Manckwhite Summer Vacation 2015: Albany and Boston for Two Whole Weeks!

Lovely Day

Lovely Day

Oh, today has just been the nicest Saturday. And I’m not just saying that because I’m having bourbon-aged hard cider, though it is wonderful : )

Seriously, go find Woodchuck's Barrel Select Private Reserve, it's amazing!
Seriously, go find Woodchuck’s Barrel Select Private Reserve, it’s amazing!

This morning, the husband and I decided to sleep in since it was nice and grey. After much cuddling, we retrieved Bueller’s best friend Sarge from his apartment so he could hang out with us while his mom worked at the Ren Faire in Bastrop. We hung out with the pups for a while, enjoying the lovely temperature outside though the winds were a bit much.

Sarge even jumped up on the bed! He's usually very cautious, so this was super-precious : )
Sarge even jumped up on the bed! He’s usually very cautious, so this was super-precious : )

After the boys got settled and we played a little WoW, we were off on a quest for fun ‘errands’ of places we’d meant to go but hadn’t been in a while.

Stop one: the giant downtown Spec’s! This is a huge liquor store, gourmet grocery and deli all rolled into one in Midtown; one of favorite places to go. We were also there one year ago today, buying the booze for our wedding with Mom, Bert and Bef, so it seemed fitting to be there again today : ) We got delicious sandwiches for dessert, along with Orange Blossom mints from les Anis de Flavigny, Brie for dinner this week, good Ruffino for our anniversary tomorrow and the aforementioned delicious cider.

Stop two: AMAZING CAKE SUPPLIES! I heard about this fantastic cake supply store via the internet earlier this week, so when a parent mentioned it to me on Thursday I knew it was pre-ordained that I must go there. Though it’s in a cruddy neighborhood, this place is baking supply heaven!! They have tons of different cake boxes, sprinkles and sugar, ckae toppers and even gum paste/sugar flowers.

I got the disposable plastic cupcake carriers I’ve been searching for for ages, a 1 lb bag of green sanding sugar, a cheap little cake leveler, a new coupler for my extra-large piping tips, plus these amazing super-concentrated flavors like Kahlua and marshmallow: all for less than $40! If you’re in Houston and love to bake, definitely try it! They’re at: 5611 Bellaire Blvd Suite 118

Stops three-five: Collector’s to peruse the newest wares, Guitar Center to look for a particular size of bag, and then Petsmart for puggle foods.

We returned to very happy (and sleepy) puppies, so we spent the afternoon lounging about with them while playing some more WoW and doing chores. It was so nice to have some casual downtime after our very exciting stops; non-scheduled relaxing time is a rare commodity during lacrosse season!


By 6 it was time for the weekly grocery run to HEB, then back to laundry and the boys. We unpacked groceries, made dinner reservations at The Melting Pot for our anniversary tomorrow, and then I took a nice bath with a cider and my 10-volume-in-1 version of Roger Zelazney’s Amber series.

We just dropped Sarge off with Keri since she was back from the Faire, and now it is bedtime for all the ManckWhites after a very lovely Saturday : )

A Sunday of Projects!

A Sunday of Projects!

It was another productive day in the ManckWhite apartment today! After falling asleep watching the NLL opening game, we slept in a bit and then enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and coffee while mapping out the day’s tasks. Bill tackled dishwasher unloading, tidying and vacuuming while I handled dishwasher loading, surface scrubbing, sweeping and mopping. After just a few hours, the apartment was gleaming and fresh : )

Here Bueller demonstrates how nicely he coordinates with our new bedding. Isn’t it darling?

As a reward for successful cleaning, we treated ourselves to delicious Greek food at Niko Niko’s, enjoying the clear winter weather as we went. For some reason, the city was busy and bustling with traffic and diners, so we didn’t stay out too long.

When we returned home I still had the do-something bug, so I decided to tackle the last undecorated wall in the apartment. We don’t have a table in there yet (though we’re planning on building(!) one this year with our friends), the big wall still needed to be decorated! During wedding planning we’d accumulated a large number of family pictures, so I decided to use those in addition to the beautiful flat copper pieces that Ms. Mercy has given us over the years. It took a few hours to get things measured and hung, and I’m still in need of one plate hanger, but it turned out really well!

