August 10, 2011

hi there

I'm pretty sure no one reads this anymore. It's been almost six months (say whaaa?!). I have yet to sort through the bajillion amazing photos from our wedding. ya go!

Wanna help me narrow it down to 20-30 photos for our album??

April 30, 2011

B & W

Life is busy, even after you're done planning a wedding apparently.

Let me present: wedding photos taken by our other photographer, best man Brian. My favorite part? These were all taken on black and white FILM, which he developed. yummy!
Laughing with the girls

My darling flower girl and niece

Love this shot! On the front steps of the church

Arriving at the reception

Hello there husband

The morning after the bachelor party in Sacramento, tee hee

Perfect Timing

One of the few photos we have with my step-father-in-law (he  only was present for parts of the day to avoid the germs due to his battle with cancer)

April 17, 2011

what's in a name?

So I'm in a weird place name-wise. I always knew I would take Husband's last name. But the marriage certificate hasn't come yet (it's been almost 2 months? maybe I should make a phone call...) so officially I still have my maiden name. I changed it on FB, and when I started telling people what the new name would be, the general consensus was that it sounded natural, it flowed, like it had always been my name (probably helps that half of Husband's family has J first names, including him! ...we're going to have the same first, middle AND last initials). But since it's not my legal name yet, I've noticed lately I'm conflicted when I have to tell people. I was at the pharmacy today and I actually had to think for a second, which last name to say when asked my name. I guess that's a sign I've made the right decision for me. I can't wait to change it legally so everything else can be changed. Even at work, my email is maiden name first initial, my email signature is still my maiden name (it's going to get confusing there's a lot of people I communicate with regularly on a daily basis, in different parts of the country, that I've never met), my business cards are old. But women do this all the time right? I feel like I'm doing this radical thing, taking on a new name to better shape my new identity, even though that's completely the opposite of how things are in this day and age of feminism. Anyway, random thoughts aside, my new last name is pretty awesome, I love it.

April 16, 2011

Never Gonna Let You Down

So music was a big part of our day. Husband spent a lot of time piecing together this playlist. With minor help from me.

Dylan played while the bridesmaids and groomsman came down the aisle, along with our moms (mine escorted by my little brother, husband escorted his). I came down the aisle to "Us" by Regina Spektor. So epic, so happy and beautiful. it was perfect. And "You Are the Best Thing" was the perfect exit from the ceremony music. The horn section kills me every time, so upbeat!

{yeah I discovered the song from 500 Days of Summer and maybe I included this video because the only celeb I've ever been told I looked like was Zooey. I'll take it!}

Here's the Reception. Sweet Thing was our first dance. It's the song that was playing when Husband proposed. I danced to Ballerina with my dad, I did ballet for 14 years, and it's a very sweet song.

Our playlist was very eclectic but I trusted Husband with it. It was very representative of our taste in music and iconic songs from our relationship. We didn't even make it through the whole playlist, the reception ended up lasting about 4ish hours. People began to leave on their own, so that by the time the majority of the guests had left and it was just family and wedding party essentially, we changed and left for the honeymoon around 6:30. (Ceremony had started at 1 and Husband and I arrived at the Reception by 2:30 - food was already there for guests, hors d'ouevres meant they didn't have to wait for us). The timing of the day worked out really well for us.

Also, see the 2nd to last song? "Righteously" by Lucinda Williams? Yeah that ACTUALLY is "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. Yes Husband Rick Rolled me at our wedding (He renamed it since it's my iTunes account so I wouldn't notice). Right before the father-daughter dance. And it was hilarious. Husband spends a lot of time on online message boards and is well versed in rick rolling. The majority of our guests had no idea what was going on including my dad. But it was funny nonetheless. Oh Husband! (he also has a rick roll app on his phone! I love that boy! =D)

