Making A Comeback

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I’m not sure if any of you missed me, but I sure missed blogging! Life has been crazy this summer–dog agility trials, volleyball, new job, wedding planning, etc. I’ll try to sum up the summer as well as I can…

Running
I’ve been keeping up with my running, however it hasn’t been the most consistent training–but hey, at least I’m running! I’m trying to get in runs 2-3 times a week right now. I haven’t had any races that I’m training for, so I guess the inconsistency is alright. I did run in the Extreme Rampage a couple of weeks ago. It was a little over four miles of running through mud, creeks, jumping over horse cross country jumps, climbing wooden walls and cargo nets, etc. It was a lot of fun and I’ve decided I really do enjoy the obstacle/mud races! While I haven’t been running for time, I’ve had a lot of fun running with my older co-worker, Tom. While he’s in the 65+ year-old category, he celebrates every moment of the runs, which is inspiring to me.

Unfortunately I don’t be able to run in my favorite race, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this year (which was also my first 5K 3 years ago) because it’s the morning of my wedding day. I was really thinking about trying to squeeze it in, but I’m afraid that’s one more thing I will stress about, and I’ve been told I shouldn’t be stressing on my wedding day. So maybe I’ll wake up early and get in an easy 3 mile jog around my neighborhood for good measures that morning.

Wedding Planning
As I’m writing this, the countdown is now down to only two weeks–14 days!!! I can’t believe it’s coming so fast! And yet, everyone reminds me we’ve been engaged for almost two years now. Some times I feel like things are coming along smoothly, but then there are times that I am stressing because I forgot something (i.e., guest book!) or I’m unsure of something. We’ve met with our DJ one last time, I’ve already had my final dress fitting and brought my dress home, had a hair trial (but would like to fit in one more), we’ve gotten M’s wedding band, and already applied for our marriage license. I’ll update more on things in a later post this week…

New Job
I changed positions at my company earlier this spring. Since then, it’s been a lot of learning about new processes, testing processes, and just trying to keep up with everything happening at work. We’re about to launch something big middle of this month, but until that has been launched and we’re comfortable with it, I’m sure things will be pretty crazy and stressful in the office. While I never blogged while I was at work, I haven’t had the time to think about what my upcoming post could be about. Hopefully I’ll be able to be more creative in the next month or so…

Dog Agility
I’m trying to get back to blogging more, which also means updating my dog agility training blog. So, you can check that out for updates. But, I’d like to brag that Dally and I qualified for the AKC National Agility Championships once again–this time we’ll be heading to Tulsa, Okla., in March and I’m already stoked about it!

So there’s your quick wrap-up. I can’t guarantee how well I’ll do updating things as I get closer to my wedding day, but I’ll try my best to keep things moving along. I’ll definitely plan to share some pics if I have any and details about that day and our “temporary honeymoon” (that’s an update all on its own).

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Wedding Planning Update: Less Than 4 Months!

With there being less than four months to go until the Big Day, I realize there hasn’t been much of an update about how things are going:

My sister’s MOH dress (don’t mind her silly face, she wasn’t aware I was taking her photo…oops!), only this will be in an apple red.

I finally was able to go with my sister (Matron of Honor) to look at bridesmaid dresses. She was concerned that she wouldn’t look good in the dresses that my other two bridesmaids picked out, but I wanted her to give it a try anyway. We chose a few long dresses, as well, for her to try on for a look more in her comfort and style. I have to say, it was a lot of fun trying on dresses with her because it was almost a mini-celebration of her weight loss journey herself. See, she and her husband started on a health journey January 2011 to eat better and get more active. After a year, Jerry had lost at least 100 pounds and Erin had lost at least 40 or so. They celebrated the first year of their journey by completing a 5K together—I was so proud of them and wished I could have come home that weekend!

Anyway, I digress…so now with her weight loss of 45+ pounds, I think she was enjoying discovering her new body. We ended up trying on a dress that is very similar to the bridesmaids’, but longer.

