Monday, November 30, 2009

I just finished reading....

"Living in Sin?: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality by John Shelby Spong. "

Bishop Spong is a leader in the fight to legalize same-sex marriage, and in this book he discusses why the biblical defenses against homosexuality are weak at best. He also talks about the needs for the church to recognize ways of life besides marriage and celibacy. He wants the church to have a "betrothal" ceremony for young adults who want to be committed to each other and live together but who aren't ready to get married.

It was an interesting read, it definitely made me think. I enjoyed reading why the biblical defenses of why homosexuality is wrong are not valid. I'm not a fan of the way the book was laid out, though. The organization of it seemed wonky.

I think the biggest thing I'll be taking away from this book are the reasons why the biblical defenses against homosexuality. I live in the Midwest, and I don't think it's a welcoming environment for LGBQT people. I've had conservative Christians bring stuff like this up to me, and the more educated I am then the better I can defend LGBQT people.

I'm also reading Spong's "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture". It's really good so far, but I'm having to read really slow to absorb the incredible amount of information he provides.

I'm going to need to read a fun book next, these 2 are wearing me out!

What have you read lately?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Time Out

I'm going to take a bit of a break.

I really enjoy blogging 5 days a week, but I think that you all deserve something interesting to read about at the same time. I need to recharge, not write for a few days. I write for a living (real estate TV shows, not exciting but writing nonetheless) and I'm feeling really tapped out lately.

I'm also thinking about taking the blog in a bit of a new direction. I've been writing almost exclusively about weddings lately and it's kind of driving me nuts. I'm afraid that I have weddings on the brain way, way too much lately. I realized this on Friday night, when Ryan was doing a silly dance to a Youtube song and I interrupted him to show him a potential wedding first dance song. What a downer, right? I don't want to be that girl who only talks about her wedding, and who feels empty after it's over. I think that by constantly thinking of wedding related blog post ideas, it's making me see anything and try to relate it to weddings. I even do it when I'm running, which is supposed to be my mental downtime!

So from here on out, you'll be hearing lots more about running, recipes, books I've been reading, and craft projects I want to try my hand at. 75% of this blog will still be wedding related, but I think I'm suffering from trying to make it 100% wedding related. Because 100% of my life isn't wedding planning, and I don't want it to be.

I hope you'll stick around for the ride...I so enjoy and appreciate all of you, more than I could ever say.

Happy Thanksgiving, and have a lovely break! I'll be back on Monday with a book I just finished and hopefully my finished garter!

Monday, November 23, 2009

NCAA Nationals

I'm not a huge sports fan my friends, but a runner that Ryan coached and is great friends with is a freshman at a Division I school in the Southwest. He's running in his first Nationals meet as a college athlete, so if you could send well wishes his way around 11 a.m. Central time, I would be much obliged! This kid is in crazy good shape, and Ryan and some of his old teammates are cheering him on today at the meet in Indiana. Thanks everyone!

The Holiday Dilemma

How do you and your fiance(e)/hubs/wife/partner work out the holidays?

Ryan and I have figured this year out....Thanksgiving we're each doing with our respective families, and I'm going up to St. Louis Thanksgiving evening (his family does the Black Friday shopping at the buttcrack of dawn...I have never done it, and does anyone know if J Crew has Black Friday sales?). Side note: I'm actually really excited to do this shopping thing. I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping (I know how annoying that sounds, but I HATE crowds so I am usually done by Halloween), so I'm just along for the ride.


So there's Thanksgiving. In terms of Christmas, I'm going up on Christmas Eve to spend the day with his family. I'm going to an evening service at my church (which I am crazy excited about) and then I'm heading back to my hometown that night to spend Christmas day with my family. Ryan is coming down to visit with my family the day after Christmas.

(How creepy is that baby Jesus?!)

I have no idea what we're going to do next year! My first thought is we'll alternate Thanksgiving every year, and then one year do Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas day with the other, then switch, but that is definitely up for debate. We talked a little about it this weekend, and we might do Christmas Eve evening with his family, then drive to my hometown, do Christmas morning and brunch with my family, then drive up to St. Louis to do stuff with his family. That way we can both be with our families on Christmas day.

I'd love to hear how you all handle it. I can't imagine not waking up at my parent's house on Christmas morning...and I'm 23. That's so lame sounding, but still! So what arrangement have you come up with?

Outside the Box

Saturday Ryan and I were at Hobby Lobby and we did so well!

