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!

130608 ruthschrisdessert

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: 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.


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: 13 Weeks – T Minus 90 Days

That’s right, we’re under 100 days folks! Wow!

I’ve said this to a few people when they ask how much time we have left: “It feels like it’s going so slow sometimes and so fast others!” I think that’s pretty standard. I’ve never planned a wedding before, but I think I’m relatively on track.

However, some moments have got me to the point where I want to freak out. Like, when we ourselves were unable to print out the invitations. When I heard that Fairfield’s graduation ceremony is the same day, just a few hours earlier. When I found out that we didn’t indeed have our DJ booked.

There might have been others, but of such lower intensity that I’ve forgotten about it. The point is that things will happen, either beyond our control or well within the bounds of what we can handle.

And I have a choice.

I have a choice to freak out and let the emotions or situations dictate how I act and feel. Or I can give it up to God and move on with what things I can handle.

I haven’t liked the idea of a bridezilla since the term first became so popular. I don’t see myself as one. If I come across as one (first please tell me honestly), it might just be that I have an idea and I know how I want it to turn out. But I try to be respectful of people around me and their ideas/input as well – even if they’re entirely opposite to what I know or am aiming for.

I think people get into the mindset that they are entitled to what they want and anyone who gets in the way of that is completely against them and should be cut down. I can’t stand that, and I hope to never be one of those people. In the freak out examples mentioned above, I had a flood of emotions and thoughts come through me. They all felt right to feel. But something inside said, “Don’t give in.”

Satan loves to attack us in any way that he can. He wants to ruin our relationships, not just with God but with others. He loves to create discord and animosity between believers and what better time to do it than during the high intensity time of a wedding planning? I had to sift through the thoughts that were coming through and decide that most of them were designed perfectly to drive a wedge between me and someone else. Of course it feels right to be the afflicted one. But it’s not right. It’s not right to lash out at someone just because things aren’t going your way. It’s not right to even keep those thoughts circulating through your mind.

I am learning a lot about myself through this planning. I’m learning a lot about Matt, and about the others around us. This is so good because in our marriage, we will go through numerous high-stress situations. Do we have what it takes to get through them? I believe so. If only just because we have God to depend upon.

We have been talking in church about the armor of God and this morning’s message was on the “Sandals of Peace.” The Gospel is peace and the Gospel preaches self-sacrifice and love for others. We want, most of all, for our wedding to point to God and be a testimony of the work He has done in our lives and in our relationship. We want to be ministers of peace as we celebrate our wedding day and throughout our marriage. Please help us through pray as we plan out the rest of the wedding and for the day of. Your prayers are most appreciated.


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: 14 Weeks – Registries

This week has been pretty intensive with working on the invitations, but Matt and I did manage to make it over to Target and put the finishing touches on our registry there. We had started it about a month ago, going through kitchenware and other household items, but this visit, we registered for our bedding and bathroom things. I’m so excited! I wish I had taken a picture of the cute shower curtain and matching rug we picked for the bathroom. They don’t have a picture online of it either, so you’ll just have to go see it for yourself. 🙂

We also registered for our plates through JCPenney. I fell in love with Fiestaware and, although, they can be a little heavy,  the colors are vibrant and that’s what I wanted for our kitchen. So, the night we came home from Target, I got a message from Matt saying that his mom had gone on our registry on JCPenney and there was a problem. All the dishes (the only thing we had actually registered for with JCP) were showing as unavailable. I was so confused because when I brought up the actual website, it showed all the dishes and colors right there as available. So, I called the Customer Service line and they were unable to give me an answer. When I finally got ahold of Gift Service, I was told that the product numbers of the Fiestaware had been changed. Rather than update it themselves, I had to go in and replace every item on that registry with the new product number. Thankfully, there weren’t that many, but it was an inconvenience. Also, there was the fact that we had also put our registry info right on our already printed invitations.

After that was finished, though, we were all done and ready to go! So here’s the info for you:

week 14 target.
You can find our registry on Target here.


