Friday, July 31, 2009

SUYL: Wedding Details

This week @ Kelly's Korner SUYL series is Your wedding party/flowers/details. So, I'm going to start with our getting ready process. I did my own hair and make-up (I always do my own- VERY few people have a clue about curly hair) with a little help from my stylist at home. We got ready at my parents' beautiful home in ME.

I also did my sister's hair and helped with my other sister and my cousin's hair.. all on the morning of my wedding.. haha. No stressing around here!
Oh, and make sure you pee BEFORE you put your Spanx on.. or your wedding party will get to know you in ways closer than your mother...

And like a true DIY-er, I made my own bouquet too.. the night before my wedding. Here are my sisters putting on the final touches: (Callas & Roses)
Another DIY thing- I made my girls candle bouquets instead of flowers- we had a night wedding, and they looked gorgeous!!!
I actually didn't DIY our aisle runner- I designed the graphic, but had this made:
I also made the ring bearer's pillow (embroidered it with our names too) and flower girl's basket:
I DIY'd every step of our invites & programs:
Our cake was inspired by something I saw on
We had the best wedding party ever!! Seriously, what wedding party goes rock climbing, plays basketball and races around a track for you??
Can't forget my adorable flower girl & cousin:

This is what happens when your 6'4" & 5'10" groomsmen switch jackets:

And lastly, a little of the ceremony:

So.. as you can see, here @ WW we're all about DIYing & having fun, relaxing & enjoying those special times!!

PS- If you haven't read about our "interesting" ceremony, you can do so here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Feature & An Update

Well, once again, God saw us through. This makes 5 houses we've almost bought. After looking around inside the house and seeing that it would need a lot of work, we came up with a new number for our max bid. We knew it was low, but we prayed and knew that if this were the right house, we'd get it. If it wasn't meant for us, it'd go higher.

And we got a very strong answer. The winning bid was more than 2 times the number we had in mind. I still don't get why in the world the winner is paying that much.. It's considerably above county value and would need to be gutted almost. But, that's just how God works. He takes care of His children. Whether it's house-buying, financial problems, or even as small as helping us find something we've lost.

It's hard going up and down about all this, as you've seen in recent posts. But each time the Lord guides us away from homes (or sometimes just downright slams the door), my trust grows. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

I hope you believe that. And I hope you let God guide you through life. It sure is a heck of a lot better. No, not always easy- as you can see from our story- but I'd much rather have my life in my Creator's hands than taking it into my own. I fail all the time, but HE doesn't.

On another note...

I love getting comments from all of you. They really help build relationships, and I think the new feature I added to this blog really displays some of the girls I feel the closest to.

I've added a "Top Commenters" widget to my right sidebar that will show my top 5 commenters and link back to them. I'm so thankful for your input here & this is just a way of showing you some love back. Everyone who visits my site now will see how supportive you are, and be able to click on your name to check YOUR blog out.

So, thank you all for your sweet words. Some of you I've just "met", but I SO look forward to getting to know you through your blog as well! Just because you haven't been around for long and therefore aren't on the list, doesn't mean I don't cherish you checking in here. I write this blog not only for myself & to preserve memories, but to give back to you. I hope you finish reading here feeling happy, inspired, encouraged, or closer to Chirst. I hope I've been a blessing to you, because Lord knows you've been a blessing to me! :)


.. Oh by the way...

Tonight's that auction.. the one I mentioned at the end of this post. I'm rushing there right after work to see the house. We haven't even seen the inside of the house yet and the auction starts at 6pm. Oy! the stress! the pressure!

We've set a limit number that we won't bid above, and his parents and grandpa are coming so they can help us inspect it and give us bidding suggestions. We've never done this before.. and auctions for an item this HUGE scare me.

You don't get to have an inspection before you commit to buy. BUT, there's the chance that we'll get a heck of a deal & our net worth will instantly multiply by like 80 times.

I'm half nervous about it, and half at peace.

It's a big deal, and there are so many unknowns it's crazy..

But, God is in control. He's led us through this whole house-hunting process, and he's obviously kept us from any house he didn't want us to have before, so I know he'll do it again.

Your prayers would be mucho appreciated. MUCHO mucho. Thanks.


And PS- AMAZING giveaway HERE!!!

The One About Gunshots at Our Wedding

I don't think I've ever told you about Z's plan to never let anyone forget our wedding. Let me just say that yes, I did know about all of this ahead of time, and yes, I did tell him it was okay. ...we're just crazy like that. My uncle was our pastor and he was in on it as well.

So let's go back to November 29th of last year at roughly 5:30pm.

We were married close to my hometown (in ME, his fam & friends are in OH) so most of the guests were my friends and family. And for the most part, none of them knew any of the groomsmen or our out of state friends.

The wedding party walks down the aisle. The music starts & my dad walks me down the aisle. I kiss him & my mom goodbye & walk up the steps to stand with Z. My uncle welcomes everyone and says, "If anyone has reason that these two should not be wed, please speak now, or forever hold your peace".

Just then our friend Lee (from Boston- no one knows him) jumps up, walks out into the aisle towards us and says, "Wait! C, I love you!!".

