A gathering of ideas, rants, reflections leading up to the big day

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I guess the celebration part of the wedding experience has officially started. I ain't going to lie. I love it!

In December, while at my folks home for Christmas they threw a lovely Engagement Party for us. That day it snowed 6 inches, which in Kansas can equal up to several feet of snow in some areas due to drifts. FI got his first chance to shovel snow (and his second and third!). While it made for a lovely picture-perfect Christmas, it really kept the guests away. We had 20+ people brave the cold and snow and it was a great time, but my BM who lives in NYC, who I see once a year couldn't make it. Overall we had a lovely evening and it was great to see some people who have known me since I was 13, which for a kid who moved around a bit, thats a record!

A few weeks ago while my mom was here, we went to lunch at the Arizona Inn with the Tootsies. The Tootsies are 3 special ladies in my life who provide great support and laughter. I don't see them enough, but they are dear to me. To our suprise the Tootsies had ordered champagne and paid for the lunch to treat me and my mom. It was not only great to have the ladies meet my mom, but it was one of the first days I felt like a *Bride*! Heck I got a complimentary Baked Alaska! If that doesn't make you feel special, I'm not sure what can!

In a month I'll attend my bridal shower in Phoenix. My FSIL is planning it and 3 family members are flying out to attend with me. I'll have 2 out of 3 bridesmaids there as well as the flower girl. My mom will meet my FMIL for the second time! After the shower, my mom, SIL, niece (aka flowergirl) and Tucson BM will stay the night in Phoenix. The shower is mainly FI's family and their friends, but I'm still excited for the event. It will be my first bridal shower I've ever attended!

Although we still have 7 months till the wedding it is fun to begin the celebrations!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I heart this photo of me and my mom. FI took it last Saturday (our rest day) during our hike in Madera Canyon (see the snow?). Who knows what we are chatting about, but we are deep in conversation.

We had a really great visit!

One of the best parts of wedding planning has really been sharing with her (although it hasn't all been easy, there have been plenty of phone calls that end with me in tears). My mom is very practical as well as creative. Her practical side came in handy when she finally solved my ceremony crisis. 6 months of struggle for me, 20 minute decision for her. My mom's creativity was apparent while we were looking at books (and books) of invitations.

My mom will be back in one month for a shower and another visit! This next visit will be all fun, no work, and my niece and SIL will be here too. I am looking forward it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day of Jewelry

This is what I want. I want a multiple strand twisted pearl necklace. But for $1,850 from Tiffany & Co, I will not be wearing this particular necklace. It is exactly what I want. 16 inches in length and a lovely simple clasp.

This more affordable version for $135 from JC Penney is nice, but I don't want the mulitple colors. But I like the qualities. Again it is 16" and the clasp looks more sturdy than above.

Worn with my pearl studs, I think the necklace would really compliment my dress and add the right about of class, classic-ness (is this a word?) and bling to my day. More than just a single strand, a twisted strand would really add some punch!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The other side...

My co-worker Jenny returned to work today. She and her partner had a commitment ceremony 2 weeks ago and enjoyed a week honeymoon in Hawaii. I feel honored to have contributed a *bit* to their day. I was able to recommend a band, photog, hair stylist and other wedding vendors to the couple. They took me up on a few suggestions and brought me a lovely trinket back from Maui.

I am happy for them and looking at Jenny today as she talked about the ceremony and reception really excites me for when I am on the other side of wedding planning. Jenny is tanned and relaxed and just - is. She shared a few stories but overwhelmingly, you could feel the happiness that she exudes.
I am looking forward to being on the other side!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

All About Me!

I've been tagged by Linda at Silly Little Mischief, so here I go!

1.What is your occupation?I analyze and develope fundraising strategies for a local non-profit.

2. What color are your socks right now? no socks!

3. What are you listening to right now?The computer humming, and a few desert birds calling.

4. What was the last thing that you ate?my pre-run yogurt, 4 hours ago.

5. Can you drive a stick shift?Sure I can, but if you ask FI he says no. Lets just say if need be, I can do it!

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Mauve

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone?FI. He is outside changing his breaks and I won't let him in the house when he is this messy. So he called to ask for water.

