Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Taking a short wedding planning hiatus

Wedding planning has taken a bit of a break the last few weeks and probably will stay on a break until after the Holidays at this point. We have had a lot going on and with all the major decisions behind us it just seemed appropriate to enjoy the holidays without having to worry about our wedding to do list every other minute.

So what have we been up to? Well the fun started right after Thanksgiving. We came home early just so we could put up the Christmas tree.  Nick wanted to put it up weeks before Christmas but I refuse to give into anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving.  This was our first shared Christmas tree and I think Nick has plans* to blog about the whole thing so I won't go into much detail, but I just can't resist posting a picture!
*(I can't make any promises on when this will happen or if at all.  Sorry people I know he is a blog slacker but I promise you I am still working on him.)

Then the first weekend in December our friends Jeff and Kathryn invited us to the 30th Annual Silver Ball for the Arthritis Foundation. Kathryn, an event planner by profession, was in charge of decorations and did a fabulous job and while I say I'm on a break from wedding planning I didn't pass up the opportunity to pick her brain for ideas and ended up with several that I am excited to try out after the holidays. Here are a couple pictures from the event:

Thanks to my wonderful friend Darcie for letting me borrow her fabulous dress. I know you can't see it in the picture, but trust me it was cute!
And I just can't resist posting this wonderful picture of Nick and Jeff busting a move!

Our next exciting adventure was a hockey game (sorry no pics of this event- I only took one and it is an awful unflattering angle).  I have never been to a hockey game before (professional or not) and was really excited.  It also helped that we were in a box thanks to the Webster University Alumni Board.  The fights were not all I had hoped they would be, and I still have no idea what any of the rules of the game are, but all in all it was a lot of fun.  Best part was the Blues won and scored 4 goals which resulted in free Big Macs the next day (so not on my wedding diet but who can pass up free!)

Then this past Saturday we woke up early to build bikes for kids.  Nick and I have recently started volunteering for Variety St. Louis, an organization whose mission is to "help children with physical and mental disabilities reach their full potential."  Every year they host an event called "Bikes for Kids" where over 200 volunteers help build bikes for kids at Variety partner organizations.  This year they gave away some 300 "regular" bikes and 33 therapeutic bikes for children with series physical limitations.  The kids who received the regular bikes had to either write an essay or draw a picture describing why they wanted a bike and I just thought some of these were too cute not to share. 

not sure if those are pigs, or dogs, or maybe cats?

 And my absolute favorite one:

Here are a few pictures from the event itself:

Nick building a cute pink bike!

The kids looking for their bikes
Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the 33 therapeutic bikes but those kids were so happy and excited to get a bike. I just felt bad that it was bitter cold that day and has been since so none of them have probably been able to ride them.

After that event Nick and I hosted a Christmas party which was a lot of fun, but I suck and didn't get any pictures of the evening.

So there is just a little bit of the excitement we have had going on lately and why the wedding related posts have been few and far between.  We have a few more fun things planned before then end of the holiday season that I will share and as always I promise more wedding related posts coming soon!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wedding Swim...

And this is why we are not getting married anywhere near the water because this would be just my luck!

Poor girl and really how awful must that poor best man feel?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Engagement Pictures

I just realized I promised to post these pictures long ago and never did!  We had a great time with our photographer taking them.  We decided to hit up some downtown locations so we wouldn't have to make the trek all the way downtown on wedding day.  So we started at Busch Stadium.  Even though it isn't my favorite place (I much prefer Wrigley Field!) I do think it reflects an important part of "us"- our love of baseball! I also wore my Cubs jersey so it made it just a little better.  After pictures at the stadium we headed to the Arch for pictures with the Arch and for pictures with the fall trees on the Arch grounds.  Some might say the Arch is a little cliche but how many cities have one?  All in all I think it was a pretty good combination of locations.  Here are a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure:

You can check out all of the pictures here 
You may have to enter a username (Leader) and password (7405).  It will then ask you for your email.  Also another tip.  This website has interesting music that you can turn off by clicking on music options in the list on the left of the page. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Learning New Things...

If you remember way back when I wrote a post about Life Goals and one of the goals was to learn something new.  Well I did it- I learned to knit!  My first project was nothing pretty. I was mostly just knitting for the sake of knitting and hoping it turned into something.  My goal was a pot holder, but somehow I managed to not even be able to accomplish that and it looked like not much of anything. (Sadly I forgot to take pictures and I left it at my sister's house over Thanksgiving).  But every new skill has to start somewhere right?  I just bought some new yarn and my new goal is a scarf.  We shall see how that goes and I promise to post pictures of that!. 