We weren't looking for this, but we saw it and I instantly loved it. We're going to use it for our card box. I'm on the lookout for thick aqua ribbon to embellish this a bit, and I know I'll re-use it for storage after the wedding.

Here's a close up of the pattern:

The hatbox was with the Christmas packaging stuff, and was 50% off, so we got it for $5.50!

Cardbox dilemma solved! That was easy.

We also got all of the aqua fabric for table overlays for the reception. We bought 15 yards of fabric at $1.99/yard and it was half off. It came to like $17.59 or something. I am still on a high at what great deals we got! I've told pretty much everyone I've come into contact with how well we did I'm so excited.

What are you doing for your cardbox? What's your biggest bargain triumph?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Guest Book

I love clever packaging!

Our MyPublisher photo book arrived a bit ago, and I was really pleased with how it turned out.

We'll be using it for the guest book at our wedding, so we left lots of white space inside to give people room to sign.

We did the classic hardcover, which starts at $29.80. We liked the linen cover with the photo cut-out better than the bookcover, so that saved us money as the bookcover costs an extra $4.95 (I also didn't want the edges of the bookcover to get all bent up). We didn't add any pages, either, so our book cost us $29.80 + tax + shipping. I think it would be easy to spend quite a bit on these books, just adding a page costs $0.99, which adds up fast!

I was super impressed with their customer service. After we put the book together and previewing it, we noticed that the pictures that were crooked on the page (they were like that intentionally, we chose a layout that had the pictures haphazardly arranged on the page) were fuzzy while all of the other pictures were crystal clear. We e-mailed their customer service that night (it was a Saturday) and got a reply an hour later telling us that the pictures wouldn't be fuzzy when we got it.

I got another e-mail when they finished putting the book together, and then another when they shipped it. I love being updated like that! The book arrived maybe 4 days later, so it was very quick.

We also had a buy one get one free coupon, so we got 2 identical books. The shipping was $12, which I thought was kind of steep, but to be fair, they were shipping 2 books instead of just one.

The books were skinnier than I thought they would be, but that's just me not being able to visualize how thick 20 pages are. We didn't upgrade the paper or anything, and I am happy with the thickness of the pages and with the clarity of the pictures. We chose black for the linen cover, and I'm glad we ordered 2 books, because you can see fingerprints on the cloth already. The next time I'll order a different color.

Overall, I was really impressed by MyPublisher! I definitely will be using them again.

Did you use MyPublisher or Blurb to make a book? What did you think?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Girl Power

I grew up in the age of the Spice Girls. I still love them, and I'm not embaressed! Their songs are perfect running music.

Ryan, for whatever bizarre and unfounded reasons, doesn't share my love for the Spice Girls. Weird, I know. Needless to say, I have been limited to ONE Spice Girls song at the reception. One.

I am torn, ladies, TORN.

Watch Wannabe in Music | View More Free Videos Online at

Toughest wedding decision yet!

I can't be the only person who wanted to be a certain Spice Girl, so fess up...which Spice Girl did you secretly want to be?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How Cool!


This is a potential gift idea for you, so buzz off...if you're reading this, which you probably aren't, but still.

Ok ladies, check this out.....

Sorry for all the scrolling. They're Transformer Autobots and Decepticon cufflinks! I know I'm not the only woman out there who's man wants to name their first born child Optimus Prime. Wouldn't these make a great gift for your favorite Transformer's fan?

I found these on Etsy, home of wonderful things.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Over the Top

Thanks to Katie for passing this on to me!

I'm going to share it with Miss Mojito, Kristy, Miss Pug, Buhdoop, LauraLou, and Chocolate Lover.

Can I just say how much I love following along on everyone's journey? I am blown away by the kick*ss women I've "met," and I love knowing that if I ever travel to Indiana then I can call up Miss Pug, or if I go to Vancouver I can give Chocolate Lover a ring! So thank you to everyone who reads and comments and shares, you all have impacted my wedding planning experience in ways I never thought possible. We've got ourselves an amazing circle, don't we?

Running Season

It's training season you guys! January 23rd I am running St. Louis' Frostbite Series Half Marathon. I ran it last year in 2:00:32, and I'm hoping to run under 2 hours this year. This is how cold it was last year:

NINJA RUNNER! Just kidding, they don't call it the Frostbite series for nothing...that half marathon was my biggest education in winter running gear. I will be dressed much better this year.

