July 30, 2012

Crunch Time

The only thing harder than talking oneself out from under the covers on a Monday morning after a particularly fun weekend? Talking oneself out from under the covers on a Monday morning after a particularly fun four day weekend. Ouch. Luckily, I went to bed super early and got a decent amount of sleep last night, so between that and the coffee, my eyes are at least halfway open this morning. Unfortunately, the extra sleep came at a price: there is still a rather large suitcase on my bedroom floor, spewing clothes and shoes at an alarming rate. The apartment is still the disaster zone it was when we left. My washing machine is calling to me. Tonight may be a long one.
We spent the extended weekend celebrating a very special couple who are now husband and wife (hurray!):
We had a great time meeting their families, catching up with some good friends, exploring the lovely state of Tennessee, and of course watching the stunning bride and her handsome groom exchange rings and vows. I know that this weekend was just the beginning of years and years of happiness for them, and we were so lucky to be able to share the experience!
The only downside to the fact that M's wedding has come and gone? Her wedding day also kicked off our own two month countdown. I am a little bit in shock that we are so close, and all the details of this past weekend only served to hammer that home -- in 60 days, I've got to pull off not only a 6 hour event for 150+ people, but an entire weekend for the wedding party and immediate family. My list of things still left to do before September 28 stretches for at least a mile, and while we are not quite in panic mode yet, I know it is rapidly approaching. Last night, though, Dan and I spent some time drooling over looking at honeymoon details and actually making some decisions. We are thisclose to locking it in and we're both so incredibly excited about what we've picked (details when it's official). I have a sneaking suspicion that the anticipation of a week in paradise is going to be very helpful in powering through the craziness of the next two months.
Speaking of powering through: if you need a little help on this Monday morning, look no further


July 25, 2012

Party Like It's Your...

It's a pretty exciting day around here.
A very special person is celebrating a whole quarter century on the planet.
 (Does that make him sound ancient? I only have 4 months to get in all the "old person" jokes until I, too, join him as a 25-year-old.)

Happy birthday to my favorite partner in crime,
the resident spider killer,
the redeeming good looks in all of our pictures,
the guy who can always make me smile,
a wonderful dad to our furballs,
(no matter what Toby thinks)
my hero,
my high school sweetheart,
my very best friend,
and the love of my life.
I am absolutely crazy about you...
(although I'm obviously not the only one)
and I'm so glad that this year, I'm not getting on a plane to leave you.
Love you so much!



July 23, 2012

Monday Musing

It's true! The list is short, but the handful of you who stop by here to read regularly are definitely on it. And today, I believe you were promised a wedding-free post, yes? Well here you have it, ladies and gentlemen: here's what the heck is going on in my life that is absolutely not related to a wedding... at least, not related to my wedding. Since one of my very best friends is getting married this Saturday, I make no promises on that front.

I have not run in four days. To most people, this is a very normal statement. To me, who ran every day for the slightly more than 100 leading up to last Friday, this. is. killing. me. I've been fighting with my legs again, hoping that I could keep up some extremely low mileage while hitting the crosstraining hard and strengthening. It seemed to be working, and at the beginning of last week the pain was so much better that I actually considered venturing off the treadmill and heading outside to test the waters. Thursday morning, however, it returned with a vengeance -- bad enough to stop my nice little daily streak in its tracks. After a few days now of extended elliptical sessions (most boring 45+ minutes of my day, every day), my leg feels much better. I almost hopped on the treadmill this morning, but decided to give it just a little more time. I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow will be the day and that the pain will stay (far, far) away.

Someone has a birthday coming up on Wednesday...
Someone is going to be a whole quarter of a century old... wow. Someone is also very hard to buy gifts for....

As I mentioned, this lovely girl is getting married this weekend!
I'm incredibly excited to celebrate with M and her new hubby. I finally found shoes for the big day over the weekend, so I'm officially ready!

I am absolutely itching to DIY something big -- like furniture-sized big. I'm thinking I should start with something easier, like an ottoman/bench:
or a bookshelf/dresser:
before I tackle an bigger project like one of these:
The ladder probably wouldn't be so tough, but that chair? That would take some skill -- skill that I surely haven't developed quite yet. For now, I'm just keeping my eye out for old, cheap furniture that I could re-invent -- especially because.....

