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Come visit me on my new blog, Heather Drive. I hope to see you all on the other side!

Monday, March 31, 2008


A complete change of pace tonight.

This topic is so far from being wedding-related, I almost feel guilty posting it. But you know what? This is my blog. So I guess I can post whatever I want to, huh?

I just hope no one is offended.

I saw this the other day on another blog. I was so moved by it that I want to share it with others. But be warned... it is sad. For me, I think it's good to take a step back once in a while. Something like this puts life in perspective.

It makes the stresses of wedding planning seem all too trivial. Of course we all know that wedding planning isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of life. But we do allow ourselves to get quite caught up in it from time to time.

And given my recent post about my brother and the military, this hit very close to home for me.

First, read the story here. Then decide if you want to watch this (if you aren't able to watch it with sound, believe me--wait until you can to watch it).

God bless all the men and women in the armed services.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Erynne & Ian

I'm still going strong with the projects. I have several to share, but I am going to save a few for tomorrow or later this week. I have five more that I still owe to people (before our wedding).

I'm obviously not going to meet my goal to have them all done by the end of March, but I'm OK with it. I don't feel overwhelmed by them at all. They're all projects I know I can handle. For the past couple of weeks, I have been concentrating on a combination of the banner/runner projects and my own wedding projects. I've struck a good balance and I've been pretty productive on both fronts.

Our invitations are going out two weeks from tomorrow... so I'll likely be working on those a lot over the next couple of weeks. Once those are mailed, I'll have another little lull (or at least, I hope I will) and I'll be able to complete any remaining projects shortly after that.

Anyway, here are two recent projects. I was able to finally put the finishing touches on the banner today, so I'm ready to share. Erynne ordered both a monogram banner and a monogram aisle runner. I designed the monogram for her and her fiance, Ian. And then I got to paint it... twice!

This is a case where my camera doesn't do the projects justice. Because they are lighter colors, they get washed out easily by the camera. In person, they are still soft colors, but they are better seen than in these pictures.

Love the combination of light pink and sage green. While I was painting these, I was thinking about how chocolate brown would also be a nice coordinating color for a palette like this.

Erynne, I'm still working out issues with USPS sending me my shipping boxes. But these should both go out to you in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fitting #2

I had a dress fitting this afternoon.

Fitting #1 was pretty informal, it was just my mom and me at her house back in December when the dress came in. So I guess this was my first actual fitting. It was fun to have the dress on again. Also, it was the first time I had my veil to try on with my dress.

After searching and searching, I ended up finding shoes (finally). They just came yesterday from shoes.com:
I tried them on, and pretty much immediately decided they had to be it. I needed the shoes to do the fitting because as it turns out, as much as I tried to fight it, I'm going to need a slight hem. I wanted to avoid one altogether, but it's just not going to happen. The seamstress said the original hem is actually quite crooked. It's longer on the sides than it is in front, so she needs to take it up a little in some areas but not in others. She said the dress designers usually assume that the dress will need to be hemmed anyway so they aren't too careful with the hems. Lovely.

She put all the pins in place and I will go back in mid-May for a third fitting to make sure the hem turned out correctly, and also to figure out the bustle. She says it'll be easier to figure out the bustle once the hem is done. I was a little disappointed because I thought we would be doing that today... oh well. Mid-May will be here before I know it.

I'm crossing my fingers that all goes well with the alterations! I'm grateful that the hem and the bustle are all I need to have done.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Let's fling ourselves down a mountain!

Excursion #3: Booked.

We scheduled our Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour today. We are going pretty early on in our honeymoon. It'll be our first real activity, so I'm sure we'll be ridiculously excited for it. And you need to be ridiculously excited for it.

The pick-up time for the shuttle? 2:10 a.m.

Yes, you read that right. We're going to be picked up in the middle of the night. Why? So we can be driven in a van to the top of a volcano/mountain (at 10,000 ft. elevation) and watch the sunrise. But, you see, it's not just any sunrise. It's this sunrise:

At 10,000 ft., you are above the clouds. The sunrise is spectacular because you get to see the sun come through the clouds. Sounds pretty amazing to me. So what the hell, we're doing it.

Then, once we watch the sunrise spectacle (oh, and mind you, it's only 30 degrees up there... we'll be freezing our asses off), we'll climb on some borrowed mountain bikes and literally fling ourselves down the side of the volcano on them for 28 miles. Gotta love it. I'm actually slightly frightened of the bike riding part... there are quite often injuries, and there have even been deaths. But our guide book says 70,000 people do this every year, so I just hope we're two of the many who make it down unscathed.

We get to wear one of these fun outfits, too:

Ha, I love it. The people look like spacemen. They actually give you those suits to help you keep warm at the top of the mountain when waiting for sunrise, and also at the beginning of the descent on the bikes. It's my understanding that at some point, on the way down, the temperature rises quite nicely and you get to stop to shed all of that stuff (except your motorcycle helmet).

We ended up booking through Mountain Riders because according to our trusty dusty Revealed guide, they get up to the mountain the earliest, and therefore get to start the descent the earliest. The other companies have to wait in line, sometimes for a few hours, to start their groups down the mountain.

This should be fun, though. Our friends got married last summer and did this on their honeymoon in August, and they highly recommended it.

By the time we get back to our condo, it'll probably be around noon. We'll have already been awake for 10 hours. I can tell you one thing for certain: The itinerary for the remainder of that day will involve a lot of lying around in the sun.

For those of you interested in this activity, the current online booking price is $136 per person. CHA-CHING!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Zipline Adventure

We booked another Hawaiian excursion today.

I first saw the ziplining activity on Little People, Big World probably a year or so ago and I knew that if we ever went to Hawaii, we'd want to do this.

We'll be ziplining with Skyline Eco-Adventures on the day after the luau, which also happens to be the day before we leave for Kauai.

Skyline Eco-Adventures currently offers two different zipline courses on Maui. We ultimately decided to go with the zipline tour in Ka'anapali for a couple of reasons.

