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No, scratch that.  This is the wedding crisis of the CENTURY.  Today, I cried.  Yeah, I’m sure you think I’m exaggerating but I really don’t think you get it.  There really isn’t a worse crisis than this…even if your dress came in with a big green splotch on it, this is worse because hey!, you can go out and get another dress…not so much with this case.  So let’s see here…Geek Squad says it’s gone, ESI Technology Advisers literally said, “it’s toast”, and SanDisk gives me a glimpse of hope, but then reminds that their solutions might not work…which it didn’t.  If you haven’t quite figured it out, let me help you…Jump Drive GravestoneYes, it’s true.  My jump drive that was wholly devoted to wedding and wedding only has bitten the dust.  I was working on it at approximately 2:00 pm this afternoon, I stopped working on it, then I went back to work on it and when I returned, I was informed by wonderful Mr. Computer that Mr. Wedding Jump Drive had fallen ill to a terrible virus and could not function.  It was a quick and painless death…at least for him, myself on the other hand, not so much.  I will mourn Mr. Wedding Jump Drive until I feel that all has been salvaged.  I am hoping to piece together the life of Mr. Wedding Jump drive between my 209 wedding emails and random wedding documents saved on Mr. Laptop and Mr. Everything-Else Jump Drive.  It will be a tough road ahead, but I’m hoping for the best.  I have lost absolutely everything that was saved on that drive, and according to three professionals, there’s no way to retrieve it.

So, what is the lesson here?  All you brides out there, listen to me when I say this…BACK EVERYTHING UP.  I thought it was stupid, too, and a pain, because who wants to save things 52 times?!  But trust me, you’ll be glad you did when your whole life comes crashing down on you and you have realized you’ve lost your entire wedding to technology…oh how I wish I was on Big Bang Theory right now…Sheldon would know EXACTLY what to do and put Geek Squad, ESI, and SanDisk to shame!!!

Currently, I’m in the market for an external harddrive.  Mom seems to think Dad might have one laying around, but if worse comes to worse, I’ll shell out the $119.99 for a 1TB harddrive – yes, that’s a TERABYTE…which is equivalent to 1,000 GB or 1,000,000 MB.  Take that Mr. Wedding Jump Drive!!!

Please pray for me…I will need it in hopes that I don’t make myself go crazy.

…what would YOU want to know?!  I’ve spent about 8 hours working on a travel information sheet to be sent out to all our lovely guests who are planning to join us in St. Andrews next June.  It is currently up to five pages with information regarding air travel, rail travel, taxis, hotels, dining, etc., but we need to know from all of you what you’d want to see if you were planning to come to Scotland?  We have had many family members who are toying with the idea of coming, but won’t know for sure until they’ve had a chance to look at prices.  We’re hoping that by sending this information sheet, those who are seriously considering travelling to Scotland will have a better idea of what to expect.  Of course, Neil and I will be there throughout the entire process, but just to get the ball rolling, it would be nice to get a rough idea of what we’re working with!

There are several airlines that provide regular flights to Edinburgh, Scotland, the preferred airport to get to St. Andrews, but many of these vary in price quite drastically.  We’re hoping that by giving our guests options, they are able to find the flight that best suits their needs and budget, therefore increasing the overall number of guests who are able to join us.

Air travel and rail travel are tricky as there are several things that must be booked.  Unfortunately, Edinburgh Airport does not have its own rail station, but there are two stations within 30 minutes of the airport.  Both of these stations provide direct routes to St. Andrews Leuchars Rail Station, which is a 10-minute drive to the heart of St. Andrews where all the hotels are located.  Everyone will be quite familiar with taxis once this little adventure is over with, but we’re hoping that once everyone steps foot in St. Andrews that it’s all worth it!

We have chosen five trustworthy hotels, and we hope that after we’ve gotten some feedback that we can narrow that number down to one or two hotels. We would prefer if everyone were in a more condensed area, so we’re hoping that our five hotels hit a sweet spot with everyone going.

So what would you want to know before booking travel to Scotland?  We know it won’t be cheap, which is why we are trying to be as price sensitive and helpful as possible.  In all my travelling, it’s the planning experience that’s usually the most exciting – we want all our guests to feel that way, so we want to make this as seamless and possible, so that come next June, we have some seriously happy campers!!! 🙂 **CORRECTION: I have been told that some of our guests are not campers; therefore, for those of you who are not campers, here you are…“so that come next June, we have some seriously happy WEDDING GUESTS!!!!!” (Ugh!!  That just sounds soooo boring!!!)**

Well, yes, I know that wedding news has been pretty slow lately, but since we are quickly approaching our “Negative First Anniversary” (aka one year before our wedding day), we’ve decided that perhaps we should take a break and just follow The Knot’s checklist suggestions.  We’re really enjoying our engagement right now, and why ruin that with silly little wedding plans – besides, our wedding will be perfect no matter what, so I’m really not concerned.

In other news, Casa di Barnes is coming along beautifully!!  We are now hooked into city water and sewer and you can see where our sinks, tubs, showers, and laundry will be!!  Of course – our garage still looks gimungous (yes, it’s a word – I “Googled” it!!) but I know that as things start to get going (which they’re going very quickly), everything will even out beautifully and we’ll be happy as clams.  Speaking of…are clams every really happy?!

My Dude in our bathroom!!

My Dude in our bathroom!!

Plumbing and our concrete walls!!

Plumbing and our concrete walls!!

I know, I know – it’s an engagement journal…not a normal blog (yuck!!), but I guess I feel like anything that happens during our engagement is worth a post!!

This weekend was quite a success in the world of Casa di Barnes.  Stakes were put out on Friday and footers were poured on Monday.  We went today and it really just looked like they had pushed the dirt around – I think they’re just playing around on our lot and not really getting any work done.  Just kidding!!  Anyway, we met with Rick tonight and we got our master list of budgets and selections yet to be made.  Let’s just say that I thought we were doing a lot better than we really are!!  This really is a custom built home.  All the decisions are being left up to Neil and I…which of course makes more work for us – but we’re glad to do it!!  Yet to be checked off the list includes:

  • Closets (who knew?!)
  • Landscaping
  • Lighting
  • Bricks
  • Roof
  • Front door
  • Windows
  • Bath accessories and mirrors
  • Paint

So  yeah – we really have a lot more to do!!  Not to mention we’re considering changing our cabinets now so we’ll have to make another trip in to make that final decision.  Ahhh…decisions, decisions, decisions – with all these decisions, we feel like we’re planning a wedding…oh yeah, we are!!!

Well, we went to the house today and since nothing exciting had really been done, we decided to go on a run of the neighborhood.  Raikkon met some new friends – most of which I don’t think liked him, but they’ll warm up to him…hopefully!!  Here are some new pictures…

Stakes are set!!

Stakes are set!!

And we have concrete footers!

And we have concrete footers! It kind of looks like a moat around our castle!!! 🙂

View from our backyard.

View from our backyard.

So the Wedding Channel informed me that they could create me a celebrity couple name…so yeah, I did it!! 🙂  We will now be referred to as: ♥Neimanda. I know, we’re cool, and while it’s not as catchy as “TomKat” or “Brangelina”, I think it works!!!