Category Archives: Random

A Little Something, Something

Last night I finally completed the collection of my somethings, so I thought I would share them with you today!  Here they are:

Somethings 001

My something old is actually two things.  Traditions say that the something old should represent continuity with the bride’s family, so I made sure to look for something that would come from my side.  I found two perfect things!

Somethings 002 
My something olds will be my grandmother’s pearl ring and the purse my mother carried on her wedding day.  I chose my grandmother’s pearl ring because way back in the day I posted about how rad she was—a true dame in every sense of the word.  I always thought I would wear her pearls on my wedding day, but with my dress, they just don’t look quite right.  This is a perfect compromise…a piece of her will still be with me, and in the form of pearls!

Somethings 003

I am also excited to carry my mom’s wedding purse.  It’s not really my style, to be totally honest, but I love that my mom carried it for her wedding.  It just seems fitting, no?  My amazing attendant, Erin, is carrying a huge bag with emergency goodies for me and all of the bridesmaids, so I won’t need to put much in this purse except some lipstick, kleenex, and my new camera (my wedding gift from Brad—I’ll do a post on that soon!). 

My something new is my dress, which I am not going to post here anymore.  You’ve all see it before!  If you haven’t, you can search for it by hitting “Dress & Attire” on the right side of the page…over here. ————->

Somethings 006 
My something borrowed is very dear to me.  Tradition says that the something borrowed should come from a happily married couple, and Dr. Groomy & I are so lucky to be surrounded by lots of those.  My bridesmaids are mostly made up of my college friends, but the girls from my book club are near and dear to my heart as well and I wanted them to be represented with me on my wedding day.  Thus, my book club friend Liz graciously offered to lend me her rosary for the day. It was her grandmother’s rosary, and Liz carried it on her own wedding day.  It’s such a special treat for me!

Somethings 007 
And finally, my something blue is a bit untraditional.  I knew I wanted to incorporate a signature scent into our wedding day—something I had never worn before, so that whenever I wear it again, it reminds both me and Dr. Groomy of our wedding day.  Scent has the power to take me right back to a place and time in my life, and I knew this would be a great way to help keep the memories of the day alive.

I found the perfect scent at Kohl’s, of all places! I picked True by Faith Hill, not only because I loved the way it smelled, but because the packaging and indeed, the tint of the perfume are actually blue!  Plus, I love the connotations of “True Blue.”

So, there you have it…my somethings!  It took me awhile to get them together but I am kind of glad it did—they are all thoughtful choices that really mean a lot to me.

What did you carry/do you plan on carrying for your somethings?

P.S.  I posted the answers to The Tale of Two Rings this morning.  Go check out the post to see if you were right!

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11 Days to Go…

…and so, here we are.

11 Days

 I didn’t get a chance to update you on the list last week, so let’s have a look, shall we?  (My notes, once again, are in Italics).

Make-Up Trial. [So, this is basically done.  I know what/how I am doing things for my base, blush, lip color, mascara.  My bridesmaid KDoc is doing my eyes, and I just need to select a shadow.  She’s AMAZING at makeup, so I am not worried about it—makeup is one of those things I just really don’t care about.  As long as I look nice, I’ll be happy!]

Finalize Accessories.  [This too is basically done.  I have a few pairs of earrings selected, and I know what bracelets I am wearing.  I still need to find a necklace, but I know where I am going for that and I am just going to buy a couple of options and have my girls help me decide that day.  Again, I am not too worried about it!]

Make wedding favors. [This will be done Thursday before the wedding.  We have a plan of attack, some helpers enlisted, and I purchased all the supplies already—we are doing popcorn favors, if you’ll remember.  I also have the logo stickers designed and the packaging purchased, so it will really be an assembly line that day to get them packed up.  I think it will be a fun bonding experience for all of us who are doing it.]

Meet with photographer to discuss day’s schedule and finalize shot list. [This week!]

Final tux fitting for Dr. Groomy; pick up tuxes. [Thursday before wedding]
Drop off everything for reception
at reception site—family pictures, wedding dresses, mannequins, escort cards, table numbers, day-of schedule, vendor contacts, favors, etc. [Next Monday!]
Confirm all wedding day beauty appointments. [This week!]
Organize tipping envelopes. [After pay day this week, hahaha!]

Mani-pedi. [Scheduled an appointment for me and my Maid of Honor/sister on Friday, October 8.  She was the only one who was able to go with me that day, but that is ok, as I am looking forward to having some good sister bonding time that morning!]
Relax, enjoy the week, and spend time welcoming family and friends. [Basically, starting now.  I will be a yoga/workout queen these last few days!]
GET HITCHED!! [Saturday, October 9]

Um, peeps.  Do you know what this means?  It means that basically, we are ready to get married.  WOW!  I have just a few last minute things to take care of…a few extra out of town bags, finishing up the escort cards with my friend Liz on Thursday, finalize the information packets for the bridal party and vendors…but otherwise, we’re pretty much done. 