1) It's closer to the condo we'll be staying in. The other course is up at Haleakala, which is a pretty lengthy drive from our condo. We'll be traveling there earlier in the week to do a sunrise bike ride (which we have yet to book), and we'll also be driving across pretty much the entire island when we do the Road to Hana. So we decided it'll be best to stick closer to our accommodations.

2) It's longer. The Haleakala tour only offers four ziplines. The Ka'anapali one includes eight ziplines. It's also (from what I understand) a longer hike, and we'll stop at the edge of a cliff to enjoy lunch (the one in Haleakala doesn't feed you).

Since we booked in advance directly through the website, they gave us a "discounted" rate of $134/person. Gotta love a "discount." (If you could see me now, you'd see me rolling my eyes.)

We chose to book the noon timeslot so we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get there. Especially since it's the day after the luau. :) We'll be getting up really, really early to do the sunrise bike tour, and we'll also get up very early to do the Road to Hana. With this, we'd like to be a little more relaxed. We figure we'll be able to get up, go enjoy some snorkeling or swimming, and then head over to the ziplining. Fun, fun.

Here are a couple of photos I snagged from Trip Advisor:

This is someone ziplining at the Haleakala course.

This is the view from the cliff where the Ka'anapali tour takes a break for lunch.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hawaiian Luau

We booked our first honeymoon "excursion"... a Hawaiian luau! I am so excited, I can hardly stand it.
On Saturday, we sketched out a rough outline of our time in Hawaii and figured out which activities we'd like to book in advance, and which days to do them. We decided to book the luau for our second-to-last night in Maui (before we head off to Kauai for the second half of the trip).

I've heard a lot of good things about the Old Lahaina Luau. It's supposed to be very authentic and traditional, and the food and entertainment get good reviews. The menu looks fantastic; I can't wait to try everything (well, everything except the seafood items... blechh). There's also open bar for the whole night... several tropical drinks and such to choose from. Yum! Now we just have to figure out how we're going to get back to our condo after all of that, haha.

We decided to book the conventional table/chair seating. I would have loved to do the traditional mat seating to get the full experience, but I generally have a hard time sitting for lengthy periods without back support (i.e. bleachers at sports events, concerts on the lawn, etc.). I think we'll be more comfortable in the chairs.

Everything certainly costs a pretty penny. As you can see on the luau website, tickets are $92 per person! Yikes! I have to keep reminding myself that this is our honeymoon, and it's Hawaii... it will all be worth it. It's all part of the experience.

Here are a few photos I found on Trip Advisor from people who attended this luau:

Looks so fun... is it June yet?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rehearsal Dress

I found my rehearsal dinner dress several weeks ago when I was at the mall wandering around on a quiet weeknight. Those of you who know me can attest to the fact that this rarely happens. In general, I'm not a big fan of shopping (I know, *gasp!*) so I rarely just "wander" around the mall. That night, however, I was in "a mood" so I decided to take advantage of it.

I ended up finding a dress at Ann Taylor Loft. I wasn't looking specifically for anything, but for me, there's this annoying little rule that seems to be a given in my life. When I'm looking for something, I can't find it. If I'm looking for the perfect gift, I can't find one. If I'm looking for a kickass pair of new jeans, I can't find them. If I'm looking for a special occasion dress... you betcha I can't find one. So when I saw a few cute dresses in Ann Taylor Loft, I decided that I should strike while the iron was hot and try them on.

I walked out with this:

Please excuse the crappy self portraits, in our bathroom no less. But you get the idea.

I figure if I happen to find something I like better, great. But given that my life seems to follow that pesky "can't find it when you're looking" rule, it's highly doubtful that I will.

Now, I just need to find a light cardigan or something to go over it. I'm one of those people that is always freezing in air conditioning. Our church isn't air conditioned, so I'm sure I'll be OK in there, but I'm likely to be shivering in the restaurant for our rehearsal dinner. Especially if I have cold feet (kidding, kidding!).

Monday, March 24, 2008

89 days. Today, it's too long.

I'm at the point where on any given day, I have a pretty good idea of exactly how many days there are left until the wedding. It's all of a sudden easier to keep track now that we are under 100. I check the countdown every few days or so to see where we're at. Today, we're in the eighties already--89 days to go.

It's been a really long time since I've had an "it can't come soon enough" attitude about the wedding. Ever since January, I've been much more likely to subscribe to the "oh my god, there's no time--how am I going to get everything done?" frame of mind. Today, however, I'm feeling like it's still too far away. I am overly excited about it all and just want it to be here ASAP.

I think it's a combination of a few things that has made me feel this way. The first is probably the mailing of the shower invitations on Friday. For some reason, that made things feel really real. Then, on Saturday, in the car on the way to his sister's, Michael and I sketched out a calendar for our honeymoon, made a list of the activities/excursions we want to do there, and then scheduled them out. Now we just have to go ahead and book them. Doing that made the honeymoon seem even more real.

So now I'm ready to get married and go on the honeymoon. Like, now. Right now. Not 89 days from now. Now.

I actually prefer the stressed out, "there's not enough time" frame of mind. I hope it comes back soon.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Well, it didn't take long.

The shower invitations were mailed on Friday, and people started receiving them yesterday. Michael and I were on our registry last night (I was actually showing him a glitch in the registry system), and lo and behold, several items have already been snatched up. Someone bought all of our flatware for us, and our wine corkscrew.

I guess a shower guest or two must have received their invitations yesterday and decided that they wanted the pick of the list. So exciting!

Must. stay. away. from. stalking. registry.

That's going to take a lot of willpower. It's just too fun to see the items say "fulfilled" next to them. I know it "ruins the surprise" and all of that, but 1) We already picked out all of the stuff, and 2) We still don't know who bought what. We had so much fun last night coming up with scenarios. "Well, hmm, I wonder if it was my grandma." "Or it could have been my aunt." "Or maybe the bridesmaids."

