Friday, April 18, 2014

five on friday

For whatever unknown reason, I woke up at 5:25 this morning and could not fall back asleep.  What does one do in this situation?  Take a luxuriously-long-for-a-weekday shower, enjoy a ginormous cup of coffee with my favorite creamer, and catch up on last week's Scandal.  I have to say, this is a lovely way to start my Friday.  Now for Five on Friday!

{one} 
Once warmer weather hits, I get a major hankering for country music.  Blame it on my Texas roots, but I have no shame in my country-loving game.  And Texas Country?  That's about as good as it gets.  Recently, Brian and I were browsing through upcoming concerts at smaller venues in Boston and came across none other than Mr. Pat Green!  As of 7pm tonight, I plan to be enjoying beers in my boots at the House of Blues while singing along and thinking of home, sweet home!


{two}
In honor of the country concert and also just because, I made these babies mine this week... and I am a woman obsessed!  Loving.  Them.


{three} 
I gave up wine for Lent and, Lordy mercy, was that brave to do in the midst of all of this wedding planning.  There have been one or forty nights where I wanted a glass of wine REAL bad but I stuck to my guns and sacrificed.  Let me just say that Brian has been instructed to give me an Easter basket heavy on wine, light on chocolate.


{four} 
Now that we're a little less than seven months out from the wedding, I'm kicking it majorly into high gear to get my buns in shape not only for my dress, but for spending a week on a beach on our honeymoon!  Gwyneth bugs me a bit at times, but girlfriend has some delish recipes AND a body like no other.  She also doesn't lie and act like she got the body by running around after her kiddos-- hard work, as much as it stinks, does a body good!  Wedding body here I come.


{five} 
This is just such a lovely way to close, and to head into this Easter weekend.  Have a blessed time with your families, friends, pets... whomever you choose to spend the time with, and celebrating however you may wish to celebrate.  I'll be at Mass with Brian at the church where we'll be married, then Easter lunch with his parents, and will be at my Mama and Daddy's table in my heart.  





Thursday, April 3, 2014

to gym or not to gym...

current internal dialogue

lazy katie: maybe i shouldn't go to the gym today.  i mean it was a looong day.  i'm pretty tired.  those shows on my dvr aren't going to watch themselves!  
bridey katie: those shows aren't going anywhere, hence the dvr-- go to the gym.
lk: but my makeup looks really good today.
bk: you're going home to your couch-- go to the gym.
lk: but my hair!  look how my hair is laying really perfectly and it's keep it's poof all day.
bk: you'll put it in a ponytail by the time you walk in your door-- go to the gym.
lk: but my face doesn't look that round today.  and i think my pants might just be--
bk: you may keep your nicely done makeup and working-with-you hair while also keeping your body that needs to look fabulous in a wedding dress and is currently in a state of disarray.  kindly get your round face (and ass) to the gym.
lk: gah, you suck.  i'm going, i'm going.

off to the arc trainer i go.  bridey katie sure is a feisty bitch...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Website!

I know, I know-- I promised you a Save the Date post today, but I fell a leeeetle behind/nearly lost it trying to get them all addressed over the weekend, so 98% of them just went out yesterday and I can't share quite yet.  And I know, I KNOW-- "Does she really think that we care that much about the save the date?  Better yet, if it's actually a surprise?" 

Listen.  I never thought that I would be the girl who spends hours upon hours fine-tuning the damn cards to the most perfect design and colors, and then plays very hush-hush for weeks so that nobody, not even my mother, can see the end result because I am so dead-set on the first time people seeing it being when they pull it out of their mailbox.  But I am.  And I have done all of those things for the last month.  

Pre-engagement, I also never thought that I would obnoxiously take pictures like this: 


BUT I DID.  Oh, yes I did.  I stood in the post office for half an hour yesterday and stuck the pretty little "Love Forever" stamps on each of my precious envelopes, and then I plopped my ring-donned hand on top of the stack because WEDDING MAIL!  LOOK WHAT I HAVE COMPLETED! and I took a picture, which I immediately posted to Instagram.  And when I walked over to hand over that stack of precious paper, after checking names and addresses approximately 53 times, I couldn't quite let go.  I mean... I set them on the counter, with my hands lovingly gripped around the stack, and smiled at the post office worker.  

