Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Royal Wedding Day!

Ahhh...I'm obsessed with Kate Middleton's wedding dress!

I cannot wait to go wedding dress shopping!

Happy Friday and happy Royal Wedding day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Flower Girl Delimma


Happy Thursday all! I am back from the land of final exams. At least for the time being...the yucky 20 page paper on "gender differences in elementary and middle school age students' study habits" and my final exam for my educational statistics class are not out of the way yet. But, luckily, I have a break for the weekend. Corey is coming to visit! :)

I don't think I have mentioned this before but I am an only child. I asked for a sister every year for Christmas for years when my parents would take me to visit the mall Santa, but it was never meant to be.  I don't have a younger sister and I don't have any nieces. My father has one brother so I have a female cousin on his side who is only a few months younger than me. She will be one of two maids of honor in my wedding. 

My mom is one of five sisters and was the last one to start her family. Consequently, I have cousins who have children almost as old as I am. I have no four or five year old female relatives. 

One of my cousins does, however, have the most precious little boy and girl in the entire universe. They are simply beautiful and sweet children. Of course, they were the natural choice for flower girl and ring bearer. The little boy is perfect ring bearer age - he is five. He is old enough to follow directions but still young enough that he's super adorable. His sister is eight. As I've started to talk about hypothetically asking her to be my flower girl, several friends have discouraged this because she will be nine at the time of the wedding and "too old." I'm not a huge fan of junior bridesmaids - unless we had a large number of young family members. 



I haven't asked these children yet. Or any of my attendants actually. I do understand the cuteness factor of very young flower girls. The Knot recommends they be between the ages of four and eight. One of my cousins was four years old when my parents got married and he was the ring bearer. He saw the crowd of people at the ceremony and promptly threw a temper tantrum and refused to walk down the aisle when it was his turn. So, there may be advantages in choosing older child attendants. 

This little girl is precious. Petite and blonde like me. There is obviously a family resemblance even though she is identical to my cousin's childhood photos. I love that I remember the day my cousin announced she was expecting and I love that I've watched her daughter grow. I love that she'll be part of my family and my life forever. So, of course it makes perfect sense to me that she would be my flower girl. 

My question to you is: Unless, of course, she doesn't want to do it, is it acceptable to have a nine-year-old flower girl? If you were a guest at my wedding, what would your opinion be?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Loves


I promise I didn't fall off the face of the blogger world.  Finals week in grad school + full time job + wedding stress = one absent blogger.

But I'm back for W.I.L.W. today and linking up with Jamie.

one. 
Despite the fact that finals are stressing me out (I have a 25 page paper due, a final exam, and a big final project remaining), I am really loving that this is my last week of class. I have Maymester off then three more classes. Exciting news: I'll have a master's in 90 days.

two. 
I'm loving that I have found a possible church to get married in. This has been quite a stressor. I'm Presbyterian and Corey is Catholic. My home church is almost an hour outside the center of Charlotte and forty-five minutes from my first, second, and third choices for reception venues. So...it has been tough to find churches whose policies allow non-member weddings. We don't have to get married in a church but it is what I always wanted for my wedding so I'm really loving that one of the churches I'm interested in has invited us in for a consultation.

three.
I'm loving that I meet our maybe wedding planners a week from tomorrow. I can share with them all my fun inspiration from my post on Friday.  

four.
I'm loving that Corey is coming to visit me this weekend. That makes me a happy, happy girl! :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

I hope you are all having a fabulous day!

I went to church with my family this morning. I just love Easter service. It really makes me think about how lucky and fortunate we all are to be able to live the life that we do. Thank you Jesus for this gift.

It is a beautiful, sunny, 85 degree day today. Simply gorgeous outside and a perfect Easter day. The Easter bunny doesn't leave a basket for me anymore but I had my new Lilly dress to wear to church today so that made up for it! The Easter bunny, did, however come visit Riley. The Easter bunny brought him a new puppy toy - a squeaky rabbit.

After church, Riley and I and my parents went to visit with my grandmother for Easter lunch and it was delicious. Here is a picture of Riley and me (and Riley's Easter bunny gift) playing in my grandmother's front yard before our special lunch. He just had a bath last night so he is extra cute and fluffy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wedding Inspiration

Happy Friday, all!

One of the things I've been doing since Corey and I got engaged is researching wedding planners. I want someone who is not only meticulous with all the details but creative and can really carry out our "vision." We also need someone who can help us plan a wedding that meshes my need for formality and tradition with Corey's need for fun and lightheartedness. As I prepare to meet with our potential wedding planners two weeks from yesterday, I have been starting to pull images of wedding decor that I L.O.V.E.




Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award


Last week, I received the One Lovely Blog Award from Life in the Sweet Virginia Breeze This award entitles me to share seven fun facts about myself and then pass the award on to fifteen other lovely blogs I read.  I am so excited to receive this award because I have only been blogging about a month so it feels like such an honor!