The mystery will be solved once and for all in about four weeks. Yippee.

Until then, I will try to be good. I will try.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baby Boom

It's official: We're experiencing a baby boom.

We currently have four pregnant friends. One is the girlfriend of one of Michael's friends from college--they are due June 10. One is a good friend of mine from my previous job--she's due September 4. We just found out last week that ANOTHER good friend of mine, from the same previous job is expecting and due in October. And the last is one of my bridesmaids, Bethany--she's due October 29.

I guess this is how it goes. Two years ago, we had a huge wedding year. We had eight weddings in the May-October timeframe. It was insane. Incidentally, only one of those couples that got married two years ago is a couple who is pregnant. But still, it's just "that time" in our lives now.

I absolutely love babies, so I am very excited about the four new babies who will be joining us soon. I do worry a little bit about how they will change our friendships. I know that things will definitely never be the same. And although I'm extremely happy (genuinely) for everyone who is expecting, it is a little sad to think that in some ways, a lot of things are coming to an end. But ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, I'm sure we won't be too far behind. We're not looking to have kids anytime soon, but probably in a few years... and as we're learning with each passing year, time truly flies. And by then, who knows? We could very well be experiencing a "second baby" boom. :)

Speaking of babies, today we drove the two hours to celebrate Easter with Michael's family at his sister's house. So we got to see our absolute favorite little guy, our almost-seven-month-old nephew, Brendan. He is at such a great age. He is so happy, smiley, and has that absolutely heartwarming from-the-gut belly laugh. Michael was acting like a goofball with him and Brendan was completely cracking up. It gives me a little case of the "baby rabies," I swear. But I recover as soon as I realize that my sleep? Well, it'll be completely gone. And I'm not ready to give it up yet.

Here are a few photos from today:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Three months to go

Today is the three-month mark until the wedding. Wow, so much left to do. I can't even believe it's coming up so fast.

Conveniently, it's also Good Friday, so I have off of work. Yippee, it's so nice to have a day off.

I need to get motivated to get moving, because I have a lot on the agenda today:

1) Stuff and seal all of the shower invitations, then drop them in the mail.

2) Clean out and organize my bear of a closet. It is completely unruly. I don't have enough hangers for everything, so stuff has been strewn all over for months now. I've refused to buy more hangers because I know I have to get rid of a ton of stuff I don't wear anymore. And that with undoubtedly free up many, many hangers. So I have to get in there, rip everything out, and put it all back in. Well, everything except the two HUGE bags of stuff I predict I'm going to have to donate to Goodwill.

3) Finish up a few monogram banners I've been working on this week.

4) I suppose I should shower.

5) Perhaps start another project or two.

6) Grocery shopping.

The gym was also originally on my list, but I had a really good weigh-in this morning so I have a hard time being motivated after that, haha. We'll see. Maybe I'll get a shot of exercise adrenaline and will take off to the gym sometime in the middle of all this. But I have a feeling I'm going to be buried in my closet for hours. If I'm not back by dinner, someone come looking for me.

Time to get started. Now I just have to build up the heart to disturb the small pup that is currently sleeping in my lap. What I wouldn't give to just lie around and snuggle with her all day!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shower Invitations

It's a long story, but it came about that I ended up designing and making my own shower invitations.

I actually had a lot of fun with it--once I figured out what I wanted to do and came up with a design I was happy with. And they turned out so cute! I love them. So in the end, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I'm the DIY paper guru, so it only makes sense that I would have a hand in all things paper.

Here is one of the finished invitations (with some important stuff blurred out for privacy, of course):

It was difficult to take a photo with flash that didn't wash them out, but you get the idea. I actually ran the envelopes through the printer, too, which I also designed to have a few polka dots on the front left side.

These are going out in the mail tomorrow for my April 19 shower. So exciting!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Patience, please

I realize I've never really explained how my "process" works for contacting me. I've given out my e-mail address numerous times on this blog, and I appreciate all of the wonderful comments and e-mails that I get on a daily basis. Obviously, I also get e-mails inquiring about the items that I make for other brides.

I also get many, many e-mails with additional questions about things people have seen on this blog.

Sometimes, it takes me several days to respond to these e-mails. I ask that you please be patient with me. Yes, I do sort of have a side "business," so I have an obligation to try to get back to potential customers as soon as possible. But I also get a lot of e-mails from people asking questions or for advice, and that is all stuff I do for free.

Because of the volume of e-mails, and because I also work a full-time job, live a full-time life, and am in the crunch-time period of planning my own wedding, I usually only have a chance to respond to them once a week. I respond to every single e-mail I receive. So if you're waiting to hear back from me, yes, you will hear back from me. I just need you to please be patient with me.

With that said, I'm also human and if more than a week has gone by and you haven't heard from me, feel free to drop me another line to check in.

I do appreciate hearing from all of you, and I try to help everyone I can.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My baby bro

My younger brother came to have lunch with me today. One of them, anyway... they're twins.

Here are the three of us, probably around Christmas in 1984. Damn cute, aren't we?

Unfortunately, we're all grown up now, and although we still have the looks (haha), we certainly aren't that cute.

Anyway, it has me reflecting on some things this afternoon. This post is a result of that reflection.

Tyler and Trevor are 23 years old. Trevor just got back home at the end of February. Before that, he was in training for the Army National Guard Reserves for about seven months. In July, he left for BASIC training in South Carolina, and then in October, he transferred to San Antonio where he completed his advanced training.

I'm not going to lie. I was absolutely devastated when I found out Trevor had made the decision to join the National Guard. I was hysterical. I begged him not to do it. Used every ploy in the book to try to get him to see "the light"--logic, guilt, bribery, threats--you name it. But really, I was upset for three reasons:

1) I don't agree with the war. I told myself months ago that I was going to stay away from politics on this blog, even though I am pretty hardcore about them these days. So I won't get into details. But as much as I appreciate the fact that the men and women in our armed services volunteer to put their lives at risk for the well being of our country, I don't agree with the reasons they are currently in the middle east. There are people who try to skew statements like this and take it from "I don't agree with the war" to "I don't support our troops." There is a big difference, I assure you. So please, don't be that person.

