7 Months Married- Things I’m Learning

1. Married life is such a blessing. I’m glad I waited for it. I’m glad I went for it too!

2. If you don’t do it, then it won’t get done. My hubby is tremendously helpful, but between the two of us, if we don’t do a chore, it doesn’t happen. Mom will not come to the house overnight and fill the sugar bowl for us. Those knives sitting in the sink will not clean themselves and go back in the holder.

3. If I was prone to laziness before the wedding, it doesn’t change much after the wedding.

4. Having someone else around shows you how many of your activities are exercises in futility.

5. We are each other’s spiritual encourager – we’re still working out the whole “spiritual leader” bit, but right now, encouragement is what is called for.

6.  Division of chores doesn’t have to be assigned by gender, but sometimes it’s for the best.

7.  Status checks are great. It’s always a good idea to know where each other is standing in the relationship and make adjustments accordingly.

8.  It’s ok not to tackle all projects at once. One, it costs too much money. Two, there aren’t enough hours in the day. Three, most projects can wait.

9.  If you do something the other likes more then there’s a good chance they’ll reciprocate when it’s something you like more. Car shows for a pro tennis match is an even trade. 🙂

10. Generosity is something that is not optional. It isn’t just about money; it is the unnamed fruit of the Spirit.

11. Cooking can actually be fun! I’ve always been a baker, but I’m really enjoying the cooking-side of the kitchen. I’m very grateful for a husband who is willing to try anything I make…even if just once.

12. Some TV shows are best shared. But be careful of introducing LOST to your husband’s repertoire…it will cause serial runs of the show for days. How my friends and I managed to wait for a week between episodes is beyond me!

13. Remembering is important. Remembering successes, fun times, bad times, mistakes, etc…that’s a good thing. Dwelling on them and not moving forward is not.

and 14. (because it’s 2014!) Cleanliness may not be next to godliness, but it sure is a good idea!

Time to clean up all this Christmas stuff!!

What all did you learn this last year? I know there is more to this list than just 14, but it’s all I could think of right now.

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Wedding Details – Ceremony

I promised that I would put up reviews of the vendors I used for the smaller details of the wedding. I’m going to start with the ceremony first and then move on to the reception. First, I would like to say that most of these photos were taken by Sadie Hodge of Sadie and Jess Weddings. I did a pre-review for her here and you can find their Facebook page here.I’m going to include things that I bought as well as things that I made and was inspired by something on Pinterest, online, etc. I will try my best to site the resources for you. And here we go!

Program

Ceremony001 I went simple with the programs. We printed them out ourselves and I designed the whole layout. The top image is something I designed and made into a stamp that we used on our invitations. (Post 1, Post 2 and Post 3) The bird in a tree stamp came from Hobby Lobby. I only stamped one program and then made copies of it. Yes, it was the easy way out, but I was still putting these together the week before the wedding, so I was loving “Easy.”

At the bottom, there is some text that I think was very helpful. It says, “Please do not use any flash photography during the ceremony. Be respectful of our hired photographers. Also, please put your phones on silent. Thank you!” We commissioned everyone at the rehearsal to mention it to guests. I had originally planned to have some sort of verbiage like this, but that was only strengthened after reading this.

The order of participants we chose was: Officiants, Parents of the Bride, Step-Mother of the Bride, Parents of the Groom, Grandparents, Bridesmaids, and Groomsmen. We listed our grandparents together with their spouses and any that had passed away, we put an asterisks after their name and a note “(* in loving memory).”

We worked out the order of the ceremony with my pastor and included instructions for communion. We (Matt and I) love communion and since we are coming from two different churches, not to mention the many churches represented by other friends and family, communion is a great way to draw unity with a diverse group of people. Different churches have different traditions in the act of communion, so we had to make sure everyone was on the same page. It worked out wonderfully!

