Thursday, May 27, 2010


So you know how I mentioned that our officiant peaced out? And then the church wouldn't call me back with a new one?

Well they did call me back with the name of a minister, and when I called him, he sounded super weird. I was not optimistic.

Last Sunday Ryan and I headed to the church to meet with him. I'm not skilled at keeping emotions off my face, and Ryan said when I shook his hand at first I looked like I was not having it. I need to work on that, that emotions on my face thing.

Anyway, we sat down and talked to him for over an hour.

He is awesome.

He is so weird, but he's like quirky, endearing, awkward weird. We like that weird. He went to a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Chicago and he worked as a UU pastor for 5 years. He stopped doing that to do what he does now; he's a hospice chaplain. Which totally got me, because it takes an unbelievable type of person to be able to do that every day. I was sold as soon as he said that, but the more he talked the more excited I got. When he outlined his religious views for us I wanted to jump up and down....I LOVE the UU church so much, there truly is room for absolutely everyone there. And he really wanted to get to know us, he asked us all about how we met and where we want to be in 5 years, how many kids we want, who pays the bills, etc etc. The pastor who was going to marry us before he peaced out treated our wedding like a job he had to do, but this pastor was so excited, he said that weddings provide a great balance to his day job.

This whole pastor switch up definitely turned out to be a blessing in disguise, and I am super enthused about our ceremony. Ryan and I are working on it this weekend, I'll keep you posted!

Are you excited about the church you're getting married in, or about your officiant? Have you had any seeming-disasters turn into fortunate circumstances?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I just finished reading....

The Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, by Geraldine Brooks.

Geraldine Brooks was a war correspondent in the Middle East for years, and she spent an incredible amount of time with Islamic women in many different economic and religious situations. She details how Islam is tied into numerous governments, and she also talks about where many of the (oppressive to us) rules impressed upon women come from. It was super interesting to me to find that the basis for so many of the rules women must adhere to (not driving, the hijab, obtaining permission from their husbands before they can leave their homes) does not come from the Quran. The religious leaders in these countries have made big assumptions based on what they think the Prophet would want, which is sketchy to me. I do that all the time with Jesus, but he was crystal clear when he told people to love others as they love themselves. Anyway, it was surprising to me how little foundation there is for these rules, and how the men are taking advantage of people's faith to subjugate them.

I'm off the soap box! I also read another Geraldine Brooks book a week or so ago, this one about an ancient haggadah call The People of the Book. A haggadah (to my understanding) is the book Jewish families use during Shabbat dinner to guide them through the order and the prayers. A book preservationist is put in charge of preserving a haggadah saved from a museum in Sarajevo during the war. She finds small artifacts throughout the book-a thin white hair, a wine stain, an insect's wing, and through all of these you learn the story behind the sacred book. I really enjoyed the format of this, it was very engaging.

And last night I stayed up until 11:30 to finish the sequel to the Hunger Games, Catching Fire. When I read the first book I stayed up until midnight, so don't start this book unless you can commit to a marathon reading session! The sequel was really good, but it did get started off a bit slower than the first book. I really enjoyed it, and for a young adult novel it was well done. The last book comes out in August, I believe, and with the cliff hanger ending I will be more than ready!

I just started Karen Armstrong's new book, "The Case for God," and it looks like quite the text, so I think it's going to take me a while.

What are you reading right now? What's on your summer reading list?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


So I just mailed our invites (all but 5 or so, still waiting on a few addresses) on Monday. Yesterday 3 got sent back due to lack of postage (umm..oops). Our RSVP deadline isn't until June 24th, but I am not far away from harassing people to send them back. Yes, I'm that impatient. I want to knowwww!

And I'll post about our invites soon, I promise! Let's just say they total $1.84 per invite including postage. Love it.

How long did it take for your RSVPs to start rolling in?

Em and Cupcake, you 2 are on my mind this week, I'm wishing you both joyful, loving, blissed out days!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Can't Have it All

One dress cannot be all dresses.

Yesterday I stood in my mom's sewing room in my wedding dress while my sister Allison spent 30 minutes telling me how perfect it was. And I didn't believe her until I was driving to the fabric store later that night.

Why was I unsure about my dress, standing there in that sewing room? Because it wasn't a flowy, floating chiffon dress, and it wasn't a slinky Hollywood 30's glamour gown. It also wasn't a pert Audrey dress with a boatneck neckline, nor was it a strapless gown.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was expecting this dress to be all dresses.

It's "the most important dress," in so many ways, why wouldn't we want it to encompass everything we love or that flatters us in a dress?

But one dress cannot be all dresses. I love strapless dresses, but I also love the deep V I get in the back of my dress. I love floaty, romantic chiffon dresses, but a structured, heavy satin dress tailored to my body is beautiful too. My MeeMaw wore a satin dress and I'm glad I share that with her. I love modern lace, but no embellishments honor the minimalist/simple side of things that I love.