2) I just knew Trevor would end up in that war. The armed services aren't what they used to be, and there are fewer and fewer people every day who enlist. As a result, soldiers are spending one, two, three tours in Iraq or Afghanistan. Now, eight+ months removed from the panic I initially felt, this is one of the reasons I'm proud of what Trevor is doing. On the other hand, it's also one of the reasons I knew from the beginning that these Army recruiters were going to tell Trevor every lie they possibly could to get him to sign his life away (both figuratively and let's face it, quite possibly literally) on that piece of paper.

At that time, Trevor had already made up his mind and he was 22 and naive enough to believe everything he was told. No matter how much the people in his life told him not to. Now, of course, he has learned. And he's currently living with many of the consequences of those initial (and subsequent) lies. It's funny--not haha funny, but interesting funny. Today at lunch, he was telling me the story about how he negotiated a price on his new car last week. He said the salesman was putting on an act about some things, and that he (Trevor) had said to himself, "Listen, dude, I've spent the last eight months with people lying to my face... I know you're full of shit."

I had to smile. It's just one of the many ways he has changed from the kid he was when he left eight months ago.

3) I was scared out of my mind. I've grown up equally close to both of my younger brothers. With a single mom, we did a lot of things together throughout our childhoods and teen years, and we are a close-knit little family because of it. However, Trevor and I always butted heads more than Tyler and I did. I guess Trevor and I have more conflicting personalities. The worst times were during the year after I had graduated from college and I was still living at home--whew, Trevor and I fought like cats and dogs. Over everything, from emptying the dishwasher to his skankass girlfriend who I hated so much (I can use the word "skankass" to describe her in "public" now because they have long since broken up, thank god).

Regardless of all that, I don't think you have to be a relationship genius to see that we obviously love each other. So yeah, I was scared of him getting shipped off to Iraq or Afghanistan and having something happen to him. I got a lot of "but it's an honorable thing he's doing" explanations. And of course I agree with that, but come on... that's supposed to make someone feel better about potentially losing a loved one? It's just who I am... my mind skipped all other possibilities and automatically went to worst case scenario.

And not only all of that, but I was upset over something extremely insignificant in the grand scheme of things: my wedding. It was the least of my concerns, but it was still a big one, and has continued to be. It's a big day in my life, and I think it's only natural to really want your brother, one of your closest family members, to be there with you. I knew that he would be finished with training in February and that there was a really big chance he would be deployed shortly after. Deployed for 12+ months. And completely miss June 2008 at home.

Since he signed on the dotted line, all any of us have been able to do is wait and see. Now we're really at the most crucial "wait and see" time, since he is now done with all of his training and is sitting idly at home. The most recent report we're hearing from his "higher ups" is that he (conveniently for us) missed the deployment date for the groups in this area--they were deployed earlier this year when he was still in training. Therefore, they are currently telling Trevor he will not be deployed any time in the near future. I want to believe them, but I will always be skeptical.

Lord knows I hope he doesn't go anywhere. Ever. But if he does, it's just another hurdle we'll be sure to hurl ourselves over. And we'll worry about him every minute he's gone. I'm still hoping it will never come to that. Not only for my brother, but for everyone over there--I really wish they could all come home.

But for right now, I'm staying positive (but cautiously so). I'm picturing my wedding day with both of my goofy twin brothers in attendance. Not only in attendance, but as groomsmen. Those are memories--some sober, some drunken--that we'll make and be able to relive together for the rest of our lives... and I so look forward to that. And Trevor has to be there for them. Not only for the wedding, but for everything after... summer, football, Thanksgiving, Christmas... everything.

I can honestly say he is a different person than he was when he left in July. He's still Trevor, but he seems kinder, has less of a temper, is more thankful for what he has and what he's been given, and he seems motivated to figure out what he's going to do with his life moving forward.

I'm grateful to have him home.

Oh, and rest assured... I'm sure this whole lovefest is only temporary and we'll go back to fighting like cats and dogs real soon. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008


Can we just pause for a moment and stand in awe at the number that appears next to "March" over there to the right? You know, the post numbers... over there. --->

Oh, and let me remind you. It's only March 17.

I've been one hell of a dedicated blogger lately! I wish I hadn't missed the first of the month... I'd be going for a perfect record. Ah well. Still doing really well for me.

Not too much going on today. My tax return was deposited into my bank account this morning. That certainly feels good. I love tax returns! I'm going to transfer it over to my high-interest savings account and let it gather some interest until we need it.

Yesterday, I stamped the flower onto all of the our invitation envelopes, which officially completes those. Now I just need to address them. I brought them to work with me this morning and figure I'll spend some time addressing them on my lunch breaks this week.

Other than that, I'm still cranking away at my projects--still have a few monogram banners and aisle runners to finish in the next couple of weeks. I'm anxious to finish them because I feel like it will be a huge relief. Then I can go on to... stress about other things. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Recent Banner Projects

Tonight I want to share photos of some of my most recent projects, completed earlier this month.

I'm making really good progress on the items that need to be completed before our wedding, which are projects for May-July 2008 brides. My goal has been to get everything done by the end of March so I can completely concentrate on our own wedding projects, and it looks like I might actually meet that goal. This weekend, I worked on some other projects--monogram banners and aisle runners. I will have those pictures to post soon.

For Melissa, with burgundy edges and black text:
For Marta, with raspberry edges and black text:

For Michelle, with brown edges and brown text:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mission: Accomplished

Last night, we met with a videographer... and walked away with a videographer for our wedding.

It is such a weight lifted off of our shoulders. The guy does wedding videography on the side--he works full-time as a multimedia person for a local church, so we met with him there and he showed us examples of his work. It was of good quality, and we really liked his prices. Everyone else we looked at was $1,000+, and packages often included things we didn't really need/want.

