Saturday, February 26, 2011

Something I HAD to Share

    A while back I subscribed to Parents magazine. It was only $5 for a year of Parents and American Baby.  It was another affordable resource as I am not a parent myself it is helpful to be studied and have a broad knowledge when parents ask about things like potty training, manners, and the daily battles of parents of toddlers which I have only one hour at a time experience. I really do look forward to getting them each month (partly because it is mail that is not a bill), and read through cover to cover before taking them to work to share with my co-workers. This past October I was touched by a mom's birth story and anxiously awaited the sequel in November's issue. They struck such a cord with me as the worst part of my job is having to sometimes be the person who suggest families seek an evaluation, that may lead to a diagnosis, and experience their grieving and pain. I have honestly lost sleep many times and been sick to my stomach and rehearsing just the right phrasing to lessen a blow that I know can't be softened. I much prefer getting to be the super hero who comes in after a diagnosis and getting to be the resource for information, therapy, ideas to help their child improve. Not that I do not provide the same for families who have not yet gotten a diagnosis, it is just that in the nature of grieving sometimes families see the person who suggests the possibility of "something isn't quite right" as the villain instead of the super hero. I stumbled upon this blog the other night from one of the other blogs I follow and loved the pictures and stories, then I noticed the "If You're New Start Here" link and recognized the story. It is such an inspirational yet not sunshine and rainbows story about the reality of realizing you have a child who has special needs. It talks about the grieving process and the real emotions that I think some parents are ashamed to have when going through a similar experience. I am so excited to find the follow up to the magazine article as Kelle's writing pulls you in and makes you feel as though you are a close friend. I suggest you Start at the Beginning and assume that like me you will be hooked.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1 Year Wrap Up

   Since it has almost been a year since the wedding I have been thinking back to the craziness I was experiencing this time last year.   I spent a lot of time on the WeddingBee website, I had a whole folder of pictures saved on the computer, and a folder with those clear protective sheets filled with pages I had torn out of magazines with notes about what and why I liked specific elements (Yes, I still have it. It is hard to get rid of something you put so much work and time into).  Here are a few of my inspiration pictures.
See all the blue and yellow. 
 More blue and yellow, and also the tea length bridesmaids dresses.

 Hydrangeas.... my biggest want!


This photo inspired my picture of the flowers on the boardwalk.

My hair inspiration.
 And the photos that made me NEED a trash the dress photo shoot!

In order to achieve the things I wanted and maintain our budget our wedding was definitely a lot of DIY. Which should be no problem as I come from a crafty family right?! Besides all the brides on WeddingBee did it and pulled it off and their weddings looked amazing. As all of our family lives out of state and so did my bridesmaids I was doing the projects solo, I think many/most of the WeddingBee brides had helpers. I had quite a laundry list of projects were DIY.
  1. Save the Date cards- designed and ordered from VistaPrint
  2. Invitations- Brides Magazine Blank that we designed and had printed at Office Max and put together by a very patient fiance and I.
  3. Welcome Bags- With Hydrangea stamp, itinerary which I customized from a template that another Bee posted on WeddingBee, fish water games, & pencils.
  4. Table Numbers- The numbers were pre-printed and we stamped the blue accents. It is hard to find plain white paper products for weddings.... seriously been to every store that carries wedding items 50 times over.
  5. Seating Cards... Have I mentioned how hard it is to find plain white wedding paper products. I also wonder how many of our guests realized they were grouped at tables together for a reason. I not only wanted you all to meet as there is likely no other time so much of both of our families will be together but I literally spent hours with note cards arranging and rearranging you into groups that I thought had a lot in common. (If you are curious ask I still remember)
  6. "Guest Book" Cards- We stamped them with the same stamp that was used for the table numbers and seating cards.
  7. Centerpieces... With some help from Mr. Ford in arranging those roses so beautifully and my girls in coloring the water blue and gluing ribbon around the votive candles.
  8. Thank You/Candy bags... I stamped the "Thank You" and made the chocolates.
  9. My necklace- I couldn't find what I wanted at a reasonable price... so I just made it.
  10. Wedding Bouquet- The flowers came from Sam's Club, with some floral tape, ribbon, lace from my mom's wedding dress, and pins I had just what I wanted.
  11. Programs- again designed by us and printed at Office Max, we used a hole punch and some ribbon to attach the bubbles.
  12. Program Basket- I glued teal ribbon around the handle to make it match.
  13. The tulle along the wedding party table and cake table with lights.... done by my father and maybe a helper (I was stressing over the wedding taking place while we were supposed to be rehearsing).
  14. Card Bird Cage... I wove some ribbon through it and voila a beautiful card holder....
  15.  
     AND my helpers didn't arrive until Thursday and I was working up until 1pm the Friday of our rehearsal. I would not recommend taking on this much alone for anyone else... but as they say "If you want something done right" or in my case "just the way you picture it in your head".  And it did.... For the things I didn't do on my own I picked, checked, and double checked the details which meant leaving pictures and pieces of teal/aqua ribbon with all of our vendors (Just ask Jim they all returned the pieces of ribbon when he picked up our orders). I literally had a swatch of ribbon with me at all times for at least 6 months.
I also wanted to share a few details that meant a lot to me but you may not have noticed....
My blue shoes.... colored bridal shoes were popular... not sure if they still are. This color of blue is my birth stone and matches the other stones in my engagement ring.

