December 24, 2011

vintage D2BD


A little Vintage Kelly for Holiday Cheer Circa 1978, I was two.
I hope all your holidays 
are Merry and Bright!!!!
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December 23, 2011

random musings friday

I've always done Fixation Fridays here but thought I might try to take a different route going into the new year. Every week Shana over at Fumbling Towards Normalcy does this feature and every week I'm truly entertained by her musings. I think it's a great way to reflect on your week, the good, the bad and the ugly. As well as a great way to let your reader in on what's happening in your neck of the woods. Please take time to check out Shana's musings. She works in NYC and always has some colorful story about people on her daily commute or in the city itself not to mention the girl is funny!

So here are mine... and next time I'm going to take the advice of Allyson and Shana about taking notes if I plan to make this truly worth anyone's while to read.

Check out the original at Fumbling Towards Normalcy

  • It's one day away from Christmas Eve and I'm thankful my Christmas shopping has been completed. Thank goodness! I am still going shopping tonight but it's probably just to ensure I have a comfortable shirt to wear for the Christmas feast.
  • I keep getting asked if it feels different to be married. It does but I can't describe how. The only thing I can come up with is that I feel more confident in myself and our relationship. I never truly had doubts in Mike or us as a whole and when I say I feel more confident that sounds snide and rude - I just simply mean that in my heart I feel confident and full of love because someone chose me over all people to spend the rest of his life with.
  • I felt like a jerk yesterday as all my co-worker started exchanging gifts for Christmas. This year even with a pay raise [yes I got a raise, whoot!] I still feel like I'm floundering with money for gifts. [My rule was to spend CASH ONLY, no credit cards as I'm trying to pay off debt]. I made everyone a delicious cheesecake at work but I still feel like maybe around New Years I might snag them all a little something more personal. They all seemed fine but it's just my personal hang up. I LOVE gift giving.
  • My father says I always over gift... oddly enough I always feel like what I give him is never enough. This year I will see him late, after the New Year so I haven't even shopped for him yet.
  • My Jeep is having issues which really sucks since it was just serviced when I was home for Thanksgiving. My father's best friend is our mechanic and I was given a tune up, oil change and new tires... but when I got home, after my 12 make that 16 hour ride in traffic the trouble started. Currently the door locks only work on the driver side,  for the driver door ONLY, and the drivers window will go down, but none of the other locks or windows work, at all. It's clearly an electrical issue but with Christmas this close I didn't want to go in and get it fixed for $160 or whatever they would quote me. Instead I've been dealing with it and locking the Jeep old school, by hand. This really isn't good for a woman shopping alone this time of year in a dark parking lot w/ her hands full of bags. You never realize how much you rely on technology until it's taken away from you. #firstworldproblems
  • Last minute rush print jobs on the Friday before Christmas are one thing but last minute Christmas cards, give me a break! You're late, deal with it! [I work at a printing company]. My suggestion to all that have failed to get out Christmas cards is to send out Happy New Year cards. I've done a few of these for people and I love the idea!
  • I'm finally in the Christmas spirit, but it still doesn't quite feel like Christmas here. We got a ton of rain yesterday, I really wish it could have been snow.
  • Sometimes I cry at the oddest things, but I was watching the decorating of the White House for Christmas on HGTV the other night and I kept welling up at the oddest parts. Christmas is beautiful and moving but I highly doubt that hanging natural crystals from trees in one of the main foyers of the White House constitutes getting all welled up. The tree in honor of the troops in the Blue Room of the White House however, was totally worth it. It was amazing!
  • This time of year all the tv shows go into reruns and I hate that. However I am thankful that this has happened because I wouldn't have caught a great documentary on the Foo Fighters. I've always enjoyed their music but after watching the documentary about the band I'm completely obsessed with them and even more so with Dave. This also happened after watching Pearl Jam's new documentary PJ 20 - amazing! If you think you liked the band, watch this... you'll 100% love the band!
  • I have been craving nothing but vegetables lately. This is a clear indication of what I'm not getting enough of them in my diet currently. I'm sorry belly but it's tough to eat green beans with cheesecake, cheese balls, wine and beer. Well I'm sure if I deep fried you, you might fit in but that really wouldn't do my gut any justice!
  • Due to the above my stomach is a mess! I can't wait for January - this food is all too good to resist right now but I am making a clean sweep as soon as Christmas is over.
  • I've gained 5 lbs since my wedding. Not a lot but it's hindering my forward progress. To be fair I haven't worked out since 3 weeks before my wedding. When it got down to the final weeks I was too busy to worry about Turbo Fire. I will start strong right after the holidays and try my best to document it again.
  • I blame my honeymoon for my lapse in eating well and normal portion  sizes... I pigged my little heart out in Mexico! [Yes I will write about my honeymoon, promise!]
  • Lastly - I'm so over hearing about Kim Kardashian and her fake ass marriage and divorce. Just wanted to get that out there.
So there you have it. As of right now - I think that's all that is on my mind. Minus the steak tacos I plan to have for dinner tonight at happy hour... see it never ends! I just shoved sausage breakfast casserole in my pie hole a minute ago, my stomach is turning from it and I'm still thinking about my next meal... again! Hot mess.

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December 19, 2011

seasons greetings one and all.

I figured I'd share the two cards Mike and I are sending out this year. I say sending because they are sitting in my purse waiting for my lazy butt to get to the post office or even the grocery store to snag some stamps. So if you are on my mailing list rest assured you'll get yours, it's just going to be late. Story of my life!

We did two options this year, mostly because some family members and friends didn't make it to the wedding and because well, I wanted to get the most out of our engagement and wedding photos.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

[p.s. yes, I made these, I took some inspiration from online stores that I couldn't afford or had time to order from and made my own. And no, my new last name isn't "No Stalking", although that would be pretty sweet].

Did you send Holiday cards this year?

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December 16, 2011

where has the year gone?

I swear only yesterday I was getting married, and now it's a week from Christmas. Where did this year go? Yes I still plan on telling you about my wedding and my honeymoon, and all that goes with that. I've just been waiting patiently to get my pictures back from our photographer. She sent them out yesterday and I'm so excited. I've seen proofs, they're amazing and I am really pleased with how they turned out. So all in do time my lovelies.

Does anyone else feel like this year has been a blur? It still doesn't feel like Christmas to me yet, no matter how many movies I watch [read: Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, Bad Santa, Die Hard, and on and on], or how many times I put Christmas music on the radio.

Maybe it's because this year didn't have the standard flow of events. Our wedding was right before Halloween, my favorite holiday. We missed Halloween festivities since we were on our honeymoon, which is a great filler trust me but sometimes I just need Halloween. After that we switched up plans to spend Thanksgiving in Maryland with my father. We usually spend it here with Mike's family. Point being not a single fall-winter holiday has been as it usually is and I think I'm going to blame that for my lack of Christmas cheer... although I'm rather cheerful just not feeling like it's Christmas yet.

