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

Monday, April 28, 2008

The evolution of a wedding date

I have blogged a bit about the Zellweger Mansion, but I figured it deserved a bit of back story as to how we decided on our venue and our date. (Warning, this is long so I tried to break it up into a few posts, but it is still long!)

First the Date:
Fi and I got "engaged" and I jumped right in. We knew a few things: the wedding would be in Tucson. My uncle would be involved in the ceremony (as our officiant). So that dictated a few decisions:

1. No summer months, so limiting us to October-April, cause really no one wants to travel to Tucson in July.

2. No dates around any Christian holidays (My uncle is a pastor).

We quickly narrowed it down to March and October, the two best months in Tucson (IMO). March was optimal, it would give us a year to plan and we could incorporate baseball Spring Training into our festivities.

October was not so optimal. It would either give us 6 months (eek) or 18 months (ughh). Six months wasn't practical, my family was busy, my dad was finishing up his term as president of his professional organization and that wouldn't be over till early October. And EVERYTHING was already booked for 2007.

March had some openings, but Easter 2008 was smack dab in the middle of the month which put my Uncle out of commission, well, for all of March. Like not only couldn't he perform the ceremony, he wouldn't be able to come.

So we looked back to October, 2008 this time. I work for a non-profit that recognizes religious holidays. I found a few weeks in October that would allow me to get 3 weeks off for the price of 2 weeks vacation. I approached FI with the idea. He smacked it down, saying he didn't want to wait that long to get married (what, we've waited YEARS already, whats another 18 months?). So it was back to the drawing board.

So we started doing mad research on wedding venues. In Tucson, there are a bunch, because we are a "touristy" city that means lots of resorts and hotels. We had three quick favorites in terms of "resorts".

The Arizona Inn

The Arizona Inn

Hacienda del Sol

Hacienda De Sol

Westward Look

Westward Look

All have their charms, but for us those charms came with too much of an overhead. Like with Hacienda del Sol you had to book so many of the rooms to have your reception in the courtyard. And none of the packages were exactly what we wanted. Either dates weren't open or prices were astronomical, but none worked out for us. And really, a resort wedding felt funny for two kids who love dive bars and beer. So back to the drwaing board for us!

Wedding photo porn

My pal Monica sent me this article on Friday. It is the PopPhoto.com list of Top 10 wedding photographers of 2008. My very own Chris Richards isn't included which is a shame, cause take a look at the work he did for Weddingbee's Mrs Lovebug! He sent her these photos within hours of her wedding!

The list is full of edgy arty photos that are beautiful and lovely. Perhaps I am biased, but I think I got a catch with Chris!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Green Weddings

There was a lot of talk on the blogs and boards this week about making weddings a green affair. This isn't the easiest task. Linda at Silly Little Mischief wrote about wedding carbon footprint (she also has a regular feature about green wedding ideas!). Tara at In this Instance blogged about paperless invitations as a way to cut down costs and waste. And of course on weddingbee there were several posts, including this one from Mrs Violet about her re-usable centerpiece containers.

A lot of things we can't control about our wedding. Like we WANT our out of town guests to come and be at the wedding. That means emissions from flying(or driving) and hotel stays. But ALL of my familyis from out of state. I'd like them to be here. And we can encourage local guests to car pool, but its Tucson, it ain't going to happen.

We are being conscience of food and liquor. We are going to serve locally brewed beer which cuts down on our footprint a bit, but we will also be serving imported beers and other liquor. So I guess we are a wash there.

Our caterer is local and we have spoken lots about using locally grown foods in our menu.

Our ceremony and reception will be outdoors which I've been told makes it greener. They are also one in the same, so guests will only have to drive to one lacation and back again.

All of our vendors are local.

Our photographer uses digital, we will only print the photos we want to.

We aren't having flower centerpieces which is a double bonus of cost and waste saver.

Our centerpeices will most likely double as escort cards (one less thing) and triple as favors (two less things!).

Here are a few things we probably aren't doing due to cost or convenience:
Printing our invites on recycled paper or using organic inks. The quotes I have gotten increase the price as much a $3/invitation to make them "greener".

