If I had to plan my wedding again…

So, it’s wedding Wednesday, which we haven’t done in a lot of weeks, but you all will deal because I got married and bought a house in the span of the last 30 days.

Helene blogged an excellent post about if she had to plan her wedding again.  Yesterday is our one-month anniversary, and quite honestly, I’m still floating on the clouds, however, I thought the post was really interesting, and really pertinent, as it seems like every single person on my Facebook feed is engaged – so here it is…

WeddingIf I had to plan my wedding again….

First off, this is really really hard, because I honestly feel like the day was perfect.  But it was more because of the company I think.  Being with my friends, being with my husband, getting pictures taken, and dancing all night left very little to want for.  But as far as planning goes?

  • I would have spread the planning out a little bit more.  When we got engaged, I was really really overwhelmed.  My grandmother died immediately following our engagement, and I really didn’t get into planning until months before the big day.  Everything got done, but it made that time right before feel a little crunched in the weeks before.
  • Knowing how much it costs, I would have saved a little more leading up.  You think you have all the costs together.  But I absolutely guarantee, future brides, you will bleed money in the month or so before your wedding.  Even if your family is paying for it all, you’ll  need to buy this or that at Michael’s before.  You’ll forget that there are favors to be purchased, and jars to be crafted. Trust me on this one.
  • I would have delegated a little bit more, sooner.  My friends were absolutely incredible.  One bridesmaid registered me at Target and BBB.   One ran to Michael’s for chalk the morning of.  My brother put together some gifts for some of the folks for me.  But I wish I had realized just a little bit sooner that it is okay to ask friends for help.  A lot of times, they want to help, and would gladly do whatever it is you want to.  They have no stake in this.  They don’t care if you want pink flowers and yellow walls with  kites hanging off of them (just an example, and not at all indicative of what my gorgeous day was about).  But they will do what you tell them and be happy to do it.  <-to be fair to this point, I also hate to relinquish creative control to anyone, so the delegation I did was hard, but worth it 🙂

And that’s really it.  My wedding was such a gorgeous celebration, I have very little to say about the day of.  But leading up, there were definitely things I could have done to reduce my stress level.

What would you have done/what are you doing to streamline your wedding planning process?

Our wedding.

If you’ve ever gotten married, you understand why I’ve been disappeared for the last week or so.  The lead up was crazy – but I don’t even need to get into that right now.  You want to get into the good stuff right?  The stuff I’ve been talking about for the last year or so?

We got married on Saturday!

I will break down the whole thing a little more in detail in a few days, but I will give you guys a little taste of what we did this weekend.

Our wedding was gorgeous.  It was perfect.  It went off without a hitch.  And I am officially a Mrs!

  •  I heard from someone at the venue that our food was the best.  We did fried chicken (tofu for me), collards, mac and cheese, potatoes, and biscuits.  It was straight-up as southern as it gets.
  • My dress.  Ahhhhh that dress.  It was delicious, and I never ever wanted to take it off.  After we got back, I kinda flopped down on the bed in our suite for a good 20 minutes before I had to take it off.
  • I danced literally for 100 hours.  I had to shower after.
  • The day was perfect, and I love my family – my family family, and my new family – new husband especially!  Feels cool to finally call him husband!

A few photos to tide you over until I do the FULLLLLL recap?

photo 5
This was a quick screen grab that stopped me in my tracks. We actually got into a tobacco field for this one. Photo via Blest Studios.
photo 4
A drunken groomsman who charmed the pants off of all of our parents snapped this quickly at sunset.
photo 3
A guest snapped this as my father escorted me down the aisle. He’d been talking about wearing this tux for months and it TOTALLY came together. Love it!
photo 2
This was us, the HOT day of the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner.
photo 1
All lined up to practice walking down the aisle!

So, this is just a little taste, as I ease back into my life.

What I can say, however, is that I feel SO loved – by friends, by family, by my husband and I’m looking forward to years and years of celebrations like these.  I love you all, and thank you all for an amazing weekend.

That said…what did you do this weekend?

Wedding insanity has begun…

We are less than a month from my wedding, and the insanity has begun.

Friday, I didn’t go to work (I was on duty on Sunday, and I’ve been told I was hitting it a little hard at the office 🙂 ), so I took off to Charlotte with Michael (a bridesman who has been incredible at keeping me on track), to pick up my wedding dress.   Michael is amazing. We have been friends for like 10 years, and he allows me to be me, which is a quality that is sometimes difficult to find in friends.

Now keep in mind, I haven’t really seen my dress since December, and it was INCREDIBLE.  I really really wish I could share a pic, but I will let you be surprised.  But suffice it to say that I’m feeling REAL body confident – the dress fit like a glove, and really flatters me.  I’m excited to see what it looks like with hair and makeup, and I’m excited to see what Austin thinks, day of.  So from here, I’m having a few alterations done, having the dress cleaned, and that will be DONE!

