Monday, March 29, 2010

Losing that wedding weight

No, not me. Haha. However, Jimmy and I have been working out, that's not what this post is about :) This post is about Willy Carter. The fat wiener dog. Well, the trying-to-get-skinny wiener dog is what we'll call him now.

As the avid readers know, we were up in the air about Willy's attire for our big day. We even did a post to see what people would prefer. Check it out, if you missed the pictures. Pretty funny if I may say so myself!

Anyways, Jimmy has ordered THREE, yes THREE tuxedos at this point and with under 2 weeks to go until the wedding....we were hoping this last one would be a winner and fit just right. He first ordered a extra small. That was WAY too small. But apparently Willy has an 11 in neck, which was why Jimmy thought that would fit. So then he went with a medium, just to be safe. WAY too big. So guess what, now Toby has a matching tux and it fits great :) Well today was the day folks...Willy's tux arrived. And here is what it looks like. Um, can you say adorable. The hat was a little flimsy, but we'll make it work. And I'm not going to lie, he probably wouldn't keep it on anyways.

It fits!! Yeah!! Except the little velcro belt that is supposed to secure it on his body does not. Haha. We are walking everyday now that it's been nice and trying hard to get Willy down to a proper size weight for the wedding. This was him after our first walk. He was a little tired. However, we're building up everyday and going a little farther, so hopefully he can eventually walk all the way to the shops at Corinth and then maybe pick up a treat at Land of Paws. YUM. Yes, I bribe my dog.

Now we are just anxiously awaiting the arrival of Milly's wedding dress and the family is all ready to go for the big day :)

The last "fancy" single date & veto power

Wedding stuff has obviously been consuming my life, but the past few week (especially with KU out of the tournament) it has been consuming Jimmy's as well. He has proved to be quite the handy man, napkin stamper and seating expert! This weekend alone he stamped 400 napkins (to add to my 400) on Friday night, got the materials and built the photo booth background on Saturday, and also did the entire 280 person seating chart for the reception. He sure earned his keep this weekend :) However, being a man, he needed a break apparently. So that meant we were heading to Capital Grille on Saturday night for our "last fancy date as single people" dinner. Thanks to his parents, we had a nice little gift certificate, and after we watched K-State basketball loss :( we were off to the plaza all dolled up like it was our first date (well, not really).

It turned out to be quite the evening!! I think I forgot was it was like to go on a date with your signifcanct other alone, with no purpose except to spend time together. So we ordered an appetizer and some entree's: Steak for him, salmon for me (we had lunch @ BRGR that day at like 3:00, so unfortunately I was not able to stomach more red meat) and then some delcious sides of mushrooms and asparagus. The BEST part of the whole night was when the waiter asked, "would you like dessert?". I know the usual answer to this, it's "no" because Jimmy is not a big dessert guy and I refuse to order it and "split" it with him and then I end up eating the entire me, it's happened many times. Jimmy said "YES, we'll take a look at the dessert menu". Wait- WHAT?! Um, SCORE! Luckily I didn't finish my whole meal because I had plenty of room left for dessert. We settled on cheesecake with berries. And oh my gosh, it was literally heaven. The best part was is that the chef had carmalized some sugar and put that hard "crust" on top of the cheesecake (think Creme bru le). So when you stuck your fork in it you had to break the top a little bit...and then when you ate it, well that was just like pure heaven. A little bit of crunchy, mixed with smooth & delicious cheesecake, topped off with a graham cracker crust---then throw in some fresh fruit! Wow...I'm salivating thinking about it right now.

But then I also go some coffee to go with the dessert and Jimmy acted like a "man" and got some $11 straight alcohol drink for his after dinner drink (I will not comment on this one, since he was paying) and we just sat there and talked while enjoying our delicious dessert. I literally told him how much fun I forgot we had together not talking about wedding stuff :)

Then I dropped the bomb. Let me interject really fast and give you my over-arching wedding planning thoughts and higharchy:

- Bride makes the final decision
- Mom, MIL, sister, aunt, dad, etc can make suggestions, give ideas, etc (and they have had some GREAT ones!!!!) but overall, bride say yes or no, especially if bride is footing the bill
- Groom may have lots of opinions, but if groom knows it's something that bride really cares about or put a lot of time and effort in to, it would be best if groom didn't comment
- Bride has final approval--- meaning overall veto power

Ok, so now that you know my thinking..back to the story. And please understand, I'm not trying to be Bridezilla or mean or rude or make anyone think that I know everything....because believe me, I do not and I often times don't have the greatest ideas and I'm thankful for the support in my family & friends that I've had to give me some awesome ideas and help me make them a reality!! However, when it comes down to the final decision, if I really don't like it or have a bad feeling about it, I think that it's ok if I say no. Don't you??!!

