I am finally happy with a save-the-date design. It might change depending on the paper I choose, but I'm confident I can translate it nicely to a different sized canvas. On this weekend's agenda: trips to Michael's and Joanne's for paper supplies.

In other news: Ashley comes home late Monday for a whole month of schlepping around town for a slew of beaming brides and brides-to-be, myself included. She'll come bearing an early birthday gift of multiple pashminas to fill out my winter wrap collection. I'm a scarf person - and Billy told me I look cute in tobbagans so I might try one this season. I usually avoid them - having a short, round face doesn't help when it comes to hats of any kind!

Ashley will also be bringing some fabric samples for the wedding dress. I've been collecting pictures of dresses from bridal mags that have some feature or element that I like. We're going to sit down with my slush pile, put together the most flattering combo of elements and then Ashley will draft the pattern.

Then we'll comb the fabric stores until we find THE fabric for the THE dress. And that'll be one more thing off my plate. Between the dress and the invitations, I'm a little ancy.

Hope you have a happy Halloween!


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Pictures As Promised

My mom and I went to Depot Park. She loves it as much as I do. We also walked up to the art studio ... beautiful art on the walls, shiny hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows -- it would be the perfect place for an indoor reception. We'll see how it goes, but my Plan A is an outdoor reception -- although my ideal reception is a sit down dinner at a local restaurant (where I don't have to set up or clean up). I've sort of handed the reception over to my mother, so ...

Here are some shots of the park. My caveat is that it's been a rainy, gray week. These would have been better had the sun been shining.

This is where Billy wants to hold the wedding. He likes the open space and that it's protected from the main roads. I can see its potential, but it seems very cold and like it would require a lot of proppage to make it wedding-y. My mother and I are discussing having the reception in this space if the weather is nice.
This is the cute train that sits off to the side of the fountain. We'll probably take a candid wedding photo on it somehow.

And this, my friends, is where I want to hold the wedding. Going there again today with my mother only solidified my desire. We could set up seats on either side of the brick - and if we have any attendants, they would stand on the brickwork around the fountain. I think it's quaint and would require minimal effort to wedding-up.

Leave me a note in the comments section with your thoughts!

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Fall Is Here

After a long, hot American summer, fall is settling in. My mind is happy about this because it's more conducive to pumpkin carving, Halloween decorating and trick-or-treating. Plus, fall means we'll soon see a splash of brightly colored leaves and pumpkin spice lattes are already heating up the local Starbucks.

But my body reacts very differently to the change of seasons. I'm sluggish and tired and uninspired. I want to snuggle into my pillow each morning and wear long-sleeved jammies every night. Unfortunately, the weather is damp and gray, but still humid. And humid is tricky. It makes you think you're cold until your back starts sweating.

Weather confusion aside, things are going well. My mom and I are slowly putting together a wedding plan. I have a friend at work who's getting married two months after me and she's been planning for at least 6 months already. She kinda gave me the "bless your heart" look when I told her we'd have this going in 8 months. But, I have faith.

I really will post pictures of Depot Park tomorrow!

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Hurricane Tammy

I keep trying to post, but my paragraphs of rambly wedding and weather stuff just disappears. What's up with that?

Here's the non-poetic version:

1. It's raining. We're in a serious drought, but damn! I wanted a day-long shower that would satiate the earth. Instead, we're looking at a week-and-weekend-long steady rain that prevents any outdoor activity, including bicycling, dog walking and kid playing. The plants are loving it - the herbs are sprouting buds and massive mushrooms have popped up everywhere.

2. MissyPants, aka Daphne, loves the rain - absolutely loves it. Like, she runs in circles and rolls around in the wet, muddy grass. Back when rain was common - think, May - and lil pants was a wee pup, she was so afraid of rain she'd shake and hide. I am both amused and disgusted by her new found love.

3. My mother and I have a date to go over to the park this Sunday. She's not sold on having the wedding there, and while I don't need her approval, I do want her to feel okay about our decision. She also wants to gauge how difficult it will be to hold the reception at the park. She wants to cater for us. I was planning a lunch followed by cake reception, but if she were to do it we'd have an hors d'oeurves and dessert reception. Both sound yummy to me!

4. I've decided on wedding favors, reception flower arrangements and cake. Well, I know what shape my cake will take: square. I still need to nail down colors (completely dependent on the dress) and a guest list. Ashley and I are going to sketch out dress details when she comes in November. I'm excited - we keep emailing each other little ideas and sample patterns.