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? I enjoy her blog!

9. Favorite drink? lately I've really been enjoying gin & tonics.

10. What is your favorite sport to watch?College Football, but Spring Training is right around the corner!

11. Have you ever dyed your hair?Every 5 weeks, gotta keep the grey away until after the wedding.

12. Pets?Fi says I don't NEED a dog, because I love every one I meet. So instead of the whole world's a stage...Every dog is my pet? I'm not buying it.

13. Favorite food?Yummy Food! (i'm sticking with Linda's answer)

14. Last movie you watched?No clue, but I'm going to see 27Dresses with Mel & Jenn today!

15. Favorite Day of the year?Hands down, my birthday. Maybe my wedding day will inch it out this year.

16. What do you do to vent anger?I save it all up and run it out.

17. What was your favorite toy as a child?Flopper my Pound Puppy (she still holds a place in bed)

18. What is your favorite, fall or spring?Arizona Fall

19. Hugs or kisses?hugs.

20. What kind of pie?Cherry pie. I have great memories of my Grandpa serving me pie and ice cream for breakfast.

21. Living arrangements?Desert oasis with FI.

22. When was the last time you cried?Last night, I watched a re-run of Friday Night Lights...sheesh.

23. What is on the floor of your closet?A bag of clothes to donate, shoes, shoes, shoes.

24. Favorite smell? FI, coffee beans and street fair smells (Fry bread, spilled beer, people, bbq)

25. What inspires you?Everything.

26. What are you afraid of?Jumping castles, disembodied hands (like mannequin hands) and ladders.

27. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers?Yes please.

28. Favorite car?I am really digging on the new Porsche SUV. Cayenne. Spicy.

29. Favorite cat breed?Dogs.

30. Number of keys on your key ring?3: house, work, car

31. How many years at your current job?1 year next week! Woot!

32. Favorite day of the week?Sunday. I love lazy Sundays. ( I agree Linda!)

33. How many states have you lived in?4: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kansas, Arizona

34. How many countries have you been to? I count 5: Ireland, Britian, Scotland (I don't recognize the Queen, the good scotsman I am!) Canada, Mexico

Friday, February 22, 2008

My dress!

A week ago, when my mamma was still here, we went to get my dress. I was a bit worried cause it was a rainy day. But the sales ladies all assured me, my dress could handle the rain.

At Maya Palace, I got to try it on for my mom. We had a nice moment together with tears and then I tried on some veils, so that when my mom makes it, we could get a good idea of length and style.
Then after a lovely lunch with the Tootsies at the Arizona Inn, I passed the dress over to Monica to store. She sent the above picture on to me to show me that it is safe and sound.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Card Swap: follow up

I received 3 cards as part of the Weddingbee Card Swap.

The first card I received was from Hana. She took the photo herself and printed it on a lovely piece of cardstock that had a lovely subtle pattern to the paper. Hana has a shop on Esty with her photo cards

My next card came from Kim. She used a pretty deep red card stock. Notice her rounded corners! The word "flirt" was glittery as was a pretty little heart on the inside.
The last card (and my favorite) was from Nicole. She left a lovely personal message on the back (the rest of us left the same generic message) along with her email (I need to drop her a line). Using some pretty blue craft paper, she added her hearts along with the red accents.
Here are all three together. I really cherished getting them in the mail. I hope I get to participate in future swaps!

Hope all my cards made it safely and that they were received with as much anticipation and appreciation as the ones I received were!

Negative Nancy

Maybe its because I am feeling yucky and cruddy, but I am going to vent today. I promise this will be the last negative post for a while!

My FSIL is throwing me a shower. She gave me a two month window and was kind enough to let my visiting family dictate the date of the shower. I am thrilled an honored by this. When I shared this recently with a friend her response was "isn't this really too early for a shower?" Perhaps, but what would this friend like me to do? Tell my FSIL that etiquette suggests that a shower should be with in 2-3 months of the wedding date. Or perhaps invite my family to Arizona in July or August (2-3 months from the wedding date) and have the shower then. Yup, it'll only be 110 degrees!