So after 11 months of wedding planning and lots of compromise, open discussions, throwing around ideas and executing them...I put my first veto. And let me tell you, I was very hestitant about it because I knew this was something we had talked about for a long time.

So with his $11 strong drink in hand, I looked Jimmy in the eye and told him, "I'm going to veto karaoke at our wedding."

I let it sit for a bit, took a drink of coffee and turned back to see his reaction. "That's fine babe, honestly, if you don't think it's going to work, then let's not do it"

Um, ok. Not the response I was expecting! In fact, I had several "whys" to give to him, as justification for my overarching stretch of bride power that I just exercised. They were:

- This is the one thing that when I think about the entire day, I get really stressed out about. I would like to eliminate that. I just for some reason cannot see how it will all play out in my head...probably because I've never seen it done before at a I can't envision how it will happen!
- It can go either way with our guests: be a big hit or be a huge disaster. If it's a huge disaster, I'm not willing to risk all the time/effort/stress/tears/money I spent over the last year and have our guests leave with a bad memory in their heads because a too-drunk guest wouldn't get down from singing "Thunder Road" & "Betty's got a gun" over and over again.
- I think we will want to keep dancing and having a great time until we leave!!
- And I think that's it. Oh, and I promise to take you (jimmy) out to karaoke the Saturday we get back from our honeymoon, which happens to be Jimmy's 26th birthday, to make up for my veto

He laughed, swigged his expensive cocktail, gave me a "eh, I think I might puke" face because it was probably a bit strong, and then finally swallowed the liquor (thank god!) and smiled. He then told me that I'm the boss, he completely agrees about the "last memory" and wants our guests to leave thinking what a great time they had also, so let's skip the karaoke and dance the night away, no big deal to him.

Done. And that's the final say folks. While I do think karaoke would provide for a very fun time, I think we are going to stick to heading out to the WestPort Flea Market to hit that scene up and let the dancing continue all night long on April 10!!!!!!!

You know your wedding day is close when.....

- The new gallon of milk you buy expires AFTER your wedding day

- You wake up on Monday morning and you say "well, this is the last full week of work before we are married!"

- You post your weekly reports to the website....with an expiration date of your "wedding week" AH

- Everyone looks at you and just smiles and says "Your wedding day is so close....." (oh believe me, I'm aware)

- Your super cute future nieces and nephews ask you 15 times if they can "practice" walking down the aisle and don't stop until you do it....3 or 4 times with them (hey, they are just as excited!)

- Your 17 to-do lists are now widdled down to 2, with the other 15 completed, crossed off, and in the trash (and every time you throw one away you do this little basketball toss and then happy dance)

- All those things that you said "oh I'll do that when it's gets closer" have to happen now

- The boxes to send the reception are packed and your counting down the minutes until you hand all that to your wedding planners and you don't have to think about it

- You have nightmares that your dress will go missing....every night

- You finally broke down and bought 2 swimsuits for your honeymoon, because well, that's coming too!!!

- You realize that you need to start communicating with the wedding party, because, yes they probably need to know the schedule too :)

- You are thankful because not only will all this stress be over in 2 weeks, but you will soon be married to the love of your life, sitting on a beach in Mexico and excited to get back home and just be married...after all the work and planning and stressing...pure bliss is on the other side!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Outside Paradise

Yes, yes, I know I promised the kitchen would be the last project before our wedding. And for me, that is true. My dad, however, had something else in mind. He started making a really awesome patio right off of our dining room last fall before it got super cold. Right after he started working on it, he got very sick and had some major heart problems so he couldn't work on it for awhile (obviously). Then it got COLD. But right when the weather started getting nicer, leave it to my die hard dad to jump right back into his project. This is his baby :) He has this "vision" of what our backyard landscaping is going to look like and won't let anything stop him. Well except that is the budget I gave him :) But leave it to him, he's made it work!!

I just wanted to share his amazing progress!

Haha, just kidding. I think that if he had an unlimited budget, that's what he would want it to look like. But let's get real....we are not millionaires :) Here is what he has really done!!

His patio completed :) The dogs still apparently think it's ok to poop all over it though, so we are working on that. When it was 1/2 done, the sand under the unfinished part was their favorite to drop #2's on. My poor dad probably spent more time shoveling their little poops out of the sand then laying the bricks down!

