Monday, March 31, 2008

Adventures of a HOH, Part Two: Of Sandwiches and Margaritas and Gossip and Laughter

See part one of my HOH saga here.

Thursday night (March 27) was when the real preparation for Mandy's bridal shower began. After work, I met Roy and Jake at my mother-in-law's house, where they were loading up all the tables and chairs that we had borrowed from various people around the neighborhood. As Mandy's man-maids, I figured it was only fair that they have a job of their own. I rode with them to Melinda's house, where they quickly unloaded. We then left and went to Roy's grandparents' house for some of their tables and chairs, took the stuff back to Melinda's, and then went home.

Originally, I took a half day off from work on Friday, the day before the shower. But in light of my scary mole, I took the entire day off to go see the dermatologist in the morning and continue with shower prep in the afternoon. Right after my dermatologist appointment, I dropped Roy off at home so he could go to work. (I truly have the best husband ever. He went with me to my dermatologist appointment because he just rocks.)

From there, I went to Michael's for ribbon, Big Lots for a gag gift for Mandy, Bed, Bath, & Beyond for Mandy's real shower gift, the bank to withdraw some cash, home to load up my car with shower crap, and my mother-in-law's (Patty) house. From her house, Patty and I went to Baja Fresh for lunch and then to Costco for shower food.

In no time at all, we had a shopping cart full of food. It was so heavy that I had a hard time steering it. We were buying with 32 people in mind, and I came out $100 under budget. We drove over to Melinda's house and unloaded everything. And then the real fun began.

Kim showed up right as Patty left. We soon decided that we needed margarita stuff, so we drove to the nearest Stater Bros. and got some, in addition to some other things (like potato salad, which Kim insisted we needed. Pushy biatch!). We went back to Melinda's and began working on the sandwiches.

I had decided to keep the sandwiches really simple. I picked four recipes: cucumber and cream cheese, turkey and cheese, peanut butter and banana, and chicken salad and apple. We made a crapload of sandwiches. Later on in the evening, Angelina showed up with her husband in tow, with the cutest little teapot fountain that she let us borrow. With us four homies in the same room, hilarity ensued as we continued with our sandwich-making, began our sign-making, and gossipped.

Roy showed up a bit later and immediately stuck to the living room with the other guys. Meanwhile, back in Wonderland Prep World, Kim revealed her secret obsession by taking a bazillion pictures of me.

Don't I look just like the princess from The Neverending Story? I mean, the resemblance is uncanny, down to the bejeweled forehead and alabaster skin.

Check it:

Some of the signs that we made were hilarious. If Kim's attempt (on the green sheet of paper) at drawing the Cheshire Cat's smile wasn't enough to make us die laughing, then Melinda's (on the orange sheet) totally sent us over the edge.

I tried to draw a mushroom but was immediately told that it looked like a penis. So I drew my version of a penis to show them the difference between mushrooms and penises. They found the lesson very insightful.

Despite all the goofing off we did, we were very productive. We made a ton of sandwiches, so many that Melinda's fridge was bursting. In hindsight, we made way too many sandwiches. I blame Kim, just because she's a good scapegoat.

We called it a night and left. Roy and I went to Wal-Mart for address labels. I hate Wal-Mart and usually avoid it like the plague, but our options were rather limited since it was past 10 PM. On the way home, I realized that I hadn't prepared any of the games for the shower, so I stayed up even later taking care of that. I crawled into bed around 1:00 AM, completely exhausted.

Stay tuned for the actual shower recap (with pictures galore)!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Adventures of a HOH, Part One: Down the Rabbit Hole

Mandy's bridal shower was yesterday, and I held off from really posting any details about it here on my blog because I didn't want her to know the theme of the shower ahead of time. This is my story about the planning and execution of her shower. It truly was a labor of love.

Back in January, I found out that Mandy and Paul had decided to get married in May instead of November, and that sent me into a bit of a panic for both financial and logistical reasons. I immediately began thinking about her bridal shower and called upon the monkey and Kim for ideas for a kick ass bridal shower. The monkey suggested afternoon tea and provided me with some links to tea places she'd heard of/frequented. That got my brain working, and somehow I came up with the perfect theme for Mandy's shower: Alice in Wonderland. I would give Mandy a very merry unshower, and we would have tea, scones, sandwiches, croquet, and zaniness.