April 12, 2011


This is why I'm a little bummed I didn't try everything food-wise:
1. Antipasto, cheeses & fruits - display including marinated vegetables, salami & italian meats, provolone, fresh mozzarella, brie topped with sugared pecans, Italian olives & pepperoncini, four cheese tortellini with dipping sauce of sour cream, lemon, cracked pepper & parmesean, seasonal fruits with sour cream, brown sugar and caramel sauce, chevre topped with sun dried tomatoes, Stilton with dried apricots
2. Warm brie & phyllo tartlets with cinnmon fuji apples & sugared pecans
3. Herb polenta topped with garlic and herb chevre, sun dried tomatoes and kalamata olives
4. Deep fried cheese ravioli with fresh roasted tomato dipping sauce
5. Honey roasted red grape & lemon ricotta bruschetta
6. Miniature filet mignon wellington with madeira sauce
7. Warm puff pastry package with chevre, dates and maple smoked bacon
8. bruschetta - chicken breasts stuffed with basil pesto, thinly sliced and served on toasted baguette with baby greens and dijon aioli
9. Hickory grilled pork tenderloin bruschetta with orange ricotta & topped with compote of cinnamon cranberries, dried cherries, golden raisins and pecans
10. yukon gold potato, applewood smoked bacon and fontina tartlets.


(p.s. we gave the caterers our budget and number of people, they let us choose 10 different items from their proposed menu. It was reasonable, pretty and YUM. very satisfied)

April 11, 2011

disjointed recap

Last week was a good week. Maybe it's because I got to spend all day Sunday with husband, walking everywhere in in our little town (church, crepes, frozen yogurt, cheap rentals at going-out-of-business blockbuster). Maybe because we got our wedding photos (amazinggggg!!! too. many. to. choose.) Maybe because I found out difficult co-worker was quitting and Friday was his last day (goodbye negativity!). Maybe it's because we've been spending time with and celebrating 2 weeks with this little guy:
{Meet Raphael! our adopted little one}

Unfortunately that meant neglecting le blog. So...yes wedding photos are in. Also received a disc of the film shots that best man took. so overwhelming. and so happy! Our photographers did such a good job capturing the joy of the day and our loved ones. I actually had to dig through the fb posted shots from family and friends to find some of the detail shots of the decor (because priorities=people thankyouverymuch...also food, but photographer got some awesome food shots because duh, we're on the same wavelength)

So here's some more fb photos until I have time to sort through the 300+ edited shots: 
{see awesome vintage fox fur stole bridesmaid Shawntel let me borrow, it belonged to her great-grandma! Also, behind me, a non-alcoholic beverage: lavender lemonade}

{plates full of our delish hors d'oeuvres/fruit/cheese, wine from the bar}
I will admit, I only tried 3 of the hors d'ouevres, a slice of cake, a couple pastries, one glass of chardonnay and one glass of champagne. I didn't do so awesome in the "eat tons of food at my wedding" department. I really love to eat but I didn't realize how much I would spend making the rounds and chatting with everyone. I did eat In-N-Out burger before the ceremony though (it was next door to our hotel!):

So that kind of balances it all out right? Husband and I might have also splurged on room service later that night. mostly because I've never had room service at a hotel before!

Anyway, back to the decorations:
{gift table at the entry, with some branches (mixed with artificial branches that had twinkly lights) in the background including the antique birdcage}

{this was a big hit. It was a display that we rented from a beverly's fabric store for $30, we filled all the buckets with bunches of flowers and had squares of brown paper off the to side so guests could take home bouquets. just about everyone took some home, and had so much fun putting together bouquets! There were hardly any flowers left by the end of the day}
{cake table! The awesomely yummy cake that grandma made. Everyone was so impressed that my grandma made it}

A little "before/during" cake action:
The state of my parent's kitchen Thursday before the wedding, grandma took over. p.s. that Kitchenaid mixer? yeah it's 40-45 years old. Can you believe it?! The cord was one piece of electrical tape away from electrocuting us. But it worked awesomely.

Pretty cakes! The bottom was vanilla with lemon curd filling, the middle was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting filling, and the top was chocolate with chocolate fudge filling (which we left at Husband's mom's house on accident).

{all photos by family/friends/myself}

April 1, 2011

dressy time!

oops sorry, I promised and didn't deliver. but husband time > blog time.

Dress time!

Ok so remember miss multi-talented bridesmaid Shawntel? Here's the gift she gave me at my bridal shower:

That's ME! (click to zoom) She hand drew and watercolored this illustration of me in my dress with my hair and veil all done. I'm so in love with it!

