About Me

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I'm a loving [although sometimes crazy] wife, a [very] loyal friend, a passionate educator, an involved citizen, a sensitive soul, a faithful Christian, a fiery Aries, and a classy lady.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bachelorette Shindig

Last weekend was my "Last Fling Before the Ring Bachelorette Mountain Weekend" hosted by the amazing RevDocJLa and MaidOH. For the male readers out there, we all hung out in lingerie all weekend drinking lots of wine and having pillow fights. For the ladies, read on.

From the very beginning I told MaidOH that I wanted something very low-key where we could sleep, lay around, drink some fun drinks, and not do much. I'm not really into the whole "getting trashed in a bar then having a male stripper" thing. I don't like taking shots, and I get embarrassed very easily, so I don't like all the attention. I haven't actually been to very many Bachelorette parties because of work or grad school or other conflicting events, so I really didn't even know what to do.

MaidOH and RevDocJLa booked a cute little cabin called "A Precious Place" and brought up a TON of wine, beer, and snacks. Let me tell you, this place sure was precious. It's like everything in your grandparents house that you felt guilty about throwing it away - may I suggest putting it in a cabin and calling it cute? DeHart and I had a "Gone with the Wind" themed bed room, Pearls and Meg has a million mirrors, RevDocJLa and MaidOH had lots of lace things, and all the bathrooms had French hotel signs from Hobby Lobby. It was strange, but precious! The porch  downstairs was the perfect spot for us to relax, chat, laugh a lot, and tell stories.

Four of us arrived early on Friday and went to dinner at Hard Rock. I haven't eaten there in a long time, and my new found meat eating ways led me to the most magical turkey burger of my life. I wore the Bachelorette sash, and we drank out of inappropriately designed straws. We got back and hung out in the hot tub for a while. Pearls and Meg arrived later, and we all went to bed at a decent hour. It was great! Saturday morning we went outlet mall shopping. Sevierville has the best outlet malls, and we found some awesome deals! I stocked up on honeymoon and general summer stuff. Other sweet girls came up to join us, including my sweet K, and shop with us before we headed back to cabin. The lingerie shower was definitely fun, and luckily I wasn't as embarrassed as I was worried I'd be! P is going to be a very happy married man thanks to my sweet (and naughtier than expected) girlfriends! Then we just relaxed all evening. We thought about going out but ordered pizza instead. After a delicious brunch Sunday morning at the Pancake Pantry, we parted ways. It was PERFECT.

I think there is a lot of pressure on Bachelorette parties to be wild "one last time" before you get married. The thing is, I'm not wild. I'm honestly sort of boring. A wild night usually lasts until midnight and might have involved a bottle of wine at most. And, if I ever do get "wild" I want P to be there. So, I didn't really want to have something that would leave me feeling sick the next day just for the sake of saying I did it. Male strippers gross me out, and I don't care if a random stranger hits on me in a bar. I know some girls want that, and that's great for them. I know this year I'll go to DeHart's Bachelorette party, and we will be absolutely wild! It just isn't for me. And, it's OK to do what I'd prefer for my last "fling." I only hope the other girls weren't bored! :)

One of my favorite moments of the weekend was DeHart trying on the lacey thing in the RevDocJLa and MaidOH's room. Enjoy!

I hope Grandma isn't mad that we borrowed her wedding dress for a photo-op!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Something Old, Something New

"Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Six-Pence in Her Shoe"

I'm not entirely sure where this trend started, but it's something I think we all learn as little girls. Some research tells me that it comes from Victorian Times, whichis also where the tradition of wearing a white wedding dress comes from. Maybe it's just the catchy rhyme of the words that keeps it going? Either way, I've thought about what each of these items will mean to me on my wedding day. I've kept things from my youth just to fufill some of these areas while others have been taken care of by friends I've met in my adult years. Each item represents so much to me - the strength of friendships, the love of family, the faith of those around you that your marriage will succeed. It's a nice time to honor those who've passed and celebrate those who stand beside you on this special day. So, let me tell you about my "somethings." They are each so, so meaningful to me!

Something Old

"Something old symbolizes the bride’s connection with her family and her past as a single woman."

I have two something old's that I'm carrying. One is my great-grandmother Grace's handkerchief. It's white with yellow flowers, and I love it. My grandmother gave it to me after Mamaw Grace passed in 2003. Our florist is wrapping it around my bouquet. The other "something old" is my Granny, Jamia's, "grandchildren" ring. She had a ring made with all of our birthstones in it. I loved my Granny more than probably anyone I've ever known, and I'm so glad to be able to honor her on our wedding day. I hope my cousins will also want to wear this sweet ring on their wedding days.
Something New

"A new item in the bride’s attire represents the new life she will soon begin."

I guess my something new is probably my dress and shoes. Or the ring P gave me that started this whole journey? This one is tricky!

Something Borrowed

"Borrowing an item to carry or wear on her wedding day reminds a bride that her friends and family are there for her should she ever need their help."

