Thursday, October 31, 2013


That's the word I've been heard thrown around more than I care to hear over the last 36 hours.
I struggle with how much to share, because I'm so not a facebook-prayer-requester kind of person. It's just not me. I don't mind telling people when I talk to them, but I'm not a broadcaster. That being said, I do want to explain my absence a little bit, and let you know I haven't decided how to continue with wedding posts, at least for the next few days, because responding to chipper emails about the wedding doesn't feel "right" right now.. although things are going better. I also want to document this for myself.
On Wednesday, October 30th (the morning of his 60th birthday, no less) my dad collapsed on the handball court at the YMCA, from what we later learned was a heart attack, triggered by some major blockages in his arteries, which then triggered cardiac arrest. They've also referred to it as "coronary arterial disease" (from what I recall). His friend who he was playing with performed CPR, clinically cracking a rib in the process (which means he did it right) until the Y staff located and used an AED on him. It worked, he was revived, and then taken to the hospital. They discovered 4 pretty serious blockages in his heart. Although he was stabilized they decided not to wait since he was otherwise healthy, and they performed quadruple bypass surgery on him yesterday afternoon. (Things I learned: "quadruple" sounds way scarier than plain ol' bypass, but it's actually no better or worse. Just signifies the number of bypasses they made). I was there all day yesterday, and this morning. He's already had his breathing tube removed, was standing a bit with assistance, and while he's in a decent amount of pain, is otherwise looking pretty damn great all things considered.
To say I've been a bit traumatized is an understatement. When you spend your whole life worrying about one parent (my mom) and then this happens to your "healthy parent" it's a very huge wake up call. This is a person who plays racquetball twice a week, and handball twice a week. He doesn't eat UBER healthy but he's also not at McDonald's every day. He's not overweight, not a diabetic, and not a smoker. They said this is largely genetic and has been building for a while.  
I really have been having a hard time putting into words how grateful I feel, mostly because it means articulating just how close it was. There were so. many. things. that, had they gone differently, I've been told I'd be planning a funeral instead of a month of meals and home care. I know that's supposed to make me feel better, how fortunate he was, but really it just freaks me the F out. Besides Matt, this is the single most important person on this PLANET to me. Yes, if you made me rank my family, I'd put my dad at the top. It's just the blunt truth. I don't love my mom and brother any less, but... he's just my dad.
So, thanks for your patience. I think I'm going to turn the comments off, just because I'll feel guilty not responding and things have been pretty busy. But I appreciate any thoughts or prayers you want to extend to him.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Finally ready to start these recaps!

I jotted down a list of all the posts and I think I was at 10 or 11 (O_O) so this may go on for a little while. If this doesn't interest you, well, then you don't interest me. ......Juuuuust kidding but I want to make sure to get down all the details.

Saturday morning began for me at 6 a.m. when I couldn't sleep and had to pee. I woke up to feed the kitty, scared he'd wake up Dana or Tori who had spent the night, and then did what I'm sure most brides do on their wedding day: curled up on the couch and watched Criminal Minds at 6:30 in the morning. I tried to nod off for a little bit longer but it just wasn't happening. Thankfully Dana is crazy and wakes up at 6:30 by choice and was downstairs doing some workouts so I had company soon thereafter.

Before I knew it, it was time to start gathering some belongings to head to the salon to get ready!
We had a 9:00 appointment but I needed caffeine to make sure I lasted all day (I should've known this wouldn't be a problem with the adrenaline). Of course that morning was the slowest I've ever seen Caribou function, and I was getting antsy and wanted to get going to the salon.

I finally had my PSM (pumpkin spice mocha, duh) and we were en route to Phresh Salon and Spa just a little ways away. We walked in and I was put in the chair immediately for hair. I knew I had to eat something, and I always heard people tell me to "make sure I eat" and I thought, "HA, I never have a problem eating." Well let me tell you- something happens that made me feel full at all times and not want to eat a thing.