So here it goes...

Seven facts about me
1. I'm currently obsessed with all things wedding-related. I know this is normal for a bride-to-be but I think I am stressing myself out by wanting everything to be perfect.

2. I love the look of a fresh manicure. I am able to do my own and will change it about every four days. Even though I do this, I always use different shades of pink or a french manicure - or occasionally red. Essie polish is my favorite and sometimes the colors are so pretty, I'm tempted to venture out and try a bright blue.

3. I am obsessed with fashion. Despite this, though, what I like always trumps what is popular or trendy. 

4. I love all things monogrammed. I'd love to own a monogram boutique after I've taught for several years and once I've had children.

5. I'm very nostalgic about college. I love all the grown-up things in my life right now (moving, getting married!, etc.) but I miss my college friends and all the fun we had terribly.

6. I think I have the cutest dog in the world and he is so spoiled! Riley also thinks he is the cutest dog in the world. When we go on a walk, he will stop and appear to be insulted if someone passes by without stopping to admire his cuteness.

This is Riley when he first came to live with me last April.

7. My fiance is most definitely the love of my life. I've been so blissfully happy since we've gotten engaged because I feel like I am the luckiest girl alive. 

Now, fifteen lovely blogs: 

Whew...that was tough! Now, ladies, its your turn. Now off to the gym for my first pre-wedding workout. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WILW


Happy Wednesday! I'm linking up with Jamie again for WILW. This is a little late in the day for me to blog but I have just gotten in from Knoxville. 

one.
Today, I'm loving that I got to spend several days with my grandbig, Ashley, from my college sorority (by the way, I'm a Kappa Kappa Gamma). I also love that I was able to visit with my big, Karrah as well.  It was so great to catch up with them both.
Ashley, Karrah, my Kappa "aunt" Katherine, and me at my freshman formal so many years ago!

two. 
I'm loving that I feel a million times less stressed than I did earlier this week. Ashley and I had a wonderful tapas lunch with several glasses of champagne then went to visit her mother who took us shopping and they both offered some wedding words of wisdom. I feel much better now. They planned a wedding for four hundred and fifty guests in under seven months so I know I can do this!

three.
I'm loving these new cute shoes I got while shopping with Ashley. She is even more of a shopaholic than I am and was a terrible influence on my intention to save. But aren't they super cute? Gold metallic sandals + pearls + ribbon + Kate Spade = Yes, please!
four.
I'm loving that I'm back home with this sweet puppy sitting next to me right now.


five. 
I'm loving that my sweet fiance comes to visit in nine days.  I'm so ready for this long distance to be over so I get to see him every day.  :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Brain Dump

Hello everyone! I am still out of town visiting my lovely big and grandbig from my college sorority. I am having an incredible time visiting and catching up.  I made my closest friends thus far during college and it is so nice to have time to visit with them. I will be headed home tomorrow and will still have a few days to get some things done before returning to work on Monday.

I've been writing bits and pieces of this for a few days because I have had so much on my mind. Disclaimer: this is quite honest and random. I am so excited about mine and Corey's engagement. When I think about the kind of man I always wanted to marry, Corey is exactly what I always wanted. Even my Ken dolls (who married my Barbies in elaborate weddings with custom designed dresses by my amazingly talented seamstress mother) had character traits similar to Corey. I feel so lucky and blessed that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.


As excited as I am (and boy am I excited!), I've also been very emotional since getting engaged. Honestly, I'm kind of a sensitive person to begin with and I've actually been more emotional than usual since my gynecologist switched me to a high dose birth control six months ago! So now, since becoming engaged, I feel like I am quadruply as emotional as the average woman. I found myself getting teary-eyed browsing reception venues online this weekend thinking about what a special and sentimental day we have to look forward to. Two of Corey's college friends live in the Manhattan area as well and he met up with them for dinner and drinks after work on Friday. Then he called me when he got home and told me how he was bragging about his wonderful fiance to all his friends and how he couldn't wait to spend the rest of his life with me. Then I found myself welling up then, too, because I feel so lucky that I get to spend the rest of my life with him. Alright, engaged and married ladies - did you ever go through a point like this right after you first got engaged where everything wedding related made you very emotional?