 Along with some lace from my mom's wedding dress that was on my bouquet I also wore my mom's mom's wedding ring and my dad's mom's engagement ring as my something borrowed.  It was great to have a piece of them there with me on my wedding day.
 The flowers that sat on our "altar" were to represent family members who had passed away.
 The parents and bridal party walked down the aisle to Love Your Love the Most by Eric Church and I walked down the aisle to History In the Making by Darius Rucker.
 See my pretty ribbon on the basket and those programs.
 The Breakers Hotel where we had the wedding and reception actually remodeled their ball room the October before our wedding. It had been oranges, reds, and darker yellows and by coincidence they changed to yellows and blues that matched our wedding colors! HOW PERFECT!
 The reception hall before. Notice the blue water with floating candles.
 My dad is always being a super helper... He carried my boots up to the ballroom so they would be there for me when it came time for Jim and I to battle.... you may have missed that if you left the reception early.... so I'll tell you. I WON! ;)
 I had pictures of our parents and our grandparents on their wedding days on our cake table. And our cake topper was a Willow Tree cake topper (and the design was one of those pictures I left to ensure it was done just how I pictured it)
I think it was hard for those who were not here with me to grasp just how much I cared about the details and getting exactly what I was picturing in my head to become a reality. I spent a lot of time explaining myself and justifying my choices to others which caused a lot of unnecessary stress and tainted some of the experience for me. I have spent much of the last year holding on to some resentment and hurt feelings over what happened but just like the pictures, folders, and endless scraps of teal/aqua ribbon it is time to let go. As always it was a learning experience and a I am so happy that I feel it turned out as close to my mental picture as I think is possible to achieve in reality. Of course the very best part was that I married my best friend.




      Wednesday, February 9, 2011

      What to do? What to do?

          It is hard to believe but Jim and I have already been married more than 10 months! So that means in less than two months (45 days to be exact) we will no longer be "Newlyweds".  So the name of the blog must change.... although I am not sure what this next phase we are entering should be called.  We will no longer be "newlyweds" and are not yet "parents" (although I dearly love my fur babies). I am hoping to still use the blog to share with our family and friends little bits about our daily life and of course more adventures. I have seen several people who are doing the 365 project and really like the idea of taking notice and documenting the little every day things.
      I am officially requesting your suggestions! You better take the chance... I rarely need help in making plans!
      Should I do a separate blog for the 365 project or just wind it in with my regular (or as of late rater irregular) blogging? Also what about that name? 
      I look forward to your suggestions!

      Tuesday, February 8, 2011

      Yummy!

      Yesterday Jim had to go to Charleston and on his way home he picked up something sweet for me! :D
      Cupcakes from CUPCAKE!!!

       
      The one on the left looks a little smooshed but not bad for making the long trip here to me! Also notice the wooden coin in the middle. It is good for one free cupcake! Isn't that a cute idea? A little different than the normal gift card. Now to keep it somewhere safe until my next trip to Charleston.

      Sunday, February 6, 2011

      Valentine's Day Wreath

      I have mentioned before my holiday decorations for our little window.... the ones that annoy our cat, Scarlet. And I often get frustrated when I have a picture of something I am looking for in my head but can't find it in any store. This time I decided to try to make it myself.
      It started out with a trip to the local craft store. Where I got an assortment of wooden hearts.
      A 9 inch quilting hoop.
      Red, pink, and white paint. As well as clear based glitter paint.
       And the always handy Aleene's Original Tacky Glue.
       After painting all of my wooden hearts and the quilting hoop. I used wax paper to protect the table. It is better than newspaper because then the wet paint doesn't stick to the newspaper and make them hard to remove.
       After gluing on the first "layer" of hearts. I spent quite a bit of time arranging and rearranging the hearts until I had them in the perfect order to fit on the hoop.
       And the second "layer" of hearts. Again much arranging and rearranging.
       The final product. I just need to add a little ribbon and hang it in the window to drive Scarlet crazy.
       I really enjoyed making my own wreath. I only wish they made wooden circles that are a bit thicker and solid, as balancing the hearts on the hoop until they were securely affixed was rather difficult.
      What do you think? Do you ever have difficulty finding what you had in mind?