Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bridal Showers 3 & 4

I’m tellin yall- getting married can really make a girl feel like a princess. Granted, there are definitely times when I act like one but it’s not every day that people actually humor the idea. I had FOUR showers yall- FOUR! I’ve already shared one of my bridal showers but today I want to share the two Andrew’s family threw for me.
Andrew’s mom, his sisters, and his aunts threw me a gorgeous shower at their church and it was seriously pinterest perfection. It went right along with our beach theme perfectly and I wanted to take all the décor home with me to put in our house (no matter how many times Andrew tells me coastal décor does not coordinate with where we live- I just love it!). Aside from the décor it was really nice to have all the ladies in Andrew’s family in one place and it gave us another opportunity for the ladies in my family to get to know them. Once again, it was like we were all one big happy family. I think that’s what is so great about bringing two southern families together- we can all talk to just about anyone and everyone is so sweet and laid back that it just clicks.
We received so many special and thoughtful gifts and we were honestly blown away by everyone’s generosity at both of our showers. More than anything, what will forever stick out in my mind from that shower were the kind words that were spoken. Andrew’s mom and a few of his aunts said some of the nicest things about our marriage and about Andrew and I as a couple that warmed my heart and made me feel really welcomed. It is so nice knowing that our families are supportive of our relationship and that we have that support system. Family means the absolute world to us so to hear those thoughtful words aloud was something I hope I can hold on to.   
Andrew’s family also hosted the most amazing lingerie shower for me. There are not many pictures from this event that can actually be posted but I did not want to go without saying that it was perfect. This was one of those times where I felt like all my friends and family could relax and joke with each other and I think those moments are important. That’s when you feel like you really get to know someone and it’s just plain fun. There was a mini fashion show, a few embarrassing games, and so many good laughs. I am so grateful for those moments during our engagement. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

a letter to my sister

I think it's okay that I'm 26 years old and still call you sissy. Honestly, I think some of my friends even call you that. It might be because they aren't 100% sure how to pronounce your name (who is?) but to me, I call you that because that's who you are. You're my sissy and you always will be. While we are at it- I hope you don't mind 'Aunt Sissy' because I see that coming your way in the [distant] future.
Growing up, you took care of me most nights while mom was working long, hard hours to give us the very best in the world. While I quite literally tried to kill you with steak knives
from time to time you still made sure I had a nice Papa John’s  pizza delivered for dinner- bought with money from my piggy bank- that you busted with a hammer no less. You even let me sleep with you on nights that I was forced [by you] to watch super scary movies about insane clowns.
All joking aside, I write this because I don’t think I have ever told you how grateful I am that you were [are] always there for me when most kids your age were out with their friends.
Now, you have two beautiful girls of your own as well as two beautiful step daughters that you are a wonderful mother to. Those girls are so lucky to have a woman like you to raise them and to love them. I look up to you every day as you run your girls from volleyball, to dance, to school plays, to rehearsals and so on and so forth. Those girls never miss out on a thing and one day they will be as grateful for you and all the sacrifices you make as we are of our mama.
And your husband, Jay.. he's already like a brother to me. Our family is a lot to handle sometimes and he's not only handled us but he has fit right in. From all the fun trips to holden beach to always showing up to family events with a smile on his face, I am so grateful you found a man as sweet, as fun, and as family oriented as Jay. I couldn’t be more thrilled he's officially apart of our crazy crowd!
I ask you both to try to always remember that whether your deciding what to eat for dinner or deciding if one of the girls can get something tattooed.. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies but compromise that moves us along. I love you to the moon and back. Pinky Promise.
This was a speech that I edited a bit into a letter for my sisters wedding this past summer. Oh, did I not mention that my sister got married? Yep- we are 10 years apart and we got married in the same year! Nice try mom and dad but we still managed to stress you out! ;) I am so proud of my sister and her girls as well as Jay and his girls. They are wonderful parents and it's no easy feat- I can't imagine keeping four girls happy all the time!

Below are a couple of photos of my sister lingerie party that my mom and I threw her before her wedding. I really regret not taking more pictures but it's hard being the hostest with the mostest and play photographer!