Inspired by my learning of new skills, my friend Darcie and I spent our Friday night in a very interesting way.  We attended a lingerie making party (I know but there was free wine!).  I was inspired by my new knitting to start sewing again and what better way than with some friends and some wine.  Well it didn't exactly turn out like we had hopped.  I didn't take any pictures but there are some pictures on Darcie's blog here.  So probably not something I will ever ever wear but I got to play with a fun sewing machine and maybe it will inspire me to start sewing more often. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shoe Obsession

Shoes have never really been one of those things that I was obsessed with.  I appreciate a pretty shoe, but my collection is pretty basic and not very extensive.  However, recently I have become obsessed!  Long before we were engaged I saw this picture on a photographers blog: 

and I fell in love with the pretty green shoes and just knew I needed some just like it to sport under my dress!

So now that I have a dress I have started my hunt for green shoes and I have failed miserably.  Searching for green shoes yields all sorts of weird things (some of which are not a color I would ever call green!)  I have found a few:

The first one's aren't horrible but 4 inch heals might be pushing my luck and I don't like the ankle strap.  The second pair just aren't doing it for me.  I want shoes that make me swoon... like this:

...only in green!  Seriously how gorgeous are those two pairs? But I can't seem to find any that make me nearly as happy as those 2 pairs do.  There are lots of Pinks, Blues and Reds out there but green seems hard to come by.  Any suggestions on where I can find pretty green shoes?

I suppose if I can't find green shoes I could always go with this look:

that would make Nick happy

Thursday, November 25, 2010

To Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  Not only is the food some of my absolute favorite foods I also really enjoy spending time with family and the true meaning behind Thanksgiving.  I try and take time frequently to remind myself of all of the blessings in my life to be thankful for, but sometimes life gets hectic and it is easy to forget.  It is nice to have time set aside every year to remind us to stop and be thankful for all the wonderful things we are given.  So on this glorious holiday here are just a few of the things I am thankful for:

  • My wonderful family
  • My amazing friends- I really do think I have some of the most amazing friends a girl could ask for!
  • My health
  • My job and it being in a city that I appreciate
  • My cats and dog (I know, I know- but they really are wonderful companions and they make me happy)
  • Diet Coke (call it an addiction, but a nice diet coke really can make it all better)
  • Hulu (that little invention has saved me a ton of money in cable bills!)
  • (especially when my Pandora has run out)
  • Fall (the weather, the trees, all of it!)
  • Beautiful photography
  • A good glass of wine
  • Days off with nothing to do but lounge around
  • Sweat pants, yoga pants, and scrubs (I really would wear them everyday if I could-sorry Nick!)
  • Flowers that smell as beautiful as they look
I know some of those are cliche but I think it is important to be thankful for those things we often take for granted as well as the small unexpected things in life.  There are many many other things I am thankful for and I am going to try harder to find a few blessings everyday to stop and be thankful for!


Monday, November 22, 2010

How is it already this time of year?

Nick and I just got back our engagement pictures (which I will post about soon) but first we need some help on a more pressing matter!

We all know there is a major holiday right around the corner and Nick and I have decided to take the plunge and send out joint Holiday cards this year.  Since we just got fabulous pictures taken it only seems right to make them photo cards. (I would typically wait until after Thanksgiving to start all this but if we decide to go the photocard route we have to make sure we have enough time to design and order them) I have used Shutterfly before for prints and photobooks and liked the results and I also found an incredible deal**! So we thought we would start there for inspiration and inspiration we found- way too many cool ideas to choose from!

Here are some of my favorites:




 I also like something like this so we can use more than one pictures:


 So clearly I prefer simple, clean designs and I am leaning towards a black and white photo with splashes of color in the design.  Being the indecisive person I am, I really just can't decide!  So faithful blog readers, which do you prefer? 

**Check out more Shutterfly cards and learn how to get 50 free cards here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who Knew Engagement Rings Were So Smart?

Who doesn't love opening a trashy magazine and finding a quiz entitled "What your shoe choice says about your personality" or "What your handbag says about your spending habits"  Well I received one of my many weekly wedding emails and in trashy magazine style this week's had a link to an article titled "Engagement Rings: What Your Engagement Ring Says About You".  So of course I clicked.  According to this article the type of engagement ring you want or in my case have can tell you everything about your style, relationship and wedding...who knew!  I found this all the more intriguing because Nick was very proud of the ring he purchased for me (reminder I had absolutely no input but was also very proud of the job he did all by himself).  So to refresh your memory here is a picture of the ring:

Simple, round solitaire.  So what does that say about me, you ask?