I’m still working on making the darn frames hang straight.

On the top row, from left to right, are my maternal grandparents’ wedding picture, my paternal grandparents’ high school graduation picture, Bill’s paternal grandma, and a picture of his maternal grandparents. The next level down is a wedding photo of the two of us dancing with a copper heart pan below. The plate that’s actually hanging up is one that Bill’s Nan painted in 1927! These are flanked by my parents’ wedding photo on the left and Bill’s parents’ engagement photo on the right. Under my parents are a picture of my family in 1988 when we lived in Florida, a portrait of my Grampy on an oil rig, a great photo of toddler-me with my Grammy, and a photo of all my siblings with my dad. Under Bill’s parents are a picture of Ms. Mercy in her kitchen, kindergarten-Bill in his devil costume for Halloween, Mr. Don at home and Bill’s brother John holding Bueller like a baby. The bottom plaque was a gift from Mercy that says “Families are joined heart to heart. Time and distance can’t break them apart” : )

Now that the majority of our work is done, it’s time for some relaxing with leftovers for dinner before Iron Chef America comes on and I begin ironing. How’s that for a productive Sunday? Let’s hope that the week goes as smoothly.

Of the weekend and the coming weekends.

Of the weekend and the coming weekends.

Manckwhite Weekend Activities:
– watched the varsity football team rock the first half of their homecoming game… and then peter out to a loss
– chaperoned the homecoming dance, where we saw ~1000 teenagers lose their mind for Gangnam Style and Call Me Maybe… but not know the moves to Thriller
– didn’t get to bed until way too late both nights, turning us in to Monday zombies

Manckwhite Weekend Discoveries:
– the fresh pizza dough from HEB is only $2 and is delicious
– HEB now sells mead, which Bill is pretty sure shows society is progressing admirably
– equal parts dish soap (preferably blue Dawn) and vinegar, mixed in a spray bottle, sprayed and left for an hour, makes soap scum wipe off like magic, which used to take 1.5 hours and 3 Magic Erasers of work

Manckwhite Future Busy-ness:
– this weekend: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at school on Friday, box lacrosse on Saturday?
– next weekend: visit up to the homestead to visit the parents, assemble the bed in my old room, and drop off/dispose of wedding items stored in our truck
– the next weekend: free weekend – start to pack for Thanksgiving and moving
– the next, next weekend: drive to New York for Thanksgiving/Christmas combo
– the next, next, next weekend: drive back from New York
– the next, next, next, next weekend: move.
And then it’s December. Sheesh.

Oh noes and shame.

Oh noes and shame.

I have been a terrible blogger again, friends. So sorry! If it makes you feel any better, it’s because life has been kind of awesome and busy lately. Between wedding planning stuff, Bill’s school stuff, Bef’s wedding, my subsequent trip to the hospital and week off of work, the Manck/Whites have been muy busy, generally in a positive way. Since I’ve been away, here are some things that have happened

  • Bef & Bert’s wedding in Springfield was AWESOME. So, so much fun to see 2 of my best friends get married and to dance with all the rest to celebrate : )
  • While driving the 12 hours back from SGF to HOU, I started having weird back pains that I thought were brought on by exhaustion.
  • The next day, Bill had to take me to the Urgent Care/ER for what turned out to be pyleonephritis, aka Emily’s UTI turned into a kidney infection. Cue my first ever blood draw, IV and trip to the ER! Got the drug that’s also used to treat anthrax while there.
  • Spent the next week working from home while taking hard-core antibiotics and hobbling around like an oldster.
  • Didn’t get to go visit my parents before Thanksgiving because of busy-ness and health issues : (
  • Had Thanksgiving with Zach’s family, met a very cute beagle puppy I almost stole.
  • Did really well at eBaying for a little while and got our wedding tablecloths for less than $7/120″ tablecloth (cheaper than renting them)!
  • Did really poorly at eBaying when I started winning auctions I didn’t need, cue almost panic attack, cue nice vendors who cancel bids, whew!
  • Decorated the apartment for our first ever non-Family Christmas.
  • Bill signs his Spring contract and gets a pretty good feeling about being kept on next year, possibly even as full-time : )
  • Bill was named head coach of 1st team junior varsity in the Spring! He’s also the goalie coach for the varsity as well.
  • Have most of our Christmas shopping done! The new Bueller calendar has been completed and printed : )
  • Implemented a Finn-sleeps-in-the-bathroom-at-night-after-a-calming-goo-treat protocol after he kept tackling the tree and almost ruined Bill’s phone with a glass of water.
  • Scooched some things around so we can invite a few work friends to the wedding.
  • Ordered all of our invites, announcements, RSVP cards and pocketfolds!
  • Open House night at Bill’s school last night = tour of the 45-acre campus, free snacks and tote bag, hanging out with the lacrosse boys, not getting home until 10pm after leaving the house at 7:30 that morning.
  • Very, very tired Manck/Whites today.

