Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So much to do, so little time!

I have recently become cognizant of the fact that I have a very short amount of time left before I leave for Virginia. Of course, I'm excited to start something new; I decided I wanted to go to graduate school at about this time last year, and it has been an incredibly long and nerve-wracking process: quitting my full time job, filling out the applications (all 18 of them...yes...18...I am indeed that insane), taking the GRE's (and slightly dying inside because I hated that test), and then waiting for what seemed like an eternity to get the responses, both good and bad.

But, that is neither here nor there at this point...I'm just a little over a week! And my calendar has somehow become extremely full every day up until my move. Go figure! Here is my life for the next week or so, at a glance:

Today: Extreme excitement; our photographer, Chad Pilster, will be coming in town to take our engagement photos...YAY!  I'm hoping that the weather decides to be wonderful...I can't wait!  And, Lucia and Theo will be making an appearance in the photos as well!

Friday: Yeah, I probably should take this day to start...packing?

Saturday and Sunday: My last 2 days at work...single tear!  No more driving the golf club beverage cart after this weekend.

Monday: Having a preliminary meeting with our florist

Tuesday: Another preliminary meeting, this time with our "Day of Coordinator"

Wednesday: Getting my hair cut...for the last time until Thanksgiving? Gulp...

Thursday: Moving truck arrives, and we pack!!!

Friday: Begin our trek to VA! Much singing in the car and complaining of back aches and butts numb from sitting in the same position for hours will ensue.

Saturday: Move into the new digs...collapse? Haha...

Do you ever just feel like you have so much on your plate, it is overwhelming???

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A poem written for me?

Do you ever read/hear/see something and think to yourself, "wow...that was meant for me?" I know it sounds silly, but since I've been with Justin, I tend to have this kind of moment on a regular basis. I've come to the conclusion that I need to start stockpiling everything I find somehow and perhaps make an attempt to utilize them in our wedding in some shape or form. Songs that inspire me could be played at the reception, or during a slideshow at the rehearsal dinner, quotes could be printed on programs, etc. There are a lot of ideas swimming around in my head.

Today I came across the most wonderful poem by Taylor Mali: Falling in love is like owning a dog. Check out the rest of his website and read his other poems too! perfect...we met because of our dogs, and to me, this poem not only speaks to us, but is a concept that most people comprehend. Plus, it is just so playfully put, but read it for yourself and you'll see!

Falling in love is like owning a dog
Taylor Mali

First of all, it's a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain't no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Certainly, if I were to have a reading of this somewhere...there would have to be a few edits (seeing as we don't live in New York for one thing)...but gosh, I just love it!

Have any songs, quotes, poems, etc. inspired you? What are they? And, if you are implementing them in your plans, how are you doing so?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Becoming a step-pawrent part 2 Lucia.

Lucia comes as part of a package deal with the fiance. Actually, if you remember the story of how Justin and I met, you know that this Australian shepherd was responsible for introducing the two of us...

Lucia was an adorable puppy, and has grown up to be a beautiful young dog (she's 1 year old now). And, she started off as just a tiny is a picture of her and Theo at Halloween this past year (Theo won't let me dress him up, nor do I really like to...but he tolerated me putting the letter jacket on we said he was a football player...haha)...

Ah, at only a few months of age, Lucia was the perfect size in my book! And now, her legs have seemingly grown like weeds...she's a tall leggy thing, but thankfully, she doesn't weigh very much! She started off being about the same size as my Theo, but now any tug-of-war fights are clearly in her favor...

Now that we're gearing up for our big move north, I started to realize that there is an aspect of my relationship that I hadn't considered...adopting a canine daughter!

