Monday, January 31, 2011

Location IS Booked

So the guy called back Friday night and said yes about the place.

I should be excited...... but for some reason I'm not. Maybe it was the excitement last time and the disappointment that followed making me weary this time. I don't know.

I'm relieved we now have a place but whey do I have that funny gut feeling.......

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Young's To Young?

I watch Good Morning America every morning as I get ready for work. Today they did a story - Are Tweens To Young For Makeup? - 
"Walmart is introducing a new line of cosmetics, but this one is designed for girls 8- to 12-years-old. They might be on to something considering the tween makeup market rakes in more than $24 million per year. The top sellers are lip gloss, eye shadow and mascara."

I listened to the story but didn't really give it much thought.

Then on my drive to work my favorite radio morning show DJ's were also discussing it and it got me to thinking. 

How young is to young? 

I tried to recall how old I was when I first started wearing makeup...... but who am I kidding I hardly wear makeup now!

If I had a daughter I'm not sure I'd let her wear makeup at such an early age unless it was playing dress up. I mean 8 years old and full makeup? Let kids enjoy being kids.

Now lip gloss.... Yes thats ok but full makeup like eyeshadow and mascara? Probably not.

Whats your thoughts?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Maybe..... Maybe Not

Maybe I spoke to soon.

So the wedding coordinator said the owner of the location said yes that I just had to call him and work out the details.....

Sounds simple, right?

So she gave me his number and I called last night, he didn't answer. Ok maybe he's busy. I leave a message.

It's ok we have the place just got to work out the details.

There's that feeling deep down that says not to get to excited just yet. But I ignore it.... I mean he said yes! What's there to worry about?

Today I still hadn't heard from him. But he's a school teacher. He's at work, no biggie.

By this evening I had not heard from him.

Do I call again? Or wait for him to call me?

That nagging feelings getting stronger and I'm ready to get rid of it and work out all the details for securing the location.

So I call.

The conversation does not goes as planned.

I realize that maybe the coordinator misunderstood. I start to get flustered as he asks me to basically sell myself and why he will need a website.

My mind goes blank but I recover quickly and start telling him the pros and why he needs a website.

He says he uses a template editor now thats offered through his host.

I explain that I can design him a logo and design his site so that it will appeal to brides and other potential clients.

He asks what the normal cost would be for that type of service. I explain that I don't have a set rate, I charge depending on the clients need and the content. For example the less info more basic site is cheaper than something that is larger and requires more detail, etc.

I quote him a price.

At this point I am completely flustered! I have been caught off guard completely and my confidence is down. I'm not a salesperson. This coming from a girl who worked in sales for 8 years. I'm not going to sell someone something they don't want. Cause if you do they aren't going to be happy about it and they're going to come back to you and complain.

I tell him I understand his concerns.

He says to let him think about.

I almost would rather he just straight up said no than to suffer the suspense.

He asks when I need to know by.

I said by this weekend if at all possible so that I way I can make other arrangements if need be.

The wedding is 100 days away.

Let the wedding emotional roller coaster resume! Can anyone pass me a barf bag please?

Post It Note ~ Late Again.....

PS don't miss my earlier post about finding a location...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Location

Saturday I met Giggles and Marine Mom and went to meet with the wedding coordinator. This was my first face to face meeting with her so I was slightly nervous. I have talked with her a dozen times on the phone and via email but I still felt as if I needed to make a good 'first impression'.
It went great! We talked flowers (she is also doing my flowers), decorations, etc.

This is what I'm looking at for bridesmaids:
Simple and cute. 

Cause remember this is what I'm having to match:

Minus the hats. I don't think Marine wants to wear the hat. 

What do you think? Think the black dresses will look ok?
I think so. Originally I picked black instead of red because we hoped Marine's brother who is in the Army would be able to attend and his dress uniform is green. He's currently in Afghanistan and the chances of him getting leave is pretty slim. But at the time we weren't sure. And you never know. 

After getting an idea on the details we headed out to look at the place she had found. 