I also have two something borrowed's. One is my veil. My sweet friend Napolean is lending me her veil for our wedding. It's so beautiful and matches my gown perfectly! The other is a pearl necklace that Pearls is allowing me to borrow. Knowing both of these beautiful women are standing beside me on this day makes them even more special!

Something Blue

"In many cultures, blue symbolizes faithfulness and loyalty."

Appropriately, my something blue does symbolize faith and loyalty - in many ways! I have a fabulous MTSU garter that my sweet friend Em brought me from Murfreesboro! P and I met at MTSU, and it will always be our favorite place. "For the one true Pride of the Blue, MTSU Raiders Ride!" I also have an azure blue ribbon that was given to me on the day of my ADPi initiation that I'll have tied to something on the day of the wedding.

A Silver Sixpence

"A sixpence was a silver coin worth six pennies in England between 1551 and 1967. It was placed in the bride’s shoe to attract wealth to her new marriage."

Technically, my Sixpence is also a "something borrowed" from my sweet friend Disney Princess. She wore it on her wedding day, and I'm so grateful that she's lending it to me for mine.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fabulousness in an Envelope

I've never had a lot of "custom" made things. Since I spell my name with an "ie" instead of a "y" I never got the water bottles, key chains, etc. that people get with their names on it because they really jack up the prices when they have to do a "custom job." But, it was never a big deal to me. I had a few very pretty "M" things, and that was always enough. I never expected to have custom wedding invitations made. I'm VERY thrifty and frugal. When I started looking at wedding invitations, my heart dropped. I was thinking there was no way I was going to be able to afford the amount of invitations we needed! Seriously, have you looked at those things!?

While still at GSU, my old boss had an invitation she'd kept from another girl on campus. The invitation was beautiful and unique. I asked the girl for the details, and she told me how she'd ordered her paper online and had them printed at the print shop on campus. Fantastic news! Except that I was about to move to TN and didn't know where the nearest print shop was. Nor did I have any clue what to print ON the invitation.

In the meantime, I was chatting with my gloriously talented graphic designer friend, Shauhn. Napolean was looking for someone to help her design invitations for her little boy's first birthday party. I knew Shauhn had her own little painting and artsy business on the side of her full-time job, so I passed on the information. After seeing the outcome, it dawned on me that she might be able to do the same for me! So, I'd asked her if she would help me.

Boy, oh boy, is Shauhn Caughron Designs talented! I gave broad thoughts about what I liked, and she made it into reality. I'd seen a picture on ETSY, and Shauhn recreated it in 15 minutes. I'd google the wording I wanted to get it just right, and she'd quickly lay out beautiful formats and romantic fonts. I gave very basic requests like "I want a pretty B" and she'd find one that was perfect and change the color to complement my wedding. She did it all - photo altering our "Save the Dates," making a logo for our photo booth and address labels, the invitation and information pieces, and the program for the ceremony.

Many of you have seen the outcome of this design process. It's perfect. It's personal. It's different. It's classy. It's unique yet timeless. It's the perfect invitation for me. And, P loves it, too. I couldn't have imagined anything more beautiful. And, she did it all. If you haven't seen it, or want to look again, see below! :)

And now, others can have the same kind of custom design for any event for the same price (or less in many cases) than big time invitations companies. I'm so glad Shauhn, and our dear friend Tasha, have decided to go into this business together. I'm also so glad that I'll never have to buy ho-hum invitations again! Email shauhn@theinkboutique.biz to get more information. I promise, it's worth it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's the best feeling in the world...

...when you meet new friends that you can't stand to be without. [Unknown]

When I first met Pearls, I was terrified. There are very few people in the world that P holds in such high regard. Prior to the weekend at the lake, P warned me that I needed to pass the "{Pearls} Test." This is apparently a test that most folks don't pass on their second and third attempts, let alone the first. And, well, P really, really cares about Pearls, and he wanted us to not just get along but actually be friends. God love my sweet P.

What I've come to learn since that first weekend at the lake is that is she is worth every bit of that anxiety I felt at first. I've learned why girls are scared of her, and I've learned that she is so easy to love just the way she is. She can be brutally honest, blunt in her choice of words, and isn't so much a "hugger." I think the reason most women are scared of this is because deep down, we sometimes wish we could be like that. It's hard to always be sweet and candy-coat negative feelings, and it's considered strange if we're not touchy-feely. And, I've already expressed my love for friends who aren't afraid to hurt your feelings because your friendship is stronger than that.

But the reason I've come to love Pearls on my own is that her core traits are worth the work of getting into her heart. Pearls is incredibly loyal. Once she's decided you're worth it, you've got a friend for life. This applies not only to her friendships, but her fanfare. Her addiction to the Nashville Predators is comical to an outsider. She is fierce and cut-throat as a fan. This is probably due to her natural tendency to go all-out when she care about something. She doesn't do anything half-way. Once she's in - she's in for keeps.

She has the best memory of anyone I've ever met. She remembers those small details that make you feel truly listened to and appreciated. In the same vein, she is unbelievably thoughtful. She's inclusive in sharing and creating memories, and she tailors each opportunity or experience to the person. She is generous with her time, knowledge, and home. No matter what she has going on (and between her job and her business, she has A LOT going on!), she finds time and energy to be there. And not just be there in mere existence but to actually be present and involved in the conversation 100%.