Ok, so you may laugh and say, "what's the big deal?" Perhaps you aren't a dog person. But, if you are like me, you know that your dog can seriously be your best friend in the whole world. They are like a family that can't speak English...but a family member nonetheless. In the past, my pups have always been small dogs, mostly mutts...and always around 10lbs. Lucia, however, is unlike all the others! Although she isn't huge, she is an energetic dog that likes to pull hard on her leash when it is in my hands, and many times she has been known to jump on me or playfully nip at my wrists or ankles (that shepherd in her...). Over the past few months, she has managed to become much more polite, and I've been impressed at the progress that my fiance has managed to make with her.

Ah, but here's the catch: she isn't my dog, if you want to be technical about it! As of now, I can honestly say that I think she is adorable, and for the most part she is very well behaved...but I don't have that connection with her yet. I know it sounds silly, but I can decipher between different wimpers, nudges, and looks that Theo gives me. I've got him down to a science. I know when he wants to be fed, when he wants to go out, when he wants to play...etc, etc. Lucia...not so much yet! Making the move to VA will be the first time that I will be sharing a living space with her, and I am hoping that it goes smoothly! I am optimistic that I'll be able to open my heart up to this dog, hyperactiveness, occasional nippyness and all...and she'll easily become my new "canine daughter." Because, well...she comes as part of a package deal...I can't have it a la carte! Nor would I want it that way, for that matter!

Have you had to adopt a new canine/feline family member into your life? How did it go?

Becoming a step-pawrent part 1

I have had a dog (or dogs) for as long as I can remember. When I was 2 years old, my parents brought home my first puppy, Kesha:

She was a complete and utter mutt...and probably one of the best dogs in the entire world (I know everyone says that about their pets though). She slept in my bed (even my crib!) with me every night when I was a child, up until the day that I left for college. Kesha never needed to use a leash on walks; she would never run away. We could just open up the front door and let her out, and she would promptly return after doing her "business."

Kesha also had a little brother, Gus, who was a bichon frise/maltese mix. Gus was a bit of a trouble maker...even though he was only 10 lbs, he would manage to get into the neighbors' garbage cans, throw up in inconvenient places (ohhh I have stories...), and run away at any chance he got. Gus was hyper, but despite everything, you still had to love him.

My senior year of high school, Kesha was 16, and Gus was 14. They were getting old and creaky, and pretty much slept the entire day. I guess my subconscious was aware of this, and I began sifting through the classified section in the newspapers on a daily basis. I knew I wanted to get another mutt (in my opinion, they are the best...they have great temperaments, few health problems, many don't shed, and are ridiculously cute!). One day, I came upon an ad for a litter of morkie (maltese/yorkie) puppies, and my heart started to pitter-patter. I somehow convinced my mom to go with me to the lady's house one afternoon. When we walked in the front door of the breeder's house, I saw a crate of puppies on the floor, filled with adorable little fluff balls!

Most morkies are black, with tan/white markings on their faces and bellies. However, there was one puppy that drew me. He was caramel colored...a completely different shade than the rest. I picked him up, and he immediately sat in my arms and closed his eyes as if to take a nap. I think my heart melted on the spot. Needless to say, my mother couldn't say no to him either, and we ended up driving home with a new puppy on my lap! It took me a few days, but I named him Theodore (Theo, for short), because he looked so much like a stuffed teddy bear!

Theo has been one of the greatest dogs I've ever had; we taught him to ring a bell that we tied to the front door when he needs to go out to the bathroom. How polite! Theo very rarely barks, unless someone is at the door...we thought he was a silent dog for a while there! more joined the fold! For my brother's 16th birthday, a miniature dachshund became a part of our family. After much consideration, we named him Stuart, but we call him Stewie or Stu for short! He is the world's biggest scaredy-cat, and even though he has a long body, we like to say that he rides on the short bus. But he always wants to snuggle with you on the couch, and stares at you with his big doe eyes. It isn't fair!

So, what do all of these dogs have to do with my wedding, you ask? I am about to become a step-pawrent! And I'll tell you all about my next post!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Photo booth fanatic!

Although it is still somewhat early for major detail planning, I can't help but dream of the little things I want to add to my wedding day! Now, I'd say that for the most part I want a traditional feel to my wedding...but I do have the urge to include something that is at least a twist to what everyone is used to running into.