I loved it

I forgot my Canon so these pictures were taken with my small Nikon and really do not do the place justice in the least! (also may camera may or may not have still been on the snow setting causing the photos to be slightly washed out...... tried to fix that though).

This is what you pull up to:

It is a 19th century cabin that was moved here from Pennsylvania. The back portion is from another 19th century cabin from Tennessee. The placed soothed rustic charm. 

To say the place was elegant may not be the right word. But jaw dropping would be an accurate term. The owner would rent out the entire cabin as well as the grounds for the wedding. On the main floor of the cabin is a spacious living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and the groom's suite (with adjoining bathroom).

Grooms Suite (much larger than pic portrays)
Stairs leading up to bridal suite

Large Master Bedroom that serves as Bridal Suite - this is half the room
Other side of Master 

Outdoor Fireplace

Now for the back area......

Of course it looks bleak now but by May everything will be in bloom and beautiful! I saw pictures of a previous wedding held here and all the natural beauty was overwhelming.

And best yet...... the owner is totally cool with me using Miss B. 
Miss B
The downside was it was a little out of our price range......  Of course it was! I mean isn't that kinda how my luck goes?

Saturday night Marine and I sat down (over the phone I guess I should add) and wrote down our entire wedding and the cost for each thing. 

If we booked this place we would be maxing out our budget and would have no wiggle room for extra expenses that might come up at the last minute. 

We tried tightening the belt a little; we cut back a little on the menu, we downsized the favors, cut the DJ back an hour, etc.

This total looked better, but still seemed a little to close. We felt like we were going to have to make to many sacrifices in other areas to have this location.

I wasn't ready to give up yet though. 

Our most expensive cost so far was the photographer. This fact had led to some debate between me and Marine (and even me and my mom).

Examples of things I've heard:
Marine, "we are paying more for a photographer than we are for food for a 100 people....."

Mom, "That seems awful high. Don't you just have a friend that could do it?" (My mom is totally clueless!! And at this comment I seriously had to bite my tongue).

This list is endless really. All subtle hints. 

I've held strong and by my belief the photographer is going to be worth it...... even though I've had my doubts after seeing pictures from the last wedding she did.

"Even if we have the wedding at the barn, we really to need to make some cutbacks. This is starting to get out of hand." Marine says.

I agree but I really love this location.

So I used the only bargaining chip I had. "What if we cut the photographer. We will loose our deposit and I totally understand that. But it will give her enough time still to maybe book something else. And it will save us a LOT."

Cancel the photographer! Are you Crazy?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Let me explain. Marine's best friends wife has worked as an assistant photographer for about the two years. The photographer she worked for is wonderful but was way out of our budget! Friends wife stopped working for the photographer a little over 8 months ago due to different reasons. 

Marine calls to see if she would photograph our wedding. 

She enthusiastically agreed! She said if we buy a memory card for her camera, she will take the pictures and at the end of the night give us the memory card. I'll edit them myself, which is really the most expensive part. We will pay her of course and I think we now owe them some free baby sitting time, but it will still save us a lot of money. 

Even with that though the place is a little high. I call the wedding planner and try to bargain. 

While we were at the place the owner mentioned wanting to start marketing his place as an event venue. Him and I talked briefly about a website.

So I offered the amount we would be able to pay and then said I would design him a website for the place to make up the difference.

The wedding planner said she would speak to him and get back to me. 

Of course the waiting was hard. 

Would he say yes? Would he say no?

If he said no I needed to get to work at the barn. 

Maybe we should just elope and avoid all this!

Then I get a text message......... "He said yes! Call him to work out the details. His number is....."

So we have a location! 


Monica: I read an article the other day that said you're not supposed to throw rice at weddings, because when pigeons eat it, it kills them.
Richard: So that's why you never see pigeons in sushi bars.
~ Friends ~

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ten Years.... where did it go?

Last night I went to diner with the girls; Red, Giggles, Conscious, Babbles, and Blondie. Over diner the topic of high school reunions came up. For us older ones in the group our 10 year reunion is fast approaching. As in few months.

