Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bridesmaids Dresses. Check!

Do you know how hard it is to find a decent royal blue dress? One that won't make the girls look too risqué or like a sequined/bedazzled peacock. I'll tell you right now, not easy. Add trying to find something they could wear again that won't cost them a fortune and it's virtually impossible. At least that's how I felt. It made for a very long day for me.

It doesn't help that I'm not a shopper or that I'm thrifty. Ok, I'm cheap. I'm easily frustrated and bored with shopping and the prices stores want for a small piece of fabric – FREAK ME OUT! I'm the type that goes shopping when I need something and then I like to find it (at a decent price, of course) and get out!

Anyway, Sarah was in town and we planned a shopping date to search for the perfect dress for her and Reba. We went to David's Bridal and 2 separate malls. We found 1). cute dresses in all the wrong colors, 2). horrid dresses in even worse colors, 3). funny dresses at hysterical, if not frightening, prices, 4) dresses made for people who have never taken a bite of food in their lives and 5). hooker dresses.

Finally, the last store we decided to try before leaving had a pretty decent selection of dresses in the right color and acceptable prices. I found two dresses fairly quickly that I wanted Sarah to try on. I liked the first one, it looked good on her, but didn't make me go "OOOOoooooo." The second one, which I was less sure about when I found it on the rack, I LOVED on Sarah and knew immediately that Reba would like it and look good in it too. AND it was on sale, 40% off.

The more I look at it, the more I'm loving it. It's perfect.

Good thing I don't have to shop for my dress.I would be one under-dressed bride. (THANKS MOM!) I've had enough shopping to last me a loooooooooong time. And no, I don't want to talk about the Christmas shopping I have yet to start.

(Detail of the eyelet embroidering on the straps, around the waist and at the bottom of the dress.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag, Part II

I guess now you want to know how we told my parents, huh? Fine. I’ll have to back up again and give you a bit of history.

Remember how I told that Matt and I told no one we had finally decided to get married? I lied. I told my sister. Before you give me the stink eye because my sister knew before the parents, there was a very good reason. Two to be exact:

#1. She has helped set up and decorate weddings/receptions at a hotel she once worked at. She was a very valuable resource for me when it came to getting started and she did a TON of research for me.
#2. My Sister lives at home with my parents and I needed her to coordinate them for me which is not as easy as it sounds.

My parents are on opposite schedules. My Mother works nights as a night auditor for Marriot Hotels and my Father sells cars. With my Mom working nights and sleeping during the day and my Father working most weekends, it would have been impossible for me to get the two of them in one place at the same time without Reba’s help, especially since I live two hours north. She spied and asked them random questions about their schedules – making up a few white lie stories as necessary. Reba also hunted down restaurants that would work with us and help us surprise my parents. I really couldn’t have pulled this off without her help.

With my Sister’s help, we managed to get my parents in the same restaurant at the same time, a restaurant (Joe’s Crab Shack) that would help us announce our news. She left before us, telling my parents that she had to run an errand before going to the restaurant, but would meet us there. She was actually going to the restaurant ahead of us to set things up. She worked with a waitress to get us a table next to the windows over looking the water. She also had ‘stuff’ to give the waitress to help announce our news.

We settled at our table, ordered drinks and chatted about this and that. When the drinks came, my parent’s cups were covered with stickers - bouquets, rings, flutes, wedding bells, etc. Mine, Matt’s and Reba’s did not have these stickers. I was pretty sure that this would tip them off, but it didn’t. The three of us were trying to hold back the laughter – we were red in the face. When my Dad looked at his glass and said, “My and your (talking to my mother) glass have all these silly appliqués on it, theirs don’t.” The three of us lost it. We couldn’t hold the laughter back any longer. It was such a ridiculous situation.

We calmed down long enough to order our appetizers and meals – still giggling. The three of us ordered crab legs and when our dinners were ready to be served, the waitress came and put our lovely lobster bibs on us. Mine had a big bride holding flowers sticker on it, Matt’s had a big groom on one knee sticker on it and, of course, Reba’s didn’t have anything.

Still nothing from my Parents!

Then, I looked at my Mom. She was looking back and forth between me and my bib, Matt and his bib and her glass. THEN IT CLICKED and she stared at my Dad. Now, when my mom has figured something out before anyone else, she just sinks into her seat and hunkers down, proud of herself for figuring it out first. I knew she got it. My Dad, well, it was taking a bit longer.