All we were looking for was ceremony and reception coverage, professional editing, and we wanted to have a "recap" of the day set to music so anyone could easily watch the "short version" without having to sit through the entire video. This guy offers exactly that. His coverage is completely unlimited, he'll be there as long as the day goes. Also, we get TEN copies of the DVD included in the price. Most videographers will give you two or three and charge you an arm and a leg for each additional copy. I don't even know what we'll DO with ten copies.

Best part? All of this for $750. Woohoo. For an additional $50, he'll come to the house before the ceremony and record some footage of the girls and me getting ready. We figure, what the hell--for only $50 extra, we might as well have him get those extra memories.

He's young(er) and fun, so we're excited about finally booking this vendor. Now we don't have to worry about regretting anything.

Also, this afternoon, I had a hair appointment to get it cut and highlighted. I took pictures of potential wedding day hair with me to show him because I wanted to schedule a trial. It was funny--the minute I showed him, he was drawn to the one that is actually my favorite. That helped solidify things a little. Of course we will have to wait until we see what it looks like on me, but I'm excited. This is the style we're going to use as inspiration:

Mine will most likely look a bit different since I don't have curly hair (it's naturally pin straight). But he said he has product that he'll put in to give my hair texture, and then we'll set it in some curlers for a bit. He told me I should try to find some type of hair pin--oye, just another thing to be on the hunt for.

We made an appointment for me to get my hair freshly cut and highlighted for one week before the wedding (June 14). Crazy guy, he actually suggested waiting to do my trial until then. Ummm, no. I cannot wait until one week before the wedding to test out my hairstyle. What if I don't like it? Then I only have like six days to find something new. So he budged a little and scheduled me for a hair trial on May 17. I'm still freaking out that it's still a little too long to wait, but I suppose it'll be here before I know it.

We'll see how it goes!

Friday, March 14, 2008

To add, or to subtract... That is the question

The whole registry process has been a lot different than I expected. I'm definitely not going to complain about it, because come on... it's making a wish list for family and friends to buy off of. It does not get much better than that when it comes to gift giving and receiving. However, it does involve making decisions that turn out to be way more difficult than I ever expected.

Our dinnerware was one decision. But there have been other things as well--do we want an electric skillet? Do we need a toaster oven? What color Kitchen Aid mixer? Can we really ask people to spend that much on a comforter?

And of course, my constant thought is, Where in the hell are we going to put all this stuff?

The latest internal debate has been over a bread maker. Yes, I know it's stupid. There are so many other things in this world to think about, yet I have a bread maker on my mind.

At first I didn't want one because I thought:
1) Too much temptation to make really good bread. Really good bread = eating a lot of bread. Eating a lot of bread = too many carbs. Too many carbs = well, you get the picture.
2) I'm not sure how often we would really use it.
3) It's just another thing we'd have to store somewhere.

But then I started hearing about these delicious recipes for breakfast-type bread, like maple bread, cinnamon bread, etc. And then I started having flashbacks to middle school when I used to hang out with/babysit for one particular family on a regular basis--and she used to make the most delicious blueberry bread for me. Yum. And then there is the potential for other bread--french bread, wheat bread--bread, bread, bread.

And I think to myself, How can I pass that up?

As of now, however, a bread maker is still absent from our registry. I still need to be convinced (although, I think this recipe may have just done that). I also keep telling myself that it's OK if we don't register for one and it turns out we really want one later. You know, we are capable of buying things for ourselves.

So I ask all of you readers out there... are any of you married already? If so, what is the one thing on your registry that you are most happy with? The thing you find most useful? On the other hand, what is the item that you registered for and have barely used? The item that was not worth registering for? And finally, is there something you didn't register for that you later went out and purchased, or wish you had registered for?

And for you not-married (yet) ladies... what item are you most looking forward to having? Anything that was a "difficult" decision for you?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

100 Days

We are officially at 100 days. It's one of those magic numbers; those milestones that seem to make things way too real. Tomorrow, we'll be in the double digits.

Holy crap.

I remember back in college (I can't believe it was four years ago already), there was a "100 Days Until Graduation" happy hour for all seniors. Of course, given that graduation was in May, the 100 days was sometime in January or February, but what I remember most about that whole experience was that we celebrated 100 days and then BOOM. Graduation was there, in what seemed like a blink of an eye. And then it was over.

I'm anticipating a similar freefall for the wedding.

We have a lot left to do, but at this point, I am feeling confident about the progress. I'm really on a roll with the invitations right now. I'm "in the mood" to work on them, so basically every night I am doing something different for them. On Tuesday night, I spent about three hours making a wedding map to fit on a "Map & Directions" insert. Fun, fun.

We ended up making some changes to our invitations--we're not going to include a "Sunday Brunch" insert because we don't want to invite EVERYONE to my mom's house the morning after the wedding, and including it for some people but not others was getting too complicated. So we decided we will send out separate Sunday Brunch invitations at a later time, and it left me another insert to play with. So "Accommodations & Directions" was split into "Map & Directions" and "Accommodations."

Yesterday, I took our newly-designed and printed "Map & Directions" cards downstairs to the copy center at work to have them cut. Today, I plan to take both the "Accommodations" and "Reception" cards for cutting as well. I'm waiting on a few more last names of significant others, or more specifically, I'm waiting for a certain someone (*clearing throat* Michael!) to text/call his friends to get those last names. I need them before I can print our super-duper, redesigned, totally anal RSVP cards. They're awesome, if I do say so myself.

Last night, I stamped our return address on the back of all of the invitation envelopes.

Progress, people. It's progress!

Tomorrow night, I think we are going to finally meet with another videographer. I am really praying that he is everything we're looking for because with just a little over three months to go, this is something that really needs to be booked. Like, yesterday. I just have this vision in my head of what I want it to be, and a price that we want it to be under, and I really, really want this guy to be the answer to all of that. Let's hope.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Damn you, USPS

This is what $99 worth of postage looks like.