I also find myself feeling immensely stressed as we take the first tiny steps in the planning process. For example, even amidst my excitement, picking a date is about to give me an ulcer. I always wanted a June wedding but New Jersey schools go until the end of June and I think, as a teacher, I should probably choose to get married sometime during the three entire months where I am already off work. July is a busy vacation month. What if someone important can't make it? That leaves August. I decide I like the idea of an August wedding, especially after my cousin points out that it is an even numbered month. For some weird reason, I've always had a real problem with odd numbers (anyone else have a completely ridiculous quirk like this?) I don't know why exactly - my guess is that it is because my parents sent me to Montessori school which has been shown to encourage certain OCD tendencies. Corey agrees that August sounds perfect, but only after trying to convince me that a Halloween wedding in October would be better. He did this just for the purpose of driving me crazy.
Then, I start to worry that sixteen months is not enough time to accomplish the 248 pages of tasks in my new Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer.The next summer would mean a twenty-eight month engagement and I love Corey so much that I can't imagine waiting that long for him to be my husband. So, (get excited), we will tentatively be getting married in August 2012. This is dependent upon the availability of one of our top choices for both our ceremony and reception venues. Oh, and to help control my tendencies to stress about and overanalyze everything, I have a call into two of Charlotte's most recommended wedding planners.

I know our wedding will be beautiful and perfect not matter when or where we get married. I know it will be the most special day of our lives regardless of the little details like location, flowers, etc. and I'm so grateful to have found someone as perfect for me as Corey is who loves me and wants to commit to spend the rest of his life with me. I know that we'll share stories and pictures of this day with our children and grand children one day so I can't help but feeling some pressure for everything to be absolutely perfect.

Former brides and brides-to-be: What was the most stressful part of planning your wedding? Did you ever feel overwhelmed? And, for fun because this is a very exciting time, what was your favorite thing about your wedding? For brides-to-be: What are you most looking forward to about your wedding? 


Well, there you have it. A very honest and personal post about all the things that are on my mind right now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Misc. Monday


Happy Monday! Today I'm linking up with Carissa at Lowercase Letters for another Miscellany Monday.

one.
I had a very relaxing weekend this weekend. I was so exhausted last week from all of my excitement about our engagement. Its funny how being so excited can really drain you of all your energy by the end of a week. Especially when in addition to chasing around twenty-one seven and eight year olds.

two. 
I have the week off work this week for spring break and my Monday night class is cancelled. So I am in Knoxville visiting my lovely grandbig from my sorority in college for a few days. My big is in law school at UT and also lives in Knoxville so I am excited to see them both. My grandbig, Ashley, got married on the front lawn of the Biltmore Estate with a beautiful tented reception on the grounds last summer. It was the most beautiful wedding ever so I am so excited to get some wedding planning advice from her.
           (Photo by Meggie Velasco)    
                      
You can visit Leigh over at Hines-Sight Blog to learn more about what a wedding at the Biltmore is like. She recently did a post about this and is currently offering a give-away to visit the estate.

three.
I have only one presentation or project left in each of my classes for the semester. It is such a good feeling to almost be done. Then, I have three classes this summer and I will have a master's! That is a great feeling!

four.
I love Grey's Anatomy and I really love Patrick Dempsey. As you may have noticed with the photos of my sweet fiance that I have all over this blog, I have a thing for the dark hair/light eyes combo.  It seems like there are no new episodes of Grey's this spring. Every time there's a new one, there's a week or two (or three) of reruns before there is another new episode. This really bothers me as I am not getting my McDreamy fix. Is this driving anyone else crazy?

five.
I really think I am the happiest girl alive right now.  I am just smiling all the time knowing that I am going to get to spend the rest of my life with the love of my life.  I am a happy, happy girl! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

TGIF!

Thank goodness its Friday! Its been a long week this week!  Today, my school has a school wide field trip which is very stressful! Haha! So I'm headed in early.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  In my spare time this weekend, I will be investigating these:



A gift from my Mommy - and over 200 pages of stuff I need to do to get ready for our wedding!  We haven't set a date yet so I have plenty of time to read all 200 and something pages.


The Knot Spring 2011.  Time to get some inspiration!

What are everyone's weekend plans? Anything exciting?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring... (Our engagement story!)

Corey and I are engaged!

On April 9, 2011, my sweet boyfriend, Corey, became my fiancé on one of the most perfect nights of my life. Having been in a long distance relationship since November when Corey was offered his dream job in New Jersey, Corey and I look forward to our weekends together.

This weekend, the first visit since Corey passed the stressful Series 66 financial exam, we planned to relax and spend some time together at beautiful Crystal Springs Golf Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey. This breath-taking resort is located in the Sussex Skylands with gorgeous mountain views and an elaborate interior.


We arrived at the resort and our relaxation began immediately. We started with the most delicious chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our room and a soak in the heated outdoor pool. Then we cuddled up for a nap in our luxurious suite, complete with fire place and large windows with mountain views.