So how do I feel?  I feel…weird.  I am excited, definitely.  And I go through various stages of excitement throughout the day.  But I also feel…sadness?  No, that’s not the right word.  I feel…odd.  We have been planning this for SOOOOOOO LONG and now suddenly, it’s here and all coming to an end.  My DIY projects are, essentially, finished.  And while I am relieved to have this time to relax and reflect, I am also oddly sad that it’s all about to be over. 

I also feel…overwhelmed.  Not from things that need to be done, no…but from the sheer excitement that I am feeling and the excitement that others have expressed to me.  It is overwhelming, there is no other way to state it.  I can’t IMAGINE how I’ll feel on the actual day, surrounded and loved by friends and family.  I am so emotional about it now, I don’t know how I will be that day.

So there’s your status report kids, hot off the presses from 11 days out.  And tell me:  how did you feel about your wedding day?  Were you on the same emotional roller coaster I am?

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Perspective

Well, here we are, approximately 45 days out from the wedding (depending on when you read this!), and I’d like to offer a bit of perspective I’ve developed over the last few weeks:

There are certain things guests will NOT give a SHIT about,
so LET. IT. GO.

You guys know that I am a huge perfectionist—a total Type A personality to the max.  But over the past 22 months, I have really learned—and indeed embraced!—the ability to let some things go.  I want everything to be perfect all the time—not necessarily life (I mean, come on, we all know that life isn’t perfect)—but the little details, like things being printed exactly super straight, tissue packets that are easy to open, etc.  Over the past few weeks though, as we get closer and closer to the wedding, I’ve developed a bit of a mantra:  let.  it.  go. 

Tiny, insignificant minorly-screwed-up details that I notice, and that you as a bride notice, are likely not going to be noticed by your Average Joe Wedding Guest.  And if they are noticed by Average Joe, he likely DOESN’T CARE and won’t hold it against you.  And if he does care, Average Joe is an average asshole.

I saw this post yesterday from Miss Husky on the ‘Bee and knew I needed to blog about this.  My message is this:  RELAX.   Her post is a perfect example of something that would TOTALLY bother me, too,  but at some point, you just have to let it go.  No one—I repeat, NO ONE—will care if your RSVP envelopes are printed upside down…or if your invitation vendor screwed up some of your addresses so you fixed them yourself…and if they do care about that, your guests are jerks.   So save yourself some sanity and let the little things go.   Laugh about the tiny mistakes—it’s part of the process, and the process is supposed to be FUN. 

Did you develop an “Eff It” perspective as you got closer to the wedding?

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Flash Floods.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging to bring you this news bulletin:  Milwaukee is having major rain issues.  I would be remiss not to share the pictures and stories with you all.

Last night, on the way to meet with our FOCCUS couple from church (more on this soon!), we got caught in a flash flood.  The city of Milwaukee and surrounding areas received more than 7” of rain in maybe two hours.  SEVEN INCHES!  You can hardly imagine what that was like.  Ordinary streets became rivers—with rapids!  Tress went down.  Sewer caps burst.  Two people were struck by lightning.  Roads buckled.  The highway system was crippled.  And a large sinkhole opened up on the east side.   Don’t believe me?  Behold:

Sinkhole 
Source:  Mark Pawlik for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Dr. Groomy and I became stuck on a road called Lincoln Memorial Drive, which runs right along Milwaukee’s lakefront.  It’s where I did most of my marathon training runs, as a matter of fact!  What’s normally a lovely scenic route quickly became a very scary nightmare.  As soon as we realized we couldn’t pass through, we stopped and waited for nearly an hour and a half, until traffic had cleared enough that we could reverse up the hill, turn around, and drive the other way.  It was harrowing, to say the least, as we watched other cars—many smaller than our own SUV—try to get through the flood waters and then become stuck…or worse, float.  Luckily, we were smart and didn’t try to get through the flood waters…but if this ever happens to you, guys, DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED STREET.  You don’t know what might happen, what might be hiding under the flood waters, or what might happen to you (see the above sinkhole picture for a prime example).

Once we were safely home, after zigging and zagging through the streets of Milwaukee to avoid flood waters, I went outside to take some pictures of our neighborhood. I think they speak for themselves.

Flash Flood 001

Flash Flood 002

Flash Flood 004

Flash Flood 007

Flash Flood 014

Flash Flood 015

*All photos by me unless otherwise noted.  Do not use without my express written consent.