As we talked it really hit me. I've been out of High School TEN years. Now thats just not something you think about on a daily basis. TEN years. Wow. Where has the time gone?

I enjoyed high school but I was happy to leave those days behind. I feel like I should still be in college or college age though instead of approaching 30's door.


Kinda makes you think..... All those teenage dreams that have fallen by the way side. The things that didn't turn out as planned. The things that turned out better than you could have hoped. Ten years.

Are you the person you thought you'd be?

Romy: The reunion is less than two weeks away. I just can't believe that you turned down a job! 
Michele: Well, I thought the whole point of going to the reunion was to impress people. I mean, how am I gonna impress ANYBODY by selling ban-lon smocks at Bargain Mart? 

~ Romy and Michele's High School Reunion ~

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Coincidence? Or Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

Wedding Planning is in full swing! Planning, budgeting, stressing, making lists ------ did I mention stressing?

I don't know if you remember me mentioning I had spoke with a wedding coordinator back in December. She assured me she knew the "perfect place" that fit everything I was describing. She had done a wedding there previously that was similar to what I'm wanting. The drawback it's in a subdivision and she would have to go thru a board member to see about booking it.....

I heard last week that the supposedly "perfect place" had fallen through. The subdivision does not want to have anymore weddings.

I freaked. And that put it kinda mildly. The wedding is less than four months away and we still didn't have a place.

I took a deep breath and reminded myself that everything happens for a reason. Maybe Marine and I are meant to get married at the barn. As I sat and pondered this I thought of all the work that would need to be done to have the barn ready in time. I mean its a functioning barn. It has dust and cobwebs, mounds of tack, and other farm equipment.

The thought of cleaning and sorting was a little overwhelming. Marine proposed an idea of a place we could have the reception if we were to have the ceremony at the barn. He called and found out a price and details. So despite the fact he told me he would not get involved in any of this planning the fact he is helping and now wanting to be involved is pretty cute. In case you can't tell (or haven't been able to already) I absolutely heart him.

No matter where we have the wedding I know it will be perfect because it's not about the money, the location, the dress, or anything else. It's about Marine and I promising to spend the rest of our lives together. That's what is most important to me. And therefor it will be perfect no matter what.

Yesterday the coordinator contacts me - "I've found it. I've found the place."

She continues to tell me she has found a farm/vineyard that is beautiful. As she tells me the details I can't help but admit it sounds perfect.

There is no such thing in life as a coincidence.

Everything happens for a reason. Even those small things. It's all part of a bigger picture.

That's what I think anyway.

Yesterday Marine called about the reception site. We had decided yesterday morning that we would talk last night and decide if we wanted it and if so he would call today and book it.

Yesterday as the wedding coordinator sat at work (she only does weddings on the side) a man she had went to high school with walked in her office. He tells her he has a farm/vineyard he has thought about renting out for weddings and he has heard she does that part time.

What are the odds?

I'm afraid it might not fit in our budget. But she says he wants to meet with us and promised he would work with me and we would come up with a price we were both comfortable with.

We'll see, fingers crossed!! Hopefully the weather will be nice this weekend and I can go look at it.

From the details it sounds amazing and very much "us". Not getting my hopes up but maybe just maybe everything does happen for a reason.......

Ted: Lily, you're being a wee bit intense about this band thing. 
Lily: Intense? I have a wedding to plan in nine weeks for two hundred people! Even if a dinosaur should poke his head out of my butt and consume this coffee table, I need you to roll with it, okay?! 
Ted: Wow. 

~ How I Met Your Mother ~

Monday, January 17, 2011

The End of 2010 The Start of 2011

The Tuesday morning after Christmas I found myself hiking up an iced over hill at 5:30 am by the light of a flashlight. Oh and did I mention it was about 20 degrees out?

This my friends is love. 

We had finally been able to get out of the house Monday after all the snow but had postponed our trip back to base to Tuesday in hopes the roads would be better. And Tuesday before leaving Marine pulled the ol "this will be my last chance to go hunting" pouty face. 

Like the sucker that I am, I fell for it. 