.week 14 jcpenney

Here is the link for our registry for our dishes at JCPenney.



week 14 menards.

Matt and I look forward to taking care of our house and the garden and land around it. So, we registered at Menards too!



Today, mom and I are lugging up a bunch of my stuff to The House. This will be her first time to see the place. Let’s hope it meets with approval.

What’s that I hear at the door? Oh, it’s the mailman! And he’s got a package for me!

*runs to the door*

Yay! Our unity candle set just arrived and check out this sweet note with it!

week 14 tea lights

Etsy is such a neat community of artists and people. I will have to do a post-wedding post of all the wonderful Etsy vendors we used. They are fabulous!


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: 15 Weeks – Review: The Darkroom – Fairfield, OH

For a quick summary review, you can skip to the bottom of this post. Everything else is all flowery and verbose and not for Cut-To-The-Chasers.

We tried to do completely DIY Invitations and aside from making the paper ourselves, we were on track to doing just that.

So here’s what happened. I’ve been saving up invitations of my friends for years to be sure I had a wide variety of wording and designs. They’re also just great memories of the lives I’ve been able to have as friends, many of whom are now out-of-state and have homes bustling with kids. I heard there would be a huge stationery sale at Michael’s one day and I had another 20% off coupon, so Matt and I went through and found packs of 50 invites/envelope sets. We picked up 4 and some other sheets of paper and went on our way.

I started brainstorming the design and we discussed the wording. I typed it up, made the adjustments for the dimensions of the invitations and emailed it over to Matt for him to print out. Only, the font didn’t keep, and when I saved the file as a pdf, it wouldn’t hold the dimensions. So, Matt had to play around with it for a while and when he finally got it to print the right way, he was running out of ink and some of the lines bled.

I was getting a little stressed about it before all this and that was worrying Matt. He’s so sweet to me. He said that this was a problem he would solve and I wasn’t to worry about it any more. He took the invitations over to Staples to see if they would be able to print them but they refused saying that they don’t work with paper of those dimensions. (Rule of thumb: When getting paper on discount, be sure that the dimensions are something that can be readily put through a printer!) Staples said that a smaller print shop might be able to do it and Matt remembered the developer shop down the street that printed our engagement photos and Christmas gifts (we gave out some framed copies to family members).

This developer shop is called The Darkroom and I’ve mentioned it before in this blog series. They are, honestly, my new favorite place. Before planning this wedding, I’ve only used them less than a handful of times, opting for the quick develop shops, or online developing. The quality of the prints I’ve got from The Darkroom makes the adage ring true, “Good things come to those who wait.” And the wait is not that long at all. They will work with you on a deadline (within reason, of course), but they seem very flexible and determined to help you out.

Week15 Darkroom Logo

The Darkroom

1195 Hicks Blvd
Fairfield, OH 45014

Matt dropped off the paper and the file and presented our case. The man readily accepted the challenge and was to call me when he had a proof completed so I could see the result. The difference was amazing! He and I discussed the price (since we had brought our own paper, they didn’t have a set price for just printing invitations) and came up with an agreeable settlement for the both of us. Those weeks learning how to bargain in China and Egypt really paid off! In the States, we don’t bargain much, so I didn’t haggle the price as much as I did in those countries, but it was fun to do on my home soil.

The Darkroom has so many products and services, it really is amazing. Here I thought they just developed pictures! According to the website, they provide the following:

  • Hardbound Lay Flat Photo Books
  • Canvas Prints and Gallery Wraps
  • Fine Art Metals
  • Candids, Portrait Units (which include – Magazine covers, key chains, luggage tags, trading cards, photo buttons, fridge magnets, t-shirts, coasters, keepsake box, coffee mugs, aluminum water bottle, and mouse pads.
  • Shoot for special events and Prom
  • more information on the website.

Within a week’s time, I received a call that the invitations were ready and Matt swung by to pick them up. They turned out beautifully! Now I’ve had the task of handstamping the details, but the text is lovely, precise, and just what I wanted it to be. I would put up a picture, but I want the final result to be a surprise to my guests, so that will just have to wait for an update until after the invites have been sent out. I’m sure you’ll understand.