What makes others feel like they can comment on my wedding plans? People seemed to be annoyed when I refrain from sharing EVERY detail with them (really, if you are invited, don't you want somethings to be a surprise?) Yet when I do share, they feel they have a right to criticize my plans. And on this particular issue, a shower, I officially have no say! I am honored to have a FSIL who wants to do this, I feel as if I am at her mercy, not in a position to negoatiate. I feel blessed that my SIL and my niece and my mom will be able to fly out to do this.

This trend seems to be a greater societal issue. When did we all become so comfortable nitpicking each other? Boundaries are not what they were.

This wedding has become a labor of love. I have thought about and weighed all my decisions carefully.

Of course, my complaint doesn't apply to things I post on my blog. These blogs are open for comment and I appreciate all opinions and comments that have been posted thus far.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Inspiration: target pillow

Shopping with Melly Mel (I've never called her that for fear she will hit me, but it just struck me now as a fun nickname...one I will only use in my head, never to be said outloud) a few Saturdays ago in Target, I stumbled across a pretty pillow. I like the colors and the coordination. So I bought it. It won't match a thing in my house, but maybe for colors? And Mel didn't scream in horror when I said "Maybe for colors?".

I'm not sure how well they photographed, but you can see the emerald green and the teal on the ivory background.

What do you think?

I wonder where other brides get their "color" inspiration from?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wedding Crash

My mom is gone. boo. We had a wonderful time and I feel like she took up this ball of clay that was my wedding plans and formed it into a beautiful vase. All I have to do is put it in the kiln and finish the process. I couldn't be more grateful to her.

BUT, seriously I am crashing from my wedding. My mom and I really rocked the itenerary added things to the list and crossed them off. We have this whole celebration planned, budgeted and done. Then yesterday evening, we were sharing a drink in Tumacacori with FI and he says to me, lets scrap the whole thing and get married in Tumacacori. WHAT?! Then later last night, when we are again discussing our decisions re: dessert, he says he doesn't want what we have decided on...ie, what I have been talking to him about for months.

Now, I know that he doesn't REALLY want to get married in Tumacacori, but come on dude! And what bothers me most is that I talk to him, I TRY to involve him, I WANT him to be part of the process and for months he has said fine, yes, sure to every decision and last night he says what he really wants is cake. Great, I am glad he wants something and that he has an opinon about something, but couldn't he have told me before I did the math and the research and the budgeting and late nights weighing my options? And what else is he going to come out and say no to after months and months of planning?

I do want him involved and I recognize that this is his wedding too and if I hadn't tried so hard to involve him, maybe this wouldn't bother me so much.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine's DIY

I frequent a wedding blog Weddingbee and as a reader I participated in the 1st ever Valentine's Day Card swap. The moderator Mrs. Bee collected our names and addresses through email and then divided up our names. All the participants swapped with 3 strangers, and will receive one card from a "bee", one of the bloggers on the site. I am very much looking forward to receiving my cards! All cards had to be DIY.

For me this was a great exercise. I haven't participated in any fiber arts since the Tohono Chul Postcard Exchange March 2006. Paper and fiber really are not my medium. I scoured the internet for inspiration and stumbled upon the best option, where else, from Martha. I followed her directions, wrote out my shopping list and spent too much money buying supplies and tools for the cards.

Here is the final product. I am pretty pleased!

I bought a pack of craft paper (MS at Michael's, of course) in the colors I wanted. I cut out a heart - free hand - and when I finally had a decent heart, I used that as my template for all the others. I folded each heart in half and with my new 1/16th of an inch hole punch I punched holes in to the hearts and the white paper that served as a backing. I strung different colors of twine through the hearts (red & white, pink & brown). I mixed and matched the colors of hearts and overlapped them a bit on the white backing. Then I simply used double sided tape to affix to the card.
I realized I needed a message on the inside. For fear of screwing up my card, I used craft paper from the same pack, cut out a piece and wrote a simple greeting (these are strangers!). I followed up with the twine theme and tied one piece through the top of the insert. I felt kind of bad about my cards, so I found these cute coasters at Target for $1.00 and wrapped them in tissue paper and included them inside the card.

