This weekend was our engagement/housewarming party and I had so much to do. In addition to cleaning the house as much as possible, buying everything that’s needed, it raining all weekend, prepping Saturday, cooking all day Sunday, we had our first venue tour for our wedding. Wait, I went alone because DB was putting the finishing touches on the downstairs bathroom, which looks amazing!
I am looking forward to making some progress in terms of finding/selecting a venue. I was so happy the NorCal Grizzlies won the tournament last weekend but we had to cancel our appointment to seeing the venue that’s in 3rd place. I left work at 3:30 pm and arrived at the venue in Discovery Bay with 3 minutes to spare for my 5 pm appointment. I was greeted by a very friendly front desk attendant and then was greeted by a pretty coordinator. She gave me a tour of the facility with two options for the ceremony, the main dining room, the buffet room, bar and dance floor and private dressing room. We went over the food and bar options, photos of previous weddings, and other items. I have to say it is quite a steal and as much as I would like to jump on it, DB hasn’t seen it yet, and I’d like to check out a few other venues. But as I Tweeted, the other venues will have to BRING IT. DB had a frustrating day with the plumbing and our new vanity, having to make several trips to Home Depot, so I wasn’t going to bring up wedding stuff with him and not add to his stress. But he asked about it when we went to go get sushi and he wants to see the venue. So it looks like we’ll have to schedule another time to go check it out together. And get a complimentary lunch.
We woke up early and headed to Costco to do our shopping and spent over $400! HINT: Costco shopping as soon as they open is best because not many people are there. Then we had to go to the $1 store to get some table clothes because our neighbor was so kind to lend us their tables and chairs. I was expecting about 35 people and one other dog. Then lastly a Safeway trip that was another $100+! This party was already expensive! I think I was about $150 over budget. Perhaps we should have just gotten Panda Express. They were offering food for 32 people for $150. Not bad. I guess as an Event Planner, I wanted to showcase what I can do. So I went with an Italian themed menu and black, white and red for decorations. Cousins that I grew up with definitely called me out on becoming ‘domesticated.’ They had no idea.
2 racks of Ribs that DB marinated and BBQ’d himself
2 Frank’s chicken dips with carrots and broccoli
String beans in a garlic lemon and butter mix
2 bowls of salad with my homemade Caesar dressing
Butter cupcakes with a buttercream frosting
Chocolate raspberry fondue with Rice Crispie treats, marshmallows and strawberries for dipping
Belgium waffles drizzled with berry topping and powdered sugar
Other snacks we pulled out were peanut butter pretzels, Jelly Beans and Cheese-Its
DB and I were thinking that we’d be eating leftovers for a bit but there was absolutely nothing left! I received many compliments on my lasagna and the Chicken dip. My cousin said she couldn’t get her corn like mine. And just like all brides and grooms on their wedding day, I realized this morning that I didn’t have anything to eat yesterday. DB said he didn’t even try his ribs or anything else to eat either. We were too busy playing host. That can’t happen at our wedding. I do my best with my brides and grooms to eat SOMETHING on their wedding. But I’m glad that nothing really went to waste.
It was definitely a packed house. My grandparents and my cousin were the first to arrive. My Lolo called it a palace! For some reason, Bevo was scared of Lolo. He never barks at people and he would not let Lolo touch him and he kept barking at Lolo. It was the strangest thing.
Then more family came, friends from old jobs, from college, from OBTB, from DB’ jobs, umpiring, reffing, etc. We had a great medly of people and it was really cool seeing them interact and asking “How do you know, B or DB?” I just loved seeing the people who have touched my life having a good time in my home. My Maid and Maitron of Honors couldn’t make it. Bummer but my friend Julia, Jenna and Mela really helped me out. Julia told me stop washing dishes, she and Jenna walked Bevo and took out the trash, Regla took out the trash, Mela took over cutting up desserts – all so I could mingle. It was very much appreciated. It’s a lot of work to host a party and I can totally understand the value of having a party assistant to help clean up, organize, refresh ice, replenish food, keep things warm, etc. Usually, that is all I do and I get paid for it. But the girls were an incredible help and paying someone do a good job at that would be so worth it. So, People, HIRE ME!
I gave several tours to friends and family and enjoyed pointing out the ‘baby’s room.’ My closest cousin, Ron, gave me a look like “Are you a pregnant? You have something to tell me, Coz?” He wasn’t the first.
When I showed people the room, I wanted to point out that I had the crib bedding picked out.