The girls rotated in and out of the chairs, we chatted, ate (some of us) and had mimosas and it was such a great morning.
(as an aside: I didn't have our photographer come to the salon to take professional photos. Due to the timeline of our day, I had to add an extra hour as it stood on the back end so we didn't have to rush our first dances, so adding 2 extra hours just wasn't something I wanted to do. I brought my DSLR and took photos of my own at the salon):

Confession about my hair and makeup: I HATED it at the trial. I consider myself pretty low key (I tried on about 8 wedding dresses and got the 2nd one I tried on) so I was surprised a bit by how particular I felt about my hair and makeup. I wanted my bangs swooped more to cover up more of my forehead, I wanted more curls in tact vs. brushed out, I wanted slightly more volume in the back. I also wanted liquid eyeliner and despite showing a photo with liquid I wound up with this weird pencil stuff. I knew the things I wanted to change, but I was just nervous about execution. Saturday was IT, and if it didn't go well,  that was IT. I spoke up about what I want changed, and I'm happy to say, I LOVED the final result. I was a bit anxious as I was getting it done until I saw it start to come together absolutely perfectly and I couldn't have been happier with the final result.

We stopped back at home, grabbed my dress, veil, and some other things we'd left there, and did what any good cat lady does on her wedding day... take a photo with her kitty:

Note: I got a sweaty and blurry version of this same photo at the end of the night, too:

[TJ looks less than enthused, but he loved it.]

After grabbing the last of our stuff we headed off for the church to get dressed!

Up next: getting ready (the church).

Monday, October 28, 2013


Guess what I got on Fridddayyyy?!?! WEDDING PICTURES!
SO, super brief weekend recap since I took no photos: Friday night M and I went to my high school's football game (which came about as a result of a certain type of coffee I drank). It was at St. Thomas (where we got married :)) and my high school won handily. Per usual. ;-). We went to Davanni's before for a fabulous dinner. I could live solely off their hoagies. It's probably one of the only foods I eat dangerously fast because I honestly can't get enough.

Saturday I cleaned, lounged while M tailgated, and then we dropped an absurd amount of wedding money at Target and essentially redid our entire living room: rug, 2 end tables, 2 lamps, frames to do a gallery wall, new tray, 3 new throw pillows. But- I am now 100% obsessed with the room. With the addition of our third, and FINAL couch, the room is now complete. When I get my act together I'll try to find some before photos (I was too excited to take any Saturday as we were setting stuff up) and show you!

Sunday was actually pretty exciting: Leah asked me to be a bridesmaid! Wee! She's getting married next year at the historic courthouse in Stillwater. I'm pretty pumped about it. The card was adorable and she's got some great ideas for the wedding, so I'm looking forward to be a part of it! We went to the bridal consignment store in town since it was the grand opening. Let's just say I'm glad I never went while I was wedding planning because I would've changed my mind 100 times- they had SO MUCH STUFF. My favorites were the chargers (actually nice plastic chargers for like, $1.50)- all the mason jars, and the wood candle holders. All very rustic! Leah tried on a few dresses (none of which were "the one") and we called it a day!

NOW- onto wedding stuffs:) The rehearsal dinner!
Friday night October 4th M and I picked up my MOH and headed to the chapel to rehearse. 
We were running late, (sadly, per usual) and were the last ones there, and we walked in to the back of the church to cheers and claps, which if we're being totally honest, totally unnerved me. It was the start of a weekend of focus on us, an idea that made me uncomfortable, but it was also really special. 
 We ran through all the Catholic-basics of the stand-sit-repeat-after-me's.

After rehearsal, we drove over to Uptown (in Minneapolis) and had dinner at Amore Victoria. We had a semi-private room tucked near the back of the restaurant, with our own little bar, and it was perfect! We had 5 ridiculously tasty entrees to choose from, and everybody seemed to have a great time. It really helped to kick off the weekend on a good note, and got me super excited for Saturday (as if I wasn't already, haha). We handed out wedding party gifts, and both M's dad and M's mom gave a short speech thanking and welcoming everyone to the weekend.

