Sunday, December 27, 2009

My (muslin) dress!

David, if you're reading, STOP.

For everyone else...

I had my first dress fitting last week! Since I am having my dress made, this was the first step towards a finished product. The dress was made out of a muslin fabric, so that any changes I desired could be made before the cutting of the real materials began.

As a reminder, the dress is inspired by Kirstie Kelly's Cinderella dress from her first collection of Disney Bridal. Here it is:
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My anticipation was building as the dressmaker went to pull my dress. Would it be everything I had hoped for? Everything I had dreamed of? Had I really made the right decision in having it custom made?

And then, I put it it on. All of the doubts instantly disappeared.

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Personal Pictures taken by my mom
I was thrilled! However, I have shrunk again. Bsaed on the measurements she took in summer 2008, I lost 3 inches around my waist when I went back in June 2009. Trying on the muslin, I have again lost inches! I haven't lost any weight, but I seem to be shrinking anyway. I'm relatively sure that it's stress related, although I might be putting more muscle on from the work and lifting I do around program/musical times.

So, to make up for that, she pulled in the sides. She also messed around with the off the shoulder strap. There will be an organza sleeve on it, she just didn't put one on the muslin because she wasn't positive how much room would be needed in it.

the bodice will have boning in it, so it will actually fit a little bit higher than the picture shows. That makes me happy. I know people say "flaunt it if you've got it" but I'm not a big fan. I like knowing that the girls will be covered.

We are also going to add about 12 inches to the train. She showed my mom and I about where that would fall, and I think it will be the perfect length for me. I don't want a cathedral train, but I do want more than the little sweep. this was something we hadn't discussed, so I know the change will be closer to what I see in my head.

I do need to find the proper long line bra before I go back in February. She made a recommendation of a store, but it's not close to my house, so it is not as convenient as I would like.
For those of you who have a bit more experience in this matter than myself, what color do you recommend? White or nude? I am planning to also wear it under the bridesmaid's dress for my MOH's wedding.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dining Reservations - for our Honeymoon!

As anyone who has ever planned a trip to Disney World knows, the dining reservations can be very elusive. Tall tales abound of guests' rudeness when calling to get the most sought after places. Personally, I've never had trouble getting into the restaurant of choice - it might have been a different day than we had originally planned, but we always got in. Disney recently upgraded their system to include a way to make reservations online. For someone like me, this was great - I got up about 10 minutes before the system will let you in, got ready, and at 6 AM EST this morning, was requesting our reservation for Cinderella's Royal Table (the tough one to get!). By 6:30, I had made all of the reservations except for the Fantasmic Package - which allows you priority seating at Disney Hollywood Studios' fireworks show. You'll notice we have two reservations that night - I have to see if eating early will be ok, or if we should just try to get seats on our own. I'm really excited about this - we got everything we wanted, approx. times that we wanted, all on the day we wanted - on the first try!

7:30 PM Cape May Cafe

8:05 AM Donald's Safari Breakfast (Tusker House)
8:55 PM California Grill

11:30 AM Coral Reef
7:05 PM Artist Point

12:00 PM Sci-Fi (need something earlier if we eat at 4:05)
4:05 PM Fantasmic Package - Hollywood Brown Derby
5:30 PM Hollywood Brown Derby - this is the time we WANTED to eat, but the package wasn't available. Probably will be canceling this one

8:20 AM The Crystal Palace
12:45 PM Whispering Canyon Cafe - this one could be made later or earlier, depending on what happens with CP
9:30 PM Cinderella's Royal Table

12:00 PM Rose and Crown
7:00 PM Narcoossee's

11:45 AM Le Cellier Steakhouse
8:20 PM Les Chefs de France

8:05 AM Crystal Palace - we are only going to eat at CP once, but it will depend on our flight AND how many theme park days we get on our tickets. Since it is located in Magic Kingdom, we have to have park tickets to eat here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Hands

Now. I have to say, this was not my idea. Well, not entirely. But Meg over at A Practical Wedding had this post, and it got me thinking. What do my hands say about me? Not my rings, but my hands?

And then I started thinking. What story do I want my hands to tell? If you look at them, they look pretty soft. I mean that in the no manual labor way. but then I start to think....
*They take a lot of abuse playing the piano. It sounds easy.... unless you are someone who has sprained a ligament. Then you realize just how bad all that wide spreading REALLY is for them.
*They move pianos. that's right - I, with my own two hands (and the elevator!) move the piano for my concerts. By myself.
*They set up, carry, and run sound systems. In fact, that's where most of the scratches on my hands have come from in the past week or so.
*They care for others. Hugs, food for the dog, or dialing the phone to say "I love you"
*They do the laundry.
*They show the world how nervous I am, or have been. I'm not a nail biter - I'm a cuticle biter. Just as bad, but different.
*They also help show the weather - they're already cracking.

