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Happy 5 Months! (Our Wedding: The Preparations)

22 Jun

In honor of our 5-month anniversary, I decided today would be a great time to post some wedding details. It was a wonderful, long day, and there is sooo much I want to share… so I decided to break everything up into a few posts. Here’s a little about everything leading up the walk down the aisle (and a whole lot of pictures to help illustrate)!

Saturday, January 22, 2011.  When I woke up on this chilly January morning, with bits of snow still lingering on the ground, I knew that my life was about to change forever. I was excited, nervous, scared, thrilled, emotional, and still somehow floating above it all.  It was the weirdest feeling knowing that the day we had been planning for was here. All the planning, debating, deciding, arguing, crying, laughing, etc. was over and it all came down to this one day. It was a bittersweet feeling for sure.  Going to sleep in my bed at my parents home the night before  (my last night as a single woman) was strangely sad. I remember laying awake, teary-eyed, feeling like this huge part of my life was all coming to an end.  No little girl wants to “leave” her family, and that was a hard thing to say goodbye to. But every little girl wants to find her prince. 🙂  And that’s when the teary-eyed (25-year-old) little girl turned into an excited, butterfly-in-stomach, optimistic bride.  I woke up knowing that this change, however bittersweet, was such an exciting new adventure and I couldn’t wait to begin my new life with Pratt.

Having my best friends and family surrounding me all day as I prepared for my wedding was so special.  Those memories are something I will always cherish. I was able to keep my emotional composure all day, right up until I walked down to my groom.  Just as everyone left me alone in the bridal room to begin the processional, and the music started to play while they began walking down the aisle… I felt my heart skip a beat and my eyes started welling up.  It was real. Standing alone in that moment as all of our loved ones went to the front of the room to witness and support our union, it hit me like a rock. Our lives were changing and all of these people were here for us.  It was surreal.

But enough of the story… here are some of my favorite shots from pre-ceremony.

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Here’s a little credit to the people who made the day possible…

  • Ceremony & Reception:  Houston Station, Nashville, TN
  • Photographer:  Mary Rosenbaum.  Amazing.  I would recommend Mary to absolutely anyone.  She’s so easy-going and sweet, and she’s beyond talented. (As you can see for yourself). We love love love Mary.
  • Videographer:  First Dance Pictures  (I’ve linked to their blog post from our wedding 🙂 ) This husband/wife team were super easy to work with and did an awesome job for a great price! Check them out!
  • Bakery:  The Bake Shoppe  They did my sister’s wedding cakes and did an awesome job, so we employed them for ours as well.  Couldn’t have done a better job.  Just what we wanted.  (check back later for pictures of our fun cakes).
  • Hair & Makeup:  Amy Lynn Larwig.  Awesome girl.  Did a great job on my hair and worked around some annoying skin issues I had going on (at such an inopportune time).
  • Month-Of Planner:  Kristin Kaplan.  We hired Kristin to help us with the month-of planning she was such a sigh of relief.  She allowed us the opportunity to really enjoy the day while she took on all of the little annoying details and communications with vendors.  She did a wonderful job.
  • Coffee & Favors:  Noteable Blends.  We knew we loved the idea of a coffee bar, and it just so happened that there was a private coffee club located right inside our wedding venue.  AND, they did weddings.  Scott (the owner) was incredibly knowledgeable about all things coffee and tea and spent hours talking to my husband and I before the wedding.  He rolled his beautiful cart into our reception to provide hot chocolates, coffees, teas, etc for our guests.  He also created a custom blend for my husband and I and made small bags to hand out as favors.  We love this!! Very smart guy. GREAT coffee.
  • Paper Goods:  Izzy and the Bean.  The girl was great to work with.  She made our invitations, guest book poster, and program poster for us.  Everything was reasonably priced and completed very quickly.
  • Attire:  Bridal gown was Jim Hjelm, bridesmaid dresses were Anthropologie, and tuxes were from Street Tuxedo.