He has now moved onto putting down the mulch and the little orange cones are where the lights will go. That will be awesome so I can see the dogs at night and in the morning. Sometimes I get worried they are going to get lost in the backyard. There is Willy checking out the new mulch. Not sure how he feels about it, but he'll live.

The precision and planning that my dad has put into this just reaffirms two things for me:
1) Why I love him so much
2) I am truly his daughter, as I plan things out, try them out, etc over and over again until I know I'm satisfied

This is the "little tree that could". We had to cut half of it down right when we moved in because it literally smacked you in the head when you walked down to the lower patio. We for sure thought it would die. Nope, still there. Hoping it keeps trucking! I like it :) Now I just need to decide what flowers to plant there!!

This is the mulch he insisted we put in right by our garage. I didn't care either way, but I am now very happy that he said it was necessary. Much less muddy!!

It's hysterical because for a week or so he was literally coming over to our house every day after school to lay out things, plan things out, bring electrical stuff over, etc. Last Saturday he installed a new electrical outlet in the basement with a timer for the lights, so I think all that's left is the lights themselves! This what he wants to finish before our wedding and I think he's right on track :) While Jimmy and I have done a lot of house work ourselves, we would literally be lost without my dad. He's wonderful, such a handy man and has a crazy work ethic!! As long as we feed him and give him water, he keeps working. Haha.

Anyways, that truly is the LAST project done before the wedding. I didn't want to mislead you. But I'm sure this is true this time, as there are only 2 weekends left before the big day!!

Shower & a hair 'do!

Last Friday night, my parents hosted a nice little couple's shower at their house for Jimmy and I! My family, my parents friends, and Jimmy's parents were all in attendance and it turned out to be very fun!!! My mom made a fabulous lasagna dinner with salad, garlic bread, and asparagus (Jimmy's favorite). Everyone came, met some new friends, ate, drank, and overall had a wonderful time!! I'm so glad that we got to mingle with lots of these folks prior to the wedding too!

Next up were the gifts. Since I had already had a few bridal showers that my wonderful friends and Jimmy's family threw for me, I made sure that Jimmy had full reign on the gift opening :) He wasn't quite sure how he felt about being the center of attention opening all these presents...but I think in the end he liked it and was very happy he got to be "showered" with love! Haha. Again, these people were very generous and wonderful to us! We got some GREAT things! Lots of gift cards to use, some wonderful family heirlooms (my great aunt framed a doile that my great-great grandma hand stiched and my grandmother made her famous cross-stitch to commemorate our wedding day), and some handy things to use around the house! The best surprise at all was actually revealed to us in front of everyone. My mom made the entire party go into my parents bedroom and Jimmy and I had to wait outside the door---we were pretty curious as to what was going to be inside the room when we walked in....and THIS is what we found!!!!!

A quilt that my grandmother is putting together that has quilt squares made from our friends and family :) Oh my gosh. It is literally the nicest and sweetest thing I've ever seen. I cannot believe they put this all together behind our backs!! It's amazing how you can be so oblivious to things like that. But it is SO SO awesome and thank you so much to everyone who took the time to send in a quilt square to help us commemorate our special day :) I loved it so much I decided immediately I wanted it to hang up somewhere at the reception. I seriously LOVE it. I know it was so much work for everyone, my grandmother especially, so a big thank you to her! We are so thankful for the wonderful family and friends that we are blessed with and can't wait to share our wedding day with you all in only two weeks!! Unbelievable!!

And just for fun, I thought I would throw these pictures in of my hair trial since I had them on my computer! Very simple....apparently that's my style since when Jimmy was shopping for engagement rings the lady asked what my style is and he said " not bad simple, but just simple". She replied, "I think classic might be a better word"...haha. Thank you Linda. So I'm going with this "classic" style! Per the suggestion of my hair lady, I've been looking for a simple green flower to put in my hair that I think will look great at the reception. No luck so far. Any suggestions? I looked on Etsy but I think I have passed the window of time to get one off of there!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My breakfast or dog food?

So this morning, as I'm pouring my new favorite cereal of choice: Chocolate Cheerios, which are freaking delicious and a healthy choice (per Hungry Girl, Milly's dog food bowl was sitting right next to my cereal bowl and I couldn't help but notice the stark similarities between her breakfast and mine. While the shape of the pieces might be a little different, the coloring is almost identical. Luckily, I was much more coherent and feeling better this morning than last (fever finally broke and back to work I went today) so I didn't start eating my dog's food. But just thought I would point out this revelation. Take a look for yourself:

***Just because I am stating that it looks like dog food, I would like to make it clear these Chocolate Cheerios do not AT ALL taste like dog food. They are a healthy version of Cocoa Puffs (in my mind) which I loved as a child! I actually bought them because I gave up sweets for lent and was having major chocolate withdrawals. These saved the day :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm so happy it's not our wedding day yet...