Heritage Horse Farm–location of our wedding

In May my parents came into town and we took them up to my friend’s farm where we’re having the wedding and introduced them to Chad. We walked around the property and discussed where we could set up the reception tent, have everyone park, and where to hold the ceremony. I constantly worry that this will be more of a pain for Chad and his wife, since they are also running a boarding barn on their property. I worry that having a tent constructed on Friday, a big shindig on Saturday, and then the tent deconstruction on Sunday might disrupt too much and spook the horses.

We also took Matt’s mom there to see the place and get her approval. She seemed to really like the place, which was reassuring.

I’m meeting with a friend who is also a graphic artist to design our invitations this week. I had met with a printer my dad has used for 30+ years back home, but I didn’t feel like I would be able to show our individual personality with their offerings. I was excited to see Camille’s design she did for her daughter’s wedding because it was simple and no fuss—exactly how I want our wedding to be. I’m looking at some places that can print exactly what I want and how I want around Lexington. I’m lucky to work in the publishing industry and have a few tips of places to try.

Once I get the invitations ordered, my next goal will be to tackle a list of what I need to do myself—spray paint the centerpieces, order burlap, and start figuring out the table runners, etc. I’m also looking at where to order a photo guestbook–we don’t want the usual boring book that won’t ever been seen again. Dad, meanwhile, has the list of what stuff we need from the rental company and will be calling them to reserve the tent, chairs, and tables.

I hope I’m on the right track…

Wedding Planning: 6 Months To Go

Wedding planning isn't all hearts and candy...

Brides-to-be are used to getting emails from TheKnot.com and other wedding planning websites counting down how many days or months are left until the big W-day. Some may relish each email, but for me, I dread them…a lot.

Friday was the 6-month mark for our wedding…talk about nerves!! We haven’t been the most proactive when it comes to planning our wedding because it just brings up concerns about money, which can often lead to some unhappy times in the house. Money = Stress That’s the way life is for many people. If we don’t talk money, we can’t argue…right?

So what did we have for the wedding at the 6-month mark? The location, photographer, bridal party, and my dress… Nothing else has been set in stone. Not good.

Luckily we were driving up to my parents’ this weekend for the Easter holiday, and just to be with family after the loss of my grandmother (she died March 28, before I left for Reno). Saturday M and I sat down with my mom and dad to talk about what we were going to rent for the ceremony/reception. I had put my dad in charge of talking with rental companies because he rented a tent, etc., for my sister’s wedding and has an idea about measurements, etc. So we sat down and started crunching numbers…we decided on the tent size, what size tables we needed for what, and then whatever else we needed to rent.

M and I had taken a trip to Sam’s Club a while ago and looked at some things that we could purchase there, rather than rent or purchase elsewhere, like using plastic table covers instead of buying linen tablecloths, etc. Our day is going to be laid back and on a farm–we don’t need to be extremely fancy with cotton tablecloths when plastic works just as well, and we’ll have decorations to make the tables look nicely.

While we were doing this, I was working on the guest list and trying to add whatever addresses I didn’t have already from my parents’ side. My parents had asked me to add a couple more family friends to the list, which started worry me about the guest list size. Originally we had hoped to keep the numbers close to 100, and we were at 130. However, my mom explained that the majority of their friends wouldn’t come to an out-of-state wedding, but they’d be upset if they didn’t receive an invitation. So I sat down and put notes by each of those so I could relax a little about the numbers. I know they say that usually 30% of those you invite don’t come, but we had whittled down our list to those we were 80% sure would come.

At M’s grandparents’ Easter dinner, he asked for addresses of family so we could try to finish up the guest list. I think the list is pretty much set, with a few question marks here and there that I’m sure I have a month or two before we have to finalize the list…right? We just need the list 90% set so we have the number for a caterer, table/chair count, etc.