Our New Life… So Far

21 Jun

So what all happens in 6 months of hiatus? I’ll tell you. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, a rehearsal dinner and wedding, a honeymoon, a 26th birthday, a pack-and-move to Maryland, an apartment hunt, unpacking-for-weeks, decorating, cooking, never-ending loads of laundry, attempting not to gain weight from the cooking, a name change (that took entirely too long and still didn’t end up quite correct?), visits back home, visitors from home-coming up north, spending way to much $$ to become official Maryland residents, a best friend’s wedding, a family beach vacation… and I think that hits on all the high points.  What a crazy 6 months it has been.  I’m still trying to wrap my brain around all that has changed so rapidly. 

The number one question I get from friends and family (or those who know I’m close to my Nashville-living friends and family) is “so, how do you like Maryland?”  Well, I like it alright.  I’m not jumping up and down with excitement over my new hometown or anything, but it will do.  I do have my husband, after all! 🙂  Of course I’d rather be in Nashville with all of my loved ones (or any town cooler than Frederick, MD) but for now I’m just happy to be living in the same place as that man in my life. We waited so long for that to finally be true, so we’re just enjoying being together right now.  Wherever that may be!

Plus! I love to travel and explore new places and this move gives me that opportunity. I have a new little town to explore all around me, and just outside this city of ours are a variety of easily-accessible new cities to venture into. We get into D.C. whenever we have a chance and I absolutely love any excuse to take a long drive through Virginia. I just love that state. I have a feeling a trip to New York and Philly might be in our near future as well (as soon as we have a break and enough moolah to make it happen).

In addition to all the fun that surrounds a new town, I really do enjoy having space to truly be on our own as a couple.  I think it’s important for newlyweds to have some time to themselves to establish who they are, what they want out of life, and really focus on their relationship.  I’d love to be  a mile from my family every day of my life, but I know this distance pushes us to become independent, self-sufficient, and learn to rely on each other.  I think we need to make our own lives up here before we re-join the family down south. I believe that this time apart gives up a great opportunity to make our own rules about life and establish our own family. I’m trying to look at this separation in the most positive light. I know that God has a plan for us, and right now that plan involves leading our own lives in Maryland.  And that’s alright with us. 🙂

I can’t wait to share some of our wedding here on the blog.  Now that life seems to be settling just a bit, I’m going to try to make that happen! So keep your eyes out for that.

A Marlie Performance (or two)

23 Jul

Remember those videos of my dancing and singing niece that I blogged about a few TiLT’s ago… that you couldn’t see because they hadn’t yet been uploaded to YouTube?  No?  Oh, well here they are anyway.  My sister-in-law put them up.  Enjoy!

My Lovely Weekend

7 Jul

What did you do this 4th of July?

My 4th consisted of sleeping in, being lazy, boating, grilling out, drinking margaritas, and watching a “neighborhood” fireworks show by the lake.  My boyfriend and I got invited to my brother-in-law’s family condo for the weekend.  Well, ONE of the two condos they own.  It was great.  The condos sat atop a hill overlooking the lake.  It was beautiful, peaceful, fun, and quiet (minus the sound of the Margarita maker constantly working in the kitchen… but that’s a sound I can put up with).

Here’s a few pictures of the weekend… surprisingly none of the explosives.  Oh well. Enjoy.

enjoying the view
clint & april (sibling fun)

katie with her nephew cason

grown-up drinks

our view

katie's sweet nephew erikson

another sweet nephew, cason

a perfect day

blue skies & rainbows

AND, even though this weekend was pretty perfect, I am a little bummed about missing this.  I love Nashville fireworks, and this is just incredible.  Every time you think it’s over… it just keeps getting bigger and better! Next year, as long as I’m in town/don’t have a migraine/it’s not raining, I’ll be there!  (Hint: start the video at around 4:20)

My Best Friends, Like Sisters.

17 May

I seriously have the best friends.  Don’t even try to argue with me because you know I’ll win.  And not just because I’m such an excellent argue-er, but because they truly are the best.  My mom used to tell me that I was a good judge of character based off the circle of friends that I kept.  At the risk of sounding somewhat arrogant in my friend-finding skillz, I think my friends are living proof of what she meant.  How did I find such awesome people?  How did I get so lucky?  I’d have to say that one of the benefits of being a sit-back-and observe kind of person and not a look-at-me girl is that I have more time to pick up on things, and really see people for who they are.  So maybe that’s how.  Or maybe it was my mom’s good-nature and warm heart that led me to seek out people like her.  I know that God brought them into my life, I’m just glad I was alert enough to realize it in time to snatch them up!