(My dad told us he was getting ready to stand up and punch the guy..)

Z then looked at his groomsmen and said, "Get 'em boys!".

All the groomsmen reached into their tuxes and pulled out cap guns and started firing wildly at Lee as he ran out of the church. The entire crowd erupted into laughter.

It took a good 5 minutes for everyone to regain composure and for the service to go on. My bridesmaids didn't know what to think, our parents were both shocked & relieved, and Z was basking in the glory of his perfectly executed plan.

It was the perfect way to lift the tension in the room. After that, everyone was smiling, and no one was nervous.

We got innumerable comments from people all night about how it was the most unique wedding they'd ever been to and how they'd never be able to forget it. I got asked several times if I'd known about it, and told how I was so brave to let him do it.

I should've known what a crazy ride the rest of our lives would be- with a beginning like that!

When I asked for Z's input on our wedding, that was his ONLY request. He didn't care about decorations or music or even food. He just wanted to do something that people would remember. And I believe it worked.

Chances are, whenever any of those 175 people hear the words, "speak now or forever hold your peace" at a wedding in the future, they're all going to look around and make sure there's no "secret lover" walking down the aisle. And that's just how Z wanted it. :)

And Lee, if you ever read this- you're the best & we owe you big! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This weekend was a blur, so I'll just recap it quickly.

Friday night I spent priming & painting a desk & finishing the bench on PP today.

Saturday we went to church, went to Culvers (as usual), took a nap, went to see our friends' new baby in the hospital, and went out to dinner.

Sunday we picked up my new craigslist coffee table & end tables. Then Z went to an auction at a car dealership that closed & got lots of good stuff. I spent the entire day painting the desk & chair, running to Menards for project supplies, starting on some smaller projects, and cleaning the house. It was a full day and by the time 9pm rolled around, I was wiped out!!

Monday after work we met up with some friends and went to a Cincy Reds game. Even though they've been doing horribly, they won last night. It was no Red Sox game, but it was good nonetheless. There were something like 10+ homeruns, and 3 were hit to our section. The guy 2 rows in front of Z caught 2 of the balls, lucky guy! We went with a group of about 60 people, so that's always fun! I forgot my camera, but here are a couple cell phone shots.

Yesterday a few items came in that I ordered, so I'm looking forward to getting everything situated tonight. Z has a men's Bible study so I'll have the place to myself. I might even whip up this fabulous Zucchini cake with the HUGE zucchini our landlord gave us.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sharing the Wedding Dress

I'm a little late in the day, but I'm crashing the party over @ Kelly's Korner. Today, the party's all about sharing our wedding dresses.

Picking out my wedding dress was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.. because I had to do it without my mom. I tried on close to 50 dresses.. went to every bridal boutique.. and then at the last one, I found it. It really wasn't magical. I'm guessing if my mom or sisters had been there, we all probably would have cried. I do have to thank my MIL & SIL who went with me- it was great to have them there. It's just that every girl dreams of finding her wedding dress with her mom. But anyway.. I liked it because I felt very comfortable & feminine. I hesitated to buy it because it was pricier than I was planning on.. but after that much searching, I was ready to be done.

It's Maggie Sottero's Anastasia. Sweetheart neckline, lace-up back, embellished with lace & intricate beading. I'll let the dress do the talking:

I also wore a faux fur cropped jacket for some shots.. after all, it was november.

Learning Faith

There are a lot of things in my life that have caused my faith to have to grow.

Like marrying Z. He challenges me on a daily basis. And he's predictably unpredictable, which forces me to be flexible.

Like moving to a totally unknown place & taking a job I don't love. I have to believe God has a reason for this & it's part of a bigger plan.

It really is funny how I've changed. I was always Ms. Planner herself. Maybe even a tiny bit of a control freak every now and then. But I always portrayed a totally put-together, professional image. Funny how God humbles us & stretches us, isn't it?

If you've been reading my blog for long, you know we had grand plans of buying a house. You're also probably starting to feel like we don't know what the heck we're doing because of how often the plans change. Really. I've kind of stopped updating you on that whole situation because... it changes all.the.time. And that'd just make me look spastic (or maybe you already think that.. oh well, can't trick you, can I?). :)

So you want to know what's been going on?

I was starting to feel like God just kept closing the doors on us buying a house. I mean, 3 full price offers, and still nothing? Seems like a closed door to me. So then my heart started to dream about moving back east.. even though I didn't want to let it because it hurts so much every time I let that dream creep out and have it smashed again. Like.. makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it. K. moving on.

But then, inevitably, it did get smashed. My logical husband (yes, I love him for it) didn't think it was a good idea. So, after a self pep talk or two (or ten), I started feeling like we should just be adventurous.

We both have jobs that aren't holding us down. Meaning, we could move anywhere pretty much and make what we're making now. Wouldn't really set us back. So I thought- let's move somewhere fun! Colorado mountains? NC shore? TN lakes? I figured, if I can't be close to home, why not just enjoy this time!