We also invited the guests to sing along with our singers while people were walking down the aisle. The back page of the program shared the lyrics of the primary songs so people could join in. It was a lot of fun to walk down the aisle to people singing along one of my favorite songs, “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Ever since I heard it at Meg’s wedding in Little Women, I have wanted it in my wedding. We also had “Greatest Commands” which is a great acappella song that Matt’s church sings, “Blessed Assurance,” and “Blest Be the Tie That Binds.”

Rings and Bibles

Ceremony194Matt and I have great love for our families. We both have lost two grandparents each, one from each side in the last 4 years. We wanted to include those who couldn’t be there as much as possible. We know they’re in heaven, and would’ve been so glad to be here for our wedding, but God decided to take them on home. What you see here is my Pappy Cook’s Bible and Matt’s Grandpa Charles’ Bible. It was inspired by this pin. My grandma decided to give Pappy’s Bible to my nephew, Jason, who was a junior groomsman in the wedding. It has his notes and everything and I heard that Jason just loves it. Pappy is touching our lives and discipling us even after he has left earth. What a testimony that man has.

Unity Candles

Ceremony007This is a two part mention. The candles came from The Oliver Company on Etsy. They have all sorts of home sweet goodness, beeswax coming straight from their own hives. I just checked the shop and didn’t see the unity candles on there, but I’m sure they will be back. In the meantime, check out the other great products they have from lip balm and honey soaps to burlap flowers and bows.

The stands came from Morgan Hill Designs. I was looking for something unique and something that could be customized to our wedding colors. Totally found it with this purchase. I loved the “His” “Hers” and “Ours” labels. I haven’t found a place for the His and Hers yet, but the Ours with the pillar candle is displayed with some other things from the wedding in our living room. It is perfect. There is a guide for paint colors on the shop and you just have to designate what it is you would like. I just took another stroll through her shop and there are 75 pages worth of items! all hand-carved and painted. So many unique finds and completely personalized. Be aware that there is a bit of a turn-around time. She is up-front with the prep time so be sure to read the fine print so you’re not disappointed or act too late.

Groomwear

Formals073We got most of Matt’s outfit from JC Penney. My original thought was that he would be in all red with the khaki’s, but he wanted to make sure he stood out from the groomsmen, who would also be wearing red and yellow. He chose a white shirt and we managed to find a red bow tie at the store. However, the red suspenders proved a little more difficult than we anticipated. I thought that with the hipster culture going on right now, suspenders would be super-easy to find. No go. I looked everywhere and it just wasn’t happening.

Naturally, I redirected to Etsy. Dapper Gent is THE place to go when you are looking for suspenders, bow ties, or matching sets. I found what I was looking for quickly and received our order in record time. It was good, we were running close on time. The cost was a little more than I was anticipating, but at that point I was willing to pay a little more to get what we (ok, I) wanted. They have so many cute sets for kids. Absolutely precious if you have a boy and he’s cool with stepping up his style.

Jewelry – Bride

Picture taken from Etsy.com

I chose to go minimal. My dress was so detailed and beautiful that I didn’t want too much else taking away from it. My makeup was minimal and done by my MOH. The hair complemented the dress (wish I had a good picture of my hair, but I don’t) but I still wanted a pop of color and a way to tie myself into the wedding besides my flowers. This necklace was just the ticket. It matched the dress perfectly and combined the wedding colors in a way that I swooned for. I bought it from Winter Garden Studios on Etsy. I had originally wanted to find a jeweler in my own area, but this was far and beyond what I could’ve wanted. Here’s the best picture I could find of me wearing it.

Jewelry – MOH and Bridesmaids

Picture taken from Etsy.com
These earrings were for my Matron of Honor. I fell in love with these when I saw them. If I could wear earrings, I probably would’ve got them for myself. I bought them from McKee Jewelry Designs on Etsy, which I would link for you, but Etsy says she no longer exists. That’s sad. Lanna (MOH) was wearing yellow for the wedding, so her accents were all in red.