I mention this because I have no one to run with, and the runners out there know that when you have no one to run with, it is much, much easier to just not run at all. Which is not an option, because if this half marathon goes well, then I might, might run a full marathon in May. We'll see how this training goes. I'd love to run a full marathon before I get married. Basically, I feel that by announcing this to you all, I will have to run the race and if I'm going to run the race then I have to train for it...I hope you all don't mind that I'm using your for accountability purposes!

Any other St. Louis ladies out there running any of the Frostbite Series? Do you all have any fitness goals you're reaching for?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Options

I posted here about how thrilled I was that J Crew is bringing by Tropical Aqua for the spring, that color will be perfect for bridesmaid's dresses.

After browsing through their spring preview once or twice (ahem, more like ten times), I realized that only 4-5 dresses will be available in that color. Normally not a big deal, but the style of dresses is very, very similar. I want to give my bridesmaid's more options than that, so I have a couple of ideas....

1. J Crew also has a color called "fresh mint." Here it is:

It's pretty close to aqua, and I'd need to see this up close to the aqua to be sure, but I think that fresh mint and tropical aqua might work nicely. Different shades of aqua, you know? I'd have to see it in person, though.

2. David's Bridal has a color called ruby that is the perfect red, and there are 6 dress styles that come in that color. Actually more than that, but I'm not counting the long dresses.


There's a David's Bridal in St. Louis, so Ryan's sisters wouldn't have to drive to my hometown to try this dress on.

So I'm thinking, have the girls see if they like any of the Tropical Aqua dresses from J Crew. If they don't, we'll see how the Fresh Mint and the Tropical Aqua look together. If that doesn't work, they'll have another 6 options to choose from at David's Bridal.

I know that every bride says that they want their bridesmaid's to be able to wear their dresses again...but I mean every word of that! I hope that giving the bad*ss women who are standing up with me as many options as I have will increase the odds of the dress being worn again.

What are you doing for bridesmaid's dresses?

Monday, November 16, 2009


I love old houses, and I can't wait until Ryan and I are settled and ready to shop for homes (it will be a while, but I am a planner, and long term planning is a particular favorite of mine, it drives Ryan nuts!).

I like really old houses though, impractical ones with terrible plumbing and ancient wiring, sunken foundations and leaky windows. I would love to re-do a home from the ground up...which is why I feel kind of bad for Ryan, because he's the handy one. I can do little things, like paint and tile, but the big projects would be all on him.

There's this fun website,, that lists older homes according to style (pre-1820's, Romantic Revival, Victorian, etc.) from across the country. I found this home in Indiana that I love...

Here's the inside:

Flooring needs refinishing, I'd put 5 bucks on the fact that the wiring is worthless, and that dropped ceiling has got to go. The white paint needs to be stripped off that trim, too, and that is NOT a fun job (ask Ryan, he's done it before!).

This beauty is in Alabama, it's classic:

That front porch!
Those columns are so gorgeous.

I found this house on Carleton Island, New York. It was built in 1895 and it's been vacant for 60 years. It needs so much work, and it costs $495,000! It has hundreds of feet of waterfront footage, I'm thinking that's where the hefty price tag comes from. Obviously Ryan and I will never have a house like this, but it's so stunning I had to post it anyway. It's like one of those houses on "Life After People."

I think those are trees growing out of the home in some spots, that can't be a cheap fix.

This house is in such bad shape I don't know what could even be salvaged. But look how huge those windows are...

Taking a wild guess here that those stairs are not structurally sound...

Here's the home in it's hey-day:

All properties and images courtesy of Historic Properties.

So someday (hopefully not too far away) when this wedding mess is over, Ryan and I can find a cute Craftsman bungalow or an old farmhouse that needs some work (but not too much, I'd like Ryan to stick around and not take off!) and we can put our own mark on it.

What are your post-wedding plans?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Weird Face Phenomenon

I've talked before about the bizarre faces Ryan insists on making in 99.9% of the pictures we take. It's not just me you guys, check this out (go to mid-way through the post), this (scroll down to "from Abigail), and this.

Who knew so many guys do this?!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

D*mmit ModCloth! And Tulle4Us....

All my working life, I have lived paycheck to paycheck and blew my money on clothes. I am reforming myself quite successfully--I put money (a big chunk of least I think it's a big chunk) into our wedding account every single month, I pay quite a bit extra on my car note, and I am buying lots of Christmas presents. The money I have to spend on myself and shopping is on the non-existent side right now.

