Friday, July 30, 2010

Guest Bloggity Blog!

Back when Ryan and I were honeymooning in Chi-town, I contacted Mouse for some tips (since she lives there and all), and she wrote an absolutely lovely guest post for me detailing just where one should go to thoroughly enjoy the delights of that fine city. Without further ado, Mouse!

Hi there, people, this is Mouse from Souris Mariage. Stacy told me she
was honeymooning in Chicago, which is where I live, and I had to scoot
on over here and tell her all my favorite stuff! Sadly, Miz S, I have
no hotel advice for you at all. But once you eat at some of these
restaurants, I promise you could quite happily sleep in a cardboard
box and still feel happy and romantic.

For Chicago, you probably need both a rental car and an El pass.
Sorry. It's true.

I always drink around Damon and Milwaukee. This is mostly because of
inertia, but also because there is great stuff there.

• You must go to The Violet
, which is too cool to have a sign. Look for the yellow lamp.
Excellent cocktails; you must order the Juliet and Romeo (the third
best cocktail in the country), which smells of cucumber and roses, and
you must munch on chickpeas fried in truffle oil. Nom nom nom. Pricey,
but have one drink and then walk around to other, cheaper options.

• For margaritas and tacos and a rollicking good time, try Big
, right across the street. They also have decent micheladas.
Well. For Chicago.

• For wine, try Bin Wine
. Cute flights, good cheese.

• On the north side, check out Hopleaf, where they have 875,893 kinds
of beer. (About.)

• Clubs: Debonair Social
is fun for going out dancing but not getting grabbed. So is
Empire Liquors, where the
party starts earlier and they occasionally play Boyz 2 Men. Also,
Chicago clubs stay open til four, so no rush.

• Have amazing Ethiopian food on the north side at Ethiopian Diamond.
It will change your life.

• See Sushi Mike in Andersonville and let him make you a special roll
at Tanoshii.
You tell him about what you don't like/are allergic to and then he
surprises you. Enjoy the (oddly fun) horrible eighties music.

• Have an excellent meal for $18 at Ben's Noodles, where
their Pad See Ew will make your knees quiver with joy.

• Have brunch tapas at Cafe Babareeba in
Lincoln Park, where you can order tiny breakfast churros and do an
AMAZING make-your-own bloody mary bar for $7. ($7!! With Grey Goose!!)

• Other excellent brunches: Toast,
Milk & Honey, Melli Cafe.

• Go to Architectural
. Wander around looking at amazing and bizarre old stuff.
It's like a museum where you can touch stuff.

• Do the Chicago
Architecture Foundation river tour
. (NOT THE OTHER ONE. The other
one has no alcohol. Paah.) It's entertaining and relaxing. Bring a big
hat and ample water because you'll be out there for a long time.

• Walk along the lakefront. (Or take a segway tour, if you find them
as funny as He-Mouse does.)

• Have a drink in the cheesy bar on top of the Hancock tower. (Or go
on this observation deck, if you are a trusting person. You couldn't
pay me money to go out there. As my brother says, "I'm not afraid of
heights. I'm afraid of the dude who made the platform.")

• Have a Chicago culinary treat, a
chocolate bar with bacon in it by Vosges Haute Chocolat

• Go to Underthings
in Lincoln Park. Tell them you're on your honeymoon. Get them to help
you pick out something nice. Bring the boy along for input/fashion
show/peep show. Head back to your hotel and enjoy!

• We also have museums
and stuff. You should see the new Modern Wing, and more importantly
walk along that cool bridge they built between there and The

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Amuse Bouche

So pictures have been demanded, and you guys are right, I do have some that friends have posted on Facebook (that I look at a dozen times a day). Here's a little amuse bouche until the pro pics are in, I catch up on my sleep and try to figure some of this married thing out:

Maids of honor + me during pre-ceremony pics.


Melissa and I, getting ready to head to the church.

Cake! Ryan surprised me with. No words people, no words. Best cake ever. And the vases with the carnations and branches were our centerpieces.

B-maids + me in Forest Park by some rocks Ryan loves.

It was super, super hot; the heat index was 107. So the air vents in the church were very helpful.

Stay tuned for the pro pics!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

I'm married!

And I have no idea where to start.