As my cards come in, I'll post the pictures!

I really feel more confident in tackling DIY projects for the wedding. I have a few ideas for centerpieces and after my mom leaves, I think I'll try my hand at a few to see what turns out the best!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Today my parents are married for 42 years. What wonderful role models I have! Their love is still visible after all these years: 3 kids, 6 moves, 3 grandchildren(and one on the way!). My parents are rock stars. They both provide me with such love and friendship and I appreciate how lucky I am to have this kind of relationship with them and to have their relationship available to model after.
(If Darrell and I make it to 42 years we will be 12 to 13 years older than my parents are right now!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


This is the hairstyle I've decided to go with. Just a bit more "done" than my normal day. Jamie took a flat iron to it after washing and drying it. I like how sleek and shiny it looks and most of all, how me it is. We decided that I'll grow out my hair just a bit longer (I'll have on a strapless dress, so their will be a lot of dead space, especially since I don't plan on wearing any jewelry), so another inch will add just a bit to the look. I feel relived to have such a simple decision off my list. Another pro is that after tucking it behind my ears and sleeping on it, 12 hours after it was done, it still looked great. I never got the "tuck marks' that my hair usually gets after slipping it behind my ear. Jamie can tease up the crown a bit, so my veil can slip right in. And as long as it isn't humid that day, I will have no hair worries.

I always kind of assumed I'd have my hair done: curled or up or something fancy. I never imagined that having my hair straightened would be considered having it "done". But I love it, and I think it looks and most importantly it lasts!

Now, if I can just get everybody to stop asking me if I am going to grow my hair out for the wedding (seriously people...I've been engaged for almost a year, wouldn't I have started growing out my hair then!)

Friday, February 8, 2008


No pictures now, but I promise some later.
Scene: FI and I at dinner last night and I explain to him how excited I am for my (much needed) hair appointment on Friday. I ask him to remind me to put my digital camera in my purse because my awesome hair dresser/friend Jamie has graciously offered to do a hair trial after every hair cut. So last time I came straight home (with my super cute straight look) and took photos, but this time I wanted to take photos right after, then later on in the evening to test the endurance of my hair.

FI gets a strained look on his face, then admits that he TOOK my camera and left it at work. So no camera for me. But he offered to drive (20 minutes) from work to my hair salon at lunch to drop it off. Yeah right! He offered this gesture at 8:00pm.

At 8:30 we had our first Jumbo. At 12:30am we stumbled out of the bar. So this morning through my hangover fog, I wondered to myself, would he REALLY take the camera in? Would he even remember?

I just got a call from FI, he just delivered the goods to the salon. I can't believe he remembered and that he was able to do it. He rocks my socks off.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


My mom is coming. In a week. She will take this wedding into her hands and fix it. She will help me tie up all the crazy loose ends and make me feel like a normal person again. We have 3 full days and I believe we are booked for every second of those 3 days.
I am really looking forward to having her here with me in Tucson!
The itinerary:
8:00 am: wake up, hit ground running.
9:00 am: tour Z mansion
10:00 am: walk to potential ceremony sites and tour those options
12:00 lunch! and a chance for my mom to tell me how ridiculous I am being and to calm down. If I am lucky she'll use my full name.
1:00pm: Drive to some other ceremony locations, tour those sites.
3:00pm: nap
4:00pm: work out
5:30pm: drink wine and laugh together
7:30pm: Dinner with Darrell at Cafe Poca Cosa
10:00pm: Roll into bed
8:00am: wake up, hit ground running.
9:00am: head to Maya Palace to pick up my dress (eek!) and hopefully try it on for my mom to see.
10:00am: shop for accessories and for mom
12:00: Hopefully lunch with Tootsies, drop off my dress to be stored.
1:30pm: Either go back out shopping for clothes or shopping for ceremony locations
3:00pm: Swing by stationary store to look at invitiation options, specifically wording.
5:00pm: nap
6:15pm: wine
7:00pm: Dinner (TBD)
10:00: Roll into bed.
6:00am: my run, mom may join as a walker
10:00am: visit bakeries.
12:00: Tubac or more shopping or decision making
7:00pm: Dinner (TBD)
8:00am: breakfast
10:00am: Drop mom at the airport.
12:00: nap to recover!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