Picture taken from Etsy.com
For Amy, my bridesmatron, dear friend. Her dress was red so her accents and flowers were more yellow. Yellow is our collective favorite color, so it worked out perfectly. I discovered IKE and Co through the Craft Weekend blog and fell in love with these earrings. They are perfect for Amy. Ike is the name of their dog, by the way. IkeandCo is on Instagram too and she puts up some great stuff. 🙂

Picture taken from Etsy.com
These earrings were for my two nieces who were the junior bridesmaids of the wedding. They were wearing red dresses so their accents and flowers were mostly yellow like Amy’s. JoMazing Accessories has quite a bit in their shop so I recommend stopping over for a visit. She’s currently on vacation, so give it about 3 weeks.

More on the Wedding

You can find more about the wedding by checking out the Countdown Post. I posted each week leading up to the wedding and detailed a lot of the preparations for the big day. Soon to come, Wedding Details – Reception.

Homeymoon!

We don’t have many pics from the wedding just yet. People were very gracious with not taking photos during the ceremony, and our hired photographer has been very busy, what with it being wedding season and all. We do have one preview from her and a few others though to share. Also, I apologize for the pics being stacked one after another; I didn’t have time to edit them into multi-images.

meandlanna sadiepreviewFirst Dance - Lanna cake

Isn’t that fun? I am dying to see more photos!! Honestly, pins and needles here.

We decided not to spend a great deal of money right off the bat (especially with all the money we spent on the wedding) and so we stayed put and had what we are calling, a Homeymoon. We didn’t go anywhere, get away from The House or anything, didn’t put any major time constraints on ourselves. And it was glorious! This was my first time living in The House and it was nice to get acclimated to the territory. Plus, I was exhausted. Very wiped out.

We were instructed to open our cards the very next day (well, at least one of them) and discovered a gift card to Ruth’s Chris Steak House in downtown Cincinnati, a note of a reservation made for the next night, and tickets to the Reds game! It was our first time out of The House, since I had stocked us up with food. We really didn’t need to leave just yet. We had a blast. We got an appetizer of veal-stuffed ravioli. So wonderfully good! I got lamb chops for my main course and Matt got the steak filet. It was very upper-crust and way pricier than we would ever have done ourselves. They knew we had just got married too, so they came and chatted with us quite a bit, put rose petals on the table and gave us a complimentary dessert!

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The seats to the Reds game were pretty amazing too – just about 100 ft from 1st base. We only ever go if the tickets are free, or if there’s a large group of friends going and we’re sitting in the cheapo nosebleed section. They won, too! That doesn’t normally happen when I come to a game so that was a very nice treat!

130608 redsgameWe also went to Target and picked up a bunch of the bigger items we had wanted, but didn’t get in gifts. We now have a pretty good amount of storage in the bathroom and have most of our kitchen supplies and bed linens. It’s been great getting everything put together. Another great was checking out with $740 worth of stuff and only having to pay $40 above what the gift cards would pay for. We definitely made out like bandits! And Matt was excited because he had things to put together. 🙂

The only other big outing we did was to the Cincinnati Museum Center. The original plan was to go to the zoo, but it was raining cats and dogs. By the time we got downtown, we thought that was enough wildlife for the day and decided to romp around indoors.  130608 unionterminal02130608 unionterminal01130608 butterfliesThey are showing a special on the monarch butterfly at the Omnimax. It was really beautiful. They did a preview of the dinosaur show coming up, but there’s not much to report on that except for the baby in the third row’s reaction. She kept crying and saying, “Bye bye! Bye bye!” lol. Sad that the mom did leave with her right after the film started; I think she would’ve liked it once it got started, but I’m glad she wasn’t in there crying the whole time.

We also went up to Tower A where they used to control all of the many trains that went through the terminal. I love the art deco appearance of the building, but it was completely functional in its day. Now, there are still trains that come through, but not nearly the same volume. The tower has some really cool artifacts and an incredible view!