I'm just now tacking coherent words onto Saturday. I need some time to gather my thoughts and process all of this, and I am almost afraid to "shake the glitter off." I also have no clue how to do recaps. I'll fill you all in on the wedding, the pictures, etc, but I have to get it all straight in my head first. It was such an intense day!

Also...Ryan and I live in the same town. In the same house! Which leads me to finally tell you all....Ryan got the coaching job he's been working towards for years. He has paid his dues and then some, and I couldn't be happier for him. His first day was yesterday, and I have never felt more humbly blessed in my life. We waited to tell 95% of our family and friends until after the toasts at the wedding, and every single person in that room stood up and applauded Ryan. I don't have any words for how I felt at that moment. We were both speechless.

Since Ryan started his dream job 2 days after the wedding, we are putting off a honeymoon for now. I don't mind nearly as much as I thought I would. Having him in the same house is a honeymoon after being 2 hours apart for over a year.

We're starting off our marriage with everything we have ever dreamed of, and I am sitting back and soaking it all in. I'll keep you all posted as soon as I can string some thoughts together on the wedding. It was all so huge I'm having quite a time with it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

End of the Road

Well, ladies (and gentlemen?), this is it. I'm leaving for St. Louis after work today to kick off the wedding weekend. It feels like we've been planning this for forever, but then it feels like it crept up on us so quickly! I have Friday and Monday off, and Monday I have some really exciting stuff I have been dying to tell you all but can't until after the wedding. I'll fill you in on the honeymoon then.

This wedding planning process has not always been fun, and it has been 100x more difficult than I ever thought it would be. Job stress + a long distance relationship + wedding planning was a pretty wicked combo...but with all of that being said, I am very thankful that we had the kind of engagement that we had. I learned and grew so much, and it wasn't even a little bit easy. Learning how to fight, argue and disagree with Ryan in a respectful and loving way was hard; but I am completely positive that the conflict resolution skills we hammered out between the 2 of us will come in handy. Growth does not feel good, and parts of the engagement did not.

Parts of it did feel really good though. Seeing how happy my family is for me, that I've found someone who loves me so much, and seeing how happy Ryan's family is that he found someone who loves him so much has been amazing. Ryan's family has welcomed me in like one of their own, and so many people have offered their help and support.

Just like you all have. I am absolutely positive that we would not be having the wedding we're having without the blogging community. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for reading, commenting, and putting up with all my crazy. You have truly added a whole new dimension to wedding planning, and I am so grateful for that.

I feel so ready for this. And I'm so, so over the moon happy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Caring and How We Just Don't Right Now

So....we're 4 days out, and a wave of apathy has washed over both Ryan and I. Which is unfortunate, because at least ONE of us needs to care long enough to make decisions.

Here's what I mean.

Saturday we're at Costco with Ryan's mom, buying cups for the reception. Since we're bringing everything in to the reception hall ourselves (and consequently saving a ton of money), we are responsible for the cups for both the bar and everyone else. So we needed cups for the water/iced tea/lemonade and for the beer, wine and signature drink (which is cranberry juice, rum, and pineapple juice. Anyone got any funny name ideas?). We bought clear plastic 14 or 16 ounce cups for the beer, iced tea/water/lemonade, and we were buying clear plastic 10 ounce cups for the signature drink that we were also going to use for wine.

Ryan's mom really didn't think the 10 ounce cups would work for wine, and she had some in mind that she thought would look better. She pretty much insisted on them, which is fine, I don't really care one way or the other, but Ryan and I are in this streamlining mode...where if we have to invest a single iota of extra effort into it, then we are not interested. The 10 ounce cups didn't look bad, and they were THERE...the other cups were at Sam's Club and would require an additional trip. Which we were 100% uninterested in. So Ryan's mom is telling us how she can go and get them and we won't have to mess with it, and Ryan curls up in the fetal position, on the floor of Costco, and lets the cart drag him. Yes. He perfectly illustrated how we both felt about the wine cup situation. What I would have given for a camera.

Needless to say, Ryan's mom went and bought the wine cups she really wanted. We didn't care either way, so everyone's happy.