We're moving! Dan and I found a great place for rent in an absolutely perfect location across town, so in a major effort to make September the craziest month possible, we will be packing up and moving into our very first real house! I am super excited to have a bigger kitchen, a yard, three whole bedrooms, and neighbors who reside more than three feet away. I am not a huge fan of moving in general and so I'm not looking forward to the extended packing/throwing away/organizing/unpacking cycle that is to come, but I'm definitely going to be happy once all of that is over and we can (fingers crossed) come back from our honeymoon to a great new home.
Phew... thinking about all things non-wedding for that long has left me exhausted -- and surely behind on at least sixteen things. I am off to catch up!



July 20, 2012

Friday Favorites: Well, You Know...

Believe it or not (probably not, I know), I have a ton of things happening in my life right now that are both 1. absolutely blog-worthy and 2. not wedding related. Gasp! Some of them are fantastic and exciting, some are not so much. Some of them are big, major, even life changing. And yet... none of them are going to be discussed today. Stay tuned: when the windstorm in my head dies down a bit, I'll have lots of big news.
But for now, just one more wedding post. Ahem... for now. After this, I promise I'll stop beating the poor horse for a while. I would be remiss, however, not to share some of these great ideas I've come across in my searches lately -- inspiring, genius, why-didn't-I-think-of-that ideas. Trust me: these you want to see.

Super cute idea for the reception:
Although we're going with something a bit different, we will also head home with cards and hopefully sweet notes from all of our guests.

Seriously clever RSVP card... kind of wish I had seen this before ordering ours!
Love the honesty, and it would be so funny to get all the replies!

Adorable way to make sure the bridal party/parents/vendors are all aware of the schedule:
And to go along with it, such a smart (and tempting) idea:
Not that I mind people calling me, but this really is a great way to make sure everyone has the contact info they need!
(Also, I love the line at the top: "Lost? Confused? Can't find your pants?" Ha!)

Absolutely genius (and I can use all the help I can get because I'm already dreading this...):

Love love love this sign -- putting it on my list to work on in September, when the planning crazies die down and I have a little DIY time:

And finally, a collection of cute picture ideas -- our poor photographer may be tempted to run the other way when he sees my list...

So cute:
Adorable twist on the typical family picture (might be even cuter if certain people were covering the eyes of their wives, kids, etc. -- also if someone front and center was quite obviously peeking!):
Individual wedding party shots for a collage -- definitely going to do this!:

And finally, something nice to remember:
That's right, hon. You're special!

Aaaaaand I'm done with the wedding overload. For now. Phew! Real life ahead... pinky promise.
Happy weekend everyone!


July 17, 2012

Worth a Thousand Words

I am in no shape to do anything important today... up to and including this attempt to assemble my thoughts into a coherent blog post. I am still floating somewhere in the general vicinity of cloud 9, buoyed by an incredible evening and reluctant to let my feet hit the ground again just yet.
Last night, nearly 27 months after Dan and I first got engaged, we were lucky enough to do a (slightly belated) "engagement" shoot with the local photographer I've been dying to work with for... approximately 27 months. I stumbled across his website even before Dan actually popped the question, and one look at his engagement gallery was all it took. His work is nothing short of breathtaking, down to the very last picture. He takes advantage of lighting and landscape to ensure that each shot is more than just a cute picture of two people, but a truly stunning photograph. His sessions are uniquely styled to reflect the couple's personality, each one different and yet absolutely perfect in their own way. I have been waiting (mostly) patiently for our turn for what seems like forever. With Dan out of town for military training and the huge rush to get things ready before the first wedding, there was no time to even think about an engagement shoot, but I was determined to get one in this time around, despite the fact that we are technically a bit past "engaged."
Even with such awesome expectations, last night blew me away. I started off the afternoon with the photographer's wife, who styles for most of his shoots, as she worked nothing short of magic on my hair and face. She was incredibly sweet and we had a great time chatting while she worked. I was absolutely thrilled with the final result, and snapped just a few pics:
(post makeup, pre curly hair)
(headed out to our venue with half of my hair pinned up to keep it curly)
We chose to do the shoot around the grounds at our wedding venue, which turned out to be the perfect spot for lots of variety and some spectacular views. We were able to take full advantage of the late afternoon light when we first got there, chased the sun as it set below the surrounding mountains, and then headed up to higher ground and were rewarded with an extraordinary sunset. The photographer was everything I hoped and more -- he was so laid-back and guided us perfectly without making anything feel posed or forced, welcoming our input and ideas as well. He snapped pictures as we walked, getting candid shots of us joking, laughing, and having so much fun. He really took the time to get to know us and had us relaxed and smiling the whole time without once having to think "smile for the camera." Honestly, it was the most fun few hours I have spent in a very long time, and even my picture-hating hubby seemed to love every minute.
last photo of the night, taken when we stopped for dinner after the shoot. still smiling!
I can't think of a better way to spend a Monday evening. I am still grinning just thinking about it, and know that I will be for weeks, anticipating the arrival of these pics. Can't wait to share them with you when they get here!