Shopping will be completed this weekend, thank goodness. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. This year Mike and I did most of our shopping online. We used Pinterest [so addicting] to create WISH LISTS for each other. This in theory helped out a ton because we were able to give each other links to all our desires and purchase them for each other in one click. It all went smoothly until Mike gave his mom the link to his wish list, to show her an idea he had for his dad, that he also thought he might like to receive for Christmas... and then I panicked fearing she'd buy everything on there, and leave me with nothing. Crisis averted, thank goodness! We worked it all out. But it was touch and go there for a moment. Could you imagine... first Christmas as a married couple and all that was left for me to get him would be socks and underwear? Sooo romantic.

Last year we did a lot of local shopping for everyone on our list and it felt amazing to help our community AND to get out locally and not hit up the mall for gifts. I think I am going to do this again next year. The gifts were more meaningful, the shopping was less stressful and I actually felt good and like it was Christmas for the entire season.

I hope you have all your shopping and baking finished. I myself haven't touched the baking yet... and not sure if I will. However I do have to bake a cheesecake for Christmas dinner. I hope I don't get frazzled before then.

So, are you ready for Christmas?

P.S. I promise to update more often, now that things are slowing down. Tis the Season!

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November 04, 2011

fixation friday: music

It's been a while blog, I'm happy to be back and I will try my best to make it happen more often. I figured I would try to save wedding posts for Wednesdays and do a bit at a time as to not overwhelm myself or any of you. Today I thought I'd discuss music. I am by no means up to date, or what you would call "HIP"... do we still say hip? When it comes to music, often times you will find me rocking out to old hits from the 60's and 70's and more often than not listening to 80's hair metal and or 90's grunge. It isn't often that I am taken back by modern music, usually it annoys me.... but I have taken time to put together a few groups that have been heavy on my radar both new and old, lately.

via google • I HUGE puffy heart her.
Seriously, I know I'm a bit late to the game with this being her second album and all but I can't take my eyes, ears or mind off this woman. She's amazingly beautiful, poised and her voice? Forgetaboutit! She blows me away. I am so happy to see some good, old fashioned talent for a change. I'm not shunning the likes of Lady Gaga, Brit, Katy Perry or any other pop diva or singer in the limelight with theatrical stage shows by any means. Entertainment is different for everyone and while I can appreciate a fantastic stage show, sometimes it's just nice to turn on the TV and see raw talent, no frills just a girl or a guy, their instrument of choice, a spotlight and an amazing song, belted out loud and clear. Cut and dry. No Frills just amazing  lyrics, words and tunes.

via google • Is it just me or Eddie starting to resemble "The Dude" a bit?
I've been a fan on and off since the 90's. I say "off" only because there were a few years that I lead myself astray listening to different types of music and not keeping up with Eddie and the boys. [Read: Went clubbing a lot and wanted to listen to dance music mostly]. When Mike and I started talking in 2003, we found that our music tastes were very similar. While I have a few choice bands I like that he can't quite figure out why, for the most part our core loves are the same. Pearl Jam was one of those. Where I fell away from the band, he thrived. Mike took time to make me mix CDs with quite a few Pearl Jam songs on them. I quickly discovered all the awesomeness I was missing and started to purchase albums I had missed out on though the 90's and 00's. It's safe to say that PJ is in one of the top slots of my TOP 5 Fave Rock Bands of all time. A few weeks before the wedding Mike and I watched the PJ20 documentary that followed the guys from their beginnings along the 20 year path that has lead them to where they are now. It's hard to believe that 20 years ago, I was a teenager, wearing ripped jeans, flip flops, and friendship bracelets with grundgy clothing, obsessing about Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain - oh how I miss those days. 20 Years ago and yet the moment I hear the opening guitar solo in "Alive" I am still transported back to my youth and summers spent at the shore in North Carolina. I can remember belting out "Black" driving my 86 Mercury Topaz and I recall perfectly the day my English teacher asked us to write down the lyrics to our favorite current song and I penned "Jeremy" word for word, line for line for her. She later handed back these papers with little notes scribbled on them. Mine said "Ok? Interesting." in red ink. Maybe she feared I might pull a Jeremy on the class, or maybe it was the bit about mashing his teeth into the recess lady's breast... that made her uneasy, not sure.. either way Pearl Jam struck a chord with me from then on. And I will go on the record to say I think that Pearl Jam was way more amazing than Nirvana. Nirvana had it, but Pearl Jam IMO surpassed "IT".

In watching the documentary Mike and I discovered without knowing that we chose our wedding date to be October 22nd, 2011, which was in turn Pearl Jam's 21st Anniversary of their first ever official show. HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT?!?! We were stoked beyond belief, especially Mike who for years has idolized Eddie and the boys.

For our wedding I gifted Mike the "Into the Wild" soundtrack. A grouping of songs performed by Eddie and composed largely by him, minus two tracks. I wanted him to have gifts that would stand the test of time. He will always enjoy Pearl Jam and their music, and I wanted him to be able to revisit this music and his other gift at any given time and remember that I gave it to him on our wedding day, and enjoy them both for years to come.  If you haven't seen this movie yet I highly suggest it, it's very moving.
via google
I also purchased the PJ20 book - it's filled with day by day, month by month and year by year journal entries and documentation of their rise as a band, the good and the bad, and all their side projects. It's absolutely amazing. I can't wait to read all of it. After my husband does, of course.
via google

Ever since watching the documentary I can't stop thinking about Pearl Jam, listening to them and wondering what their next move will be.

via google
Seriously other than knowing this ONE song, I have no clue about this band, their background or what they are all about. I can tell from googling this image that they ARE easy on the eyes. All I know is that when "PUMPED UP KICKS" comes on the radio I want to put on a pair of roller skates and dance on them in circles rolling to the beat of the music. I LOVE this song!

Off the top of my head these are the 3 big fixations that stick out right now. Between planning the wedding, marrying my best friend and having a very crazy honeymoon I'm spent. I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, football and putting away wedding gifts.

So tell me... What song/band/singer are you fixated on right now?

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October 31, 2011

it's official... we're hitched!

via Breanna Fogg Photography
I couldn't be more excited to be a Mrs. It's a wonderful feeling! Mike and I survived our crazy honeymoon [more on that later] and had a ball with the days leading up to the wedding and the actual day of and after party. I will have lots of details to come. We are both so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family that love us as much as we love them. The day was made so special to have them all here with us, we missed those that couldn't make it but they were in our thoughts and hearts just the same. We've just started to see a few proofs from the big day and I am so over the moon excited about how well our photographer did.

I will share more soon but this girl has lots of catching up to do after her wedding and honeymoon. Can we say HUGE "TO DO" pile? I am planning to do lots of mini posts about details and certain aspects of the day, so as not to be overwhelmed on my end, or to bore you on your end.

Just wanted to share a few favorite shots we've gotten to sneak peek at so far! Enjoy!

via Breanna Fogg Photography

via Breanna Fogg Photography
What do you remember most about your wedding day?
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September 22, 2011

Extra, Extra, ENTER HERE!!!!

My dear pal Shelley is hosting a giveaway over at her Little Owl blog! I wanted to give her a shout out and tell you all to head over and check out all she's doing and enter for a chance to win some of her adorable artwork! When it comes to crafts she's seriously the bees knees!!!

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1 month.

I am a day late and a buck short on this Wedding Wednesday thing, I know. My mother always said I'd be late to my own funeral, and she's probably right. My friends like to say I'm just on "Kelly Time." I used to not be very prompt but after meeting Mike I've been really good about going places and getting there well before "right on time." Howeverrrr when it comes to my blog I guess I'm the boss and I tend to slack, right?