The last thing that they do is show other people's love for ME. My right hand ring was a gift from my parents on my 16th birthday. As if that weren't special enough, the diamond is the original diamond from my mom's engagement ring. Talk about emotional significance. And yes, on my left hand, I wear a symbol of David and my engagement. I am lucky enough that neither of us had to spend a fortune or go ring shopping - it is a family ring, passed down to the oldest male in his family to propose with. So in a way, both of my hands not only show others' love for me, but their love for each other. And yes, I think that IS a worthy message to share with the world. I wouldn't trade either of them for a "bigger or better" ring - they are both perfect. And I think they help my hands show the message I would want the world to see.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You might have noticed I've been a tad absent. Yesterday was our 6 month pre-anniversary. Between wedding planning (which there hasn't been much of, just dreaming!), every day happenings, and trying to prepare my students for all of the Christmas performances, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for ANYTHING. But, Jennifer over at She Nests, gifted me with the Happy 101 Award.

Ok- here's the award rules:

List 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you then link back to my blog and create your makes you happy list.

10 Things That Make Me Happy:

1. Giving gifts. More than receiving, I truly love giving people the best Christmas present I can come up with. I may be a Scrooge about spending money on myself, but I love to make other people happy!

2. Driving. Even though I'm tired of my 40 minute one way commute, I love to just DRIVE.

3. Singing. I love to sing - everything from Christmas carols to pop songs to little kids ditties.

4. Jager. My dog is very astute to what happens during my day, and always seems to know exactly what I need him to do.

5. Disney movies. Beauty and the BEast, Cinderella, Lion King - I love the old school cartoons.

6. David. (I should mention now that the list is in no particular order). I truly can't imagine my life without him!

7. My secretaries. Even on my worst day (like last week when I was sobbing hysterically) they hug me and love me, and do whatever they can to make my day better.

8. My principal and his daughters! Chad is THE BEST principal - he cares about the students AND staff, and does everything he can to make our lives easier. His daughters.... well, they are just two FABULOUS girls. Not many kids that I know would invite their teacher to go swimming - but we went multiple times over the summer. Even when it feels like my life is in turmoil, a smile from those two can make my day brighter.

9. Ice cream. I love ice cream. When I'm stressed, it becomes my meal for one or two meals a day. Healthy? No. Sanity saving? yes!

10. Xavier basketball. I don't watch it very often, but I bleed Muskie blue, no matter how their season goes.

Now here are 10 bloggers that brighten my day!

Carly at Being Carly

Natalie at The Bobby Pin

AmyJean at The Relentless Bride

Hannah at That [Officer's] Wife

Rae at There Is No Wealth But Life

Jessica at from marriage to motherhood

Meg at A Pratical Wedding

Modern Mom at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs (my newest follower - so new I don't know her real name yet!)

Vanessa at Designs by Vanessa

Jessica from The Budget Savvy Bride

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Dana, from Jumping the Broom and Sweeping Through Life, tagged me to mention the 5 things I am thankful for. I had been thinking about this anyway, so here goes nothing!

1.) David.
(photo by Sarah Cotherman)
As cliche as it may be, I am always grateful that he picked ME. I can't imagine my life without him, and I can't wait to be his wife! 6.5 months left to wait!

2.) My parents and little brother.
they've seen me at my best, they've seen me at my worst, and they still love and support me. I couldn't ask for a better family.

3.) The ability to read.
(source: amazon)
this is my escape and my comfort. I love to read, and always have at least one book going. Although many people thought of reading as a chore (and in fact, most of my students still do) I always loved being told that I needed to read. It was the best assignment anyone could give me. I think that's why I enjoy blogs so much!

4.) Music
Yes, music is life, for me anyway. I am lucky enough that I get to share it and live it every day - how many people TRULY get to spend their day sharing their passion? I count myself lucky to have realized while I was in high school just how important music was to me.

5.) My students
(personal photo: choir singing at the community Thanksgiving service)
I guess this could be 4B, but I am so grateful that I get to work with such amazing kids. My first year, my choir struggled to have 10 kids. I was so excited last year when I doubled to 20. Imagine my surprise when this year, my choir has exploded to 45 kids! This isn't as big as a public school, but is pretty amazing since they can only rehearse before school or during recess. The best part is, they ENJOY coming and singing with me. I'm grateful that I get to work with such a wonderful student body!

