The RSVP’s

Look at us!  It’s officially the 2nd day of our wedding month, and we’ve posted two times, consecutively.  I think we’re on a roll!

Design courtesy of Holly Gauper
Design courtesy of Holly Gauper

Above is an image of our fabulous RSVP’s that my wonderful friend and wedding photographer, Holly Gauper designed.  We sent out the invitations just a week and a half ago, and already the responses are flooding in.  I think giving the guests the option of e-mailing us their RSVP was a great idea and can potentially save the guests some time and 43 cents 😉  As of today we have a total of 37 “Yes!” RSVP’s.   Not a bad start if you ask me.

So, Ryan and I thought we’d take some time to give you an update of what planning a wedding is really like.  The nitty gritty, if you will of the entire process can sometimes prove to be quite a challenge.  Despite the stress that a situation like this can put on a couple, I think we’re both handling it just fine, don’t you?  You can watch the video below or over here on YouTube

A Jam-Packed Saturday… just the way we like it.

logo_bed_bath_and_beyondTypically Ryan and I end up feeling more tired after a weekend is over than when we go into it.  We don’t like to keep things normal by utilizing the extra weekend time to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation.  Instead I think we  see the extra two days off from work as a challenge to see how many activities we can pack into 48 hours.  We usually do a pretty good job.  Today can easily serve as example of how we like to spend our weekends.

This morning we woke up and ran 15 miles.  That’s right, 15 miles.  I don’t like to brag or anything but this time I think I will.  That’s a pretty long run and in fact, it’s the longest that Ryan and I have ever run in our entire life!  If you remember, I’m training for the San Francisco Marathon in July.  I’m following a special 18 week training program that, so far I highly recommend.  We’ll see after the race if I still recommend it, haha.  I just finished up week ten, so as you can see the weekend mileage continues to increase as the training goes on.  Ryan was supposed to run the marathon with me, but unfortunately due to his shoulder situation, he won’t be able to run :(  So far, he has been able to do most of the training with me, but that will all end on Wednesday after he has his surgery.  It’s going to be painfully hard to train on my own, so I might have to start looking for some new running partners in the city.  Out here I’m sure that wont be too hard considering the amount of runners that I’ve seen in San Francisco.  Below is a map of our run this morning, note that we basically ran all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. Talk about an amazing view!


Following our crazy long run and a major chow down fest at one of our favorite, nearby restaurants The Brickhouse, Ryan and I headed over to Bed Bath and Beyond to register for all of the super awesome wedding gifts that we hope to receive.   We had an amazing consultant lead us around the store and give us the low-down on every single item that he thought we would need after we’re married.  From pots and pans to toaster ovens and bedspreads we had a fabulous time zappin every item that we just had to have!  If you’d like to go ahead and buy us a gift ( come on, you know you’re just dying to) you can click right here and type in Stephanie Marnitz or Ryan Hupfer and our registery will pop up.  We selected a few items so take your pick… we’ll be happy with any of it!  Yay… bring on the presents, haha.

Being responsible or just being lame? You decide. A tough GumBall 3000 decision.

gumball_logoMy life has truly been blessed with some of the most random and amazing opportunities. I’ve traveled to Europe with friends of friends, I’ve taken a 50-foot tour bus filled with 6 of my friends and 2 bus drivers across the entire country in 2 weeks, I’ve had the chance to be on live TV with Indianapolis’ most watched station, I’ve written a book that’s available around the world, I moved to California with the love of my life and many, many other things that I could go on and on about if I had more time before I had to go into the office.

I’m not trying to brag here, but the point I’m trying to get across is that I have somehow been able to do some truly awesome and amazing things that just seem to happen because I either meet the right people or I’m simply at the right places at the right times. These experiences have all helped me become the person that I am today and if I hadn’t been open to giving them a shot (by not freaking out), I probably wouldn’t be where I am and who I am today. They’ve somehow, someway helped shaped my personality and my outlook on life each and every time I’ve been able to do them.