It's hard to believe today marks just 1 month from the day I will say "I do!" to Mike. Wasn't it just April??? Didn't we just say "OMG we're going to get married?". I swear it was only yesterday we had no idea what the date would be when asked "Have you set a date?" And here we are... 30 days from our wedding. INSANE!

We did a ton of ground work which was so helpful in the beginning but after our vacation in July there was a lull. We didn't do much, we didn't schedule anything and we certainly didn't purchase items. Fast forward to this week, I've been purchasing and scheduling meetings like a mad woman. We have final meetings with the baker, the florist, and hair appointments, I'm left and then I'm right and up and down. It's a great feeling to get so much crossed off our To Do List!

Friday morning I have my first dress fitting. I went in this past weekend while my father was in town and  tried on the dress for the first time. It fit like a glove, which I was happy about and a bit disappointed. I've been busying my ass working out to get in shape for the wedding, and really hoped the dress would be a bit loose. But, I will roll with the punches. Fitting like a glove is better than being too small right? Since I had my first fitting I knew I'd have to find shoes. I've been putting it off for lack of not seeing anything in store or on line that spoke to me.  Monday Mike and I tied up loose ends with our gift registries at Target and then went to the mall for shoe shopping and I found absolutely NOTHING! Not even one maybe. It's homecoming season here I can't believe the lack of choices these young girls have. Then I realized that most of them probably shop at specialty bridal stores in the area and get their shoes there. Most of the shoes in those places were $100+ and while this is my special day, shoes that expensive were not in my budget. After feeling a big defeated and upset since I really wanted to be able to try on shoes to get a feel for comfort... I went home and did what any rational bride would do. I logged on to the internet and searched, and searched, and searched and then finally purchased 3 pairs of shoes to have sent her, rush for my fitting.

The shoes came in today and I adore all three! They are similar in color, but have a style that is each their own. I'm so excited that they all fit but now it's a matter of height, comfort and practicality. I'm happy my father came to visit this past weekend. I wasn't aware that in heels he'd be quite a bit shorter than me so I had to rethink my height of heel. Originally I was ok with 4" or higher. Now I knew it needed to be no higher than 4".  I thought about showing you all the heels I chose but in the end I know it will only make me more indecisive. I've been a mess. Remember me freaking about my dress... well now I am trying to trust my gut with accessories. And when I mention them to people their comments make me worry, I know in the end I will trust my gut and make the choices according to that.

Bottom line I love all three pairs of shoes, one is a bit more of a risk than the other two and I sort of like that, but my jewelry choice is also a risk so I might want to take it one at a time not get too crazy with my choices. In the end I want to look back in 10 years and not wonder what on earth I was thinking but know that I had fun with my bridal look.

Shoes, check.
Jewelry, check. [unless I change my mind]
Something old, check.
Something new, check.
Something borrowed, NEED!
Something blue, check.

Mike's sister asked me last night if I needed something blue, and I did. She found something realllly cute she said but wouldn't tell me what it is. So I'm excited. It's hard to ask for a borrowed and she has offered up her veil if I can't decided on one or find one.

I had no idea shopping in a small town would be so difficult for a wedding. We have the basics, but if you want to be different it causes challenges. Thank goodness for Etsy and the internet. They have been my saving grace!

Mike is all ready with his suit and his shoes and he even special ordered some really great cuff links to complete his look on the special day. They are made with small wood branch ends and have our initials burned into one "K+M" and our wedding date 10-22-11 in the other. I love that he thought of that! He also purchased some great ties from Etsy for the guys that are just too awesome!  Add to this that Etsy is where I found his wedding band that will be made of wood [he is allergic to metal, all metal] as well as a few other wedding items I will say I'd be lost without the site.

Mike has also purchased my wedding band and I wish the images online did it justice but they really don't. It's delicate and perfect and if I can get a nice shot of it with my point and shoot camera I will. It wasn't what I thought I wanted but much like my engagement ring once it was in my hand I knew it was just the right piece for me. He did amazing!

We are trying to finalize plans with our videographer and have to rent some chairs or chair slips, we aren't sure yet but other than final plans and small bits n' pieces we are ready to rock and roll. I'm so excited for the big day to come together.

When you were down to 1 month what was your biggest worry?
For me... being too over done on the big day and finding the right garter!

Tonight Mike and I will celebrate our 1 month away with a bottle of wine, new NBC shows and stuffing our invitations - yes, we're late but they look amazing. Did I mention I'd be late to my own funeral? It's expected.

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September 11, 2011

no words.

There are no words I can say to truly describe how I'm feeling today. It's been 10 years since all our lives as Americans were changed forever. My thoughts and prayers are with the families touched by this day, and in the end that means all of us. We may not have all lost someone we loved but we have all been changed.

Take some time today to reflect on all the good in your world, hold a loved one and tell them how much they mean to you.

Most of all - thank the great men and women in service positions and our armed forces for helping us when we are down and protecting us daily.

September 11th will forever be with us, and it's up to us to make sure no one ever forgets and that we always stand strong together as a nation.

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August 22, 2011

2 months.

The countdown has begun. I woke up this morning and realized in just two short months I will no longer be a Miss... but a MRS. I'm really excited about this notion. It's a great feeling knowing you're marrying the one person you've known since pretty much day one was the one that you wanted to marry. I've dated guys in the past that brought up marriage and it made my skin crawl. I've also been engaged before, I'm still not sure why I said yes. I've been hoping for years that Mike would pick me to be THE ONE. I'm so happy I was patient.

Fear has never crossed my mind when I think about marrying Mike. Doubt is not something I've ever felt with him either. From the day that we decided we wanted to be together officially I knew he was the one for me. I can't imagine life without him. He's my best friend and my everything.

So here's to the next 60 days my dear. Soon we'll be married, it's a moment I can't wait for.

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July 27, 2011

wedding wednesday: colors and tunes

Hello my dear neglected blog and readers. I swear I haven't been living in a hole, or that I ran off to some remote island. Well the second one is actually true I did spend a great week during the 4th of July on a small island off the coast of North Carolina, Topsail Island to be exact but that isn't really my true reason for neglecting my lovely readers - it was more to do with wedding planning and getting back into the swing of things after my vacation. Which reminds me a vacation blog update might be a great topic right? I'll get right on that. After my "back to reality" depression subsides.

On to other important things, like weddings - You know, the thing that has been consuming me non-stop. Even if I'm not actively planning I am suffering from wedding brain. It's all I think about. I never thought I'd be one of those brides. Thankfully I am not a Bridezilla - have you watched that show? It's insane! I will say this, Mike and I have been watching it here and there and we both agree that we want to hang out with and shoot the shizz with Porsha from Mississippi. The other girls I want to slap in the face repeatedly!


If you haven't seen her episode of Bridezilla you're missing out, she's a riot!!!
"Ain't nobody wanna go to recess, bitch!"

Anydiva, I figured I needed to update the wedding information for myself and anyone that was interested in reading about how it's all coming together.