I bought my dress and it is silk. I could have gotten an organic cotton or purchased a vintage or used dress. But I didn't. I fell in love with my made in China silk dress. (I don't feel the least bit guilty about this one)

We registered for gifts. That means wrapping paper, boxes, filler, Styrofoam, shipping emissions, factory emissions, etc.

We are taking a honeymoon. A big, somewhere far away, 40 hour plane ride kind of honeymoon.

I struggle with a few decisions, but at the end of the day I am aware of how my wedding may impact the environment. Maybe, as GI Joe says, knowing is half the battle?

Please no critism, I'll accept ideas, but please don't try to make me feel guilty about getting married!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The HOT tub

So after agreeing to hang out some more on that fateful night, FI followed me home, I grabbed the skimpiest bikini and he drove me to his house. At the time we lived like 3 blocks from each other, which in Tucson, is awesome, cause everyone is spread out. We lived in this great historic neighborhood with great old houses (with guest houses, which is what I lived in) and wide streets with lots of round-abouts. You know the circles in the street to guide traffic? We hopped in his car and we promptly drive around a round-about and again. He says laughingly "look kids! Big Ben!" I have no idea what he is talking about, but then he quickly realizes I have never seen National Lampoons European Vacation. And I hadn't, but I thought he was weird. But then he explained it was from a movie and he wasn't weird. cool.

So we got to his house and he let me change into my suit in his room, so I closed the door peaked around (no visible weapons or porn, whew) and changed. I grabbed the handle of the door and it doesn't turn. It's not slippery it just doesn't turn. F. I am locked in this dude's bedroom and all I really know about him is he has a cute butt and he is a friend of a friend. F. I tried again and tried to calm down and after what felt like 5 minutes I finally got the door open.

He led me outside to the hot tub and he grabbed a few beers and hopped in. We had a fun night chatting and getting to know each other. We smooched. After what seemed like forever we went inside. We kept talking cause we were having a great time hitting it off. At four am, he drove me home and said he'd like to take me to dinner. I said yes!

I went to bed on cloud 9. The next day I went to Bowl for Kids sake, we had a company team. Although I couldn't bowl (I had just had arm surgery so I couldn't bowl) I went to support my team. I was so giddy, I told a few co-workers that he had asked me out. Uh oh. Two of them looked at me in horror. HE asked YOU out?!? they demanded. My co-workers said that is was possible that Melisa (remember her from lesson one?) liked him. What? My best buddy Melisa? How could I not know? Was I that blinded in my own selfish behavior I didn't see it? Crap. She DID talk about him a lot. Wow, she DID call him and ask him to meet us out for drinks. Shoot. Now that I reflected on it Melisa did mention the boy with the cute butt an awful lot.

I knew what I had to do, I had to call Melisa as soon as I got home to tell her what happened. Then I had to wait for the boy with the cute butt to call and tell him I couldn't go out with him.

Next up: the phone call

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

uggh, weight update

I dread this post. But I brought it on myself. Last week I was flying high on my weight loss! 6 pounds total, a great accomplishment. So on Wednesday I had a couple pieces of candy. Then Thursday we went out to lunch for work and I had a salad (!) but one of those great salads with a bunch of stuff that should never be in a salad. Thursday night brought an evening of pizza and beer. Friday night: cheese enchiladas, chips and salsa and margaritas. Saturday lunch I had a sandwich with no nutritional value: baguette, brie, tomato and lettuce. Sunday lunch a hamburger and fries. Yesterday I had the day off and made a birthday cake (pictures to come soon) for Fi birthday so I consumed more chocolate just by licking my fingers than I usually do in a year. So even though I moved more last week than I had a while...I have gained back some weight. It just really shows how a few slip ups can lead to more slip ups and before you know it....I am not discouraged though, I just am feeling more motivated and armed with good knowledge. I have to pay attention to everything I eat. I need to be more aware of how I fuel myself. Hopefully next week will prove to be more successful.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Colors Colors Colors

So a year after the wedding planning began I finally decided on colors. Thing is, the final decision isn't too far off from the first draft of colors. But I did a quick new inspiration board to reflect the new colors: Kelly Green and Black.

