Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our Wedding, Part Two: Peeking

I think it is really special for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time when the bride is walking down the aisle, but logistically that didn't work for us. Our ceremony and reception were in the same place, so we couldn't easily disappear for post-ceremony pictures, and also, the groomsmen had to immediately arrange the rental tables (which were hidden behind a brick wall) around the ceremony chairs, while the bridesmaids put flowers on the tables. (This sounds quite complicated but I hear tale that it actually went very smoothly.) So anyway, we did pictures before and I was so glad we did.

We had planned on having our first look on the balcony of a nearby bookstore, but it was so hot and kind of hard to be in the same house with Andrew (he was like two rooms away from the bride's room) and not accidentally bump into him. Also, I felt slightly nervous about having random bookstore-goers watch our moment. So we improvised and our photographer Jenny picked a very cute spot in the courtyard. I love how it turned out. And I love the look on Andrew's face. He made this face a lot during the day. What does it mean?

We couldn't believe it was actually happening. At this point the cake was all set up, the house was completely decorated and the caterers were setting up the buffet under a big white tent. Our vision had come together and it finally looked like a wedding! Oh yeah, and we were getting married!

Artsy shot.

Andrew had a really cute billy ball boutonniere to wear but for some reason the guys didn't put them on for pictures. They wore them during the ceremony, though.

Posin' for the camera. It was so good to finally see him. Seventeen hours apart is a long time!

When did you see each other for the first time? Did you do pictures before or after your ceremony? Stay tuned for our group portraits, coming up next!

*All photos by Jenny Anderson Photography

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our Wedding, Part One: Primping

Our wedding turned out better than I could have ever imagined. We had about 100 guests, an acoustic duo, fried catfish, our best friends and family and tons of wedding cupcakes. Despite all the wedding planning we complained about in the last couple weeks before the big day, Andrew and I both agree we would do it over again in a minute. It seriously was that much fun.

So now the recaps begin! I'm excited to get to relive such a wonderful day in this small way and I hope you enjoy this glance into our wedding as much as I enjoy telling you about it!

We got married at the Isom Place, one of the oldest houses in our town. It was built in 1846 and is rumored to be the inspiration for William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily, but according to academics, that's most likely just local lore. I still think it's cool though. We found the venue about two weeks after we got engaged and knew it would set the perfect tone for our vintage-inspired, sweet summer wedding.

We had the whole downstairs of the house as well as the adorable backyard/courtyard area where the actual ceremony took place, but as I am a classy lady (contrary to what a Google search of my blog name might show), I chose to get dressed inside.

The Isom Place (Image borrowed from Mrs. S, of Poor is the New Black.)

My dress, however, hung outside in a tree for a moment so the fabulous Jenny Anderson (I can't say enough good things about our wonderful friend/photographer) could photograph it!

My mom and sister (my matron of honor, of course!) helped me get dressed while my bridesmaids waited outside for the big reveal. As you can tell, my dress was really simple to get into--it's actually a Melissa Sweet bridesmaid dress that came in ivory. (I interrupt this recap for a budget wedding tip: There are tons of bridesmaid dresses, long and short, that come in ivory, so that's definitely worth looking into! I just called a nearby Bella Bridesmaid and the saleswoman pulled all the dresses in the store that could be ordered in white or ivory.)

The only dress mishap we had was right before the ceremony when I bent down to put on my shoes (which in hindsight were freakishly tall) and the snap on the back popped off. My mom sewed it back on in like 20 seconds though, 'cause she's cool like that.

I did the whole "something new, something borrowed" thing and rocked some borrowed pearls from Andrew's mom, a blue "I Do" applique on the bottom of my shoes (that almost caused me to slip!), a brand new headpiece that I bought that morning at the hair salon and a sixpence in my shoe that Andrew's mom and grandmother wore on their wedding days. I like some tradition, what can I say?

Ash and I stared each other down, apparently. But we looked good doing it!

And then my bridesmaids came in! I love these girls. Aren't their dresses cute? Anthropologie, of course. The dresses set the tone for the whole wedding. 

And that's it! Told you my getting ready didn't last very long. One last glance in the mirror (and photo op) later and I was ready for the first look with Andrew!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday, I'm in Love

It's Friday! A beautiful, gorgeous Friday with a full weekend stretching ahead. I woke up this morning excited about so many simple things!