We ate our dinner, chatting and joking around - the three of us still trying to keep our composure while trying to lead my Dad into “figuring it out.” Finally, my Dad asked for more lemons from the waitress. She brought him a plate of lemons with a big sticker on it that said, “THE PROPOSAL.” He looked at each of us and started laughing and then said to my Mother, “You think they’re trying to tell me something?”

FINALLY! Even the waitress wasn’t sure what it was going to take to get my Dad to figure it out.

We all had a big laugh. I asked my Dad to walk me down the isle and my Mom to make my dress. Of course, they were overjoyed. We took some pictures, had some laughs, finished our meals and went home. When we got out of the car, my Mom gave me a huge hug and said, “Aw. My baby girl.”

I haven’t been called that in a long time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


aka: Freebird, Bee-bee.

This is my sister. My little sister. Yes, she’s taller than I – I don’t want to talk about it. There seems to be a “taller than the older sister epidemic” in my family. Just keep watching, you’ll see.

Anyway, there is a 10 year age difference between the two of us. She will be 25 on our wedding day. Remember that age, 25? Yeh, I miss it sometimes too. I liked that age, just old enough to know better and still too young to care.

She was a cute little baby, then she turned into this kid-thing when I was a teenager. I didn’t like her so well. She was always into my things. Poking around, slobbering on things, rubbing sticky candy hands on my stuff, ripping the ribbon out of my cassette tapes. She loooooooooved that “zszszszszszszszszszszsz” sound it made as it went flying off the wheel of the cassette rollers. No, she was NOT a likeable creature and I was pretty sure she was here to torture me.

Then, after all that, she had the audacity to turn into a teenager as I entered into my mid-twenties. Can I say it enough? ICK! She was pure teenager. She was mouthy with a horrible attitude, messy, snotty, wanted everything her way, and her decision-making – well, it wasn’t good. That is all I will discuss about that age. Although, at this point in time, I was absolutely positive that she was here to torture me.

Along the way of leaving teenager-ness in all its glory, she grew up and somehow we became friends. Yes, I like her. Mom used to always tell me that one day - one day, I would like her and we would be friends. She warned me that this day would come. I did not believe it, and if my Mother were to ask you how I feel about my sister, I expect you to say nothing. I will categorically deny liking her. Because, well, I can’t admit that my Mother was right after all these years now, can I? Yes, it’s true. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without her. Her laugh is infectious and she looooves to laugh. She has a heart of gold. She constantly twirls her hair when she’s floating off into her own thoughts, (also known as “Lalalalalalalalalalala - land”). She’s always good for a funny story, a great hug and sometimes I even let her give me advice. I’m proud of her – for the person she has become and the person she is trying to be. I’m honored to have her as my Maid of Honor, my sister and my friend. But...Do you see what I'm dealing with here? Say it with me people, T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Latest Addiction

Has anyone else tried this stuff? NO? Why not?! Run to the store right now. Seriously, if you like Hummus, you have to try this brand. It is, by far, the best Hummus I have ever tried. EVER! We are addicted. We buy at least 3 different flavors everytime we go to the store. Tonight, we tried the Mediterranean Salsa and now we will apparently need to buy that every time we go shopping as well.

This is quickly becoming expensive, but my taste buds are so very happy.

Here's their website, check it out.

Oh! and just so you know, I have not been paid, bribed, beaten, threatened or otherwise coerced in anyway to endorse this product. This is coming strictly from my taste buds talking.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag, Part I

Everyone likes a good “how we told the parents” story, right? Tough! You’re getting them anyway, but first I have to give you a bit of history.

Remember how I told you how Matt and I ‘decided’ to get married? (If not, read it here.) That conversation happened in June/July of this year and we didn’t tell anyone right away. We wanted to think this through, decide what we wanted and how to spill the beans. Also, his parents were getting ready to leave for a vacation to China and we didn’t want to take the focus off of their fun. So, we schemed while we waited.

During this waiting time (about 4 or 5 weeks), Matt and I were out on the weekends looking at sites for the wedding. That was fun for exactly one weekend as we were quickly becoming fed up with “almost or too expensive or EW! or too small or just not right” Then, I had read about this place on a local wedding website that just happened to be in the same neck of the woods as my friends property which we were also going to see. Since we were already out there, we stopped by, looked around, and met the owners. EUREKA! Matt and I got back into the car and simultaneously said, “This is it!” Within a week we had a rough idea of dates, prices, what we wanted and what they could do. We also managed to schedule something else….

