing our wedding album. It is too many pages. Way too many pages. The standard 30 pages is fine for a Christian wedding, but not a Jewish wedding with multiple parts to it!

Anyway, while looking through our photographs again I’ve found more evidence that I laugh like a hyena and need to cover up my bubbies some more. The seamstress added 1.5″ of extra fabric to the top of my dress to cover them up better, but they apparently still tried to make an attempted escape! Next time, I’ll wear a turtle neck.

PS- I love that even in a b/w photo, you can see the deepness of the purple in my sapphire. Who needs diamonds when you can have purple!

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Ben and I had our own table cards (both answers are TABLE 1). In tiny, tiny text, on the back on the card is the answer to each “equation” that we gave folks to figure out what table they were at. All of them started with huge numbers and/or had really simple problems 2^2=4, etc. It was fun, though some folks were apparently quite confused.

There are some great photos, that we’re including in our album, of people pondering their table numbers.

Can anyone argue that quarter note over 4/4 doesn’t equal one? I know it really depends on the time signature, but think of andante (walking tempo 92-102 BPM) or something.

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shiny!!!

Wow. Not only are our rings beautiful, but the photo was taken on our chuppah (see above) that is also beautiful, but the photography is beautiful too!

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rings!

I’m not sure how much I’ve written about this, but the folks at Hurdle’s Jewelry were so helpful though the ring buying process. They helped Ben CUSTOM DESIGN my engagement ring, ordered a bunch of purple sapphires for us to pick from, and then let me change it once we got it! Wow. They were the same way with our wedding bands. Mine needed to be re-finished so that the texture matched my engagement ring, and Ben wanted to change the texture on his to be more something and less blah.

Shopping local is awesome. Plus, all their custom stuff is made with recycled gold!

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Rachel, from ZING, did my hair. She was great. My hair stayed put all day, and she was very calm and quiet while doing my hair. I don’t remember her once asking me to do anything other than look up/down/to the side. Plus, my head didn’t ache at the end of the day like it did after my trial!

There were a LOT of bobbie pins in my hair, but look at that shiny pile of curls!

At that point, I had to get up and stretch. I think this was also when Miri came in and dropped off her baby for me to snuggle.

And the crowning touch, my tiara!

Also, did you notice a difference in photo quality there? The first photo is with my old point-and-shoot and the later ones were with the new camera we received as a wedding present. Andrea used both to take some photos of me getting ready and of the bedekin/ketubah as well.

While Rachel was fussing with my hair, Amanda, from Kokoro Photography, took photos of many of my accessories and details. Her mom and partner, Debi, took lots of photos of Ben (I’ll post those tomorrow).

I know that my mom thinks that these photos of what I wore are excessive, but I appreciate them! I spend all that time and effort gathering them, it’s nice to have that documented. Plus, now you all can see them! Would anyone like to borrow the veil, tiara, shoes (size 6.5), or earrings? I suppose I could just pass on those accessories, and they can make their way through the world. Especially the veil, when can I ever wear that again?! I suppose it’ll just stick around as a future dress-up item if no one else wants it.

I’m sure I’ll find other reasons to wear the earrings and shoes again, the brooch is my great-great grandmother’s (or her sister’s) and is in my mother’s keeping, the pearl bracelet is from my grandma via my uncle Richard. Everything else is new.

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I brought my purple sapphire engagement ring to the jeweler today to get it polished up and brushed to match my new WEDDING BAND! I also brought Ben’s ring, or so I thought….. I freaked out when I opened the box to find his ring missing, but apparently he wanted to bling out his ring and get it textured, like in the photo below (without the polished line). Thankfully, when the new lady at the store looked up Ben’s name, she realized that she had his ring, and that’s why his box was empty. I even tried calling Ben’s coworkers when he didn’t answer his phone! I’m glad it was located. Now, they’re being engraved with 10.10.10 because Ben didn’t want anything and I said we needed an identifying factor for his ring so that if he ever looses we don’t say “uuuuh, it’s a plain gold band that’s rounded…..” They’ll be ready on Friday morning, before our walkthrough/rehearsal with the rabbi. [That was an adventure to book, I’ll talk about it later if I remember.]

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Pearl Earrings

14k Gold Cultured Freshwater Pearl Earrings – Earrings Pearl – Macy’s.

I always thought I’d wear pearls with my wedding dress, but then I decided that I was going to add pinup style halter straps to my dress and the dream of wearing pearls down the tubes, I’ve now got my heart set on pearl drop earrings. I have 3 pairs of pearl studs (small, large, and pink), but I want danglies! What girl doesn’t love a good pair of danglies that won’t get caught in her hair? Plus, these have a tiny diamond and euro claps instead of hooks

My birthday is in 6 weeks, if anyone wants to buy my a present…. With your coupon from the Sunday paper (extra 15% off), They come in under $100, including tax…. I tried them on in the store and the nice lady told me that the sale is good through June 16th.

PS- I kindasortamaybe already asked Ben for these for my birthday, so if you’re anyone other than him and want to gift them to me, please check with him first. Then he can go back to my original birthday request: a laptop desk (grey).

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What is going to be my default topic of conversation once we’re married? I hung out with a friend I rarely see yesterday, before crashing another friend’s family function (to help her stay sane), and I realized that in both situations where there was an awkward pause that I defaulted to wedding related stuff. Oh well. I guess I’ll just have to talk about the weather and current events (btw, that pillar of black smoke last night was SCARY, and I’m not too keen on Boulder Creek flooding either).

In other, wedding related news, I met with Ben in downtown Boulder for lunch and to go visit the jewelry store. We’d dropped off my shiny on Saturday to be polished so that it would be extra sparkly for our engagement photos tomorrow (more news on that later). While we were there we learned that our jeweler sources all his gold from a reclaimed/recycled gold company! Yey! And picked out wedding bands. Ben had originally wanted to get matching bands, but I think that’s stilly if it’s not what looks best so he looked at others and found a dude rind for himself. Very classic.

Ben's ring

Deena's ring

I think it’s funny that my ring looks so much bigger than his in these photos, but if you can read the tiny text and see that I wear a 4.5 and he wears an 8 you can see that they’re different sizes. I’m pretty sure that my little 2.5 mm band will fit inside his 5 mm band. But my ring looks so pretty with my purple-stoned shiny, though I’m not sure I’ll wear them together all of the time. I may also have to have my shiny let out a little because it’s currently size 4.25 which fits perfectly by it’s self but gets kinda snug feeling when I’m wearing another ring with it.

Now we have to decide what, if anything we want engraved inside the rings. I was thinking “ani l’dodi” in one ring and “v’dodi li” in the other, and 10.10.10, but Ben’s not sold on the idea. Or just DJR + BKS 10.10.10 if we can’t decide on something else. There’s not going to be much room in my ring, and it’s going to have some damned tiny micro script in it. I feel sorry for the engraver!

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