"These are my save the dates.  For my wedding."
"... okay?"
"Yep, I just need to mail them.  To send them off!"
"... okay?  Can you... give them to me?"
"Oh sure.  Just... ju--" 

The woman took them from my hands and plopped them into the "send away to their recipients" box before I could finish (thank God).  And I felt slightly dizzy.  As I walked back to the car, I resolved myself to the fact that I have borderline become one of THOSE Brides.  And I'm totally okay with that.  I also give any of my friends to give me a swift kick in the ass back to reality, should this whole bride-y wedding thing go to my head.

This whole addressing of the save the dates brought to mind an entirely additional level of panic-- the invitations.  There was a moment on Friday night around 11:30pm (which is a) past my bedtime, and b) not a time of day when anyone should still be doing anything wedding-related but HELLO late 20s exciting Friday night) when I nearly lost my shit.  And by nearly, I mean I did.  I was surrounded by piles of semi-completed envelopes and my hand was starting to cramp.  I'm sure a glass of vino would have soothed all of the issues, but NO WINE FOR LENT, so I trooped on, determined to finish them all before bed so that I could mail them on Saturday.  

As I'm writing away, I hear The Fiance with Bad Handwriting, who had been completely silent for the last half hour, pipe up with "That's crooked."  I cannot recall but believe that I gave him a look that could be interpreted as "What the ever-loving fuck did you just say?"  He then continued to point out how the lines were starting to slope up (sonofabitch they were, indeed) but the more he pointed out my errors, the more angry/frustrated/exhausted I became.  I believe the final straw was "Well, I didn't ask you to write them like that" and I might have whipped an envelope in his general direction.  Not at his face or anything... but like the couch cushion next to him.  He luckily realized that he had crossed my final remaining line, and apologized, and I apologized, and we agreed for me to call it a night on the addresses.  However, you know it's time to check yo self when the first thing that your fiance says to you the next morning is "Do you remember how beyond bitchy you were acting last night?"  He never has and never would call me a bitch, but calling me out on being bitchy?  Totally allowed.  And called for.  The rest of the weekend he joked about potential envelopes flying at his head-- let us pray that The Man with the Handwriting of a Third Grader does not call me out on my handwriting when it comes time for The Big Enchiladas.

That brings me to our website.  I've worked for a loooong time on our website, and am pretty proud of the final result.  I think the hardest part was finishing a million other tiny pieces before we could make the website "public," and we knew that the website had to be ready before Save the Dates could go out, since our website address is on the Save the Date.  Like finishing The Registries That Nearly Killed Us, and procuring decent photos of each of his groomsmen.  I'm loving the end result though, and would love to share it with y'all!  Perhaps I'm too open, but it's not like anyone out there can't just search the internet and find it anyways, so why not share it with you lovely ladies?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

cake forks and monkeys.

As part of my whole "sweating for the wedding" (I did mistakenly type "swearing for the wedding," which is also applicable in many/all of my wedding-related process so far), I signed up to meet with a trainer at my gym once a month.  His name is Billy and we have a love/hate so much relationship.  Yes, meeting with him more than once a month would likely be more beneficial, but it's $70/session and this bride-to-be has more important things to purchase with her hard-earned cash, like handstamped cake forks for $41:


I am in love.  They are simply swoon-worthy.  And as far as Brian knows, they were $15.  They're completely justified as I keep telling myself that not only will we use them for our wedding cake, but to share dessert for years to come (except that I don't bake and Brian doesn't share dessert-- it is what it is).  

So, back to sweating for the wedding (hm... coincidence that I'm sweating for the wedding while buying dessert forks?  It is a tangled wedding web I weave...).  Since I'm only meeting with him once a month, he's written up daily workouts for me to follow the other 29-30 days that I don't meet with him, which is super helpful.  Helpful, yet intimidating, and a little bit overwhelming.  I like my gym, but there are also a fair number of typical muscle-heads who look like they could squash my head with one bicep curl.  So as much as I love strength training (seriously, I do), I've stuck to basic handweights and the machines in the past because I feel like a wimp doing my 10lb dumbbell presses next to someone who's curling 100lbs like it's air.  After looking at my written-up routine, I realized that I had no idea what half of the exercises were, so I set up some time to meet with Billy to show me the ropes/prevent me from killing myself/someone else while attempting to workout.  