Saturday morning, I woke up to THIS (a nice little spring snow in KC):

All I could think I'm so happy this is not 3 weeks from now aka our wedding day.

Sunday morning, I woke up to Jimmy completely hungover because of his bachelor party.

All I could think I'm so happy he did his bachelor party now and not closer to our wedding day.

Monday morning, I woke up and didn't feel good. Went to the doctor over lunch and got some antibiotics. Went to bed super early to try to sleep off the sickness. Tuesday morning (today) I woke up and had a 101 degree fever. I thought I would do my coworkers a favor and not go to work (even though I really didn't want to miss work because I don't want to take any more days of PTO than I already have to) because I'm pretty sure yesterday everyone wanted to stay far far away from me because of my incessant coughing, nose blowing, and overall disgusting-ness.

All I could think I'm glad this is happening now and not the week of our wedding.

Wedding is consuming my mind, life, thoughts. But good news is, I think my fever is finally gone and with all the liquids I've been shoving down my throat today and the medicine I'm taking, along with like 15 hours of sleep....I'm hoping to be back to normal life tomorrow. Can't afford too many days being out of commission with only EIGHTEEN days until our wedding! WOW!! Can't wait :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

OMG- Vanessa is famous!

Vanessa had the most lovely wedding day and it's featured on Classic Bride today!!! OMG!

Erica brought it to my attention this morning and I'm sosososososo excited and while not surprised at all, that her beautiful pictures of their perfect day made it to the wedding blog world!!!!!!!!!!! AHHH! Freaking out right now!!

Yeah Vanessa, you and Chris are officially famous in my world now :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh my, over a week!!!

I cannot remember the last time it has been over a week since I put up a blog post. So sorry if you have been checking this and then getting angry because I didn't post anything (the only reason I say this is because I love when my friends update their blogs and when I check them daily and there is not update, I always get a little let down). Needless to say, life has been BUSY and jam packed the last week or so. Here is a run down of the fun stuff that has been going on:

Monday, March 8: Meet with wedding planners @ Aquinas. Have a complete breakdown that night with the enormous to-do list that I leave with. I cannot believe we are getting married in almost one month.
Tuesday, March 9: I kick my butt into gear. With an extensive to-do list, I make my action plan. When to get what, how I will make this, when I will make this, etc. I feel much better. Knock out some to-dos by ordering bridesmaid presents and finishing table names. Get our toasting glasses engraved and pick up some napkins.
Wednesday, March 10: Pick up the guest book from Michaels (aka signature picture frame), buy some stuff for bridesmaid presents, stamp 400 cocktail napkins with our "Brittany & Jimmy Carter stamp". Yes, that was fun. But let me tell you, they turned out good :)

Thursday, March 11: Meet with our priest in the morning before work to talk last minute ceremony details and get the program order confirmed. Get half way done with the bridesmaid project.
Friday - Sunday (March 12-14): put a halt to all wedding related projects/to-dos and go to St. Louis where Mrs. Vanessa Calcara was kind enough to host my bachelorette party at her home! It was small (so sorry everyone couldn't have been invited to come!!!), but it was very fun to have a girls weekend and get a nice break. Thanks to all of my bridesmaids for such a wonderful weekend....and especially to those that traveled very far to come and celebrate- Erica and my aunt Susan!! I will post a more detailed and funny post on that hopefully tonight. Too much fun and too many stories to try to build in here....
Monday, March 15: Met with the DJ at Aquinas. Fell in love with his company and his expertise all over again. From offering up the fabulous idea to put awesome lights shining up on all the pillars for a great, unbelievable price, to having a projector and screen available to bring in for Jimmy's video....AND offering to throw in some music to it, and finally the fact that when he walked out the door I felt so happy that we hired him and can't wait for him to be a part of our day and celebration! WHEW. Overall, had a great time meeting with him! And then we printed off all the remaining paper goods: Programs, menus, table name cards, and favor tags. All that is left are the name cards which we cannot print off until we get our final guest list (still waiting for a few RSVPs--so if you haven't sent them in, please do!!) and then the sundae bar tags. Then we had a fabulous dinner at my parents house with my mom, Andrew and Lyndsay, and Jimmy and I. So fun!
Tuesday, March 16: Headed to the alterations place right after work for my final fitting. So glad my sister got to see my dress! My mom had picked up my veil earlier that day, so the outfit was complete. Looked great and I was ready to walk down the aisle right then :) Then we headed over to A Shear Thing for my hair trial and Lacie did a fabulous job! I can't wait to get my hair done the day of! Grabbed a fast dinner at good old TGI Fridays (haven't been there in a LONG time) with my mom and sister and then headed home to finish up the bridesmaid presents before bed!
Wednesday, March 17: Here we are, St. Paddy's day. However, I won't be partaking in celebrations today....I will be headed to the Restaurant Depot with Jimmy's aunt, mom and grandma right after work to pick up the last minute ingredients for the spinach and artichoke dip appetizers his aunt will be making and picking out all the sundae bar toppings! YUM. Then it's home to start putting the programs together.
Thursday, March 18: who knows, I hope I get to work out though and then hopefully dinner with some Pi Phi friends!