The first thing I did was secure a venue. I knew I needed a fairly large backyard, and Melinda was happy to let me use hers. At that point, I hadn't seen her backyard yet, but once I did, I knew it was the perfect spot.

I worked with Stacia, who did all the paper products for my wedding, for the invitations and thank you cards. Here's the invite design:

I chose that particular picture because it incorporated quite a few aspects of Alice in Wonderland, which I thought was cool. Here's the thank you design:

The next thing I began thinking about was cake. I really wanted a cake like these:

But with the complicated design, I couldn't find anyone who would do it for a reasonable price. Instead, I settled on red velvet cupcakes but again ran into issues. Finally, I said to myself, "Screw it! I'll make the cupcakes myself!"

By this time, Kim and Melinda were pretty heavily involved in the planning of the shower. Once the date was set for March 29, we planned on getting together the night before to make the sandwiches, cupcakes, and cookie favors.

In the meantime, I ordered a croquet set and cookie cutters in the shape of the card suits and began thinking about games and sandwich recipes. One of my co-workers offered to make a giant papier-mache mushroom and told me that I should dye the grass purple. I thought those were really great ideas, but it all just seemed way too complicated. It also quickly became apparent to me that Melinda, Kim, and I would be in way over our heads if we were going to make the sandwiches, cupcakes, and cookies the night before. Luckily, my friend Jessica from work has a sister named Heather who runs a bakery business on the side. After speaking with Heather, we decided that she would do the cupcakes and cookies, leaving us novices to take care of the sandwiches - and for me to obsess over other details.

A couple of weekends ago, I met Melinda and Angelina for lunch, and naturally, the conversation turned to the shower. We ended up going to Goodwill after lunch, and we found a huge amount of tea cups and saucers for the shower for a good price. Angelina also suggested buying the tea for the shower at Clark's, so that is what I did. And with the (almost daily) help of Melinda and Kim, other details of the shower, such as sandwiches and games, were firmed up.

The point of this whole blog entry is that this shower really was a group effort, from its inception to its end. This group effort played in even more heavily during the preparations the night before and the shower itself. Both of those recaps are coming soon!


On an unrelated note, I want to say thanks for responding to my scary mole post. I realize that I am overly paranoid, and that is definitely due to the melanoma blogs I have read. I did get in to see the dermatologist this past Friday, and she is going to remove the mole at the end of April. She didn't seem overly concerned about it, as it is probably a benign lesion. But, as I have very fair skin, there is no being too careful.

Also, I am way behind on my blog reading, so if I haven't commented on your blog in awhile, that's why. I do plan on getting caught up sometime before the end of 2008.

Lastly, my Spring Break officially ends on Tuesday. I will be in school four nights a week this quarter instead of my usual two. I am going to, once again, be one busy mofo. For this reason, I am so glad the shower is over!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

All it takes is one moment.

Did you know that your life can change in just one moment? One little piece of time can render you speechless, breathless, overjoyed, saddened, defeated, and everything else in between.

Tonight I was washing the dishes. There is a mirror above the sink, and I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in that mirror. In particular, I noticed the small mole near my collarbone - it's a newish mole, formed within the last year. The last few months I have been asking Roy if he's noticed if it's gotten bigger. Just today I called the dermatologist and made an appointment to have it looked at. I have hated it ever since it made its appearance, as I am not a big fan of moles.

And then tonight I noticed a small speck of black in it. And I immediately felt like I couldn't breathe, because that black is not a good sign.

It looks like I will be calling my dermatologist again tomorrow to see if they can get me in sooner.

I am scared. I keep telling myself that it's probably nothing. But what would I do if it really was something?

I'm not sure. But I feel changed, somehow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Leslie, the Bwitish-accent-bastardizing poppet with more energy and love than a million toddlers on crack.

In an email that I received from Myra earlier this morning, that's how she described me. And here I just thought of myself as enthusiastic.

Myra has now left the building! (Or at least I think she has.) Last I heard, her plan was to leave on her long drive to Maryland today. We did some celebrating and sending off for her, though.

