Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Updated McListerson

Well it's almost September. September means the days of "HOLY CRAP THE WEDDING IS LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY" are upon us. This whole process has been very surreal. I seem to watch other brides post about (or talk about, in the real world) their showers and wedding events so casually, like it's just.. normal.. Meanwhile I'm over here geeking the F out that these events are for ME, and like.. this is real. Or maybe I just talk about it more than other people... hahaha.

Don't even get me started on how much I freak out when I think about the fact that I'm going to know EVERYBODY at the wedding. I mean, weddings for me have always meant knowing one side of the family, or a group of friends and maybe some of the couples' family.. it's just going to be REALLY weird to be surrounded by people I know. At a wedding. My wedding. Ok I'll stop.

I figured I'm due to publish an updated McListerson, too.

  • Pay balance of DJ by September 14th
  • Pay balance to Como by September 20th (as well as head count- put meal RSVPs into spreadsheet for wait staff to make it easier on them!)
  • Pay balance to photographer, half by September 4th, remainder by September 27th
  • (figure out when it's due....and then) Pay balance for honeymoon
  • Grow a money tree
  • Get signed letter from Father for our discounted marriage license (HOLLA) In the mail as of 8/22 Got it!

  • Pillar candles for lanterns
  • Tell M that "gifts for the parents" is a thing, and figure out wtf we're doing with this - I think we have my dad and his mom down (first dance songs matted in a frame), any ideas for father of the groom or mother of the bride?
  • Any additional jewelry..? figure out if I want any. Borrowing bracelets from grandma for "something borrowed"
  • Get dress altered
  • Stay on top of M and the boys to get ties and socks (see also: make sure my little brother has basically everything that the rest of them can be counted on to get themselves. Oy.) Brother even picked up his suit from the tailor with no prompting!
  • Book party bus ... I think we're close! Done!
  • Hotel room? Staying at the house? I can imagine I'll just want to spoon with TJ that night anyway, guys (JUST KIDDING....) We're just going to stay at home. I was feeling apathetic about it and M really preferred home, so home it is! :) M's mom has even volunteered to drive us home. Woot!
  • Make decorations list with photographs for my not so top secret wedding helpers.... I figure I should do a post on that in the near future, too. :) That's here.
  • Day-of itinerary for wedding party and family.
  • Ask wedding venue about any potential cupcake stands they have, and at what cost..otherwise crack and email our cake guy to tell him we'll use his
  • Keep tabs on wedding registries post-shower
  • Call Shane Co. and figure out how long they need to solder my rings together.. waffle one last time on whether I want to do it, ultimately get them soldered, and then weep while my ring is MIA for some period of time

  • "organize" M's gift... TEE-HEE
  • Finish gluing together silk flowers and weighting them so they stay sunk in the vases
  • Finish "anniversary books" for the tables
  • Make a few more wine cork holders for table #s
  • Figure out if I'm doing 1 menu per table, or per place- if 1 per table, how they'll stand up
  • Make some kind of burlap bow for mom's wheelchair-- we trickin' her out, yo
  • Make pocket squares (once the ties are ordered so I can match fabric)
  • Make boutonnieres for ushers to distinguish them
  • Print invitations and RSVP cards (add #s to RSVP cards for people who fail to fill in name)
  • Print menus
  • Design and print programs Waiting for approval from UST.
  • Design and print some table signage for kids stuff/wedding photo collection
  • Design and print rehearsal dinner invites
  • Print remaining Instagram wedding photos and tape to string- also figure out how to display ones that won't fit in frame (will explain better later.. :))
  • Hotel gift bags.... I'll be honest, I'm REALLY apathetic about this. People don't need a Dasani with our faces on it. This is probably not even going to happen. I just don't care. Not happening. Sorry I'm not sorry. 
  • Wrap bridesmaids gifts