In memory

Sunday night after the Super Bowl, FI and I stopped at Risky Business to see if we won any money in our Super Bowl pool (alas, FI was one square off!) and have a drink. After a minute, a man sat down next to us and ordered a Red Stripe. I looked at FI and said "I miss Dante" and he agreed. It really sucks that I had to hire a dj when one of my dearest friends was the best dj in Arizona. It really sucks that the friend who knew I was going to marry FI the first time they met won't be around to see it. Dante, a man of sacrifices, would have really enjoyed the party and I would have ordered a case of Red Stripe just for him. And if it weren't such a piss-ass beer I still would!

Monday, February 4, 2008

How to decide?

I go to many, many wedding websites to help me to make decisions about invitations and dresses and colors and cakes and themes and seating charts. Somehow I have been remise in going to wedding websites to help make the important decisions.

(check out the real weddings section on the leftside!)

How important are you?

This question is the solid yellow line down a two way street. One side leads to the guest list and the lanes just merged from two to one (let me ride this metaphor, won't you). The other side of the street leads away from my wedding.

1. Who do we invite? 2. Will they come?

Question one was easier (relatively) for me. I only have a handful of friends and I set a limit in my head: If I don't talk, email, text, IM or comment on myspace with you at least 3 times in the last year, year and half...you aren't invited. For the simple fact that I am an introvert in an extrovert shell, I don't have many friends and am hoping the ones we invite will come enjoy are day with us....

Which brings us to question 2. How important am I to you? Inevitably, for myriad of reasons, people won't come. I am having a tough time relating this to my relationships with these folks. Perhaps it is because I never met a wedding I didn't attend (I missed Lesley's, but we had another wedding to go to that day in town and her's was in NYC...and that was a really tough decision for me). So to think that my cousins (who all have school aged children) may not attend because they have commitments, makes me a little sad. In contrast, all of FI family and friends are within a days drive. Mine? Not so much. So the turn out for FI will be significantly higher than for me.

Ah, see the popularity contest this becomes?

I have a friend, she was a great friend for a great while. She acted as a mother figure to me, my mom being 1000 miles away, I appreciated it. I filled a daughter role for her, her own daughter, my age, lives 2 states away. I was there witrh her the day her husband died, she has picked me up and pushed me forward in many ways. But, like many relationships in my life, I see the value in what we had and feel that our friendship has run its course. I saw her last in September? October? I haven't emailed or called her since. She hasn't reached out to me either. Our lives have changed and not that there isn't room for her in my life, we are just not that importnant to each other anymore. I cut her from the guest list. I feel bad, I know when she realizes that she hasn't been invited, she will feel bad.

I also have new friends, friendships that are growing all the time. They aren't on the guest list. I feel bad.

Having to define a friend and justify how important a person (and their companion) is to you based on cost and venue size feel shallow. But I know that when an out of towner gets the invite and they have to figure out travel costs, they are essentially doing the same to me. Figuring out how import I am to them.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Non-wedding related item

This has nothing to do with weddings, but since I am enjoying a rare day off, I finally got caught up on my youtube videos. Sarah Silverman is a freaking genious, as is seen in this clip. Not really safe for work and it has some objectional language bleeped out, but it is Sarah at her finest!

Wedding Crack, part 1

If you are planning a wedding, DO NOT...I repeat do not go into Michael's and go down the Martha Stewart aisle.

It is wedding crack.

You will feel inadaquate. You will want to buy the ribbon that is $7 a yard. You will buy an embosser and hole punches that you may never use for $35, but will feel as if it is a bargin because you now own a hole punch that will make holes 1/16th of an inch hole. Awesome.