So we rolled out of bed early and headed over to Marine's mom's house for him to go hunting before we started our road trip.

While he hunted I curled up in the big comfy chair by the fireplace and went back to sleep listening to the crackling of the wood in the fire. 

I figured out why Marine likes to hunt over at his parents versus hunting at my house. At my house he returns from hunting to a bowl of cereal. There he returns to pancakes and French Toast. Yeah hunting may not be so bad. lol ;)

By 10 we were on the road. 

The rest of the week passed way to fast! 

We had diner with one of our Marine Couple friends one night at their house. Another night we had a date night and went to the on base theater and watched Mega-Mind. We also went to diner another night with Roommate and Roommate Wife who had flown in from California to celebrate the New Year. 

During the mix we also registered! Another wedding thing that can be checked off the list

Registering was interesting. Why is it as soon as you give a grown man a scanner gun his eyes instantly light up like a kid at Christmas?

Taking Giggles advice we used this opportunity to upgrade some of the stuff we already have and to fill in some of the blanks. Realistically we don't really need that much. Maybe towels. And according to Marine we need a good iron. Apparently the one I have is insufficient. I personally wouldn't know. The only time I'd ever touched it was to take it out of the box and put it in the closet before Marine and I started dating. 

Now imagine standing in Bed, Bath and Beyond and you see this guy picking up and inspecting every iron on the shelf........ yes that was my Marine. Bless his heart. Gotta love him. 

Hey I can't complain..... case in point:

On New Years Eve we met up with our friends for diner then went downtown to Rum Runners. This is where we spent New Years last year and I pretty much insisted we go there again. The Dueling Piano players are just to awesome for words to describe!

Before long the round of shots were ordered.....
Marine Couple Hubby, Marine, Two of our Buddies (& groomsman) Roommate, Roomate wife, and me.
Sure the guys would love to know I covered their faces with hearts ;)
And this is one of the reasons we love our friends......
Marine and I so had no clue this was going on in the background......
Midnight came and went and we headed to the pizza place for a midnight slice. So delicious! Pizza and beer after midnight is hard to beat!

Overall it was a pretty calm night. Surprisingly

New Years Day we split from the group and headed downtown for lunch. We went to the Brewery where I had some of the best food I think I've EVER eaten! I'm not sure why but it was just so delicious!

While we ate a couple came and sat down at the table next to us. On the table they sat down a large brown box...... obviously a pastry box. Out of the corner of my eye I strained trying to read the label on top. 

Marine and I guessed about what could be in the box. By the time we had paid the tab and rising to leave I just couldn't take it. I had to ask. 

"Excuse me........" 

The couple was super nice and told us about what was supposed to be this fabulous local bakery. They gave us vague directions. Which Marine and I followed to the best of our ability and after some wondering around we found it! 

It was everything I hoped of and more.
I got a chocolate chip cupcake while Marine opted for the basic vanilla with chocolate frosting cupcake. We took our perfectly cute brown box and walked down by the river before heading back to the hotel to enjoy our desert. 

Needless to say I ate mine way to fast...... But I used Marine's for a photo op just so that I could remember how delicious they were....

That night we went out with our group of friends to see a movie. The only movie playing that wasn't sold out was Tangled. It was cute but not near as funny as I expected it to be!! But the lack of comedy was made up by Marine's side comments...... "Please don't sing again. Don't do it!!...... Awe crap she's going to sing again isn't she?" 
Think it's safe to say Marine probably never appreciated the Disney classes that were full of princesses singing... 

But the horse was pretty funny. 

After diner Marine and I called it an early night and headed back to the hotel. Where we watched American Pickers...... yep we are really exciting.

And if you ever get a chance stay at a Comfort Suites.... Do it!! They have the best pillows. Seriously. And I NEVER sleep on hotel pillows. But with these I make an exception. I want these for my house!

Ignore Marine in this picture and just focus on the wonderful pillows. 

Sunday (Jan. 2nd)  was the day I left to come back home. Somehow saying goodbye at the airport is so much more sad than getting in the car and leaving. Not sure why that it is but it is...