Well my dumb*ss subscribes to Fashion Under $100. And a few days ago they posted the most lovely dress, so I clicked over onto their website to see what else they had...I told you I was dumb.

Look at this stuff!

How cute would this look with jeans and moccasins for a casual Saturday out and about?


Holy goodness the dresses....

I could wear this so many places! Like work, and shopping, and going out (because I go out so.much.!)

The last thing I need is another black dress, but this one has a bow that ties in the back, it's so different.

I love dress shopping so much.

Ryan thinks I need to show off my figure more, I wonder if he would like this dress?

Tailored dresses like that tend to work well on me.

I really need more practical things and less dresses, but we all know what's more fun to shop for, right?

And then, Jenna on That Wife posted about a photo contest for Tulle4Us, so like a total idiot, I clicked over there where I found this...

It comes in green...sigh....

As soon as this wedding business is completed, I am going on a shopping spree for sure.

Has your spending money diminished with wedding planning?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Such Luck

I keep finding shoes I love that just won't work!

Like these Nina beauties. They're 3.5 inches high, which is fine, and they are so gorgeous. They're $69.95, which is a great price, and they are pretty much perfect.

Ha, Stacy, not so fast! You thought that purchasing shoes would be a simple, easy, straightforward process?

Guess how many sizes they come in? 2, an 8 and an 8.5. I wear a 7 or a 7.5.

I don't give up easily my friends, a simple lack of my size will not deter me! I mean look at these shoes, would you give up on them?


They are perfection, and they don't come in my size. Don't worry, I already talked to the Nina Shoe people, this is what they said:

Dear Stacy,

Hello and thank you for contacting us!
Unfortunately, most of the sizes are out of stock. We are anticipating additional inventory by the end of the month. However, we do not have a method of knowing which styles, colors, and sizes will be included in the next inventory shipment. We suggest that you check the website regularly for the updated inventory.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.
Please let us know if you need additional assistance.
Thank you and enjoy your day!



Customer Support Manager

They sent me that e-mail within 5 minutes of me e-mailing them to ask about sizes. 5 minutes, aren't they amazing?

So if they don't have these shoes by the end of this month, I will move on. And by move on I mean continue to stalk Ebay and consider paying $200 to design custom Nina shoes.

Did you find things you like that just didn't work out?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Drive Home

The drive home from St. Louis on Sunday was rough.

I was about 10 miles down the road when Ryan mentioned me stopping by his work. Driving away from Ryan never feels like the right direction, and I needed coffee anyway, so I flipped the car around and swung by his work.

We visited for a while, but it inevitably came time for me to go.

So I got in the car to leave and cried almost all the way home. By the time I stopped crying, Ryan was off work and called me to brainstorm ways to get me moved to St. Louis as soon as possible. Which made me cry harder...I didn't stop until I was 15 miles from home. I had a fierce headache the next morning from all of that.

I've been applying for jobs up in St. Louis, but I'm sure everyone (especially Em, we've both got communication degrees in a tough market!) knows how long finding a new job can take. Ryan and I are hoping that I can write the scripts I write now at least part time from St. Louis and find another part-time job to supplement my income. He mentioned that we had been doing this distance thing for 3.5-4 months now. It feels like it's been 5 years.

My point is...I was never a crier before. I was the girl who cried maybe twice a year, and now I cry once a week. None of this is Ryan's fault, and I feel that by being upset about leaving every week, I make it so much harder on him. I'm just really disappointed in the way I'm handling this. Lots of people have to do long-distance for much longer periods of time than this, and they don't get to see each other every weekend like Ryan and I do. I had this image in my head of me as this strong, ass-kicking woman and I don't feel that way anymore. I feel weak, I feel like I should be able to handle all of this better than I am. I'm doing everything I can to stay busy, talk to him everyday, e-mails, etc, and I still act like a spoiled 2-year old when it comes time to say goodbye.

So I'm trying to get up to St. Louis ASAP, but until then, I have got to get it together and be a woman about this!

Sorry to be a downer, but this blog is a record of my wedding planning process, and I'd be lying to you all if I acted like it was all pretty dresses and roses.

Has your wedding planning process been tough for any particular reason?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Aw, Shucks....

ChocolateLover is altogether too good to me!