And now, for a few wedding pics! Again, I wish I had more but just trust me when I say it was gorgeous, she was gorgeous, everything was just plain gorgeous.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Banner Elk or BUST

If you recall, last year around this time, me and 10 of my nearest and dearest traveled west to the mountains for my 25th birthday. We had SO much fun that weekend we all decided we would be crazy not to make it an annual tradition. Well, this year we planned it out, marked the dates on our calendar, andddd totally left the boys out! We decided that mountain trip 2014 should be GIRLS ONLY!
 Now before you start feeling all bad for the boys you have to understand that us girls live all over the damn place- a couple in Charlotte, a couple in Wilmington, some in Raleigh.. we never get to see each other! Considering for four years of our lives we all pretty much lived in the same apartment, we were in desperate need of some girl time! Plus, we were all having pretty stressful years with marriages, break ups, moves, graduate school, and career problems.. we needed each other. Anyways, now that I have made my case, can I just tell you that it was the best decision ever
It snowed, which was amazing, we went to a vineyard and tried all kind of Banner Elk vino, and we had plenty of time to catch up as we froze our booties off since not one of us could manage to make a fire *until Jackie had to get towed up the mountain and the sweet man that drove her up came in and made one in 2.5 minutes, making us all look ridiculous*.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bridal Shower #1

For over a decade, my mom has owned a hair salon right beside a cute little Greek deli. When I was a
teenager, I would work for her after school and during the summers answering the phones and making appointments. My absolute favorite part about working there (besides free shampoo samples!) was getting lunch from next door- they make some killer homemade chips with ranch! So, naturally, when it was time to plan my bridal shower, Dorian’s was the place to have it! The owners, Paul & Mary offered the space on a Saturday night and they, along with my cousin Kelly (also a bridesmaid!) and my three aunts got to work. They made the place look GOREOUS with candles and fresh flowers and the food was delicious.
This was my very first shower and I was so nervous. I have never liked the idea of opening gifts in front of people and while I am BEYOND appreciative for every single gift and the thought and effort behind it, it just makes me feel uncomfortable. ANYWAYS, it was so nice to have my first shower at a place I felt at home at with all the people that I love.
At one point during the shower, I looked around at my family bonding with Drew’s family and I took in all the stories and all the laughing that was taking place and I wanted to remember that moment
forever. Andrew and I have always said that we know we are special to have such a tight family but to see both of our really close families becoming close with one another made me feel blessed beyond words.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Engagement Photos

If I remember correctly, it was about 30 degrees and the wind was blowing hard enough to make your eyes water.. but the show had to go on. Andrew and I really wanted to have our engagement photos taken at the beach, but this past winter was a harsh one so when it got slightly warmer, we decided to go for it.
[photos above taken by our iphones- day before professional photos]

[photos above taken by our iphones- day before professional photos]
Slightly warmer, it turns out, wasn't quite warm enough. We had been in Carolina Beach with our friends Grace and Clinton all weekend hoping for a little sunshine so we could take our pictures at Fort Fisher, NC.. it rained all weekend long until Sunday- there was a hint of sunshine but dang, it was freezing, and my outfits didn't really mix with the weather. Thankfully, we had some amazing photographers that worked with us and made us look like we weren't about to turn into an eskimo before their very eyes.
Ariana and Brian of Silver Feather Studios met with us before hand for lunch and made us feel calm and excited which is saying a lot considering we were about to take what we had been referring to as "the most awkward photos of our lives". They were hilarious and braved the cold with us, taking photos then allowing us to run and put our coats on for a quick second before repositioning us. While I had tears streaming down my face, chills all up my arms, and my hair was blowing into Andrew's mouth 2 seconds after I previously removed it- Ariana and Brian kept us laughing- and their pictures, and the video.. let's just say- they work magic.
All the photos below are courtesy of Silver Feather Studios:

To Watch Our Engagement Video Click Here
(and I highly recommend watching- Brian seriously blew us away with his work!)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Engagement Party

I’m back- and not only am I alive, but I’m officially a MRS! Andrew made an honest woman out of me over a month ago and WOW- time is flying! The engagement flew by so fast I epically failed to keep you up to date. So here I am, nearly a year after my last blog post, playing catch up!
Back in January, my sister and two of my best friends (and bridesmaids!) threw me the most perfect
engagement party. There was yummy food, a mimosa bar- and a miller lite keg for Drew, the most
sparkly gold photo booth area, and best of all- all my favorite people were in attendance! The girls
worked so hard on this party and it definitely showed. We felt so loved and so special that night and it
really did kick of our engagement with a bang and made it all start to feel real!
This party was really special to Drew and I- it was the first time both of our families had been in one
place at one time- many of them had not even met before! We weren’t surprised at all that everyone
got along and it was a relief to get that uncomfortable meet and greet out of the way for the upcoming
showers and parties.
After the shower, all of us friends spent the night together. We hadn’t done a slumber party that big
since college and it was so much fun! Of course, the bed times were a lot earlier than they were in
college- a sure sign of old age!
HUGE thanks to my maid of honor, Lesa, and my two bridesmaids, Jordan and Alli, for making our
engagement party so special. We seriously have THE bestest friends and family on Earth and you all
make us feel so blessed!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I said "YES" to the dress!