We gave them a call when they returned from China to say “Hi” and schedule a ‘tell me all about your trip’ dinner at this fabulous new restaurant we found (Lie #1) for the following weekend. We had them come over a bit earlier than we normally would because we had to stop by my friends place to drop something off (Lie #2). We were chatting and catching up on the way there. They were telling us stories about their trip to China, which was wonderful because Matt and I didn’t want to talk too much about this “new restaurant”.

When we pulled into my “friends place”, all we saw was a really big beautiful yard with a couple of houses on it. They asked if they should come with us and I said “Absolutely! You will love what they’ve done with this place!” As we were walking to the back of the property, past the houses, there is a beautiful back yard that leads to a little bridge over a creek. We walked over the bridge and it became more evident that there were wedding decorations up (there was actually a wedding happening later that afternoon). Matt’s Mom, of course, noticed right away and I played it off as my friend does some entertaining and parties out there on the weekends. (Seriously folks, I was making this up as we went along!)

Matt and I found Bonnie (my new friend and owner of this lovely place), introduced his parents and told her “they don’t know yet”. (which they kind of heard, but didn’t quite know it’s meaning). Anyway, Bonnie showed us around; where the buffet line is, where the cake is placed, decorations, etc. The whole time, Matt and I are DYING! We have no idea what to do next. We thought for sure they would figure it out. Finally, Matt comes up behind me and says, “What do we do now?” (This is the part where it becomes very evident that we didn't think this through) I said, “I don't know. I guess we’re going to have to tell them. They aren’t going to jump to any conclusions after all these years.”

So Matt went back to his parents and explained to them that Bonnie wasn’t really my friend from work and I wasn’t dropping anything off – this was the place we were getting married. Cue tears, hugs and REALLY BIG GRINS. This was the moment Bonnie had been waiting for and she magically appeared with a bottle of (yummy) Champagne, glasses and tissues for us. We showed them the big tree we had decided to get married under and the options that were available to us. We let them really look around and get a feel for the place. We did too as this was the first time we were seeing it decorated for a wedding.

It was very a touching day. His dad kept hugging me and his Mom did her signature "Jump and shake hands" dance that she does when she is really excited. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Oh! and we did finally make it to dinner at a local pizza joint that makes some yummy pizza.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pre-wedding Funnies

Funny #1:

The weekend before we picked up my engagement ring, Matt and I were out running errands. As we drove along, he asked me if I was excited to pick up my ring.**

I looked at him confused, and said, "What ring!? "

**In my defense, what I heard him ask was if I decided to get a ring. Which caused my confusion because, we already did that, right?

Funny #2

Matt and I, his parents and my sister went cake tasting together. The lady helping us at the counter was gathering important information from me like time, date, location, etc. of the wedding. When she asked me what date the wedding was, I said August 19th.** I have no idea why August popped into my head. It wasn't even a month we were considering when we were trying to pick a date.

**Our wedding date is APRIL 19th.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuxes are Done!

We finally decided on Tuxes for the guys this past weekend.

Matt will be wearing a black on black striped tux w/charcoal vest/tie and white shirt.

All Groomsmen and Ushers will be wearing a standard black, 2 button tux with a royal blue **vest/tie and white shirts.

The Fathers will be wearing the same tux as the Groomsmen but with a purple** (Heather) vest/tie and white shirt.

**I couldn't find a pic of the actual vest/tie colors so the wording is approximately the colors that will be used for the guys. And no, the vest/ties for the Fathers aren't nearly as pink, they are much more purple, this was the best I could do.
We were trying for a silver or gray for the Fathers but it was such a light silver that it looked like a dingy white against a white shirt.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I Never Said Yes

I've been asked many times, "How did he propose?" or "Did he get down on one knee?", etc. Apparently, a lot of women have this romantic set of requirements that must be met for there to be a 'proper' proposal of marriage. I am not one of those girls. I like the way things happened. How it all fell into place. It's real, shows who we really are and, I think, makes for a much more interesting story.

Periodically, over a span of several months, Matt would inform me that he really wants to have kids. (Let's face it, we aren't spring chickens anymore) My response was always, "I'm not having kids until I'm married." and that would usually be the end of it. I'm not saying Matt wanted children before marriage, I think this was his way of finding out how I felt about the whole idea.