  • Couples shower August 31st
  • Bachelorette party- September 14th.... get a dress?
  • Bridal shower, ladies only, September 8th ....wear something I own
    • Get hostess gifts for aunts/uncle throwing both of them- 1/2 done, 1 aunt/uncle left!
  • Email aunt and uncle about couples shower ASAP- shoot for mid to late August.. probably wear something I own.. August 31st! Super pumped about this one
  • Put tip stuff in labeled envelopes
  • Put party bus money plus tip in envelope for DAY OF DELIVERY (stressful and annoying)
  • Get cantor a gift card because she's a family friend doing it for free and that's awesome and something I have no problem spending some money on....boom
  • Find a little somethin' somethin' for my wedding helpers as a thank you. :) 
  • Get marriage license.. minor detail
  • Pick which package (# of meal options we'll be giving people)
  • Send over meal choices
  • Set up tasting-- apparently we don't get one. wah.
  • Figure out if Father is coming, mailing invite
  • Decide if I want to get a dress....

  • Print readings for best man and MOH
  • Make sure cantor knows the music and is feelin' comfortable

  • Seating chart
    • Figure out if Father is coming and what he wants to eat- actually, scratch that, check to see if I'm sending him an official invite. I may have one addressed already...sending him an invite to both
  • Add table numbers and meal choices to finished place cards
  • Coordinate who is picking up gifts Wedding helpers, yo.
  • Coordinate who is tearing down reception space- see aforementioned not so top secret wedding helpers.. ;)

  • If I'm not penniless and crazy.. try to remember to pick up a few new "summery" outfits to wear
  • Buy or borrow some books

Any of you have any suggestions for father of the groom or mother of the bride gifts? Halp!? 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Every monday morning.

I don't have much in the way of a weekend recap for you guys.
Friday M and I went to the Galaxy Drive in and ate like fatties.
Saturday afternoon we took my grandma for lunch and guess what? Ate like fatties.
The remainder of Saturday was too hot to function (and just because MN gets to -30 in less than 5 months doesn't mean I have to roll over and take 95 degrees and humidity. THEY'RE EQUALLY AWFUL, people).. M and I decided to start a new show: Orange is the New Black. We finished all 13 episodes in 2 days. Soooo, that's an indication of why I took no photos this weekend.
Sunday we went to M's mom's for breakfast, and.............ATE LIKE FATTIES.
and Sunday night we went to M's friends' for dinner, and I'm not even going to finish the sentence.

I do have something to share with you this morning, though.
It's a little antecdote about my favorite furry friend, my bitty kitty.

This has become a bizarre ritual that I really can't explain, but it seriously cracks me up every time he does it.
When I hop in the shower in the morning, TJ will run into the bathroom, stick his head in at the far end, and meow at me. Then, he hops up onto the tub ledge, and paces/sits there until the water stops. (Extra fun mornings involve TJ not realizing the water is still running... few weeks ago I was lathering up my hair with my eyes closed,.. I open them up, look down, and see a dark blob at my feet. Oh, just TJ hangin' out. I start screaming because the water is on, he PANICS, and if you've never seen a cat try to crawl out of a wet bathtub mid-freak, it's hilarious.)

Anyway he usually waits for the water to stop. Then, like clockwork, when he hears the shower plug release, he hops into the tub, walks over to the drain, and does the same. damn. thing. every time. We have a hair-catch over our drain (my bad)...and he'll lift up his left paw, and slide the hair catch off the drain, and then stare down the hole. Sometimes he'll shove his paw down there, but usually just looks. Then hops out of the shower, trots off, and cleans his wet paws.

Strangest thing ever. I finally had the wherewithal to snap a picture of it post shower today. (Ignore the drain that's obviously in need of a good scrub down).

Anyway, happy Monday, people. :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shit nobody prepares you for: the wedding planning edition.

Guys, there's shit people tell you about wedding planning and there are just the "wtf?" moments. I've decided to comprise a list of some funny, some not so funny, but all very real things that have happened thus far while wedding planning:

You will swear up and down that you will always remind yourself, "your wedding day is not the most important day to most other people, just to you and your future spouse," and still catch yourself thinking, "are you kidding me, it's my wedding, why can't they come to XYZ event."

Your dad will see your fiancé doing the Cupid Shuffle at another wedding and inform you, with 100% sincerity, he wants that to be your father-daughter dance.