COLORS: Chocolate Brown and Fern Green
via google
Mike and I decided to go with chocolate brown and fern green, partly because we love the color scheme [our entire living room is done in these colors with burnt orange accents] and because we really wanted a color that would pop next to chocolate. Originally Mike had thought about wearing all black, but after looking at suits found he really liked the idea of either a dark chocolate suit, or a light tan suit. I left the choice up to him. Knowing many personal friends that went with the blue/turquoise color scheme for their wedding I wanted something different. I feared that if I did all chocolate and orange the wedding may come off as a bit too much like Halloween, since it's on October 22nd. I didn't necessarily think that was a bad thing, it's my favorite holiday, but I wanted it to be more about our special day, and not a holiday. The first logical choice was then Green. I fully intended to have hints of gold and rust throughout the reception, and in the wedding day decore, but for the wedding party and for the peace of the Alabama fans in said party no one will be wearing orange flowers on the big day. Superstitious? Yes, I am. Alabama plays Tennessee on our Wedding day and while one groomsman is a Vols fan, one is a Wolverine fan and one is a Auburn Tigers fan, the rest are die hard Alabama fans [at least on the grooms' side]. Add to that the fact that the bride and groom are both big Alabama fans and that a few groomsmen have requested to NOT have orange for that purpose - I'm totally game for making these changes. ROLL TIDE! And before you worry or ask, no the wedding cake won't have houndstooth icing... but I may sport a garter w/ this pattern fo' sho!

BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Fern Green and Chocolate Brown
I sent my dear friends on a mission, one I thought would be really fun and totally nice to do. I asked each girl in my wedding party to pick a style dress they loved, so long as it was in the same shade. Easy right? Wrong! Apparently, while all the girls were excited to pick a dress that would flatter them independently the issue came up when four of them went together to David's Bridal and they discovered most of the dresses they loved didn't come in Fern Green. This limited their choice of styles in the right color considerably. I had explained they didn't need to go to a bridal shop but in the end, busy mothers with children and scheduled days do have more time to get together and go to one place vs. driving all over the place to different stores. In the end four of my girls solidified their dresses in the same shade and sort of different styles, and one more had found her dress and shoes as well. My junior bridesmaids will be wearing chocolate brown and I am so excited about the dress they choose. It's going to be ADORABLE!

TUNES: Musicians and DJ's
When it came to planning our reception and our special day we knew music was going to be one of the biggest factors of the day. Mike and I are huge music fans and have similar taste for the most part. I think mine can be a bit more off the wall than his but we agree about most of the songs and artists we love passionately. Mike worked hard to find just the right DJ for our reception and secured him. Originally we had talked about having a friends band play but ultimately we feared it might be too stressful and that often times a band only plays songs that the bride and groom like, and our bottom line is we want EVERYONE invited to have fun and enjoy themselves. We knew a DJ was the way to go for us. He can play all spans of music and keep everyone moving on the dance floor.

For the ceremony we chose to go with professional musicians who played classical instruments. We have secured a violin and a cello/guitar player for the big ceremony. Meeting with them was awesome. We gave them our selections and they were both so excited to be doing something different and fun. I am not going to give away any of the information about what songs we have chosen, otherwise I'll have nothing to blog about after the big day, that and I want to keep it a surprise to the guests who may read this. Bottom line, our wedding is going to be original, and different and that's what we love about it. I'm so happy the musicians are on board.

WUV, TWUE WUV is the WEASON we are gathered here today.
We have also secured an officiant, something we were seriously worried about. A dear friend and youth leader at his church has agreed to marry us and I couldn't be more excited!

HARDEST PART OF PLANNING: Including all those you love in the special day.
The hardest part about planning a wedding for me hasn't been the colors, the venue, the choices of dresses or even finding my own dress - it's actually being worried about hurting friend's feelings. My wedding party is very large, I never thought I'd have a big wedding party, but Mike's family is very big, and his immediate family of brothers and sisters equals 6 including him alone. He has two sisters, and three brothers, and one brother-in-law all of which are part of the wedding party. All have been added to the wedding party. I had never thought I'd have such a big wedding party. But even with all the friends I have standing up with me, there are many that I wish I could have had as well. That being said I look forward to asking each of those friends I feel bad about not being in the wedding party if they want to take part in the special day in other ways. There is lots to do on a wedding day and while I often times worried that friends might be offended if I asked them to handle programs or the guest book, in the end I know most will feel honored to help out, that helps me feel a bit better.

What was the hardest part of planning your wedding day?

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June 27, 2011

Monday Minute #63

It's that time again! Thanks Ian for setting these up every week!

Monday Minute

1 - What's a piece of advice you'd like to share?
My mom once told me... after my first break-up from a boyfriend.. 'Men are like buses a new one comes along every 5 minutes." I was crushed when she told me this, I wanted more sympathy... but in the end she's totally right. Sure each bus might be more smelly than the next one, and leave you stranded on the side or the road wondering what you did wrong to deserve such treatment. But eventually, you find the right bus, on the right route and it leads you to the right destination. I think that is what she meant, just not in so many fluffy words. After over 13 years of dating, I finally found my perfect bus.

2 - Describe the last time you sat on the toilet screaming at someone to bring you some toilet paper.
It's the worst feeling ever to have to do that. No girl truly ever wants her boyfriend to see her in that position. But often times when we arrive home from the store the toilet paper will sit in the dining room next to the hutch for days on end. Of course the one day I forget to look at the TP roll before sitting is the day it happens. It usually starts with me screaming BABE about 10 times before he hears me... and then I'm greeted w/ a hand over his nose just incase I've dropped a deuce that would level a building... to which I say... "I only peed... give me the toilet paper!"

3 - Explain why anyone would want to eat sushi.
Um, because it's delicious, duh!

4 - Describe your perfect dinner - one app, one entree, two side dishes, and one dessert.
If I had to describe my perfect dinner it's the one I get back home whenever I visit my father. We always go out to eat at our favorite place, The Flaming Pit. The meal is always, as follows.

  • Shrimp Cocktail [these shrimp are HUGE, and dwarf my thumb they are so thick]
  • Salad - simple greens, carrots and cherry tomatoes w/ the best damn Balsamic dressing on earth. Tons of spice - it's seasoned so well with a kick that I actually get a flushed face when I eat it.
  • Prime Rib - huge slab of meat and totally bloody. Seriously it talks to me when it gets to the table. It's also such a huge slab of meat it actually leaves VERY little room for the other two bits of food.
  • Baked potato, baked to perfection
  • Green beans with butter - I would prefer not to have butter but when you are living, you want to live for real while dining out.
  • Dessert: The tallest slice of cheese cake drizzled with either raspberry or strawberry glaze
SOOO GOOD! The only time I change this up is when I want to eat their crab cakes OR if they have cream of crab soup on the menu instead of Shrimp Cocktail. Side it all up with water, and either a glass of wine or a Captain and Diet and it's golden!

and finally...

5 - When was the last time you pissed the bed?
I couldn't tell you so I'm sure it was when I was still very young. I can tell you the last time I pissed my pants was probably in 3rd grade. I was running home from the school bus stop and got to the door and right as I touched the door knob I lost it... worst day!

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June 22, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Dress

Pssst! Over here! Yeah, it's me. I just climbed out from under the rock and millions of piles of paper on my desk. My to-do list keeps getting shorter when it comes to the wedding but longer in all other aspects of my life. Please tell me this is normal. I'm starting to stress. Oddly enough not over the wedding but everything else. FOUR MORE MONTHS!!!