Then Z finds an estate that's up for absolute auction. Big house, 10 acres, barn, pond, lots of woods, beautiful property, good neighborhood.. house needs a lot of TLC. The auction is next Thursday. Z wants to bid. Okay.. so no moving to fun places if that happens. And buying a house and putting a lot of effort into making it nice lowers the chances that we'd move home before having kids. Breaking heart...

Honestly, it's almost made me indifferent. I feel like my dreams and my desires don't really matter anymore. I'll just take a back seat, let Z make the decisions & let God guide us. And turn the feelings off. Because truly feeling each step in this journey would be far too difficult. The ups and downs leave my composure fighting for air.

So maybe I'm learning faith.. or supposed to be. But maybe I'm just tired. A little unsure. And just praying for the faith to be positive through this time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Organization Giveaway Winner

I'm so excited to announce the winner of the Organization Giveaway! But, before I do, I just wanted to thank you all for your participation and for spreading the word.

From the sounds of things, a few of you are going to buy one of these anyway! And I don't blame you- who doesn't have issues with insane amounts of mail and clutter in their homes??

Now, with out further adieu, has chosen us a winner!

Abbie, please email me with your shipping information, and I'll get your prize shipped right out to you!

And, just for fun, if any of you purchase this item, send me a picture of it in your home & I'll share everyone's organizers in one big post, with links to your blogs of course!

Until later, happy hump day!! ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Husband, the Superhero

This post is dedicated to the brave antics of the boy I married.

[We were on vacation in Maine. There are lots of bugs in Maine. Bats like bugs.]

It was a beautiful evening. Our last night of vacation seemed like the perfect time for the family to head out and have a camp fire. And camp fire we did! We were roasting our marshmallows to perfection & chowing down on s'mores.. when those nasty black creatures that live in the dark started swooping down at us.

[Quick story: My mom's an E.R. nurse. She once told us a story about a girl sleeping in an old house. The girl had big black curly hair. While she was sleeping a bat got in the room and when swooping down, it got caught in her hair. In it's struggle to get away, it bit her. Long story short, they killed the bat, and brought the girl to the ER with the bat still in her hair.]

So.. having heard this story, my sisters and I (whom all have crazy curly hair) put our hoods up & covered with blankets. No nasty bat was getting in our hair. But still.. a little freaky that they were around, right?

So back to the bugs. They were out that night, and biting! And I had capris on. So I went back into the cottage to get some wind pants. I had forgotten that the front screen door had been sticking. So I came back out of the bedroom with my pants half up (you do it too..) only to see a dark shadow fly across the room. "B-- BBbbaa-- Bbbaatttt!!", I screamed as I ran out the side door.

That, of course sent my sisters into a tizzy and we huddled together as Z, my dad, and M (sister's boyfriend) looked in the windows to locate the devil.

Well, the boys put on hats, grabbed our badminton rackets, and headed inside to rescue us. Because you know we weren't setting foot in there til he was out!

After many valiant attempts at wacking him, the boys remained victory-less. So they tried to phsyc him out. They shut the lights off and went outside. Z stayed inside with the laptop to work on his sermon.

Finally, M went back inside and turned the lights on. They both spotted the bat at the same time and went into stealth-mode. The cottage has a loft on one side and catedral ceilings on the other. Z climbed up into the loft to get a little height advantage, and advantage it was.

During one swoop across the room, Z took a wide, hard swing and wacked that nasty creature straight up against the kitchen wall (our guess is he was traveling at least 40 mph). It then flopped down into the kitchen sink where M trapped it with his racket. My dad then ran inside and drowned the thing in the sink.

Us girls were just now starting to creep toward the door. Imagine our relief when we saw my dad emerge from the kitchen with two plastic cups held together, telling us the devil was dead! He carried it out to the fire in the cups and tossed all 3 in (sorry, environment! lol). If you've never seen burning bat.. it's nasty.

I proclaimed my love for my bat-killer over and over agin that night. Ahh.. my hero. :)

We later slept soundly knowing our abode was bat-free. AND, we made sure that darn screen door got shut just as soon as anyone walked through the door.

We now joke that we baptized and cremated that animal all in the same night.

Oh, the memories....

Weekend Part 2

The riverboat cruise was so neat!! I'd definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a fun outing- it'd be great for birthdays, anniversaries, bach parties, etc.

Here's some photos from our trip:

The boarding location was across the river in Newport, KY:
Z & his grandma & grandpa walking to the dock:
Our boat:
With Cincy & the Reds' stadium in the background:
Z & grandpa on the upper deck:
Neat condos on the riverfront:
Self-Portrait (eek..):
Can you imagine living up there??
Neat bridge shot:
Darn flash made the background disappear..
It was a great night! During & after dinner, they had a jazz/swing band playing live music, so we requested In The Mood by Glen Miller. [Quick C&Z trivia fact: We took lessons and did a swing dance to that song for our first dance.] Then my husband dragged me onto the dance floor (what?!? Z WANTING to dance???) & made me do the same dance we did for our first one. We got a little applause after.. read: embarrassed C!!

It was great being able to spend some time with the grandparents & try something new. We're definitely planning on doing it again!