Wednesday, December 2, 2009

why i like my job

When I was at my last job in Richmond a chick got fired for blogging all about the free crap our company gave us. By "free crap" she was referring to office supplies, which apparently means she didn't get the memo that free pens and post-its and thumb nails are kinda standard. But she elaborated on how she spent her days decorating her cube and doing basically nothing. What an idiot. She obviously got fired.

My recent place of employment (where we also have access to pens and post-its), is a cesspool of talent and creativity. (Side note: I've never used 'cesspool' appropriately in a sentence before...but for whatever reason it makes me giggle...) My co-workers blog frequently about industry trends and best practices and cool concerts and are awesome people to work with. They don't blog about doing nothing because they are constantly busy improving online marketing programs for their clients. I obviously like my job because of the opportunity it has given me to work with insightful, intelligent people.

I like my job because of the beautiful new office and the Park Lake Posse. I like it because they encourage us to read and tweet and blog and learn and grow in our positions and within the agency. I like it because beer drinking is not frowned upon and we get to pose with a giant arrow in our website pics. Our creative director collects Mr.Potato Heads and reviews frozen food. No lie.

But I digress on the point of this post. Today, the reason I most like my job can be summed up in one word:

SHOES. (yep, I bold for emphasis)

I like it because at my desk I can swing around in my chair and be faced with people who are as into cute shoes as I am. Monthly ShoeDazzle selections are a legitimate reason to gather around a computer monitor and ooohhh and ahhh and give thanks for every inch of Kim Kardashian and her shoe-lovin' ass.

Out of nowhere, I receive an IM that allowed me to feast my eyes on the likes of these adorable L.A.M.B strappy sandals:

I know, adorable, right?

So today I thank you, cute-shoe-wearin' co-workers of mine. You make it fun to come into work and check out those new green snakeskin pumps and ruffle-y booties and and share all sorts of shoe-goodness.

Monday, November 16, 2009

thank you notes

I realized tonight that I've written 2 thank you notes from the wedding. Jason and I split the list and his have been in the mail long enough for people to start receiving them.

I've written two.

I feel horrible and ungrateful. I want to scream from the tallest building in Raleigh how thankful I am of everything everybody did for our wedding and how spoiled rotten we were in the gift department. But the buildings aren't that big in Raleigh so that wouldn't get me far.

I'm telling myself it's because it's my last task and I'm not ready to let the wedding go. Buuuut we still have to make our parent albums, approve our own wedding album, pick pictures for frames in our house, scrapbook, blog recap...

I'm putting off thank you notes the way I put off folding clothes after they come out of the dryer (which I always do).

For what it's worth, it's not possible for me to put into words how thankful I am to have such amazing family and friends in my life. I didn't take our wedding to make me realize that, but the outpouring of love and support J and I received that weekend was so moving. I hope you laughed hard, smiled big and had an absolute blast. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

And I promise to send you a thank you note before Thanksgiving.

mile long lists

I realize I mentioned that I like to-do lists, but my list of things I want/need/must/can't live without doing is getting massively long. Check this:

1. Get my blog updated! I was in a kickoff several months ago and my old boss pulled up a hilarious site about weird animals (I know, sounds like a riot, right? It was though...I laughed so hard I cried). Point is, it had a generic blog template and there were jokes about it. I work for an interactive agency and not only is my blog design generic as hell, but I bold AND italicize for emphasis. Double fail. It's my personal blog, yes. But I know I'll never gain popularity (aka more followers) in the blogosphere with a boring, generic background. I've been brainstorming and changes are soon to come! I also need to post more frequently. And add more hours to the day.

2. Plan a trip to NYC to visit my college roommates. They dove all the way to VA in nasty weather for my wedding. It's time for me to hop my ass on a plane and let them show me around their new city. Street lights, big dreams all lookin' pretty!

3. Pick out wedding pics to frame, scrapbook, put in an album, print for family, etc. Stephanie Mosher took so many fabulous shots I don't even know where to begin. I'm also looking forward to recapping my wedding! I've got lots of fun stories and way more descriptions of that awesome weekend to share!

4. Get over the vampire obsession. My to-read list is a mile long, too, and yet I found that after I devoured the Sookie Stackhouse series that I immediately picked up the Twilight books to re-read. Not that Edward holds a candle to Eric, but maybe I'm just subconsciously craving easy, mindless fiction. Although I'm pretty sure that a girl can only take so much sappy teenage vampire love triangles before she starts to lose it a bit. Did I mention I have tix to see New Moon on Friday? I'm pretty pumped.

5. Clean my house. Top to bottom. Set up the guest room. Decorate. Catch up on laundry (haha, impossible...) This one is boring and impossible to accomplish because as soon as you clean you turn around things are messy again. I can see why people hire others to do this crap. No one mentions this when they tell you about all the benefits of growing up. Paying bills and working every day of your life isn't mentioned either.