Lately, all I hear is "photo booth," "photo booth," "photo booth!" It really is a big trend right now, and it seems like everyone is having one set up at their reception in some shape or form! I love the idea of giving guests the opportunity to be a goofball in front of the camera, and potentially giving them some funny props to pose with!

I've seen prop options used from feather boas, to funny glasses, to sombreros...even little mustaches on a stick! There are tons of companies out there that provide photo booth rentals...hmmmmm...

However, practical me begins to ponder the cost of such a booth. I did some research and quickly realized that although they are very fun, these photo booths are not exactly cheap to rent! And, at closer inspection, it seems as though you could easily create your own...and save some money in the process! Score!

Brain storm...commence!!!!!

I've seen many pictures of homemade photo booths, and it got me thinking, "Hey, if someone else can do it, why can't I?"

I could go the "less is more" route, and embrace the simplicity of creating my own backdrop with a printed sheet, fabric, etc...

It is fun. It is quirky. It is colorful! I love how something so ordinary as a sheet can turn into the backsplash of a photo booth! You could make your own box with various props (hellllloooo day after Halloween sales anyone?). A booth like this could be relatively wallet-friendly. Ah, the bargain shopper's dream!

***Gulp***...but then...I came across the fabulousness of this photo booth, and I was inspired...wayyyyyyy inspired. So inspired in fact that I've been dreaming about this particular booth for days now, and thinking up how I am going to replicate it...

Begin ooh'ing and ahh'ing.....NOW!


I love so many things about this! Shall we list them? Oh yes, we shall!

1: Although it looks elaborate, I think it could be accomplished if you are crafty enough! 3 custom frames (or popping out the frame from some older pieces) to use as the frames your guests pose in, various small frames for pictures (I love the idea of framing pics of your relatives' weddings, as I believe the couple who made this particular booth did), and some wallpaper! Should be a cinch, right?

2: Even though it is technically a photo booth, it is definitely not one that I've ever seen for a wedding! I think that guests would be quite excited to see something different...

3: Guests can still be creative/goofy/etc, but there is also the option of a nice pose for those who don't feel comfortable hamming it up for the camera.

4: You could send your favorite photo booth print of each guest inside the "Thank You" cards you sent out later!

Oh yes, there are more good things I can think of, but I'm going to cease and desist at this. There are definitely more details to be determined (hmmm probably should see if I can get my photographer on board for this as well? Just a thought...) I am going to let the cogs continue to turn in my little head about this project for the time being...but mark my words I will revisit this at a future time...

Did you have a photo booth at your wedding, or have you attended a wedding with a photo booth? What did you like or dislike about them? Are you planning on including one in your wedding???

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance...down the aisle???

In the summer, Wednesday and Thursday nights are my guilty pleasure. I'll admit it, I am a HUGE So You Think You Can Dance fanatic! I can never get over how talented the contestants is just so much fun to watch! And afterwards, I always feel compelled to do a little hip shaking around the house, it just puts me in a good mood!

So, all this dancing got me thinking! Before we even got engaged, my Aunt S joked that she was practicing her dance moves for our big number at the reception (anyone seen Rock the Reception???). Yep, she and Uncle J are practicing their lifts every night in preparation... ;)

Ok, so with wedding on the brain a lot lately, I have come across some extremely awesome videos from weddings where the bride and groom got creative with their first dance. But, yesterday I came across this video on Weddingbee...the first time I have seen one where the bride and groom had a dance choreographed for the ceremony! I think it is awesome...make sure to watch it all the way through to see the bride (yes, she dances too!). Now, I know that won't be something that happens at my wedding...but hey, I bet the people attending this wedding really had something to talk about when they went home!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The luckiest week EVER!

Ok, so this post is going to be short, but I have to gush! It is only Tuesday, and my week is off to such a fabulous start! Woo hoo!