Inspiration: Kelly Green BM dress (one of five for their choosing), my beautiful ring set, a J Crew suit in black, Black and Green tie from Dillards.com.

Row two: pretty white bouquet, a green shoe (for me, where else? J Crew), Green & black damask invite from Wedding paper Divas.

Row three: The reception site set up for dinner, The front of the Z (both from Zmansion.com) and a pretty paper flower.

I'm pretty pleased with how things are coming together! I have contacted all the bridesmaids and given them the green light (pun intended) to get their pretty dresses. When the semester is over Fi and I will go out suit shopping again, although he did say he'd like to try on a tux (I've seen him in a tux..very cute!) as well! When Fi decides what he wants he to wear, we can contact the groomsman. We are on a roll!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Paper flowers (Centerpiece idea numero dos and hopefully last)

Tucson has a beautiful folk art community. With the meld of Mexican and Native American arts as well as the traditions residents have brought from all over the world, Tucson is distinctive. And the longer you stay here, the more it seeps into your style. So I've lived here for almost 7 years. I can't go a week with out Mexican for dinner. I carry bottled water everywhere. I eat my fry bread with butter and salt. My favorite treat is pumpkin empinadas. Slowly but surely I have become a Tucsonan.

What's this have to do with centerpeices? Mexican Paper flowers. These beautiful handmade flowers will need to make an apperance in my wedding.

I have been batting around a few ideas as to how to use paper flowers. Escort cards? Centerpeices? Just on display? After Miss Bubblegum's post on Weddingbee about her oragami flowers, I decided to have them as escort cards - but then it hit me! Why stop at escort cards. Why not have them be: escort cards, favors AND centerpeices?!?! Am I crazy? Perhaps.

Pictures please:

an example of a Mexican Paper flower. I love the big blooms and the bold colors.

Take a look at these bunches! If you look closely you can see the differences in blooms.

Not Mexican Paper flowers, but centerpiece idea.

Flowers as escort cards. Thanks Miss Tiramasu, from Weddingbee for posting this. So my idea is to have tags similar to this on each bloom with name and table number. At each table, there will be a glass vase with one paper flower in it. The back of the tag withh include instructions to fill up the vase with your flower and that the flowers are for the taking at the end of the night.

These are Miss Bubblegum's flowers being arranged as escort cards. She plans on putting the flowers in vases in alpha order for people to find their name. I am still pondering this. Maybe alpha order, but with Fi and I both having last names that begin with "B", we might have to split up our family in their own vases.

A few other ideas for display are haveing them arranged in alpha order on floral foam. The foam would be covered with something pretty. Or perhaps in a flower box with lemon grass? As much as I like the colorful blooms, I don't want to have a technocolor wedding, so I'm envisioning greens and creams with a few pinks snuck in.

A few other logistics to consider: Since the ceremony and reception are at the same place, would people get their flowers before ceremony or after? Good news, the Z has a whole shed of stuff left over from previous weddings. I know they have 100s of glass vases just sitting for me to use! They won't all match, but I like that. Where do we get the flowers? The flowers, I hope to make. We are having 150-180 for dinner, so I would make 200 flowers. I headed down to THE Mexican paper store today for an additional lesson, but unfortunatly they were closed. Next week perhaps. (But I did get a pumpkin empinada!)

So if you choose to comment, be gentle...I'm getting attached to this idea!

Once and a while, he really blows me away

The Fi and I were out last night and half way through dinner, Fi got a text that our dear friends S& J had their beautiful baby girl - Nadia Joy yesterday. So we went out to celebrate for them and to toast a happy healthy life for new baby Nadia. Over drinks Fi and I turned our conversation to the ceremony.

I will admit the ceremony part of the wedding celebration is the part of the day that has most fascinated, scared and thrilled me. We are so blessed that my Uncle John will be performing the ceremony. However, because of my feelings of trepidation, I have been pretty clammed up about the ceremony with Fi.