On December 28th, with my best friend Jordan, my cousin Kelly, my sister, and my mama by my side..
 I said 'yes' to my dream dress!
Andrew's family owns a bridal salon in town, so naturally DarLynn's is where I went to find my dress. In all honestly, I probably would have ended up at DarLynn's anyways as it is where I found all my beautiful prom dresses even before I knew Andrew. Three of his aunts were there that day to help me find my dress and they really helped put my mind at ease while I was searching for the one. I was never one of those girls that tried on dresses for fun- I wanted the moment to be special- so to say I was a big bundle of nerves is the understatement of the century!

Drew's aunt Pam asked me to pull whatever dresses I liked and we would start from there. Without giving too much away, my mom always had a certain idea of how she wanting me to look on my wedding day and I always had a totally different idea- well, I found myself pulling dress after dress that fit her ideal dress to a tee! Who was I and what in the world was I doing?
Long story short- the dress I thought I wanted wasn't the dress at all.. and the dress that had everything 'I didn't want' was the one I picked- and it was the very first one I tried on! I literally picked my wedding dress -the most important dress I will ever wear- in under an hour!
But it's true, when you know- you know!
AND I'M OBSESSED. I literally cannot wait to put it back on.
 I also picked my bridesmaids dresses- thanks to Jordan & my sis for trying those on expectantly (Kelly would have but she was 8 months pregnant!). We decided on a beautiful flowing Bill Levkoff dress with one shoulder strap and a GORGEOUS back. It is elegant and yet casual for wedding by the water. I looove it!

I have 8 girls standing my by side and my sweet nieces are being junior bridesmaids (they have slightly different dresses but in the same colors). The girls will be wearing 3 different shades of blue. Some of the girls will be wearing the dress in Capri, some in Teal, and some in Glacier. I can't wait to see how pretty they look standing side by side!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow Day!

Three days. 72 hours. 4,320 minutes. 259,200 seconds.
of togetherness
This marriage thing might actually work after all.


I feel a little like Boots today- GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE!

Thankfully, Drew is back at work today (after shoveling his truck out of the snow) and I may have talked him into taking me to dinner tonight as I am working from home again today. The civic couldn't have made it in this snow bless her little heart.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Our Venue!

The day after Thanksgiving my mom, sister, and I traveled to Wilmington, NC to not only finish up our Black Friday shopping, but to look at potential wedding venues. We woke up bright and early Saturday morning to go look at the one venue I had my heart set on. To be honest- saying venue(s) is a lie. We went there solely to look at one particular venue. We were all very excited but also beyond nervous. If this venue didn't work and wasn't actually 'the one' I was going to be disappointed. After all, my wedding had been planned around this place since before a proposal was even offered.
Well guess what, it wasn't the place. It didn't work. As soon as we walked in my mom looked at me just waiting for some sort of reaction. We all knew the very moment we entered that it just wasn't the one. It was too small, it had too many stairs (my papa has a cane and I very much want him involved in every part of the day) and honestly, it just wasn't my taste. I was blinded by how beautiful it was (and it was beautiful) it just wasn't my type of beautiful.

Picking a date and signing the contract! I had to call Andrew to see which date he liked best and he made the executive decision based off when hunting season is. HA!

Thankfully, God works in crazy mysterious ways and he just about BLEW us out of the water this day. The owner of the venue we were looking out sensed our disappointment (as much as I tried to hide it!) and said she had something she wanted us to take a peak at. WHAT? You mean hope isn't lost quite yet? I was thrilled.. and SO very hopeful. She led us directly across the street to what appeared to be an old abandoned building. In Wilmington this is not out of the ordinary as it is a very historical town- I for one think that just adds to the beauty.
The day we saw it! We had to use some imagination.

At Courtyards & Cobblestones- when I *knew* I made the perfect decision!

I took one look and fell in love. Of course, it wasn't finished- but I already knew. It was their brand new location and hadn't even been open to the public yet. In fact, it's grand opening was this week. It was open for a bridal event we attended in January as a debut and they decorated it beautifully to show brides it's potential. I was thrilled I had booked it months previously because I'm certain it got booked for the year that day- it looked amazing.
Bakery 105- in downtown Wilmington- an old bakery warehouse from the 1930's is about to house the wedding of my dreams :) eeepppp! I couldn't be more excited!
Hey it's us! At Courtyards & Cobblestones. Tasting more cake, naturally.