6. Go shopping!! Buy this jacket. I love it. I've been craving a leather jacket since the temperature dropped. I want to buy more tights and leggings, a couple big warm sweaters, a dark purple coat and a new pair of skinny jeans. And then there's holiday shopping...

What kind of stuff do you have going on as the holidays approach? Any big plans? Or big thorns in your side?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

pursuit of passion

I've been doing a lot of thinking, planning, dreaming. I've done some research and a whole lot of reading. I've organized, re-organized, cleaned and put away. I've picked out paint and cried over wedding pictures. Then the next day I cried over them again - and smiled, BIG. I've gotten behind on important things and caught up on unimportant things. But the unimportant things make me happy, so for this I'm not sorry. I've P90X'd and ate well and stared at my wedding ring when I should have been doing something more productive. I've made plans, changed my mind, and then made more plans. Then I changed my mind again. I've slept better than I have in months.

And I've dreamed. I've dreamed BIG.
I'm excited about what's to come.

Image from WeHeartIt

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

love always, all ways

I woke up at 7:24am to another dreary day. It was overcast and though it didn't seem possible considering it had rained for three days straight, the sky looked as if it could fall out at any minute. My throat was still scratchy and when I said good morning to my mom I sounded more like her son than her daughter.

But I had not a care in the world. On this day, this very day, I was going to walk down an aisle and stand next to the man that makes my whole world light up; the man who makes me smile bigger, and more often, than I ever have in my life. The man who makes me laugh out loud on a daily basis and who thinks I'm beautiful whether I'm dolled up or hungover. The man who loves me despite my moodiness, my insecurities and my imperfections. This man, this beautiful, funny, intelligent and genuine man, would soon become my husband.

And the floating began...

I floated through breakfast. My sister and I ran up to the ceremony site where my mom along with 2 of her closest friends and my aunt were already hard at work transforming an ordinary brick pavilion overlooking a golf course. It was freezing. The wind whipped through our hair and chilled my bare toes. It was then I decided the fireplace might be a nice touch after all.

I floated home. I visited with an old friend and realized I hadn't finished packing for the honeymoon. Oh well. I was marrying Jason today.

I floated off to the hair salon where I drank wine with my bridesmaids and my mom and had straight magic worked on my big curly 'fro. I think I ate some chicken nuggets. I danced around with my flower girls and made the decision to move our cocktail hour from the patio to the reception hall. Virginia apparently decided to skip fall and go straight to winter. Oh well. I was marrying Jason today.

I floated on to my mom's and threw stuff into my suitcase. Mere and I laughed while she sat on top of it and I struggled to zip it shut. I would later find out it weighed 74lbs and would cost an extra $100 to check at the airport. Did I mention I was marrying Jason today? I had not a care in the world.

I finally arrived at the country club to get ready. I snuck upstairs to see the cake and the tables all set up. The 2 walls that were all windows overlooked the golf course and I caught something out of the corner of my left eye - the guys had started taking pictures with Stephanie. I was mesmerized. My heart spilled over at the sight of him. I even think I giggled. Out loud.

The reception hall looked great, the cake was unbelievable, and the bouquets belonged in a magazine, but they all paled in comparison to how beautiful my mom's smile was the first time she saw me slip into my dress.

I still was floating...and from this point on the smile never left my face.

My knockout bridesmaids posed and smiled for pictures then made their way down the aisle. My brother took my arm and asked me if I was ready - it was the easiest question to answer since J asked me to marry him.

As I approached the end of the aisle I saw Jason, teary-eyed and looking oh so fine in that black suit and purple stripped tie. I had been nervous that I would spend my whole wedding ceremony in tears - instead, I spent it smiling. Not just any ol' smile...the biggest, cheese grin my poor cheeks have ever experienced.

I heard every word of our handcrafted ceremony that J and I put together ourselves, and despite having read them at least 387 times before, the words meant so much more on that day at that moment.

I looked around the pavilion and tried to take it all in, but nothing was as beautiful as the smile on Jason's face. I couldn't look away. I tried to put his ring on the wrong finger and we both laughed along with our guests. I so desperately wanted to kiss him right then.

I had imagined this moment for the last 11.5 months, and finally, I heard the words I knew I had been waiting for since I fell head over heels for him not 3 weeks after we met:

"I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss your bride."

I'm still floating...and I hope my feet never hit the ground.

I look forward to sharing more pictures, stories, and details about the wedding in future posts!

The picture is courtesy of my kick-ass photographer, Stephanie Mosher.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

as he thinks in his heart, so he is.

