2014: snapshots

What a packed year 2014 was! I was a bridesmaid, bride, honeymooner in Italy, new business owner, step mom, crafter, creator, and so much more. I’m so looking forward to the new challenges, opportunities, memories and milestones that 2015 will bring. Im feeling so in love with this life I’m blessed to be living!












Wedding Pictures are up… Yay!

Some of our wedding pictures are up!  We got married June 27th at the Barn at Harvest Moon Pond in Poynette.  My Aunt Deb took the pictures and as you can tell by the striking photos, there was much fun and love shared that day!

Check out the pics here: http://www.debwardphotography.com/p105480982

A few pics to set the tone:

The wedding that was…

So everyone told me that my wedding day was going to go by so fast, that I wouldn’t have time to say hi to everyone and that I wouldn’t have time to drink enough to drink barely 1 drink.

They were mostly right. I am still in awe that my wedding day went by as fast as it did. I mean truly it was a blur. There are moments that stick out in my mind, but it definitely wasn’t like a work day where every agonizing minute is burned into your memory. Even the morning time where I was physically relaxing and watching my beautiful bridesmaids get their hair done, I must have still been mentally stressed because it is all a blur.

I didn’t have time to spend time with hardly any of the people who came to the wedding as guests, unless they snagged me at the photobooth or dared to “drop it like it’s hot” with me, there was a brief moment of thanking and hugging after the ceremony that was immediately followed by photos, dinner, photos, dancing, photos, dancing, cleaning up, leaving… and honeymoon.

I did have time to drink a few vodka drinks. Thanks to some great friends who kept me well “hydrated” in the 80+ degree, humid Wisconsin weather!

The wedding day itself was beautiful. We woke up to very reasonable weather. Jason spent the night at a friend’s house, so it was just my sister and I the morning of the wedding. Luckily I was able to get a good nights sleep thanks to a relaxing massage given by my sister. Alexandra was so good to me. She was so understanding of my short-temperment and was ready, willing and able to help with whatever I needed. It truly made me feel well taken care of.

Laura and Kelly showed up with Bagels and Cream Cheese for the bridesmaids, it’s important to keep all the ladies well fed and happy on a day-long wedding extravaganza. Amy brought a carafe of coffee for anyone that needed an extra pick-me-up! The girls has also contributed desserts to the dessert buffet (which at the end of the night was a big hit – or so I have heard). They helped me do some last minute decorating and then 2 by 2 got their hair done by Joni and Haley. They worked some serious hair magic. I do feel blessed that I didn’t feel like I would have done a thing differently. I loved my hair, loved my dress, loved my shoes (bedazzled flip flops), loved my hair piece that my cousin made me and loved the company that I chose to spend my day with.

I loved that my Aunts were there from Maryland and my Grandmother. I loved that they were able to sit with me while I got ready and share in my special day. It was important to me that they didn’t just feel like guests, that they felt like they were a part of the “event” that was my wedding. They were so helpful. (Especially when a certain bride dropped her plate of food on the ground and Linda and Grandma swooped in to save the day… seriously… godsends).

I loved that my Dad was happy and that we got to share the day together. I feel blessed that my family was able to be there and so many extended family and friends made the trip to share the day with me. My Dad got to see me before the ceremony to tell me how beautiful I looked and how proud he was. It was special. I especially loved that Vincent was such an addition to our day. He was definitely hot and uncomfortable in his suit, but he smiled in every picture and even took part in the photo booth. His great attitude on the day when his father was remarrying, was truly appreciated and special.

I loved that the groomsmen were such good sports, that they were all such wonderful supporters of Jason throughout the process and such good sports for the pictures. They were such a fun addition to the day.

The venue was amazing, all their help at the barn was so appreciated. The catering crew set up and provided a dinner that everyone enjoyed. The bartenders were amazing (even going so far as to make sure I had the extra bottle of vodka just for me – cherry flavored). The photobooth was obviously a big hit. The DJ was outstanding, stepping up to cover any gaps that were left by other vendors or just things that I didn’t plan for that were needed. The bus we hired was a great idea that made me feel like everyone at least had the option to make good choices that night!

All-in-all, it was a wonderful day full of family and friends and to me… it went off perfectly!

Wild ride…

Well, I have one more day of work left before the wedding.  Tomorrow I’ll be packing things up, squaring things away and doing a happy little jig on my way out of there.  You won’t be able to slap the smile off my face at 4:00 tomorrow.  It will be “real”.  No more work, only time… wine… and wedding stuff!  It’s been such a long journey (it feels like it anyways).  There was the high of getting engaged, making some quick and fast decisions (in the first couple months I had my dress, DJ, venue, etc) and then another year and a few months passed.  There were times when work was so busy, there was not a wedding brain cell available. And then there were times when my mind was filled with head counts, catering, tea lights and pinterest… oh pinterest.  The devil.

