Posted by Emily , Friday, December 3, 2010 8:09 PM

So, I've come to the conclusion that I must have a target on my forehead, because people seem to think it's okay to proposition me for money in parking lots when I'm alone.  At night.  This has happened to me three times in my life, and twice in the past year!

When I was in high school, I was filling up my tires at a gas station.  The air compressor was behind the gas station, it was nighttime, and there were no lights.  A man came up to me and asked me for gas money.  I said "sorry" and immediately got in my car and drove away.  I paid for my gas in quarters at this time in my life anyway, so I really didn't have any money, but I was also freaked out.

Last year, I used to meet my carpool buddy in a slightly shady area of town in a grocery store parking lot.  One night, as I was getting in my car, I noticed an old beat-up white truck with a man sitting inside, and he looked like he was watching me.  I drove across the parking lot to the Subway to get a quick dinner, and as I was pulling out to leave, a woman walked in front of my car.  I rolled down my window and she explained that her daughter was stranded on the side of the road in some far-away town and she needed gas money.  She said her husband was the guy in the truck.  CREEPY.  I felt like they had cased me out or something. I said I didn't have any cash and she said "Well, can't you go to the ATM?" I thought to myself, "Are you freakin' serious?"  I said, "Sorry" and drove off.  This made me feel really guilty for some reason but at the same time, all of my senses were telling me to get away as fast as possible, and I never ignore my gut.

Two nights ago, I was leaving the mall and a guy was yelling really rudely, "EXCUSE ME, MAAM.  EXCUSE ME." Like an idiot I looked at him, when I should have just gotten in the car.  Crap, now I'm engaged in a conversation with this person. He said, "I'm not a homeless person I work at Target and I just ran out of gas..." I didn't really listen to the rest of his sentence.  I wondered "Why wouldn't you just ask a co-worker for a ride if that is the case? Use the phone at work?"  I said, "Well, maybe you should find someone to ask for help besides a woman who is alone."  He said something about everyone being mad and ignorant as I got in the car and drove away so fast I forgot to turn on my lights until I got on the road. 

As I'm typing these stories I feel like I sound like a horrible person, but I trust my gut and I don't want to get robbed/murdered/kidnapped.  I feel like these people should have better sense than to ask a lone woman for help when there are a lot of other people around, if they are really well-meaning and need help.  A normal person would go into one of the many surrounding businesses and call a family member, or ask someone who was not alone.  I have some friends whom I worry about because they are way too trusting.  As for me, I always lock the doors!

Confessions of a Disorganized Person

Posted by Emily , Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:51 PM

So, I really meant to continue the post about the Catholic Engaged Encounter, and I will, but a while ago (not sure when) I lost the USB cable to my camera.  In order to get pictures from my camera to my computer, I have to go to Wal-Mart, put my memory card in one of those photo kiosks, and pay for a digital photo CD.  I haven't figured out a better way to do it, but if you know of one, let me know!

Anyway, moral of the story, I might have to wait until I have some more pictures before I bite the bullet and pay for a CD and continue the saga.  In the meantime, some updates on our lives.

I am honestly enjoying my job a lot more this year, but that's not saying much. Last year, I'm pretty sure Matt was close to walking out on me since I was such a Debbie Downer. Thank goodness he has the patience of a saint. It was a rough year, and this year I'm focused on not letting my job take over my life.  It's taken a serious attitude adjustment and also an adjustment in my work habits.  I cannot possibly procrastinate in my job if I want to enjoy the rest of my life. I'm still not totally happy there, but I feel much less overwhelmed and I am not being as hard on myself as I was.  Our CEE weekend really helped me in this area, because I am now thinking more about how my attitude affects Matt, and I'm more conscious about bringing all of it home with me.

Matt is happy at his job, despite annoyances such as the water lines being frequently cut off of late.  His school is older and strapped for cash, so there are a lot of problems like that, it seems.  He is very busy with coaching cross-country, and soon it will be even busier with basketball. The upside is that he really enjoys coaching basketball even though it takes a lot of his time.  I miss him a lot sometimes during the winter!  I look forward to someday being able to come to more of his games since hopefully I'll work closer to him.  It's an hour drive between my school and his.