Round Engagement Ring

Your style: Traditional. You always look utterly put together.
Your relationship: Bottom line: you're marrying your best friend. Here's to a lifetime of sharing inside jokes and having someone really get you.
Your wedding: Relaxed, romantic and unfussy. It takes a lot of planning to make things look this effortless, but you'll pull it off.

If you recall Nick's post "The Ring" he chose my ring because "[It] reflects some of the great things about Martha. It is simple and its traditional..." So I guess Nick got that part right.  I'm not sure I always look put together let alone utterly put together, but I can aspire to do better at that if nothing else.

The other two I think are right on.  That describes our relationship quite well and the description of our wedding being relaxed, romantic and unfussy is exactly what we have in mind.

So maybe these crazy articles have a bit of truth in them after all.

If you are curious what your ring (or dream ring) says about you, here is the link

Friday, November 12, 2010

I know I said outside of the box...

When I said I was intrigued by bridesmaid's dresses that were a little different and possibly outside of the box this is not what I had in mind:

nor was this:

and definitely not this...

While there are some cute dresses on Tony's site, I am really not sure any of them are the look I am going for. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Next up...Bridesmaid's dresses

Now that I've ordered my dress, I suppose it is time to move on to the other necessary dresses for the day.  

In the midst of wedding dress shopping my sister mentioned that I needed to get on asking my other bridesmaids so they could all start looking at dresses, especially since she is pregnant and will be showing soon.  Which I agreed it will be difficult to picture what a dress would look like minus the baby bump.  So while we waited at Clarice's my mom and Nick's mom were looking at a couple of bridesmaid dress catalogues and spotted a couple they liked.  After I finished trying on dresses, my consultant had a few extra minutes so we decided to make Sarah try on a few dresses.  The first dress she tried on was this cute number:

It obviously would not be in those colors and we would probably ditch the bow but I thought it was cute.

I honestly don't remember what the second dress she tried on looked like, clearly it didn't do it for me.  The third dress she tried on was something different that I wasn't sure that I would like until I saw it on her and now I think I may have a hard time going back to something simple like the one above.  The third dress looked a little something like this:

I am not 100% sold on this yet.  I really want all my bridesmaids to really like the dress and feel comfortable in it and even in a perfect world be able to wear it again so I will wait until we can all decide together before making a final decision, but the idea of something a little outside the box with a print is really growing on me!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The search for the perfect dress- Part 2 and 3

so I have been seriously slacking lately and I apologize, but good news I have a few posts on the way.

First let's start with the continuation of this post on the search for my wedding dress.  Again because both Nick and I have agreed he won't be seeing me in my wedding dress until the wedding I have decided to keep any photos of dresses out of the post even if it isn't THE dress or I'm not in it.  So sorry for the boring lack of photos post (promise the next few posts will be full of pictures).

On to the story:
Halloween weekend my mom, sister, dad, and niece as well as Nick's parents made the trip to St. Louis.  We had a weekend full of wedding fun planned.  Everyone arrived late Friday evening so we could all be up early for shopping on Saturday.  We met at Nick's house early for a good breakfast and then the girls were off to go dress shopping while my dad took my niece to "Boo at the Zoo" and Nick and his dad ran errands.

We arrived at our first stop just as the opened for the day so it was pretty quite.  This store, which shall remain nameless, was a giant BUST!  My consultant had no personality and really just wasn't getting the idea.  I tried on several dresses but didn't even really like any of them let alone were they even close to what I wanted.  I think we were there for less than an hour before we decided it just wasn't happening.  It was still a little too early for lunch so we drove by the church where the ceremony will be.  Unfortunately it was locked but everyone got to see the pretty outside.  Then we enjoyed a lovely lunch at Dewey's, one of my favorite St. Louis restaurants.   After lunch we still had a little bit of time before my next appointment so we stopped by the potential reception site.  The room was in mid set up for what appeared to be another wedding so it was nice to get an idea of how the room could look.  (NOTE: We are still waiting on a few pieces of paperwork from them before it is official and then I will make that big announcement).

