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A bit about our wedding

16 Sep

As you know, I’m really behind on posting here. Since Pete and I have been married for well over a year by now, it seems slightly indulgent to share our wedding story with you, but it was really fun, so if you weren’t there, you’ll definitely want to take notes in hopes that you too can throw a fab party for 200 of your closest friends one day. 🙂

Here are some of the highlights:

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Here’s what the ceremony room looked like before the show started. It looked so beautiful and got me in the mood to get hitched! Also, I loved our flowers. After dinner, this room was turned into a dance floor with our wedding band in front of the mantle. My biggest fear was that no one would dance, but the band kept the dance floor full until the wee hours of the morning!

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Me and my grandma shortly before the ceremony. Love that classy lady!

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Pete and I wrote our own vows, which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Hearing what Pete had to say made me fall in love with him even more. Just when we were all about to cry, I cracked a joke and made Pete laugh, which was one of the highlights from our wedding day. Our good friend, Adam, served as our officiant and it was awesome to be married by someone we know and love.

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We did wedding pies from a local bakery instead of a traditional cake. Delicious!

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We made all of our guests pose for a pic immediately after the ceremony. The bar was just outside the frame of this photo and it was really hard to get our guests focused when the alcohol so close they could smell it. We served Pisco Sours for a special cocktail which great for two reasons: 1) Pisco is from Peru, which is perfect as Pete is Peruvian and 2) They were delicious and very alcoholic.

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In lieu of favors, we made a donation to PAWS, a local no-kill animal shelter.

lensworkstudio-354Yay we did it! Go team PEVA! We are now 14 months in and still going strong. And thanks to all our wonderful guests and vendors – without you, are day wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing. xoxo.

Sheridan Road magazine ran a small announcement for our wedding, so you can find all our vendors here.

All photos courtesy of Lenswork Studio.

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Can we talk?

10 Sep

Hey there. So I know it’s been awhile. Like, almost two years. But if you’ll have me, I’d love to share some of my life with you once again.

Last we talked, Pete and I were recently engaged and in the midst of wedding planning. Wedding stuff got crazy busy, Pete and I got married in June 2012, went on an amazing honeymoon in Europe, and six months later, we moved out of the city and into a real, grown-up house in the Chicago burbs. Since then, we’ve taken another wonderful trip across the pond and have tirelessly worked to bring our home into modern times.

But over the past few weeks, as summer has begun to wind down, the McNamara household is comfortably settling into the new normal.

And I miss you, blog. I miss having a platform to share my life and my thoughts and a place to write what I want to write about, just for fun. I’d love to catch you up on all the exciting things that have happened over the past year.

So maybe, for old times sake, you’ll give me another chance?

xoxo Eva

Volunteer Day

31 Jul

A few weeks ago, my workplace hosted a volunteer outing, where we did some painting and landscaping for a local service center. Someone hired a photographer to take pictures of us giving back to the community.

Well, I guess I wasn’t too happy with the prospect of spending my day helping others, because this is a picture of myself on that very morning. Please note that I am looking away from the speaker, so I have no idea why I’m giving a snotty look to someone in the other direction.

And then here’s a picture taken only a few minutes later, still giving snotty looks in the opposite direction of the speaker:

And that’s just one more reason I hate all photographers.

The Engagement Story

19 Jun

Reenactment of the proposal and me taking the ring out of the box

Pete and I are getting married! Yay!

So that’s good. Here’s the engagement story:

We left for Ireland on a Thursday night (it’s a seven hour flight), and arrived in Dublin on Friday morning. We rented a car and drove four hours to the island his family is from on the west coast, called Achill.

We got to Achill at about 3 p.m. and tried to stay awake for the whole day to get adjusted to Irish time zone. By the time we went to sleep at about 11 that night, I was pretty much a scary zombie lady.

And I was definitely a scary zombie lady when Pete woke me up the next morning at 7.

“It’s going to rain in six hours so if we want to see anything today, you have to get up NOW!” he said.

I put up a fight until Pete gave me the ultimate threat.

“I’ll throw water in your face, I swear I’ll do it,” he said.

So I eventually got out of bed, fearing for my life, and we went for a drive to the top of a mountain called Minaun, which overlooks all of Achill and the Atlantic Ocean. The only other living thing crazy enough to be up there except for us was one single sheep.

“Let’s get out and take a look around,” Pete said.