When Pearls gets excited, there is no hiding it. She is excited with her ENTIRE being. Picture a little kid on their birthday and times it by at least 100. This is also exaggerated by the fact that very few things get Pearls truly excited. Sometimes this excitement is about a Halloween costume and sometimes it's because she's just come up with the perfect idea to make things more unique or special for a friend. Pearls is very creative. Her craftiness is enviable, and I get so excited when she's been crafty in my favor. I think she's so good at this because she has the ability to see both the big picture and the fine details.

I mentioned that I had to pass her test but don't let that fool you into thinking she's some kind of "mean girl." That's actually quite far from the truth. Pearls has a very small, tight group. She doesn't waste energy on having multiple, unimportant acquaintances just for the sake of it. She is very decisive in her relationships, and sometime in college, P won favor in her eyes. Pearls is married to one of P's best friends who is also a groomsmen. Pearls met her match in high school, knowing very early on in their relationship that he was "the one." Again, loyalty to the max.

Over the past two years, I've gotten to know Pearls as my own friend and not just an addition from P's life. She's the primary innkeeper of Hotel Kennedy and graciously hosts me anytime I visit Middle Tennessee. Sometimes we just lay on an air mattress in the living room watching Rocky Horror Picture Show. Pearls is the kind of friend that you're so lucky to make, especially in your adult life, because friends like her are few and far between once your enter "adulthood." Pearls is rare, beautiful, and classy, just like her nickname implies.

Leah, me, Andrea, Emily (Pearls), and Megan
"Sigma Nu Wives Club"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

If you want to hear God laugh...

...just tell Him your plans.

Sometimes things change. It's not really 'good' or 'bad' as much as it is 'different.' But, all things change. We change as we grow older, hopefully into better versions of ourselves. Our places change, because of new jobs or a growing family. Our relationships with families change, as we grow from child to adult. Our friendships change, because sometimes all the other life changes land you in some place where common ground is more difficult to find. Sometimes we have to step away and let things air out. There is no anger, no regret, it just is what it is. So, we grow, evolve and change.

Because of some of these life changes, our wedding party has changed slightly. Luckily, we have a closing pitcher who has graciously stepped in for the home stretch. (Did I just use baseball terms sort of correctly? Score!) Come back soon to meet our newest wedding party member. I would have it up sooner, but I need time to come up with a creative but adequate nickname.

Monday, May 9, 2011

April Showers Bring....

A lot of road trips. A guest room full of gifts. Many, many new memories.

In the month of April, P and I each had our own showers. Mine was beautiful - filled with yellow and flowers and yummy snacks! The ladies in our families and local girl friends came together for some funny games and a lot of fellowship. We had all of our favorite snacks - chex mix, cheese and pineapple bites, fresh fruits and veggies, and the most beautiful cake ever made! Spending time with several older friends mixed with some new fabulous ladies in my life was so fun. It was super relaxing, too, to see our families get along so well.

White cake with raspberry filling - and almost too pretty to cut!

P had a "Handyman Shower" where several of his college buddies came together to get his tool collection started. They spent most of the weekend just palling around, and I know it was very refreshing for him to see his friends. I was shocked to hear that he was the first to call it a night when they went out on the Nashville scene. Also, when you get the chance, ask him or his Best Man about "Pat Thacker."

We traveled to Murfreesboro for a "Chef's Shower" with some of our fabulous college friends. Kennedy Occasions hosted lunch at this delicious little restaurant in Murfreesboro. We each got a new apron (mine says Mrs. Beeler - yay!) and fun kitchen related gifts. The favors were adorable branded wooden kitchen utensils. We were lucky enough to get one of each, and they are so perfect! I don't know if I want to use them or save them! Staying at Hotel Kennedy is always a wonderful experience, and this visit made us miss Murfreesboro badly!

Finally, we traveled to Statesboro for a "Toast the Host" party. The best part of this trip was seeing our Statesboro family! We got to pick Pretty up from the Atlanta airport and spend three hours catching up before we had to share her with anyone else. Hot Librarian has a bun in the oven - and is an early shower, which I adore! It was so sweet to see her during this exciting time in her and Beer Man's life. We stayed at the Greenstein Manor with FutureDrKG and Disney Princess, and it was so much fun to catch up. During the shower, we played bridal party trivia and Battle of the Sexes. It felt like I never left Statesboro - man I missed those folks!

During all this, it reminds me that even though we have so much going on in our lives, we still have to make it a point to see our friends both near and far. It's easy to say "distance makes the heart grow fonder" until your heart is exploding with joy when you hug them again after almost a year and you think it might really beat right out of your chest. So, once all this wedding fun is behind us, we (me) hope to be blogging far more about road trips, weekends with friends, and nights spend around a kitchen or coffee table playing games. Those are the best parts of any party - the people you're surrounded by!

Afterall, it's all about what makes you smile. (hint: it's not the gifts, even though we're grateful for them!)