Last night however, Fi shocked me. We spoke about some readings we want and who we want to have involved. Fi had a great idea that he would like to have our guests surround us, us stand in the middle and have the rows of chairs in the round. Wow. I didn't know he cared!

Then he shared a conversation he had recently with a friend. The friend said that a couple need not fret over the ceremony, because, really, we are just acting out parts in a play. Fi (I'm so proud!!) said he disagreed and wants to help plan aspects of the ceremony. Although we aren't the first couple to ever get married, he disagrees with the "acting" metaphor.

I assumed incorrectly that Fi has just seen the ceremony as the means to an end. But it appears that he really does care. Awwww.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Man in the Mirror

Oh Michael, what happened?

I blogged a few months ago about my skin care problems. I've been using Glycolic Face wash, a vitamin C serum, Epi-Quin vanishing creme, Retin-A, using 31 & 40 spf sunscreen daily and taking a blood pressure pill that has a side effect of clearing adult acne. So to break it down for you...I am using $15 worth of product on my face daily. Awesome.

The main side effect I have been experiencing is nightmares. I keep dreaming that I have misused this plethora of medication and my face has some how vanished. The worst part is that because I didn't not "apply the creme evenly" I am only partially vanished. So in my dream I look something like this:
I don't know what Michael Jackson used, but it is not easy work trying to vanish 1 spot the size of a quarter (which is oddly shaped like France). Every 6 weeks I go back to the dermatologist and they take a visia scan of my face to see if there are any improvements. I have had a few changes on the side of my face, but France is still there. I'll have an uphill battle this summer, with the sun getting stronger and sun being up longer I have to be more diligent about sunscreen.
I'll keep you posted....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Engagement Session

I blogged a bit ago about our photographer Chris Richards. We are planning to do an epic session soon, before the heat becomes unbearable to do any out door photos.

He recently did Miss Lovebug's, of Weddingbee fame, e-pics. Here are my favorite two:

I love the playfulness of both shots. I don't know Miss Lovebug personally, but from reading her blog for well over a year, I think these shots really show their personalities.

Here are a few of my favorite Chris's wedding photos. All the photos in this post are his and if re-used, he should be given credit, please.

I am looking forward to working with Chris and seeing the great work he'll do for us!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hooking up

Lesson one
Lesson two

The Hook-up. So it is May 13th (see what a girl I am?!) and I go across the border for a fun time with my “enimigo” (sometime friend, sometime boyfriend and sometime enemy). He really wants to spend the night and I really don’t. So we get in the car and drive to the Old Pueblo in the evening. I am driving him home and all I can think about is how my friends and hopefully the boy with the cute butt are at the bar. So I drop of my enimigo (for the last time!) and head to the bar.
I didn’t get there till 10 and I rush in and I see him.

The boy!
I don’t even say hi to my friends, I just run around to the other side of the bar to see him. We are standing there ordering drinks and I tell him about my crazy day across the border and he asks if I am still dating that guy. I say no (confidently and honeslty) and he asks for my number. Classy as always I write it on a bar napkin in pencil (he still has it!). So we have a lovely evening being all moony over each other. At the end of the night we walk outside and kick the dirt and not want to end the night and I ask:
“what are you doing now”
“going to bed”
My friends standing around us kind of chuckle and he realizes that I may want to keep hanging out with him, so I ask again:
“what are you doing now?” a bit more forcefully.
“nothing and I have a hot tub”.


Next up: the hot tub!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Weight loss update: Week 2

The pounds are just melting away! Since April1st, I've lost 6 pounds!
I still have 14 more to go, but I am motivated and pleased by my progress!
My secrets:
Eating healthy and often: I have 5 little meals a day, keeps me full and fueled.
no alcohol: For a girl who loves her beer this has been hard. But I've had 2 drinks in 14 days and feeling good. I had a pint last night with dinner and I got a little buzz!
Moving: Everyday I've been moving a little. I've gotten back into running regularly, although not all the way back with miles. But even on Sunday, Fi and I took a 25 minute walk.

I'm not so naive to think that my weight loss will keep at this pace, but this little jump start has made me more motivated!