But I didn't expect this tidal wave of apathy. We've got our major bases covered, and I can't help but think that no one is going to notice detaily nonsense. I think I'm so steeped in the wedding blog land philosophy of "it's about the marriage, the union, not about the details," which is a good thing. We picked a great church, we wrote a beautiful ceremony, or reception hall is lovely all on its own without many decorations...I know that we're in good shape. But wow am I glad we aren't doing lots of last minute things, like programs or whatever...because they would definitely fall to the wayside with this streamlining we've got going on.

I love it, this streamlining. All I can think when these details come up is "I want a nap" then "we're getting MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!"

We've done what we can to make this a beautiful wedding and I'm just not interested in doing any more than what we've already done. It's going to be an ethereal day regardless.

Anyone else completely losing interest in detaily nonsense, or did have serious lack of caring right before your wedding?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Guest Blog from Maid of Honor/Youngest Sister, Mary Chris

Hello followers of my fellow sister’s blog. I’m Mary, Stacy’s youngest sister (note that I am taller) and 2nd in line maid of honor. She asked me to make a guest appearance…so here I am.

Also, an FYI: I am fluent in sarcasm.

Here’s my guide to being the best maid of honor:

1. Just smile and agree. Face it, if it’s not the bride’s way, then it’s the highway
2. Order your dress RIGHT when the bride asks or prepare for havoc
3. Give everything a chance. I didn’t like the idea of fabric flowers, but hey, they turned out to be gorgeous!
4. Make sure you help with the most important task: wedding cake tasting
5. Prepare for the reception by playing “Just Dance” for the Wii.
6. Know how to make a TP dress just in case the actual dress rips…and for bridal parties
7. Force the bride to pee before putting on the dress. Stacy, I will NOT hold a bucket for you to pee in day of.
8. Be there to listen. Most of the time, if you just say, “Yes, of course, etc,” while she’s on a rant, then it will all simmer down. She didn’t want your opinion, just someone to explode on.
9. Make sure that MC Hammer is on the DJ’s playlist
10. Write the toast more than 2 weeks prior…trust me, bad idea.

Yes, I know Allison would have completely different guidelines, but hey, I am the better maid of honor J.

Thanks Mary! You rock my face off!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On Tanning

Yes, I am tanning for the wedding. I know how horrendous it is for you. I am tanning for the 3 weeks prior to my wedding for maybe 10 minutes at a time, and it is the last time I ever plan on getting into a tanning bad.

Now that we've got that out of the I'm tanning for the wedding because I am super pasty. Ryan, being part Italian, has this lovely olive skin that turns this bronzed golden brown after maybe 30 seconds in the sun. All the while my veins are showing very clearly through my skin. One of Ryan's favorite games is to show me his tanlines, or hold his golden arm up to my pasty one and say "Look how PASTY you are! You're so WHITE."

It's super fun for him.

Needless to say, I am slightly....bored with this game. And I knew I was going to tan for the wedding anyway. I haven't seen Ryan since the 4th, so I wanted to show up in St Louis this weekend crazy tan and be like "WHAT'S UP, who's pasty NOW." Last night Alli and I are on our way to Target and she's all "um, you know how you told me I need to tell you when to stop tanning? Yeah well that's right now, you need to stop tanning." And I was bummed, because I want to WIN (win what, I know, but I've just got that moment where I show up on Friday all tanned and golden goddessy looking and prove something, not sure what in my head, I can't let it go). Then Alli told me that 11 days before my wedding is the worst possible time for a tanning contest.

I think she's right...but I just can't get rid of this stupid sports bra tan line! I think I'll go maybe twice more and lay off.

Did you do something beauty wise that you normally never do before your wedding?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wedding Night Hotel

Just booked the wedding night hotel.

Here are some fun snippets from the conversation:

"Hi! My name is Stacy and I'm getting married July 24th, I needed to book a hotel room for my husband and I."

Reservation blah blah blah credit card number blah blah blah

"So how many people will be staying in that room with you?"

"Um...2? It's our wedding night? Other people would be super creepy."

"You know, you're right, it would. I have to ask though. Stupid questions."

Reservation blah blah blah

"So is this going to be your first time?"

"My first time...what? My first time what?"

"You know, your first wedding."

"Whew. Yes, my first wedding!"


Friday, July 9, 2010

Booze and 15

Even though our caterer really has nothing to do with the booze, she was still nice enough to do some research and help us figure out how much alcohol we need.