Also at Easter brunch with my family, we asked my brother-in-law to be the officiant for our wedding. We don’t belong to a church in the Lexington area, and we don’t have any other connections for someone to marry us. We could go the route of using a Justice of the Peace or pay almost $300 for a minister from a local church. Either way, that person would be a stranger, and neither of us wanted to have a stranger marry us–it’s not very personal. I love my BIL and he’s been a big part of my family since he and my sister met. He’s also been close with M, giving him advice and hanging out. We wanted my BIL to be a part of our day in some special way, and as our officiant seemed like a perfect fit. Of course he’s already nervous about it, but promised he’d look into it. I figure we can craft together the ceremony in advance so he has time to practice everything and become a little more comfortable with it.

So, now we have an officiant, a guest list, and a better idea about the rental situation. Not bad for a 48-hour turnaround, huh?

Wedding Planning: Start then Stop, Start then Stop

I had an incredibly relaxing weekend this past weekend. It was colder than what we’re used to (it’s been a rather mild winter this year so far, anyone else?), so we spent the majority of the weekend inside. I have to say it was pretty refreshing to not have to do much, which is very rare for me.

So a good part of Sunday, for me, was spent watching my “girly shows” that include “Say Yes to the Dress” and “My Fair Wedding.” I never watched these shows until I got engaged–true story! Now, I can sit and watch episode after episode. Anyone else feel the same? But I can’t help but wonder if I’ll continue to watch these types of shows after my wedding day? Who knows, but until then, I’ll accept this as one of my guilty pleasures.

So when you watch “My Fair Wedding,” you see David Tutera help overwhelmed brides and bringing them the wedding of their dreams. Of course, you know they go from DIY budgets of maybe $10,000 to a crazy budget of who knows how much (my guess–$100,000) of gifted dresses, catering, decorations, venues, etc. (Of course, as my dad always says, “I can’t wait to see the taxes they’ll have to pay on those “gifts.”)

It leaves me thinking about my own wedding planning. Now, granted, I haven’t done that much–which upsets me and I start to feel more overwhelmed than anyone will ever know. I think the reason why I haven’t really done much planning is because I don’t really know where to start. I know it’s important to get the vendors scheduled, and we’re slowly working on that (I do have a photographer now, remember?), but there has to be more, right?

I’m trying to get my bridesmaids organized, but it’s hard when my sister (matron-of-honor) has such a tough schedule working third-shift (9pm-6am) as a 911 dispatcher five nights a week and then works as a reserve K9 officer for the local police department one day a week. That leaves her with one day to relax and get things done that she can’t get done in the few hours before her shift throughout the week. So, it’s hard to try to organize a day (or weekend) to get everyone together to try on dresses and just hang out. So that worries/stresses me some already.

I’m trying to figure out the decor for the reception, but it’s been hard to know how much is enough or too much. I had thought I’d be able to purchase my linens from a friend’s daughter who was married last year, complete with the burlap runners I have been talking up for a while, but I found out last week she sold everything already. So, I’m out of luck with those and now I need to decide if I should purchase linens or rent them? Also, now I need to find bulk burlap and see if I can talk someone into helping me make table runners with it.

Then there’s the thought of…what else can I do with burlap? I found a tutorial for burlap flowers that I thought about using for my bouquet, but I’ve since changed my mind. Maybe make small burlap bags for the favors (homemade chocolate chip cookies from my mom and homemade brownies made by Matt’s mom–our two favorite treats)? Use burlap as “ribbons” to intertwine around for decoration? Anyone have any other ideas?

I had found some very cute, very me wrought iron candle votive holders with Texas stars at Tractor Supply Company before Christmas and I thought keeping an eye on them for after Christmas sales would work. Well, I was wrong. They were all gone when I went to try to purchase them. I had thought to use those as candle centerpieces, so now I’m back to square one with that as well.

So, it seems like right when I feel like we’re getting things rolling with the wedding planning, it stops. Then we start talking more about it…then it stops. It’s a frustrating and overwhelming for me, which doesn’t make it fun.

I wish I could afford a wedding planner…or that David Tutera would stray from his California weddings and come to Lexington to do mine. What do ya say, David??