So I told my girls grey/silver knee-length-ish dresses. Go! It was cold so tights/cardis were recommended. It worked out so well! Their dresses were each so unique to the girl and yet looked so cohesive and well together. Check out these beautiful ladies!

Miss A (2nd from the left in the above and below) MADE her dress! (she literally finished the night before and the zipper was being finicky so we ended up sewing her into the dress right before the ceremony!)
And a peek at me! For some reason, of all the photos our friends and family took, it was hard to find a good full-length shot.
Me with Mama. Let me tell you, I ADORED this dress. It was soooooo comfortable. I ended going really retro/vintage with my whole look slightly by accident, but it felt so me! This dress is ivory beaded lace over a "champagne" colored satin (surprisingly lightweight). A fitted trumpet style (showed off my curves!). It had a v-neck, cap sleeves, deep V in the back and a thin beaded empire waist. Everyone was dying to know where I got it and everyone was incredulous when I said david's bridal, commenting that the dress was so unique looking and intricate and so me. mission accomplished.

This is also a good shot of my bouquet, my florist was AMAZING. the sweetest lady ever and her designs were so wonderful. My bouquet had anemones, juniper berry (for delicious smell and lovely purple color), dusty miller, rosemary (also delicious smelling!) and seasonal greenery. I loved it!
Here you can see a little detail on my bouquet, my great-grandmother's cameo brooch. I wore my grandma's strand of pearls. and the headpiece was from my grandmother's wedding as well, 55 years old and in such wonderful condition! The fingertip length & blusher veils were from my mom's wedding which she wore with the headpiece also, except she wore it with the points flipped up like a crown. Shawntel just touched up the veil portion and detached them from the head piece and sewed on a comb. She embroidered me and husband's names and our wedding date onto the comb in blue as a special little touch!
A little peek at the reception, here's me introducing cousin for her tearjerker speech. Also, good full-length shot of the dress.
Me and husband dancing! You can see veil #2 here, just a simple birdcage style netting over the headpiece. Loved it. (Handsome Husband. what. up. p.s. he printed a picture of mad men's don draper and took it to a barber for his haircut/style. tee hee)

Yay! Hope you enjoyed. ceremony/reception decor next? and the sneak peeks from our photographer are trickling in. so exciteddd!

March 29, 2011


One thing I am so glad I did is spend the night before the wedding with my bridesmaids. After dinner we went to a local dive for some drinks and girl time. Then 3 of the 6 crashed in my hotel room, cousin/maid of honor was in the room next door. For a group of 6 girls that had never met before the wedding festivities, they all got along swimmingly. It wasn't awkward, just super fun and comfortable. The 4 of us ended up staying up until about 1:30 am talking and giggling and/or laughing hysterically over things like this. seriously there were tears and snorts. much needed release.

While I didn't get a ton of sleep, I slept well. I awoke ready to go at 6:30 am. I looked out the window to see blue skies, not a cloud in sight. We took our time getting ready, while Shawntel started to do my hair and makeup. We brought up some breakfast (eggs, sausage & potatoes - and yes I DID eat) from the hotel lobby (props to the hampton inn, YUM breakfast, also the building was LEED certified!). The rest of girls came up and we all leisurely got ready. My wonderful photographer came up to start recording the day. It was such a relaxed morning. There were mimosas and french macarons that I picked up from a fabulous little shop in downtown sacramento earlier in the weekend. We actually were completely ready to go well before we needed to head to the church.

Miss Shawntel - my bridesmaid/hair stylist/makeup artist/veil maker :)

{all photos by shawntel}

We headed to the church about an hour before the ceremony, we made sure to avoid the boys as we went into the bridal room at the back of the church to put on my church and get prepared. Put on my dress, had our bouquets delivered, had one of the bridesmaids run over and present Husband with his wedding gift (I'm waiting for a good photo before I reveal), saw my parents for the first time that day (they had been putting the finishing touches on the reception site). Once I had my dress and veil and bouquet...this was the point where I started feeling nervous...

time to get married!