Then it was time for my next appointment at Clarice's.  I could tell almost immediately that this store would be better than the last.  The girls were much more friendly and Kelly my consultant got what I wanted immediately.  This store also had the dress that I thought could have been the dress when I went shopping in Ohio so I was excited to try it on again.  Before I showed that dress of to my mom and Nick's mom I wanted to try on some other options as to not cloud anyone's judgment.  The first dress Kelly had me try on was awesome all of the sudden I was all sorts of confused but I wasn't worried because I figured once I tried on the original dress it would all be clear.  So we tried on a few other dresses, some of which I didn't even leave the dressing room in.  I had gotten pretty good at predicting not only what I would like but also what I thought my crew would say about them :).  So then I tried on the original dress and sadly I was still very confused.  Everyone really liked this dress and now we were all a bit torn between this dress and the first dress.  They were very similar dresses, slightly different neckline, embellishments and fabric, but otherwise very similar.  There were things about each dress that I liked and I just couldn't decided.  So I decided to sleep on it.  I left the store thinking I had made up my mind but then every few hours my mind would change.  I think it changed at least 10 times over the weekend.

So Monday morning I decided something had to be done.  I was going to find a 3rd store that carried both dresses, go by myself and try them on and see if that helped.  So Tuesday after work I went to a little dress shop close to my schools.  I walked in the store and was greeted by a little old woman, who had to have been at least 90.  She was very sweet and I told her I wanted to try on 2 dresses and I knew which 2. She told me that Betty was helping someone else but could help me as soon as she was finished.  So I sat a few minutes and waited.  Then out of the dressing room comes another bride in dress #1.  Betty asked me what I was looking for and I said "Well the one she has on and 'The Hunter'. (For some strange reason wedding dresses have names and dress #2's name is "Hunter")  This other girl also had "The Hunter" in the dressing room to try on, but both Betty and the other girl very graciously worked with me while she continued to try on dresses as well.  I wasn't sure how I felt about seeing the dresses on someone else and was worried it would cloud my judgment even more.  After the other girl took off Dress #1 Betty helped me put it on.  It felt just as amazing as it had the first time I tried it on and as I expected without any other voices it was much easier to follow my gut and make my decision.  I still tried on dress #2 just to be sure but in the end I decided the Ohio dress, first dress I fell in love with was the one!

It took me about a week to get my measurements straight but yesterday the dress was officially ordered!  Now I just have to wait 8 months for it to come in so I can put it on again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

She's Gone Country...

Look at them Boots!

We had a busy weekend last weekend.  First Nick decided it was about time I owned my first pair of cowboy boots.  So Friday Night we headed to Chuck's Boots and looked at hundreds of boots.  Most of them were awful, I mean awful!  We saw pink boots, teal sparkly boots, white boots and much much more.  We did manage to find 2 pairs in my size that were acceptable and finally settled on the one's above.  So I am now the proud owner of my very own pair of cowboy boots.  

Saturday we took a beautiful drive through Illinois to visit my sister, niece and some friends who were at a retreat center in Carlinville.  It really was a beautiful fall day for a drive and we spent the afternoon hanging out and I learned how to knit!  When I say that I mean that I learned a how it is supposed to work, but I'm not sure I was very good at it and my creation didn't look like much of anything, but hey everybody has to start somewhere, right?  

Sunday was a big day.  We got up early and met our photographer at Busch Stadium to start our engagement picture session.  We took a bunch of pictures there and then headed to the Arch to take more.  It was a lot of fun but also a bit exhausting.  After our engagement picture session we headed to our new church to attend the New Member Class.  

It was a busy weekend that definitely wasn't long enough but we got some important things crossed off our list!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Other View of the Proposal

In case you haven't noticed Nick just posted his version of the proposal story on his blog!  Check it out here.  And if you missed my version you can check it out here.  But be warned it is a long post on both blogs.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Welcome to the Late 20's Club

Sorry this post is a little late I was in Atlanta last week for work and didn't have much free time.

Last Friday Nick joined the late 20's club!  yep that is right he is a mere 66 days younger than I am. (on a completely unrelated note he apologizes for being a blog slacker and promises to get better once the election is over!)

So how did we celebrate his induction into the club?  I had a lot to live up to and while I don't think I could ever top my 26th birthday celebration I think I did a pretty good job.  Here is a run down of the fun.

Friday Night we enjoyed some very yummy ice cream cake

No that part of the cake doesn't say "Happy Birthday Nick" (we ate that half) it says "Good Luck Austin."  This weekend also happened to be Nick's roommate's last weekend before he left for the Army so I figured I will kill two birds with one cake!