I went in last night thinking we would just do a few reps at each machine and I would be on my way, but Mr. Trainer had other plans.  I did full sets at every stop and was literally sweating for the wedding.  It was intense, but I did impress myself with how quickly I caught on, and how less intimidating it all felt after we had gone through the machines.  An additional plus?  I'm totally feeling it today in the areas where I'm really looking to tone up (hello, chicken wings, the entire area between my knees and my waist, and that annoying spot on your chest between your arm and your boobs, otherwise known in my world as "potential bulge over top of wedding dress-- must eliminate!").  

As positive as the impromptu session was, I have to be completely honest with y'all and share that I had an incident.  One of the machines is the assisted pull-up/dip machine (top of my "That shit is scary-looking to attempt alone" machine list), so I was interested to see how exactly I was not only supposed to use it to exercise, but to gracefully mount the damn thing.  Full disclosure, I've tried the machine before, a few years ago when we first joined our gym.  The weight increments are weird, and I'd obviously never tried it before, so I set the weight to 140, climbed up, and was flying through the exercise.  Like literally moving so fast, my hair was whipping in the gym-wind.  I didn't find out until later that the machine uses counterbalanced weights, so the higher the weight, the easier the workout, because you're basically lifting zero weight.  Whoopsie.

So Mr. Trainer sets the weight for 20lbs less than I currently weigh, hops on, and breezes through multiple reps in both the pull-up and the dip.  This would be the correct way to do it/how my trainer looked/how I thought I would obviously look:


"Easy peasy, I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!" I think to myself as I hoist my body up.  As soon as my knees hit the pad, I started to sink down, which is normal-- I mean, you're meant to pull yourself up.  But I didn't pull myself up.  I couldn't pull myself up.  It was at that moment that I felt all of the strength leave my arms.  It was as if I was trying to raise my weight-y body from the depths of quicksand while lifting with spaghetti noodles.  In other words, I wasn't budging.  And then I started laughing.  Like, uncontrollable laughter... while hanging there.  Mr. Trainer kept telling me to "just pull yourself up" which I was unable to do because THE STRENGTH!  IT WAS GONE!  So as impressive as I thought that I would look, I'm sure I was much more comparable to this, only in spandex:


I think that it was somewhere in those few moments of me hanging from the machine in hysterical laughter that Billy realized what kind of project he signed up for when he took me on as a client.  For what it's worth, he gets his laughs as I throw medicine balls at his head during crunches and imagine myself squashing him as I do countless walking lunges across the studio floor, so I guess we can call it even.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Save the Dates

Our Save the Dates have been delivered and are in the process of being stuffed, addressed and stamped, so I guess it's officially official-- we really, seriously are getting married (squeee!).  

After a looong day of travel on Monday to get back to Boston from Florida, I was just ready to get home and go to bed, considering I had to be up and getting ready for work in, oh... 5 hours.  We dragged all of our bags up the stairs and as we turned the corner to our apartment and saw a huge box, my first thought was "What did Brian order?" (he may or may not have an issue with impulse shopping websites like SlickDeals!... but we're working through it, ha!)  I realized that the box was actually addressed to be, and through my Travel Cocktail + exhaustion plane haze, the lightbulb went off and I may or may not have yelled "IT'S OUR SAVE THE DATES!  THEY'RE HERE!"  It was seriously exactly what I needed right then (to say that our THREE flights and their connections did not go smoothly would be an understatement.  Add in a bus, subway, and cab ride home, and I was DONE), and it was all that Brian could do to stop me from immediately dragging everything out of the box right then.  So, like a good, patient grown up, I waited until last night after work to come home and inspect everything... and I am in LOVE!  

My beauties... to be revealed next week, of course.

It felt like it took forever to find our ideal Save the Date card-- this would be one of those details that I thought that Brian would care less about but actually had a million and one opinions on that he insisted on sharing/beating the life out of the cute ideas I'd been Pinning for the past two years.  I had always thought that we would have a Save the Date (and yes, I'm going to type it out over and over because it makes me giggle way too much to type "STD"-- such a grown up, indeed) with an engagement picture on it because it just seemed fun.  Plus the majority of the Save the Dates that we've received from friends have had photos, and they're always so cute and fun... but the more we thought about it, the less we liked the idea for ourselves.  Brian kept saying that he didn't mind taking engagement pictures, but the thought of a picture of the two of us snuggling and being posted in the homes of over 100 people for the next 8 months made him cringe-- valid point.  