(I got a little link happy in this one. also: dress reveal tomorrow!)

March 28, 2011


Okay. I'm ready. I was cool as a cucumber throughout the whole wedding planning process. I knew what was important to me and I absolutely didn't care about the rest. It wasn't until the day before the wedding when I started feeling worried and guilty, for the most ridiculous reasons.

You see, this winter has been one of the craziest and most unpredictable I've ever seen in California. As soon as the 10-day forecast began to include our wedding date it read rain. rain rain crazy thunderstorm showers rain. All along I totally knew that this was a possibility and though to myself "so what, I love rain! we could take fun umbrella pictures! it'll be so cozy!" So we had the rentals delivered and tent set up thursday before the wedding. Thursday night was an out-of-control rain/wind storm. When we arrived at Husband's (!) parent's house Friday morning to start setting up, we discovered that the tent had shifted about a foot away from the house (despite the multiple 55 gallon drums full of water that it was staked off to), away from the overhang and the wind had pushed the rain in and the entire ground (and all of the tables) were soaked. It was freezing cold and wet still. We had rented a heater, but it only had 10 hours worth of propane that needed to last through the end of the day saturday so we didn't want to exhaust that one. We pulled the tables into the garage and wiped them down. We brought out a space heater and a professional grade steamer to begin steaming the giant round table cloths that we had purchased...thinking that maybe we should have started doing that sooner. And then we blew the circuit in the garage. twice if I'm not mistaken. meanwhile the bulk flowers were brought in and were beginning to be arranged, linen napkins were being folded, vases and centerpieces assembled. A few of my bridesmaids showed up to help, which was wonderful.

No one was letting me do anything, which was fine because I had started freaking out that all of my guests would be soaked and frozen the following day. I drove to Sacramento to pick up my aunt and cousin at the airport, where it was sunny, and got a text from my parents that it had begun to hail and then snow. perfect.

I get back to the reception set up chaos to find out from Husband that one of his best friends and one of our supplemental photographers, who lives in colorado, told him the night before, after avoiding Husband's calls for about a week, that he "couldn't afford the trip". Which is totally understandable in and of itself, but c'mon dude, you JUST figured out you couldn't make it?? a little notice would've been nice. Also his bachelor party the night before ended in a bit of drama... So husband is pissed. yay wedding...

Out of the whole day I had maybe folded one napkin and moved one candle. People kept telling me to eat and not help. All the while my family members are freaking out, being impatient, snapping at each other. (we don't do well under pressure and time constraints...)  So I decided to go to the hotel to check in for the night. My mind was still freaking out so I decided to just hang out at the hotel until the rehearsal dinner. So I call one of my bridesmaids at the reception site to tell her I wouldn't be coming back, and she tells me "actually I'm at an urgent care right now, I started feeling dizzy and having shortness of breath and I've been sick on and off for a few months now and I just really needed to get checked out." turns out the poor thing had bronchitis! so I told her to skip the rehearsal and she could take her antibiotics and pass out in my hotel room and we'd see how she was feeling in the morning.

By this time I'm not doing so well. I text Husband to tell him about bridesmaid, turns out he's in the hotel too, hanging out in his friends room. So he comes up and we just sat and he told me that everything will be alright (that is totally his catchphrase). It completely calmed me down. And it reaffirmed that he's the one I'm supposed to be married to.

The rest of the evening zoomed by. The rehearsal went well, Husband's film school directorial training totally came out as he began ordering people about. Lots of laughing and it was so fun to finally get all of our family and wedding party into the same room. (fun fact, this was the first time my parents met Husband's dad and step mom, even though they live approximately 5 miles away from eachother and we've been dating for 5 years. weird huh?). Dinner was delish, pretty sure I don't have a single photo, but we ordered approximately 12 large chicago style pizzas and had lots of leftovers!

Next up: Bridesmaid bonding!