A sweet Labrahound.

Strawberries and pears for breakfast! (Seriously, I am proud of these pears like we actually grew them instead of just renting the house with the tree!)

 A visit from these lovely people and their eldest puppy, the Great White Fluff (aka, George).

Sprouts in the garden.

And last, but certainly not least ...
wedding pictures!

Which, of course, means wedding recaps! I can't wait. Here's a little preview of what's to come:

Photo by Jenny Anderson Photography

Got any fun plans this weekend? Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thank You Note Therapy

Nurse A and I have been married more than a month and let me tell you, we've been living up the non-wedding-planning life. Half-price sushi has replaced trips to the florist, and Instant Netflix has taken the time slot usually allotted for phone calls to the event rentals company about weird sized table cloths. It is a beautiful thing.

But we have one big wedding cloud hanging over our heads that we just can't shake because, well, we haven't done it yet: the thank-you notes. I am ashamed to admit that I have only sent out like 10 notes and Andrew has only written to his groomsmen. We had a big shower earlier on in the engagement and I did get those out in a timely manner, but following my lingerie shower in July I really dropped the ball. I wrote notes to all of the wonderful ladies who came and/or had a hand in putting it together, but writing the card is just half the battle. I never mailed them and then they were out of date. So I've been putting off writing thank-you notes because I need to write one to the lingerie shower guests and then another to said lingerie shower guest and wedding date for the wedding gift. Excuses, excuses, right? Because you all love to come home from a day at work and write thank you notes and I'm the only person in the world who would rather watch TV. But I'm seriously thankful  for everyone who came to the wedding and/or sent a gift, which is another reason it takes me so long to get through thank-you notes--I don't want them to sound formulaic. But no more excuses.

Actually just one more excuse (because he's so darn cute. And so damn bad. He has eaten more than one thank-you note.)

Please note the pupster is leisurely enjoying a pizzle stick.

But everything changed today. I was making my usual blog stalking rounds, and two bloggers in a row had posted about finishing their thank-you notes! Laura, at Luckiest in Love, finished hers before her three-month anniversary date (at the rate I'm going it would be six months for us) and Katie at Spirals and Spatulas finished hers within 17 days. Seventeen days, people. I was inspired. And slightly ashamed. But for the most part inspired! I can't thank the ladies enough (maybe I should send a note?) for getting me into gear.

I didn't keep a spreadsheet with gifts and names like Katie did (what a great idea, by the way), but I did have a finalized guest list and this:

Alas, it is the Basket of Everything Thank-You Note. This is horrible, right? Inside you will find gift cards with quickly scrawled descriptions of the gifts and names of people who gave them, a variety of thank-you notes (I love these Target ones) and some cat stickers. (Don't be a hata--I used them tonight on the note to my sweet little flower girl!) And I apologize that everything I photograph is sitting on this table outside (also a thank-you-less wedding gift); I can only take decent pictures in natural light.

So yesterday night I organized the Basket of Everything Thank-You Note, wrote about 12 notes and am already feeling much more on top of things. I have a goal to get them all out before our two month anniversary on October 14. No more excuses. Although I do firmly believe that if I had a desk like this, I would not have a Father's Day card sitting in the door of my car.

How long did it take you to get your notes out? Did you think ahead and have a super-organized process or did you just hope everything would work out for the best? And did your dog ever eat any of your thank-yous?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Home Improvement

At what point in life did home improvement projects become fun? Because I love them. Give me a Chick-fil-A lemonade and a trip to Home Depot and you've pretty much made my Saturday.

This weekend we put in our first-ever fall garden, which meant two trips to the garden center! Excitement.

We have a normal yard (the lawn mower broke recently while Andrew was cutting it though, so there is a mowed area about the size of a football field and the rest is kind of overgrown right now) and a stone ridge thing right outside our back door. Above that wall is the rest of the yard, which I like to describe as contained chaos. Andrew really wants to weed eat everything up there, but I like the look of it and we're always seeing a fat orange cat slinking around the great unknown. Also, we don't have a weed eater, so I win for now.