Your cousin, whom you've barely spoken to in the last 7 years because he's at that awkward "I'm too cool" age, will ask his grandpa, to ask your dad, to ask YOU if he can bring his girlfriend (whom you've met twice, but whose name you don't know, because he never properly introduced her to ANYONE at Christmas. twice.) to your wedding reception. But don't worry, you'll also come to learn he's cool with her "just sitting at the table. Not eating." OH, so you mean just drinking the booze M and I are paying for? Cool. <<pause>> NOT.

Your dad will inform you, on several occasions, he's "working on a playlist" for the wedding. This will include songs like, "Over the Rainbow" by Nat King Cole, and other assorted rat-pack songs. You accept the CD he burned for you (to presumably pass on to the DJ?.....), anyway. O_O.

You may or may not attempt to mail a rehearsal dinner invite with no invite actually inside the envelope, mail an invite with no address written on it, and mail an invite with no stamp. You will then question your sanity.

You'll get an RSVP card back with an additional child on there your fiancé forgot to tell you that his cousin had. Woops.

All those cousins and aunts and uncles that your mother and father-in-law convinced you "will never come"...? they're ALL COMING. Not that I'm upset about their presence, but it's doing a doozy on our #s. Oy.

You'll put approximately a $1.50 too much postage on an invite to Canada and your friend will laugh at you. At least it got there!

I'm sure there are more things I'm forgetting but these were some of the highlights. Never a dull day in wedding planning!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bloggers galore: a weekend update.

Weekend recap on a Monday! 5 points for me.
This past week and weekend involved a lot of my favorite thing: bloggers. :)
But first, we have to go back to Wednesday night, to talk about the little dinner party M and I hosted. We had Syndal and her husband over, Lauren and her husband, and last but not least, Jess and her husband.
I took no photos besides these two, because we were too busy chatting, drinking wine Syndal brought, scarfing down the buffalo chicken dip Lo brought, the pasta that I made, and then pushing ourselves over the edge with the ridiculous Byerly's cheesecakes Jess brought.

Friday I spent the evening watching Say Yes to the Dress and making pocket squares for M and the guys for the wedding. It was only after I finished that I realized pre-made pocket squares only cost like.. $6.99 a pop (and some fancy tri pointed ones at Men's Wearhouse that were stapled to cardboard inserts were only $3!),... oh well. I had fun doing it and all the materials total only cost me $10, so I still saved some money. :)

Saturday I knocked a few wedding-related tasks out- took my dress to a somewhat questionable location to be fitted... I won't even get into it but it was a bizarre experience. The place was in a basement, there were leaves and gravel tracked in all over the floor.. another wedding party that was there before me (I just went solo) stayed and waited for me to come out of the dressing room in my dress which gave me ALL THE SWEATS, and then I stood there sweating in my dress while she pinned it because, no AC..and thanked the lucky stars I wasn't getting married in the middle of summer lest I sweat to death and die.

After that I picked up my brother with M and we took him to get his suit tailored. The guy ended up swapping out the suit coat for a smaller size since my brother never went to get measured and the seamstress was going to have to do a lot of work on it.. so that was nice. Afterwards we took him to lunch at La Casita over in Roseville because Saturday was also his 23rd birthday! It was nice to spend some time with him without my parents around.. my brother and dad know how to get on each other's nerves. Let's just say that.

Saturday night was reserved for #Coopsgrandopening! You may have seen a few posts this weekend on IG (kellybea14) about that. You see, Lauren got married on her parents farm, and her parents recently turned said farm into an OFFICIAL wedding (and other event) venue! They were having a Grand Opening event Saturday night with drinks and music and tours of the barn, so M and I carpooled down to Dodge Center, MN with Jess and her husband.