See, I was never one who saw myself as married or having children. I can't explain why, maybe it was a fear of commitment, or the fact that I have such younger brothers/sister, or maybe I wanted to get my career started. I don't know. It could be anything or a mix of things. Either way, I always said "I don't want to get married" and I felt completely comfortable with that decision - Matt knew this.

Finally, this conversation happened:

Matt: I want to have kids.
Me: I'm not having kids until I'm married.
Matt: Why?
Me: Why not?
Matt: Then we should do that.
Me: Do what?
Matt: Get married.
Me: Fine.

That was the end of it until a week or so later. We were leaving a local Mexican restaurant where we meet up with some friends every Monday night for Margaritas and Tacos. Matt was driving us home because the Margaritas were very tasty that night and I had a, um, couple. He quietly looked at me and said, "I'm going to pay off the TV soon, we should start shopping for rings." I replied, happily, dreamily, "Ooooohhhhh-kay."

That's it. That's how this whole wedding got started.

We shopped for rings together a month or so later and picked out a gorgeous pear shaped diamond engagement ring. When we picked up my ring, he put it on my finger and asked me to marry him. (at the insistance of the salesperson helping us) I looked at him and said, "Just this once, dear."

I always told him I'd never say "Yes."

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Little Slow

A couple of weeks back, Matt and I were razzing and picking on each other as we tend to do while making dinner - acting silly and giggling.

Somehow, we got on the subject of getting married. He looked at me and said, "I always knew I'd marry you, I just didn't know it was going to take over 6 years for me to convince you!"'


I guess I'm a little slow! Oops.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Long, Long Time Ago

It's obvious that I've started this blog in the middle of planning our wedding. So, I guess I should back up a bit and tell you how this whole thing got started, huh?

From the beginning, Maestro!

Me, 2001: I was a single, 28 year old, pharmacy tech living by myself and going out on the weekends to my favorite pub (O'Briens, aka. OB's) with my favorite guy friends. We were a rowdy group ranging in age from mid-twenty-something to 50-ish. All guys, except me. I can't tell you how or when I got sucked into this group, but it was some of the best times of my life. We had fun. Lots of it; as much of it as we could handle and then we went for more. We were all sworn bachelors and (1) bachelorette at that point in our lives and had no intention of making any changes in that aspect. I always felt safe around these guys and knew, if I needed anything, at any time, they would be there. I still feel that way and I still love them to pieces.

Him, 2001: A single, 28 year old, college student/grill cook living with his brother and a friend. He was always with his group of friends going to his favorite pub every weekend too. It just happened to be the same as my favorite pub.

Spring, 2001: One evening, standing outside the Tiki hut at our favorite pub I saw this really cute, really tall, shaggy-haired guy. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. Did I mention he's tall? Oh! My! Word! How I love a tall man! My group of guys knew immediately that he had caught me eye. It was obvious.

I noticed, over several weekends, that this young man was staring at me too and would quickly look away every time I looked in his direction. I knew that I would have to make or attempt to make the first move since I hung around a large group of guys and most people would assume that one of them just had to be my boyfriend and I guess that was a fair assumption. So, I went into planning and scheming ways to meet this young man.

  • I tried the whole staring back at him. He would just look away.
  • I tried to stand close to him. He would just 'run away'
  • Every time he went to the bar for a drink, I was right behind or beside him and always said "Hi" to him. His eyes would get [ THIS BIG ] and he would turn and 'run' away.
  • We knew some of the same acquaintances at the bar so I would walk up and 'involve' myself in their conversations. Again with the running away.

Hmph. This was taking entirely too long for my impatient self!

Finally, I cornered him one night and got him to talk to me. It seemed we had a lot in common and we stayed well after closing to continue chatting. Eventually, and much later than a proper young lady like myself should be out, we parted ways. This routine of chatting and staying out way too late continued for several weeks. Then one evening, he walked me to my car and planted a kiss on me. Out of nowhere. Then he was gone. Yes. He ran away again. (see a common theme here?) He didn't even get my phone number! Athough, in all fairness, anyone who knew me knew where to find me on the weekends.

I was stunned. I immediately called my Mom. Yes, it was either very late or very early, depending on your view, but my Mother works nights so it was ok.

Me: Mom, how do you kiss a really tall guy? Like 6'6" tall?

Mom: Why?

Me: Just because...

Mom: Stand on the bumper of your car.

Me: Ok, thanks, bye.

We moved in together 6 months later and, as they say, the rest is history. We've been together for 6 1/2 years. Our wedding day is 4 days after our 7 year "anniversary". WOW! It's really been that long.