5 or 6, depending on how you are counting: my staff and principal
I am lucky to work with people who truly care. Everytime I think about leaving, it hurts, because they mean so much to me!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Snags and drags

I had planned on sharing this weekend, but then we found some snags. Or rather, they found us.

I missed a meeting after school on Friday because I was at an honor band. One of my teacher friends called to fill me in - our head priest is leaving! He also happens to be the one who is supposed to be performing our wedding! Cue hysterical tears and sentiments here.

I've been reassured by friends and other teachers (and my school secretary!) that he is allowed to come back. I have not yet had the opportunity to talk to him, but I am hoping he will be able to return. I really like and respect him, and have been looking forward to hearing his words bless our marriage.

As if that wasn't enough.... then my mom fills me in on MORE news. My hairdresser, who is my regular stylist, is pregnant..... due at the end of April. The good news: if she has the baby on or before her due date, she'll be back. If she's late, it's possible she won't be. So I'll be doing at least two trials - one with her and another stylist at the salon - just to make sure.

It's been a stress-filled week and weekend, I'm hoping these are the biggest snags we see!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I won!

so, you all know I love a good giveaway. AmyJean, over at The Relentless Bride, had a giveaway for a year's premium subscription to WeddingJoJo websites. It was my lucky weekend, as it's MINE! (And she said some really great and wonderful things, which I'm not entirely sure I deserve!) I can't believe I was the first to comment and actually got that lucky!

I'll share the link with you all when I get started on it - the internet is out at my house, so I am working from school... which severely limits what I can and can't do!

Thanks AmyJean!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you.

We all know someone(s) in the military. Today, our nation takes the time to say thank you. To veterans of past wars, to those who have been injured in the present war, to those preparing to go overseas, and to those who "gave the last full measure of devotion" (Lincoln, Gettsyburg Address). We have all had family members or friends who have served - today is for them. So to all of our veterans and current military - thank you. For all that you sacrifice, all that you risk, all the freedoms that you grant us and protect, thank you.

The picture is my baby brother. He is at Purdue in the Navy ROTC program. The picture, which he took under protest for me, is from his Military Ball last week. It was the first time he wore his dress blues.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ok... so... the wedzilla blog has an amazing giveaway right now. In fact, I really don't want to share it, because I want it! So. I guess I have to so I get the extra entry. They are lucky enough to have PaperCake Design giving away a customized map. That's right: an electronic copy of a customized map designed by Larissa from PaperCake Designs personalized the way you want it for YOUR wedding day.

I WANT. So if you don't, but you would want to give it to ME.... go ahead and comment on their blog. If you won't give it to me.... I guess you COULD comment, but why would you want to? You KNOW I want it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Engagement Pictures

David and I met up with our photographer, Sarah Cotherman of Photos by Sarah, on Sunday. She knows a great location that most people would not anticipate. It was a perfect fall day, and we got some amazing pictures out of it!
These are edited from screenshots of our slideshow, so the quality is not the best. However, our images are awesome! I am so excited about them!
All photos are credited to Sarah Cotherman.

We had to get some with the ears - it's part of our story!
The location had an awesome gazebo that gave us these pictures
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Of course, with all the leaves on the ground, who can resist?
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With a good tree around, any number of things are possible
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And of course, some cutesy pictures
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And what engagement session would be complete without a kiss?

I have to tell you, I've seen a lot of debate the past few weeks about engagement sessions. I saw one blogger who felt that contrived pictures would feel completely unnatural. True, David and I don't usually stop to throw leaves at each other, or stand against a brick wall. But I have to tell you, this session was so much fun! We got just over 60 pictures in about 25 minutes. I have a couple of thoughts on how to use them. It was part of our package, and I'm so glad we got to do it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Help an awesome planner/blogger win!

So, I got the links and stuff for our engagement pictures. But you'll have to wait, because Heidi of heidzillas needs your help!
AmyJean over at The Relentless Bride did an awesome post about helping. Go to vote and register all of your email addresses (you will need to logout to register a new address). You will receive an email to confirm - so make sure you still access to that account! - but they won't spam you. Turns out that I have been registered with them for a while, and never gotten anything. Help a girl out. I'll return with screenshots of some of our engagement pictures in the next day or two!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another Benefit of Moving Our Ceremony

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Something that I never thought about when moving our location was our Wedding Banns. I know that for three straight weeks, an engaged couple's names must be printed in the church bulletin or read during the services (at least, at both parishes we looked at). While perusing St. Louis's bulletin the past few weekends, I saw the printed banns for multiple weddings coming up. So not only will I get to see them, my students will all see them too!
It's wonderful to see my students getting so excited for such a big change in my life. Of course, the most asked question this school year has been "Can I come to your wedding?" It's hard to explain that I can't invite all 450 of my students in addition to my guests. I wish I could invite them all, but there wouldn't be room in the church - or enough food at the reception!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Engagement Pictures - postponed

We were supposed to have our engagement pictures taken yesterday. David and I have chosen our perfect outfits, and my photographer has told me she has the perfect location.