Mom & pops (blurry, womp):

Outrageous tirimisu: 

My "little" brother:

Grandma and I:

(Lol, when my mom leans back in her chair, the tips of her glasses "catch" and pop up like you see in these photos.) My grandma, aunt, and mom: 

Family, minus brother bear:

I drove home with my MOH and Dana met us at the house for a slumber party. I couldn't sleep a wink Thursday night-Friday, which is So unlike me ... I rarely have trouble sleeping. The good news was it made me EXTRA tired Friday, so I was actually able to sleep from about 11-6 a.m., when I woke up, rolled over, and just couldn't fall back asleep.

Up next: getting ready

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


{view from our room}
Well, no sign of wedding photos, but I'm going to start some of these anyway. I have a few posts drafted that don't require the professional photos, so I'll space them out a bit and hopefully be able to roll right into the rest of the recaps!

Monday morning after the wedding M and I took off to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for 6 days of absolute gluttony and relaxation. We stayed at an all inclusive resort on the beach, a few streets from downtown Playa. 

I'm somewhat sad to report that we didn't really experience much in the way of true Mexican culture... since we only ventured off the resort twice, once so M could get some sunglasses. The experience was an interesting one, to say the least. I knew before going that bartering was something that was common in Mexico, however, I had my doubts. I mean, in America.. the price is the price. (with the exception of cars, and houses, and things of that nature).. but you try walking into Target and telling them, "I'll give you $15 for that $30 dress" and they'd laugh you out the door. SO, when M went to pick up a pair of sunglasses and was told "$15 U.S., $150 pesos" and said he only had a $100 peso note, my first thought was "aw well, we'll have to go back and grab some more money and come back later!".... der. #rookie. M told him, "aw, I only have $100.. sorry." and started to leave.. and just as predicted the man said, "show me the money" (yes, a la Tom Cruise)... M pulled out his $100 and we left with some discounted shades. Score! Another time we walked along the beach and stopped at a bar off the resort for a drink. The rest of the time we were content to wander around the resort, bounce from pool to pool, eat (and drink-fo free) at all hours, and play copious amounts of volleyball. 

I'd break this recap down into multiple posts except, they really wouldn't look very different. Every day pretty much went like this-->
Wake up between 8-9- roll over and look at Matt: "where do you want to eat today!?" ..then we walk to one of the 2 good breakfast spots.
10:00-1:00- Find a pool chair, or a beach chair/cabana, depending on the day, and drink/read. Take 1 hour break for beach volleyball a few of the days around 11:00. Some dang good exercise..I was sore the rest of the trip.
1:00- roll over in the beach chair and look at Matt: "where do you want to eat!?".. then 3 of the 5 days head to the Tapas restaurant because it was that. good. 
2:00-5:00- head back to the beach, or pool, or go take a siesta in our room. Then get ready for dinner. 
5:30- roll over after the nap and look at Matt: "where do you want to eat!?" (notice a pattern?)
As for our evenings? Delightfully uneventful and I wouldn't have changed a thing. One night we popped into the lobby to watch the "show"- which was a "Decades" show.. they performed dances/acrobatics from the 1940s to 2013.. including Grease and Rhianna. It was pretty fun, but I have zero patience, so sitting in the lobby for 45 minutes to secure our spot for the show, and then sitting still for the show, was just a bit much for me. We listened to the tunes through a window the rest of the nights. Another evening M bought a cigar, and we sat out back on the patio by another bar and chatted while he enjoyed that. Our last night there we were in bed by 7, reading, and listening to the show through the window.

And that was our honeymoon! I know someday I want to explore Europe, and more of South America, and really get out and experience the country.. but this week was exactly what we needed to relax and unwind after all the preparation and wedding festivities. 
Now for the fun part, some pictures! I didn't take a ton, since we didn't really DO a lot, alas.