Anyways, not that you care what I've been doing, but I feel like such a break from my normal posting deserved a bit of an explanation. In my math brain, the last week has been:

Wedding > Blog posts

However, hopefully this week and next week will be back to regularly scheduled programming...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

China cabinets aren't just for grandma's

At the kitchen themed shower, we got our first set of everyday dishes. And I was so excited!! I love dishes (a lot) and they are just so it was so much fun! Except when I took them out of the present bag and wondered where I would put all these new dishes? It is quite the challenge to find new homes for all the shower gifts. I never knew!

In comes my brilliant idea: we need a china cabinet. Otherwise, where is all this nice stuff and dishes going to go after we get them? Certainly not in a box in the basement. In comes craigslist . I did look at new china cabinets- and immediately stopped because of the price- wow! So I started hunting around and searching different terms: buffet, buffet with hutch, dining room set, and finally china cabinet. That's when I found it. The perfect one! Even better, they were listed as living in Prairie Village and it was only $250. Um, hello!! So immediately email it to Jimmy and ask him to call and see if it's still available. He does and it is! Too easy, right? Yes!

We go to check it out on Saturday morning after breakfast and some errands and it turns out a nice older woman was selling it because there wasn't room in her house anymore. She was excited to sell it to us as we are getting married and wanting to store our new china in it- she said she and her husband kept their china in there for years! And there you have it. The sale was made. We walked out with the bottom portion and put it into the Jimmy's SUV, along with the all the glass. I cut the crap out of my hands because that glass was so sharp!!! But it was worth it. Then Bobby was kind enough to lend us his truck for a few minutes (gotta love that we are neighbors with his brother!!) and there you have it: our very first china cabinet. Snug in it's new home in our dining room. The fun part is that it matches our table pretty well also!!

The really fun part is....we got our first set of china in the mail the other day as an early wedding present from Nic and Jill!! Thanks guys :) We're sad you can't make it to the big day---but LOVE the china!!! It looks great in it's new home :)

Wahoo! So now we have some storage and nice display! I never thought I would be lusting after a china cabinet when I'm 24 years old, but I love it and smile every time it catches my eye!!

Showered with "Carter" love!

Ok so in addition to the big trip to Manhattan 2 weeks ago (documented by ridiculous pictures) was the Carter family shower- hosted by 3 of my wonderful sister-in-laws to be Shellie, Trish and Lindsay. Lindsay was kind enough to host it at her house and it was SO great!! Jimmy's aunts and cousins were all there and his grandma and mom..and my mom and grandmother! Even Libbie got to come!

It started off with a FABULOUS little brunch spread that I have to say impressed me a lot!! Jimmy's mom, Sue, apparently has collected all these little glass plates and cups for a long time and they have been used at multiple Carter showers. The girls made yogurt parfaits with kiwi and strawberry on top and some granola at the bottom and put them in the little glass cups and then we had a delicious egg and spinach quiche, then finally some wonderful banana bread (with some yummy filling in the middle) to top it off. YUM. And they also had a bakery make some adorable cookies that had Jimmy & I's initials on them. Overall- I have to say...the food and drinks were impressive!!! They have had lots of experience too :) I'm excited to help host Hillary's shower for her and Bobby's wedding in October since I'll be an official Carter by then!!!