Side note: Everything we're doing is separate. The hall provides nothing, so we're bringing everything in ourselves, which is great because we know that we're getting the best possible price, but it increases the complication factor. So we can't just tell the hall how many people we need to serve alcohol to, we have to figure it out ourselves and bring it all in. Which is completely fine, its what we signed on for, but...lots to figure out.

So it looks like we're going to have about 225 people there, and Ryan has 15ish co-workers arriving after dinner for party time. So that puts our number of drinkers at about 240. We're serving 2 kinds of wine (chardonnay and cabernet), 2 kinds of beer (Budweiser and Budselect...we had 3 whopping options, but no big), and a signature drink that will consist of cranberry juice, pineapple juice and rum. Oh yes.

We'll be ordering:

80 bottles of wine, 30 red and 50 white
2 half barrels (known as kegs) of beer, 1 of Budweiser and 1 of Budselect
6 1.5 liter bottles of rum, 7 gallons of pineapple juice and 7 gallons of cranberry juice

I feel like such an alcoholic ordering all of this! I feel this urge to be like, "So I need to order 80 bottles of wine but I'M GETTING MARRIED AND ITS FOR MY WEDDING I SWEAR I'M NOT GOING TO DRINK IT ALL MYSELF."

We're ordering the kegs from the reception hall even though they're just a bit more expensive, simply because my brain hurts from all of these logistics and I don't want to try to figure out how to get them to the hall and then back to the beer place they came from. The rum we'll be getting from Costco ($17.99/1.5 liter!) and the wine is from Trader Joe's, at $2.99/bottle. I've done a taste test, and it is delicious.

So while I'm really glad we're handling everything separately, because I know we're saving a ton of $$$, but I do see why people pay 1 price to have all of this in one place for them. And we are very lucky in that Ryan's family and friends in St. Louis are being beyond helpful. Get this-his mom's neighbor, who I've met ONCE, is driving a car down to the reception sight mere hours before the wedding to help set up our entire reception for us, including the centerpieces.

Also speaking of friend and bridesmaid Melissa is coming to Cape tonight and staying until Sunday morning, just to help me with last minute wedding stuff. Wine will be involved. I can't even tell you how excited I am to see her!

15 Days out my friends! I haven't lost my mind yet, but we've still got plenty of time for that to happen.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wedding Day Salutations


Sorry to ask you to scroll lovelies....but its in the interest of secrecy.

So I really want to get Ryan a funny/sweet card to open the morning of the wedding. Here are the contenders:

Up first, one that references Ryan's love for aging video games.

This next one will probably offend someone, so if you are a Conservative Christian you might want to skip this.

I just think it's hysterical, but I think this might be more of a I like it deal than anything else.

I think this one might be it. Because let's just say that he feels very liberated that he has held me down and farted on me before. Yes, I am still marrying him after that.

Are you getting your hubs a funny card for the day of the wedding?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


So...we're getting married in 18 days.

And it's getting so real. We have a marriage license and everything.

To top this off, we're waiting on some absolutely monumental job stuff with Ryan. Dream come true kind of job stuff.

Lots of waiting is going on. And we're kind of drowning in a sea of details right now (I didn't see this coming...I'm really in to working ahead, but the amount of details we're trying to wade through and sort out is just a touch overwhelming). We aren't just paying a per-head cost, we have a venue, a caterer, a's all separate, so all of the coordinating comes down to us. Which is fine, but...a lot right now. But I'm going to get a huge chunk done this week, and then we're going to be in really good shape. Plus I'll be in St Louis the weekend right before the wedding, and I know I can get some odds and ends taken care of then. I don't want the weekend of the wedding to be super stressful.

Did 100000000000 details surprise you close to your wedding?

Monday, July 5, 2010

On Crying and Weddings

Definitely just got teared up watching the preview of Bethenny walking down the aisle in Bethenny's Getting Married.

We're 19 days out, and the thought of walking down that aisle towards Ryan is absolutely cry inducing.

But I'm wearing fake-*ss lashes, this isn't going to work!

Ryan and I are seeing each other before hand, we're taking a ton of pictures, we're doing a receiving line before the ceremony...I hope to goodness I can get as many tears out then as possible, because I don't want to lose it when I see him standing at the altar.

I'm really not that much of a crier (though Ryan would disagree).

So married ladies, fill me in: Did you cry? Did it surprise you that you cried? How much did you cry?