It is completely unfortunate that I learned what it felt like to drop that much money at the post office. $99 for something so completely intangible... but oh well. I guess I should count my blessings at this point that it's not more--here's hoping that the $0.58 stamps are actually enough to mail the pocketfold invitations. The last time I put together a complete mock-up and weighed it, it was just under 2.0 oz., which is the limit for the $0.58 cent postage. Let's hope it stays that way!

I'd also like to file a complaint with USPS about changing the postage rate right in the middle of my RSVP timeframe. Thanks a lot, bitches. That extra cent is really worth the trouble for you? Really??

If I remember correctly, the postage increase will take effect on May 15. Our RSVP deadline is May 21. And of course there are always stragglers. So we had to go with the "Forever" $0.41-cent stamps for our response cards. Ugly? Yes. But you know... we have aquamarine RSVP envelopes, so the purple wedding heart stamps would have clashed anyway.

That's me, looking at the bright side.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

And then there was hair

Aside from the ongoing shoe saga, I basically have everything figured out for my attire for the wedding day. I still need to order my garters, but I have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing there.

And then we have the hair.

I'm not too stressed over this because I know we (meaning my stylist and I) will figure something out. Right now, I'm collecting "inspiration photos" because I have a hair appointment on Saturday. It's not my trial, but I figured I'd bring a few photos in anyway to show him what I'm thinking. Then we'll schedule my hair trial for sometime in April.

My first inspiration photos were these:

With these styles, I would plan to wear my veil under my hair. I still really like these, and they are still a possibility.

Since then, however, I have also fallen in love with a look that I think is a little bit "older" and possibly more sophisticated, or elegant. Here are a few inspiration photos I've collected:

All three of these photos are from a "knottie," MrsPDXBride06. The potential problem, I think, with this style is that my hair is naturally really straight. I'm not sure I can pull this off. But looking at the rest of MrsPDXBride's bio, it seems as if maybe she has naturally straight hair, too. You never do know, though.

Similar to MrsPDX's style is this one, from another person on The Knot, FutureMrsVP.

In my opinion, her stylist needs to learn how to hide bobby pins better. Other than that little problem, though--this is also a pretty style.

My hair dresser said that for my trial, we can do my hair in a couple of different ways, so that will be nice--I don't have to go into the salon committed to one style right away. I can actually see a few different ones on myself so I can picture everything better. I can't wait!

Until then, I'm still on the hunt for inspiration photos...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Embossing Queen

I have officially started the monstrous task of stamping and embossing our invitations. The invitation portion is the only thing we have printed and cut so far, so I started those on Thursday night. I only did about 36 of them before I called it quits and headed to bed.

On Friday night, I finished them. I don't know what got into me, but I got into a rhythm and it really wasn't that bad. I actually had a little bit of--dare I say it--fun.

Early last week, I ordered a custom return address stamp from rubberstamps.net. I'm very impressed with their service. I wanted to use the font (Californian) that we have been using on our invitations and inserts, so I "designed" the stamp in Microsoft Publisher, saved it as a JPEG, and then uploaded it to rubberstamps.net. The stamp cost $11.95 + shipping (only a couple of bucks), and it was waiting for me in my mailbox in only a few days. The turnaround time was great.

Last night, I decided I wanted to give the address stamp a try, so I sat down to start stamping/embossing our RSVP envelopes. Well, once I started, I just couldn't stop. I finished all of them, too.

I'm feeling really good about my progress right now. I feel like every day, I'm accomplishing something else and getting myself one step closer to completion. Thank God.

For the invitations, I still have to do the following:

- Finalize design of inserts and RSVP card

- Print inserts and RSVP cards, have them cut

- Stamp/emboss all inserts and RSVP cards

- Stamp/emboss return address on invitation envelopes

- Print, cut, and glue all of the squares for the belly bands

- Cut ribbon for belly bands

- Address invitations

- Buy postage (for invitations and RSVPs), affix postage

- Assemble, stuff, and seal!

As the list above shows, I still have quite a way to go. But the important thing is that I'm getting there. Ideally, I want to send the invitations out the Monday before my bridal shower, which is on Saturday, April 19. Five weeks to go!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Jennifer & Eric

Here is an aisle runner I painted for Jennifer and Eric when we got home from pre-cana last night.

The heart print runner is something Jennifer found on Oriental Trading Company and had shipped to me. They have a hearts theme for their wedding, so she wanted to incorporate it instead of using the floral print runners I usually offer.

I designed the monogram, and was able to find a font ("Love Light") that actually incorporates a few subtle hearts, too. Very cute.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Pre-cana"? How about "waste of time"?

Worthless. Mind-numbing. Tedious. Unbearable. Stupid.

These are all words Michael and I used to describe the pre-cana experience when we were on our way home tonight. We couldn't believe what a waste of eight hours it was. It ended about half an hour before it was supposed to, so we didn't even stick around for mass. We would have had to wait 45 minutes for mass to start, and after that hell of a day, we couldn't even entertain the thought of spending any more time in that church.

The funny thing was that no one else stuck around, either. All 26 couples fled to their cars as fast as their engaged legs could carry them. Unfortunately, the escape wasn't nearly as quick as everyone had hoped. We all came out to our cars covered in probably 1/4" of solid ice. So we all got into our cars, started the engines, cranked the heat and got out to start chipping away at the sheets of ice. At one point, I looked around me and just had to laugh... 50 people in the parking lot scraping furiously at windshields and windows to get in and drive far, far away from pre-cana as soon as possible.

Overall, the program wasn't as bad as it could have been. I was preparing myself for horribly uncomfortable confessions and discussions, Alcoholics Anonymous style--"Hi, I'm Heather, and I live with my fiance before marriage"--but that didn't happen. I also feared dreaded lectures about natural family planning vs. using other birth control methods. We had a lovely little NFP brochure in our info folder, but other than that--just a brief mention.