Then it was time for presents. And let me say- there were a lot of them! They were all too nice to us :) But the fun part was that everyone had to fill out a card with 2 truths and 1 lie about their own wedding day. Then they read that out loud before I opened their present and I had to guess which one was a lie. It was really fun getting to hear about all the ups and downs of everyone else's wedding day...and made me pray that some of them don't happen to us! From a tornado (my mom's wedding day), to being driven around by a not-so-sober groomsman (his aunt's) to a lost and never found cake (his cousin).....I think they had all the wedding day tragedy's covered!!

Here are some fun pictures of the morning!!

Opening the presents begins...Lindsay was kind enough to be the gift carrier :)

Kitchen stuff!!! Love it!

Jimmy's cousin and her little girl

Thinking hard about the 2 truths and 1 lie game...

Jimmy's grandma telling about her wedding day!

My grandmother telling about her wedding day....lots to learn from these ladies!

My grandmother made me a great recipe box with all her recipes handwritten. So thoughtful and a treasure I can keep forever!

Libbie got to come!! She drew me a great picture as a bride :)

Hillary and Norah!! So cute!

All the Carter and soon-to-be Carter women! Thanks so much for hosting such a wonderful shower!! Can't wait to officially be a Carter :) They are a great family and I'm thankful to become a part of it!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

What stresses you out?

What stresses you out?

As I had a frantic weekend of trying to accomplish 2 days of "to-dos" in one day because of some volunteer obligations and travel I had on Sunday, I noticed myself getting a bit stressed. Nothing like "I'm going to rip my eyes out" but just more tense and crazy that usual. Then it was as if some automatic instinct popped up---and I automatically started doing these certain things (that I've never really noticed until now) that make me feel just a little bit better and more organized in life.

The two biggest things that help me de-stress:
1) Making a daily (if not hourly) to do list...the crossing them off several times when complete. I would like to think the feeling I get when I cross something off might be similar to the way someone who is a drug addict feels when they take a hit or something. I really have no idea, but let me tell you, when it goes off the list and the whole list is complete IT-FEELS-SO-GOOD.
2) Emptying/sorting/answering my work email and my gmail account. Again, IT-FEELS-SO-GOOD. Nothing stresses me out more than opening one of my email accounts and having a bizillion unread or unanswered emails that I still need to sift through and either file or answer.

But I feel like those things don't work for everyone. I'm not sure about the first one, but the second one I am. I know several people that have tons of unread, unfiled, unanswered emalis in their work or personal inbox....and it doesn't seem to bother them at all. I personally would be a huge freaking mess. But, to each their own. I did survey a friend and they had about the same response as me that they have 1 unread email in their work account right and just a few in gmail. But I know other people (cough*jimmy*cough) that keep their inbox full. It's so interstesing to think about how your friends and colleagues manage their email and their lives and what makes them de-stress! What are tips that you have or things that you do??

So today, to do list is completed, email inboxs are almost empty and right now.....I'M FEELING GOOD :) Can't wait for 5:30 to have our final walk through of Aquinas and the final meeting with our wedding planners. Wahoo!! It's coming faster than I can realize......

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Manhattan-9,542,156. Britt-0.

Last Saturday was siblings weekend for Pi Phi at K-State. I honestly kind of forgot when it was because I was acting selfish and only thinking about the wedding and house...then Lyndsay mentioned it a few weeks ago. I casually mentioned it to Jimmy and he JUMPED on the chance to go up and spend a night hanging out with his soon-to-be sister in Manhattan, so I was excited!!

We headed west right after the wonderful Carter wedding shower (more details on that later) and caught the end of the KU/OSU game in the bar at our hotel. Then I changed into some K-State attire and Jimmy changed out of the KU attire, it started off with a fun and sober picture.

We then headed to the wonderous Buffalo Wild Wings in Aggieville to watch the KSU/MU game. Really, the 3 of us (me, Jimmy and Lyndsay) just ate lots and drank lots of beer. Maybe too many beers in that one setting. I think that was what killed me.

After the game was over, we headed to Salty Rim because I had to introduce my sister to Nudie Photo Hunt. Seriously, she had never played it in her life. WHAT? Where have I been as a big sister? So I had to introduce it to her. Of course, she loved it and became obsessed. Then her bf, Andrew, showed up and he and Jimmy started "man" time by playing darts. **Then I also ran into Sharon and Lauren McClelland and I was THRILLED!! They are hilarious** Then we headed to the "ship" aka Auntie Maes and found out that they have an AMAZING new photo hunt machine so I proceeded to play that all night. While drinking lots. And lots. With no water. It was bad.