Let me tell you, this barn is so. freaking. perfect. for a wedding venue. They've done SUCH a fabulous job of taking a family farm and making it look like a professional, never-been-anything-else, wedding venue. You'd never know there were once animals frolicking anywhere near this place.
They have multiple ceremony options, too whether it's outside by the trees, or upstairs in the loft area of the barn- which might I add (as you'll see below) has some STUNNING ambiance. It's warmer up there, but hey, if it's raining, it's probably cool enough where the slight added warmth of the loft is going to feel pretty dang good on all you ladies in dresses.
They have some adorable "bridal" areas to get ready in as well. The grounds are BEAUTIFUL and very well manicured. I just can't say enough about it. I know for the area, where banquet halls and hotel ballrooms are the norm (not that there's anything wrong with that)- Coop's offers a totally unique wedding event venue. Even if you're NOT from the area, it's a great "destination" wedding location, only a little over an hour away from the cities, with an AmericInn just down the road!
The last thing I'll tout before showing you photos is Keith and Linda themselves (Lo's parents)- they are SO. SWEET, and welcoming and they actually genuinely CARE. That, in my opinion, is the best part of the venue: it's not some faceless corporation with hired guns behind the name, this is their home. They take such pride in it, care for it so lovingly, and you'll honestly feel like you're getting married at your parents farm instead of Keith and Linda's!
I'll shut up now and show you the goods:

I spy some blogger husbands!

and because Jess had her sweet new 50mm lens, and we're bloggers, there was an itty-bitty photo shoot. These may be some of my new favorite photos of M and I, ever.

The photos actually were started because this girl wanted some for her 2-year anniversary!

one of the outdoor ceremony options--
aannndd the indoor ceremony option. Stunning, right? 

Anyway, you guys should definitely check out their website if you or anybody you know is lookin' for a spectacular, original, home grown wedding venue.

And no I wasn't paid to say any of that, although it probably sounds that way. I just have a soft spot for barns. and weddings. and Lauren. :)

Hope you all had a great weekend, as well!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lake Shetek

This past weekend was a first for me- M and I headed to a cabin in Southwestern Minnesota. 
You see, most cabins are located north of the twin cities. 
But, when you're FROM Southwestern Minnesota, Lake Shetek is considered "north", if only by 40 minutes. 
M and I hit the road Friday for our 3 hour drive and met up with 3 other couples at the cabin. 
I have to make a confession- usually when we do 'cabin weekends' there are about 12-15 people, it's way more 'WOO-HOO, partayyyy!' and a lot more..rugged. We just spend more time outside (since the other cabin we typically go to is located a distance away from the water, but they also have a lot that adjoins the lake) and we just generally rough it a bit more. 

There were only 8 people here, we all split up meals to be in charge of, and it was less of a "party" weekend- although don't be mistaken, we certainly did our fair share of drinking.  It was definitely much more "my pace" and a good weekend away.

Friday night we played "Awkward Family Photos" the board game-which was hysterical. 
 Saturday M and I made breakfast for 8 people- which, when you only have 2 tiny pans for potatoes, don't really know your way around the kitchen, and have to make eggs in a pot, is a bit more high pressure... but we managed! 

After breakfast, we took the boat out for the remainder of the "nice" part of the day- the clouds rolled in so we headed back to shore for some yard games, plank-offs, people-benching, people-squatting.. you know, the usual.

Yes, that is blood on Keefe's leg. He cut himself trying to pick up giant boulders out of the lake for Pete's, whose cabin we were at, dad. #manstuff

After yard games, we whipped up a huge spread of appetizers. It started to sprinkle and we took things into the garage and played bags and chatted some more.

A full day of drinking, games, and eating wore us out, and we were all willfully retiring at 10:30 that night. Cool by me, I appreciate a solid 8 hours.

We hit the road early so I could hop back in the car and meet some law school friends in St. Cloud for lunch. It was a long day of driving but we were getting together so we could catch up with our friend Sammi who had just gotten engaged in Colorado a few days before!

And here we are, Tuesday. Oy.

Not much else to report. Well, I have some stuff in the pipeline but have no idea which way it'll fall. Mostly job stuff. I had an interview 5 and a half weeks ago and have heard nothing from them. I've followed up twice, and was told once that they were calling references soon and making a decision. Just called again 2 days ago and haven't heard back. So, despite the fact that it's my dream job I'm certainly not impressed.

Awkward sign off. Toodles.