Our planning is still going really well. We sealed the deal with a credit card and oohs and ahhs and a cupcake on our wedding cake. We still have to iron out the fun details such as flavor of cake and delicious fillings but the overall concept and quote have been agreed upon. When I last discussed my plans and how they were going we were knee deep in appointments but I'm happy to say as of now we only have 2 more appointments and things to truly secure before we start ironing out final details, those two things are a wedding director for the day of and an officiant. Yes, I know I have the entire wedding pretty much planned and no one to perform the ceremony, crazy right?

I'll start off by saying originally we planned to have one of our dear friends officiate for us. Long story short after much consideration one friend feared he wouldn't do a good job and I completely respect that. I know that personally I couldn't do it for someone, I get too nervous. I'll sing for your wedding all day long, but speaking on public freaks me out. Our second dear friend we considered wasn't sure where he would be at that time, currently his life and job are up in the air and he may be relocating. Rather than commit and have to bail at the last minute he did the responsible and respectful thing and declined. Again I totally respect and understand his choice. Now we just need to find someone. We are planning on going the route of a Justice of the Peace. Mike and I are not religious people, I guess you could say we are more spiritual. We don't belong to a church and neither of us want to go through classes in order to get married. Sure, I know that just sounded really selfish but to be fair, we've lived together for almost 7 years, and moved in together after only dating for about 7-8 months. We celebrated our 1 year anniversary while living together. SO there you go. We know each other and while I know marriage does make a few things different I really think the two of us have a firm grasp on our relationship and don't need a class or meetings to tell us otherwise. That being said, we have a few leads on religious pastors that would marry us, if we take the classes. If all else fails in the Justice of the Peace department or Officiant department we will track someone down. It was suggested we go to the court house to get married one afternoon and then make it official at the celebration, but personally if I was going to do that I'd save a lot of money and just do that and have a party later - NOT pay to do all I'm doing. I also thought it was a bit too selfish of us. I totally get why couples have the wedding at the courthouse and there have been odd say, Tuesdays I've thought to myself... If Mike asked me tomorrow to marry him, I'd take my paycheck and run to the courthouse with him and get married right there on the spot. In the end I realize how many friends and family members would be disappointed if I did that and it brings me back to earth. Our special day isn't just about us, it's about sharing it with all the people we love. That's the point of a wedding. Fingers crossed we find the right person to marry us.

I've found a possible wedding director. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to look around for that on the internet. I figured it would be easy here in the land of extravagant weddings to find a director. Planners are easy... but just finding someone to come in and delegate and direct a wedding is more difficult. I understand people want to sell the entire planned package, but that wasn't what we needed. We simply need a direct and friendly person to tell members of the bridal party where to be, what to do and how to make it all flow seamlessly. Thankfully through a friend I found a woman looking to get into this business and help out with my wedding. I'm excited to meet her she seems bubbly and full of spunk, just what Mike and I wanted.

Other than that - it's all the small details left to tie up in a neat bow. Rings, accessories, final flowers, final cake information and food, and fittings. Did I mention I got a dress? Hence the title of this entry?

Yep, last weekend I finally found my dress. I had only been dress shopping twice before this past weekend. The first time I went dress shopping it was a bit of a joke. I was really nervous about trying on bridal gowns. I thought I'd need something simple, almost destination wedding worthy. There wasn't much to choose from at this particular store in the way of destination wedding attire. My eyes were immediately drawn to the bridesmaid section. I think the girls at the store were less worried about me since I seemed to be making such an odd choice in dresses. I must have pulled 2-3 bridal gowns and then the rest were bridesmaid dresses. I was clearly out of my comfort zone and floundering. My dear friend Miss K was with me, she is one of my bridesmaids and helped me go through dresses. I think we both felt a bit uncomfortable with it all.

Thankfully the girls at the shop were very helpful. They had their hands full with another bride and her mom and I didn't want to ruin the special moment for the bride that was there. She had her mom and was SERIOUSLY in search for her dress for her big day. She was adorable - I just had a feeling in my gut I wasn't going to find my dress that day so I tried on what I thought I would like, and in the end it all really didn't work. I found one contender, but I wasn't sold or in love with it. The nice girls wrote down the dress style for me, and they also were nice enough to cut out swatches of fabric for me to send my bridesmaids that aren't local to aid in their search for the perfect GREEN dresses.

Fast forward a few weeks and I decided to bite the bullet and get serious and go shopping with Mike's mom for dresses. One afternoon we ran out to another dress store about 30 minutes outside of town. Tons of local girls had told me they found their perfect dress while there, so I was hopeful. Another bonus, this bridal shop had a back room full of cast offs, discontinued dresses and last season wear that they would not be selling anymore. The key to this room was to find a size that would fit you or you could alter to fit you because it was all sold as is off the rack. Sadly, I found a few to try on but none of the cute $99 dresses were the one for me. I even tried on one of the $99 dresses TWICE hoping I would change my mind... I didn't. Instead I searched the entire floor and found a ton to try on. If I had any advice for a new bride trying on dresses. Look over tons of pictures and find styles you like, but be completely open to trying new things on when you get to the store. Find your dream style, and try it on but be prepared that you may not like it on you. It's hard to judge a bridal dress if you've never tried the style on, what looks great on the size 2 model might make you look larger than life even if you aren't. I have to give props to Shana she had a great post about bridal shop issues she's had in the past as well as a new obsession called Big Bliss that I need to watch! I too have had issues in the past not being tiny enough to fit into some dresses as a bridesmaid but NEVER like I had with bridal gowns.

While the 2nd dress store I visited to try on dresses had a huge selection to choose from the sizes left a lot to be desired for me. There were probably four fabulous dresses I couldn't even get on to judge if I like them on me. They were size 4's. Why do dress stores do that? Seriously, at least get the average girl's sizes to offer as well. A small girl can always pull a huge dress tight with clamps and effort from the sales people, but a larger girl like me can't always squeeze into a dream dress. I felt a bit hopeless a few times while I was there and a bit tearful in the dressing room. I know I'm not a huge girl, but I'm also not a cute little size 6 that most brides probably dream to be. [Note ladies: If you are a size 6 be prepared to wear a size 8 in the wedding dress department]. I was shocked how many size 12's and 14's were too tight to zip, but at least I could get them ON my body to judge. God bless dresses that lace up the back!

I found about four contenders as I called them, while shopping at the second store but again, nothing that said YOU HAVE TO BUY THIS DRESS NOW! So I got the style numbers from the nice sales girl and thanked her a million times for helping me. I hated to make her do all that work and then me purchase nothing. Especially after she stayed a bit later than normal after closing to ensure I was able to try them all on. I felt rude but what can I do other than say I'm sorry. I just didn't find THE dress.

While trying on dresses, I started to panic. The sales girl told me that most dresses take up to 16 weeks to come in. Holy crap... that's four months!!! As of TODAY I am 4 months away from my big day!!! HOLY HELL! Then I worried a bit more as we left empty handed but I brushed it off. I've always been a firm believer in fate, or maybe it's the whole thing of "if it's meant to be it will be". None of those dresses were meant to be. 