We had our engagement pictures taken by Taisia Gordon last weekend, which was a lot of fun.  I can't wait until they come out! Taisia was beyond fun and we felt totally comfortable with her.  It was much easier than I thought it would be. A couple of weeks ago I met with a florist and tried to sort out flowers, which was a LOT harder than I thought!  Who would have known there were so many decisions to make?  I've had some trouble with our coordinator at our venue, so we had to scrap some things originally planned just to save my sanity.  My dress came in and it fits like a glove and looks gorgeous.  Next up: invitations.

The latest wedding issue is whether to continue with our plan to "iPod" our wedding reception, or get a DJ.  There are pros and cons to both, and we are starting to doubt our original plans a bit.  The money-saving aspect is definitely the ULTIMATE pro of the iPod, but it would be nice not to have to worry so much and let a DJ take care of things.  Decisions, decisions.  Regardless of what we choose to do, I know that we will throw a great party!

Catholic Engaged Encounter Epic Adventure - Part 1

Posted by Emily , Sunday, October 3, 2010 3:19 PM

Last weekend, much to our dismay, Matt and I attended our Catholic Engaged Encounter.  We were both kind of excited about it at first because Matt's sister Amanda had gone to one before she got married and enjoyed it.  However, as the weekend drew nearer we began to think about it and realized that we would probably have roommates.  Bleh.  I haven't had to sleep in the same room with a stranger since freshman year of college.  I didn't enjoy it then and I don't enjoy it now.  Suffice it to say I was DREADING the weekend, at least the sleeping part.  Matt was dreading it also, but mostly because there would be no TV's or radios and therefore, no football.

Anyway, we decided to take the day off on Friday so that we could run errands in the morning and then drive down early to make it a little less stressful. After an unsuccessful morning at the DMV, we set out for Kansas City, Kansas. On the way, I called The Pasta Factory hoping to book our rehearsal dinner. 

No dice.  Already booked. 

And here I thought I was being Bridezilla by trying to book THIS far ahead!   It took me a little while to realize it was just tough noogies and move on.  Matt talked me off the ledge and reminded me that it's really not that big of a deal!

Back to the trip - we got to KC around 1:30 and found our building, which I forgot to take a picture of.  The place is in a really nice area near a motor speedway and so theres's a lot of shopping and restaurants around. We had 6 hours to kill, so we went to Cabela's.

And we killed 2 of our six hours looking at hunting paraphenalia and giant fish, like these:


We also looked at some four-wheelers and pontoon boats that I'm pretty sure Matt sees in his dreams.

Like a kid in a candy store.
Next we went to Nebraska Furniture Mart, which I think may be one of the reasons people in other countries hate Americans.  It was huge and totally overwhelming.  We laughed when we got to the TV section, because there was an aisle full of 32-inch flat screens labeled "Small Televisions."  It was kind of creepy because they had all these TV salesmen standing around waiting to attack you like in the used car lot. 

After that, we decided to head to dinner, where I encountered the most delicious burger I've ever had.


Surprise! It's a Baby Shower!

Posted by Emily , Friday, September 24, 2010 8:49 AM

Back in July, before my nephew was born, Megan and I threw a baby shower for Erin.  Erin was coming over so that Ava could swim in the pool at our apartment complex.  Honestly, I was completely lame and forgot to make snacks so I had just laid out what we had in the fridge (some cherry tomatoes, ranch, grapes, chips and dip).  Megan brought over an ice cream cake from Coldstone that was amazing!

Don't know why I didn't bother to take the lid off before I took the crappy iPhone pic - oh well, you get the idea! Ava was especially pumped about the cake, as always.  Before we ate, we opened presents. 

Ava got some presents too :-)
Here we are stuffing our faces...

And less than 24 hours later, Erin was in labor with THIS GUY!
The cutest little baby boy ever, Anthony Michael Barbaro - July 23, 2010


Posted by Emily , Sunday, September 19, 2010 9:33 PM

Dear Friends and Family,

Since neither Matt nor I are very good at keeping in touch with everyone, I decided that it might be a good idea for us to have a blog.  Hopefully this will allow us to update everyone on what's going on with us without boring you with what you don't really care to hear about.  If you don't care about my ongoing battle in choosing wedding flowers or whatever, you don't have to read about it, but we get to write about whatever we want :-) Anyway, we hope this will help our loved ones stay up to date with us if they want to!

Emily and Matt