Tomorrow my wedding date will make it into the 10-day weather forecast. Omigod. (yes, all in one word) I've been checking the foliage report daily despite the fact that it's only updated twice a week. J couldn't believe that they actually have foliage reports, but I assure you they exist. Currently, my part of the east coast is exhibiting little to no change...but alas, all hope is not lost. Those leaves could change into some wicked colors in a week and a half, right? Fingers crossed.

The ceremony programs are turning out well despite my inability to find plum colored ribbon. I'm not certain why JMU puple is everywhere but plum purple is no where it be found. It's such a trendy color for fall. For example, take these two pieces of wonderful that I'd love to get my hands on...

Bag: Maggie from Coach - $348
Shoes: Rampage Women's Gracee at - $49

I also bid on my first item on Ebay this morning. Yes, my first. It was a Polaroid camera with film. I bought it to have at the wedding reception - I'm too poor for a photobooth but am not digging the disposables on every table, but I think random pics taken by my closest friends will be priceless. Taza at The Rockstar Diaries has gotten me completely fixated on Polaroid pictures, too. They will be a fun addition to the professional pics as well as give me a new camera to play with on the honeymoon and beyond.

The reception seating chart is finalized! I was even able to cut an entire table thanks to several last minute RSVP changes. If planning a wedding taught me anything it's to always RSVP on time. Seriously, say yes, say no - just say something. I was so surprised by how many people we had to chase down via email, phone, etc. Some people just never got back to us. It floored me for all of 5 minutes that people could be so rude - but I got over it when I realized that J and I are truly blessed to have some amazingly supportive and all-around awesome people in our lives and that I don't have a minute of time to take away from appreciating all the good we have to waste on the bad. There are several special people that won't be able to make it that will definitely be missed - but we are a lucky, lucky couple and cannot wait to celebrate with all the people that mean so much to us!

At this point, I'm having to resist the temptation to call my bridesmaids every single day on my drive home from work to tell them how excited I am to have all of them together to hang out. Every single time I see my photographer on gchat I want to tell her how much I love what she's done for us so far and how anxious I am to see her work her magic for our wedding. I spare those fine ladies, for Mom, not so much. I just can't get enough of her greetings when she knows it's me calling, "How's my beautiful bride-to-be?" Cheese!!! She gets several phone calls a day.

Am I excited? You bet. 11 more days!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

these are the days of our lives

Helloooo clusterfuck of a life! Everyone told me you'd be creeping up on me around this time, but I actually believed there was a chance of me keeping you at bay. Giant fail. I haven't resorted to freaking out, in fact, based on the technical definition, I'm not even stressed. Yet. My to-do list is growing rapidly and I'm just...well, I'm laughing. And very, very happy.

Could you imagine a better event to have a to-do list for? And can you imagine me trying to keep still at work for 8+ hours a day if I wasn't swamped? I'd be like a 5 year old the day before a trip to Disney World, a college kid sitting through class on a get the point. Really, really impatient.

J and I keep joking that we may not have friends once we're finally married for all of the invites to things we've had to turn down. As I write this I am thinking about the first 'Canes game of the season that we were supposed to attend with some friends on my softball team...instead, we're gluing, hole-punching and ribbon tying our way through 120 ceremony programs and hopefully getting some shagging practice in (the dance, sickos). Martha Stewart Weddings has been a godsend in the world of seating charts - you really can't beat their planning tools. Check 'em out if seating 175 guests seems like a daunting makes it sort of fun!

With the wedding just 2 weeks away, I've found it much more difficult to keep up with the wedding blogs I have stalked for the last 11 months. The inspiration I am getting is impossible for me to execute with the amount of time I have left while maintaining my employment status and not driving my fiance completely insane. I still marvel at the creativity of some of the brides out there - and since I'm one of the first to go, I look forward to helping my close friends plan their weddings one day because I am a wealth of ideas that would be so fun to execute on someone else's budget! What are some things you did in the 11th hour to add some flair to your big day?

One blog that I haven't skipped a beat on is The Broke Ass Bride's Wedding in a Week Giveaway - invites, a wedding gown, flowers, customized card boxes... She's got sass and flair and a whole lot of goodies to give away - check it out!

The wedding photography hasn't gotten old whatsoever. Some eye candy for your Friday...

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

shoe heaven

Lately I have been heavily, heavily distracted by the influx of tweets, blogs and emails about fall fashion. Leggings, boyfriend jeans, statement necklaces, tunics...sigh. The eye candy has been a time suck, but quite an enjoyable one.

As J and I have been in hardcore saving mode for our upcoming wedding, splurging on fall clothes isn't a weekend activity I have yet been able to indulge in. But my time is coming. And in preparation for my indulgence, I have compiled some eye candy of my own of my most favorite chilly weather trend - boots!

What has impressed me the most about boots this year is that they are coming in every height, shape, size and price imaginable. From stylish booties to over-the-knee comfort, here are some gems that I've had my eye on for post-wedding fall fashion fun...