5. Ashley had an audition for a big-budget movie! I'm not sure how things went, but I've got my fingers crossed for her. She signed with an agent earlier this week, so things are snowballing in a good way. This means she can apply for a work Visa and stay in the country without having to marry someone. I am very happy about this because it means she can finally live on her own terms without worrying about how her personal status will affect her career.

Hmm. I've re-created a lot of paragraphs. I will post this now before I lose everything again!

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The Woes of Wedding Planning

I'm trying to not say mean things in this blog, but I'm watching Oprah today about sexual offenders and how America needs to take the streets to stop these people from hurting our children. It makes me angry and sad. Neither of those feelings have a place here.

We're debating everything about the wedding these days except for the date. We're set on May 20. But, what about wedding showers, bridal showers, guest lists, save the dates, etc. All the stuff that in theory is really simple ... in reality, I'm beginning to feel a little overwhelmed.

And what's worse is I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to pay people to come. It makes me feel weird that I don't know enough people - family, friends and otherwise - who would want to share the day with us. I think in my head I expected to have to deliver the invites with armed security. The real truth is no one's clamoring for one.

So, I wanted an intimate ceremony, but I think I wanted that by force, not necessity. I'm getting over it though. I think 30% of me (the vain part) is reeling and very worried about the event being disappointing. The other 70% is relieved and just wants to get the show on the road.

I've been told to expect this type of internal conflict. Maybe next time I'll tell you about my other conflict: How to balance being a feminist with being somebody's wife and somebody's mother.

-- Kelly

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The Moms

Billy and I made the rounds today to announce our engagement to our parents. My mom seemed shocked, but happy. She fawned over my ring and tried to plan the whole wedding. She was all we can have it here and your sisters will be bridesmaids and the boys need to be in it too...

I had to slow her down. Of course, I understand her excitement. She raised 3 girls, the youngest of which is 25, and for a while no one seemed to be even close to a walk down the aisle. I suppose she wants to pour all her "wedding hoohah" into one big blow out under my name. Too bad I'm not a big blow out kind of girl.

So, while my mom wants a multiple-bridesmaids-jr-groomsmen-gala-event, she'll be very happy with my low-key-brunch-affair-to-be-remembered. My plan is to have a wedding that's comfortable and very "me" and that every enjoys. I watch Bridezillas -- none of those people seem to actually enjoy being a blushing bride. I don't want to go that route!

After going to my mom's, I headed over to Billy's mom's (Marlene). He came home to watch the race -- and I didn't make him come with me. His mom is always commenting how I don't call her or visit her, so I figured this was my opportunity. She wasn't as excited as my mom, but I could tell both she and Billy's stepfather, Phillip, were happy for us.

I think Marlene's more excited about the wedding chain of events -- picking out a dress for herself and being consulted on all the other stuff, including my dress, flowers, etc. And, especially, having a reason to dress up. I can't wait to see how this goes.

-- Kelly

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Patience *Is* A Virtue

A short week after my moaning and whining and Voila! ... I'm "officially" engaged.

Here's the story (and, yes, it's cute):

Billy's parents came over to have cake and ice cream with us for Billy's birthday (it was Friday). His mom and I razzed him a little about not proposing yet, but it was very good natured and came on the heels of him razzing us about not doing stuff for him.

They left late (and slightly tipsy). Billy and I continued to joke and laugh even after we went to bed. His mom had given him a dragon tchotchke, so I told him he needed to make some shadow boxes to put his balsawood dragons in (and the tchotchkes can go in a box somewhere :P). He made a joke about how he can make anything from wood, "it'll last 100 years, but it won't be pretty."

So somehow that led to me asking for a ring.

Billy: "You want me to find you a ring, baby?"
Kelly: "Hello, yes! But don't make it out of wood!" So he starts rooting around in our room.
Kelly: "And don't even come back over here with a wire hanger!"
Billy: "You know you don't let me keep wire hangers."

I fell out laughing. When I looked back over at him, he was holding out an open box, inside it -- my beautiful engagement ring.

At first I didn't know what to say or do, but a few seconds later, I just started laughing again and yelled "You are such a trickster!!" and grabbed up my ring. It fit perfectly. Billy will probably never admit it, but I think he got teary eyed and possibly was crying a little bit. It was so funny and endearing -- such a typical Billy and Kelly moment.

Earlier, when his parents were still here, Billy made a wise crack that had us both in stitches. I grabbed his hand and said, "This is why I love you." After he slid the ring on my finger and we were laying together laughing, he said "And this is why I love you."

It's official: We belong together.

-- Kelly

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