Not much to report this weekend, except midterm projects that I'm working on.  The professional pictures should be up soon.  You can sign the guestbook early and be notified by email once the pictures are available for viewing if you go here (pictage.com; event is Brianna and Clayton Leverenz Wedding).  Personally, I'll feel a lot better about the entire event once I've seen more pictures. 

Also coming soon are the thank you notes.  Don't worry, I've made thorough notes on who was in attendance and which gifts they brought.  However, I didn't order my notes until after the wedding (silly Brianna!), so I've been waiting for them to come in the mail.  Luckily, they should be here on Monday, so I'll be sending those out just as soon as I can.


For now, I'll try again to shamelessly elicit some comments from you, my trusty readers.  Clayton and I insisted on having sushi at the wedding, because we both love it, and we've even gotten our families hooked on it.  Now, I know that before the wedding, only a handful of our guests had tried sushi before.  After the wedding, though, the mothers were very disappointed to discover that there was NO sushi to be taken home.  This tells me that probably a good number of you tried out the sushi who hadn't before. 


So I was hoping a few of you might be good enough chime in and tell me if it was your first time trying sushi, and whether it was your first time or not, what you thought of it.  Also, would anyone be interested in me listing some or all of the vendors we used?  If no one wants a published list, know that now that the party's over, I would have no problem telling you who I used; so feel free to shoot me an email if you're interested in a particular service.

Brianna
 
 
I know, I've been a slacker blogger the last week.  Ever since I got back to New York, I've had a lot of work to do, keeping up in my classes.  This next week will probably be nuts, too, since I have a few presentations.  After that, however, it's pretty well down hill, just doing research and writing papers. 

This weekend, I was going to stay in Buffalo and clean my room.  However, it will be Halloween, and I do not want to be here.  I know!  I've always wanted to do college student Halloween things (whatever those may be), but since my car was egged a couple months ago on a perfectly normal day, by people Clayton guesses were "just some hoodlums with an extra egg," (huh?) I really don't want to find out what this weekend has in store for me in Buffalo.  So I'll probably go back to my mother's place and assist with candy distribution.

OH MY GOSH!  Did anyone else see the Northern Lights on Monday night?  I had just left the farm after picking up some mail and visiting with Clayton's mother, we I looked north (as I often do for this very reason) and saw green streaks across the sky!  I pulled over and called Clayton's mom to ask if I was nuts, was informed I was not, and then we hung up.  I jumped out of my car and looked up to see what was probably the most spectacular aurora I've ever beheld! 

It was all streaks of green and red, and it was as if God had mounted stained glass onto the sky.  I called my own mother and informed her of the event, just in time, too, because she was in a position to drive north just then to someplace slightly more remote and get a good look.  Then I stood, looking up in awe for probably 15-20 minutes, absorbing the sight and storing it in my memory as well as I could.

I'm so glad I got to see another aurora (this was my third) before moving south.  Apparently this one was seen as far south as Alabama, but I have no idea how much people down there actually saw.  Of all the things I'll miss from New York, the Northern Lights are high up on the list.  Up there with Tim Horton's, real pizza, good bagels, garbage plates and maple syrup. 

Now I'm just chilling in my room in Buffalo.  I guess we *might* get snow today.  This worries me a little, because when Buffalo gets snow, it GETS SNOW.  It's still early yet, however, and it'll probably just be the wet, icky kind.  I wish I had a more appropriate word for it, but I am not an Eskimo, and "wet and icky" is the best I can do. 

I might get another post up here this weekend while distributing candy, but otherwise don't expect a whole lot for some time.  Right now we're waiting on everything.  Waiting for my semester to be over, waiting for the photographers' proofs, waiting for a house, waiting for Clayton's shift to change.  Just, everything.  I'm trying to maintain that newly married bliss thing I had going last week, but it's tough when we don't even live together.  There won't be any new pics of our combined shenanigans for a while, either, as I won't see Clayton again until he says it's time to come claim our house.  So sorry if the blog gets boring for a few weeks!  Thanks for stopping in anyway.

Brianna
 
 
Today we had no paperwork to do, so we slept in for a long while.  Then we took off in search of breakfast.  By the time we made it to The Baker's Square- a place so wonderful it's probably where the Keebler elves go for brunch- it was pretty firmly afternoon, so I ordered a sandwich.  Clayton had the "hungry farmer" meal, so I got to try the **awesome** pancakes and the Square's famous butter syrup. 

Then we passed the remainder of the afternoon by wandering old New Bern.  The afternoon was beautiful, so it was a great walk.  We found a farmer's market, which only had one or two booths of produce among the couple dozen.  We also found a nice antique store, which was fun to wander (since we use antique stores as free museums).  It was there that I met a friendly old cat called George.  His meow sounded like he was saying "no" all the time, but really he wanted to be friends.

This evening the plan was to go "someplace nice," but on our way to wherever this nice place was, we saw a totally random carnival/fair thing going on.  So Clayton pulled off there, and we had fun just being at a fair.  There was an awesome train set up, and all manner of 4-H style displays were there to admire.  Clayton threatened to buy me a miniature pony ride, so I suggested we go on a circle ride, and that put an end to the pony rides.


Now we're back where we started, in our room playing games and just being happy chilling together.  All in all, it was a good, fun and relaxing day.  Tomorrow I head back to New York. 