Unfortunately, there were multiple circumstances that came together to prevent this.

First of all, it was raining for most of the day. I had seen this throughout the week, and kept telling myself I could run out and buy a cute umbrella. I mean, there are TONS of cute umbrella e-pics, right?

but then. BUT THEN. I ended up with bronchitis. For some people, this is like getting a cold - they cough a little more and might lose their voice, but for me, it's about a million times worse. The last time I had it this bad, I was sick for almost 3 months, yes MONTHS, and ended up in voice therapy. I spent all day on Thursday in bed, then mustered the strength yesterday morning to call the doctor and make an appointment. I also asked David to call our photographer and try to reschedule.

Sarah (our wonderful photog) called in the afternoon. She hadn't gotten David's message yet, but wanted to reschedule since the rain didn't look like it was letting up any time soon. All I had to do was ANSWER the phone and she knew what a great idea canceling was!

So, I'm disappointed that we didn't get them taken, but I'm hoping that November 1st works for both of us and is sunny!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thank yous!

You might remember that I won some free cards from uprinting. Well, they have arrived, and I have to tell you, I'm excited! I've already used some - birthday thank yous ya know - but wanted to get some pictures for you all (with my new camera).



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reader No. 1

We have our first reader! My uncle was over to borrow something tonight. He also happens to be my godfather. He is a great guy, very supportive, caring, and a man who has always played a large role in my life. I don't know yet what he'll be reading - we haven't chosen readings or our other readers - but I wanted to ask him while he was here. I'm so excited that everything is coming together!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Help a Student

As I'm sure most of you have seen by now, there is a couples research study being done. I have completed the survey (yay!) and it really did not take too long. Here is the information, as sent to me by the person in charge:

Engaged volunteers needed!

I am looking for volunteers for a study of attitudes towards marriage and parenthood among engaged couples. The study consists of a 25-30 minute online survey. To qualify for the study, you must be 20-35 years old, live in the U.S., and plan to marry or have a commitment ceremony within the next 365 days. You and your romantic partner must not have children, and this must be the first marriage for both of you.

You can:

-Help a doctoral candidate;

-Increase the pool of scientific knowledge;

-Support research on marriage and families; and

-Spend some time thinking about your relationship!

I am working with Dr. Charlotte J. Patterson, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. This study has been approved by the University of Virginia Institutional Review Board #2009025800.

If you and/or your romantic partner are interested in participating or want further information, please email me at I will send you a link that you can use to access the study.


Cristina Reitz-Krueger

Doctoral Student

University of Virginia

Take some time while you're watching TV, and do the survey for her. Not only do I like her name :) but I know how hard it can be to gather survey responses!

PS We are officially 8 months away!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Piano and Organ Player

Sometimes, it amazes me how quickly an answer presents itself. Two days ago, I was lamenting that I was going to miss my goal of having musicians lined up by our 8 month mark. Thanks to my mom overhearing a conversation and following up on it, I am going to meet my self-imposed deadline!
The music teacher at my mom's school, who I talked quite a bit while I was subbing, plays keyboards for weddings! She is most comfortable on piano, but when Mom mentioned that I have one song that I want on the organ, she said one song is no problem. I'm so excited! Her cost is extremely reasonable, and I am very comfortable with the idea of her playing. She is very nice AND professional. I told mom to tell her on Monday so she can book it. I'm excited!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In this post, I stated that I wanted to have our ceremony musicians worked out by the time we hit 8 months out. Well, I don't know that I'm going to make that goal, but I DO have good news on it!

We have a vocalist! My friend Katie, whom I've known for over a decade, has graciously agreed to sing for our ceremony. I'm SO excited - she has a gorgeous voice, is very professional, and is also someone I greatly admire. Her husband spent a year in Iraq, and Katie was the strongest person I could have ever imagined. She is a great help when I have a question on teaching (she's an elementary music teacher) or how she did something for her wedding (I was there and it was gorgeous!)