With all of this in mind I wanted to ask you a question about something that happened yesterday while I was in the office. Around 11:30am or so an instant message popped up from my friend Alex, whom I have seen and chatted with here and there since I’ve lived out here on the West Coast. Alex is a tech-geek just like me and he’s an excitement junky just like me as well. He loves car racing and once I started chatting with him I realized just how much he actually did like the life of the fast and furious.

After we got through the normal hellos and what-not Alex wasted no time in getting to the point. I could tell that he was all excited and in a hurry about something. One of the first questions he asked me was “Hey man, you know about the GumBall 3000?“. To which I quickly answered “Of course!”. You see, the GumBall 3000 is one of the craziest, high-profile, out-of-control car rallys there is in the entire world. It’s basically a bunch of millionaires, entertainers and race car crazies who pay a ton of money to drive 3,000 miles in 8 days in their super-expensive Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Jags, Bentleys and just about any other type of 6-figured, exotic sports car that your pretty, little head can imagine. Here’s a quick video of the start of 2007s GumBall 3000 to help you get a feel for what I’m talking about:

Yeah, that’s the GumBall 3000. Pretty sweet, eh?

Well, Alex continued to chat with me about how we worked on the crew for one of the drivers last year and that he actually has a chance to get a seat in one of the cars this year for the rally of all rallys. I was pretty amazed at this point, as I have been watching the GumBall 3000 ever since I saw the Jackass crew take part in it a few years ago. He then continues to tell me how he can only ride for half of the rally due to some work stuff that he has to be back in town for and he wanted to know if I could hop in the care for the other half (and pay for half of the seat). Whoa.

Honestly, this was one of those times that I get the chills even at the thought of being part of something like the GumBall 3000, but the price was just enough to make me question whether or not this opportunity was worth jumping on. It wasn’t so much money that it would completely break the bank, but enough to probably put Stephanie and I in a situation where we’d really have to watch what we spend for the next several months. But, it is a once in a lifetime type of thing so I still considered it and I told a super-excited and somewhat desperate Alex that I would call Stephanie and ask her about it.

Well, I called Stephanie and she was all about me going and thought that it sounded like an amazing opportunity, so I officially had her stamp of approval (and you wonder why I love this woman?). After getting Stephanie’s OK I asked my boss about taking the crazy trip and he was totally cool with it, too (I just wouldn’t get paid for my time off work). At this point I called Alex and I told him that I was good to go and that I could do this thing. It was crazy and probably not the best decision, but hey — it was an amazing opportunity that I might never have the chance to do again. I was going to be riding in the GumBall 3000 and that was that.

After I called Alex (and made his year), I went and grabbed something to eat, which allowed me to gather some thoughts about the decision that I just made. As I ate my delicious Toaster Over sandwich a million different thoughts started running through my head about some of the possible issues that could arise now that I’ve said I would shell out the cash needed to snag a seat for half of the GumBall 3000. Thoughts such as: my shoulder needing surgery, Stephanie and I getting married this summer, living in one of the most expensive places in the world, the awesome weekends that Stephanie and I love to have, the dog (Frank) that we want to get, the new furniture that we would like to buy and other things that we would probably be all stressed about if I decided to make the somewhat expensive investment that I just agreed to go in on with Alex.

With all of this in mind I started feeling like I made the wrong decision and that I didn’t think the whole thing through, which could be best described as a really weird grinding feeling in the bottom of my guts each time I realized that I had probably made the wrong decision. It’s a feeling that we’ve all had before and every single time it doesn’t feel good.

After I finished up eating I had officially decided that I made the wrong decision and that I didn’t think the whole thing through (which I normally don’t do) and that I needed to call Alex back and turn my best news into my worst news by telling him that I changed my mind and that I can’t do the GumBall 3000 with him, even though I know that it’s going to be A-MA-ZING.

I made the tough call back, explained what I had decided and told him that I wasn’t going to be able to go on the trip of a lifetime. It wasn’t easy, but I felt like it was the right decision to make and I was completely honest with him when I told him why I had made the decision. Needless to say, he was a little upset, but he understood my situation and he appreciated that I called him back when I did and told him the truth.

It wasn’t easy to do, but I decided to ditch the potential trip of a lifetime. Now I’m wondering if this is just a sign of becoming more responsible or simply just a sign of becoming lame. What do you think? Did I make the right decision?

