Operation Aisle Style Re-Cap

I guess that I can say now that as of last week I am “officially” a model, haha. Even if it were only for one time, I might try to hang onto that title for a bit. It sounds so cool.

The Operation Aisle Style event at the W in San Francisco was such an incredible fashion show and experience. I felt like I was experiencing every girl’s dream for a day. I had my hair and make-up done, got to rock out an amazing anti-bride dress, and I got to strut my stuff on a runway in front of hundreds of people, flashing cameras, and a ton of press. It seriously felt like I was a part of The Hills or now, The City on MTV, haha… that’s my best way to relate it to anyone… it really is like how they depict it on those shows :)

I arrived at the W around 3:00pm for hair and make-up. It was fun seeing how an event like this is really pulled together. Everyone is running around in their black outfits complete with clipboard, blackberry and red-bull in hand. It’s a crazy and exciting environment. There was so much excitement leading up to the show that I barely even felt nervous. The room for the show was decorated beautifully and there was even a stage in the back for The Hooks amazing set after the runway show. After our hair and make-up was complete we met with the runway coordinator to run through a quick walk-through of the details of the runway walk. We had to quickly learn our order, steps and turns for our part, and then try to remember it all amidst all of the commotion.

The time finally came, and we could see from back-stage that the room was filling quickly with some of San Francisco’s finest! The nerves were starting to set in a little at this point, I’ll be honest. After my dressing assistant helped me put on my sleek and rocking lime green dress, we all lined up and waited for the show to begin. The dj set the music and we were off! I was number 7 to walk, and it was a totally surreal moment. It’s almost impossible to see anyone in the crowd due to the shower of camera flashes from the moment you walk out onto the runway. This is the part where I might have allowed a bit of my excitement and nervousness overtake me… you see, I went just a bit too fast. All of those years of running didn’t exactly make me out to be a “slow” and graceful walker :) Some people teased me for being the “runner” of the show, but that’s alright… I’ll get the hang of it. Good thing I still have my runway coach to help me out with my walk for future shows 😉

After the show was over, they announced the winning designer and we all had a great time listening to the band rock out and socializing with random fashion lovers of the city. I feel so truly blessed to have this experience. I met so many amazing people, and hopefully I will have the chance to do something similar again someday. For now though, I will just keep practicing that walk…

Here’s some links to some of the amazing photos taken that night by local photographers… enjoy!
Henry Sun
Gene Kosoy

Stephanie’s modeling debut featured in San Francisco’s DailyCandy

My super-fantastic friend Kathy just forwarded me today’s San Francisco DailyCandy because the event that Stephanie is rocking out tonight for her first-ever modeling debut, Operation Aisle Style, is featured in it! This is pretty awesome, seeing as DailyCandy is one of the most popular and trusted websites when it comes to figuring out what to do with your free time. This gets me even more excited for tonight and I wasn’t sure if that was even possible…I mean, you would think that I’ll be hitting the runway by how giddy I’m getting over here. I guess I’m just proud of Stephanie and can’t wait to see her all dressed-up, made-up and done-up tonight. She’s going to make one super-hot punk rock bride. :)

For all of you planning on heading to the W tonight to catch the action, get ready to get after it and I’ll see you soon!

Wedding Wednesday: The rehearsal dinner, hotel stuff and some honeymoon chit-chat

Cheers to another awesome Wedding Wednesday!

We had yet another awesome Wedding Wednesday here in Palo Alto tonight and this week’s topics were as follows:

So, those are some of the highlights of tonight’s Wedding Wednesday, any suggestions, comments and advice on any of this would be much appreciated. I mean, we’re pretty new at this…

An amazing dinner with some new friends

One of the things that I probably enjoy the most in life is meeting new and interesting people who seem to have great outlooks on life. People who fit this mold aren’t always easy to find and most of the time you tend to meet them accidentally during some of the most random times in your life.

I mention this little Hup fun fact because when Stephanie and I went to the Love Dare couples event at our church a week or so ago, we ended up meeting an amazing couple whom we’d never seen before during service on Sundays. Their names were Matt and Christen (yes, they blog, too!) and they seemed super cool and really down to Earth, which, if you ask me, usually seems to be a pretty solid combo.

Our new homies, Matt and Christen

After meeting at church that night, we hit it off pretty quick and as we get to know them more and more it’s actually kind of crazy how much stuff Stephanie and I have in common with them. We quickly scheduled a night to have some dinner together so that we could get to know each other better, which actually ended up being last night.

The dinner that they made was ridiculously tasty — it was lasagna with garlic bread and we brought along some salad. That dinner was topped off with some of the best tasting gingerbread that I’ve ever had, fresh strawberries, ice cream and of course some Reddi-Whip, which Stephanie really, really likes.

After we stuffed ourselves with some delicious food and awesome conversation, it was time for Matt to bring two of their favorite housemates out to play, Miss Silvia (their expresso machine) and Rocky (their coffe grinder). You see, Matt and Christen LOVE their coffee and after tasting their homemade, fresh-brewed concoctions I can see why. It was probably the best coffee that I’ve ever had and I’m not just saying that to be nice. I mean, it was REALLY tasty.