Friday, August 9, 2013

I win.

This is the second pending fall I've been blogging (woah, where's the time go?)

I feel like, amongst bloggers, there's a great competition as to who loves fall THE MOST.

Who CAN'T WAIT for pumpkin spice lattes the most.
Who can wear the MOST chambray (probably me this fall since purchasing ONE shirt and falling madly in love. You guys, I was late to the party but I just GET it now, I feel so ridiculously trendy and put together in that shirt, it borders on embarrassing.)

But this fall, THIS fall I win the blogging title- I am without a doubt the MOST excited for fall, I WIN.

Wanna know why?

Because in just shy of 2 months the air will be turning crisp, apples and pumpkins will be making a comeback, I get to bust out my cuter clothes (I'm so much better at dressing for fall) aaannnnndddd I get to do this:

Followed by this:
and a little bit of this:

I'm pretty excited guys, I never win anything, and I just know it's not possible for anybody to be as excited about fall this year as me.


This freak out is sponsored by the fact that we just received our first RSVP's in the mail yesterday and as I was typing this at work my floral foam ball wedding bouquet holders came. MEEP. I ordered 7 and I only need 6, so I mayyyy have to do a little test run soon and share with you guys. :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wedding updates and a rant.

This past weekend we got a lot of big stuff done, wedding-wise!

My shower invites went out in the mail last week and I finally got mine Saturday! My aunts and grandma are hosting it on September 8th. I'm nervous. More on that below, but when it comes to party planning I have serious anxiety. Gah. Also, if anyone has ANY recommendations for hostess gifts for 4 older ladies (50-60, and gma is "young" for her age at 88) that'd be swell, because I'm coming up empty.

M and I also got stamps to finalize our invites, and decided instead of arbitrarily hanging onto them until we had said we wanted to send them out (August 15-17th ish) we'd just do it now, so.... that's right.. we mailed the invites (CUE SCREAMING.) I had a panicked moment as I dropped them in the mailbox.. not because I don't want to marry M but because my first thought was "OMG what if we did something wrong on the invite, like, left off the date or something."

I needed to buy a few more stamps on Tuesday so we could also mail out our rehearsal dinner invitations! I ordered the design on etsy and them printed them on pre-cut 5x7 white cardstock I had from my table numbers.

They turned out SO amazing..so much so I'm regretting not having someone design our invitations similarly, and then just printing them on plain cardstock. I did the invites myself and bought invite "kits" from Michael's, but waffled with respect to the leafy design on them a few weeks ago. I finally just said F it and they're not tacky or trashy so nobody else will care, and just sent them out.

I'm probably more wired to start receiving RSVP cards (wedding) and emails (rehearsal dinner) than I should be. Which brings me to the last wedding related thing that happened this weekend/last night which is giving me ALL THE ANXIETY: the couples shower.

My aunt (whose son's third birthday we celebrated this weekend) and uncle offered to throw us a couples shower for our friends. They are SO generous and I KNOW it'll be to the nines (i.e. catered, and maybe even bartended by an outside vendor). I was super excited at the idea of having our friends to their beautiful house for a fun night of celebration. She had said a Saturday would work best so for whatever reasons I had at the time, I told her August 31st.

YESTERDAY it hit me: that's labor day. Cue panic. M and I were debating the other night being totally psycho and emailing her to ask if they would mind bumping it back just one weekend (which would be the 7th, and the day before my other shower, but would be okay since separate people were attending and hosting) when we literally received the evite in our inbox as we were talking.

I'm sure you're wondering what the big deal is, and I'll tell you: in Minnesota "labor day" is not only the last long weekend of the summer before school starts, it's the last "Great Migration" to people's cabins up north. People take their cabins VERY. SERIOUSLY here. To the point that nothing short of a wedding or a funeral would hold them back from their cabin. Therefore, I fear we won't have as great a turn out (and if I'm being totally neurotically honest, I fear NOBODY will come, and so far this morning (Tuesday morning, they went out Monday night) we have 3 definite no's, 2 maybes, and ONE yes besides us  and it is seriously putting me over the edge. (edited to add: Tuesday night 2 more people RSVP'd no and I burst into tears. I'm a hot mess.)