Hup and Steph might get married on the Today Show: What should we do for the 1-minute video?

One of my homies that I’ve met over the interwebs is a guy named Chris (twitter: @CarMaxChris) who runs all of the social media initiatives for CarMax. We met and started chatting over a year ago when he commented on one of our posts that talked about me trying to sell Stephanie’s car to CarMax once we realized we were headed out West to live the California life. Well, I didn’t end up selling her car to CarMax, but Chris and I never stopped chatting and keeping up with each other as time has gone on.

I tell you all of this because just yesterday Chris sent me over a Tweet that asked me if Stephanie and I were going to enter the contest to get married on the Today Show, which started accepting applictions on April 15th. After he sent it over I went over and took a look at the application process and after researching it a bit I might just have to say that Stephanie and I would be PERFECT for this contest and if we actually got on there we would take the top prize for sure!

Stephanie has talked about this contest before, but now that I’ve actually taken a look at it we’ve decided to give it our best shot and see what the Today Show thinks about your favorite soon-to-be-married couple (that’s us). The application is a little long, but it should be easy to fill out. However, there is one thing that we’ve been going back and forth on and that’s the 1-minute video that we could need to send in with our application. Here’s what they say we need to send in:

Read the application for full requirements and to find out if you’re eligible to be married on TODAY. Then fill out your application, print it, attach a couple photo, along with a one minute  (1:00) video of why you should be chosen and mail it to us. If you think you’re cut out to handle the competition, submit your application no later than May 15, 2009.

Not a whole lot of time to say something that will catch their attention, but we’re hoping to put together some ideas that will be a little, ummm different that will help us stand out from the rest of the couples. If you have any ideas of what we should include in the short 60 seconds that we’re alotted, please leave them in the comments below. We’ll keep you updated on our progress and get ready to vote for us soon — I know that we can win this thing!

Love and relationships in the world of social media

picture-48The past couple of weeks have been a little out of control, which is nothing new for Stephanie and I and for some of these reasons we’ve been slacking a bit here in our digital home way from home. Some of the highlights have been moving into our new place here in San Francisco (and not having Internet connected until yesterday), me wrecking yet another bike and tearing up my shoulder (yes, I’m having surgery in May), exploring all kinds of new places here in the city, getting a new couch and getting a ton of bedroom furniture from our homie Ben, who is going to be traveling to Thailand and is chillin’ (working) there for the next couple months. People out here in SF do that type of stuff and it’s actually considered to be normal. For real.

So, yeah — there’s been a lot going on and although that’s not an excuse from me, it is an explanation. I have to keep my peeps in the loop, you know? I’m glad that you’re stopping back by and if you have any other news to tell us about, please do so in the comments below.

I’m going to shift gears here really quick and talk about the topic that I titled this blog post with — love and relationships in the world of social media. This is a very familiar topic to Stephanie and I as we’ve documented most of our relationship together over the past year or so (our first post) and have broadcast it out on the web for all (who care) to consume and view for themselves. We’ve kept up this blog for over a year, we’ve put together tons of videos and we’ve practically talked about all different aspects of our relationship together. I’m not really sure why we started doing this, but I’m really glad that we have as it has helped us do things and meet people that we would have never been able to connect to if we hadn’t been so out there and findable.

Putting our relationship out there has been a great way to let friends, family and complete strangers know about who we both are, what we’re about, our beliefs, our faults, our ups & downs and all things in between. Oh, and we’ve had a TON of fun doing it.

I bring all of this up because as I logged into the blog a few minute ago for the first time in a week or so, I saw that a blog post was linking back to us. The blog post was written by a woman her in SF named Stephanie Gerson (her Facebook) and it’s titled Love and relationships in the era of social media and as I read through it I saw that she referenced our Hup and Steph blog towards the end. The blog post is interesting and it talks about a relationship that she had with a guy that lives across the US, whom she kept in touch with via Skype and then blogged (most of) the details for the world to see. The blog is still live on the web — it’s aptly titled this might be a love story and as you start scrolling and clicking it becomes awful addicting.