So here’s the breakdown:

The services:  I didn’t even know that The Darkroom did invitation printing, but Matt happened to notice it on one visit there. We saw another sample set out and it was exquisite, with beautiful embellishments and colors. So, they provide this particular service and just about any other service one would imagine along with photo services. You can find them here.
The help: Richard Braun and the ladies who help out there (I’ve never caught their names, but they are lovely) are very helpful and attentive to their customers’ desires and needs. Richard has been doing this for years, and worked with his father who started the business 34 years ago.
The parking: They have their own parking lot. It’s kind of across from Skyline and near an intersection on Route 4, so sometimes traffic is a bit tricky if you park in the spots along the road.
The facilities: The shop itself is small and unassuming, but I’ve only seen a small part of it inside. I will tell you, though, that someone on staff smokes, so you can smell it when you first walk in. However, the smell didn’t transfer on my invitations or photographs at all.
The results: The results are highly professional and just what you order. If they can’t do something, I’m sure they will tell you, so you have realistic expectations of what you are going to get. The color in the picture prints was lovely and my invitation text was crisp and exactly what I had wanted.
The price: Price is very reasonable for a professional shop. If you’re looking for a cheap shop, then this isn’t for you and maybe an hour developer is what you’re looking for. But you get what you pay for. The quality just is not going to be the same.
Returnability: I plan to use this shop much more in the future, even though I won’t be living in the same zip code. I anticipate bringing our wedding photos to be developed here as well.

Thanks for the read!


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: 16 Weeks – More Random

Ok, ok. I know I’m behind. I totally had a great post in mind for 16 Weeks, but then time just went crazy and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to write it how I wanted, so it’s on hold. Here’s what we’ve got going on though.

I am so not a cook. I can bake up a storm, but cooking…eesh. I think it’s because there are no real set rules. There are loosely put together guidelines. I like rules. I like formulas. I loved Chemistry because things had to go in a specific way in order to get the right result. Baking is Chemistry. Cooking is…well, I don’t know…not a science that’s for sure. It’s more of an art form and while I love art and being creative, food is not a medium I’m well-versed in yet.

While we were visiting Matt’s grandma, she told me that she could barely cook anything when she first got married. She is such an incredible cook now. I told her, in my most Anne of Green Gables fashion, “You have given me hope beyond anything I could have imagined. I will always remember you as a benefactress.”

By the way, I’m in the fourth book of that series, Anne of Windy Poplars. It’s a sweet book. I love all the chapters that are just letters she’s writing to Gilbert. And how it shows where sections were omitted because Anne had just the right pen for writing love to him.

Back to food. I tried to make a pork chop dinner for Matt and I the other weekend. It was…alright. I think Matt liked it, but I know that it didn’t come out alright. Timing is such a hard thing. Mine and his mom encouraged me that it does take practice to get the timing of meals down. I will not lose heart. Matt says that he is looking forward to me learning how to cook. I reminded him that I will fail quite a bit, but he said he didn’t mind. We’ll see how that goes. There’s a pizza place and Subway just down the road. We might keep them in business – all by ourselves.

We got our invitations back from the printer so now I’m working on stamping them. It’s a process. I did a bunch of stamping while listening to the State of the Union address the other night. It helped me have the right amount of pressure to get the stamps pretty well even. I get fired up sometimes. And John Boehner and Joe Biden’s exchanges of looks were quite amusing. Usually with Biden grinning widely and then catching Boehner’s eye and slowly dropping his smile and clapping slower. It was humorous. Boehner’s eyes were daggers over his glass of water at times. I can talk about him like that because he’s from around here.

I have just 45 mins to finish Matt’s Valentine’s Day gift. Last year, I made him a cake loaf with red and pink heart sprinkles in the batter and icing. It was yummy. I’ve not had much practice with Valentine’s Day, so I’m still a little rough around the edges.