I'm still working to get a keyboard player by the 12th, but if it doesn't happen, at least I know I'm halfway there!

Katie and I at her wedding, June 11, 2005 (we'll be getting married the day after their 5th anniversary!)
(personal photo)

Monday, October 5, 2009

7 Facts

Chocolate Lover gave me an award!

I was tagged to post 7 facts about myself... so here goes nothing!

1. I love DIY and crafty things, but feel like I have no artistic ability. I always WANTED to be good at art, but always got frustrated at my lack of perfection.

2. I'm a comfortable shoe snob. I go to DSW and read labels before I look at the shoes - Skechers are the best things ever!

3. If I lived close enough, I'd work at Disney World. Secretly, I'd love to be Cinderella every day.

4. Music is a passion and a love, and I can't imagine life without it. If I had an office job, I'd go crazy in the quiet every day!

5. I have the most allergic skin of anyone I know. And I currently have a 71 item patch test on my back to find out MORE things that I might be allergic to.

6. I'm a packrat who secretly longs for cleanliness. I have lots of STUFF that came home from my BSU apartment and no where to put it. I'm hoping to purge a LOT when I pack to move in with David.

7. I LOVE my huge extended family. I can't imagine a lifetime of small, intimate Thanksgivings. I enjoy the big reminder of the gifts God has given us in healthy babies almost every year!

And now... the rules....
  • Post 7 facts about yourself
  • Pass this award on to 7 amazing bloggers
So, here goes nothing.... I tag....
Jenny of Happily Ever After
Goldie of A Bride's Golden Moments
Charlene of Charlene and Andrew's Disney Wedding
Heidi of 2 State Bride
Dara of A Change In Me
Nessa of Disney Girls Wedding
Carrie of Lurkyloo Does WDW!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

DIY - Unity Candle

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I made our unity candle! I love the personalized look that I've seen elsewhere, but not their price tags. So I bought a plain white candle, red ribbon with a gold edge, black ribbon, and pearl-headed bout pins. you can see the construction on the back - I used the pins to hold the ribbon in place. That way, I can take the ribbon off if we ever burn it down that far and need the candle clear.
The base of the unity candle is the one my parents used - I guess it's another something old and borrowed!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our Disneymoon is booked!

I can't tell you how excited I am that our honeymoon is booked! In the Disney circles, that means we get to have our Disneymoon! We'll be staying at Old Key West, one of the DVC properties. How cool is this property?!? Old school Key West - what a great theme in central Florida!

And the rooms - I am so excited! I love the jacuzzi tub - even better - I love the way it is set up with the window to the bedroom. I wonder if you can see fireworks from the tub? Wouldn't that be an awesome way to end a day of Disney parks?!?

We'll have a one bedroom "unit" (condo basically - bed, bath, living, kitchen) from June 18-25. It gives us some time to breathe after the wedding, so we can truly enjoy our time away! I can't wait - we're looking at the deluxe wine and dine plan, which means our tummies will be full too. Huge thanks to Momma and Poppa C for spoiling us! I can't wait to start planning more in depth!

(photos from

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Marriage is Forever - or how I spent my Sunday afternoon

Sunday was our Marriage is Forever class. It was definitely NOT what I expected! There were 5 segments: Sacrament of Marriage, Theology of the Body parts 1 and 2, Medical and Moral Issues, and Communication.

First of all, had we not just taken RCIA last year, the Sacrament part would have been a LOT more interesting. However, the guy who taught it to us last year spent a ton of time focusing on it, knowing that David and I were engaged. So this felt like review and not a very good use of time. I can see why they do it though, so it was ok.

The Theology of the Body.... I can see how this would be very interesting. And I am intrigued to learn more. I just walked away from it unsure of what I was supposed to have learned (if that makes sense)

The Medical and Moral Issues was actually presented by the parents of some of my students!! At first, I was slightly horrified, thinking how embarrassing that might be. But when they started talking, it was SO comfortable! Not that they made light of things, but they did things in a very light manner. It was very open and enlightening. They shared a lot of personal stories that I won't repeat, but I definitely respect them even more!
He also talked about the medical dangers of birth control and some of the things that he sees within his office (he's a doctor). It was kind of frightening when he said that estrogen etc. have been placed on the FDA's list of known carcinogens (where have I been?). He talked about how effective NFP can be, etc. He mentioned a lot of things from a MEDICAL standpoint that just happen to coincide with the Catholic ideals. He was presenting things more to strengthen relationships than to say "Catholics are the only ones who are right."