1. Dolce Vita Peep-Toe Nappa Bootie - $195
2. Charlotte Russe Suede Ruched Bootie - $24.99
3. Charlotte Russe Bow Tie Bootie - $29.99

1. Colin Stuart Convertible Boot at Victoria Secret - $99
2. Charlotte Russe Faux Leather Over-the-Knee Boot - $44.99
3. Charlotte Ruse Suede Over-the-Knee Boot - $39.99
4. DV by Dolce Vita - Nathan Boot - $143.95

Monday, September 21, 2009

the key to life

image from weheartit

time flies when you're having fun...

...and when you're wedding planning! 26 days to go. TWENTY-SIX!

I remember when I got engaged last November that the one thing everyone told me was how fast the time was going to fly. I laughed. Not out loud, but inside I did. I couldn't imagine time going by fast when the I was so anxiously awaiting my wedding day. You know how when you really, really want something and time just creeeeeps by until you feel like you're about to scream in anticipation?! THAT is how I thought my engagement was going to be.

I actually wanted that time, though. I wanted to enjoy how it felt to be engaged. I feel like sometimes women rush through that stage or immediately get caught up in the wedding plans that they forget to enjoy the brief time you have to just be engaged. Just last month it still felt weird to call J my fiance, now, I find myself calling him that every chance I have for in a few short weeks, he will be moving on to bigger and better titles. Like 'husband.'

Planning is wrapping up and my first big DIY project is looming - we have had our ceremony programs designed by the same friend who did the invites, table numbers and place cards (and they are FABULOUS!), but we are going to be gluing the paper to cardstock and tying ribbons to finalize the deal. Simple, right? Yet I'm still worried about an impending DIY catastrophe.

I know, I know, tons of brides have put together their own programs amongst other things. But keep in mind that I'm a wannabe creative person - and I can't help but worry that my fake-it-till-you-make-it mentality may bite me in the ass via this little project of mine.

What DIY projects did you do for your wedding? Any advice for a first-time DIY-er? I'll be sure to share pics in the coming weeks of my progress (success?!). first post for my company's blog is now live! Go check it out!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

gotta do your own thing your way

So the Chicago trip was canceled. Also, VH1 didn't air a new episode of Real & Chance 2 this week for my trash-tv lunch crew to watch today, my favorite Mexican restaurant in my hometown (and also the location of my bridesmaid luncheon...) burned down last night and it's proving to be impossible to get the cat smell out of my guest bathroom. Cue the tiny violins.

I'm going to delay getting into my trashy reality tv obsession for now - but just know I'm human and we all have weaknesses. Weaknesses that sometimes involve knowing all the words to the 'Kendra' theme song.

My bridesmaid luncheon will simply have to move to another locale - thank god this particular Mexican restaurant has spread it's seed all over the Peninsula and has other locations to choose from. While the location that burned down is/was most definitely my favorite, I was fortunate to make one last trip on Labor Day with one of my beautiful bridesmaids and dashingly handsome fiance where I proceeded to eat enough chips, salsa and the infamous 'white sauce' to feed a small village. Thankfully, Jason loves me despite my propensity to eat my body weight in tortilla chips. Most importantly, the margarita-infused wedding weekend kickoff plans will not have to be revised!

I'm still combing the internet for great wedding photography and TTD pics. Lately, Jason Lanier has really caught my attention.

The middle picture reminds me of my childhood pool-filled summer days trying to mimic Ariel from 'The Little Mermaid' as she leaps from the water onto the rock, mid-song, and nails the perfect hair flip. But in a wedding dress.

Is the third picture even real?! It looks like a painting. Such talent.

I've decided to postpone my own TTD session till next summer for numerous reasons. For starters, I want to play in water. Since I'm a wuss in the cold, that just does NOT sound like fun until the summer time. But primarily, my mom is probably going to lose her shit when she finds out and I'm hoping 8 months or so after the wedding may have given her some time to forget about the dress she spent hundreds of dollars on. Not likely, but we'll keep our fingers crossed.

On the photography train, I wish I would have thought to register at Etsy. For 98798754 reasons, but I'm totally digging the photography at bomobob's shop. I can already see this as a nice touch in our guest bathroom:
I'm a rational gal' though, and 'Project Home Decor' won't kickoff till I'm a Mrs. and 'Project Get Married' is a wrap.

It just took my breath away when I confirmed the countdown...but only 38 days to go!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

chicago bound!

There aren't too many places in the country that I really, really want to visit. Chicago is one of them.

This time a year ago, Jason and I were planning on taking a long weekend in the spring of '09 to visit but then we went and got ourselves engaged and realized weddings aren't cheap. At all. We have our sights set on spring 2010, or maybe as a 1-year anniversary trip next October. We'll shop and eat pizza and check out the architecture and a Cubs game and I'll decide I want to move there. He'll laugh, remind me I hate cold weather, and I'll quickly change my mind. Either way, it'll make for a great mini-vacay once we get around to it.