Meet Miss Silvia — she’s pretty awesome

Meet Rocky, the coffee-grinding extraordinaire

After like 5 hours of great eating, conversation and fellowship Stephanie and I finally took off back home and as we drove back we kept on telling each other how awesome the dinner was and how blessed we were to find such amazing people out here in California. All I’m hoping is that this was just the first of many, many more dinners with Matt and Christen that are still yet to come. I mean, I’m sure that Silvia and Rocky miss us already. :)

Oh, and one last thing — Christen also let us know that by having dinner with them we’re actually taking care of one of our 50 Goals For 2009 — sweet!

40. Meet more non-tech people
– somewhat of a struggle to do so out here in Silicon Valley, but I need to meet some more people that don’t understand what HTML and SEO stand for

So, I guess I’m going to be a Model…

Sometimes (actually a lot of the time for us) crazy and random things happen that turn out to be quite a fun adventure. I truly believe that it is through these occurrences that the most amazing and beneficial things come about. This happens to be one of those times.

About a week ago, Ryan told me he was going to contact our friend Redgie about trying to get me involved in the upcoming Operation Aisle-Style event at the W Hotel in San Francisco. I knew it was a long-shot, but stranger things have happened and I figured it was worth a try. Then, BAM a few e-mails here and there and next thing you know I’m headed to a runway casting for the event. Our wonderful new friends Carolyn Gerin (the founder of antibride.com and Mikalah Burton (her fantasticly spunky sidekick) were so generous and helpful in working me into the show. I cannot thank them enough!

The pre-fashion show environment is pretty crazy and hectic but I loved every minute of it. I walked in and met my designer and tried on my first dress. Unfortunately it ehem…didn’t quite zip up all the way…but no need to panic, someone else fit the bill. I tried on the second dress and it fit like a glove, and I was happy as well because I really loved the dress!

Let the photos begin — I love this dress!

I’m going to be the most awesome rocker bride, ever…

Then on to the panel of hair and make-up, design description, accessories, and music. Here, the designer basically tells each person what they want their models to look like, what intro they want given to them, what music they want playing, and what accessories they need. It’s so cool how they pull a show like this together and it takes a lot more than what I have ever imagined it to be.

So much jewelry, so little time.

So there’s the random details of how I’m now going to be in this uber awesome fashion show next week. My only problem is I have no idea how to walk like a runway model. I’m not good at it, period. I’ve been practicing like crazy though, so hopefully I’ll be able to pull it off and fool a few people into thinking that this is not my first rodeo. Unfortunately all of those years of being the “sporty spice” type have rendered a somewhat ungraceful Stephanie… but who knows… practice makes perfect right?!

Here’s the deets just in case you’re in the area and you want to come to this amazingly fun and fashion forward event:
It’s Thursday, March 12th at the W Hotel in downtown San Francisco, 6:00-10:00 pm. There will be two fashion shows: one featuring Project Runway Star Austin Scarlett’s Kenneth Pool bridal gown designs and the other featuring The Art Institute of San Francisco’s newest “rising star” designers renditions of the alterna-wedding dress. These dresses are truly amazing and I get to rock a sweet lime green punk rock dress complete with fishnet stockings and a peacock feather bouquet…. WHOOP!

Until Thursday I’ll be practicing my walk back and forth in our little cottage while my fabulous runway coach… Ms. Hup critiques my every step and turn 😉 He’s good though…. I don’t mind learning from the best! Check out the video below or over here on YouTube to see what I mean.

p.s. This might actually help us out with one of our 50 Goals For 2009:

3. Figure out Stephanie’s next move
– find a new career path or back to school for nursing? just some options

Nothin’ wakes you up like a run in the morning — dominating the Juana Run 8k

One of our 50 goals for 2009 is to run more street races (and one is to run a marathon before we’re married) and like we posted a couple weeks ago, a huge first step to achieve this particular goal was registering for the Juana Run 8k (~5 miles) here in beautiful Palo Alto, CA.

Well, we ran the 8k bright and and early this morning and had a lot of fun doing it. Also, we both surprised ourselves in how well we finished. Stephanie was hoping to finish under 40 minutes, which she pulled off easy by crossing the finish line just under 37 minutes. That’s under 7:30 minute miles, which is awesome! Me, on the other hand, I somehow finished with the clock ticking just over 30 minutes, which means that I ran basically 6:00 minute miles for the entire thing. Not sure how I did that, but God somehow put it in me to kick these legs fast enough and long enough to do it. Wow.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a video, so I decided to put a little somethin’ sometin’ together — you can watch it below or over on YouTube.

Passing along some inspiration to a friend with a Love Dare

I’m on the train, so I’ll have to make this quick…

Last night Stephanie and I went to a couple’s session at our church (mark another one up for 2009 Goal #2!) that was led by two amazing people named Drs. Paul and Virgina Frieson. They run an organization called Home Improvement Ministries, have been married for 30+ years and have their faith situated smack-dab in the middle of the incredible relationship that they have together. They are truly inspirational and Stephanie and I, along with the other 100+ couples that showed up last night for the 2-hour event, were blessed to have them share their experiences with us.