Sure, we’ve all had our “issues” from time to time through the years, no friendship is perfect.  But I know, at the end of the day, these people love me and have my back no matter who or what may come against me.  I’m incredibly lucky to have such a gift.

You may be wondering what got me off on this friend-loving tangent… or you may not care one bit… but either way, here it is:  This past Saturday I threw a lingerie shower/bachelorette party for my sister.  While the attendants included several of her very best friends, 3 of mine happened to be in attendance as well (one of whom was the co-host).  True friends, I tell you.  These girls not only consider my family their own, but love me enough to support me in so many ways.  Yes, all of these girls are sister-like to Katie, and would probably support her on their own, but their presence in the night was a huge show of support to me, and I’m so very grateful.  That’s what friends are for.  I know Katie was grateful for their presence as well, she’s acquired so many big sisters through the years, and I’m sure she feels just as lucky to have them in her life.

Here we are with the bride-to-be;  Me, Niki, Katie, Addie, and Erika.

And, as I laid in our suite on Sunday morning with 2 of these girls… lounging around, talking, and laughing about the night’s hilarities while trying to pull ourselves out of bed… I got this warm, mushy feeling just thinking about how special they were and how precious this little moment was.  I cherish every one of my friends, and would give just about anything to see them more often.  (Sometimes I fathom a world where there were no boys to steal our time together, and we could just live together in a big house on the beach and  be roommates forever… it’s too late for a few of them though).

One of my favorite things about these kind of friends is our ability to pick-up where we left off.  I can go months, years even, without seeing some of these girls and we get together, it’s just like old days.  It’s like we never spent any time apart.  It’s just this peaceful, comfortable feeling being around them.  I love that.

And on that note, a special shout-out to friends not pictured, or even often-seen/conversed with, but whom I love deeply and am also thankful for:  Amber Heffington Kanzelmeyer, Ruthie Hill McClary, and Alisha Yordy (probably-soon-to-be-Page).  I love you all!

The Forecast Called for Showers…

29 Apr

… and it’s not letting up just yet.

WeddingMania.  That’s the only way I can describe my life lately. I’m pretty sure 87% of my thoughts these days are directly related to the upcoming nuptials and the 26million tiny details that will fall (or be forcefully shoved) into place over the next couple weeks.  Did you read that?  WEEKS.  There are only 3 weeks until this shindig and things are about to get crazy.  There are so many things figure out, logistics-wise, that I literally want to curl up in the fetal position in the back of my closet and hide until it’s over sometimes.  Granted, all of the big decisions have been made, vendors have been booked, colors have been selected, blah blah blah.  That’s great and all, but HOW is all of this going to play out on May 22nd?  Let’s hope for something miraculous.  Since my sister has decided not to use a “professional” wedding planner, all of the day-and-weekend-of logistics are going to be delegated out among friends and family (who may have not actually volunteered yet but will be moooooreee than happy to lend a hand, I’m sure 🙂 ).

I plan to put together somewhat of a “dream team” of assistants to make this day run smoothly.  I’d love to be out in the field, fighting battles with my team, but since it’s my little sister getting married, I really would rather spend the day enjoying every moment, and soaking it all in instead of worrying about the cake that just fell to the floor, the location of the photographer, and the grandmother that just fell into the pool. (I’m not hoping for this, just prepared for the worst).  I don’t want the stressful details of the day keep me from enjoying this special event.

SO. If you haven’t been contacted yet, you’ve at least been warned.

On top of trying to tie up all of those loose ends, it’s been a month of showers as well.  The Price family shower and the couples shower are both behind us now, and the Ebel family shower and lingerie/bachelorette festivities are still out ahead.  (The Bachelor party is currently happening as I type, but luckily that’s one I don’t have to worry about).  I think the couple has received some great gifts, and I’m really thankful to all of the people who came out to support them and show them some love!  It’s been so great and we’ve all had so much fun.  I’m even more thankful for those who at least RSVP’d is some way, shape, or form about their attendance.  Seriously, don’t get me started on my newest, and ever-increasing, pet peeve of the moment.  But, back to positivity- I will post some shower pictures as soon as I get a chance… or the motivation.  Don’t hold your breath though.  Like I said… fetal position.