March 14, 2011


I still don't really know where to start. This whole marriage thing is so surreal still. The wedding happened. It was wonderful, I felt very present and yet it felt like it went by quickly at the same time. Maybe the enormity hasn't hit me yet. And I don't think it has to do with us living together prior, because really that doesn't define a marriage, that defines roommates. I started thinking about an analogy from my old pastor and I think it summarizes how I'm feeling very well:

There are certain titles we hold throughout life that we don't necessarily "earn". It's a title we gain and then must grow into. Our goal is to live to the full potential of that title. And it's a title, it doesn't define us, but becomes a part of who we are. Marriage is one of those situations. The minute you say your vows you become a husband or wife. That doesn't mean you have any clue what that truly means. No matter how much marriage preparation you've done, how many books you've read or how much advice you've received. Because you must grow into that role of husband/wife, and it will take the rest of your life to do so. And that looks different in every single relationship.

To further the analogy, having kids is similar (moreso with the first child). Once a child is born you become a mother or father. Not that you have any idea what that truly means, but you now have that title.

So maybe I'm grasping that it's going to take a lifetime to grow into this role of wife. Because I'm not sure I feel like I can fully call myself that with only 2 weeks experience. Does that make any sense? Nonetheless, I love being a wife and I love my husband.

March 9, 2011


{photo by family member}
So I'm back. and married (!). Getting back into the daily grind isn't too bad except for the millions of emails and blog posts in google reader. We have quite a few photos posted to facebook of the wedding and our photographer said she'd probably be able to have hers to us in another week.

The whole day was so surreal, I don't know how to describe it yet without simply going into the play-by-play. It was so comfortable, relaxed, and fun, joyful and loving. We had hiccups of course, but does anyone even want to hear about those parts? It didn't phase me at all. We've been trying to call each other husband and wife as much as possible because it's fun and so weird to hear.

Marriage is awesome.

February 28, 2011


Just a quick update as I sit in my manhattan hotel room with my husband (!). The wedding was wonderful, full of love, and so relaxing and comfortable. I can't wait to see the photos and share them with you!

February 23, 2011


In August, Fiance's stepfather, Dennis, was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver & colon cancer. This man was the picture of health, ate super healthy, exercised all the time, everything about him was in excellent shape, except that he had cancer. Fiance's entire family was incredibly optimistic right out the gate. They have excellent senses of humor and just treated it like something that happened and they would move on. They said to move forward with the wedding, and they are planning a trip to europe in march/april. For me? I was absolutely terrified. Everyone I've ever known who has had cancer, friends and family, haven't survived. In my mind, cancer = death. I literally would just force myself not to think about it, I wouldn't believe it.

And so Dennis went through chemo like a champ, didn't even lose his hair. After Thanksgiving he had surgery where 70% of his liver was removed. While very thin, he was in excellent spirits when we saw him at Christmas. Then he began chemo again in January, this round wasn't going as well and was attacking too much of his healthy cells so they decided to do surgery #2 early. The first week of February he had his surgery in San Francisco and so Fiance's mom wasn't able to make it to my bridal shower. He was supposed to be in the hospital for a week and ended up leaving 2 days early. I just saw him yesterday after coming home to begin wedding preparations and he is doing well. Still recovering, still thin, but still the same Dennis, teasing everyone and playing guitar.

So for me, planning for the past 6 months or so can be reduced down to a simple thought:
As long as Fiance and I are married by the end of the day and Dennis is there to celebrate with us, I don't care about anything else.

There's been a quite a few ideas and projects that have fallen by the wayside and honestly I just don't care. (sorry programs...and out of town bags...) I just want our families together. Even though Dennis can't really stay for the whole reception because that is far too many germs for his low immune system, he'll be at the ceremony. I will have photos of him. and I am so blessed and thankful for that.

February 19, 2011

status update

We have our luggage.
We have our wedding bands.
Fiance is driving up home on Sunday.
I'm flying up Tuesday night.
We have an appt to pick up our marriage license on Wednesday.
I've been listening to our super awesome spectacular wedding playlist compiled by Fiance.

Now I'm on my way to get my hair done at drybar with my cousin/maid-of-honor then on to my super fun bachelorette party!

February 18, 2011


This time next week I'll be heading to our wedding rehearsal. It's getting more and more surreal.

So I thought I'd touch on some of those beauty issues that I slammed the WIC about in the beginning.