I scheduled my dress fitting! Now, I just have to get my hair scheduled and I’ll feel a little better about my appointments.

We had our first premarital counseling last night. It was mostly about the order of operations for the ceremony. It ended with me all jittery inside – in a good way. 🙂 I’m so looking forward to it and I’m hoping that we can fit everything in that we want to without making it too long. We’ve got some good ideas, but I will not stress about it. I.Will.Not.

This is the book we will be using during our counseling:

The Most Important Year in a Man's/Woman's Life

The Most Important Year in a Man’s/Woman’s Life

I’m pretty jazzed about it. I want to take it, and highlight, and write notes in the margins, and then keep it on my bookshelf for forever and ever and ever amen.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Now I have 30 mins. Eek!

Catch ya later!!


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: 17 Weeks – Prep Work

This post will be a bunch of random items. So, here we go!

week17 sailor

I found this on Pinterest and it is so true. I have no aspirations to be a sailor, or have any skill on the sea itself, but you know, it’s not literal, just representative.

week17 keys

It seems as though people have decided I should be the keeper of their spare keys. As such, I have a hard time remembering which key belongs to which person (maybe they should rethink their strategy! lol). After seeing this Pinterest project, I decided it was high time to work it out myself. I really enjoy the colors and the polish seems to be staying on without much issue. For those keys that are unknown, maybe I should just start going around to everyone’s house and start trying out keys. Hmm…I think the middle of the night would be the best time, especially if they have dogs. 🙂

week17 jars

We have all these baby food jars. Well, this isn’t even all of them and we have more promised to come! They have all this wonderful sticky gunk on them too. This was a great Sat avo project.

week17 cleaning

The tools. I will say right now that the acetone worked above and beyond the best. I don’t like vinegar because I’m allergic to it, but you know, it’s said to have amazing abilities at, oh, everything. So I gave it a try. It was a fail. Nail polish remover was the best. Our hands were a little sticky following, but that washed off. Fumes weren’t too bad either.

week17 bottle

We also have a whole bunch of glass jars and bottles. A WHOLE bunch. We’re repurposing them for the wedding. I’m excited. We tried spray painting this one months ago to see what it would look like and discovered the issue with the glue AND the little factory printing on them. That stuff bled right through the spray paint. Let me point out that the nail polish remover took that stuff right off too! I was so excited!

week17 bulbs

Remember this post when I said I planted bulbs in the garden in the spring and summer? With southwest Ohio’s goofy weather, they have begun pushing up early. Eeek! But hey, at least that means I planted them the right side up!

week 17 finds

Matt and I ran over to the antique mall and found 4 of these sunflower plates for $10! Yeah! We also found a glass jar in the shape of a bear and that super-sweet cranberry tin. I love them all.

??????????????????????week17 Maggie

This was my last week tutoring. I’ve been working with these kids since I came home from Japan. When I first started with David, he really couldn’t stand reading at all. He still stumbles over words and skips lines when we read out loud together, but what kid doesn’t? What inspires and encourages me the most is that this kid loves to read! We started with The Chronicles of Narnia, moved on to Moby Dick, The Hunger Games, and the Redwall series, plus a few others. He has learned how to identify the stories that will interest and challenge him and he “theater reads.” That is my description of when someone is able to read with inflection and in the character’s personality. He does it really well and I would often have to tell him to keep it down since we mostly read together at the family restaurant. I am so going to miss this kid and his 104 million stories and questions. He is a dear little Brother.

His sister, Maggie, hasn’t been with me as long. She is the epitome of the cute little girl who gets all the attention from patrons of the family restaurant. She has sass and personality galore. She and I have had a fun time getting to know each other and some dear characters in the books we’ve read. We like series books, most especially the Ivy and Bean collection and the Ramona books. She is goofy and can throw out one-lined zingers out with the best of them, but I will miss our spunky time together each week. I have such precious memories to keep with these two kids. I can’t wait to see what happens in their lives over the next years and onward. I pray for them and their family constantly. They have been a sweet chapter in my life.


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