I would love to have been blogging more lately, but unfortunately, I knew if I opened my mouth, a would vomit wedding stories all over you.  I know you don’t want that.  So I’ve spared you until now.

On the wedding list for today: Flower selection with the bride and mother-of, lighting discussions, find a back-up bachelorette/lingerie shower venue since apparently my numero uno doesn’t like to pay their taxes and the state of TN wasn’t OK with that, shipping out a bridesmaid dress to a patiently waiting friend of the bride (at fault of the bridal store, i promise), coordinating the previously mentioned “dream team” and assigning tasks, finding a dress for the Ebel family shower this weekend, finding invitations for the lingerie shower, inviting people to the lingerie shower…  Sleep.  peaceful sleep.

Enough vomit for now. Keep an eye out for some pictures of these fun wedding events soon!

Birthdays & Babies & Snow, Oh My!

17 Feb

So many fun things have happened since my last post… Let me give you a run-down:

I got snowed-in.

Growing up in Atlanta (and then Nashville) all my life, the most snow I’d ever seen at one time was probably somewhere around 8 inches. (And that was our famous “blizzard” of  ’93  ).  So, give me a couple of inches of the white stuff in the forecast and I get all giddy like a child… therefore you can only imagine what the thought of 20+ inches would do to me.  Well, 2 Thursdays ago I was sitting at work when I got an email from the bf including the weekend’s forecast for Maryland (the far-away place where he lives), 18-24 inches.  I almost peed my pants.  I HAD to see it.  I just had to.  So… a couple dramatic ticketing moments, a quick late-night packing, and a 5:20 AM cab ride later, I arrived at Nashville airport on my way to see the big snow.  All of the other flights into Baltimore for the day had been cancelled so I was just praaaying that I made it out in time.  I did.  And what a wonderful little adventure it was.  We ended up getting over 30… yes, THIRTY, inches of snow from Friday night trough Saturday morning.  Insane.  Needless to say, my flight out on Sunday night was cancelled, delaying me another day in the snow (no complaints here).  I finally made it out last Monday night… and just barely.  On Tuesday, the area got an additional 20something inches… putting them at the biggest snowfall in history (or something like that).  I’m pretty sure the people of the Baltimore-Washington area are absolutely sick of digging their way to civilization, but I had a blast.

I got a new niece.

Lyla Kate (2nd daughter to my brother and his wife) was born on February 10, 2010.  And she is beautiful.  I love her to pieces… all 6 pounds of her.  Big sister, Marlie “lubs” her too, I actually had to fight her for my chance to hold her baby sister.  Maybe after a couple weeks at home with the attention-grabbing little one, she will be more willing to let me sneak her away?  Let’s hope so.   Aunt Becky needs some Lyla-Lovin :-).

I turned 25.

Yes, I’m old.  It’s weird… parts of me feel really old (like that teenage, N’SYNC obsessed, girl) and parts still feel pretty young.  Either way, Happy Birthday to ME!  I spent the day hanging out with the bf and went to dinner with a few close friends.  I didn’t want a big fancy.. anything this year.  Just wanted to keep it low-key. (blame it on the age).  I’ve been officially welcomed to the quarter-of-a-century club, thanks for that, and I’ve been pre-warned of a quarter-life crisis.  No need for worry, I started having those years ago.  Guess I’m just ahead of the game!

Valentines Day happened.

(insert pictures of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and teddy bears, gag)

While I could probably write an entire post on my feelings towards this certain Hallmark-created holiday, I will try to keep my thoughts to a brief few, as to not offend so many of this holiday’s biggest supporters.  I hate the idea of forced-affection.  Why are we required to express our feelings on this single day of the year?  Would it not be more meaningful on a random day during the summer perhaps?  I believe so.  I don’t want my bf to give me flowers and candy because the social media is telling him to… I want him to it because HE wants to… and WHEN he wants to.  Valentines day has become so unoriginal and un-meaningful.  (Plus, it totally steals all the thunder from my birthday, and pre-occupies friends and makes presents very expensive… just saying).  Not to mention the added pressure on your significant other to compete with and live-up to the insanely high expectations you now have for this holiday.  Bleh.  In conclusion- Be random and spontaneous with your sweet displays of affection, it will mean so much more in the end.

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