I got a couple facials and invested in some quality skin products. Because I've had less than stellar skin since the minute I turned 13 and, now that I can afford to, it's time I really started taking steps toward improving that. Not only did the facials help my skin a bit, but they're just ridiculously relaxing.

I'm using teeth whitening strips. Because I've never really had white teeth.  Because I've been meaning to whiten my teeth for years now. And $30 Aquafresh strips are worth it to me. Also, they totally work. Especially if you accidentally fall asleep and leave them in for 4 hours instead of 45 minutes. (yeah totally pulled a Ross) My gums were just totally destroyed for a few days...all better now though!

I've been making the effort to eat healthy, lots of veggies and no fast food. But since this all about honesty and stuff, I'll be up front. I'm in the worst shape of my life. Partially because I've been spending 12 hours a day sitting in front of a computer. I've started to enjoy running, but it's dark when I leave in the morning and dark when I get home and I don't have a gym membership. Plus I'm just plain exhausted. So the whole exercising thing has been difficult for me. (my dress still fits though).

BUT.  I'm just so gosh darn happy. I'm so excited about the wedding, I'm so in love with Fiance, I adore my job (despite working all the time). Llife has been so wonderful. Yes, there's little hiccups, yes Fiance and I have had fights within the last month. But looking at the grand scheme of things, life is good.

So. advice for the week before the wedding. Just do stuff that makes you happy. Enjoy everything. Listen to some Billy Joel, buy a dress that makes you feel super pretty, get dressed up for dinner and a movie with the girls, snuggle with Fiance...well at least these all worked for me.

February 16, 2011

ice cream and cake

So I told you guys my grandma's making the cake. She's quite the baker. She made my parent's wedding cake among many others. Well, when we started planning it out, she brought over these bad boys:
Yes my friends, cake decorating books from the 60s. I'm so in love.

As my mom said, her cakes are so tasty, but she is just as stubborn as every other member of my family. You can give her some suggestions, but she's gonna do whatever the heck she wants. I'm cool with that. {Flavor > looks} in my book when it comes to food.
My cake will probably end up looking something like this, but with real flowers instead of the sugar tulips. pillars and all. Retro yum.
{fun fact: my grandma used to go to tapings of "let's make a deal" with her best friend and dressed up as a baker, complete with a mini cake, every. single. time}

February 15, 2011


Bridal shower #2 was so wonderful, and...intimate. We clocked in at 8 ladies total and not just because my mom unknowingly scheduled it for super bowl sunday at 1 pm. there was an unfortunate abundance of illness and family emergencies. But nonetheless I still had such a good time.

Mama reserved a room at the Olde Spaghetti Factory. yum yum yum. this place is delish and adorable. Recommendation: Spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra cheese and the pesto ranch for your starter salad. Also the spumoni ice cream (strawberry/chocolate/pistachio). The lighting is very moody, so some of the photos turned out kind of funky, but we were still able to get some good ones. ready for some up close and personal time with little me?

First up: the dessert/gift table

{mini red velvet cupcakes and assorted cookies and homemade lemon bars to the right}

{gorge floral arrangement by ms. suzy, my wedding planner extraordinaire. a sneak peak of the wedding flower decor}

{lavender of course. somehow became the mascot of this wedding. but they're so pretty and smell DIVINE}

{one of those amazing flameless candles, this one is actually made of real wax. to debut at the wedding as well}

{time for some bubbly!}

{Spumanti - Italian sparkling wine}

{mama made the shower kitchen themed and sent out recipe cards in the invites for friends and family to add to my recipe collection}

{little me super psyched about getting our beautiful toasting flutes. the stems are filled with mini pearls!}

{yummy crate and barrel boxes. no wrapping needed. I maybe registered here solely for the boxes? oh also because they have cool stuff inside the boxes...}

{the "ambience" at the good olde sketti factory}


{that book from my mom? it's called p*rn for women. it has photos and captions of men offering to do household chores and bringing breakfast in bed and providing shopping advice. so silly.}

{thanks mama!!! this is a full set of silver plated antique silverware in a velvet lined wooden box. time for dinner parties!!}
Fun, simple, girly. I can't wait for the wedding!!