What's been driving me nuts is all the fall stuff isn't even out yet. Most won't be released until today! But I feared I wouldn't have time to dilly dally on this issue anymore and I went out one last time on Saturday to dress search. I returned to the first shop I went to locally. When I was there the first time I saw a lot of pretty dresses but dismissed them for being too dressy, or thinking they weren't want I wanted. This time I was armed with a bit more experience in what I liked on my body and what I hated. I even took the time to reorganize my dress binder to show case ONLY the dresses I thought I would like and focused my brain on that.

I originally thought I wanted and loved one style... it only takes trying on that style two times and having it not work with your body to make you rethink your entire strategy for shopping. My 2nd visit did just that. I knew that I needed to find something completely off my original comfort zone.

I wanted pretty, but not fussy, not a lot of rhinestones because as much as I hate them, I hate even more when people call it bling... drives me insane. I didn't want "bling", that being said I didn't want the dress to be too standard or boring. I was relying a lot on pattern, material and the way the dress would lay. While I adore what I call the "cupcake style" where the bottom looks like billowing fluff of satin, I didn't want a big dress. I went armed with my friend T and prayed we'd find something special. One bonus is that T has been wedding dress shopping before so she had a good eye for what I was looking for and helped me be open minded enough to try on anything and everything.

The sales girl that was there before remembered me and I told her I came to try on some more. She was worried and fearful to ask if I wanted to try on the dress I wrote down the last time. I told her no it was OK I was going a different route and being more open minded. She smiled in relief and then told me thank goodness because she had sold it off the floor last week! I thought that was funny, see it just wasn't meant to be!

I must have gathered about 15 dresses off the floor. I searched high and low and kept price in mind. My dream dress was not going to break the bank - I had tried on a $1200 dress and started to freak out for fear I'd rip it at the 2nd store I shopped at. I tried one of those on again this time, but it didn't float my boat at all.

The first dress I tried on was awesome. I didn't know if I was head over heels for it, but it really looked good on me, if I may toot my own horn. After it I tried on a few more but none of them were hitting the MAYBE pile like the first one. After a few more dresses I found one more to place in the maybe section and then moved on to one I thought was really cool. The top was pleated and it just had this really cool design to the way the fabric had been sewn, there was no bling only layers of fabric in alternating patterns. It was a size 8.... Shit I thought to myself. I tried to step into it but my hips and booty weren't having it, I had to use another plan of attack. Over the head... here goes nothing.... well... I got the dress down most of the way but all the damn underskirts were getting stuck around my waist making it hard to tug it down. After a lot of battling and sweating I got it down as far as I could but again since it was an 8, it was up a bit too high on my hips to get the full effect. I hated after all that effort to get out there and not like it at all, because it was a great dress. Maybe if it was larger, again I don't get why size 8 or smaller are even offered for trying on! I went back in the dressing room and dreaded getting it off. I started to pull it up and couldn't get it higher than my shoulders and couldn't pull it without fearing I might rip it. The more I moved, the more I started to sweat and then worry. I peeked my head out to T and told her what was happening. The other girls were up front helping a customer that came to pick up something. T helped me but she couldn't get it to budge. I asked her to go grab them and I would put on my shorts so I could at least feel comfortable when they got it up over my head. Yes... I was stuck. I figured I had 2 hopes, they get me out, or I pay for the dress and wear it until I lose enough weight to get the damn thing off! After a few minutes of three people pulling I finally broke free and felt less like a sausage and more like a REAL girl!

All I could do was laugh it off. They assured me it happens a lot and even if that isn't true it was really nice to hear! Thankfully to be fair most of the dresses on the floor were 12 or 14 in size. Bigger would be better but I was happy to see that.

After trying on a few more dresses I arrived at my final dress. Moment of truth. I tried it on and it was an awesome dress. It was really cool. It started to boil down to the first dress and the last dress. In the back of my mind I knew I only had this weekend and possibly next before I went on vacation and wouldn't be able to shop. Time is ticking down and the time to order is only getting shorter and shorter. We all deliberated a bit on this last dress and then I decided to try on the first one again.

Standing in the mirror I looked at the dress and really loved how it fit. T told me a few times she thought it was perfect. So I got dressed and one of the sales reps went ahead and wrote down the dress for me on a card. As I got dressed I ran it all over in my head and figured it was now or never. I walked out and up to the front and as they handed me the card decided then and there I would purchase the dress. As they measured me I started to feel more and more confident in my choice. They informed me I would need possibly a size 16 or 18. She said my chest and waist were actually much smaller and my hips would probably be fine in the 14-16 but that I might be better off getting larger so we could be sure that all of it had enough to either take in or let out. I agreed bigger would be better. I've been working out but I'm still not where I want to be. I was shocked by the numbers but, with the type of dress I purchased the extra fabric may be needed for the back. [I would show you the dress but Mike reads my blog so that's not going to happen, and I can't describe it too much either, sorry ladies].

I went ahead and placed the order for my dress. I was really hoping to be one of those success stories that tells you I only paid $100 for my dress, but in then end I came in well under what I budgeted for a dress, almost less than half of that and it didn't break the bank. I did a happy dance, hugged T and proceeded to text to my bridesmaids the image of the dress. Every text message came back with rave reviews and amazing compliments so I felt amazing while driving home. It dawned on me. I had just purchased my wedding dress. HOLY CRAP... I'm really getting married. Sure I knew that before but with each thing we cross off our list, I get more and more excited about how real it all is.

I got home and told Mike the great news. I think half my excitement was to be finished with the task of finding the dress. It's been so fun, but I'm not a huge shopper, I purchase more for when I need than when I want. And with still feeling a bit uncomfortable with my body, it was a rough ride but it had a happy ending.... that is until the worry set in.

I started to have little fears in my mind creep up... "Did I pick the right dress?"... "That was really easy and went really smoothly"... "I wonder how much the rush charge might cost for the dress?"... "I hope I'll have enough time to get it altered when it gets back so I'm not wearing a lumpy trash bag of a dress".... "F#CK did I pick the right dress?"

Most of these fears were due to it all going so smoothly.... nothing in my life ever goes that easy, that is unless it has to do with Mike. Maybe he's my lucky charm, and I told T she probably was too I was calm and collected the whole time we were at the store, minus getting stuck in the dress. I'm usually a very laid back person so these irrational fears were strange to me. Monday morning I woke in a panic, freaking that the dress wasn't right for my wedding vision, it wasn't vintage enough or it wasn't the right color, what would I do if I hated it when it came in. Crap, did I pick the right dress? This bothered me so much I started to cry in the shower and breathe really fast. What was wrong with me? I never freak out like this, ever! 

I got out of the shower and went to look up the dress on the internet again to assure myself that I had picked the right dress and of course the internet was down. I came into the bedroom and Mike asked me if I was OK. I told him what was up and he reminded me how happy I was when I got home. Then I asked him, but was I happy because it was handled or that I loved the dress. He feels it was both. He knows me as well, if not better than anyone else on earth so I took his word for it. 