What I'm saying is (obtusely), decisions don't come easily to me, especially when I've had such a great deal of time to obsess and see other pretty dresses. But I made decisions when I picked out my dress, good decisions, decisions that don't mean I'll never be able to wear another strapless or lace gown again. Decisions that I am 100% OK with after realizing what my whacked out brain was doing. Because while this dress isn't absolutely everything that I love, it is a gorgeous dress that doesn't make me feel like something I'm makes me feel like me, and it gives me a shape that I've never had before. It's a dress that has many elements that I love. A dress with everything I love in it would look ridiculous.

Now I understand why some of those girls on Say Yes to the Dress buy the dress with everything on it, because they can't stand to eliminate something that they love.

Thanks Alli, you are such a trooper through all of my crazy!

Have you run up against this one-dress-as-everything dilemma?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pep Talks

Thank goodness for friends on Gchat who can talk you down off the edge....

me: So nothing big, just something
3:46 PM I'm so stupid to keep adding sh*t to my plate
But I have a huge fear that everyone will think I put no effort into it, that I didn't do "enough"

8 minutes
3:54 PM Melissa: Honey, that will be the absolutely LAST thing anyone says about this wedding of the century.
me: I hope so
Melissa: They'll more likely say "how the h*ll did this bride do it and LIVE till her wedding. She did SO MUCH on top of having a full time job! Whew!"
me: But the reception decorating is minimal, just the table overlays, centerpiece and candles
That's all I got
3:55 PM There aren't any cutesy details anywhere
3:56 PM But thank you for saying so
I mean, I was all bummed about how simple our invites were
And one of Ryan's friend at the shower loved them
I'm probably just way too close to this I guess!

5 minutes
4:02 PM Melissa: Yeah, I think that's it.
We get so over-involved in our teeny tiny details, that it's obsessive.
no one but you will notice anything.
You know?

Melissa, you rock.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Must Make This

Must make this in, the very second I'm done sewing for the wedding and figure out what colors to use....

I think this would be a great first-time-quilt-project since it isn't so big.

I love everything about it, though the instructions on cutting up the white are slightly confusing.

Have any projects caught your eye lately?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


We are still sans pastor (and the church has "forgotten" to contact their other pastors, which is awesome since we're paying them a sh*tload of money to have our ceremony there WITH A PASTOR since we need to get married and all), but the rehearsal dinner has been successfully booked!

We were really scattered when it came to the rehearsal dinner. We originally set a small budget with the hope of having a casual pizza and beer kind of a deal, but the budget we set was just too small. The church wanted to charge us $70 to have it in their fellowship hall (which I think is stupid since we're already paying them a ton of $$ for the use of the building) and we had trouble finding a pizza place in the area. Once we branched out past pizza places though...we found a place that could do pizza and beer. Weird. I basically searched through "Kirkwood restaurants" in UrbanSpoon (I definitely just googled "Kirkwood restaurants", but hey, it worked) and looked at all of the restaurants listed to determine which would work.

Mike Duffys in Kirkwood actually answered the phone when I called (I'm on a bit of a streak where vendors won't call me), has a private room we can use, and can do a buffet with pizza, toasted ravioli, salad, pasta, and a drink for $10.95/person, which is right at $14/person with tax + tip. We're not going to purchase alcohol for our guests, since we've never once been to a rehearsal dinner where alcohol was included and we're getting them liquored up the next day.

So yeah, it's pretty much perfect. It's only a block or 2 from the church and there is plenty of parking. We've actually never eaten there (we tried to on Sunday, but they were closed), but everyone says its really good and the price was right. We didn't want to risk someone else booking the room, and we do plan on eating down there soon. We need to walk around in that area and check out possible picture locations anyway.

Once we established this was where we wanted to go, it took a whopping 5 minutes on the phone. Done. If only it could all be so easy...and if only I didn't feel the need to research every freaking restaurant in a 20 mile radius to make sure we got the BEST POSSIBLE DEAL. I'm exhausting to myself, I can only imagine what my family and friends think of me at this point!

I'm glad this is taken care of, and we ended up getting exactly what we wanted (for a slightly higher price, the budget we initially set was way too low).

Where are you having your rehearsal dinner? Do you feel compelled to research everything and wear yourself out?

Showered x 2

Saturday Ryan's sisters (and bridesmaids!), Kate and Erin, threw Ryan and I a lovely shower at Ryan's parents house with all of the women from his family, some friends and my sisters, mom and aunt. Picture taking was minimal because there were 40 people there! That was a good preview for the wedding...I wanted to talk to and spend time with everyone and it just didn't happen. My friend and bridesmaid Melissa joined us...

And my sisters, mom and Aunt Mary came up too!

The shower was lovely and we got an insane amount of goodies. Ryan's mom put together a really thoughtful gift-a recipe for cookies Ryan adores plus the pans to make them, and my mom passed on a gorgeous applique quilt made by my MeeMaw before she got Alzheimer's. The quilt made me cry, it was such a surprise...and I feel weird crying in front of that many people so now I feel dumb. Everyone was outrageously generous to the point that our registries were pretty much emptied.

The food was super good too...Greek salad, quiche, a fruit tray and cupcakes! Another wedding preview: I hardly had the time to eat and I only had one small plate of food. Note to at all costs. It was just so busy!