March 13 was Myra's last day at work, and it was one hell of an emotional day. We had a department taco bar potluck with tons of dessert. I made cupcakes. (Actually, Mandy made them. But I frosted and sprinkled them.)

A lot of pictures were taken, and many small speeches were made. In the privacy of my office (and other offices, I'm sure), many tears were shed. (In case you guys haven't gotten it yet, I am a sentimental fool and am going to miss my pal very much.)

Last week (March 20) a select few of us got together and went to Casa Maya, a yummy local Mexican restaurant for dinner. Our mission: to celebrate Myra! (I was also secretly celebrating the end of the quarter.)

We had chips and salsa and margaritas, which never gets old. I had a lamb taco and a cheese enchilada, both of which were awesome.

Again, many pictures were taken! And Myra got lots of gifts, including a care package from me.

I haven't included any pictures of our other cohorts in here, because they're all legal types and just might sue me.

I had planned on seeing Myra one last time before her departure, but it just didn't work out like that. While I'm sad about that, I also know that this is not good-bye forever. In fact, this is an excuse for me to visit the East Coast.

In all seriousness, Myra's friendship means so much to me, and I hope she finds lots of happiness in Maryland. I already miss her so much.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pookin' per Nub

Back when Mandy and Paul were interviewing photographers for their wedding, we decided that I would take their engagement pictures 1) to save them some money and 2) so I could get some practice with my (then) new camera. Yesterday was the big day, and I was super excited. Roy and I met them at their house, and then we walked a whole hell of a lot. We had a great time with them, as always.

I learned so much yesterday! I learned that it's important to check all your camera settings before starting the shoot (and I'll explain why later). I learned that photographing people is much more rigorous than photographing inanimate objects. I learned that photography is hard and tiring. But it's also so much fun.

I am not a professional photographer, but I think the job would be fun and something I would love to do. Whether or not I have the talent or business sense for it remains to be seen. For now, photography is a wonderful hobby for me. I am grateful for people like Mandy and Paul, who were wonderful guinea pigs and very patient with me.

Many of these pictures did not turn out the way I expected them to. I actually had my camera on the wrong white balance setting for most of the shoot, and many of Mandy and Paul's photos are tinted blue as a result. I was really bummed about this last night, because I put a lot of work into finding the right light for the shoot. I also distinctly remember thinking before the shoot that I needed to check the white balance setting. But making this mistake has also (so far) helped me to find more creative solutions in Photoshop.

Anyway, here are a few of the pics! I'll be posting more (as I edit them) onto my flickr page. Feel free to check them out! Also, your honest opinions are most welcome.

(I don't know why, but when I upload pics from flickr, the quality isn't nearly as good. These actually look a lot less pixelated in person.)

Congrats to Mandy and Paul, who are no longer "pookin' per nub" now that they've found each other.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

The winter quarter is officially over for me. After hours upon hours of work, everything is done, and I am a somewhat free woman. I am so relieved. I am so tired. I feel like I could sleep (and cry) for days.

These last few weeks have been really hard. I've started several blog entries, wanting to put my thoughts into words, but something stops me or pulls me away every time. In some ways, I have been more productive than I have been in a long time. In other ways, I have been just simply overwhelmed. It's definitely been a mixed bag.

But I am officially on spring break! My plans for spring break are to work (of course), relax, and just enjoy the small amount of freedom I will have. Next quarter I am going to finally be submitting my thesis proposal to the graduate committee, which means that I will finally start writing the damn thing. I'm also going to do my internship; I will be something similar to a teaching assistant in a class called Advanced Poetry Writing.

Despite how hard this quarter was, it was really rewarding. I truly kicked ass in my creative writing class. I was the old me again: I really gave it my all in true overachiever fashion. I suppose I was successful in my thesis planning class, although I didn't have the proposal finished by the end of the class. Whatever - I am still really proud of myself.

For the first time, I can finally see myself graduating with an actual Master's degree! I will soon be filing my grad check. Only two more quarters to go! I can't believe it. By the end of 2008, I will have my Master's degree, barring a disaster.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Own LOLcat

I made this earlier this morning using i can has cheezburger's lolcat builder. That's Kerwin! When Roy took this picture, he caught him in mid meow. It does kind of look like someone tried to go in the back door without his permission, but I assure you that I (who was holding him) was not engaging in surprise buttseckses.

funny pictures

Friday, March 14, 2008

Three Reasons to Celebrate

1) We have been married for eight months today.