Monday, April 14, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by In this Instance and will play along...
RULES:1) you link back to the person who tagged you. {link above}
2) post these rules on your blog.
3) share six unimportant things about yourself.
4) tag six random people at the end of your entry (I'm only going to tag two, cause I'm a wuss) .
5) let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blogs

1) I chose my major in college based on a fluke.
2)I lived in 3 states by the time I was 14 and I am not a military brat.
3)I pick up rocks wherever I go. I often forget and wash them still in my pockets. Some day I’ll figure out how to “stone-wash” jeans!
4)I have a strange mind for details. I can’t memorize verses or quotes to save my life, but I can tell you what Fi and I did this day 3 years ago.
5)I am afraid to finish some books, because I often feel like I am loosing a friend in the process.
6)I collect ticket stubs. I have the ticket stub form the first baseball game I ever went to when I was 4.

Okay I tag:
Asian Jenn
Silly Little Mischief

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lovely Green Idea (or centerpiece idea numero uno)

I read this post on In this Instance last night (my big Friday night!) about Topiaries.

These pretty little topiaries may be a great idea for escort cards/favors, or maybe just on the table holding the table number?

I am becoming increasingly obsessed about my table-scape (normal, right?). I really envision a clean table. I met with Amelia, my linen lady and we decided on ivory linens for tables, chairs and napkins. The sashes for the tables and the chair ties will be a "camel" or a "honey" shade of beige. Amelia seemed a bit disappointed that I wasn't going for something brighter, but we did agree the two colors just look classy together.

So imagine if you will, a table set for 8. Ivory linens, honey sashes and a lovely green topiary. I may be kidding myself, but I see no need for much more. After all the other crap on the tables (sugar, creamer, dressing, salt & pepper, glasses, plates, butter plates, more plates) I feel like I want to keep whatever centerpiece we have simple. A little splash of green feels right to me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

6 months

We have 6 months till the wedding. Holy Cow.

These last few weeks have been productive and I feel like things are coming together.

I now how time to focus on the details. Centerpeices? Escortcards? Invitations? DIY?

We also just booked a return trip to Mexico City to explore, eat and visit with our pals M&M!

Let the fun begin!

Photo: Mexico City, DF Zocolo, picture, one Scionti brother.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Flower inspiration

I was out to dinner with friends on Monday and the much expected "how are wedding plans" question came up. At least I had a few updates: colors have been picked, FI and I are going go suit shopping for him this weekend, bartender and linen supply vendor are officially booked. The one last looming question is flowers.

I don't care about flowers too much as I explained in this not too recent post that I love nature, but cut flowers aren't necessarily my deal. But in lamenting about my flower situation, the most amazing thing happened! My friends asked/told me they would take on my flowers!
So this board is for them. I apologize that I scrambled to put it together so I can't credit all the images specifically other than the websites I found them at.

So thank you friends!

top row: The knot, Mrs Apple from weddingbee, Marthae Stewart (its tissue paper!) the knot
middle two: the knot, weddingbee
bottom row: knot, weddingbee, weddingbee, Faye & Greer (4 boutineares)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

This will not be us, I promise!!

A bride & groom spent their wedding night in jail, after their reception got a little bit out of control! Read all the deatils here.

Update, operation weight loss

A few weeks ago I posted about my fitness inspiration board and my intention to loose some weight. Well it has been a few weeks since that post and in that time, I managed to gain 5 pounds and loose 4. So, I'm pretty much where I started.

I had a busy couple of weeks, running a half marathon, then celebrating the running of the half marathon (by pigging out and not running), I had my family in town and trips to see FI family for Easter. All those activities required lots of eating and drinking. So the pounds just crept up.

Well last Tuesday Fi and I really got a jump start. We've limited our drinking and been eating in more and had fruits as snacks. I started running again and ran a race on Sunday. So in a week I dropped 4 pounds. I know this is a-typical for weight loss, and am just hoping for a 1-2 pound loss a week from here on for a few weeks.