130608 trainsThe Huz and I love learning about how things work and the more technical and mechanical, often, the better! There were some really fun vehicles that would drive over the rail cars and pick them up then rush all over the place, sometimes putting them on a truck load. The guy driving was suspended way above the ground and it was crazy how fast they could drive!

130608 unionterminal03I love this city. Cincinnati breathes home to me and even though the highway system drives me nuts, I love driving into it and seeing that familiar skyline. I’m so glad that we chose to have a Homeymoon and spend time around the city and in our home.

130608 us

Getting Married: 9 Hours – Wedding Day

It’s finally here! I can’t believe we made it! I’m so excited and also so ready to be all finished with the prep, enjoy the party, and get on to the relaxing part. I might end up sleeping for the whole next week. I hope not though. Yesterday, we took everything up to the Barn for the reception and got it decorated. Then, we went on to the church and decorated there and had our rehearsal.

I’m not going to say much else. I wish that all of our loved ones could be here for our big day. There are so many who couldn’t make it because of distance, finances, prior commitments, health…whatever the reason, we love and will miss you all. And those who are coming, we are so excited to share the evening with you! Can’t wait to see you all there.

But mostly, I can’t wait to look into my beloved’s eyes today and promise my life to him and our lives to God. It’s going to be incredible and it’s going to be just the beginning!

We’ll see you on the flip side!!

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

 

Getting Married: 1 Week – I’m Really Glad That…

This last weekend was my bachelorette party. In tradition of my bff-MOH, Lanna, I would like to style this post in the same manner of many of our conversations where most sentences, if not all, begin with the phrase, “I’m really glad that…” So, here it goes.

I’m really glad that I have one more week until the wedding!!! Eek!

I’m really glad that I have a small group of close friends who are willing to come out for my bachelorette party for as long as they can until their wifey-motherly responsibilities call them elsewhere. It is entirely acceptable and I am just glad to be wedged into busy schedules that I myself am captive to.

I’m really glad for pastor’s wives who are dear friends and mentors as well who are willing to throw brunches for an unknown number of ladies involved in the wedding. What a blessing!

I’m really glad for flower girls who come to said brunches and refuse to kiss my cheek but want me to catch them to kiss theirs.

I’m really glad for flower girls who interrupt their mommy’s stories to tell them, “Why did you say you were still eating? You’re not holding your fork…”

I’m really glad for practical married friends who give comfortable and realistic gifts at bachelorette parties. They were all very pretty too. It pays to wait to get married when you’re a little older.

I’m really glad that my friends will try new ethnic foods with me. Eritrean/Ethiopian food is so yummy and communal – sorry Emily for all the spices.

I’m really glad that I charged my camera all day to just not take it with me and that I only took this picture the whole evening.

week 1 girls

I’m really glad for the tradition of The Blind Lemon in Mt Adams.

I’m really glad for ordering a strawberry colada with alcohol this time.

I’m really glad for Virginia. (I can’t explain this here, but it wouldn’t be right to not mention it.)

I’m really glad that I did not actually witness Virginia, though. Poor Lanna and Amy.

I’m really glad for a very dear friend who gets visibly angry that she hasn’t seen the new Iron Man movie …and upsets the baby.

I’m really glad for dressy flip flops.

week 1 flips

This is what I wore for the night. Disregard the feet marks and general wear.

I’m really glad that Friday was my last day floating to the other Cincinnati branches for work. I will now only be in two branches and the second is within 10 minutes of The House.

I’m really glad for hole-in-the-wall, Tardis technology antique malls. This place was bigger on the inside!

week 1 antiques

Clockwise from top left: hand-painted table; beer mugs; cardboard Titanic; C3PO Mister Potatohead.

I’m really glad for vanity tables to rehab for only $38.

week 1 vanity

I’m really glad (this one is kind of hard) that I have such an amazing church. This Sunday is my last regular attendance there and it’s going to be really sad (not really glad), but I am trying my best to look beyond that to what God might have in store for us. I’ve left the church before, but that was always with the knowledge that I would hop a big plane in a certain reasonable period of time and be back. Please pray for me.