Apparently I'm getting to visit the Windy City much sooner than I thought...

I found out this morning that I am getting the opportunity to travel to Chicago for a 24-hour business trip. To me, that translates into two early flights, learning some more about the new account we've recently landed, meeting some important people from said account, a great dinner, and then figuring out what the city has to offer on a Monday night. My friend and co-worker who will be on the trip with me has already described a bar on the top of the John Hancock Center where the best view is from the women's bathroom. I'm so intrigued.

We'll have the plane ride home to sleep, right?

Friday, September 4, 2009

cherry pie and some damn good advice

I had a slice of cherry pie with my Cherrios this morning. After waking up at 5am and body pumping my way through an hour long workout, I sabotaged my breakfast by having dessert. And it was delish. Happy Friday!

I participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and have an amazingly dynamic and inquisitive 'little' who asked me yesterday over dinner if I think anything is going to be different after the wedding. It's like she dived in my head and swam around for awhile and realized the pond she was swimming in was filled with many different versions of that very same question - are things going to be different when we're married?

I already know the answer is yes. An astounding and positive YES. And I can't wait for all the good - and even the bad - that 'I do' entails. Joanna Goddard is a relationship blogger for Glamour magazine. How cool, right? While she's on her honeymoon, her personal blog, A Cup of Jo, has been featuring guest writers giving their secrets to a happy marriage. What are some of your secrets?! I really love reading these. Here's part of one of my favorite posts so far:

Reinvigorate the Old.
Life's grind sometimes whittles away the parts of us that are carefree, inspired, focused or fun. One of the best things you can do for your spouse is to defend the parts of them that you married them for. And that doesn't mean saying "You used to be so..." It means reminding them that they ARE those things; they're not gone, even on their most beaten down days.
-Nichole, Little Brown Pen
(the secrets continue through September 14, go check them out!)

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I have 6 more weeks of planning and detail-combing and scheduling left to do and I plan on enjoying every minute of it. Now's kind of the hard part though. It's the part where the expensive decisions you made 10 months ago have to fit into the decisions you are making right now. It's not a time for second-guessing, or spending too much time on unimportant decisions. Or being too upset about spelling errors.

I am an adamant believer that you DECIDE to be a stress-free bride. It made me so pleased to read this post by a recent 'bridal graduate' that supported that belief in it's entirety. Here's an exert from her post on A Practical Wedding:

It is your decision whether or not to be a laid back bride. You can choose this. Lots of things went wrong on our wedding day. It pissed down rain; our rabbi was late; our dinner menus were printed in the wrong language; etc. I remember walking into our venue beforehand and seeing the set-up, which was lovely, but a little bit off from the careful plans I had given them. I looked at it and thought, "it's beautiful. It's my wedding day. I am going to let go." Perfect weddings don't exist--brides who say their weddings were perfect are women who made the conscious decision not to give a shit. I have read so many blogs where brides stated that their enjoyment of their wedding was hampered by the mistakes. I'm a pretty neurotic lady, so I know that I could have been one of those brides myself, but I consciously decided to turn the perfectionist part of my brain off and have an awesome time. It's your choice too.

In case you're like me, and a classic case of 'if I knew then, what I know now,' scoot over and read more tips from 2 brides who have been there done that, and were nice enough to share the dirt.

Got any more advice to share? I'm all ears!

Hope your weekend is filled with good weather, good food, good people and good football!

Monday, August 31, 2009

happiness and the blogosphere

This past Friday, our tri-weekly training session at work was a class on effective blogging. As September looms ever so close, the launch of the Brooks Bell Interactive blog is fast approaching. Our creative director here wears many, many hats and knows so much about so many things. Not surprisingly, one of which is social media. The class was insightful and extremely worthwhile. I learned a lot - mostly that I have a lot to learn about effective blogging.

In consistency and avoiding cute headlines I earned a big, fat FAIL. On the positive side, I do play in my comfort zone. I write about subjects I know about and things I enjoy.

My first contribution to the BBI blog will take place towards the end of next month and I'm pretty sure I will be unable to blab about wedding photography trends and my latest spelling errors. I have plenty of time to research topics and I've already gotten started to ensure my first post is not a complete and utter failure. Luckily, I get some pretty bad retailer emails in my inbox every day and constructive criticism of creative received there is fair grounds for blogging. Thankfully, my job here has taught me so much about the interactive marketing industry - I would have been up shit's creek without a paddle if I had to write something like that this time last year as that job taught me nothing about industry trends.

So the blogging pressure is on! On a professional level, to be blunt, I just want to make sure I don't sound like an idiot. I want to be a knowledgeable contributor. On a personal level, my blog here is apparently read by more people than I thought and I'm starting to hear adjectives like "funny" and "easy to relate to" being tossed around. Well crap. Now I have expectations to live up to.