It’s pretty funny that the set is by JoJo Designs because that’s the name of the bass player of the Los Lonely Boys. And speaking of, many made comments about my LLB wall where I printed photos of all the pictures I have taken with the Boys and their friends like Bob (Ritchie Valens' brother). I wanted to point that photo out to my Cousin Pernell and Ron because I remember us watching La Bamba at family gatherings in San Francisco, etc. Good flick. And when he sings “Donna,” we always gave our Cousin Donna a hard time or sing the song to her.
Tasina, Emil and Laura carpooled up from Watsonville and Fremont. That was so nice to have a part of OBTB there intermingling. Tasina was so great at taking photos of the house and the day’s happenings. Laura fell in love with Toby, Julia’s pup, because she lost a dog that looked just like him with the same name. She was heartbroken when he passed. They also liked my lasagna so I’m pleased. I add Frank’s Red Hot, jalepenos and garlic to the meat. Other OBTB members, Rob and Martha Lind, weren’t able to attend because they live in Hawaii but sent a care package with a holiday ornament with our names on it and Engaged! As well as a Turtle bowl – Hawaiian. Tasina said we looked really happy. I’m happy to hear that that’s apparent.
Jenna also came from a long way from San Jose and this was my first time seeing her since our holiday dinner at Akaihana in Hayward and where she got into a car accident. She hasn’t driven much since and is still looking for a car. I am so glad she made it to our party because she’s been a good friend.
My former clerk, Catherine, came by with her sister and their Boston Terrier, Webbie. He’s six and had a fun weekend when Bevo stayed with them overnight. It was so great to see her. I haven’t seen Catareenie in such a long time. I visited her in San Francisco when I was in the city running an errand and I can’t even remember what we did. But she’s such a smart girl, politically in tuned and a strong women’s rights supporter. Ann, her sister, works with horses and sometimes comes out to the Brentwood area. I told her to come by anytime. The dogs, Bevo, Toby and Webbie, had to be baby-gated upstairs because my Cousin Eileen was deathly afraid of dogs. I did state in our invite that Bevo will be roaming around freely in the backyard, but since it was so wet, we kept him inside. But the kids were having a great time playing with them and Bevo slept like a champ last night.
Nikki B. made the drive from Rohnert Park with her BF, Ben. He seemed like a good guy, an electrician and a Marine. I’d say his demeanor must be quite similar to other Marines I’ve encountered. While going thru my frames, I found out that I had a USMC frame that I never used and so I gave it to her before she left. He and I actually share a similar first meeting experience with Nikki involving her star of David necklace. I was so happy she made it because she’s a really good girl, a good friend, well-traveled, bilingual, smart and a hard worker. I actually met her during Monish & Nivita’s wedding and I needed to hire more staff. My aunt referred her to me and I’m so glad she did because she’s a gem. She has made several trips out my way to spend time with me and I’ve gone up to her area just once. I definitely intend on keeping that friendship going. She’s a sweetheart.
My girl, Susie, is a college friend and she made it out by herself. I always commend people for doing that, walking into a party by herself and are able to just chat it up with anyone. I love that. I feel I can do that too since I’m always so busy, that I drive to the party or event just so I can leave when I want to and I don’t have a problem having a conversation with complete strangers. But correction, she and Nikki know each other because they worked Monish’s last holiday party together. Susie calls me “B” and is working on getting a group of people together for a kickball team. She was also looking into getting a Boston but now wants a Sheeba Emu. She stayed to play King’s Cup with water. But next time, I’ll get her. I think she’s a friend that I see every so often that lives the closest.
Michele is another friend that has worked many events with me. She also came alone and was waiting for MelaGirls that eventually showed up with her boyfriend, Felix, and Regla. Michele, Mela, Julia and I were the only City Beaches (Bernadette & The City Beaches, coworkers from the good ol’ days at City Beach when we got up to sing karaoke together) there and we took one of my favorite photos of the day – plus 1, Regla.
Circa 2007 – at City Beach
The Copenhavers – what a fun group. The guys are over for the big football games at our house. Karen was the one that introduced DB to the chicken dip that he and everyone else fell in love with. She brought us wine and her three boys, including the youngest named Colin. He’s absolutely adorable. They were having a great time. We were taking shots, being loud towards the end of the night and just having a good time. It was so cool to have Sean old enough to drive because his parents could get tipsy. They’re a fun family. They’re middle son, Anders, wanted to know if I had a younger sister. HA! I look forward to babysitting Colin and having them over more often. DB even carried Colin and I know he’s going to be a good daddy. He already is to Bevo. He told them about how I got the OK to buy the baby bedding even though it’ll be quite some time before I’m pregnant and how many kids he wants. I think his point of view changes in regards to the count.