After driving all over creation to get the dress, we hit the Harris Teeter to order flowers, which is saving us SO much money, and I finished out Friday by hitting a Zumba party at the Cary Y.

Zumba Party

It was really cool because I was able to see other instructor’s choreo and decide what I’d like to steal, and what I can take from their style.  The BEST part though, was the fact that Vinh, a talented young instructor, revealed a coconut bikini and grass skirt, and proceeded to teach ALL of his songs in that.  I was crying laughing, and he wore it to the little mocktail party we set up after, where there was a card waiting for me to wish me the best at my new job.

Cookie Cake

Between all of that, my brother was in town for his orientation at NC State, and we spent a lot of time doing all of that fun orientation stuff, getting him sheets, getting him to where he needed to go and…oh.

I found a house we really really like.


I’ll keep you posted.  How was your weekend?

Brother Picture

Errr….Wedding Wednesday?

I know it’s not Wednesday.  But you know what, I think you guys can deal with it and forgive me right?  It’s been sort of a crazy week at work (and I promise that once it kind of gets smoothed over I will tell you about it) but rest assured, there is a ton of stuff going on, and I’m sorry if you feel neglected.

So let’s do some catching up.

Numero uno, have you met my favorite song yet?  I heard it like a week-and-a-half ago, and it’s currently climbing the charts, like number 8 on Billboard, and a little higher up on Spotify’s list.  The song is the perfect mix of blue-eyed soul, plus a really sweet reggae feel that I haven’t heard in a while.

Behold ‘Rude’ by Magic! The group releases the album July 1st, and once that happens, I will definitely be looking for their shows. Their lead singer, in particular, is so interesting to look at, and the way he moves is really unique. I just loved discovering new loves!

Wedding Updates + a legitimate dilemma. 

  • I called last week to check on my dress, and to be completely honest, the situation with my dress is cutting it really close, and I’m not comfortable with that, but I really can’t do much about it now.
  • My wedding bands came in yesterday.  I was tempted to go pick them up so I can put them on, but is that bad luck?  Did anyone else “test” their wedding bands and wear them before they actually got married?
  • I’m not sure what I’m going to do about my last name, and I’m actually lost.  Custom would dictate that I take his.  But I like my last name.  In fact, I love my last name.  I love my family, and I love my father, and part of me might mourn the loss of that.  Do I want to keep it completely?  I don’t know.  Do I want to have part of my new husband’s name?  Yes, because we’re a family now.  But I’m not sure how to make that happen.  Please let me know if you have any cool ideas.
  • The invites are sorta ready.  I have the .tif file for them, and I am exploring some printing options for them.  If you will recall, I wanted to have them sent out by now, but things don’t work out the way you want them when you’re getting married.  Learn that, and you will have a really easy time 🙂
  • Me and Austin may have a big (non-baby) announcement soon (calm down), but I can’t tell you yet.

Okay, what’s new with you?  What should I do about my last name? 

Wedding Wednesday! “March” of the Brides

I figured since the countdown is officially on, and since I’m actually going to need to buckle down to get us married in the next couple of months, I’d start this Wedding Wednesday thing to kind of keep me on track, and let you know how I’m doing with my progress on things.

But first, my our new camera.  But what’s ours is really mine, amirite?  Happy fiancée, happy Beyoncé, ya know what I mean?

So anyhoo, with the new camera fully charged out, I set out to shooting really important things.

DSC_0007Such as my very pissed off looking cat.  Whatever cat, I bathed you for the better part of the entire fall to rid you and my home of fleas, so I will shoot you all I want, and you will deal.  He’s also not that fat, the picture is not his best angle, but I will get there.

So besides taking pictures of any and everything I come across, I’m really starting to buckle down and get serious about this wedding thing.  The reason I’ve been a little slow to really really get started (besides the venue and the invite list and a few other things), is because we really just haven’t had time, and I want to do everything myself!  But now that I have a few weekends where I’m guaranteed to be at home, it’s time to start!  And here’s what we got!