As word of her long-distance social media relationship got around the web, CurrentTV showed some interest in producing a piece called Video Chat Love Story on Stephanie’s story and the video below is what they ended up with. Hopefully I can get to know Stephanie a little better now that I’ve learned a little bit more about her. I can’t wait to talk more all about this stuff. I think it’s all so interesting, especially since Stephanie and I are right in the middle of it.

Growing up and buying our first couch from SOMA Sofa in San Francisco

Some people see buying a couch as just that — buying a couch. I would guess that it’s probably something that most people do before they hit the age of 25 or so, although it took me until the ripe, old age of 29 to finally cave in and buy a ‘real one’. I say ‘real one’ because I’ve owned (and borrowed) several couches in my lifetime, but the truth is each one of them were never even close to being new and none of them have ever cost me more than $100. They have made up of either rag-tag groups of hand-me-downs from friends, dorm rooms and dumpsters or leftovers that the person renting the place before me didn’t really feel like dealing with. Whether it was an older brother or sister or just someone who had decided to move out of the place that I was moving into, their growing up and moving on was always to my benefit and hey, I was always cool with that.

Even when Stephanie and I packed up and moved out here to California nearly a year ago we ended up buying the couch that the person before us was leaving in the cottage. It was actually part of a $250 package that included a wicker hamper, a sweet toaster oven, a TV with a stand and of course a 20 year-old floral print couch that came with a maroon cover and a surprisingly comfy pull-out bed. The only thing that didn’t make it to our new place here in San Francisco was the couch, which actually ended up fitting nicely into our friends living room down the street over at the Homer House. A handed down hand-me-down if you will (and the circle of life continues).

I think that they now honestly have a couch for every single person that lives in the Homer House (and that’s 8 people!).

So anyways, the fact that Stephanie and I have decided to buy a couch together means first that we (and Nic + friends) will be lounging in comfort once it makes it way into our ridiculously large living room, which will be a good thing considering that up until now all 3 of us have been crashing and hanging out on the window sill cushion, which is the only comfortable place to sit at the moment.  (If you don’t believe me, just check out how all 3 of us fell asleep the first night that we stayed the night together up in SF):

Believe if or not, that thing is super comfy

Secondly, the fact that we’re buying the couch together also signifies that there is some major commitment to our relationship. If you think about it, what says ‘I love you’ more than buying a nice piece of furniture together? I guess that some would say the fact that I proposed to Stephanie and gave her an engagement ring and all that stuff has commitment written all it, but to me nothing says I’m sticking with you for the long haul like the purchase of a brand-new, stylish sofa sectional. :)

We decided to buy the couch from a fun and funky furniture shop called SOMA Sofa that’s a few blocks away from where we live now. It is an amazing store that’s full of the most wild and creative furniture that you’ve ever seen and even though the particular couch that we ended up buying doesn’t necessarily look like it came off the set of BeetleJuice like some other the other stuff they had, it’s still modern-looking, stylish and of course, comfortable (which I love and Stephanie could really care less about). The furniture selection was great and the owners were really cool, so we decided that it was the place for us.

Here’s the style of couch that we decided to go with — it’s called the Benson. If you’re ever up in our neck of the woods in San Francisco be sure to hit us up so that you can stop by and test it out for yourself.

Imagine this in a dark gray color with really funky green pillows

Have you ever bought yourself some brand-spankin’ new furniture? How did it go? I’d love to hear some of your stories.

The Powers of Flowers

Last night I decided to surprise Stephanie with some flowers (which I try to do on a regular basis), so I thought that it would be a great topic to shoot a quick video about. Hopefully we can do more videos like this that are based more around our relationship and what makes it so freakin’ awesome. Of course, not all of it is easy, but the harder times are what makes you both realize just how great it is to have a relationship with someone that you truly love and want to be with for the rest of your life.  Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. :)

Check out the video below or over here on YouTube and please let us know if you have any thoughts on the Powers of Flowers!

