Well, well, well…look what we have here

It’s a new post on IanAndVal.com!

I know some of you have expressed concerns about not seeing any new posts lately. To be honest, we were partially deciding what to do with ianandval.com now that we’re married. The decision is I’ll keep at it for a bit and see what happens.

So, what have we been up to? All sorts of fun stuff. We’ve celebrated my dad’s birthday, saw Ali win a duck certificate, and then went to a friend’s wedding.

Christal’s Wedding

The wedding was fun because it was the first wedding we attended since we were married. It was cute having a placecard labeled Mr and Mrs.

Val and Sue posing outside at Christal’s wedding.

Val and Sue

Father’s Day

We celebrated father’s day with my dad early. Hung out, ate food, etc. Then on actual father’s day, we went to Val’s family this year. Her siblings had a whole event planned, so we had to participate. Basically we made a whole big meal and it was yummy.

New Door

What else? I helped my dad replace the front door. We tried to do the whole job with a crowbar and a pair of pliers.

Crowbar Ian

Okay, that’s not true. But, we did replace the door. Here’s the new door after just being put in (note: this picture is pre-storm door and stuff):

New Front Door

An Event Apart

This past week was fun.On Monday and Tuesday I attended An Event Apart (a conference for people who do Web stuff). The conference was different than higher ed conferences I typically have gone to in the past. Some of the presentations were focused a bit much on the designing side of websites, but I think I was able to get some value out of it. Plus, I met some people and got to hang out with my co-workers. I’ll leave the picture of my boss’s boss wearing his “I Heart Nihilism” t-shirt off of here though.


To keep the fun going, Val and I took off Wednesday-Friday this week, without any real plans! So, that’s been nice. We did some boring things we didn’t have time to do (like clothing returns to stores), but also took time to go on adventures. For example, we went kayaking, which neither of us had done before! It was a lot of fun although Val got a little pink from the sun (and she wore sunscreen and a hat!). Anyways, it was a good time (and cheaper than us going to a movie…which we did later).

A Bit Stormy

Today it was a bit stormy, although I think I didn’t notice until it was over. We realized it was busy near our home and walked outside because it seemed like traffic was being diverted away from Main St.


Apparently a tree was knocked down in the storm and took down two utility poles with it! Eek! Luckily nobody was hurt. There were a few other instances like this around down and a couple thousand people without power (but things seem fine here for the moment).

Official Wedding Pictures!

The official wedding pictures have arrived!

Getting married!

You can see all our pictures on Flickr. They all have something for a title. I’d give them better titles, descriptions and tags, but I’m tired of being at the computer and my arm hurts!

Besides, Val and I have a fun night to get ready for! We’re going into Boston to see The Pops at Symphony Hall, conducted by John Williams…performing all his movie songs! How great is that? We’re really looking forward to it! To get us in the mood, we saw the latest Indiana Jones movie on Thursday!

Sheep Shearing Festival

Sign for sheep shearing festival

Yesterday Val, Ali (Val’s sister), and I attended a sheep shearing festival at Gore Place.

Ian, Val and Ali

It was a great day outside and was nice to walk around. The actual sheep shearing is a little weird and doesn’t look like fun for anyone involved.

Sheep shearing is weird

My favorite was seeing a sign for HoneyStix. When I think of HoneyStix I think of a country, perhaps even old-timey, treat. I certainly do not think of honey in a little plastic tube as it’s advertised: The Candy of the Future


What type of world would we live in where HoneyStix is futuristic candy?!?

Anyways, we did have fun, seeing animals like alpaca, checking out the vendors, seeing re-enactors and more.


The only negative about the day is that we forgot how badly Val burns!

Val burned

We have a set of 92 pictures from the day posted on Flickr.


We’ve been married for two weeks and are loving it. We’re both smiling whenever we say husband and wife! I can’t believe the wedding is over though!

Breaking the glass at wedding ceremony

All the planning and build up! The special memories are still fresh at least!

One of the reasons we got married two weekends ago instead of this weekend is because we didn’t want to eat matzah instead of wedding cake! Last weekend we went over my parents’ house for the Seder. My grandmother (aka Nana) was still visiting from Florida. It was nice to be able to have her join us. My family is of course crazy with the Seder, mostly because we start late. After everything is done, Val and I probably didn’t get home until around 1am both nights!

The food was great at my parents’ house. I think the main reason Val enthusiastically attends is for the matzah ball soup! It is her favorite part of the Seder.
Over the past week, Val and I have both been pretty good about staying away from bread. I do it because it’s my religion and because it’s what I’ve always done! But what about Val? I think she does it for the challenge! She also says that it is much easier to prepare one OK-for-passover meal. That and it would be weird to eat bread right in front of me. Over the past week Val (and I) made some great passover dishes, including…

Passover Apple Muffins

Passover Apple Muffins

Matzah Lasagna (made with matzah, sauce, eggplant, zucchini, mushroom and spinach):

Matzah Lasagna
and this morning we made Passover popovers:

Passover Popover
We also made matzah brei, matzah meal latkes, matzah pizza, flourless chocolate cake, passover fruit cobbler and more. Overall it was a delicious week (although probably not the healthiest with the many eggs required in most recipes)!