(Sorry this post is so late..... )

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tapping The Reserve

Let me go ahead and apologize for my lack of blogging this week and I promise my New Year's Eve Post will come soon but in the meantime........

Things have been crazy busy!!! And when I tell you that I realize that even though I tell you all my deep dark secrets the drab stuff of everyday life, in reality I leave out a lot of details.

Like the fact I work 2 jobs and that I'm going back to school part time. I have a bachelor's degree in Communications but let's face it so far that really hasn't done me much good and unless I break out of my small town it likely never will. But I'm ok with that. I like my small town life. I'm taking online classes for website design.

In college I took a (one, singular) web design class and throughly enjoyed it but really only learned the basics in it. After college I had a friend ask if I could make a website for his business. I agreed and made him a simple but functional website. Well word of mouth spread and I had another business contact me..... and then another....... and then another.

Which was great!! But I still only knew basic design and coding. Nothing fancy. Just simple.

With the continued semi-success I've decided to go back to school to gain more knowledge in hopes that one day maybe I can turn it into a full career or at least a great extra source of income. And more importantly to me - I can feel confident in my work.

The online classes are short. Like 8 weeks short. So you're getting a lot of information in a short amount of time. And there are no breaks for holidays (ex. Christmas). With the holiday's I have gotten a little behind and am playing catch up as quickly as I can! To say the least.

Plus the wedding is exactly 4 months away!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! To say I'm stressing about it..... well......... yeah......... we'll just leave it at that.

And in 38 days ----- YES 36 DAYS ---- Marine will be out of the Marines and home! So he is busy turning in gear and getting everything in line. He is also looking into (and seriously considering) joining the Marine Reserves...... yes that stress me a little to.

The reserves are 1 weekend a month, two weeks a year type of thing that he would go about an hour and half south of our town to train. If he does this he will change his MOS from infantry to something else. Which is a blessing at least.

The main reason Marine is considering this for the insurance benefits. It's no secret that we want kids within the next 2 to 3 years. I don't have insurance through work and when Marine gets out he will be going to school full time and working part time - so no insurance there. In case you didn't know (which I'm sure you did) heath insurance is expensive!

This is his reasoning.

It makes sense.

Yet I still don't feel good about the decision. Perhaps because I know it's not really what he wants to do..... but when I mention that part he just replies "I think it's what will be best for us. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for our family. This is whats best for our family."

Oh Marine how I love thee.

So there you have it. Please be patient with me while I play catch up and then I'll catch you up soon :)

Sound Off! Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Twas The Night Before Christmas

The week of Christmas was kind of a blur of baking and wrapping paper. And somewhere in the midst of all 

that  I think... think.... there may have been some snow.

Just kidding. There was A LOT of snow!

The holiday festivities kicked off the morning of Christmas Eve at Marine's Mom and Step-dad's. We arrived early and gathered around the tree to open presents. Marine-Sis passed out the presents and as my stack grew I wondered if I had really been that good this year.
The Incredible Machine
I got an assortment of wonderful gifts including the new Sugarland Cd and a neti pot. Ever heard of a neti pot? 

It's no secret in my family that I have horrible sinus issues and I am told I snore. *SHOCK, GASP* How could lil 'ol me snore? I mean how unladylike is that? 

NETI POT NASAFLO 1 EACHI think they're lying. Either way this neti-pot has been a topic of conversation lately about how great it supposedly is. Marine-Mom got me one. I'm not sure if I'm thankful yet or not.........  Things going up my nose freak me out! But I'm determined to give this a try and see if it's as good as Giggles and everyone else tells me it is.

Christmas Eve evening we headed to my mom's with plans on staying with her and doing Christmas morning at her house and then going to my Grandparent's house which is about 2 hours away.

The forecast called for snow but it was so warm out I really didn't believe the weatherman.

Big mistake on my part.

We awoke Christmas morning to falling snow.

And lots of it.

My Mom, Marine and I gathered around the tree to open presents.