The last presentation was about Communication. They made a LOT of good points - I'm going to try to paraphrase the notes before too long to make them into something useful for other people too :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Our Registry and Clearance

I was showing my friend the comforter I had registered for the other day. To my dismay, it was listed as being on clearance!!! I had to order it, because this is the ONLY comforter David and I have both liked. So now we have our comforter! My only concern with buying things.... is that we won't be able to register for enough. I know that they say to register for twice as many items as guests, but that could be really hard to do! I'm hoping that means that we'll get all of our necessities as well as some fun things.

I didn't order the accent pillows that are also listed as clearance though - if anyone is interested, please go ahead and order for us :-D

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Marriage Preparation

Before we can get to the ceremony, we have to do some preparing. And no, this isn't about all of the fun, colorful stuff. Father Dennis was very straight forward about the two programs that we need to complete before he will marry us - Marriage is Forever and a Natural Family Planning course.

The Marriage is Forever is offered by our deanery. I'm interested, as everyone has said really great things about it. We'll spend 5 hours at it this Sunday, so I truly hope it is that interesting! Nothing worse than being bored that long...

The Natural Family Planning (NFP) course.... I'm definitely not looking forward to. It is done once a month at St. Louis, and is put on by parishioners. As silly as it may sound, I'm really scared that the presenters will be parents of one of my students. It just makes me nervous... I've never been comfortable talking about sex, and now I'll spend over three hours doing nothing but. We're hoping to take care of this requirement in November, we'll see if it works out with the schedules!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Free Lenox China?!? Sign me up!

Oh goodness me. The Relentless Bride has an AMAZING giveaway going on... two place settings of Lenox china. That's right folks... she is SO lucky to be giving it away! The best part? You get to choose your pattern from the Opal Innocence line. For someone like me who is inheriting two different china patterns, this is awesome, as I can match it! You can check out all of the details here. Seriously people - wow!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

9 months and counting!

We're officially under 9 months now! Yesterday was the 9 month mark. I actually feel pretty good about things. I would like to have the music and musicians figured out by the 8 month mark. It is the one thing that is VERY important to me that hasn't really been addressed. While we would like those close to us to perform, we still haven't nailed it down and asked. You might remember this post, where I lamented that I hadn't met my first goal. Well, I'm making another one. Let's see if I do any better!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wedding Survival Handbook

I love to read. Love love LOVE to read. As in, always have at least one book that I'm reading, even it means that I have to re-read something. Imagine my delight to see that I won something again! I was so excited when Amanda of Swoon Over It Calligraphy posted that I had won my very own copy of the Wedding Survival Handbook. What fun! It should come in very hand for Megan and I (two weeks apart). I can't wait for it to come so I can read it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Skinfree Skin Care and my allergies

So, some of you might remember how a while back I posted about my allergies. Well, not really, but I was posting about Designs by Vanessa's Body Tree giveaway. Anyway, I have major major skin allergies. I'm allergic to paraben (a preservative) and lanolin. That's the short list, but it covers most products that you leave on your skin - makeup, lotions, shampoo, soaps, etc. Seriously folks, I read labels before ANYTHING touches my skin. When the derm asked me what I use to wash my face, my reply was "a washcloth and water". He then proceeded to ask me what cleansers I used - no, seriously, a washcloth and water. It's the only combination that's actually safe.

You can imagine the frustration of trying to find moisturizers that I can actually use. As someone who has to be so careful, of course I am unfortunate enough to need to add moisture to my skin. Enter the great folks at Skin Free Skin Care. They are a godsend for people like me - or people who are just really interested in natural skin care. Seriously folks, this stuff works. It's GREAT! Right now, through their blog, they have a BOGO offer. You buy one in store, mail them your receipt, and they will send you a product. Sound too good to be true? I thought so too, until my free face scrub showed up the other day.

Now, I'm hoping they start a makeup line, but that could be wishful thinking on my part. Until then, anyone have a GREAT paraben and lanolin free line that they love?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Centerpiece update!

If you remember, the lollipops at the top are what what we got to use in our centerpieces. Through the wonders of craigslist, I found the goblets seen above! At a bargain price too. Now the trick is to make them seem just a bit shallower than they actually are. You can see the temporary solution - cellophane - that the lady we bought them from suggested. We're contemplating trying to find some red cellophane to add some color. We're also considering a red sand. I'm just happy we have the containers. It's nice to know that we have the majority of components now!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I try really hard to keep this about wedding planning, which is part of the reason posts are so sporadic. You know that I'm a sucker for a giveaway, and I DO try to share those with you.