Not surprising to me whatsoever, all these expectations left me without a creative, funny, relatable (is that a word?), or thought-provoking topic in which to ramble about. I decided to do another happy list today, because, in all honesty, I have a lot to be happy about right now.

Rockstar Diaries is on a brief hiatus, which gives you an excellent opportunity to go read of all her quirky and adorable posts before she comes back and delivers us some more pieces of wonderful. One of my favorite parts of her blog is the Here's to Happiness project. This will be my second happiness list and this one was just as much fun to create as the first.

Without further ado, here's a list of things that have recently made me incredibly, out of my mind happy: (a topic I'm both an expert on and is most definitely in my comfort zone!)

1. good morning kisses

2. realizing new acquaintances are genuine friends
3. drooling over pictures of stylish home decor - like this crisp, bright white kitchen - and dreaming up post-wedding home improvement projects (lately, much inspired by The Vintage Chair)

4. feeling the contagious happiness jump from each image while looking at pictures from someone's wedding
5. Eric Northman

6. the staples of summer: thunderstorms, barefeet, cookouts, white wine, tanned skin
7. colorful flowers

8. imagining how it's going to feel to kiss my husband for the very first time
9. how easily children are entertained, and how absolutely adorable my niece is

10. laughing so hard i cry

image credits:
1. image niotillfem via Le Love
3. image via Just One More Minute - Day Dream theme by Jim Whimpey
7. image via Just One More Minute - Day Dream theme by Jim Whimpey

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

putting it into perspective

There's a word spelled wrong on my wedding invitation. Yep, I'm serious. And not just any word. The date. As much as I want to have a dramatic internet blog pause and say, "I'm MESSING with you guys!" Old School style, I regretfully must admit that according to the invitations that were put in the mail last week, I am now getting married on October SEVENTEETH.

Seventeeth?? kj;dlgj;serjhpjsl;jftu!!!!

There are a multitude of reasons why this should have never happened, but perhaps the most important one is I proofread emails and landing pages as part of my job every effing day. I also have read that wedding invitation 45698 times. Or more. I caught other spelling mistakes. "Newport News" was originally just "Newport" and we had a great laugh at the printers while viewing our proofs at how they had turned my lovely home state into a slightly uncomfortable and mildly inappropriate "Virgina." True story.

In the scheme of things, I realize that this is a pretty minor error and if I can get through the wedding with this being my biggest mistake then I am will pat myself on the back. I know it could be worse. In the meantime, my friends continue to swear they either didn't notice it (liars...) or no one else will and my mom continues to laugh at me - she clicked the thumbs up when I mentioned the typo on my Facebook status AND left a comment. Nice.

Moving forward, I'll probably stick to numbers on the programs. Here's to getting to 10/17/09! (with more than seventeeth...)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

where i'm going, where i've been

I took this picture with my iPhone on our drive back from the Outer Banks earlier this week. I'm fully aware it is not a quality shot or anything, but I love it. I love it in a pat myself on the back and smile kind of way. I love how you can see the road in the side mirror. I love how the sun is shining through the trees shortly before sunset. Most of all, I love my feet on the dashboard next to an open car window, truly epitomizing summer.

I spent two and a half days this week at the beach with my mom and Jason and friends I've had known through our yearly vacations in Kill Devil Hills since I was barely walking. I woke up in the morning to this view...

I ate crab legs and steamed and seasoned shrimp and fresh tuna. I slathered myself in lotion that smelled like coconut and didn't even pack my blow dryer. The most difficult decision I made was whether or not to read the newest People magazine or finish the second book in the True Blood series - and when to roll over to sun my back. It was a great couple of days.

It's back to reality now. The reality of too much to do and too little time to do it. Wedding invites go out today, bachelorette festivities take place this weekend and ECU football kicks off in 2 weeks. Sigh. Relaxation won't come till mid-October, but it comes in the form of a week long cruise to the Mexican Riveria with my hot new husband. So, as you may have guessed, I'm not complaining. Bring on busy and bring on October!

Friday, August 14, 2009

we can do anything

Wanna pack your bags...something small
Take what you need and we disappear
Without a trace we'll be gone, gone
The moon and the stars can follow the car
and then when we get to the ocean
Take a boat to the end of the world
All the way to the end of the world

We can always look back at what we did
All these memories of you and me baby
But right now it's you and me forever
And you know we could do better than anything that we did
You know that you and me, we could do anything
The two of us together, we could do anything

-Dave Matthews Band

*Image by klairg.deviantart via Le Love

Thursday, August 13, 2009

contagious happiness

I had THE email I was waiting for in my inbox this morning - my bridal session proofs were ready to look at! Stephanie really outdid herself, yet again. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun the morning was. My mom and sister came with me to City Center in Newport News and I got to play in my beautiful dress and sassy heels for 2 whole hours. I'm so jealous of models who get paid to do what I graciously paid Stephanie to do for me. I can not adequately describe how it feels to wear a wedding dress, your wedding dress. Suffice it to say that it would absolutely make a list of the top 10 things that make me incredibly happy.