The introduction of Frank

I left the office about 30 minutes early yesterday so that Stephanie and I could go visit the newest member of our family, Frank. As I made it home to our cottage and walked in the door, all of the lights were off and Stephanie was just sitting on the coach browsing Facebook. Unlike the giddy, over-the-top excited, “I’m about to go visit my baaaaby!!” Stephanie that I was expecting to greet me when I walked in, I was greeted by a very subtle “hey…” when I stepped foot into the dim-lit living room by a somewhat disappointed, “something isn’t right here” Stephanie.

“Gabe didn’t answer his phone and momma isn’t happy that she can’t go see her baby! (growl)”, is the first thing she said when I shut the door and asked her why we were all of a sudden saving electricity by not turning on the lights. Gabe is the owner of Frank’s momma, a Pug who had 6 beautiful puppies about 3 weeks ago, and he was supposed to let us stop by so that we could see what our baby was up to, but Stephanie couldn’t get a hold of him. I think that she literally left him like 6 or 7 voicemails in a matter of 15 minutes. Needless to say, momma definitely wasn’t happy.

But, Gabe did end up calling back and we took a family trip down to see Frank in San Jose around 9:30pm last night. It was the first time that I had seen Frank and Stephanie’s first time to really see him now that he’s up and moving around like a real dog. We hung out with Frank for an hour or so and got in some real solid bonding time. I took some video of the action, so feel free to see how Frank’s doing, too. I think at this stage it’s safe to say that Frank sounds like Gizmo the Gremlin, which I’m hoping he’ll eventually grow out of.

p.s. Frank’s the runt, but don’t hold that against him. It just makes us love him that much more. :)

Huh, how *do* they make decaf coffee?

View Larger Map
The path that Stephanie and I walk every Saturday morning

As Stephanie and I were doing our weekly Saturday morning walk down to Whole Foods and Peets Coffee to grab some breakfast (see the path on Google Maps), we somehow got on the subject of how decaf coffee is made. You see, a while back I decided to cut out the caffeine from my diet due to the fact that it was making me feel even more wired than I am normally, not to mention that I was beginning to feel like I had to have coffee, a Mountain Dew or some type of boost during the day to make it through. I don’t like to feel like I’m addicted to stuff, so I simply cut it out of my routine. It wasn’t easy, but it somehow worked.

Anyways, Stephanie still loves her caffeine kick, so when we go to Peet’s Coffee during our walk on Saturdays I either pass on getting a drink or I grab a decaf version of whatever she ends up getting (which this morning was a vanilla latte). Well, as I was ordering my decaf version (Stephanie calls it the ‘grandpa’ version), I asked Stephanie how decaf coffee beans were different from regular coffee beans. She had no clue what the difference was, so I asked the guy who was making our drinks. To my surprise, he didn’t have an answer for me, either, which I thought was interesting.

When we got home I jumped on The Wikipedia so that I could find the answer that I was looking for. As usual, Wikipedia didn’t fail me and within a matter of seconds I was reading all about Decaffeination. Here’s a summary of what I found out:

Decaffeination is the act of removing caffeine from coffee beans, mate, cocoa, tea leaves and other caffeine-containing materials. (While caffeine-free soft drinks are occasionally referred to as “decaffeinated,” some are better termed “uncaffeinated”: prepared via simply omitting caffeine from production.)

In the case of coffee, various methods can be used. The process is usually performed on unroasted (green) beans, and starts with steaming of the beans. They are then rinsed in solvent that contains as much of the chemical composition of coffee as possible without also containing the caffeine in a soluble form. The process is repeated anywhere from 8 to 12 times until it meets either the international standard of having removed 97% of the caffeine in the beans or the EU standard of having the beans 99.9% caffeine free by mass. Coffee contains over 400 chemicals important to the taste and aroma of the final drink; this effectively means that no physical process or chemical reaction will remove only caffeine while leaving the other chemicals at their original concentrations.

Interesting, eh? I also found out that in 2004 there was a new type of Coffea Arabica coffee bean found in Ethiopia that contains about half the caffeine as the normal stuff.

Also, if you happen to be curious about the caffeine content of different types of drinks, check out this handy-dandy chart that I found. The most interesting thing that I noticed was that a Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine, while a Grande Starbucks coffee has an incredible 330mg of caffeine! Yeah, that’s a lot.

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.

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