Brianna

 

Our Room

10/21/2011

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So we left our room for dinner this evening, and were greeted by a hallway that was filled with furniture up to our room.  We took some pictures after dinner, because it was just unbelievable.
Did I mention that our room is the last in the hallway?  There are only about four feet between the edge of our door and a wall.  Next time, if there's construction in a hotel where we're staying, I don't care if we get a "smoking" room.  It can't be any worse than the paint fumes.  **Bonus points if you can spot our travel buddies!**
 
 
Yesterday we actually got up and jumped into another day full of paperwork.  We went down to the Tricare office and got me on the books.  The sweet lady at the desk advised us that there is, in fact, a Social Security Administration office nearby in New Bern.  So there we went to change my name **officially** to Brianna Leverenz.  It was also there that I learned that on my Social Security records all these years, my mother's maiden name has been misspelled.  *Shrug*

After lunch, we came back to the base and said "can we has hows, plz?"  The ladies at the housing office were very cheerful and helpful.  Currently, we're on the waiting list for a house in our friends' neighborhood.  If Clayton doesn't hear from them by Thanksgiving, he's supposed to call and ask for our second choice.

Despite the fact that we're actually running out of interesting things to do around here, I really quite enjoy getting out of our hotel room.  It is the ickiest little room we've ever gotten, and the power tool-requiring renovations start outside our door promptly at 0700 each day.  This is really starting to bug me.  My new husband, however, being so near to deaf that a more prudent wife would look into learning ASL, somehow manages to sleep through it.

Last night we ate at Crabby Patty's, land of fried EVERYTHING.  It was delicious, but I regretted even trying to eat that much fried food before we'd even finished.  Spices and an entire breaded meal are some things I'm going to have to learn to enjoy if I'm to live here in the South, apparently.  But, hey- hush puppies!

Now, off to do more paperwork, some networking and then chill for the weekend.  Oh, and once again, if anyone took pictures of the wedding, please email them to me!  Even if you don't want me to post them here.  All you have to do is tell me not to, and I won't.  However, I'd really like to have them for my own enjoyment.  Thanks!

Brianna

 
 
Clayton and I arrived in Havelock, NC crazy early this morning.  Eager to get to sleep in an actual bed (not that the Tahoe's seats aren't comfy), we got ourselves a room in the first hotel that would have us and crashed.  After a few hours' sleep, we got up and dove into the mountains of paperwork we knew would be waiting for us.  I now have a Department of Defense identification card, and Clayton has a half dozen more pieces of paper in his service record file.  Tomorrow, more paperwork awaits us.

Now allow me to recount what we've been up to since the wedding.  That night, after removing the **shrink wrap** from Clayton's vehicle, we stopped by our respective parents' houses to stuff our overnight bags, and then proceeded to Buffalo.  We blissfully tripped into the Best Western in downtown Buffalo, still in our wedding clothes.  The guy at the front desk was super nice, and apparently upgraded us into an awesome room (it was actually ivory and purple, which blew my mind when I finally realized it).

Sunday was our groomsman Zeke's birthday, so he, Rachel and Ani met us at the Anchor Bar, home of the chicken wing. There, we ordered more delicious chicken bits than I've ever seen in one place, drank Canadian beer and had several loud and obnoxious conversations.  We could have stayed there all night eating chicken, drinking and talking, but unfortunately for us, the Anchor Bar actually does close, and we had to leave out the side door.

On Monday, we stopped by UB, where Clayton had real taro bubble tea for the first time since he'd left Japan, along with Japanese curry.  Then we headed back to Hamlin, where we turned in our finished marriage license and collected our official marriage certificate, complete with raised seal.  That colorful piece of paper got me a temporary license with my new name(!) on it at the DMV.  Monday night, we came back to the farm and opened our wedding gifts in front of the parents.  The moms were good enough to make a list of everything we received, so once I'm back in New York you can be certain that thank you notes will be forthcoming.  Then we watched the photo booth pictures in a slideshow on the t.v., which was super fun.

Tuesday was spent driving down to North Carolina.  The drive wasn't too bad, and free of traffic jams.  Now that I've had time to sit still this afternoon, I've been able to update the website and load some pictures for you all.  Come back soon for more pictures and updates! 

Brianna

 
 
So here it is, the latest version of our website.  The appearance is just like the wedding mode, but the over all composition is more like what you can expect in the future.  I'm using this blog post to explain some of the changes.

We've removed the calendar page, because at this moment we rarely know what's going on from one month to the next, and even if we did, none of it involves nearly as many people as did the wedding.  Unless Clayton and I become hugely famous for doing something awesome, we have no intention of bringing the calendar page back.  For now we have a "Thank You" page to give some credit to all of the people who helped us out with our wedding.

The "Important Links" page will be gone soon, but it might come back as a list of favorite sites later.  Obviously, maps and directions won't be necessary once you all get home from your hotels, so that page will be removed as well.  Instead, there will be an entire page dedicated to pictures from the wedding.  If you have any you would like to contribute, we'd love getting prints in the mail, an email with attachments or any other copies you can manage to get us.  Let us know if you have any feelings one way or the other about us using your pictures on the site.

To get in touch with us, I've posted our contact information on a new "Communicate" page.  This will, of course, get updated as we move.  In the meanwhile, keeping checking in here to see what we're about.