It was windy and cold out so I suggested we just look around from the comfort of the rental car.

“Just for a minute?” he asked.

So I got out of the car and we looked over the edge for a few seconds before I turned around to shield myself from the 50 mph winds.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the wind whip a small box out of Pete’s hands and fly. And then I saw Pete running frantically in the same direction.

I had figured out what was about to happen, but because I didn’t know if I was supposed to know what was about to happen, I just stayed frozen where I was, pretending I hadn’t seen Pete run like Chicken Little.

“Turn around for a second Eva,” he said.

So I turned around, and there he was, down on one knee. With a ring in his hand. And all of a sudden he was saying all these nice things about me, and how he really liked me, and I can’t really remember exactly what else he said, but I know it was very sweet. Then he asked me to marry him and tearfully said yes.

Then, I’m not sure why I did this, but I grabbed the ring out of the box and put it on my own hand. I don’t think it’s supposed to go like that, but I just got excited I guess.

The ring, with Minaun and the ocean as the backdrop

We hugged for a long time and then got back in the car, when we called my parents (except my dad was on a plane to Germany at the time and I spent the rest of the day trying to track him down), and his parents, and then hugged again, and I wanted to hug the lone sheep that was staring at us, but I didn’t. And then drove back down the mountain, when we told everyone else.

We drank at his uncle’s pub that night and stayed out until 2 a.m. and didn’t wake up for 13 hours.

It was perfect.

Cube Etiquette

13 Mar

Like most other Americans working in an office setting, I have sat in a cubicle since starting my post-college professional career almost five years ago. Because I’m pretty good about blocking out noise and looking busy (just kidding), the cube format has never really bothered me.

About a month ago, I got a new job and moved to a different floor in my building. Just to give you a visual, my back faces the cube behind me (although no one sits there right now) and I share a cube wall with the person who sits next to me. I can’t see that person, but I can hear them.

And for the first time, I’ve realized that this means they can probably hear me as well. I don’t know why this fact has never occurred to me before. Maybe, up until this point, I’ve always sat next to really quiet men who either didn’t talk on the phone very often or weren’t at their desks all that much.

Now cruel reality has come crashing down.

I now sit next to a woman who is required to be on the phone for a large part of her day in order to perform her job well. Just as a reminder, all that separates us is a piece of fabric that divides her cube and mine.

Don’t get me wrong — this woman is awesome at what she does and works very, very hard. She’s not even particularly loud, but for some reason, I just have a much harder time blocking her out that anyone I’ve ever sat next to before.

I feel strange when I hear her say things like, “So the doctor said I should be fine. I’m still coughing, and stuff is still coming up, but it’s not as gross as it was last week.”

Or, “Yeah, we went out this weekend and there was this kid at the club who couldn’t have been older than 20. He looked JUST like Justin Bieber. Like, JUST like him!!!! He wanted to party with us but I said, ‘Listen Bieber, it’s wayyyyyy past your bedtime’.” (I heard that story three times which is why I’m using it as an example.)

This has got me thinking about cube etiquette. How loud is too loud? What are you supposed to share with people over the phone if you don’t want your cube mates to hear it? Are you supposed to acknowledge the person on the other side of your cube divider? How much can you acknowledge them – I mean, this IS a place of business, after all. What if I heard her plotting to kill someone? Would I be required to report it to police or would my eavesdropping get me in major trouble? AHHH so many hard questions.

Feeling lucky?

15 Feb

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t posted in WEEKS! Not that I’ve been particularly busy, but I did start a new job. I’m also taking tennis lessons now, just FYI.

So while I’ve been away, Pete has had a rash of bad luck.

Here’s what’s happened to the poor guy:

– Got sick in Mexico (you can read about that here)
– Went to the doctor when we got home. Passed out at the office of said doctor. (Although the female doctor, nurse and secretary all rubbed his back and fed him bananas, pretty much his dream come true.)
– Went on antibiotics for upper respiratory infection
– Car battery went dead outside his favorite Mexican restaurant, Allende
– Car got broken into several days later (the mistress upstairs broke the news to him)
– Burned his eyeballs with my sister’s contact solution during the big blizzard and had to miss work

I, on the other hand, have had some very good luck, thanks to the kindness of strangers.

As you all know, Chicago got slammed by a huge blizzard a few weeks ago. I decided it would be a good idea to drive, completely unprepared for the extreme weather, one day later. BAD IDEA.