Our neighbors were there and it was so busy in there that I walked right past them, did a double take and said “HI!” And “WELCOME!” They have been such wonderful neighbors. Carmen brings over food, loves Bevo, Jesus has helped out DB several times with the house renovations, leant tools, etc. It’s really nice. I’ve never really had that before but DB is used it to it because Momma DB is so friendly and talks to everyone. I’ve always grown up to not really shoot the shit with the neighbors so it’s strange to have neighbors that are that friendly. I’d have to say we lucked out there. I didn’t see when they left so I hope I wasn’t rude.
Dan reff’d flag football in Walnut Creek with DB. He’s always a good guy. Then there’s Troy, an umpiring buddy. Oh my! He’s always such a riot. As soon as I saw him, I said “Troy! My favorite black man!” We all have a good relationship and he’s a lot of fun. We went to Vegas together for Thanksgiving so they can work a tournament and we definitely have stories from that event. He’s a lover of women so he kept saying, “B, you’re holding out on me. You’ve got some hot friends.” My reply: “I know.” Smile.
What can I say about my family: I love ‘em. I have great friends but I also have a great blood-related family. My sister and her family are always there for DB and I. They’re so giving and it’s so nice to live so close to them. And I am in love with their son, my nephew, Brent. He was a bit cranky because he didn’t want to take his shoes off when he arrived but later he was playing with his cousin, Ean, and sweating up a storm. I see him on the stairs and I ask, “Brent, can Auntie have a kiss?” “You can have one when I leave,” says the 4-year-old. It wasn’t a complete rejection but I’ll take what I can get.
I am thankful for my parents and their counterparts to be under the same roof and not make it awkward for me. I’m glad they were able to start doing that for Brent’s sake but it’s nice that they continue to do it for me, even without child. I did shoot my dad an email prior to the party to let him know that Bevo will be running around the house since it was raining. My step-mom is not too fond of dogs.
I was pleased to have Auntie Beth, Cousin Laurie, Lyn, Donna and Joe, Misha, Jen, her kids Jennalynn and Ean, Tiffany and her boyfriend John (also from Pennsylvania like DB), Cousin Pernell and Eileen with their children, Aaron and Jordan, and my Cousin Ron and his growing son, RJ, there. I look at Ean and Brent playing well together and I think about our generation of cousins and how well we play together. We’re able to have family reunions, keep in touch, and really be drama free and that’s quite a blessing. I absolutely love being able to have that and that they have welcomed DB into the family.
Cousin Carole and Ro sent a wonderful package of plates, gift cards and even a little toy for Bevo, which is already missing a leg. Thanks, Cousins!
The last ones to leave were Susie, Mela, Felix, Regla, Julia and Kevin. We played a little bit of King’s cup and when it was just Julia and Kevin, we opened presents! Yay! Thank you, Everyone, that was so thoughtful to bring a card or gift. It was much appreciated. I am under the impression that a registry notice is a bit tacky for an engagement party but some people did ask and that was sweet of them. DB and I appreciate it.
Julia had to get going. It was great to have her and Toby. By this time, Bevo was ready for bed. And like us, Toby didn’t eat anything all day. Kevin decided to stay over (our first sleepover guest!) and we popped in a pizza and chatted with our crazy friend. Then it was time to say good night and I realized that I didn’t update my status on FB or Tweeted all day long. I was so consumed but in good way. Christy texted me but I had no idea until later. Momma and Poppa DB sent us a photo saying they wish they were here but it immediately slipped my mind to reply. DB said they were actually thinking about surprising us and flying out but they said flights were too expensive. While in bed, I reviewed the photos that Tasina and Julia posted on FB, rubbed my fiance’s back to sleep like he gets every night as he lays his head on my chest and I ended the night with this -
My thank you message on Facebook:
“Thank you to all my loved one for making the long trip out to Brentwood in this crazy weather, for the gifts and the well wishes from afar from those who couldn’t make it for our housewarming/engagement party. It really means the world to me that you were there to ‘warm’ our new home and fill our four walls with your love and support. I am extremely grateful. You know who you are.
Soon-To-Be Mrs. DB”
More pictures to come.