2) Three years ago today, Roy and I went out on our first date.

3) One year ago today, I quit smoking.

I had a long blog entry about all this planned, but this week has been super stressful and emotional for me on many levels. So I took a mental health day today and am also celebrating making it through hard times with my wits intact. A big reason for this is Roy, who is truly my hero.

I would like to talk more about these things, particularly quitting smoking, but I'll wait for another time when I feel more inspired.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thank you.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who took the time out of their busy lives to comment on my recent sad posts about Sasha and Paula. Amber noted that I should put a disclaimer at the top of my blog letting people know that they would need tissues when reading. It's so not my intent to make anyone sad (and I know that's not what Amber meant at all), but life is unbearably tragic sometimes. I try to make my blog a reflection of who I am and what my life is like, and sometimes it's not pretty or fun.

For those of you who have offered your support to me through the comments section or through email, thank you! Your kind words mean so much to me.

I'm hoping to return soon with a lighter blog post. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 10, 2008

For the Love of a Dog

Dear Sasha,

Today you departed this world and left behind a big hole in my heart.

I found you at the Humane Society when I was 13 years old. You were 6 months old and the perfect present for a brand new teenager. You were just the kind of ugly mutt that I had always loved and that the rest of the world neglected. You were covered in fleas and ticks, but you cleaned up really well when it came time for us to take you home. On the drive to your new home, you were so scared you were drooling everywhere. I felt so sorry for you.

You quickly adapted to your new home though. Soon you had earned the affections of everyone around you. We gave you so many nicknames, like "Firf" and "Firfacles" and "Maggot." (Okay, so I never once called you "Maggot.") Your life was a simple one, filled with days of sun, food, green grass, and lots of rubs. You were always so sweet. And damn, you ate a whole hell of a lot! But you won our hearts and remained there. Even after I left home, you stayed behind, but you were always so happy to see me when I came back. Truly, it was like no time had passed.

I had known for awhile that you were not going to be around much longer. You gave us quite a scare less than a year ago when you got really sick. I thought for sure you were going to leave us that day, but you got better and hung in there. It was only right that you stayed around long enough for me to get married - after all, we grew up together.

Tonight, when my mom called, I knew by her voice that something was terribly wrong. She didn't want to tell me right then because I was just getting out of class, but because I pressed her, she told me that she had to put you to sleep earlier in the day. You were in so much pain and were so old. You were incontinent and couldn't even hold yourself up anymore. I kept it all in pretty well until she told me that she was having you cremated and wanted me to have your ashes. I pretty much lost it then, right in the middle of the campus parking lot.

I really don't want your ashes. I just want you to be alive and healthy. But I know you were in so much pain, and I never wanted you to suffer. So I have decided that I am happy to take your ashes if it means that you are running around crazily in some amazing doggy heaven.

And so, my Firf, I guess this is goodbye. We watched each other grow up, and frankly, I don't know how I will ever get over losing you. I love you so very much and will miss you always. Even though I was very much expecting this, I still wasn't prepared to lose my favorite canine forever.

Safe travels, fuzzy one.


the girl who loves you

PS - If you happen to see Melinda and Chris's dog Roxy in the great beyond, please befriend her. She too passed on today and will need a good friend. Here is her picture, so you know who to look for.

PPS - Kim reminded me that both you and Roxy will have a guide in the great beyond. Her name is Molly, and she needs some good friends too.

RIP, Sasha, Roxy, and Molly

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I have been so busy lately with what most people would probably consider uninteresting things, so I haven't really been writing about the current goings-on in my life. Here it is, in list form.

- Thesis proposal. I'm hoping to have a good enough version of it to send up to the graduate committee by the end of the quarter. If not, the beginning of next quarter it is!

- Creative writing. I've been hard at work critiquing my classmates' work and revising my own. Tomorrow the class will be workshopping a sequence of poems I put together, and I'm a little nervous.

- Mandy's bridal shower. It's coming together, but I can't reveal any more than that right now. The RSVPs are coming in though!