Well, lately I've been a little down - going back to school, my stress level has jumped up, etc. So imagine my delight when I won TWO giveaways this week! And they are both absolutely amazing!

First, I heard from Erin at Lucky Me! In honor of her 30th birthday, she had this amazing giveaway. I was so excited to see this post! I am excited for even an hour of consultation with a coordinator, and it's even better since Aviva Events is based out of Cincinnati - so close for me! I'm just excited to have someone to look over my shoulder for a bit. It helps me feel a little bit less stressed about everything!

Then, today, I got an email from Teresa at Diagnosis Deferred. I am totally in awe of her - she's posting a giveaway AND choosing the winner the week she is getting married! i can only imagine being that calm and collected. I can't wait to make cards from uprinting to use for our guests. I think it will be SO much fun to send them cards that have David and I on them, and then there is no doubt who it is from!

Thanks to these lovely ladies - I am so excited! It has made my week so much brighter!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Body Shop Tea Tree Giveaway

Something I haven't shared on this blog are the allergies that I suffer. I am allergic to paraben and lanolin, along with many other things, which makes skin care a very difficult topic for me. Imagine my delight when I saw Vanessa's Body Shop Tea Tree Giveaway. I went and looked at their facewash, and it's actually perfectly okay for me!

So, I would love it if no one else entered into the contest, but since I know that's not going to happen, go visit Vanessa's blog, Designs by Vanessa, and go ahead and enter. Just remember you are taking it away from me if you win :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ceremony Music

As musicians, the music for our ceremony is very important to us. Perhaps because it is SO important, we haven't made too many decisions yet. We know that we would like to see friends of ours as the performers - just which friends still stands to be decided. I am pretty sure that David's groomsman Pat will be singing (I did let Pat know that I really wanted him to). In fact, I think it might be "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof, but not sure on that yet. Here are the semi-random music thoughts:

"Sunrise, Sunset"
"One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story (perhaps used for Unity Candle?)

Bridesmaids: Pachelbel's Canon in D
Bride: "Wedding Processional" from The Sound of Music

Ok, so that's as far as we've gotten! I would also like one of our friends who plays flute (know who, haven't asked) to play Ave Maria at some point.... can't decide if that should be during the prelude, or maybe the Unity Candle?
I would like one of my friends from high school to be the "main" singer - all of the ceremony parts, as well as any songs that someone else isn't singing. Again, haven't asked her.
Our biggest hangup is who to ask to play piano/organ. I really feel like the "Wedding Processional" needs to be on organ to sound right, but I only know one organ player. I need to find out if she is also comfortable on piano, or if we need a separate piano player. If separate, I can ask one of my fraternity sisters from BSU, but she doesn't live in town, so rehearsing with other people could be a problem.

I had hoped to have this cleared up before school started back up.... seeing as how I have to be there a week from today, I don't see that happening!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Head Table Set-up

Heidi of Heidzillas posted these pictures of a headtable a while ago. I am in love with the mix and match feel of the tables - it will allow David and I to have a "sweetheart table" while still sitting with 12 of our nearest and dearest! Three round tables and two long rectangular table gives us all plenty of room, and is much more interesting than all long tables. Now we just have to decide where this table will be going - on the stage or against one of the walls.

Photobucket Photobucket

Monday, July 20, 2009

Registering - Why did you choose that store?

So, I know that many people choose a store to register at because it's their favorite. Or because their family expects it. Would you believe I picked one of our stores because of our comforter?

That's right. JCPenney carries the Disney Resort collection. David and I differ quite a bit in our decorating styles. Mainly, I prefer blues, while he leans towards browns (which are the farthest from anything I do!). So when we were looking for a comforter, we knew it would be difficult. I went looking for the DR collection on a whim - I am so glad I did! Fiji fits both of us comfortably. I am so excited for when we can put it on our bed! We started our registry at JCP with the comforter and a few items to go with it. We haven't registered for everything yet, but I wanted to make sure that what we wanted most got on there!

How did you choose where to register?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wedding Website

So, as many other brides these days, I've been working on our wedding website. This will be for our friends and family to find out more information. I know the basics - include the registry info, addresses for all of the places people will need to find, room blocks. That's about where I get stuck. I'm using momentville, because theirs seemed pretty nice for free. Our specific address is, which, though a tad long, is easy enough to remember. Any suggestions on other things to add?!? Has anyone had great success with their website? If so, please share it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I was tagged by AmyJean at The Relentless Bride, so here goes nothing. 6 things that make me happy, in no particular order...

1. David. Photobucket Phone call, text, hug.... he makes my days happier. Knowing that I get to spend the rest of my life with him = happiest of all!