We’re married, here’s a blog

Boo yea!

Ian and Val are married!

We’re married and I’m still posting, so I guess it’s time to update the tag-line for our website. By the way, thanks for visiting IanAndVal.com today.

Wow, we’re married! I have the most beautiful, amazing wife ever. Wow, a wife! Crazy!

Ian feeding Val some cake!

Yesterday was fantastic. Yes, there was a few things that didn’t go perfectly (e.g. the musicians were playing a wrong song for the processional), but it still sounded nice. There were also some really great surprises, such as the chapel ringing its bells when we walked outside just after getting married! That was awesome!

Definitely “mad props” go out to our siblings for being so extremely helpful. The wedding couldn’t have happened like it did without you!

Ian and Val with bling!

Yeah, you like our new marriage-bling.

These pictures are (clearly) unofficial wedding pictures. We will eventually have pictures taken by the photographer we hired! We’re certainly looking forward to that!

To see more unofficial wedding photos, hop on over to flickr.com!

Have some wedding photos? Send them to me at us@ianandval.com! Please note in the email if you do not want them posted to flickr. Thanks!

Wedding Today!

Last night was hectic! Val and I (plus her sibs helped us) setup. We picked up the flowers we purchased from the florist at Stop and Shop. They look quite nice and they florists are very cute, leaving us notes wishing us a good luck.

We then went with the flowers and other supplies to the wedding location. We show up at the Inn and it’s pretty busy — they apparently have a party going on. We explain to the staff that we’re here to setup. We were told in advance that not only could we put stuff in the reception room, but that the tables should already be set. Instead, we were now told there’s a function going on in that room.


So, we left all the stuff in the functions office with notes. They told us they’d take care of setting our stuff up and refrigerating the flowers, so hopefully that worked out. I think I might go earlier than I was planning today to make sure things are looking good.

Next stop, a few feet over to the chapel. We have to setup our Chuppah! It took us longer than we thought, but I think it came out looking alright. Seems sturdy, so I’m hoping it’s not in a pile when we get back there today!

The main negative with the chapel is that when we asked in advance about the take-down of the Chuppah, we were told that we could do it after our reception (so we can change out of our clothes). Now, they tell us there’s been a last minute event added to the chapel after our ceremony, so the Chuppah needs to be removed before our reception is over.


Luckily a friend is going to take it down for us. I guess that’s a benefit of having a wedding so small!

Anyways, hopefully everything will go well today! Val and Ali are off getting their hair done. I’m done sleeping and I’m posting this morning mainly to give me something to do before I get ready!

Wish us luck!

Let’s Do This Wedding Thing!

We’re cute. Earlier this week I prepared lunches — just PB & J sandwiches. When I wasn’t looking, Val snuck four fortune cookies in my lunch, so that was a treat. After eating her own lunch, Val asked me if I added honey to her sandwich (and told me I shouldn’t). Instead of replying, I sent her this picture:

PB, J, and Love

Yes, that’s a heart-shaped dab of blueberry honey. I’m cute.
Yesterday at work was even better. In general, neither of us expected many presents, but our co-workers are great. You already know about Val’s office (and a co-worker of mine also gave a lovely gift), but yesterday my office took their turn — and we were both surprised. I’m at my desk doing work and Val sends me a message.

Val: I have to come to Feldberg for a meeting.
Ian: Okay, I should be around. Feel free to say hi.

I go about my business. Around 1pm my phone rings. Billy (my boss’s boss) is calling from the conference room downstairs.

Billy: Ian, I’m in a meeting. Grab Jim and Garth and come down here. We have some technical questions.
Ian: Sure. On my way.

I then tell Jim that Billy wants us downstairs. Jim was great playing along.

Jim: Did Billy mention what the questions are about?
Ian: Umm. No. He just said “technical questions.”
Jim: Oh, that Billy… (I’m paraphrasing)

I get downstairs to the conference room and it is packed with people. What can this meeting be about?

After they all joke about having some tough questions and tease me for bringing a notepad and pen, they pull out a present! Yay!

But, not until they said I had to wait for Val, did I realize her Feldberg meeting was this! They tricked her too!

Val shows up, not knowing what to expect. They told her it was a meeting about technical problems with her office’s web site. Val shows up with her co-worker and sees the crowded room. Val’s first reaction was that she was at the wrong meeting and her second reaction was confusion! Then she walked in the room (was pushed in the room?) and saw me and the present!