So, it’s been an interesting since-October! Today also marks a milestone: we’re down to double digit days until the wedding! Only 99 days stand between us and the altar : ) We’ve checked a lot of to-do’s off the to-do list, but there are still many to go. Hopefully this weekend, we’ll get a chance to go search for my wedding band and Bill’s suit, as well as trying to replace my piece-of-crap phone. Other upcomings include:

  • Using my last vacation day of the year to make pancakes for Bill’s classes on their Dead Day before finals
  • School Faculty Christmas Party!!
  • Family Christmas with my siblings
  • Finding/finalizing the rehearsal dinner location
  • Deciding on a cake option
  • Continued working on making Finnegan not a freaking nutter all the time

The invitation pieces (less those I still have to print) are all supposed to arrive next week, which means I need to print things, buy envelopes and stamps, and assemble, assemble, assemble next week! When I have all the pieces in my greedy little hands and have my assembly line set-up, expect to hear much, much more about our print goods.

Well, that’s at least a bit of an update, eh? In the time between now and my next update, remember I have the private Twitter (@Mancktastic), the public wedding Twitter (@manckwhitewed), and now Pinterest! You can come and see what little bits of ideas and pretties I’ve saved for later on the internets here. Until then, have a wonderful day/week/month! : )

Wanna see the venue?

Wanna see the venue?

Today, Bill and I went out to La Grange to see Lutherhill, where we’ll be getting hitched. And HOLY MOLY IT IS AMAZING!

A) The chapel is beautiful, like beyond my biggest dreams beautiful. See the photos below:
B) The ‘turn-around fee’ of the staff switching the chapel from ceremony to reception area is included, awesome!
C) While they flip the chapel, we’re having a little ‘cocktail hour’ out on the deck, how fun!
D) The housing is swank, like nicer than any camp I’ve ever been to, like hotel-y!
E) Bueller is allowed to come, hooray!
F) The woman who showed us around today, Kristin, was super-nice and even gave me a hug before we left : )

Here’s a video Bill took so you can get a better feel for how the exterior flows : )

Week One’s Week-End

Week One’s Week-End

Things that were accomplished this weekend:

  • Saturday morning breakfast at Harry’s before the rush
  • Successful tax-free trip to Target to acquire workout clothes for Bill and cleaning supplies
  • First-ever apartment floor mopping with awesome new mop!
  • Bill’s classes’ first quizzes all graded
  • Laundry completed
  • 2 workouts
  • All of Bill’s work clothes – ironed
  • Much cooking and consuming of deliciousness
  • Small grocery trip
  • Celebration of our 1.5 year anniversary – aka just having a good weekend and remembering it was our anniversary

Things that were created and/or consumed this weekend:

  • The rest of our chocolate chip cookies and their saved dough
  • Chicken quesadillas
  • Harry’s breakfast – delish!
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce
  • White wine
  • Toad-in-a-hole
  • Crisped-up tacos
  • Nachos
  • Bill’s birthday pound cake
  • Some popsicles

Things that came in the mail this weekend:

  • The registration for Bill’s car… finally!
  • A jury summons for me… booooo : (

Upcoming this week:

  • Four days in a row of lacrosse practice for Bill
  • Parents’ Night at Bill’s school
  • Continuing round-up of friends’ addresses and lodging for the wedding
  • Tracking down a BBQ joint to cater our reception – in case we don’t use the in-house folks
  • Visit to our wedding venue this Sunday!