  1. Save-the-dates.  I literally don’t care if you think save-the-dates (STDs for short, lol) are stupid, they’re the way that you introduce the idea of you guys getting married to the world plus they’re a good way for you to inform all of your out of town guests that something’s going down in a little less than 6 months.   You can’t send people in New York your invite 6 weeks before and expect them to hop in their cars and book a hotel in that short amount of time, okay?  So I went to the paper store, got a quote, and the fabulous Evane Corder is drawing me up a little something for us to get printed on the cards.  So that, and I want to send them out by the end of this month.  Hold me to that, okay?
  2. “March” of the Brides.  So Saturday, Diamonds Direct Crabtree has the coolest thing going on for us brides-to-be.  25 of us were picked to compete in fun games (for some reason, I’m envisioning field day games), and I will be down there, with the support of my husband-to-be, competing for prizes and freebies for the big day.  So, I am officially inviting anyone in the Raleigh area to bring a thermos full of mimosa, and watch be elbow other brides (jk!) so that we can win free stuff for our wedding!
  3. An invite list.  I’m finally really at peace with that, because at first, the idea of inviting folks and not forgetting anyone can be really really intimidating, but I’m at the point where I’m comfortable with those whom I’ve chosen to be a part of our special day.  I actually started to recognize that it’s about us and therefore, we can have people that we like there.  That’s a nice feeling!
  4. A dress!  My mom said she was gonna go ahead and order it tomorrow, and I wish I could show it to you but nah!  It’s a secret!  But I’m so essited for you to see it 🙂

Okay ladies getting married, link up in the comments and hashtag yo tweets.  It’s Wedding Wednesday!

Wedding Wednesday

Happy Belated Christmas, folks!

I think it’s the law that the WiFi in your childhood home has to, has to, be incredibly horrid, so I’m blogging a little late from the McDonald’s a few minutes from the border of South Carolina.

I’m avoiding eye contact with like 4 youths who’ve taken an interest in me, and seem to be trying to catch my attention.  I’m wearing my headphones and pretending I can’t hear them – but nothing is really playing.

But I digress.

I hope your Christmas, or whatever you celebrate, was wonderful.  Mine was really really nice.

I started with some Redbox action with my brother upon my arrival.  We watched that Melissa McCarthy/Sandra Bullock cop movie, ‘The Heat’, which I was totally sure was gonna be hysterical, but it was honestly a little off-putting.  There wasn’t a minute in the movie that you didn’t hear the f-word.  Now don’t get me wrong, I totally live for some some dirty language, but it was really too much for my delicate sensibilities.

Christmas Day, I woke up, and once we got everyone up, we started opening presents.  The fan fave?  This:

Soda Stream

The Soda Stream!  My pops, like me, is a huge fan of some seltzer, and we got into making a few glasses before we even started breakfast.  My dad kept looking at his glass and saying, “This is amazing!”

So I’m pretty sure I went with the right choice.

So knowing that I’d be probably indulging in a few more cookies than I usually do, I made sure to hit the run in some way, shape, or form a few times while here at home.  So when I was sent out for our Christmas dinner, some key Chinese dishes (veggie lo mein, sesame chicken for my brother, and general tso’s chicken for my dad), I put in the order, and left the restaurant on foot to make sure that I wouldn’t make an excuse to skip my run.  I ran around the back of the building….and right onto a golf course.

Golf 1

Seriously.  I ran, and found myself on a golf course, and it almost looked like another planet, with the amount of balls (hee hee) that were back there.

Golf 2

Like, doesn’t that look just like Mars or something?  So my quick run turned into one that was a little longer, around a local golf course as the sun went down.

Golf 3As predicted, I ate a few more cookies than I planned to before I went to bed last night and watched some Sherlock Holmes with my brother, so this morning, I hit it again, with some time on the treadmill, followed by some time spent with weights.

Some of today’s highlights?

  • I got to be lazy, aside from my workout, which was fabulous.
  • I used the Starbucks gift card that my mom got me!
  • I went to the Whole Foods in Charlotte, and they have a wine bar there.  A glass was on special for like $3.00, so of freaking course I indulged!  I also walked around, picked some produce with my mom, ate lunch from the hot bar, and got some handmade soap, which is super spensive, but awesome.
  • And I found my wedding dress today!  I’m keeping it super secret, otherwise, I’d post a little pictorial evidence for you.

So onword and upword!  Next up!  New Years!

What are your New Years plans?  Any running related ones?

Ya missed me? This post is so jam-packed with goodies, I can’t even stand it!

I took a few days off from writing, and it drove me peanuts.   But I logged the events of Thanksgiving break in my head so I could keep everyone filled in on the events, which were events a-plenty.

Wednesday, before the holiday, I skipped the run (I know, shame on me,) because I went in for an endoscopy after work to figure out what was going on with my stomach, which you’ll remember has been acting really nuts since my bout with a stomach bug in September.  It was an upper endoscopy, so as far as prep, it just required that I fasted for a bunch of hours.  Rude.