Ok, so as I mentioned before, on Sunday mom and I had our adventure at the wedding expo in Tampa. It was exhausting, but SO WORTH IT! I already divulged my good news from yesterday (I won $500 in wedding flowers! YAY!!!!)...but it just kept coming today!!!!

I was in the car with my mom on the way to get my custom measurements taken for my dress, and my phone started ringing. I looked at the caller ID, and, as always when I don't recognize a phone number...curiosity just kills me. I am always always always compelled to answer the phone...who wants to get in touch with me?!?!

Come to find out, it was Eventions, one of the event management companies that had a booth at the expo. Annnnnd guess what!??! I am the lucky winner of a DOC (day of coordinator)! the...yes! Obviously, I have to get together and meet with them to see exactly what the deal is, but I am extremely excited about the prospect at the moment!

For those of you who might not be familiar with what a DOC is; they are pretty much a bride's wedding day guardian angel. They oversee the setup of your ceremony and reception decor (whew!) and make sure your vendors arrive and are set up properly. The DOC coordinates the ceremony and reception to make sure that the elements run smoothly/on time, and they will assist your band/DJ with introductions, toasts, dances, bouquet toss/garter toss, and cake cutting. They will also make sure that the event is broken down afterwards...score! Seriously, I am not kidding about the guardian angel thing! I am definitely looking forward to our meeting to see what I am able to accomplish!

Well, my week is off to a great start at the moment, but you know...good things come in 3' I'm still waiting to get the call from a travel vendor saying that I've won a honeymoon as well! Hmmm...think that could happen? I'll keep you posted...

The wedding expo...

I can't help but love it when I have an extremely productive day. That can certainly be said about my adventures yesterday!

I had the rare opportunity to be off of work on Sunday, because I really needed to take the opportunity to do some wedding-related things. It just so happened that there was a wedding expo at the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa on Sunday, so mom and I got up in the morning and headed over!

Hmm, looks deserted???

We arrived a few minutes before they opened the doors to the we walked up to the building, the two of us were wondering if anyone was actually showing up to this shindig; it looked pretty deserted out there! I shrugged and said "well, at least we'll get through the entire event at a decent time!" The clock struck noon, and we were allowed to enter...

Now, this was my first official wedding expo that I attended, and there are some tips that I would highly suggest you implement in order to streamline your visit!

1 - Bring address labels!!! Honestly, this is a complete and utter lifesaver! You are going to want to sign up for every single giveaway at every single booth, and your hand will pretty much fall off from filling out your address, phone, email, etc on each form unless you have these with you. I brought along a sheet of return address labels from home, and it cut down the time it took me to fill things out significantly! I almost didn't do this...but thanks to my Aunt, who kindly suggested this method, I was saved!!! Thank you Aunt S!

2 - Be methodical!!! Yes, it is exciting and a bit haphazard when you enter the smell food from caterers, hear music and see lights from DJ's...there is a ton of stimulation going on...FOCUS! Being a perfectionist, I figured out a plan of attack before we began; starting from the back row of booths, and snaking our way up and down the aisles to make sure that we did not miss anything. I didn't even refer to the guide that they gave at the door (although if you are only looking for specific vendors, I'd suggest targeting only those!). I was eager to take in the entire event, however.

3 - Sign up to win...everything!!! Ok, so I know its already a given that you'd enter to win whatever each and every booth is giving out...but seriously, it could work out well for you in the end! Many of the vendors have some great prizes...and who knows, you could be a winner! As for me...I got the most delightful call this morning from Mostly Roses, one of the florists at the event; I won $500 worth of flowers for my wedding! My trip paid off!!!!

Signing up to win a lovely prize!

It took mom and I about an hour and a half to work our way through all of the vendors, which I thought wasn't too terrible! I was able to skip over the informational speech portions of many tables, as I already have my venue, dress, food, and photographer taken care of! And, I must add, I couldn't help but feel a bit puffed up after perusing the other photographer's displays...there was nothing with as much life as Chad's photos...hooray! No buyer's remorse for me (Not that I was expecting any of course; I just love the satisfaction that was involved)!

