July 10, 2006

Debauchery - check

Erica's bachelorette party


On Thursday and Friday, respectively, our friends took us out for our bachelorette and bachelor parties. Erica's friends took her to La Creperie for delicious crepes and many silly gifts. My friends too me to Fogo de Chao for too much meat and then the Sovereign for cigars (thanks, Don!) and beers.

And check out our matching hats, courtesy of Kristen.

Thanks, friends.

February 7, 2006


Thanks to everyone who came to the party, and special thanks to everyone who gave us an (unexpected) engagement present, and extra special thanks to Dan and Vicky who gave us the bestest engagement present ever:

Newlyweds - Nick & Jessica - The Complete First Season
Newlyweds - Nick & Jessica - The Complete First Season

Now we can find out what it's going to be like to be married!

I mean, ignoring the fact that they're getting divorced. Or what Dan and Vicky call Nick's look of resignation and impending doom on the cover of the final season. Or the fact that they didn't call it Season Four, but rather the FINAL Season:

Newlyweds - Nick & Jessica - The Final Season

January 18, 2006

Engagement Photos

Erica and Fuzzy

I don't think I'd ever thought about "engagement photos" until Dan and Vicky had some taken last winter. I mean, I knew people put pictures in the paper, but at least as far as I remember those tend to be Owen Mills-style stiff portraits in front of a colored backdrop. Dan and Vicky went down to the lakefront and wandered around being cute and lovey while a photographer took pictures of them.

Well, I like wandering and being cute, and Erica wanted to do the whole picture-in-the-home-town-paper thing. (I don't really have a home town, but I have websites that need cute pictures of us.) We asked my friend James Trevenen from work if he could take some pictures of us.

So this last Sunday we bundled up against the chill and headed downtown to the Art Institute. We took a bunch of photos in the South Garden of the Art Institute, near the The Fountain of the Great Lakes by Lorado Taft. (One of our friends' great-aunts was the model for one of the Lakes ladies.) Then we moved to the front of the Art Institute for a few shots with the iconic Edward Kemeys' lions. And then on to Millennium Park for a few shots in the Lurie Garden and then by the mostly-inaccessible Cloud Gate ("the Bean"). We wondered if we were going to get hassled by security because of James' very professional looking camera, but we never got a second glance. So finished up and went to Ada's to warm up with some soup.

We're really happy with the photos. There are some paper-worthy ones and some just plain cute ones and ones that reflect our personalities, too. Thanks James!

A (large) selection of the photos are in a set at Flickr.

January 17, 2006

Engagement Party

But hey, we don't want to get so caught up in planning the wedding that we forget to enjoy being engaged. On Saturday, February 4, we're having a combo Engagement / House (well, apartment) Warming / Birthday (mine) Party at our new place. You're invited, of course, because you are our close, personal friend.

Oh, and so much has happened this weekend that I almost forgot that we also went out and took engagement photos with my friend James Trevenan. We met up on Sunday afternoon at the Art Institute and did a bunch of shots in the garden just south of the main entrance and then wandered around Millennium Park a bit. We were all a little nevous about getting hassled by the security because of last year's "professional photography" hoo-hah and James' camera was pretty impressive and "professional" looking, but we never got a second glance. I had brought a card reader to be able to get instant copies of the photos, but I had neglected to clear off enough space on my iPod (which is what my card reader dumps photos to) and so I've had to practice that most un-digital of virtues -- patience. I should get copies of the photos tomorrow. I guess we're going to be rather traditional and send photos to home-town papers. Whee.

December 20, 2005

Being Girly

First of all, I have to say that Fuzzy is the most amazing person in the planet and I am more in love with him every single day and I now I know what all the fuss about love and romance is about and I want to spend every day with him for the rest of my life. And he is perfect. And so so handsome. And cute. And funny. And sweet. And generous. And caring. And loving. And wonderful. And I love him. And I think that marrying him is the best decision that I have ever made.