My goals have shifted from that last post, but I am feeling great about my progress so far (even though I am right back where I started). Tonight I am heading back into the gym after a hiatus!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Backstory round two

Lesson One

A month or so goes by before I hear of the boy with the cute butt again. No big deal. I am still flitting around and having a good time. So sometime in the end of April he must of resurfaced. I remember seeing him a few more times. At a bar here, a bar there, everywhere a bar bar. Then one night in mid-May we have a conversation about sports. I tell him where I went to college and he says “Oh Blank Blankster is your head coach”.

Okay no one ever knows the head coach of MY school. They always get my school confused with the OTHER state school. And like any good state school kid I HATE the OTHER school and I HATE it when people get my school confused with the other school. Like it really matters in the long run, its not like I got my degree from Harvard and everyone thinks I got it from Yale. But it is school pride, you know! I didn't get this tattoo on my lower back for nothing.

So I am sooo impressed he knew the head coach of MY school, I remember sitting up and saying “I love you” to him. That was the first time I thought that I may like to run into boy with the cute butt again.

Next lesson: the “hook-up”

Friday, April 4, 2008

The best gift yet

My FSIL planned a great craft for my dear 6 year old niece to do during the shower. This was so smart of a mulititude of levels. Lucy got to play and was allowed to be a 6 year old rather than having to sit and be good. I also received a wonderful keepsake of the day. Without further ado...

You can see a piece of the shower invitation (top left) and lots of pieces of wrapping paper. This picture shows the frame and all, on the wall.

The bottom portion with the lovely flower stickers, Lucy said it was "to represent the flowers blooming in the desert". She is the smartest kid I know!
And here is a picture of our haul!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I can't make this stuff up!

Today's Photo Game: I entered "fiance" into Google image search and this was the first image that popped up.

Long live Zach Morris and AJ Slater (its all right, cause Im saved by the bell!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Time for a little history lesson, don’t you think?

So it was the Spring of 2003 in March and my dear buddy Melisa tells me that we are all meeting at the bar for another Thursday night get-together. A group of us had been going to the same bar every Thursday night for over a year at this point, so no big deal, right?


Melisa was down right giddy about my meeting her pal who had the cute butt. I should also mention that I was seeing at least one guy at the time (maybe two, the math is still fuzzy). So Thursday finally rolls around. I go to the bar I meet the guy with the cute butt (Melisa is always right about these things) and we play Golden Tee. We met for the first time March of 2003, I remember meeting him and thinking “eh”. He remembers the same thing about me. I thought he was a bit annoyed with me cause I was too busy playing darts and being a social butterfly than standing right next to the Golden Tee machine waiting for my turn. Oh yeah, and the postman I was dating* was there too.

Next lesson: We meet again.
* Dating may be too strong of a term.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A FUN Shower game!

My FSIL made a fun quiz game for me and Fi. My FSIL called Fi to get a few answers and questions and he renamed it "How to screw your brother". As endearing as FI is, he has no memory for when we met, how long we have been dating and details! But he did just fine! I was the judge of the answers and the guests were split into two teams.
There were 5 categories: Jenn Only, Fi Only, The Happy Couple, Jenn or Fi and Destinations.
Some of my favorite questions were:

Category "The Happy Couple": on what night of the week do they eat tacos and watch their favorite tv show? Answer: Taco Thursdays

Category "destinations": Where did Jenn & Fi go on their overseas trip a few years ago? Answer: The UK

Category "FI only": what superhero did FI dress up as in his under-roos? Answer: Superman (how cute is that!)

Category: "Jenn or Fi": Who reads non-fiction, microsoft press and Sonoran Desert info? Answer: Fi

Category "Jenn only": In what city was Jenn born? Answer: Small Town, Pa, which induced a question from one of the guests. She kept asking me over and over again if I was born in Small Town, Pa. I answered yes and pointed to my mom and said "Ask her, she was there!" Turns out the guest had grown up right outside Small Town in an even Smaller Town and went to Small Town High School. Too weird, right! When we lived in Small Town, PA it had about 13,000 in it, so the chances are slim!

The game was a hit, although only my family knew any answers about me. The game would be more suited for a roomful of girlfriends or close friends and not people you are meeting for the first time. It was really sweet of my FSIL to come up with such a great game!