Later in the evening, we had dinner at Restaurant Latour. Located on the top floor of a tower at the resort, this four-star restaurant has it's own private elevator. The chef prepared a special, eight-course dinner for us of his finest dishes. We had: a white straw asparagus strudel (delicious!), mini lobster ravioli with a sage cream sauce, a Maine diver scallop prepared to melt in your mouth, roasted quail with a pomegranite-molasses glaze, veal shortloin with a caramelized potato and onion crepe, buffalo filet mignion, a kind of sheep's milk cheese with fruit and toasted pecans, chocolate-orange tartlet, and delicious creme brûlée. We had a sommelier who choses four different wines from the resort's 80,000 bottle wine seller to accompany our meal.




After dinner, we went back to our suite so I could change my shoes before we went on a walk. I went to the bedroom to change my shoes and to use the restroom. When I came out, I found Corey in the living room of our suite in front of the windows with the moon shining on the mountains and the fireplace lit.

{where the proposal took place}

He took me into a big hug and said, the sweetest things ever and then asked me to marry him. And in between kisses and squeals of happiness (and almost fainting when he put the most perfect ring ever on my finger) I said, "Yes! Of course I will!"

And now, we plan to get married (date TBD) and live happily ever after!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Loves


Happy Wednesday! I'm linking up with Jamie again for WILW.  Today, I'm loving...

one.
I'm loving my sweet fiance, Corey, today.  
{love}

two.
I'm loving that I can call him my fiance instead of my boyfriend now. And I'm really loving that that means one day soon, I'll be able to call him my husband!

three.
I'm loving my engagement ring.  It is the exact setting I wanted and the center stone is even more perfect than I could have ever imagined. (And I worked jewelry retail for several years!) I love it so much that I almost ran a stop sign yesterday staring at my hand on the steering wheel. Ha!
{perfection}
Its beautiful from every angle but hard to photograph with my 4mp camera from 2004 - hurry up Sony and ship my backordered camera so I can take more pictures!

four.
I'm loving telling the proposal story over and over! Don't worry - I'm going to tell you too! The engagement story post is almost finished (this week is super, ridiculously busy hence the delay).

five.
I'm loving that our contract for the condo is under attorney review. We're going to be homeowners!

six.
I'm loving all of your sweet comments and congratulations on my post yesterday.  Thanks so much!

What are you loving today? (Hopefully a beautiful wedding is one of them because I have a feeling this blog will soon explode with all things wedding-related!)  Check back tomorrow for the engagement story post. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award! (And our exciting announcement!!!)

On Friday, I was blessed to receive the Stylish Blogger Award from Virginia over at Sweet Carolina Girl.  If you don't follow her blog, you definitely should!  Make sure to check her out - you will love her blog.


1. Link back and thank the person who gave it to you.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Award 5 stylish blogs you read.

4. Contact them and tell them about their award!


Since I am still so new to blogging, it really means a lot to me to receive this award and know that there are people who appreciate what I write! Haha!  

Seven things about moi:

1. I am, unapologetically, southern and I love almost all of the typical "southern girl" things.  Monograms, sundresses, Lilly Pulitzer, the beach, boating. Both sides of my family have lived in South Carolina for generations so this was really unavoidable.

2. Despite my love for all things southern and warm weather, I am moving to Hoboken, New Jersey in August after I finish my master's degree. As much as I love the south, I love Corey more and am tired of long distance! (Applause for other long distance couples.)

3. My favorite color is pink and I'm obsessed with it. Think Elle Woods obsessed (excluding anything fuzzy or the lingerie bunny costume).

4. I treat my puppy like he is my child. Riley is spoiled beyond belief and has an assortment of clothes and jackets. When I am out of town he stays with his "grandparents" and I will call to talk to him on the phone. He is a picky eater so sometimes I have to cook him a chicken breast and rice to mix with his dog food. Yep - he's spoiled. How could I possibly resist this sweet face?

5. I graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Home of the Paladins! Luckily I earned academic scholarships and had some scholarships from my pageant winnings because the annual tuition is more than the starting salary for a teacher. (Seriously, teachers deserve more money!) Despite that fun fact, I met some of my best friends there and had a great time there with them! 

6. You may already be starting to realize this from my blog but I am obsessed with shoes. I think of them like pieces of art and I see a new pair that I have to have all the time!

7. I am so, so happy with my life right now!  (Get ready for the big announcement!)

Now, I need to pass this award on to five of the blogs I read.  So many of your blogs are so deserving and obviously, I love them all since I follow them! I am passing along the award to these Stylish Bloggers - make sure to check out their fabulous blogs:

Rebecca at Southern Charm

On to the exciting news that I alluded to yesterday!  I am working for a full post of all the details I know you'll be craving for tomorrow or Thursday.  All of a sudden, this week has exploded with business!  As you know, I visited Corey in New Jersey this weekend and we stayed at the luxurious Crystal Springs Resort.  After a delicious eight-course dinner and with the moonlight falling on the beautiful mountain view from our suite, Corey proposed!  



We're Engaged!

More details and the full story to come tomorrow or Thursday!!!