Off I went to Etsy to start fresh with searching for the perfect non-photo Save the Date.  A few hours minutes later, I realized we had to make additional decisions to narrow our options down.  Do you go with a fun design that's different from the more formal feel of your wedding invitations?  Do your colors on the card need to match your wedding colors?  What information do you include?  Your wedding website?  OMG, I have to make a wedding website!  At this point, kindly add approximately two weeks of creating the wedding website to our timeline before I could make the decision on the Save the Date and give the OK for our designer to add the website link and send everything to the printer for us to receive our proof.  BUT WAIT!  Everything in this designer's shop comes with a free proof from the printer EXCEPT for the particular item that we selected and DEAR LORD, why did I choose to give up wine for Lent?  So we had to order a batch of 25 cards and hope and pray that they would be perfection... AND THEY WERE!  

As I sat on the floor, happily stuffing envelopes last night, I could not stop smiling.  The Save the Dates were a labor of love, and something that both Brian and I had extensive input on to produce our final product.  Yes, there were days when I would send him three different examples so that he could give his opinion on the minutely subtle difference between three different shades of a color, but he humored me and played along.  He did look at me once the order was finally submitted and said "You know, you kind of lost it a little bit with the whole Save the Date thing."  I nodded and agreed and was just happy to know that he still loves my brand of crazy.

Okay, Katie-- enough with the rambling already.  SHOW US THE CARD, amiright?  I will, I promise... in like a week.  When I'm pretty positive that everyone has received their cards.  Not that more than 2% of people invited to our wedding read my blog BUT STILL.  Tonight will be address-a-palooza, and I'm pretty excited to settle down with my lovely pen and start writing out the addresses of our favorite people to give them the heads up to save Saturday, November 8 FOR OUR WEDDING!

Adios, lovelies!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

VACATION

As of 3:30pm (that would be 2 hours and 6 minutes from right now, not that I'm counting...), I will be on VACATION, alleluia amen!  TAKE ME TO THE BEACH, I say!  



Seriously, this little break is so very much needed.  After the winter that we've had in Boston, the stress of wedding planning, and lots of new things going on at the office, a few days of toes in the sand and THE WINE could not have come at a better time.  We're heading to Marco Island, FL with Brian's (entire) family for six glorious days of fun in the sun, and I'm beside myself with excitement.  I've wrapped up everything at work, so I'm completely checked out mentally and am checking my packing list one last time to make sure we're all set for take-off.

I was on the living room floor until midnight following every Pinterest packing tip known to man and somehow managed to fit everything into one large suitcase, since Brian is also checking his golf clubs and we didn't want to pay a ton of checked bag fees.  However, at approximately 7:42am today, I decided that the suitcase felt too heavy (muy importante because while he took his clubs and a convenient backpack to work with him, I'm wrangling the suitcase, my carry-on, and my purse to a cab, to the train, to a shuttle, to another shuttle, and to the airport, so all I could envision were my stress levels shooting through the roof and me crying as I lugged a must-be-rock-filled suitcase up flights of stairs at the subway-- like I said, ready for a vacay!), so I was trying to move things from one bag to another.  The last thing that I remember is leaving one of my swimsuit cover ups NEXT to the suitcase before we ran out the door to work, so I started thinking of the last minute things to cover when I go home to meet the cab, including but not limited to the following:

TRAVEL COCKTAIL
I have a very particular cocktail that I swear by when I fly, and before I pack a single item into a bag, I make sure that all components are accounted for and tucked safely into my purse.  I don't know what happened, but somewhere between the age of 17 and now, I've developed an absolutely terrifying fear of flying.  I love the hustle and bustle of airports, browsing the nearest Hudson News for new magazines and a travel snack, people-watching while I wait for my flight... and then we start boarding.  Cue the nerves.  As soon I settle into my seat and strap on my seatbelt, all I can think of are the walls around me and the fact that for the next X many hours, I'm stuck in that seat and couldn't leave if I wanted to.  Travel cocktail for one!  A Xanax + Dramamine, washed down with a class of wine.  Don't judge me, either-- the Xanax is strictly for flying, and by the time we've taken off, I am happy and relaxed as can be.  If I don't take the Travel Cocktail, every bump, shake, and noise absolutely sets me off.  It's bad.  I own it.  I manage it.  I do not know how I'll someday keep it together enough to fly internationally or, even more so, with kids, but that's another stressball for another day.

PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH
I don't trust airport food unless it's packaged and from Hudson News (do YOU eat the grab-n-go turkey sandwiches from the Legal Sea Cafe?  Didn't think so.) so I always stock up on plane snacks and take a sandwich on board with me.  See also: a buffer for Travel Cocktail.