Attempting to push my way through the crowd; it certainly wasn't deserted inside the event!!!

From the expo, mom and I headed over to the new IKEA, and I managed to find myself a schnazzy new desk to use in my new apartment in I need to find the proper desk accessories to organize all of my things (is it sad that this thrills me this much???)! I also picked up a new pillow that I'm loving...its a memory foam pillow; you insert it into a cover (you can pick between a microfiber one and a real goose down cover; I picked the microfiber because its 1/2 the price, and I get allergies sometimes with real feathers) is glorious!!!!

Ahhh, a sigh of relief after a busy and productive day! We arrived back home and put our feet up for the rest of the evening, and I sorted through the plethora of material that was collected at the event:

A sea of informational brochures!
Note: my trusty sheet of address labels in the bottom right corner!

Ah, a job well done!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fantastic photo-related news!

Granted, our wedding is not for quite some time, but my planning is definitely in full swing! I have been absolutely bogged down with inspiration from every possible outlet. I never thought it would be like this (oh, no wait...I am pretty sure I knew what I was getting into)!

Because we have t-minus 3 weeks until our move to the north (well, VA is north for us Floridians), I'm frantically calculating how much I can accomplish in what time I have left. Thankfully, the dress is out of the way (minus the fitting, which I still need to make an appointment for...shame on me for continuing to forget to do this!), the shoes, as you already know, have been taken care of...and as of this afternoon, our photographer is as well! I am EXTREMELY excited about this, I can't even begin to explain...but I'll try!

When I initially began my priority list for elements of the wedding, it became glaringly clear that the photographs taken during the day are definitely of the highest importance. Cue the search! I literally spent a few days of my precious time going through website after website, blog after blog, searching my little heart out for a photographer who grabbed me. And, like anything, someone or something will just come along when you least expect it!

I'll admit, I have been sucked into the world of Twitter recently, and one day while pouring over countless wedding photos for inspiration, I wrote a few tweets about how my search was progressing. Then, out of the blue, I unexpectedly received some messages back from various photographers in reply to what I thought was just a random tweet! Albeit, a few of the photographers were from out of state, but there was one in particular that got my attention...

SOOOO without further ado, I'd like to announce that we will be working with Pilster Photography for the big event; please take a look at Chad's wonderful work!

Currently, I am salivating over the recent engagement shoot he has posted featuring some beautiful turquoise here!

And...if that wasn't enough, there is a part two of that shoot! ***sigh***

Oh, and of course, a link to his main page...

As of now, we are scheduling an engagement shoot for the end of this month, and I am so eager to see how everything turns out, and I can't wait to share! I just love the playfulness of Chad's photos, and I hope that the three of us are able to find some great locations and ideas for pictures. Oh and of course, I'm already pondering what I'm going to wear...I'm going to lose sleep over this one, I'm sure!

Have you seen any adorable or unique photo ideas lately? If you took engagement photos, what did you do to make them special for the two of you?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Taking care of each other...

Ok, so I haven't had the chance for updates the past few days. Its funny how life piles things on top of you sometimes, and how you can so easily put things off!

But, right now I have a nice chunk of time as I watch over the fiance post-widom teeth surgery. I brought him in to the doctor this morning, and a short hour later they returned him to me, wisdom teeth-free, but highly doped up of course! I didn't know whether I should be amused or slightly disturbed as I walked into the room he was in, staring blankly into space...barely able to keep his eyes open. He was trashed off the IV meds! The nurse proceeded to give me instructions on which drugs to give him and when, and what he should/should not eat. As much as I was trying to pay attention, it was in one ear and out the other; I was so distracted by my fiance's bobbing head and vacant eyes! I'm thinking over and over...this is a I qualified enough to be taking care of him? He's totally going to die under my watch...(ok, that might be a huge exaggeration, but I'm kind of dramatic at times).