- Beauty. Mandy and I got pedicures today. We also got our eyebrows threaded. It was definitely an interesting experience that only took a matter of minutes. I would definitely do it again with someone who doesn't leave all my eyebrow hairlets all over my face like this lady did. Thanks, lady.

- Lack of beauty. Still struggling with the acne issue, though it's not nearly as bad as it was.

- TV. Currently, I'm watching (when I can) Firefly, the first season of Beverly Hills, 90210, and the fourth season of One Tree Hill. Don't hate on my TV show tastes; I pride myself on being well-rounded!

- Weight. Apparently, I've lost 5 pounds in the past month or so.

- Photography. I haven't gotten out to take photos in quite awhile, but I have been doing a bit of editing. Check out my flickr site if you're interested.

- Work. I have actually been busy at work. The days have been flying by and have made my professional life much more tolerable.

While some would probably find my life boring, I actually don't. I just really lack the skills to make it sound exciting, I guess. Well, whatever - there it is: my life right now.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Words for the Departed

Today is a special day. It's my old friend Paula's deathday. It's been nine years since she died, and every year on or around March 8, I try to honor her with some words.

I met Paula when we were both 11 years old and in sixth grade. We were both in the same GT (Gifted & Talented) classes, and we both took Theatre Arts as an elective all throughout junior high. We got to know each other quite well as we made our way through those awkward junior high years. Because we had so many classes together, we ended up hanging out together a lot.

Paula was a beautiful young girl. She had this silky, thick, dark brown hair, big brown eyes, and olive skin. She had a cute figure too. She was intelligent and quite a good actress.

Despite her good qualities, my feelings towards Paula were very conflicted. I felt like she tried too hard, so she got on my nerves quite a bit. She didn't have many friends because other people thought she was annoying as well. She also had a lisp, which I'm sure was hell to deal with, and people constantly made fun of her for it. I felt really sorry for her, and part of me truly liked her. My evil adolescent self often won over, and I would talk behind her back or be mean to her. And the evil adolescent Paula could be very mean and spiteful as well. We were just two young girls who didn't know how to really treat each other with respect.

We still had some great times though. I remember this one weekend afternoon when we went to the movies to see Aspen Extreme. In the middle of the movie, Paula laid down on the seat and rested her legs up against the back of her chair so they were in the air (think of a pin-up girl's pose). I was so mortified that she was sitting the wrong way in her chair. Later on she told everyone who would listen that I was the one who sat the wrong way in my chair. Oh, the humiliation!

Being the Theatre Arts geeks that we were, we would often attend and perform in local competitions. In 8th grade, Paula and I (along with several others) performed a record mime to Monster Mash and had an absolute blast (and even advanced to semi-finals!). We also competed in the group interpretation category and performed a Shel Silverstein poem.

Later that year, the little group that both Paula and I were part of decided overnight (in true girl fashion) that they didn't like me anymore. They stopped speaking to me, and our silence lasted all throughout high school. (I'm sure that this was mostly due to the fact that I went to a different high school and didn't see any of them for all those years.) I don't think I saw Paula once during our high school years. I heard about her though. She developed a certain reputation, and to this day, I don't know how true it was. (Honestly, it doesn't really matter anyway. None of us are saints, not even the dead.)

During the spring semester of my second year of junior college, I began to see Paula around. She had a class across the hall from my political science class, so I would always see her before and/or after class. One time I ran into her outside of the building. She bummed a cigarette off me, and we exchanged a few superficial words. That day it became clear to me, without saying a word about it, that everything that happened in junior high (whatever it was) was over with. We were adults.

Paula had a boyfriend named Geoff who she'd been with for a couple of years. Apparently, he was the jealous type, and eventually she got tired of it. She broke up with him on a Sunday evening, and the next day she went to work as usual at the local monogram shop called Initially Yours. Geoff showed up to see Paula and was allowed into the back where she was working.

But Geoff wasn't there to talk. Instead, he pulled out the gun he had concealed and shot Paula point-blank in the head. Right afterwards, he shot himself. It is my understanding that both died instantly. Paula was 20 years old.

It is surreal when someone you know dies. But murder? I just couldn't wrap my 19-year-old brain around it. Even now, at 28, I can't really comprehend what happened to Paula. On one hand, it's very simple. An obviously unstable and troubled person took her life in a very violent way. But on the other hand, she was there one minute - and gone the next. The fact that we are all so fragile is probably the most scary thing in the world to me.