We made it home safe and we’re just fine.  We’re lucky.  We live in a high rise building, on the top floor.  We have a little water damage in one corner of our apartment, where the water seeped down the wall and peeled up some paint, but otherwise, we’re just fine.  Others here have fared much worse.  Much of the current flooding you see above has subsided, but Milwaukee is in for another round of rain and storms today.  Please keep everyone here in your thoughts and prayers for safe travel and far less flooding this time around!

 

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Happy Weekend, All!

It’s been quiet around these parts this week, and I confess:  I’m just in a bit of a blogging lull.  Normally I have post ideas swarming in my head day in and day out, but with the stress of work this week, plus all the goings-on this past weekend and this coming weekend, I am feeling just wiped.  I’m taking it as a sign…so I am going to enjoy a bit of a break this weekend and be back on Monday with the same three-to-four-times-a-week posts you’re used to.

Thanks for understanding and have a great weekend, all!  I’ll be spending mine out boating on a lake, enjoying some of the first summery weather Wisconsin’s had.  Bliss!

Fish Lake
(Yep, I’ll be hanging out on this very lake!  Source)

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Engaged Enrichment Conference: Thoughts and Reflections

This past weekend, Dr. Groomy and I attended an Engaged Enrichment Conference.  Required and put on by the Archdiocese of our church, the conference was a series of talks about preparing for marriage with the Catholic faith. 

The conference is through the John Paul II Center’s Nazareth Project, which was created by our Archbishop to help couples prepare for marriage.

JP2(Source)

I’ll be honest, Dr. Groomy and I were not exactly looking forward to this conference.   Drive for over an hour, only to sit inside, for 8 hours, listening to talks about marriage and the Catholic faith, on a Saturday?  No thank you!  However, we were pleasantly surprised.

The morning session started out with a keynote by a young priest.  If any of you are Catholic, you will know that young priests are RARE.  He was really funny and it was a really interesting keynote—not so much preachy, preachy, but more, here are the parts of marriage the Church focuses on. 

After that, we moved into smaller groups and attended talks on Natural Family Planning and the spirituality of marriage.  I would say these were the only disappointments of the day.  I was actually very interested in hearing about NFP, because I have a few friends who utilize the Fertility Awareness Method, which is very similar.  The talk, however, was so disappointing.  The nurse who spoke did not explain ANYTHING about NFP, and I left the talk feeling like I would have to go home and google if I wanted to know what it involved.  The spirituality of marriage talk was ok, but the speaker wasn’t very dynamic, so I don’t remember much of what he said.

After lunch, we again split into small groups.  The afternoon sessions were great!  We first attended a talk on building communication for a Catholic marriage. The speakers were a young married couple who had us fill out questionnaires about things like holidays, traditions, prayer, etc.  Basically, it was a great way to get us talking about the traditions we want to keep from our families, the new traditions we want to start with our own family, and some of the goals we have for our marriage (from things like “own our own home” to “send our children to Catholic schools”).  It really got us talking about some things I think we wouldn’t normally talk about!

The second afternoon session was my favorite.  It was a talk about the book The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. 

5Love
(Source)

I was so excited for this talk because I had previously heard of the book through various wedding blogs!  This talk was again put on by another couple, who had been married for almost 30 years and had 7 children together.  They were vibrant and funny, and it was so neat to learn the love languages and see where Dr. Groomy & I fell in terms of them (they had us all take a quiz to learn which love languages we leaned towards).  I am definitely going to pick up this book for us to read.

The day ended with another keynote by the same couple who did the love languages talk…and then we were headed back to Milwaukee.

Overall, I would say this was a good experience for us.  We came back to Milwaukee afterwards feeling renewed about things like going to church, and it forced us to talk about issues that could come up in our marriage later on (like how we want to raise our children).  We both ended up really enjoying the day!

Do/did you have to do any marriage prep?  What were your thoughts on the experience?

*As an additional aside, I just want to say that clearly, it’s not easy being Catholic these days.  The fact that I even have to type a disclaimer like this is ridiculous, but it is what it is.  I know you ladies won’t, but I want to make it clear that disparaging remarks about the Church or my religion will not be tolerated in the comments.  Each person’s spirituality and faith is just that—their own—and there are many feelings I have about my faith and the Church that I have no intention of sharing on the blog.  So please, no assumptions or rude remarks, ok?  Let’s try not to be so judgey judgey of each other all the time. 

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Why I Blog

Today is Blog Buddy Appreciation Day, the brain child of the awesomely fun blogger KJPugsWhen I first read this announcement on her blog, I knew I wanted to participate…because blogging is something that I really enjoying doing!

blogbuddyappreciation 

So today, I want to talk about why I blog.  Honestly though, I have to say that I debated posting about this topic for a long time this morning.  I’m not usually into writing about heavy stuff…I lean more towards writing about the fun parts of planning a wedding.  But I feel like this post needed to be written, so that I can commiserate with my Blogger Buddies who know what I mean. 