There is nothing like getting engaged to make you feel totally girly. Like really girly. I'm not normally one to squeal over rainbows and pink shiny things and kittens (ok, kittens), but I feel like that is all I have been doing since we made our engagement public. And while we are going to have a fairly laidback and un-fancy wedding, you better believe that I am going to make a fuss. The dress I found is to-die-for gorgeous, and once I saw it, I knew that it was the one for me. I don't want to say too much about it, since the dress is supposed to be a mystery or something, but lets just say that I am waiting for the approval of that store's credit card so I can do some shopping. And it is only $325. SCORE!

And can I just talk about this ring? I know Fuzzy has talked about it, but I must echo him and say that it is the Most Beautiful Thing In The World. I just stare at it all day. And the fact that it is a family heirloom that the Gerdes-es (Gerdes's? Gerdeses?) wanted me to have makes me feel all the more welcome into the family. It was so unexpected and it makes me so happy.

The real challenge in planning this wedding will be that Fuzzy and I would probably both much prefer to sit on the couch and watch tv or play video games than do any real work...but I'm sure that because it is work this exciting, we'll be just fine.

Thanks to all for your excitement, happiness, and well-wishes!

December 14, 2005

That Ring Picture

Shiny Ring

Here's a picture of the shined-up ring. You can click on the picture to go see it at larger sizes at the Flickr photo-sharing service.

December 13, 2005

Shiny Ring

I really need to take a picture of Erica's shiny, shiny ring. When my dad gave me the ring, it was a little big for Erica and (in retrospect) was a little dirty. At the advice of a coworker, we took the ring to Holtzmann's on Clark. Patrick Holtzmann measured Erica's finger and took the ring. I've never had a ring resized before, and the place is rather fancy, so I asked with a little trepidation how much it was going to be. $25. Whew!

Erica got the ring back in just a few days and not only is it the perfect size now, but it's shiiiii-ny. They even offered that just before she heads to Mississippi to show it off to her family for the first time that she should stop back in and they'd polish it up again.

December 9, 2005

The Engagement Story

Close-up of the ring

I already posted this story on my website, but I wanted to have it over here, too.

So I like to say "we've announced our engagement" rather than "we're engaged now" because we had decided a few months ago that getting married would be a grand idea. But we thought it would be good to wait until after the move and we got things more settled around the house and our lives before we announced anything. And we wanted to go get a ring, but there just hasn't been time...

So we were going to visit my family in Texas for Thanksgiving and we decided that it would be good to tell them while we were down there. Saturday night at dinner we did just that and everyone was very happy and Mom had a great time introducing Erica as my fiancee at church the next morning. Monday morning my dad took me aside and asked if we were having an artist friend design a ring or some other big plan like that. No, we just really haven't had time. "Well," he offered, "would you like your grandmother's ring? She never had an engagement ring, but it's her 40th anniversary ring. It'd need to be resized..." Would I? And how!

I carried the ring around with me all afternoon in my pocket. I thought about keeping it a secret until we got back to Chicago and making a big production of it, but I knew I couldn't wait that long to share it with Erica. So when we got back to my parents' house from lunch, I asked Erica to come sit with me on the backporch. It was just a little chilly (for Texas, that is -- it was probably 65° or so) and we cuddled up together on a lawnchair and my mom brought us out some blankets. We just held each other and talked about things for a while and then I asked her to reach into my pocket (I wasn't trying to be cute, we were all crammed together in that lawn chair and I couldn't reach into the pocket myself). She reached in, but all she was finding were receipts. "What am I looking for?" she asked. A little box, I said. Well, she knew right away what it was and she was, I'll say, delighted. And I was, too. And then we took a nap :-)

I think we got the best of both worlds -- we had mutually decided on getting married (I really think the whole "waiting for him to pop the question" thing is ridic.) but I also got to surprise Erica, if not with a proposal, with a ring.

Delightful... that's what it is. Erica makes me happier than I ever knew I could be, and so I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, but this gives me a chance to announce that to everyone, and that fills me with delight. Yay! And then we get to get married! (Well, next we get to plan a wedding...)

December 6, 2005

We're gonna get hitched

On Thanksgiving, at my parents' house, Erica and I announced that we're going to get married in September(ish) 2006 (exact dates TBD). What else to do, but start a blog about it. All the cool kids are doing it.