When I arrived at work I was still shaken up, but one look at my dress and I immediately started to feel better. Since it was similar but not the same as what I was thinking I wanted, I think I freaked. The material isn't what I thought I wanted and the fear of the color I chose started to weigh on me too. It was so fly by the seat of my pants, even though it was sort of not. I just got freaked. It's a huge purchase, and Mike likened it to purchasing a house, I'll probably be the same way, especially if there are no speed bumps on the way!

I think I'm ok now. I love the picture more and more when I see it. Now I just have to work on my arms and body and get it ready. After the first fitting I know I'm not going to be allowed to lose a ton of weight so I hope I can get where I want to be before that time comes up. Wish me luck!!! I just purchased Turbo Fire and I'm anxious to get it going after vacation! 

Next stop: Accessories, shoes, bridesmaid dresses, wedding rings and engagement photo sessions!

So tell me have any of you had a panic attack after ordering your wedding dress?
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May 30, 2011

Monday Minute: Memorial Day Edition

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I hope you will take time today to remember those who have served our country and brought us the freedom we have and protect it every day!!! Thank you to our troops!

Today's post is short and sweet - it's a holiday after all there are things to be grilled and beers to be consumed. Thanks to Ian I finally have a reason to blog on Mondays! Again if you have never been to Ian's blog before, check it out! P.S. I really like a good excuse to feature Yoda on my blog too, he's my favorite Jedi, ever!

Monday Minute

1 - Aside from your armpits, what body part of yours sweats the most?
As a woman we all know how much our boobs sweat, hot right? Add to that my back and I'm just a hot mess all around when the temps get high. Alabama is not a place for a lady to live and not sweat that's for damn sure!

2 - You have two slices of bread.  You can add one additional ingredient to make a sandwich, but as much of it as you want.  What are you putting on it?
Apple Butter - pounds and pounds of apple butter. Better yet, screw the bread just give me a spoon I'll eat it like applesauce - SO good!

3 - Can you put your entire fist into your mouth?
I would try but that might cause wrinkles around my face and I'd hate for people to think I suck pole for a living because of it.

4 - Open your email.  How many emails do you have in your 'Inbox'?
Hehe, you said inbox... get it? 20 Emails but most have been read.

5 - If an adult male is taken for ransom, is that considered kidnapping?
Yes. I still believe it is even if the kidnapper is a woman, there be some craycray bitches out there!

I will try to remember to link up Ian! This message has been scheduled and I can't say if I will honestly remember the linkages after all those frozen drinks this weekend.

"There was something important I was supposed to do today...."
via google

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May 25, 2011

wedding wednesday: plans

Where to begin. In some capacity I knew planning a wedding was a huge deal, I just never realized how much went into it until I was tossed full throttle into wedding plans when I was given a beautiful ring. When Mike and I got engaged I was under the delusion that I'd have a full year to plan a wedding. The more we talked about it [that day] the more I realized we both wanted to get married sooner rather than later. I guess it goes right in tone with Mike's proposal and not missing an opportunity to make this happen. Live each day like it's your last. Oddly enough that wack job of a religious nut that has predicted the world would end this past weekend is now predicting that the world is due to end the day before my wedding. Nice try old fart, I've been saying for years that Hell would freeze over the day I got married so I beat you the punch!

The day Mike proposed we made a trip to the book store so I could pick out bridal HOW TO books. Like I said, I had an idea of what we had to plan for but no idea how much detail goes into getting hitched. Thankfully the wedding section at our local bookstore isn't that overwhelming and choices were few and I really think I purchased the best book to help me out. The Wedding Book The Big Book for Your Big Day by Mindy Weiss
via google
This book has everything. I knew nothing about Mindy Weiss when I purchased this book but she seems to cover all the bases and not just for "BLOW ALL YOUR MONEY ON A BIG WEDDING" style gigs either. She gives sound and proper advice for any bride no matter what her budget. I am SO happy I purchased this book instead of a few of the others I had in my hands at the time. The rest of my money was spent on tons of wedding magazines.

I read through the first few chapters that discussed everything from who pays for what to what all you need to get started. I had a few mini panic attacks when I read the time lines she listed. If we followed them to a T we were way behind schedule. Cue heart beating wildly. When I mentioned these deadlines we were off on Mike went into planner mode.

I'm happy to say it's been less than a month since we got engaged and we are only 5.5 months from our wedding date and we've already accomplished so much. Mike gets all the glory on this! Our biggest issue was figuring out budget. Thankfully we have 2 loving families willing to help us with our wedding so while we are staying completely realistic in our expectations and the cost of things it's nice to know we have support. If we didn't we would be planning a wedding for next year and saving every nickle and dime until then.

We toured a lot of locations online before even considering setting foot inside one. Most of the hotels around here while beautiful, were hugely overpriced and to me a bit cookie cutter. I was trying to think outside of the box. I knew a hotel would be the perfect location for the ceremony, reception and for people to stay but I wanted something different, and more, well, US. We toured a local reception site that would be able to take us for the entire day, we would have full run of the building and it was beautiful inside. Exposed brick, and a lovely courtyard to do the ceremony as well as plenty of reception room. Open catering and the whole 9 yards. The price was right and we loved the location but a nagging voice in my head was saying to look around a bit more. My father said the same thing so the following weekend we did lots of searches and came across the local State Park Resort here close to town. It had what we were looking for, outdoor views, a rustic feel and even better, lodging for our guests to be close to all the action and not have to drive far after a night of partying. We mulled over the typical locations around here, Country Clubs and such, but in the end it didn't feel like us. Neither of us plays golf, or tennis or anything like that. The State Park Resort however, screams Mike and Kelly. Mike being the planner he is set up an appointment for us during the week and we headed out to meet with the woman in charge of events at the location.

Driving in there are lots of tree lined winding roads. We both talked about how amazing it will look in the fall when the leaves start to turn bright colors. The whole area has a very outdoorsy feel to it and as you drive to the resort you pass campgrounds, boat docks, a marina, tons of deer and wildlife and a side road that takes you to lake front cottages. Our jaws dropped as we drove up to the front of the lodge. It's amazing and so pretty. My heart started to beat in fear worrying that we might not be able to afford it. It has just the right amount of outdoor feel without getting cheesy or feeling like you're going to summer camp. But not stuffy in the least which is what we wanted. After talking with our coordinator and walking the grounds and being shown all the areas we had available to us we were sold on the location. At this point I still hadn't had the big talk with my dad about budget so we got our names on reserve on the book and went home to mull it over.

Hands down this was the place for us! We secured the location and our date for the wedding. October 22, 2011. It was exciting to finally have a date! We had been asked since the first hour of engagement when we were getting married and only a week or two later we actually HAD a date to tell people.

via Joe Wheeler State Park Lodge

Once we picked and secured a date and venue my next worry was the photography. The resort handles the food and lodging and we are able to bring in our own booze and vendors for other items. The most important thing to me about the wedding day is capturing the festivities on film [digitally]. Since I was a kid I've always oogled over my parent's wedding album and even though their marriage didn't stand the test of time, all their pictures did. I'm a huge fan of journalistic style photography for weddings. I hate stuffy portraits, even though I will have those taken for posterity, I want the images that show how much fun everyone had during the big day. We will have friends and family in from all over the US and I want to have those memories.