The problem was, not only did we not get some of the things we had been dreading--we didn't get anything out of it at all. I was expecting group discussions, one-on-one time for couples to discuss important topics and issues in marriage, and there was really none of that. Our day consisted mostly of watching married couples perform stupid skits and then listening to them drone on and on about things that should be common sense for anyone in a committed relationship. Oh, and POWERPOINT. Powerpoint after powerpoint after powerpoint. Ugh. It's painful just to relive it in my mind.

I understand the point of pre-cana, and I don't necessarily disagree with the purpose behind it. But my gosh... at least design the programs so that the attendees actually get something out of it. At least so they can walk away with things to discuss with their fiances, and have a better understanding of their relationships, and the commitment of marriage. I think formal premarital couples counseling would be much more beneficial--so if the Catholic church is going to require something, why not that?

Anyway, we have never been so happy to walk out of someplace with a certificate of completion. We still have to take the FOCCUS, but that has to be far less painful than pre-cana turned out to be.

After that, we should be in the clear to get married in the Catholic church. And we'll have certainly gone through enough to earn that privilege.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my wine. It's an essential part of the recovery from wasting away eight hours of your life in pre-cana.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Updates on past posts

I realize that sometimes I post about things that are unresolved and then I never post how they turn out. Whoops. Sometimes I get comments asking about them, so I figured I should go back to some open-ended posts and provide updates on some things.

I get questions a lot regarding my adhesive tape situation with my invitations back in November. People write in saying they have the same problem, and ask what I ended up doing to resolve it. Well, the answer is... I answered that question on the blog back in December! So there, I am pointing you in the direction of the answer. :)

Following up to a videographer post back in January... we still have not booked a videographer. We met with one last month, but he wasn't exactly what I am looking for, and his prices were a bit high. We haven't given him a definitive "no" yet, but we want to meet with other people. I just talked to another guy today, and we'll hopefully be meeting with him in the next week or so. I'm crossing my fingers--this is one that we need to resolve quickly.

These shoes did not work out. They were just not comfortable enough, and as you can see from the photo--they offer no support whatsoever. I'd be better off going barefoot than to wear those things. I ended up ordering three more pairs of shoes from endless.com, but alas, those did not work out either. Thank goodness for free return shipping. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect sandals/flip-flops. I am eyeing a really sporty looking pair--my mom was sort of appalled, but at this point, I just really don't care. Something like these:

I know they are ridiculous, and totally non-bridal (dare I say TACKY?), but what the hell. I just want something comfortable, no one is going to see them, and it'd be nice to be able to wear them again after the wedding. We'll see what happens there. I'm seeing a lot of new pairs popping up online since this is the season for sandals to start coming back, so hopefully I'll find something soon. Actually, I need to find something soon. I technically should have them before my appointment with the seamstress for my hem on March 29. Pressure!!

I got my veil in from Occansey Designs, and I really like it. It came in really quickly (like less than a week), and I'm impressed with the quality of it. I just haven't had a chance to take any pictures since I took it over to my mom's to hang it in her cedar closet there. I go for my first dress fitting with a seamstress (for a hem and bustle) on March 29 and I'm hoping to get some photos of it then.

Finally, on the dinnerware debate... We made the decision to go with option #2, which was this set from Bed Bath & Beyond:
Anyway, so there you have it... updates on some of my past posts. Wonderfully boring, huh?

Well, tomorrow, hopefully I'll have some hilariously entertaining pre-cana stories to tell.

If not, we'll talk about hair.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


That's how I'm picturing we'll be spending this Saturday--in complete misery. Why, you ask?


I was never dreading it as much as I am right now. It just seems like such. a. long. day. We have to be there at 8:45 a.m. for "registration," and then everything begins at 9:00. It ends at 5:00 p.m., and then we are expected to go to mass immediately following. So we're looking at a good 9.5 hours in the Catholic church on Saturday. And as much as I don't mind church--well, 9.5 hours?? I don't even have to WORK for 9.5 hours a day. I work 8:30 to 4:30 with an hour lunch break.

I'm just hoping that it's not nearly as bad as I am imagining. I've heard mixed reviews about pre-cana experiences. Some couples say it was really interesting and provided a lot of time for them to talk things out, learn some things, and listen to helpful presentations. Others have said it was a complete waste of time and it's tremendously boring. It probably depends on the parish at which you attend pre-cana--unfortunately, I don't know anything about this particular program.

I'm completely bothered that they haven't provided us with any idea about the structure of the day. I can't stand not having any clue what we'll be doing and for how long we'll be doing it. I am too much of a planner, and I like to be able to know what is coming next, when we're going to be done with this, etc. For days like this, agendas are my friends.

We received an e-mail today with an attachment called "what to expect," and I was all excited to open it to find out what exactly we'll be doing ALL day on Saturday. But it was just a document with a bunch of really vague things, like "don't expect to sit passively while we pour knowledge into your head," "we don't talk about being in love," etc. It also says something about starting the day off with an "ice-breaker" exercise so we get to know the other couples.

I hate ice-breaker exercises. I don't want to get to know the other couples. Just kill me now.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I really want to schedule some time at a salon for the bridesmaids and I to get our nails done the day before the wedding. I am currently on the hunt for a salon with: a) reasonable pricing for manicures and pedicures, and b) enough space to accommodate 7 girls. Ideally, we'd all be in the same area the whole time, maybe with half the girls getting manicures while the other half get pedicures, and then switch.

This is one of those instances where I wish I had a lot of money. I'd love to be able to treat all of the girls for this--but with the prices I have been finding, it would be approximately $60-$75 per girl. Multiply that by six, plus tip = almost as much as I paid for my wedding dress. Yikes. The girls who I have talked to about it have told me that they don't care about paying for it, but I still feel guilty. I guess I'll have to get over it.