I’m so tuned into the world of blogging that I sometimes forget it’s a fairly new medium…and that not everyone understands why someone would blog.  Some of us blog to document major life accomplishments.  Others, to share knowledge and love of certain topics.  Some, to become Bees.  And still others, because writing is cathartic.  But all of us blog because it’s something we enjoy—a hobby, a past-time, something we happily devote our time to.  I blog because I LOVE TO WRITE, and blogging is an outlet for me to discuss all things wedding, without bogging down my real-life friends and family with details that I know people don’t really care about.  And I’m fine with that…because I truly do enjoy blogging, and writing in general.  And the wedding blog community is full of fantastic, supportive women who “get” things like why I spent two full days on envelope liners. 

I was recently in a social situation where I found myself regretting the one thing I have absolutely loved doing since February 2009—writing this blog.  In short, I was in a situation where the wrong use of a word (in this case, I meant to say invitation “consultant” and instead I said “specialist”—um, I blame the Miller Lite?  Who knew one word could kick off such drama.  I didn’t intend to sound like an asshole, that’s for sure.) quickly spiraled into an assault on this blog and the fact that I have really enjoyed planning our wedding.  Soon, it was no longer a discussion on wedding planning at all, but a situation where some pretty hurtful things were said to me about my lifestyle and the type of wedding I am planning.

Some of you may remember, back in the day in the very early stages of this blog, how concerned I was about becoming a bridezilla.  A simple comment, made in jest by a friend, has pervaded much of my planning—causing me to take on most of the load myself, without the help of family and friends.  Though difficult at times, this has actually been a blessing for me—I’ve been able to discover just how much I love the details, no matter how miniscule they may be.  I’ve also discovered I have a talent for this—event planning could be something I want to do with my future.  I thought I was doing a good job of not being demanding or overzealous with my friends, until I was made to feel that because I care about the details and am planning a fancy—and dare I say it, expensive—wedding, I am snobby, not as career-driven, and no longer have to “struggle” like my friends.  This blog—this place where I started writing because I didn’t want to bother my friends with minute details about ONE day—was suddenly used to hurt and laugh at me, however unintentionally the conversation might have started out.  

Ladies, listen up:  there is no right or wrong way to plan a wedding.  Some of the most beautiful weddings are at the courthouse…or on the beach…or even in a parking garage.  And yes, some of the most beautiful weddings are big, fancy, black-tie affairs.  But I totally get it.  Some brides aren’t into the planning process.  And you know what?  That’s freaking awesome too.  And if you aren’t into it, so be it!  I won’t judge.  So please don’t judge me because I AM into it. I’ve never said to any of my engaged friends, “You have to be into it like I am.  And have the same wedding as me, with the same priorities.”  That’s ludicrous. 

Dr. Groomy and I are throwing ourselves a big fancy wedding because we want to celebrate a marriage that has been a long-time in the making.  SEVEN YEARS, people—that’s a common law marriage here in Wisconsin.  So yes, we are throwing ourselves a big party.  Yes, it will be organized and detail-oriented, down to the napkins, the placecards, and God forbid—the invitations. And you know what?  We’re not apologizing for it. 

Several times during this specific situation I mentioned above, I wished I had never written this blog.  Or maybe I just wished that I had never shared it with family and friends.  I’d certainly be getting a lot less shit from people.  But you know what?  Just like our big fat fancy wedding, I don’t regret blogging one bit.  I love this space and the friends I’ve made because of it.  People who don’t even know me in real life, but who are somehow able to understand and commiserate.  Like Sabrina, for example—who I have been friends with since 2008 now.  We’ve shared weight loss & running experiences on CalorieKing.com, then wedding planning experiences and more out in the blogosphere.  Now, I can honestly say she is a close friend of mine—we talk nearly every day through emails, GChat, Facebook and blogging.  Or Emily, who is off celebrating her honeymoon as we speak—a girl who has kept me SANE during the wedding planning process.  She lets me bitch when I need to and commiserates with me when I need to complain about things.  There are so many of you who have made a difference in my life* and I wouldn’t know you if it wasn’t for blogging.  So THANK YOU.  To all of you!  For getting why I give a shit about flowers and decor and things I feel like only I would think about.  This is why I blog—because to me, this is a safe haven where I can care about these things and not feel judged.  If you’re reading this and you’re struggling to remember why YOU blog….remember that it’s the community it builds and the support we receive from perfect strangers that keeps us all coming back for more.

Happy Blog Buddy Appreciation Day, friends. 

*There are too many of you to link to or recount here…so if you’re reading this, know I am talking about YOU, too!

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