I'm trying this new thing where I don't blab every detail of the wedding to everyone. That's a bold faced lie. I'm actually only trying to not show the dress to everyone. Except for my bridesmaids, immediate family, and, I guess just not to the majority of the people receiving invitations. If you've met me, you know it's really really difficult for me to keep a secret. I want to share more pics from the session, but I'm going to only show two not so revealing ones. Check out Stephanie's blog for more of her awesome work!

On a side note, I'm dying to catch 500 Days of Summer! Zoey Deschanel is adorable and quirky and the soundtrack is really good, too. Has anyone seen it yet?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

i need more time

I need about 6 extra hours added to every day so I can blog and run longer and cook better dinners and REALLY clean my upstairs and get over this 3-day long headache I've been having. I hope to make it back soon to tell you all about how much fun I had playing in my wedding dress for 2 hours last weekend (and hopefully show a few not too revealing pics!). I want more time to read and get a new charger for my camera so I can start taking pictures again. I want to actually start my engagement scrapbook (I've been engaged for over 9 months now and the book is still in the wrapper). I want to address invitations and re-read our hand-crafted wedding ceremony 100 more times and take the next two months to do nothing but finish planning my wedding and love on the people that love me most!

Three good things have happened to me already today:
1. I filled the dishwasher to an appropriate capacity and started it before Jason could cram 7 too many extra dishes in there and I end up having to re-wash most of them. Victory!
2. My friend, Erin, sent me some new pictures of her son, Logan, who may be the cutest little baby boy I've ever seen.
3. I have a giant triple espresso coffee sitting next to me

So here's to a day spent knee-deep in stats analysis and managing email programs and wishing I was kissing my fiance in a bright yellow bucket on the Farris wheel.

*Picture from Hazelnut Photography. Check out their awesome blog here...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

what makes me feel beautiful

It's been awhile...a long while. Despite several mediocre spurts of inspiration, I haven't found the time or the desire in a good long while to sit down and blog. I miss it. I'm also very much relieved that my meal ticket doesn't come by means of acting on writing inspirations or else I'd epitomize the starving artist. What I missed most is having something I really WANTED to write about.

This is also the first time I've blogged at home. In the past, it has been a 30 minute respite from the workday, a lunch hour of time spent looking up creative wedding expressions or discussing my talented co-workers. I was sitting on the couch watching old Fringe episodes with Jason and browsing through this month's Real Simple when I stumbled upon an article that made me immediately walk upstairs and sit down at the computer to write.

The article is titled "what makes me feel beautiful." Just like that, in all lower case letters. Something about the avoidance of capital letters is peaceful to me. Strange, I know. The first piece is written by Anne Roiphe, an older author who has a book titled "Epilogue: A Memoir" being released next month. While acknowledging that inner beauty is insufficient at changing physical appearance and no amount of love will bring back the body of your youth, she recalls a time just a week before her husband's sudden passing where on a seemingly ordinary morning, he turned to her before walking out the door for work and told her how happy of a man she had made him. I smiled as I read about her asking him to repeat himself, just so she could hear it again. The number of times I have pulled the "what did you say?" line just to feel the wave of happiness wash over me for another couple seconds after hearing Jason say something especially thoughtful are too many to count. Something I will quickly fess up to and make no promises to curb in the future.

They had been married 39 years. She mentions the trials and tribulations that inevitably come with marriage - noting financial mistakes, fishing trips, second-guessing decisions, and graduations. Her relationship is so refreshingly human and normal and obviously filled with love. Her husband's six words, "You have made me very happy," made her feel beautiful despite any physical imperfection she may have had in her 80 plus years of life. They will continue to make her feel beautiful despite him no longer being with her. The weight of which is too powerful for me to even be able to comprehend right now.

She writes, "I don't believe that positive thinking improves your skin tone or that loving or being loved changes the shape of your nose or restores the thickness and color of hair, but I do know that there is a way of being beautiful, even as age takes its toll, that has something to do with the spirit filling with joy, something to do with the union with another human being, with the sense of having done well at something enormously important, like making happy a man who has made you happy often enough."

Tomorrow marks exactly 2.5 months until my wedding day, and I hope that in 39 years, 2 months and 2 weeks, I too know just how to feels to have succeeded in making an amazing man happy, and it can be a beauty potion I can keep with me for the rest of my life.