My first choice for photographer sadly was booked. She and her husband will be off doing a wedding in Mississippi that weekend, which made me so sad. I had been dreaming about having them do my wedding for almost 2 years now. My word of advice if you LOVE a photographer or vendor and feel like you NEED them at your big day... find out when they are available and book your dream venue around them. After I got over my disappointment of not having them I was given a few other names by this couple for other photographers and a vendor friend that does sound as well. I finally found the right photographer for us. She has beautiful work and gave us a great price that we could live with. I had no idea photography was so expensive but in the end it's on my MUST HAVE List. We went with - I can't wait to meet her in person and do our engagement shoot with her.

While I said that music is important to me, I think Mike may be more passionate about it sort of like I was with choosing the right photographer. We've been making a playlist for our big day since before we ever go engaged. We have so many songs that mean the world to us that we'd like highlighted on our big day and needed just the right person to make that happen. We didn't want a show boat DJ. I can't stand those types. For birthdays or company picnics or even clubs YES, by all means. At a wedding I want the music to tell the story, not the guy who's about to play the Electric Slide [for the record that is on the "Don't Play" list]. Mike searched high and low for not only the right price but the right personality. You should have heard some of the stuff DJ's were wanting to do at our wedding. One wanted to play games!!! GAMES!! He talked so big about himself like he was just the bee's knees. He actually had a game where you blindfold the groom and make him feel women's faces to guess which is his wife! What the crap? There is no way that would end well! He also talked about how he gets the crowd going and all I could picture was this DJ being a lot like Carrot Top and not what we wanted in a wedding entertainer. Thankfully Mike found a great DJ that does all the important parts of his job and then lets the music do the rest. That is what we wanted and needed.

Mike and I have been going back and forth about music for the actual ceremony. Do we pick instrumental audio tracks on an ipod or sound system? Or do we get friends or family members to play instruments. While we think it would be super special to have our friends play the wedding we also didn't want people to feel obligated to do something for us at the wedding. We really want everyone to come, relax and enjoy the big day. Even our friends that are in the actual wedding party we want them to be as relaxed as possible. In the end Mike and I agreed live music, using classical instruments would be classy and beautiful. Mike did his magic work and he found a cellist and a violinist for the ceremony.

So here we are: Venue, check. Food, check. Photography, check. Music, check. Ceremony Music, check. Lodge rooms booked, check. Add to that Mike has picked out his suit,  and we have a meeting with a florist next week, we have a contact to hire a bartender for our evening, and I bet there is a ton I'm forgetting AND it's only been less than a month.

So this is where we are at. I have picked my color swatches for the wedding and will share that soon. I will be calling a few bakers this week to get quotes and meetings set up for the cake and finally try to get time to go shopping for my dress. I don't think we are doing too bad. I really hope that by our July vacation week we will be able to sit back and now that everything that can be done ahead of time, is done and all the other stuff we will worry about when we get back to our daily grind.

What was your biggest worry, or issue when you were planning your wedding?
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May 24, 2011

wedding nightmares

It's official. I'm a Bride-To-Be. Yes I know the ring is what makes it official but after last night I really feel like I've earned the title of a Bride-To-Be. In the middle of the night last night I had my first bridal anxiety dream.

So far planning has been a breeze and I plan on sharing all of this information on Wednesdays here at the blog. My own version of Wedding Wednesday. Thanks to Mike being so good at putting stuff together he's really taken the reins and handled the bulk of our phone calls, and arrangements that have needed to be made. I will share more of that tomorrow. Today I'm going to talk about my nightmare wedding.

First of there shouldn't be any anxiety for me right now with all of Mike's help but I guess in the back of my mind there is a nagging voice saying... "Kelly, your wedding is only about 5 months away!!!" So since that nagging voice is there, I guess my brain is freaking out. I have done the whole deal of falling asleep thinking about wedding plans and things that are on my to-do list, which is never healthy.

So last night I drifted off rather well. And slept great. Half way through the night I woke up, visited the restroom and then went right back to sleep and that is when it happened.... the nightmare kicked in.

My Nightmare Wedding
Don't say it could be worse... please!

It was our wedding day. Only the location wasn't the nice wilderness resort we are actually having our wedding at. Instead it felt more like a subway train station meets tacky casino. In the dream I seemed okay with this choice, [which is F-ed fo' sho] but very frazzled about every detail. I remember my shoes being something I was disappointed in [this probably stems from the fact that I'm more concerned about finding cool shoes for my big day than I am about the dress, yes I'm strange]. My dress fit well, and my girls all seemed pleased with the absolutely hideous dresses they picked out for themselves. [Most of my bridesmaids are coming in from my hometown or from the other side of the US, only one is a local bridesmaid so I won't be able to be there when they pick out their dresses. I have full confidence that they will do a great job in picking nice dresses, I think my fear lies that my "shade of green" won't be communicated properly, even after sending my care package OR the dress shops won't carry the color I have in my vision. Green isn't just green... damn I sound like Shelby in Steel Magnolias now... piss!]

Like I said all my girls were pleased with their dresses, I wasn't sold on them but let it go, it was the big wedding day after all and It was about me and Mike. I remember going to touch up my make-up and when I looked in the mirror I was shocked. I looked like Dee Snyder had done my hair and make-up in cahoots with a Bratz doll! It was super kinky curly and three different shades of pink and red. WTF?!

Seriously... I looked like this, even the make-up is a close match just add more Hot Pink, Red and Purple streaks to my frizzy curled hair.

[I'm going to guess this hair issue and make-up stems from anxiety about getting my hair cut this month and the fear of making sure my hairstylist will be available for my big day and a good make-up artist.]

All the girls and guys finally get ready for the big ceremony... but wait... we are in the hall entering the Casino-esque area and there are guests still filtering in to sit down. Mike and I are hidden from each other but I can hear his groomsmen on the other side of the hall... yep, they are all plastered. Just F-ing great! Then it hits me, I started to freak out again... we never told the people what to play for us to walk down the isle to... and then music starts. I can't recall what it was but I was pissed that it sucked and freaking out. If this dream is hell my guess is it was probably Nicklecrap because I was LIVID! Then I realized half my girls weren't there to walk out... AND my father was missing. The Wedding Coordinator signals me to walk down the isle and I yell to her, "MY DAD ISN'T HERE!" She bluntly says "Tough Shit, show must go on!" and shoves me down the isle. Not only am I walking down the isle but all the late guests are in my way, they are all in sloppy clothing and no one is watching this special moment and I'm miserable. I trip a few times on the runner which is also hot pink, what the crap? And then I start to sob. Not happy emotional tears but "HOLY SHIT THIS IS A TRAIN WRECK" TEARS! I get to the end and it's something out of The Hangover! Most of the guys that made it are all lined up and swaying, covered in dirt and what I believe is vomit, Mike is there, his eye is black and he smells like Whiskey and a cold cut sandwich. He smiles to me and it makes me feel a little better, but I still realize this wedding is a total hot mess. As I glance down the isle there is my Maid of Honor and my father walking down the isle together waving to everyone like they are Miss America and Mr. Universe and then I woke up... WTF?!

Needless to say I am sure most of this is due to some details being up in the air at the moment. I have to say for having a wedding in less than 6 months and only being engaged for almost 1 month we've gotten really far with planning. More on that tomorrow!

So tell me... did you ever have anxiety dreams as a bride or groom? If so please share!

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