Oh to be crafty ...

Above is another sneak peek. This time, it's our ring pillow, created by Lynn (my very crafty mom). The subject of this post is not about how crafty I am. Nope. It's about a recent discovery, and that is: I am not a crafty gal. I do not cut straight lines. I do not like measuring or gluing or precision. This is why backing all of our table numbers with colored paper nearly drove me over the edge. And this is why I shall not be a crafty, sewing kind of wife who scrapbooks. At least, not in the way of anything with straight edges or fine details -- and not until I've endured some training.

In fact, I should not be allowed to repair even a button at this stage of my skill. I sewed a button back on my pink winter coat a few months ago, and it is so far from where it is actually supposed to be that when buttoned the coat looks like maternity garb. The point of this post, I guess, is that I think it's important to recognize what you should not take on as a bride. Crafty details are great, but sometimes it pays to shell out the dough for pre-cut paper or pre-made place cards, etc. Or, in fact, skip it all entirely! The only things you NEED at a wedding are a bride and groom, people you love, good food, and good music! The rest is icing.

Happy Tuesday!

DIY: Flowergirl basket and pomander

As promised, here's a photo of the basket and pomander that we made for our "flower attendants" to carry. They really turned out beautifully. For the most part I'm prefer real flowers for weddings ... I love them! But I think my mom (who worked at a flower shop in college) has converted me when it comes to small details that no one will see up close. I hope that Kelsey and Maggie will want to have these as keepsakes going forward. And though she was skeptical at first, I think I converted her on the idea of moss as a decorative element. It's vibrant, natural, and elegant.


Song requests

Calling all blog-readers! Patrick and I are putting together a list of must-play songs for the DJ. If you have any great suggestions, let me know. Sorry, I've already vetoed the Electric Slide.

Happy "hump" day!


Honeymoon, here we come!

Just realized I never updated you on our final decision for the honeymoon. We'll be spending 7 days in Nassau, Bahamas. First order of business when we arrive: lay around. Second order of business: lay around and sip frozen cocktails. Third order .... you get the idea! Patrick hasn't taken a full week off of work to vacation in many years. We are so excited to recuperate together in paradise. Thanks for all of the tips as we chose the location!


So, these are the items the fiance says I should invest in for the next 39 days: safety goggles, hard hat, gloves, knee pads, basically a body suit of cushioning. You see, I've been moving a little fast and doing a few too many things at once lately. I've always been the type to find random bruises and scratches on various body parts, and in my younger years my dad dubbed me "ER" because they frequented the emergency room with me. I'd grown out of that for the most part until about the last 30 days, during which I fell on the ceramic tile kitchen floor, slid down the office stairs, gouged my forearm, and finally on Sunday evening splattered Lime-a-way in my left eye. (Note to self: Lime-a-way is sulfuric acid; do not get in eyes!) No fears -- after a good 15 minutes flushing it out the poison control center says I'm ok! Sheesh. Even my brain seems handicapped ... I forget everything unless I write it down.

The only cure I see for this bout of clumsiness will come May 3, when the wedding chaos is over and I wake up to find a ring on Patrick's right hand. Until then, happy hard hats I guess!


Lucky me.

Every woman who has ever planned a wedding, and even every person who has known someone who has planned a wedding or is married, has heard stories of the dreaded "in-laws." Blending families can be stressful. There is history. There are memories and traditions that differ from family to family. Deep and strange emotions surround weddings that, I believe, can kind of make people crazy. But in the face of all of that, I can say "lucky me."

Lucky me that my "FMIL" -- that's the silly way today's wedding Web sites and blogs refer to the "future-mother-in-law" as if she were some alien outsider -- has known me for seven years. She's seen me grow up and has been there through some of the same life events that my best friends have seen. She respects me and my relationship with her son. Beckie and my mom (in the photo with me above) get along to boot!

At a recent get-together Beckie told the story of my first stay at her home, when I marveled at the sun coming up over the soybean fields as "so beautiful." It really is a gorgeous sight, but after some years and now that I am living in the country, those sunrises are more familiar but equally as beautiful. To me, that's the perfect metaphor for what happens when lives merge -- even if two people have experienced a seeming total opposite in life experiences.

Lucky me that Patrick's dad and brother and sister-in-law, niece, nephew, and many cousins, aunts, and uncles, are very different from my own. Lucky Patrick that he now feels comfortable during my family's crazy holiday "lock-ins." What at first seems jarring or different eventually fades away to reveal a family to respect and cherish.

I feel like there is so much in the wedding culture that tells us we must clash with the "in-laws," and there is nothing that says, "you can do this; you are lucky to have them." Well, that's how I feel. We can do this. Patrick and I are lucky to have eachother, and we are grateful to know that in a few weeks we can say we have a family doubly strong.


Cohabitation Part 12: Lessons

9 months down, 45 days to the altar! For a little "hump" day humor, I'm offering some little lessons for life I've learned while we've been under the same roof:

• The lemon souffle and blue that covered our kitchen walls is now a new color, "clay pebble." It's warm and neutral and inviting. Patrick painted it all by himself, he says it was for me and my kitchen. Turns out he likes it too, and we are both happier. Best part: we let the Home Depot computer choose it for us, so there were no debates about which paint to choose! Well done, Behr color-match program. :)

• I have yet to master the shower lever (mentioned in a much earlier post about our cohabitation adventures). Oops. Funny thing is, we stopped arguing about it. Forget what's not important.

• Breaker is a hilarious and much appreciated comic relief. How can you take life too seriously when your giant black lab is chasing a flashlight beam around the house and jumping into walls to try and catch it? And how can you have a negative attitude when you wake up to the weight of a snuggle-dog's head cuddled on your footsies? And for the sake of this post, we'll forget the shedding issue.

• Yes, even crock pot taco soup can cause a silly argument (even if it did end up being quite tasty and smelling quite nice, despite it's "puke" like appearance) and once you've yelled at each other in the kitchen about a recipe, you can pretty much plan on never serving it again. Bummer. I really liked it.

• Girl still needs alone time. I mean a person can only share so much with another person...I do not care to pluck my eyebrows or workout on the elliptical in front of the love of my life, some days (choice days) I may need an hour or so before I'm even ready to speak to my "roommate." Lesson: say something. Don't let it fester.

• Getting married is still a big deal. It seals the deal and gives the commitment permanence. OI know things might not be different, but I am convinced it will feel new and fresh like our relationship did in the first months of our engagement. And I can't wait.


City Girls Gone Country

What a blast! Complete with my very favorite foods, pin the "macho" on the man, an interactive video "newlyweds" quiz, special gifts, country line dancing, a guest appearance on stage with the band, pink sparkly cowboy hats, and a blinking "bride to be" button. Who could ask for anything more?! The countdown is now in full swing and I am basking in the afterglow of a weekend with my favorite women. 54 days until the next BIG party!


Pre-bachelorette party blog

Bachelorette party is this weekend... the sisters and friends have plotted and planned. Hostess with the mostest Gabie Benson says I need a pre-bachelorette blog. So here it is: I AM EXTREMELY, UNBELIEVABLY, WONDERFULLY, VERY EXCITED TO SPEND A NIGHT WITH ALL OF MY GIRLFRIENDS THAT I NEVER GET TO SEE AND I AM VERY VERY VERY GRATEFUL TO MY MOM, EMMA, ANNA, GABIE, TRICIA, SHEA, LAUREN, AND EVERYONE WHO IS COMING VERY LONG DISTANCES (or even very short ones!) TO BE THERE WITH ME ON SATURDAY! :)