Not a good day for a drive.

Well, needless to say, I got stuck in the alley behind my apartment building. I was freaking out big time and did not know how I was going to get myself out. I noticed a guy in the lot next door with a snow blower. I asked if he had a shovel I could use to dig myself out. He let me borrow a shovel, but that’s not all — this baby angel of a man dug out the wheels of my car, pushed my car out of the snow and drove it into my spot.

And I repaid him by accidentally breaking his shovel in half. Oops! I offered to buy him a new one, but he said all he wanted was a hug. So I hugged him and he was very sweaty, but that’s OK.

As he walked away, he shouted out, “Just remember – your car rules the snow – not the other way around.”

And I never saw him again.

Wow.

My next bout of good luck came at the most unlikely of places – it’s called Best Buy and I’m pretty sure it’s run by Satan. I swear, they hire the most incompetent, idiotic, pimply kids to work there. A Best Buy customer service representative once suggested I sell my broken camera cord on ebay. WHY WOULD I SELL A BROKEN CAMERA CORD??????

But I digress. So I have an auxiliary cord in my car for my iPod and it was getting old and wasn’t working right. I needed a new one. Which meant I had to call Satan’s Palace, i.e. the Best Buy on Clark. I was really dreading this whole process.

But then I met this baby angel installer who was SOO nice (he was actually the same guy that helped me a few years ago and stayed late to help me when I got stuck in traffic on my way home) and didn’t charge me at all for labor, just $8.99 for the new cord. I was in and out of there within 15 minutes. Mission accomplished.

I still hate Best Buy, just for the record, but I do love that one guy.

And these are just two reasons I remain optimistic in mankind.

Our trip to London, i.e. the Cinnamon Bun Story

30 Jan

So tonight I went out to dinner with my family and we took a trip down memory lane and starting talking about the family trip we took to London in 1996. I was 10 and Didgie was 7 – and my two younger sisters stayed at home because they were too little.

Did we talk about Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London and Madame Tussaudes and all the other cool things we got to do and see on our trip?

No.

We talked about the cinnamon bun story.

What is the cinnamon bun story, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you right now.

On our first day in London, we were really jet lagged so my parents took me and Didgie to Hyde Park just after dawn, since we couldn’t sleep anyways. It was really quiet in the park, and it looked like we were the only people there.

Then we ran into this insane homeless man. He was this older English dude and he was wearing these glasses that looked like they were being held together by paper clips.

And he was definitely up for a conversation. I don’t remember how or why we had even listened to what he was saying in the first place, but apparently, we had stumbled right into the middle of a hedgehog funeral.

Yes, this crazy man told us that when he built a fire for himself in the park, a hedgehog dove into the fire and, sadly, died. And now he was holding a funeral for the poor animal.

We looked down. There was the dead hedgehog, in a casket made of one of those plastic restaurant take-out boxes. The homeless man had tried to turn it into a proper funeral, and had decorated the casket with flowers and sprigs he had found in the park.

“He was really bright too. I had even taught him some tricks,” he told us. That confused me, because if the hedgehog was as bright as this man was telling us, why would it run into a bonfire?

So it was probably one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen to this day, and after a few minutes of this weird babbling by the homeless man, we started walking away. The man was still talking as we walked away, but my parents just smiled and waved and told us to keep walking.

For the rest of the trip, Didgie and I would look at each other about every 10 minutes and ask, “What if he’s STILL TALKING?!?!?!?!?” and then we’d start laughing hysterically.

Anyways, we left the park, and here’s where the cinnamon bun comes into the story. We saw – I swear to god – a piece of dog doodie that looked JUST like a cinnamon bun. Like someone had just dropped a perfectly good cinnamon bun in the middle of the street accidently.

So, as you can imagine, we thought this was pretty freaking funny.

Just as we were recovering from the homeless man/cinnamon bun combo, Didgie looked up at me, and her eyes got really big.

“What if someone thinks it’s real and tries to EAT IT?!?!?!?!?” she asked.

Well, that just put us over the top and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed that hard in my whole life.

And I’ve never looked at a cinnamon bun the same way since.

Our other memory from that trip: When Didgie threw up in a bowl of oatmeal.

So, all in all, in turned out to be a pretty awesome trip.

In other news, Pete is watching Freaks and Geeks and just texted me to let me know that Millie reminds him of me. Ahhh, how sweet it is to be loved by Pete.