I’m really glad for a fiance who takes pictures of the flowers at The House for me to see when I’m not going to be up there for a few days.

Such lovely tickseed. Our wedding colors AND it's a native Ohio flower!

Such lovely tickseed. Our wedding colors AND it’s a native Ohio flower!

I’m really glad for pottery that turns out exactly how you envisioned it when you first put the glaze on.

week 1 pottery

It’s a piggy bank and he has a cute little red tail to match his wings. I think I’ll call him Stewart.

Did I already mention that I’m really glad that I’m getting married in a week’s time? Because I am…

I’m really glad that Matt and I are staying home for the week after to get used to The House and relaxing together.

I’m really glad that I have to work only three days next week.

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 2 Weeks – I Don’t Even Know

I don’t know what to call this thing anymore. I’m out of cute, funny or even informative titles for these blog entries. It’s a good thing we’re finally to 2 Weeks!

By the way, in preparation for the next phase of my life (our life…I have to use plural personal pronouns now, right? I’m no longer one person, yeah?), I have come up with a couple new categories for the blog. First, I have the “Making Home” category. I know the description says that I’m already married, but I just want to be ahead of the game. I’ve already added some posts to it since Matt and I really have already started making our home. I’m pumped.

Along with that one, I want to share the metamorphosis of the gardens and plants around The House. So, here’s Rose #1 (and Other Growing Things) because, who are we kidding, everything starts with roses, as much as I hate to admit it. There are already some posts in that category as well. We’ll see how it all goes. Hopefully, I’ll be more diligent about blogging after the wedding than I was before getting engaged. I am certain there won’t be a post every week like clockwork, just as often as I have something to share and can get it down for you.

Before we get going with too much other random stuff, I want to share another blog’s post with you. This blog is by a professional photographer and the post is about wedding guests jumping in front of the hired photographers, using their flashes and ruining special photos, and dictating the bride, groom, and party’s attention. I think it’s great! Having friends who are photographers, I have heard their angst about these situations, but I’ve never seen the failed photos before. There are some truly heartbreaking photos on this blog. Go check it out here. Ok, here’s one example from the site:

Oh, isn’t that awful?! I think this might even be just one camera flash.

Tuesday night, I finished up one part of the reception favors. So glad those are done! I’m thinking we will have quite a few left over, but that’s alright. I can just use the rest myself…while I eat our leftover cake. Yum! I won’t have to worry about fitting into my wedding dress anymore.

Which, by the way, we brought home on Wednesday. Everything looks great! We had a slight issue with the bustle. The hooks were a little too low so the train was still dragging, but they fixed it while we were there. We were out in no time and God even held back the monster storm that was warned to come in at the same time. YAY!!! We’re getting sooooooooo close!

I don’t know what else to put up here this week. My brain is a little frazzled and there’s a lot going on today. So, I will leave you with pictures of *ta da!* our garden!

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Enter impatiens and begonias

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Even the Right Garden bed got some pretties. We’ll see if it looks any better through the season this year.

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Whilst digging, I found a baseball. These gardens are teeming with strange things.

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Rose 1 Week 5. I wish it weren’t so blurry, but you get the idea. We cut out the big towering annoying bush behind it. Yay!

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I decided to take a picture of Rose 2 as incentive or encouragement for her to start growing now. We’ll see how it goes. She was covered previously by that big hosta in the back. I pruned it back a little. The begonia should enjoy its extra space.

Have a great week everyone!

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 3 Weeks – Shower #2

Are you nervous?

This is the question I’ve been fielding since the final month started. I can honestly say, I’m not nervous…about getting married. That part is not an issue at all. I am so ready! It gets harder and harder to drive up to The House that will be our home and then have to leave at night. And usually that 40 minutes drive is after Matt and I have been cuddled up on the couch watching a movie – the perfect activity to get you all ready to go to sleep…and then I have to get in a car and be alert and responsive. It’s much the same when Matt comes down to see me some evenings.