Anyway, we put our garden up in the wild area in a spot that had obviously been a veggie garden in the past. I had visions of raking up our supple earth, sprinkling in the seeds and marveling over our finished handiwork by lunchtime with full confidence that in the next few weeks we'd have fresh beets, lettuce and cabbage to dine on. Not so. When we got out to the area we picked for the garden, we found this:

Does that look like a garden to you? It was lots of weeds, a mix of powdery dirt and clay and just an overgrown garden plot in general. So we called my mom, gardener extraordinaire, and asked her what to do about our less-than-idea soil. She and my stepfather Steve spend a lot of time in the yard and stuff actually grows (in weird shapes, but still), which I consider a success. Here they are in their summer garden:

Sure enough, Mom was on her way to buy a peach tree and had some specific advice for our soil therapy: mix organic garden soil, manure (it comes in bags, who knew?) and later some organic fertilizer into the ground to help beef up the dirt. So off to Home Depot we went, where we picked up all of the above as well as a few broccoli plants and a cabbage (because why not?).

And thus, our quick weekend project turned into a two-day event. Fast forward a couple of hours hoein' it up in the garden.

Even Sawyer's friends wanted to help.

By the end of Saturday, we had a (for the most part) clear garden plot. Much better, right?

On Sunday afternoon we finally planted some of our seeds.


Whether or not it will actually produce any veggies is beyond me, but we're trying our best! Check out that awesome cabbage. Will it live? Who knows. Have you ever tried to grow anything? Was in a disaster or a success? I've only ever had success growing jalapenos, which is that random green thing over by the birdbath.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Don't forget to start your week with Mingle Monday over at Life of Meg! It's such a fun way to find new blogs to read.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Looking Forward to Fall

It's not quite fall here in Mississippi, but there are signs that cooler weather is definitely on its way. The early mornings are chilly (thanks to the pupster for getting me up at the crack of dawn!), leaves are noticeably changing and football season is in full swing. Needless to say, I'm excited. I'm looking forward to so many things. Here are a few of my favorites:

Steaming bowls of soup on a cold day.
Photo from here


Frye Harness Boots
Photo from here

Cozy socks to go into said boots.
Image from here.

Halloween decorations.
Image from here
Front door Halloween decorations is my new obsession. I love all holidays (yes folks, I actually buy into Valentine's Day) and for the first time ever this year I am planning for trick-or-treaters! Growing up on an unpaved street with a fenced-in yard full of dogs was not conducive to little witches and skeletons and the like, so we always went to my grandmother's for seasonal festivites. So expect to see some Halloween decor posts in October!

I also love:

Hot chai lattes.


Those crazy pumpkin leaf bags.

And dogs in costume, of course!

We're torn between dressing Sawyer in a hot dog outfit like this cute pup (but for some reason I am unwilling to choose between mustard and ketchup and I cannot rationally explain this), a doctor's scrubs (Target thinks of everything) or a Hawaiian shirt and lei. I'll keep you posted!

What's your favorite part of fall? Do you dress up your pets? My friend Willow dressed up her hermit crab as a witch once, and if I'm not mistaken, she won a prize. (Correct me if I'm wrong!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Care for a Pear?

Nurse A returned from his trip today and the first thing we did (after work and half-price sushi, of course) was pick pears from our tree! You see, the tree is right on the sidewalk and people tend to pick them as they stroll by (and pull up in their cars) so between that and the pear-loving deer, the bottom half of the tree is pretty bare now. We decided we better not wait any longer to bring in our pears. So Andrew got out the ladder and away we went.

Even Sawyer got in on the pear pickin' action.

The pears were so high up that Nurse A had to shake the tree. Sawyer and I ran around underneath collecting them in our crate.

One busted during the fall and Sawyer claimed it as his own. (On a side note, the pupster appears to be growing jowls!)

And then we had a crate full of pears!

It was much more exciting than it probably should have been and everyone was merry.

We stacked them in our windowsill for now.

Please note the tiny Sawyer-shaped wine stopper to the right of this picture, courtesy of Mrs. S of Poor is the New Black.

So now we have lots of pears and a weekend at home coming up. What should we do with them? My mom makes pears and goat cheese over lettuce with toasted walnuts (which is insanely good, but I'm not sure if these hard pears would work well for that). Or maybe we'll make a pear and apple slaw. I've heard that pie made with hard pears is good as well and tastes like an apple pie, but hubs doesn't really like pies that much. If you have any delicious pear recipes, please let us know!