This is totally irrational and I know people may have prior commitments but it makes me feel like a loser. Like, we're not enough for people to want to try to go above and beyond to make it, but that if it was a different couple within our group of friends, people may try to make more of an effort. (Hi, serious childhood baggage of fear of being left out of things, not being cool enough, peeking through).

I'll admit it: I dislike when people plan events on long weekends and "ruin" the chance for people to go out of town even though we are NEVER the people that "go out of town." Mostly this is true of weddings that fall on memorial day, or the 4th. Now that I am 100% accidentally that person, it also makes me irrationally sad that people may not come because they'd rather go spend an ordinary average weekend at their cabin. (...and as I write this 2 more RSVP'd no and I honestly want to burst into tears, OMG WHAT IS MY PROBLEM). okay. so that's my baggage and I need to stop talking about it lest I freak out more.

so there's your awkward wedding update. you're welcome.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

weddings and birthdays: a weekend recap

This past weekend M and I had the wedding of my MOH's sister, Elizabeth. My family has known their whole family since before I was born, so it's always fun getting together and catching up, especially when their 6 kids are all back in the same spot- which is rare these days. This meant my MOH Tori was home for the first time in about 8 months, which I was also super jazzed about.
Friday night we headed over to their house after the rehearsal dinner for some post-party drinks. It was a lot of fun catching up with old neighbors, and meeting Tori's family. I was honestly surprised everybody was functioning Saturday when we saw them because holy cow were they going hard Friday night. There was moonshine being passed around, lots of beer and wine, and shots of tequila.
One person in particular who did not hold back, who maayyybeee should've, was the priest. This is of note because it's the same priest who is performing our ceremony. He had SUCH a good time, Tori's dad had to cut him off at 11:00 and walk him home. O_O. So, M and I decided since we're having a late rehearsal dinner anyway (7:30, while theirs ended at 7:30) we'll not be having an after party to make sure everyone is functioning. I'm not uptight about people getting hammered at the wedding, but I need everyone to MAKE it to the wedding, and look respectable.
Onto some photos!

The wedding was SO beautiful.
There were so many similarities to ours (their prelude song is the song I'm walking down the aisle too, our readings were IDENTICAL, and some other things) that I was a hot weepy mess. I nearly lost it during the PRELUDE music for gosh sake.

Elizabeth was also a DIY bride after my own heart.
Her sister Catherine made all the paper products (programs, escort cards, etc.), and their aunts made ALL the floral arrangements. They only spent about $400 at the farmer's market on Thursday and then pulled greenery from Elizabeth's parents' backyard (GENIUS) to fill them out some more. They also had these awesome foam ball holders that they built the bouquets around (that I was super impressed with, and purchased some of my own yesterday!).
Each table represented a city they visited together.
M and I could do something like this, but it'd be a smattering of random Minneapolis suburbs. Besides Naples, FL and Malta we haven't been a lot of noteworthy places together. We're working on it though :)

my dad and brother

my brother and Tori's brother, who have also been really good friends since birth

Father of the bride

co-MOH's and the bride, note the ridiculously huge and beautiful flowers.

My MOH and I :)
Sunday M and I had my cousin Mitch's 3rd birthday party. He wanted a garbage truck cake, so my ridiculously talented aunt obliged. (Those are crushed up blonde and normal Oreos, gummy worms and bottles, and jus ta few shreds of newspaper. Hilarious.)

I love this shot.. while Marie was getting ready to cut the cake, Mitch kept dipping one finger into the corner very sneakily.

Here he is being a true Minnesotan with his "cake on a stick."

This one is also hilarious, it was called the "too much ice cream, too cold, brain freeze" face. haha.
Help from his cousin's opening his gifts.

Overall it was a great weekend! I loved getting to talk to some old neighbors for quite a while at the wedding, loved getting to see my family, and got some VERY big wedding items taken care of this weekend.

Stay tuned tomorrow for that, as well as a rant on "cabins." #emoforeshadowing