It wasn’t until sometime this weekend that I truly felt like I had reached a point where I could say that I had everything I “needed” for my big day.  “need” is a very relative term when it comes to weddings.  I had to stop looking at wedding blogs, websites, magazines and that damn pinterest.  There was always a bigger, better, prettier, rustic(er), idea that I had to talk myself out of and it got to be exhausting and expensive!

I am so happy to say that we have achieved our goal of reaching our wedding day debt-free (as far as the wedding goes).  We both scrimped, saved, worked extra, and made deals where we could to walk into our lives together without the extra burden of wedding debt!  That, my friends, is an awesome feeling!  We will be able to wine, dine and entertain some of our closest families and friends without a care in the world… except maybe “don’t get drunk, don’t get drunk, a hangover on the flight will suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!” :)

I have found that I was far more of a control freak that probably necessary throughout most of the process and could have leaned on people a little more and stressed a little less, but I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.  I think I got to right where I needed to be, when I needed to be there and am pretty content. I still seem to have a constant excess stream of energy coursing through my veins at all hours of the day and night… which likely explains why my well-fitted wedding dress was too big when I tried it on last weekend (it is at the alteration lady’s house as we speak).

Jason and Vincent seem to be unfazed by most of it, which is good as well.  We have had so much other things going on with BMX, volleyball, hockey, work, work and glitter & glue.  Jason and I spent our first nights on the couch watching movies this weekend in MONTHS.  It was glorious!  Well, back to the couch for the evening and some Lizard Lick Towing.  It’s kinda like crack.  “I’m going to call you cool, caused you’re whipped”…. yup.  :)

38 days… and counting

38 days until our “I do’s”.

I feel like just yesterday I was in the 400+ days and thinking that our wedding day would NEVER get here.  Now I’m wishing I had a little more time to just relax and go through last minute decorations, etc.  Obviously no one notified the universe that my wedding is coming up because I am bombarded with craziness at work, home and in my dreams!  However, for the most part I have been handling it pretty well (although that is just my opinion and my Mom has always said that crazy people always think they are just fine… so…).

Last weekend was my bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Both were tremendously successful.  I felt like both Kelly (bridal shower hostess) and my sister, Alex (bachelorette party hostess) took the time to perfectly capture the essense I wanted for those celebrations.  There was not a single party favor that resembled any kind of genitalia, there was sparkles and photo-props a-plenty and delicious food.  I was so thankful for the people who could make it and to the people who couldn’t, but took the time to wish me well anyways.  Kelly provided me with a pack of thank you cards and address labels for everyone who attended as one of my gifts, if any of you out there are going to throw a bridal shower anytime soon… do this!  It was so tremendously helpful and allowed me to have the thank you’s in the mail on Monday morning.  Boom!  My sister arranged for my favorite shot to be brought out by the staff in little test-tube things.  They even had my name on them!  How awesome was that?  It was awesome enough for me to drink four of them… I had to drink the people’s who didn’t show up.  I believe this is somewhat to blame for the raging heartburn I had (have) for the next few days.  Kelly also had this delicious white sangria, totally loved it. 

As the wedding itself draws closer I am finding myself re-examing the details that are most important to me on that day. I don’t know if it is the clarity of the occassion being so close, or the reality of our stretched budget, but suddenly the little details are just that… little.  I find myself focusing  a little less on every tiny little detail (I’m sure that will change in the days before the wedding) and have enough distance from the event to be able to look at the occassion from a 30,000 foot view.  After worrying about who/what/when for 20 people for a shower, I realized that none of it mattered at the end of the day.  I was present and I celebrated with everyone that could make it, and it was perfect.



A year and a half engagement…


Is just enough time to do things like add to your color palate 13 months into said engagement. Mostly I’ve been leaning and purchasing some brighter colors like blue (see above hobby lobby purchase) and brighter coral and maybe some lilac/lavender (possible bridesmaid dresses).

At first I felt guilty, like I couldn’t change my colors because I already made a decision. Then I realized I was only going to get married once and if I wanted to change my mind, at the last minute it was my right as a soon to be bridezilla to do so. And I’m not changing any of my colors, just adding like bonus round colors.

Going with the flow is much less stressful. I’m also very excited that I’m starting to round up dessert minions. We’ve got a couple cake makers and a couple cup cake makers. I also think I found my wedding shoes. And maybe my wedding earrings (neither of which I can show you because Jason wants to be surprised from head to toe with my ensemble).

Phew. Getting stuff done :)