So, we leave the oral surgeon's office, and head down the road to drop off his prescriptions (gotta get those pain meds!) and pick him up a Wendy's Frosty, which the nurse suggested that I get for him. As we're driving, he is babbling incoherently at me in some sort of drugged gibberish, and I didn't know if it was mean of me to be laughing, but nevertheless, I was! He finally motioned to me to give him a paper and pen, and began writing messages to me...which was also somewhat disastrous. It was nearly impossible to decipher his narcotic-induced scribbles, but I managed to make out a few of the notes he was trying to get across. My favorite one reads "Being sedated is the greatest thing!" I had to chuckle. I am making a mental note to take a picture of the page he wrote on to show off for posterity in a later post.

Anyway, we make it back to his house, where he proceeds to get out of my car on his own and attempts to walk in a straight line to the door, tripping on the front step as he goes, even after I warn him about it. He was a man on a mission. His mother helps me get him into bed and take the first of the enormous pills that he was prescribed. And now, for a few hours I've been sitting with him, scratching his back, helping him change out his gauze, and making sure he takes his pills at the correct times.

It makes you feel a bit helpless overall I think. I'm so squeamish at the sight of blood or anything of that am I going to be able to take care of him in the future if he's sick? I don't even want to begin to think about how I'd manage children (at the moment). All I know is that I'll learn...I hope! That is just part of love I think...even in his drooling, drugged up state, I can't help but adore him. I apologized earlier for being a horrible nurse, and that I had better not be required to have a similar procedure before we get married, because he'd be likely to run screaming in the other direction (I'd pretty much be such a crying, needy baby of a patient).

In reply, he smiled a sluggish smile and simply said, "I'd love to clean up your drool."

Friday, July 10, 2009

How it all began...

I feel the urge to share the story of how the fiance and I met, because if you haven't already heard it, its quite a cute story in my opinion!

It started in September of 2008. I was just about to leave the job I was in, and I was gearing up for my grad school application process (which, in itself, was a full time job). I don't have many friends in the area, so I had made it a custom to take my Morkie (maltese-yorkie) Theodore to the pet beach with me every weekend. He's pretty much my best bud, and we always had a fun time amazing all of the onlookers at his swimming skills.  This little dude is 10 lbs and he is fearless in the water; he swims with the big dogs!

My little man - isn't he cute?

There are always regulars at the pet beach, and you know who they are.  So, it was no surprise that one week I spotted a newcomer.  Camped up away from the water was a guy with a makeshift tent made out of an umbrella, with an 8 week old puppy sitting underneath.  Chick magnet, right? I parked myself down by the water with Theo, hoping that he'd bring the puppy out from under the shade. But alas, it was not meant to be that day.

Fast forward to the following week. Puppy guy was there again, and my DAD ends up talking to him/meeting the pup.  I am slightly jealous that I did not happen to run into him, but left the beach hoping that our paths will cross again.

Finally, the 3rd week, our luck decided to change.  As Theo and I made our sandy trek to the shore, at the end of the trail, who happens to be walking by at the exact time we make our entrance??? You guessed it!  Of course, I make an effort to start talking to him, and we make our way down the beach together.  This conversation turned into about 3-4 hours of talking, and it soon came time for us to leave.  In my head I'm thinking, "awesome! This guy is so nice...he's totally going to ask for my phone number." After an awkward few minutes in the parking lot, we end up parting ways, and he says that hopefully we'll run into each other again in 2 weeks when he comes back.  I have to admit, my ego was a bit deflated, but I was still intrigued. (He since has informed me that he was kicking himself for not getting my number that day)