They all laughed because Val, like me, came with pen and notepad!
And guess what! They gave us the robot vacuum (Roomba) that we wanted! Sweet!

Roomba from work!

Very cool.

As people started to leave, Amy had the best comment.

Amy: How come Billy didn’t share his wine with anyone? Was he just drinking out of the bottle?!?
Ian: Oh. Ha…don’t ask me. Some people here just think wine bottles make good water bottles.

Yeah. Random!
Later, my former boss and a co-worker took Val and I out for some good eats.


Val and I both got the steak tips! Yum!

Ian stencil with MacBook Pro

Anyways, Val and I took off work today and tomorrow so that we can make final preparations for the wedding (on Sunday)! It’s getting more exciting and seeming more real! Val picked up her wedding dress today! :)

The chuppah is…okay. We tried setting it up outside as a test. It stands. It should be okay. I was hoping it would be sturdier. We are going to tie some ribbon to hold it, which might help. I only pretend to be mechanically-savvy. Everything I’ve ever built is held together with tape and string!

Val’s also working on some small projects. We bought a small wooden box for my brother to carry our wedding bands in as he walks down the aisle. Val painted the top a nice turquoise color and painted the sides so that it looks stained.

Val Painting Ring Box

Meanwhile I’m across the room, typing this and kind of just goofing off…on my new work laptop! Yeah, my MacBook Pro came in! Now I can be all kinds of productive:

Ian artsy with MacBook Pro


Ian comic with MacBook Pro

It’s almost our wedding!

Thanks for lunch!

Today was quite the eventful wedding-ish day!

The day started normal with work, but I knew there was more coming. Val’s office had a lunch planned for us, but while I knew about it, it was a surprise for Val. They told me what time to get her from the office and what time to bring her to a local restaurant. It was up to me to figure out the rest!

Balloons from Rabb wedding lunch

When I was on my way I sent a text message to Amy. I got Val and it was pretty hard to stop smirking. I laughed as she stood around outside sending a text message to her sister, knowing that her co-workers are waiting for us to leave.

We drive off and I get a text message from Amy, “Go Slow!” Ha! I think fast and tell Val it’s a message from Verizon about my auto-payment (I did get one of those the day before).

Val and I went to Town Hall for an actual errand. Our marriage license was ready to be picked up! Yay! Check that off the list!

That was pretty fast and I wasn’t sure how much more time we had to kill. I told Val we should get some clothes to drop off at the dry cleaner’s from our place, since we were close by. It was pretty fast to grab the dry cleaning so then I went to the bathroom, turned the water on, shut off my phone’s sound and sent a text to Amy to see if they were ready — they were!

Val and I leave and I tell her I want sweet potato fries from the tavern near our apartment. We park and walk to the door — I notice Gwenn’s car and try to distract Val. She didn’t seem to pick up on it. We’re inside and I don’t have a clue what to do! I let the waiter seat us at a table for two — right nearby the room with all of Val’s co-workers.

We sit down and I’m giggling not knowing what to do next! At first Val thinks I’m looking at the TV behind her. Then see them:

“Hey look, Janice is here…and Sybil. Wait, my whole office is here. Why didn’t I get invited? Wait, what’s going on here?”


Val at Rabb Wedding Lunch Party

I was surprised at all the presents they got us! It was very thoughtful.

Presents from Rabb wedding lunch party

Val chose a salad and I went for the buffalo chicken sandwich.

Ian at Rabb Wedding Lunch Party

Eventually we went back to work then after work did more wedding errands. I’m tired!

It’s getting close

Can you believe we’re less than a month until we’re married? Goodness!

Things are coming along — most things are taken care of, but there’s still enough little details to keep us busy (and keep Val worried!). I’m getting pretty excited though!

To get us in the mood for a wedding, we attended a friend’s wedding this past weekend. Look at us all relaxed, cool, and having fun at the reception:

Ian and Val at Stephanie's Wedding

What else is going on? I feel like I’m always talking about us and don’t ask you how you are doing. What’s up? Hope all is well.

On a random note, after work yesterday, I was walking to my car/Val. It was quiet out and a little rainy. But, right as I walk past the Campus Center, the doors burst open and students pour our chanting about the war being “bullshit!” — they seemed pretty intense, at least for the first few seconds.

Brandeis Students Protest War

I’m going to be critical — sorry, students. I’m all for you protesting, but I’m not sure I understand your logic. Who are you protesting to? Other Brandeis students? It was after 5, so you wouldn’t even have staff or many faculty around. How about you take your signs and chants and perhaps organize something somewhere more meaningful? The nation’s capital? Okay, how about the state’s capital? Town hall at least? Okay, okay…just wander the local streets? Well, maybe you did all those things. But, I only saw you in the middle of campus, chanting to an audience of…well, pretty much just me.