In the meantime, what makes me feel beautiful now is an odd mix: a hard, sweaty workout, a pair of killer heels, a good hair day and that smile Jason gets on his face when I walk downstairs on an ordinary day to go somewhere insignificant that says more than his words ever could. When I'm laughing with my niece, my best friends or my sister, when Jason and I are sharing an inside joke or I'm getting poked fun at by my mom - when I'm laughing with the people I love most, it's then, hands down, that I feel the most beautiful. And that laughter sure is an effective beauty potion, even on the ugliest of days.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Can't Help It...It's What I'm Into...

I realize that I blog a lot about weddings...but here's the thing, I'm getting married in 4 months (127 days to be exact, not that I'm counting...) so I can't exactly fault myself that my current fascination (obsession?) is all the awesome ways couples are infusing creativity into their big day. I started blogging in an effort to try to make myself be more creative, however, I'm finding that my waves of creative ideas come at inconvenient times when it's not possible to document them - when I'm on runs or at the gym, when I'm sitting in a training session at work, driving in my car - and by the time I'm in front of the computer and able to post, the ideas are gone - or they don't seem quite as good as they did before. I have great admiration for people who's livelihoods depend on their ability to churn out creativity on a daily basis.

What I haven't dissapointed myself on is the ability to find other people's creativity and share it with my small audience. Getting back to my wedding fascination, I more specifically have found myself being drawn to the inspiring things photographers and videographers are producing. I mentioned in an earlier post my desire to do a trash the dress session. I found another incredible shot of a TTD session...

How much fun are they having? I mean really, her smile is priceless.

And then there's this video from Still Motion Photo + Cinema. They create videos of TTD sessions that really capture the playfulness of these types of photo shoots.

Frances + James TTD - Times Square + Coney Island from StillMotion on Vimeo.

I have one final "props" to dish out to The Broke-Ass Bride. Another couple that looks like a blast to hang out with, their pictures were out of this world amazing!Here are a few of my favorites:

And I definitely cannot forget to include the video they put together...check out The Fresh Hubby of LA...

Fresh Hubby of LA from Digital Princess Productions on Vimeo.

To end on another happy note, it's *Friday* and in a few short hours I'm heading up to Richmond to have a girls weekend with some of my very best friends. I'm even having my first bridal shower tomorrow! I'm too excited for words. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

i couldn't resist...

happy summer!

{picture by Little Girl Blue, via A Cup of Joe}

Holy Catch-up!

Recently work and well, life, has decided to slam down on the accelerator and I haven't had much time to breathe let alone blog. It's been a whirlwind 3 weeks or so...but even whirlwind weeks are better in the sweet summertime!

Lake Gaston was beyond words. So much fun, even despite my tussle with the lawn chair that resulted in black eyes for a week...and I'm not exaggerating. There were boat rides and jet skies, gorgeous views, jumps off a 2-story dock and an 11am power hour - and I was there with some of my most favorite people in the world. It was nothing short of a perfect weekend. I already can't wait for next year!

The following weekend J and I hiked up to New Jersey for Grace's wedding. I got to see Erica and John - 2 of my old roommates from the Rugters days - which was icing on the cake! Grace was beautiful, the weather was beautiful, and the wedding itself was obviously freakin' beautiful too! Grace and Kimo looked like they were on cloud 9 - they were just floating. As I watched them share kiss after kiss as a newly married couple, I obviously couldn't help but get out of my mind excited for my own wedding which is just 4 short months and some change away! I'm excited to get married like a 5 year old gets excited for Christmas! I saw our names on our wedding favor...

...and I couldn't help but think that soon it's going to be Mr. and Mrs. Jason Reed. Smiles!

And speaking of a Mr. and Mrs., I'll close with the most adorable wedding video I've ever seen. Julie and Joe look like such a fun couple...and the video that Artistic Imagery put together for them is cuter than words.

The Perfect Catch from alan silva on Vimeo.

PS...Blue heels for the wedding?! Got 'em!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Holiday Weekend

Today I am happy about everything! I have 4 glorious days of vacation ahead of me that I'm spending at Lake Gaston with Jason and some of my very best friends. I got into work at 7am (say whaaat?!) and have been viciously attacking my 20 deep to-do list (only down to 6 tasks left! uh-oh!). Keane is serenading me through my headphones and I'm loving it. I found more fabulous pictures taken by Pat Dy that made my heart smile. I might spend a little too much time stalking his site and gawking at all the incredible moments he captures. This one was my favorite today:

So it's time to wrap up the day, go spend some time with Janay (my little sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program) and head to the lake to jump off 2 story docks, cook out, and spend unforgettable moments with unforgettable people.

It was just another night
with the sun set
and the moon rise not so far behind
to give us just enough light
to lay down underneath the stars
listen to all the translations
of the stories across the sky
we drew our own constellations.
-Jack Johnson

Have a great weekend!