So, 2 weeks later, guess where I was?  Clearly, the beach.  And guess what, so was he (Although, on a side note...he was almost bullied out of going!  His then-roommate had heard the story of "the girl at the beach" 2 weeks prior, and was convinced that I would not be returning.  Instead, he suggested that Justin attend a football game that they had tickets for.  But, thankfully, the fiance was convinced that I would be there, and was determined to have the chance to see me again)!  Once again, we spent a few hours on the beach with the pups...and then, with a little bit of suggestion from myself, we decided to meet at this awesome little Italian restaurant in town for dinner that night.  I was overjoyed!  Of course, I hemmed and hawed over what I was going to wear (achieving the "I'm extremely well dressed, but I'm not trying hard" look sometimes takes skill).  We had dinner that night and ended up staying at the restaurant for over 4 hours; I'm pretty sure that the owners wanted to kick us out, as we had eaten dinner at 6:30pm.  I was amazed at how easy it was to talk to him...this one was a keeper!

Justin and I at the beach!

Anyway, to make a long story short, that is the tale of how my fiance and I met...I can't imagine it being any other way!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Asking my bridesmaids...

So...all of my bridesmaids are out of state (I like to make my life complicated). I honestly tear up when I think about how far away I always am from my best friends; I have ones in Boston, DC, NYC, Chicago, and the list goes on! As the time came to ask them the big question, I was questioning a good way to do it! A phone call is nice, but I was hesitant to do it. Then, I was out running some errands at Target, I wandered into the card section. It was there that I came upon the most wonderful card...and a light bulb went on! Check it out!

...and I have 4 was meant for me!

Perfect - who gets snail mail anymore? I think the cards were just beautiful, and I was able to personalize each one, recalling fond memories from our friendship. I thought they turned out great!

The finished product, replete with my ramblings!

My Beautiful Bridesmaids...

Maid of Honor: My bestest buddy - Liz!  She's my twin in blonde form, and I love her so!  We met in college through a mutual friend (and now bridesmaid) Kali.  We all went out to dinner together one night, and Kali assured me that Liz and I would be best friends by the end of the night.  She was exactly right...and we've been attached ever since (we've even been married on Facebook for a few years...I shed a tear when we had to remove the status after I got was a sad day!).  I don't think I can recall memories of college without Liz being a part of them.  Ask her sometime about my winter visit to DC and my accident at the metro station...its a classic story...

Bridesmaid: College friend, Kali.  We met our freshman year of college, where we lived on the same dorm floor and were both part of the honors program (nerd alert...I know!).  We both joined AOII as we were constantly at meetings and events together!!!  Since college, we've been lucky enough to schedule some fun times together in the ATL where she was at grad school; from meeting our favorite bartender Jimmy to using 3 different wine bottle openers to break open a bottle of 2 buck chuck, and addicting Liz and I to the amazingness of pomegranates, we always manage to have an exciting time together!

Bridesmaid: Sorority little sister Ariel!  My beloved little sister in AOII...we first met during my sophomore year of college; we had a winter term class together.  For those of you who know what I am talking about, I was busy "shopping" for littles out of potential new pledges...and I set my sights on this one!  She is a red-haired clone of myself, we always just "get" each other!  She was just accepted into medical school for the fall...I'm pretty sure that she's going to save the world someday.

Bridesmaid: College friend and roommate Lara!  Lara and I have been friends since our freshman year of college when we pledged AOII together.  We lived together in the sorority house during our sophomore year, and again in an off campus apartment during our senior year!  We've had so many adventures together...traveling to Asheville for Fall Break, teaching her how to pump her own gas (she's from Jersey), to jumping in the huge fountain after graduation...such wonderful memories!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's all about the shoes...

Now, for those of you who know me well, you would never think that buying a pair of shoes would be something that had the ability to frustrate me beyond belief.  I own far too many pairs of shoes for my own good, and have accumulated quite an impressive collection over the years.  Life is too short to be wearing boring shoes!