After we ate cake we headed downtown for the Cardinals vs. Rockies game.  It was a beautiful night for baseball and for both boys the Cards pulled out a win.

Enjoying a hot dog before the game

enjoying some baseball

Amanda and Austin

Somehow we managed not to get any pictures of us together but all in all it was a good night.  

Saturday Nick's parents came to St. Louis and we enjoyed a nice lunch and some shopping.  Then later that night we had a party for Nick and Austin and enjoyed a lovely backyard fire and s'mores.  Sunday we finished the weekend with a low key day and then an amazing dinner at our friends Jeff and Kathryn's house.  (sorry I failed and didn't get any pictures after friday night). 

So it was not quite the same birthday extravaganza as he planned for me, but I think all in all it was a good weekend.  Welcome to the club hun- I love you!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Towels, and spoons, and tongs, Oh my!

A few weeks ago, Nick and I started the registry fun.  I had heard a few horror stories of the fights that registering could cause so I was a little fearful going into it.  We had gone back and forth on where to register but Nick was set on registering for tools and I'm not gonna lie I like a good power tool too so a hardware store was a must.  We started at Lowes only to find out they stopped doing registries several years ago.  Our next stop was Home Depot.  They still do registries and we began registering there.  It was a bit anti-climatic as they don't have scanners and you just have to write down the SKU for everything you want and you can't view the registry online (which we didn't find out until after we had written everything down).  It also turns out that Home Depot really isn't convenient for either of our families and since it wasn't online we decided to try plan C and register at Sears instead. 

Other than that our initial debated was between Target, Macy's, Crate and Barrel, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  We wandered around Macy's and really were not impressed and felt like much of the "essentials" were a little over priced.  Not to mention I was pretty sure I would be disowned as a "Kingma Girl" if I actively promoted business to the "store which shall not be named."  You see my Mom's side of the family has a long standing tradition as a Marshall Field's family and I have many fond memories spent there with my grandma as well.  But ever since Macy's aka "the store which shall not be named" took over Marshall Fields we have severed our ties so creating a wedding registry there just didn't seem right.  The only problem was they sell Fiestaware.  These beautiful dishes:

I already have a set my parents gave me when I graduated from college and I dearly love them.  We decided we wanted to add to this collection as our everyday dishes.  I wasn't sure what to do until someone told me they thought Kohl's had them.  So Kohl's it had to be.  Registering at Koh's was a lot of fun, but turned out to also be very exhausting- who knew wandering around a store not actually buying anything could make a person so tired?  Nick may disagree but it was also a lot easier to agree on things than I had anticipated so no nasty fights :)

We wanted to register at one other place to provide some variety.  We perused Bed, Bath, and Beyond and felt it was very similar to Kohl's so we took that off the list which left Target and Crate and Barrel.  I don't know as though we ever really talked about which one made more sense, but I heard about this event

Which was basically an opportunity to have Crate and Barrel all to yourself (ie you and several other couples) so you can register.  The best part is they provide food and beverage and a free gift!  I asked Nick what he thought and we decided to sign up.  Decision made Crate and Barrel it was.  Sorry Target I still dearly love you but how could I pass up panini's and mimosas?? So this past Sunday we got up early before Crate and Barrel was open to the public and enjoyed a lovely tour of the store, followed by some yummy breakfast.

Then it was off to registering

And having a little fun in the process

And we even took home these lovelies as a free parting gift

lovely heart shaped champagne flutes!

not really our style but who doesn't love a free gift?

So there you have it our registries are complete (at least until next seasons fashions come out and we have to update them)!  I think we did a pretty good job being practical while still including some things that would just be nice to have.

Can you guess what the post expensive thing on our registry is?  Hint: it is not as I would have guessed a power tool, and really I am not even sure why this item is so expensive.

Well it is this little doozy

that we registered for on a whim only to find out when we got our print out of our registry that it costs....are you ready for this??

$270.00!!!!!  Yes that is right you can make yummy margaritas in your home for a mere $270 big ones...seriously what makes this so much more expensive than my $25.00 blender. (also funny side note it is technically called "Margartiaville Frozen Concoction Maker"...just call it what it is people!)

I have informed Nick that if we get this and nothing else we are returning it to purchase pans so if you decide to purchase this for us please do not be offended if we return it for something that is well...much more practical (but we will only do that if we did not receive any other practical gifts :) )