It is so strange to be thinking about this kind of stuff. But I guess I have to get it booked soon--the day is approaching quickly. Only 108 days to go!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


We went a couple of weeks ago to pick out tuxes. I could have smacked myself because I forgot to bring the camera. I kept telling myself over in over in my head before we went, "Don't forget the camera!" And then I didn't even realize we had forgotten it until we were in the tux shop. Oops.

We took some pics with Michael's cell phone camera so we'd have at least SOME memory of what we picked. Unfortunately I have no idea how people get cell phone camera images onto their computers. I guess I'm technologically challenged in that way.

Anyway, by doing a little poking around online, I was able to basically rebuild the different tux selections we made. Obviously these are not the greatest representations, but it gives a general idea. We ended up picking a few different things than we expected. The poor sales girl, she dressed and undressed that mannequin a good 20 times. But she was a trooper--I guess she had nothing else to do working at a tux shop on a Friday night around 6:30 p.m.

First we focused on the groomsmen. I knew from the beginning that there was no way I was forcing those guys to wear aqua colored vests to match the bridesmaids. No way in hell. We thought we'd go simple and classic--black tux, black or silver vest, silvery tie. However, they had a really cool tie that we liked that tied in the aqua, which we never expected to do. But we really loved how it looked, so alas... the guys will wear just a little bit of aqua.

Here is the look for the groomsmen, but with the wrong tie:

Here is the actual tie pattern for the groomsmen:

After making our tux/vest/tie selections, I realized once we were home that the boutonieres we had previously discussed and preliminarily ordered for the groomsmen were not really going to work. The bridesmaids' flowers are going to be a mix of hot pink and orange--probably roses and calla lilies. We were going to do either a hot pink rose or an orange rose for the groomsmen bouts. I really can't picture it and don't think it will look right with the aqua-striped ties. Instead, I think we're going to scratch the bouts altogether and go with solid aqua pocket squares.

Next, we concentrated on the tux for Michael. Here is the look we came up with, but again with the wrong tie:

He is going to wear a white vest, with the same tie as the groomsmen, but in a white/silvery stripe pattern, as shown here:

Next, we tackled the tuxes for our dads. Normally, I would have said the dads can go in and pick whatever they want, but we knew that Michael's dad would probably prefer we just pick it and get it over with for him, and my dad lives 500 miles away. So we did the choosing for them. We really liked the look of this charcoal-colored vest the girl brought out, so we decided to go with that for both dads, but with different ties. I couldn't find pics of the ties online, but this is the general look:
That vest is really not the right color... the one in the picture is more silver. In actuality, it's a darker grey... it looks really nice. For the ties, we did different color/pattern combinations. One, if I remember correctly, is like a silver/black pattern, and the other is lighter. We'll see. If they go in for their fittings a few days before the wedding and want to switch it out for a new tie, we're totally OK with that.

We're really happy with the choices, and with the service of the tux shop so far. The prices are great--the groomsmen will pay around $100, the dads are $50 (50% off for dads!), and Michael's will be free. And the out-of-town groomsmen are able to submit their measurements right through the shop's website. Gotta love convenience.
I can't wait to see all the guys looking all handsome in their tuxes!

Monday, March 3, 2008

DIY Pocketfolds

The wait is over! Here are the DIY pocketfold instructions so many of you have been waiting for. Obviously these same instructions can be adapted to do different size and shape pocketfolds. But here are the basics for how I did them.

For the supplies, you'll have to adjust the amount of things you need based on the number of invitations you are making. I made 130 pocketfolds to be safe--it looks like we only need a little over 100, but I wanted to have plenty of extras for last-minute additions to the guest list, if some got lost in the mail, etc. And of course, we want a couple to keep.

- Custom cut cardstock. For more info on my paper order, click here.

- Paper cutter with a scoring blade (mine is a Fiskars I bought at Michael's)
- Scissors (make sure they are decent ones)
- Bone folder (aka bone/boning tool)
- Adhesive tape (I used Super Tape, 1/8", purchased from Paper Source)
- Pencil

- Flap templates (optional) -- You only need to make these if you want to do the points. This adds more work to the pocketfolds, obviously. Some people just use the straight edge of the paper as it is. Totally up to you. I made these out of scrap paper.

1) Start by scoring your paper where it will need to be folded. I scored my paper at 3" for the pointed flap.
2) Score again for the outside fold (the section you are making is where the invitation will be pasted). I did this at 5 1/8".

3) Make your final score for the pocket itself. I did this at 5".

4) Once scored, trace the templates for each end. Here I am tracing the template for the pocket.

5) And here I am tracing the template for the pointed flap.

6) Carefully cut along your pencil lines.

7) Use a bone folder to fold along your scored line to make the pocket.

8) Once you have folded the pocket and you've made a good crease, unfold it again. Add adhesive tape. I had trouble getting my adhesive to stick for an extended period of time. I found that the solution was to put SuperTape on BOTH sides of the paper so that when adhered together, tape is sticking to tape. It gives that extra bond. Here you'll see my SuperTape (the red lines) applied to the four sides of the pocket.

9) Remove the plastic backing from the adhesive tape. In this photo, the red color is gone because I have peeled the backing off the tape.

10) Fold over the pocket to adhere the tape together.

11) I went over my taped sections with a bone folder to make sure everything was stuck together and as flat as it could get.

12) Make your middle fold, using the bone folder to crease the paper.

13) Make the top fold for the flap, again using the bone folder to crease. The bone folder really helps give you flat, neat folds.

14) Fold the whole thing over itself, and tada! Done.

As you can see, this is not a difficult project. However, I have to caution everyone out there--it is EXTREMELY tedious, and definitely much more time consuming than I ever thought they would be. On average, it took me about an hour for every 10 pocketfolds. When you add together all the scoring, tracing, cutting, applying the adhesive, folding, etc. the work does add up. If you're good with paper projects and you have some time on your hands, go for it. If not, do yourself a favor and buy the pocketfolds premade at www.cardsandpockets.com.

Good luck!