July 13, 2012

Showered in Love

Friday the 13th, indeed. I woke up from a dead sleep with a jolt, realizing suddenly that I was supposed to have made cookies for a coworker's baby shower today. Between getting home at 11 last night and working on a pre-wedding DIY project until 1:30, all with a splitting headache (which decided to stick around today, too), the cookies had literally not occurred to me until I sat straight up in bed at 5:45 this morning and said a word that may have made the cat blush. Thank goodness for my awesome hubby, who was guilted into willing to go to the store and pick up cake mix and applesauce at 6 am, while I managed a quick workout and then raced home to whip up a slightly undercooked batch of double chocolate cookies. One of which I ate for breakfast. Friday the 13th, indeed.
Today's overload of wedding pictures/Pinterest-happy collage comes with a slightly different theme: the bridal shower. My best friend and incredible soon-to-be-matron of honor:
is getting married at the end of this month, and I am throwing a shower for her and her lucky fiance tomorrow. I crafted the invitation by myself, and I'm pretty proud of it:
With less than 24 hours left until the party, I am still working on a few decorations and details, so I'm of course hitting up my favorite place for great ideas. Because we wanted to invite the guys to this one too, I've been trying to make sure that the decorations, etc. aren't too girly. I'm sticking to pretty simple and flexible details, since I haven't actually seen the venue and everything I do has to make the 3 hour trip up there. Here are a few things I may be working on this evening:
Such cute signs!
love the DIY "poms"... just not sure I could pull off such a high degree of crafty
Sew cute (ha!). Not sure if I have the time for these (and then there's that little problem of me not being good at sewing anything. ever.) but perhaps a little puffy paint? My high school days of designing shirts for spirit days are calling....

Needless to say, my weekend is shaping up to be a bit full. Hope that yours is happy!


July 12, 2012

In Bloom

So apparently my plans to post tons of nuptial brilliance here during my week-of-wedding-crazy actually translates to... silence. It's not that I haven't gotten a ton of things done this week -- everything from (finally) contacting a florist to finding the perfect dress for our "engagement" pictures (which are only about a year and a half late). I've sent a gazillion emails and texts, the bridesmaid dresses are thisclose to being ordered, and this afternoon we will have a decision for the invitation if it kills me. I've even managed to squeeze in a few other things: planning for my best friends' wedding shower on Saturday, talking with the rental agent for a house that Dan and I have our eye on, and even little things like the 8 hours of real work I'm expected to do each day. The only thing I haven't found much time for? Sleep. Oh... and blogging. Oops.
The biggest thing I've been losing sleep over lately is the flowers. Our wedding colors are dark grey (technically pewter) and a gorgeous light green that is essentially impossible to pinpoint (sage? clover? leaf? basil? The only thing we know for sure is that it's somewhere in the plant kingdom.) These colors look fantastic on paper goods, dresses, and even cake... but there is a general lack of pretty grey and green flowers in this world. While options for green bouquets do exist...
... I think I'd rather just carry a stalk of broccoli. Or maybe a cactus.
Instead, I'm looking mostly at white flowers. Specifically white flowers with prominent green stems and large petals -- I am not a fan of little flowers and would much rather have a simple bouquet of 6 larger stems than bunches of little tiny petals. I also know that I want my bridesmaids and I to carry a very small variety, and possibly even just one kind of flower. I love the clean look of a small, structured bouquet and kind of cringe at the ones that look like a field of wildflowers gone wrong.
So I've spend a lot of time on Pinterest (duh) looking at orchids:
white daffodils:
and my favorites, calla lilies:
and tulips:

*Important Note: I am very much aware that many of these flowers are out of season in September. In an effort to keep from completely falling apart from stress, I have chosen to pointedly ignore this fact. I am instead channeling my energy into hoping that our florist does, in fact, work magic. And possibly has a good greenhouse up her sleeve.
I've also thought about possibly incorporating another color, just to give me a few more choices. Although I'm not such a fan of mixing white flowers and dark red flowers, I do like the idea of using flowers that are white and dark red:
... and I also just love these gold and red calla lilies:
 The most intriguing bouquet additive I've found, however, has to be these:
I couldn't find a great picture, but this one gives you an idea of what I just might be thinking for my "something blue":
Just what I needed: another decision to make.




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