2. Animals
(source: Gulf World Marine Park photogs)

Dogs, dolphins, cats, horses.... if it's fuzzy and loveable, it makes me happy. Swimming with the dolphins, playing with my dog Jager at home.... great stress relief!

3. Books and reading.
I have loved to read for as long as I can remember. Curling up with a book and entering a different world makes my day. Even a bad book is better that not getting to read. In fact, the only time I was ever grounded, I wasn't allowed to read for 24 hours. That was the worst punishment my parents could come up with!

4. Disney

Yes, Disney made me happy long before David proposed. I have loved watching their movies (my all time favorite is "Beauty and the Beast," and yes, I do in fact know every single word). Going to the World is like a little piece of home, only better because everyone is happy (my saying? No crying in Disney World). Disney is a small piece of childhood that it's totally ok to pull forward into adulthood!

5. Music

Music is such a large part of my life. Yes, I'm a music teacher, yes, I met David through band and I'm a proud band geek. There is some truth to the saying that music is the universal language. A child from Iraq who barely spoke English visited our school while being treated at the local hospital - he may not have understood the words that I said, but he got into the music! Music has been my creative outlet when others failed, and it has been a soother when my heart was broken.

6. My friends and family.
Cliche though it is, I am so thankful for the people that surround me. My family has been behind me for everything I've done - my friends are there to catch me when I fall. David may not have a big family, but I'm definitely getting a "friend family" in all of his fraternity brothers!

I tag...
1. Jennifer at She Nests
2. Carly at Being Carly
3. Hannah Noel at That Girl
4. Cate Subrosa at Project Subrosa
5. Rae at NoWealthButLife
6. Erin, The Prep-E Girl, at Everything According to Erin

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cigar Giveaway

Ok all.... two posts in one day, you have to know that free stuff is involved! Head over to The Relentless Bride for her Cigar Roller Giveaway. I copied most of her post so you know the details!

This week's giveaway is Great. It's something different that I think may appeal to not only my female readers, but my male readers or male friends of my female readers. I'm very excited b/c i'd love to see some fun stuff that are not just "girly" but also the items that may be considered more manly... Like a Cigar Roller from Coastal Cigar!!!

Coastal Cigars have awesome Cigar Roller Gift packs that would be perfect for groomsmen gifts, father's gifts and any cigar connoisseur... the service includes

* personalized cigar gift packs for social and corporate groups
* cigar tastings and cigar rolling demonstrations for special events
* premium wholesale humidors provided to restaurants, golf courses, hotels, resorts, grocery stores and other businesses of choice

And for you ladies who love cigas, they even have a Girls Night Out set that comes complete with a mini bottle of Kahlua and four Kahlua-flavored cigars, the perfect addition for a classy night on the town.

And today, and for the next TWO weeks on the Relentless Bride, we are giving away to one lucky reader, one “Boss Box”- containing four cigars, a cutter, and mini-bottle. The Boss Box will have the initials of the bride and groom along with the date and location of their wedding on the face of the box.

Now, head over there for the details on how to enter.... and if you aren't into cigars, you can let me have the prize, because I know someone who would LOVE this!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

11 months and counting..

11 months from yesterday, we'll be surrounded by family and friends, celebrating the night away. I can't wait!

In the interim, there are still things to be taken care of. One that has been slightly stressing me is the centerpieces. We thought we had found something great with the photo centerpieces -



the mock up that I made (not these!) left a lot to be desired. After lots of looking with very restricting requests (no floral, no candles) we finally happened on an idea that has the potential to be a winner: candy centerpieces!

Now, I had already thought and dismissed the candy idea. Remember the candy trees that I had considered? However, what about a centerpiece that didn't require all of the setup that the trees and other ideas would require? It was time to start looking for some inspiration pictures. Here are the ones that struck my fancy to begin with:





But now, where to get the candy? And where to find candy that matches our color scheme? And to find the containers?

Surprisingly, the candy was definitely the easiest part. Oriental Trading and Candy Warehouse were kind enough to supply a few hits! We've ordered samples of these from OT.




The red roses break into individually wrapped lollipops. My thought/plan is to also use white rock candy (my favorite!). We're looking for small containers right now. I love the look of sundae or parfait glasses, but haven't found any place that has them cheap just yet. We're going to need two per table to go with my vision, and we'll have somewhere between 31 and 38 tables.... so we would need at least 60 some odd containers. If anyone knows of someplace to find cheap cheap glassware (less than a dollar apiece) please fill me in!