(I’m now off the train and sitting on a bench in the SF station so that I can finish this…)

Me, my laptop and some currazy hair at the SF Caltrain station

Anyways, the couple’s session was all about keeping fire in your relationship and what it takes from both a man’s and a woman’s perspective to keep a marriage moving along the path that God had in mind when He created all of us fine-looking, loving yet somewhat selfish people. Paul and Virginia went through 10 main themes to not just remember, but to act on when in a marriage and as they went through each one they seamlessly tied each back to experiences that they’ve had and to scriptures that are written in the Bible. It was refreshing, entertaining and challenging all at the same time and it was a great way for Stephanie and I to get a jump start on some of the things that we will need to focus on once we take the walk down the aisle on August 29th — not to mention that many of the themes that we were walked through apply to our relationship right now. Good stuff.

At the end of the session there was a church-wide challenge for all of the couple’s to go through a 40-day journey called The Love Dare, which is a book that was created as a way to keep marriage (and other relationships) strong and on the path that God intended. The book is a part of the movie Fireproof, which I actually haven’t seen yet, but plan to see tomorrow at our church. Fireproof is all about a married couple who’s relationship is on the rocks and gets some much needed help from their son when he gives his dad The Love Dare and tells him to go through the 40-day challenge before they officially decided to break it off. If you’re in a serious relationship I recommend that you see it — I hear that it’s very powerful and life-changing for any couple that takes the time to watch it.

(my battery is about to die and I need to go workout so I’m going to wrap this up…)

Stephanie and I have decided to challenge ourselves for the next 40 days with The Love Dare, so I was reading our first day’s challenge on the train this morning when I started talking to a new friend of mine who was sitting across from me. Well, as I have found out over the past couple months, his marriage of 20+ years has been having it’s share of struggles lately and I have been able to tell that he could probably use some help. As I was reading my copy of The Love Dare I started chatting with him and quickly decided that he could use the book as well — so, I just gave it to him a few minutes ago and challenged him to the 40-day Love Dare. I wasn’t really sure how he’d take it, but after reading through the first few pages he seemed like it was something that he was excited to follow through with.

So, here’s to my new friend, Stephanie and I following through with The Love Dare. I’ll keep you all updated on our progress, but first I guess that we need to go get a new copy of the book. :)

Our first Wedding Wednesday — deciding the bridal party

With our official wedding date of August 29th coming up sooner than we would ever think (191 days according to Stephanie) and with plenty still to do, I thought that it would be a good idea to dedicate at least one night during the week to getting some of the nuptial-esque details knocked out. Well, since tonight was a Wednesday and it was going to be our first official weekly meeting I decided to call it Wedding Wednesday because let’s face it…everything’s better with a name. Anyways, I kind of miss the good ol’ Wild Wednesdays that we used to rock each week with IndyMojo, so I guess the name’s only appropriate in some sort of weird, convoluted way.

So tonight after we finished up dinner we headed over to Coupa Cafe, one of our favorite spots in Palo Alto (and home to the world’s best Chai), and shifted our brains into wedding mode. Although we had no real agenda for this first Wedding Wednesday, our goal quickly became to get a final list for our bridal party, which I’ve personally been putting off for quite a while now for some reason. I guess that it’s never much fun to have to choose between which friends make the cut when it comes to who’s going to be in the wedding and who’s not. Oh and not only that, but we also needed to figure out who is going to actually stand up with us for the wedding and who gets assigned to be an usher or on guest book assignment — which, of course, are still very, very jobs to have (I’ve been an usher like 20 times). :)

Getting our bridal list together wasn’t easy, but we had to do it…

If you haven’t guessed by now Stephanie and I have a ton of awesome friends and family in Indiana, so the choices weren’t real easy. But, after listing some people, marking a few out and adding in a few that we had somehow left out (whoops), we eventually made our final decisions and ended up with the final, official bridal party list. Once we contact each of the ‘chosen few’, we’ll post up some more details of who we’ve chosen, why we chose them and maybe even who else we were thinking about adding to the list, but didn’t (and why). We have chosen an all-star lineup to play a part in our big day together and we’re looking forward to celebrating with them as well as the rest of our friends and family on August 29th (put it on your calendars, people!).

Oh, and I guess that I should mention that these Wedding Wednesdays are a great way to work on #4 in our 50 Goals For 2009 list. Boo yah!

Mark one off the 50 Goals For 2009 list — we’re running an 8k!

Hot on the heels of posting our 50 Goals For 2009 yesterday it looks like we can already strike one off. As I was looking though the Palo Alto Weekly yesterday on the drive home from eating lunch, I noticed an ad for an 8k road race called Juana Run? that was taking place in a couple weeks. I showed Stephanie the ad and told her that we should run it as I tore it out of the paper.

Well, I get home today after work and Stephanie tells me that she just registered us both for it, which is probably why I found this in my Inbox:

So…I guess that pretty much takes care of #35, or it at least gives us a good start. :)

p.s. According to last year’s race results, Stephanie needs to run, on average, right around a 7 minute mile pace to get in the top 25 for her age group. I would have to run sub 6 minute miles…yeah, not gonna happen.

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