When I heard about Paula's violent death, I was in a state of denial and shock for awhile. I couldn't cry. I went to her funeral, and there were so many people there. The church was completely filled. I saw people I hadn't seen in years. It was like a big reunion under the worst of circumstances. Our little town was horribly shaken up by the murder-suicide.

I will never forget seeing her parents walking down the aisle to the front of the church that day. They were literally leaning on each other; it was so obvious that they were completely filled with despair and totally emotionally broken.

And yet, I still couldn't cry.

At school, I kept expecting to see her before or after my political science class. And every time, I had to remind myself that she was gone, that I would never see her walking briskly down the hall again, that I would never see that half-smile of uncertainty again.

A couple of years later, a gun store opened up next to Initially Yours, the place where Paula worked and was killed (by a gun, no less). I hated that so much. I often imagined her parents driving by and the terrible shock they would experience at seeing a gun store so close to where their only child was killed. I couldn't believe the insensitivity of opening that gun store. Frankly, I still can't.

Nine years have passed, and this is the first year that I've had a few lonely tears fall over Paula's death (while writing this, incidentally - I think this is the deepest I've gone into telling the story of the Paula I knew). Her passing still shakes me to the very core of my being. I just can't believe that the girl with all that beautiful hair and that endearing lisp, who loved to dance and act and be silly, is gone. I just can't believe it. She will never finish her college education, get married, perform in any more plays, have children, travel, or die peacefully. Her life was cut way too short by someone who might've actually gotten over it had he not acted on impulse less than 24 hours after being broken up with. Who knows what might have happened if Geoff had just given it time?

It is all so senseless and tragic. And every year on the anniversary of Paula's death, I write a few words for her and try to make sense of what's left behind. I write to atone for the shitty way I treated her when we were young. I write to help myself understand the reality of death and the horror of violence. I write because she cannot speak: her voice is forever silenced.

Somewhere in my mind, I still remember that voice, especially as she read that Shel Silverstein poem that we performed for competition:

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts,
the impossibles, the won'ts.
Listen to the never haves,
then listen close to me...
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.”

RIP, Paula Christine Green
October 1978 - March 1999

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tagged, once again

I've been tagged (twice), by both Sher and Amy. Thanks for the tag, ladies!

I have actually done this meme before, but it's been long enough that I feel I can do it again. That said, I'm supposed to post 7 random things about myself and link to 7 others, but I normally don't tag people, so feel free to tag yourself if you want to participate.

And now, for the wonderful random stuff...

1) I love my cats as if they were my children. I know that probably puts me into the "crazy cat woman" category, but honestly, I don't care. My kitties make me so incredibly happy. I can't imagine how much I will love my actual children!

2) My fingernail on my wedding ring finger is split down the middle and has been like that for as long as I can remember.

3) I could not swallow pills until I was in my early 20s. I attribute this to accidentally taking some off-limits medication when I was 3 years old. I distinctly remember both my mom and dad's hands in my mouth trying to get the chewed-up pills out. It sounds silly, but it was a little traumatic for me.

4) My biggest desire is to lead an authentic life, and often I feel like I am failing.

5) As much as I want to be done with school, I am scared of being intellectually atrophied without it. I know that I will miss it when I'm done.

6) I have a raging guilt complex, which is a subject for a whole other blog post.

7) I have always felt a little bit doomed. Perhaps it's my fear of abandonment or maybe it's my father issues, but I am always waiting for tragedy to strike. While this feeling of doom isn't usually debilitating, I can't deny that it's there. I tend to call it "realism," but actually, I think it's a deep-seated fear of losing myself and those I love to something horrible and tragic.

And to add in an extra fact, just because I feel like it:

8) Today my beloved Petunia Pickle Bottom bags came in! Recently, there was a big sale on PPB bags on Regent's Secret, and I managed to snag 2 bags for less than the retail price of 1! I know, I know, I don't have kids, but these bags are so awesome. I already have one and love it! For someone like me who loves big purses/bags, these are perfect. Anyway, here are the 2 that I got:

These actually weren't my first choices, but they look great in person. I'm a happy camper!