Then off to Porters.....where we had some drinks, ran into some friends (my age!- Van and Lauren!) and then decided to follow the crowd to Shot Stop. This is where the night got bad. Andrew decided it would be an excellent idea to introduce everyone to his rainbow shots. Not just one shot, but 5. All different colors of the rainbow. All in one setting. BAD idea. Still not sure how I survived. But I pushed through. Here is this madness, documented...courtesy of Mrs. Strathman.

And then of course, some Pi Phi pledge class '03 love.

And then some sister love....oh the wine and silver blue!

And this picture officially gets Andrew a boyfriend of the year award. Purple purse and all. I love it. He pulls off that color very well.

Hm, then we went to an out of house party to celebrate Andrew's little brother's birthday. Yes, we were by far the older people there. Well Jimmy was. I'm still a TON younger than him :) And then FINALLY we went to Lambda Chi and played some Wii and took stupid pictures. My sister did inform me that I was trying to drive the Mario Kart wheel upside down. That must have been when we decided it was time to go home.....

A little DD took us home, that Jimmy paid money. And then I woke up the next morning feeling like absolute misery. Um yeah, guess I'm not in college anymore. Remember, you graduated 3 years ago!! Get a grip Brittany. The next day was horrible. I will spare you any and all the miserable details of the 2 hour drive home, but when we finally made it home...I spent the rest of the day in bed, barely getting out to eat some soup. The title of this blog post is what Jimmy's facebook status read the next day. Oh how true that is.

HOWEVER, it was very fun siblings weekend and thank you to Lynday and Andrew for showing us old folks a great time!!! Only one more siblings weekend left before my little sister graduates college---SCARY!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ceremony Music: the detail that almost got away

Invitations, table settings, centerpieces, menu, escort cards, table numbers, flowers, dresses, shoes, hair, tuxes, programs........and the list goes onandonandonandonandon for the countless wedding details that go into planning a day. Even with the thousands of little things, I really felt (and somewhat still do- ask me next week though, I'll probably tell you differently) as though I had a good handle on most of them and had planned what I wanted, how to get it (materials, time, $$, etc), and made it happen. However, the ceremony music was not something that was completely on my radar and seemed to consistently miss my to-do list. Now of course I would love a string quartet, a trumpet, a singer, some piano...heck, I would love a full orchestra (I mean, who wouldn't), but let's jump back down to reality and my wallet...and I realized that obviously was not an option. Not really knowing where to start with this one, I kind of passed it on to Jimmy as his to-do. My rationale was, it's your church, you talk to them. Haha. Good thinking Brittany.

So I gave Jimmy the contact information that they provided in the pamphlet from the church with the recommended musicians. He called a guy on the list, asked him if he was available to play the organ/piano on April 10, he said yes, told us his fee, and done. Ok, that was easy. I like strings, so I decided, why not throw in a violinist? I asked my mom, she has a former student that plays at lots of weddings, I emailed him, he gave us a great rate, and done. I had talked to my future sister in law regarding singing a song at our wedding with her sister (not even realizing that you need a cantor too, being not that familiar with the Catholic church), she agreed, and done. All this took place some time in 2009. Probably in the fall. But let's get real, in wedding planning time, 2009 is the equivalent to 10 years ago, so I won't dwell on the exact date.

Cross ceremony music off my list. Done and done. Great feeling.

Fast forward about 49 days before our wedding (if you are keep track, that was just 11 days ago as we are now at 38 days and counting...). We are meeting with the church wedding planner going through the ceremony and any details that she needs to make us aware of. She asks us if we know the readings we are doing. We say yes (secretly smiling because we picked them the night before). She asks us if we picked our music. We say yes....oh wait. I start to have an inner panic attack, but politely smile and tell her no. As we continue to walk through the details of the day and the church and who goes where and that when we say our wedding starts @ two o'clock that means I'm walking down the aisle at two o'clock.....I attempt to listen attentively, while continuing to panic in my head about this music. I have NO idea. No clue. Don't even know where to start. We have 3 different people who don't know each other, good luck finding a time for all of us to meet and talk and agree on anything. We get in the car and I freak out, telling Jimmy we need to call our organist immediately and set up a time to talk. He says he'll call him. Then I ask him 14 times that day if he did. He starts to get angry with my and he says he will, I just need to chill out. Yes, true story. 3 days later, I ask him again...he called him, waiting for a call back. Small panic ensues. FINALLY, Jimmy informs me that he can meet on Monday night after choir practice. Ok. Sweet. It is in the middle of the Bachelor finale and all, but I mean I have to evaluate my life. And it goes like > the Bachelor (gasp!).