I am supposed to detail 5 things I am obsessed with and then pass the award on to 5 other bloggers, so here goes:

1. I am obsessed with learning about different religions, they are endlessly fascinating to me.
2. I am obsessed with J Crew.
3. I am obsessed with reading, I love it.
4. Also obsessed with pashmina scarves...I have lots.
5. Obsessed with....getting a good deal. I never pay full price!

And now to pass this on to 5 fab blogs...

Gator Bride, BuhDoop, I'm Gonna Marry You Someday, With This Ring I Thee Blog, and Miss Pug!

Monday Monday

Miss Mojito over at With This Ring I Thee Blog was kind enough to blog about me a few days ago, and today she's giving some kick-ass giveaways, so mosy on over here and check them out!

Earrings Update

They have the aquamarine earrings I got on the Anthro website now, here they are!

They look big, but that's their actual size.

Anyway, now you don't have to use your imagination!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Engaging Pics Round II

Ok, here's a couple more pictures I am thrilled about....

(Once again, click on the picture to see the true quality, blogger makes them look fuzzy and they really aren't!)

We really didn't take a ton of kissing ones.

I love, love love this picture!

This one was Ryan's idea, I think it's fun:

For this one, we climbed into a tree and I did my best not to flash our photog friend. Climbing onto a branch in a dress is hard!

We also took some on the Southeast Missouri State University Track (both Ryan and I went to school here).

It was weird to actually be sitting next to him in the bleachers at the track...he's usually running around doing coaching stuff.

We took some incredible pictures and I couldn't be happier with the results. I am really pleased with the locations we picked...they were on the random side! The rock garden with the fountain behind us is actually right across the street from the water treatment random, but unique and pretty. The track was Ryan's idea, and those were really fun and had meaning to us. The Victorian mansion in my hometown is open to the public for tours, and we went in the morning so we'd have the grounds to ourselves. We also went to 2 parks overlooking the Mississippi River, and the cool doorway is another historic building downtown.

I am also glad that we got to take the pictures in my hometown, since the wedding festivities are in St. Louis. We got incredibly lucky with the weather...the leaves were at their peak and the sky was so blue.

My friend Austin was so generous and donated his Saturday morning to take these for us--thanks second cousin!

Anyway, these semi-DIY or, more accurately, DIT (do-it-together) pictures are the nicest ones I have of Ryan and I am, and I couldn't be happier with them. We'll be using them in the photo guest book for the wedding and possibly for e-mail save the dates. I am so amazed that we came out with pictures that are so representative of us as a couple! Who says you have to pay a pro, right?

Did you do engagement pictures?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Engaging Pics Round I

Ryan and I took our engagement a few weekends ago, and I so excited to show you guys!

A few things first: I believe that if you click on the picture, you can see a much higher quality version. Also, we lucked out weather-wise big time! These pictures were all taken in my home town by my second cousin and co-worker Austin using my dad's dSLR. I don't know why Blogger makes them look so fuzzy, because they aren't! Also, Austin did some light color-correcting, etc. in Photoshop.

Anyway, here we go!

We took a couple jumping ones (they were Ryan's idea) and they turned out to be some of our favorites.

You can see the Mississippi River behind us through the trees.

We are goofballs!

No really, we are!

Here's our attempt at serious:

So there's just a few of my favorites... If you aren't sick and tired of looking at my face (hey, I wouldn't blame you), check back tomorrow for Round II!

Shiny Things

Last weekend I was up in St. Louis visiting Ryan, and I met my friend Melissa to hang out for a bit when Ryan headed off to work Sunday afternoon. Melissa and I met at a mall and shopped for a bit. I tortured myself by heading into Anthropolgie...I say torture because lots of my spending money is being directed towards the wedding right now, and it's Christmas shopping season so anything extra goes towards Christmas presents. So I didn't have much to spend, that's why it was so tough!

Anyway, I found these stunning earrings in aquamarine! For whatever reason the aquamarine ones aren't on the website and my camera is dismal at micro.

They're going to be my "something blue!"

They were $28, which I think is crazy-town-expensive for post earrings, but my sister called and yelled at me and told me to buy them because mom doesn't have anything for me for Christmas. So I bought them, mom paid me back, and now I just need to wrap them! They're a bit sparkly in terms of my typical jewelry choices, but I am wearing my hair down so I don't think they'll be too much.

I definitely wasn't even looking for these, they just fell into my lap.

Did you have any wedding decisions that made themselves simple?