So yeah, a great time...I wish I would've thought to take more pictures. It was really well put together thanks to Erin and Kate and Ryan's mom, I hate people going to that much work for me but it was really nice. Thank you ladies!

Have you had your shower yet?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

79 Days

Not too much has been going on around these parts...I dropped the invitations off at the printer's on Monday and got all crazy psycho proofreader on their butts and found some mistake, so crazy psycho definitely worked out in that circumstance at least. They are supposed to be done by tomorrow, which is fantastic as Ryan and I have a shower this weekend and we're going to hand them out at the shower. I know the traditional etiquette frowns on that, but really? If someone thought to hang on to an invitation for me, hand it to me in person, smile and say, "We really hope you all can make it," I am absolutely not going to say "Hmmm, it's awfully rude to not put it through the mail." Plus everyone at the shower is invited to the wedding so I just don't see the issue there. The etiquette police know where to find me.

Also, the envelopes for our invitations came in last week and they all have a return address on them, hopefully more addressing can happen next week so we can get the invites out the door.

OK, be honest and tell me if I'm being stupid. My cousin is getting married a month before Ryan and I are, and I just got her invite in the mail last week. Her invite is super similar to mine. And now I'm all paranoid that people are going to think I copied off of her or something. Which is dumb, because both invitations are long and narrow with script and no graphics. I think I'm being stupid. I obviously have a problem fixating on things.

I am torn on the addressing of the envelopes. I know traditionally it should say "Mr. and Mrs. " Fitzwilliam Darcy but I don't like that because what about her name? So I want to put "Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy" but here we go etiquette wise again. And since we don't have an inner envelope, that complicates matters as well. We have a space for names on our reply postcard, so I thought about writing all of the names in there and then they can fill in the # of people coming (it says "out of ___ people ___ will be attending" and we plan on filling in the first blank so it's harder for people to add guests we did not intend on), but then we won't know how many kids and ugh I don't know. I guess we could also put everyone's names on the envelope, so it would say "Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy and Child's Name Darcy." What do you all think? I'm obviously confused.

I am making some bridesmaid's presents for my girl Melissa and I need to purchase a zipper for my sewing machine in order to make these presents. I need a zipper foot anyway so it works out just fine. I need to hit up a sewing store in St. Louis this weekend because the next weekend my sister graduates from college WITH A 4.0 (bad*ss) so I'll be in Cape.

Ryan's sisters and mom are throwing us a shower this weekend, and our registries are seriously depleted. Hopefully Sunday we can go out and add to them. We've been really good about only registering for things we really need and not just extra stuff we won't use, but I think we need to expand our scope...because if our registries get depleted after a shower, our 260+ person wedding will totally devastate them. I made a list of stuff so hopefully we can get them nice and stocked again, like picture frames, a GPS system, extra towels, games, a cooler, tools, luggage, a firepit, a camer, etc. We have obscenely generous families and friends. What are some of the off-the-beaten-path things you registered for?

Oh I've been working on the table overlays for the reception, and I have 30 done. I have extra fabric so I think I'm going to make as many as I can. I think these will be nice to have extras of for the cake table or whatever else. These are super tedious and I am very excited to be almost done with them.

I need to figure out how to decorate the cake table, gift table and guest book table. I am not sure at all what to do, so if you all have any ideas, please chime in! We have tons of milk glass, so we could use those and order extra carnations, and the extra overlays could be used here. My sister suggested pictures of family weddings, which is a good idea. But they still sound kind of bare, so I need to come with something simple, easy and cheap.

Kind of a brain dump, sorry! We are definitely out of the fun and fluffy part of wedding planning and we're down to the nitty gritty not-so-fun stuff. I dread putting together itineraries for the photographer and the DJ, we have a stack of worksheets we need to work through. And we are definitely getting a new pastor so we need to meet with them.

Fortunately, dance lessons just might be on the horizon....

Monday, May 3, 2010

I just finished reading....

The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.

Love love LOVE, couldn't possibly say enough good things about this book. I first read this a couple years ago and I remember being incredibly bored by the amount of time he spent in the lifeboat, but that bit went by so much faster on this 2nd reading. The parts about religion I could read over and over, and I have a sermon on my MP3 player based off a reading from this book I love to listen to when I run. Anyway, this book is about young Piscine, known as Pi, the son of an Indian zookeeper. On the ocean voyage to his family's new home in Canada, the ship they are traveling on sinks, and Pi is thrust into a life boat with some of the zoo animals. It's a fabulous book, definitely in my top 5 favorite list.

Also Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster.

This is about an orphan girl named Judy who grew up in an orphanage called the John Grier Home. One of the trustee's notices her academic success and sends her to college. In exchange she is to write a letter a month detailing her life at school. You can't help buy love Judy and want to be her friend...she's so confiding and honest. You also get a great peek at the day-to-day life at college years ago. This is a super fast read and an old standby of mine, I think I read it at least once a year.

I have GOT to go to the library, that is happening tonight.

What are you reading right now?