But first, a little bit about the dress...I'm not going to publicly divulge the specifics on my dress (and definitely not any photos!!!!), but I bought it a few weeks back at CC's Boutique in St. Petersburg, FL. My consultant, Monica, is absolutely fabulous, and I highly recommend asking for her if you are dress shopping in the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area.  She and I discussed exactly what I would want to have in a dress, and she went off to the back of the shop to pick some out for me (they don't have any dresses out on racks).  I ended up loving this, contrary to what I originally was thinking.  I am such a control freak, and I am super SUPER picky about anything related to the clothing that I wear.  I had been shopping at some other dress boutiques before I went to CC's, and I had been much more successful at selecting the dresses that I would look good in in comparison to what the consultants were pulling.  However, by not having the dresses in view, I wasn't able to confuse myself in a sea of white...fabulous!  Of course, wouldn't you know it, the very first dress that Monica pulled was "the one."  Of course, I had to try on about 20 other dresses first in order to solidify the decision, but hey...I got there eventually!  

Don't get excited...this is NOT the one...but I hemmed and hawwed over it!

So, I will say that the dress is all lace...which of course makes for some more complicated alterations.  I'm getting a custom length done on the I found out that in order to get my measurements taken, I have to have the shoes at the time of the fitting!  ***Gasp*** Me, the planner of all planning, completely forgot to take that into consideration.  I had NO idea what kind of shoes I wanted to wear.  Panic immediately set it.  Thankfully, they were willing to let me take a few weeks to purchase shoes and let me return at a later date.

So, the shoe search began!  Now, you know, whenever you are actually LOOKING for something, you will never find it.  I even have a "shoe boyfriend" at Nordstrom, my beloved Victor, who never seems to fail at knowing what I will like.  I naturally started my search there...I'm not willing to purchase a shoe anywhere else for the most part.  I tried on shoe after shoe, and wasn't too excited.  I ended up spending $285 on a pair of kate spade slingbacks in rose gold.  They were pretty...but something wasn't right.  They weren't fun was bugging me!

And then...I found them!  I have 2 pairs of this shoe already in different colors that I have accumulated over the years, and I saw that Enzo Angiolini has their 'Merry Ann' pump in 3 wedding friendly colors this season; yellow, white/pearl, and pastel pink snakeskin!  And what is even better is the price; $79.95.  These are one of the most comfortable pumps that I own; I can wear them all day, and I have worn the dickens out of the 2 pairs that I already have.  There were only 17 pairs of size 7 1/2 left in the country, so I had to ship them to my house.  I have been impatiently waiting for them to arrive for over a week, and my (im)patience paid off yesterday!

Ahhhh, so sassy!

I am loving how they aren't extremely yellow...but have a bit of a gold sheen to them as well!  I could NOT be happier!  A girl and her doesn't take much more to make me happy!

Entering the world of blogging...

Well, I resisted it for the longest time, but I finally gave in...I decided it was time to test the waters in the blogging world, and we'll see how it goes!

So now of course, I ask myself (as I have whenever I have seen anyone's blog in the past), what is the point for this? Well, up until the past month or two, I really haven't been able to put my finger on something, but then my life took a wonderfully pleasant turn!  As of June 13, 2009, I am (extremely) happily engaged to the man of my dreams, and we are delving into the world of long-distance wedding planning!  *Gasp*  And, of course, my entire wedding party, friends, and family are from out of state as well, and it is just overwhelming to think of how to keep in touch with everyone regarding details without sending out a million emails, making countless phone calls, and the like!  Well, here we have it...a way to keep everyone in the loop!

Oh, and of course, I'm sure I'll have to make mentions of my upcoming studies and experiences in the world of grad school this fall.  I'm about to embark on a Ph.D. program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, which both excites me and scares me out of my mind.  But, I am so eager to learn new things and further my education (I'm such a nerd) I'll let you know how its progressing (lets hope I don't flunk out)!

So, stay tuned as I muse about every little wedding detail, crazed perfectionist and planner that I am.  I plan on DIY'ing a bunch of things, so I'll need some input and inspiration!  I'm so excited to put everything together!