Monday rolls around and I have no clue what to expect. No clue what this guy looks like....and furthermore, no clue that St. Joe had a choir! Anyway....we get there and listen to the ending of choir practice and I note in my head that the male director has a great voice. We go up to talk to the organist after and he asks if we have any clue what we want, are we just going to talk about the songs we picked and if he can play them, and how the other folks are involved and if they are up to speed (the vocalists and violinist Jimmy had told him we were having). While I want to blurt out this *yes, of course I already have everything planned and have for months, super bride answer*'s like a deer in the headlights. I'm just staring at him. Then I look at Jimmy. Then back at him. I blurt out the truth: that we have no clue...I haven't even really thought about anything, don't know how anyone is going to be involved, and am just hoping and praying that he will provide us with the magical answer. He laughs. I tell him that there is also a possibility that our vocalists might not be able to do it....and he asks if we heard the choir director sing. Um, yes, loved him, loved his voice, I ask if he can sing at our wedding....super organist runs off to find him and there you have it folks, our new wedding singer. The next 45 minutes consists of them walking through BEAUTIFUL songs, the singer, singing his heart out, the pianist, playing many of these from memory (how---I don't know!). We go through each spot that the "recommend" having a song, and we go with all the recommended spots (reasoning: they have done this probably 50 times more than Jimmy or I have, so their vote wins!) and then pick from the songs. I literally couldn't stop smiling during every song they sang. I probably looked at Jimmy and then the altar and then the aisle in the church like 100 times when we were listening to the music. The music, cheesy or not, was making it oh so real. This will be sung at our wedding. When we are getting married. When we become man and wife before all our closest friends and family. Wow. Yes yes yes, you have to sing these songs at our wedding. As they wrap that up, the choir director asks if we liked it or if we wanted to listen to someone else sing. I blurt out "now that I've heard you sing, I can't imagine getting married without you there". Creepy, I know, but I was in the "in cloud nine" bride mode. Steer clear of me at those times unless you are prepared for ultimate creepiness. Anyway, singer is hired, rate is agreed upon, and everyone is happy. I tear up. Sick, I know.

Then the organ starts bumping. And wow, what a cool organ it is. I was mystified by all the fun things it can do, and also incredibly impressed that anyone can actually figure out how to use all the different buttons and functions and keys to make the music sound as beautiful as he did. We talked preseccional music and exit music. He played it, we loved it, and done. I walked out of the church as happy as can be. Not sure if those musicians realized how much they put me at ease, but I was SO happy. We were going to get married to some pretty awesome music! On a sad note, after talking to him about a violinist and based on his recommendation that it would be really hard to incorporate just one string instrument....we decided the violin would have to go. I felt terrible (and still do) for canceling on him, so if he reads this---again I'm SO sorry!! But hopefully it will clear his schedule a little more because I know he was busy and doing it as a favor to my mom also.

So there you have it. How we wrangled the music craziness back to being actually a check off the to-do list. So excited about it!!

Also, quick question for you brides out there....when you walked down the aisle (as the bride or are going to as the bride to be)....did you walk down to the traditional "here comes the bride" music or to something else?? We listened to the Trumpet in D to walk down to and I loved it, but for some reason I am still stuck on liking the traditional song. For stupid reasons of course, the main one being my sister and I used to hum that incessantly during our Barbie weddings that were always highly attended. But I'm torn, still leaning towards that...but if I had a trumpeter, I feel like it would be another story :) Any thoughts??

Kitchen- last project before the wedding!

All right, I went on and on about how we were working to finish tiling the kitchen to go with the new, beautiful granite countertops..but never posted pictures of the completed HARD work :) But instead of just showing you the after....I think showing you the before first makes quite the impact. While our kitchen hasn't looked like what you're about to see since the weekend after we moved in (that was my first room that I insisted we rip all the wall paper down because it was HIDEOUS). But here are a few shots of the day we moved in....

And here my friends, is the after :) With new countertops, new hardware on the cabinets, and of course....a new tile floor!!!

Ta-da! And of course, new appliances are on the "want" list....but the ones we have are functioning just fine, so we will use them until they die! Haha, if only the process of getting it like that was as easy as saying ta-da! However, it was fully worth the hard work and extra effort that Jimmy and my dad put in. Jimmy willingly gave up TWO whole weekends to complete this project. I kind of did too, but cheated one night to go out and celebrate Sarah's birthday. So yeah Jimmy!!

Anyway...that will be the last house project (big or small) before April 10. I have daily mini-nightmares because the wedding is creeping all the focus will be going to completing the large list of wedding to-do. Bring it on!!!