I went in, stripped down to a sexy gown, and they started me on an IV.  The whole process was fairly non-dramatic.  I was wheeled into a room, laid on my side, given oxygen and the process began.  First the Lidocaine to numb my veins, and then the Propofol, and next thing I knew, I was out.  I woke up a really short time later – apparently, while I was under and they tried to shove the camera down my esophagus, I started flailing, pulled my IV out, and they had to pull me out of my sleep to reset the IV.  It was no big deal, and next thing I knew, I was out, and Austin was ready to take me home.  But not before in a haze, I told the nurse that “I looooove him,” and “did you know we were getting married?”

The final verdict? Gastritis.  The lining of my stomach was inflamed and has kicked acid up into my esophagus, which was burnt up too.  The morning of Greensboro, nerves and something I ate the day before probably aggravated my already-raw stomach, causing me to throw up.  Which burnt my esophagus even more.  Yumz. They did a biospy and I should know what’s causing it and what I need to do in the next 10 days or so.  I’ll keep you posted.


Thanksgiving Day.  It was awesome.  I woke up, went for a slow and steady 4 miler (I’m streaking til New Years Day), cleaned up my house, and headed down to my parents’ for the holiday.  I cooked, and it was so lovely to spend the time with my family.  That evening, I was able to trick my brother into watching Pitch Perfect with me.  Score.

BroFriday morning, me and little Derek suited up for a run – and I will be gosh darned – the kid can run!  He’s a cross country star, and 18, so truthfully, the run consisted of me chasing him around Waxhaw, NC, which he regarded more as a casual jog.  My hamstrings were mad at me afterward, and I will definitely have to utilize him more for those speed workouts.

DressWe went wedding dress shopping.  That is all I can say, and this is all I will show you because I’m keeping dress negotiations top secret.  But my mom and I had a blast shopping for dresses.  She did try to negotiate a tiara and a set of silky gloves out of me, but I’m not budging, much to her chagrin.

CarAnd in the single greatest moment of the holiday, possibly of the year, my brother offered to drive us to Harris Teeter to buy my dad seltzer, and we needed to, since I drink up all his seltzer every time I go home.  Anyhoo, my brother drives a Benz.


Well, it’s an ’87, and when he started it, he had to pump the gas like a madman before we could get moving.  Then, when we arrived to the Teet, we had to leave it running while we ran inside.  Hood.


And finally, I finished out the weekend by enjoying a dinner where I spent my 16th birthday, Kristopher’s in Matthews, NC, with Austin, the husband-to-be, and Derek, my brother.  It was so fun, so delicious, and an excellent way to wrap up the weekend.

Thanksgiving was awesome.  It was a lovely visit, and I finished out the weekend by running, running a little more, and working at the running store, which always puts a smile on my face.

How was your Thanksgiving Holiday?

If you’re one of those girls who’s been planning your wedding forever, cool.

And if you want to pretend like you’re not, don’t forget, I can see your Pinterest posts publicly. (But helpful hint, you can privately Pin stuff so your future boyfriends don’t get scared off.)

But I’m not one of those girls. Sure, I’d toss around ideas like, ooh maybe I’ll wear this! Maybe I’ll invite such and such. I have to make sure to learn to Dougie before I wed! You know, stuff like that. But to say I know what I’m wearing, what colors would be featured, what the decor and set-up of the room would look like, I have no idea.

And for those of you who think you know what you want. I won’t say you’ve wasted your time, but hear me out. You may want to just start fresh with ideas when your time to plan comes cause….

I went wedding dress shopping yesterday. Oh yes, this part, I had in my head. I saw myself, a tall, leggy model like the ones in the magazine. Flowy. So chic. Yet so relaxed. So innovative! No one had ever seen a dress like mine before. So I took my bestie, Michael, and off we went.

I put on at first this lace number that was supposed to look something like this.


And when I put it on, every person in the room gasped in horror. Michael. The woman helping me. And the two women that were there for the moral support of their bride-friend. It was awful once I got it on my body. It didn’t move. I had no hips. They even tried to sash it to make it manageable. And no dice.

Maybe I’ll look good in a gauzy destination gown, I thought to myself. So I popped a champagne-colored, chiffon number on.

Less horrid, but still pretty bad.

“Do you have anything mermaid-y?”

Again, I winced. The dress made me look like I was going for my 5th wedding, and like I was trying to recapture my youth.

After a few of these, I found one. Obviously, I’m not going to tell you what it was, because you’re just going to have to wait, like everyone else, but here’s my advice, as an almost-married lady. Try it on. Go visit these places. What you have going on in your head? Not necessarily what the deal will be in real life. Good luck, brides 🙂

I need your help.

There’s a lot of wedding stuff out there.  A lot of horrible wedding stuff.


Exhibit A. Like. What the eff is that supposed to be?

So, ladies and gents, direct me to your finest wedding hacks, before I run down to the courthouse in my jeggings and crop top to make this thing official (still not out of the realm of possibility).