Nikon Coolpix S6000 14.2 MP Digital Camera with 7x Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver)Now if you remember Marine and my Mom had nagged harped on me about making a list. Why I'm not sure since neither one of them chose to get me anything off of it (seriously not even one item)! Instead they did SSSSOOOO MUCH BETTER! I got a new Nikon Coolpix camera which I'm so excited about!!

I carry a small camera in my purse at all times. And my poor old Olympus (may it rest in peace) bit the dust a few months back. I had not put a camera on my list because I didn't want anyone to buy me anything pricey. With that said I'm so glad my mom doesn't listen! lol
Reinsman Little S Hackamore
I also got a new hackamore for Miss B which I was very excited about because it was much needed! ( a hackamore is used in place of a bit. It goes across her nose and nothing actually goes in her mouth).

Marine and I had decided to do only small gifts this year and even though we both stayed within a budget I have to give it to Marine for thoughtfulness.

My gifts were perfect! He gave me a silver chain to replace one I had broken while he was gone (the camera, the necklace..... I'm seeing a pattern here....). I had kept the broken chain so I could be sure to get one the same length. Unbeknown-est to me Marine stuck it in his wallet one trip home and then went and got me a new one just like I wanted.

He also gave me a USMC sweatshirt I had wanted and a beautiful picture frame. Within the frame he had placed some of his favorite pictures of us. PERFECT GIFT. I would rather receive a thoughtful gift than an expensive gift any day and this gift reflected the thought and time Marine had put into making it just perfect.

Mr. Beer Cowboy Golden Lager Refill Brew PackWhat did I give me Marine? Well I didn't do quite as good as him but I think I did pretty good. Marine is hard impossible to surprise! He always guess what I've got him, so this year I decided to think out of the box a little.

His mom got him a Mr. Beer kit awhile back so I got him a refill kit for it called Mr. Beer Cowboy. Sounded interesting.
Conair HGL1 Combination Hot Gel/Lather Machine, Black
I also got him a Conair Hot Lather Machine ~ did you just ask what? ~ this was something Marine had mentioned in passing that he would like. One of those....

"Wouldn't it be cool if you could have a hot shave....... oh look at the bird" you know one of those moments. He was SO surprised and so excited. After opening the presents he went into the bathroom where he stole my shaving gel and quickly popped the can in to see how it worked. He seemed happy so I am going to say it worked well.

The snow was still coming down so it looked like a trip to my Grandparents was out of the question. We bundled up and headed down to the barn to feed and take care of the horses.

My mom's a little crazy ----- hey I had to get it from somewhere didn't I? ---- and she pulls out a bag of with a Santa hat and reindeer antlers. You guessed it. She wants a family photo. So we each pull out our respective horse and brush them off and put on their hats. I set up my tripod out in the snowy field and screw my new camera on top. Which resulted in this picture:

My Mom, Me, Marine

The south is not prepared for snow. That puts it kinda mildly. All in all we got about 9 inches at mom's house. Which is a lot for us! Needless to say we ended up being snowed in for a few days so the Christmas hecticness faded away into Christmas rest.

Marine and I lounged around watching movies, reading our new books, and playing in the snow. We attempted to build a snowman. Attempted being the key word..... and his nose was an icicle so you can't really see it.

Christmas night the power went out. I used this time to rummage in the closet for classic board games.

Marine and my mom weren't to thrilled about this as they placed oil lanterns around the room. Me, I loved it!

Marine selected Clue from the assortment I produced. Of course he won. But I think he cheated. lol

It was a wonderful Christmas! We didn't really get the us time we would have to liked to have had but it all worked out well.

Monday after Christmas we were able to get out and go visit Marine's dad and do Christmas with him. We were supposed to head back to base Monday morning but the low temps caused what snow that had melted to freeze so Marine was able to call in and request a leave day so we could head back Tuesday.

I had a wonderful white Christmas! Hope each of you did to!

I know this is a long post.... but there's still more to come bare with me!

Phoebe: You know, Chandler, you being here is the best gift I could ask for Christmas. 
Chandler: Aww. Thanks Pheebs. 
Phoebe: Ok, now where's my real present? 
~ Friends ~