FLIP FLOPS 
For some reason, I keep thinking I've only packed one pair of warm weather sandals.  Considering my neon orange pedicure that I'm currently sporting, I'm going to need to double-check that before I make the final zip-up of the bags. 

BEACH BOOKS
I've been combing must-read lists for WEEKS now, out of pure anticipation for vacation reading, and I ended up with four delightful books that I've somehow managed to leave completely untouched until my toes hit the sand. I also happen to know that I've left them unpacked and sitting next to my carry-on-- whoops!: 





And last, and probably the book I've most looked forward to...



I've also downloaded oldies-but-goodies Practical Magic and You've Got Mail to my Kindle to buffer any additional nerves that I may have on our flights today, so if that doesn't keep me held over, I don't know what will.

That's it for now.  I'm off to watch the seconds tick by until 3:30pm, and then you can better believe that my chair will be spinning as I fly to the door!  See ya, beaches!! :)


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Ceremony and Reception

*Gah, I thought this posted last night before I went to bed-- false.  So here's my wedding Wednesday, a day late :)

As soon as we were engaged, questions came from every which way as to where the wedding would take place.  My Texas family thought that it needed to be in Texas, and Massachusetts folks assumed it would be here.  Logistically, Brian's entire family is in New England, my dad's side of the family is all in Connecticut, and my mom's smaller side of the family and my friends are in Texas.  Any way we looked at it, a group of our guests were going to have to travel, and it just made more sense to have everything take place closer to where 3/4 of our guests live, and have 1/4 of the guests have to travel, versus the other way around.  


The detail that sealed the deal?  For as long as I can remember, I've wanted a fall wedding in New England.  I didn't know how it would happen, how I could have a wedding in New England living in Texas, how I could convince my someday groom that it would have to happen because on earth could I meet someone living in New England if I was across the country... and so on.  Well, I moved, I met my Brian, I've had the pleasure of experiencing six glorious fall seasons here in Massachusetts, and I could not be more confident in our decision-- funny how things play out, yes?  We got engaged at the end of August and there wasn't an ounce of my wedding planning dreams that considered any other time of the year than a month in the range of September - November so that we could grasp onto some kind of foliage in our pictures.  And I love the weather-- it could rain on my wedding day, and I would still be completely okay considering I won't be sweating and hot and I won't be ragey because of humidity.  Wedding day PERFECTION.

Which brings us to where it's all going down!

Ceremony: St. Mary's Catholic Church - Scituate, MA 


source



St. Mary's is the church that Brian grew up in, the church that his family still attends, and the church that everyone in his family since his parents has been married in.  To say that it was a no-brainer would be the understatement of the year.  The outside looks so New England-y to me, and I swoon all over again every time we're there for Mass.  It makes my heart happy, which is pretty much the only thing that I could hope for on our wedding day.

Reception: Black Rock Country Club - Hingham, MA 




The biggest challenge that we ran into when looking for a reception venue was finding a place where we hadn't already attended a wedding.  We knew that we didn't want a wedding actually IN Boston, which drastically narrowed down our options, and at the beginning I had a really specific idea of what I wanted for a venue, which eliminated all country clubs.  Well, once we crossed off places where we'd already attended a wedding and places in Boston, we were left with a very tiny number of options.  Cue the bridal panic.  

We sat down and really thought about what type of feel we were going for, how we wanted our guests to feel, and the logistical stuff-- what would be feasible for guests not from the area to locate easily.  That brought us to two places-- the Duxbury Maritime Center and Black Rock.  If we were planning a spring/summer wedding, Duxbury would have been beyond perfection-- right on the water, amazing views, a gorgeous lawn area outside... basically the opposite of what I'd imagined for a fall wedding in New England.  

When we went to Black Rock, just upon walking in, I think we knew that that was our place.  The coordinator is on her A-game 24/7 and that puts this OCD bride's mind at ease BIG TIME.  If the weather is warm enough and if it's sunny, cocktail hour will be outside on the patio, which I just love (and yes, I have two back-ups in case it's rainy but warm, and if it's rainy and cold).  The ballroom is a pretty standard ballroom but has exposed wood beams at the top, which brings in just a tiny bit of the rustic feel that I was hoping for.  

I'm starting to get a feel for this Wedding Wednesday deal!