But, there’s light at the end of the tunnel! We took one more big piece of furniture from my room – my electric piano. Hey, it’s looking for a good home, if you know of anyone who might be wanting one. We haven’t thought out a price yet, but if you let me know, we can start negotiating. Good piano. Privia. I love it, except that we already have a piano at The House. And when only one person can play it, that’s all you really need, right?

Back to the question. No, I’m not nervous. I’m anxious. There’s a difference. But again, I’m not anxious about getting married. I’m anxious about everything getting done. Of people having a good time. Of things and people being where they’re supposed to be. I’m anxious about money.

I could try and soften it and say, “Oh, the Bible says not to be anxious, so I’m not. I’m actually ‘concerned.'” But for transparency, yes, I am anxious. It’s not an overwhelming anxiety, but it’s there. I’m not asking for comfort or whatever, just being honest. The extra attention embarrasses me. I know, I know. I’m putting it out there on a public blog, so I must be fishing for something. Nope, just being real.

Anyway, just wanted to answer the question for any of you who might be wanting to ask that question up there. Hopefully, we’re all straight on that.

Back to the post title.

SHOWER #2!!!!!

Yay! I was so touched by how many people came to the shower at my church. I know how crazy the end of the school year can get, and there were a good few who weren’t able to stay because of that wild schedule. You know, the local high school planned their graduation on my wedding day?! Can you believe it?! And then they had the nerve to plan the arts fair on my shower day.

I’ve been there too. I graduated from the school myself, and was frequently required to be at the arts fair, what with art classes and being in the orchestra. I miss playing in a large group setting, but I don’t miss the time commitment. Especially now that I have this huge time commitment of a wedding.

Everyone did a great job of the shower. It was put on by our ladies group and my two bridesmaids, er, matrons, er…that term is awkward.

This is the only picture I got of the shower and it’s not very good at all. I don’t know if anyone else took any. It was beautiful, delicious, and fun. 🙂

Week 3 07

My dear friend Amy, made all those yummy desserts. Which reminds me…

Week 3 06

For real

We got a bunch of stuff for the kitchen. I’ve been so jazzed about this kitchen. I can’t wait to live there. Can I please just be barefoot and…in the kitchen all the time? Baking…I could move my project room to the kitchen and then I could do all that stuff in the kitchen too. Ok, ok…I’m just kidding. But check out these colors.

week 3 kitchen

We also got these.

week 3 house

Those elephants are from my dad and step-mom and they’re two pieces with trunks that wrap around each other. Cute, huh? Matt was excited to have something to put together and right now, it’s housing the bedding we’ve received so far until I get up there with some clothes to put in it.

And then we will move outside, to my next favorite thing…probably my favorite right now because it’s so green and alive and I have so much hope for it.

week 3 garden

That’s an azalea flower on the left. Yes, we have a beautiful little azalea bush and I love it dearly. I talk to it and I think that’s why it decided to have just one bloom early this year because it knew I’d be happy.  Top right are the pink flamingos my nieces and nephew got us for the garden. We think they’re a hoot and are probably going to keep them out indefinitely…and put funny outfits on them when the kids are coming up to visit. Bottom right is Rose #1 at 3 weeks. She is so happy where she is, it’ll be a shame to move her after we put together the raised bed in the back, but it’ll be for the best. Rose #2 isn’t doing so great. I had to relocate her to more sunlight. We had a hostas that decided to throw its leaves all over the back of the garden and shade her from the sun. She wasn’t happy. Hopefully, we can get her back in gear.

Here is Rose #1 Week 4.

Week 3 17

Such a happy rosebush.

Oh, and I told you about how I planted some tickseed, right?

Week 3 14

We’ve got buds! So excited to see them pop out all yellow and red and bright.

I debated showing you some of the things I had worked on this weekend, but I think I will keep it all a surprise for you. Unless you follow me on Instagram and then you will probably already have seen it. So, I’ve got a bunch to get done. I will see you again next week!

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com