Friday, September 30, 2011

Wedding Crashing: Effortlessly Chic and Modern

Wedding-palooza continued on August 20, 2011 with our dear friends Mandy and Evan's wedding in Lancaster, PA.

The ceremony was held in a beautiful church with a ceiling to die for.  

I have to say, this church is nudging it's way to the top of my favorite ceremony venues.  It  didn't feel like you were in a church-- there wasn't the usual gilded figures or tall stain glass windows.  It was very simple, modern and chic with a slight rustic flair.

The ceremony included beautiful music and a lovely sermon from the priest-- there may or may not have been the dropping of a ring too (but I'll never tell ;)

The bride looked amazing (as always) in a strapless mermaid gown that ruffled at the bottom and gathered at the hip with big bold flowers.  Her hair was pulled back in a loose chignon and accessorized with a classic fingertip length veil.  She looked, exactly how I thought she would--effortlessly chic and modern.


The gentlemen wore three piece, gray suits with a slight herringbone pattern and gray ties.

The ladies went with a simple black cocktail dress in varying styles and carried beautiful bouquets of white roses, daisies and hydrangeas 


The reception was held at the Eden Resort and Suites in Lancaster, PA.  Since it was over an hour drive for us, we decided to stay the night.  As we checked in, I opened the curtains to our room and immediately found the reception

The reception was held in a ballroom like I have never seen:  it had a two-story high ceiling and it felt as though you were in a outdoor courtyard, even though you were inside.  The sun shone through skylights on the ceiling and at night, hanging twinkle lights made it feels as if you were dancing under the stars. Instead of the usual wooden dance floor, there was a stone patio facade.

I cannot continue without mentioning the invitations.  As soon as we received them in the mail, I fell in love.  First off, they were letterpress.  I die.  Plus, you all know I love a good monogram, so add that it with some modern typography, and I am lusting.


The monogram was echoed in their escort cards with their last initial.  I loved the pictures of the cow for steak and chicken for the marsala.  I'm not 100%, but I believe the balloon is a child's plate.

The centerpieces continued the easy, breezy outdoor feel with hydrangeas and daisies in simple vases.

Their cake had alternating tiers of off kilter, swiss-dotted squares, accented with a black ribbon.

The cake topper were the same blooms from the bouquets and centerpieces, but the monogram on the top layer is what I really loved.

The bride and groom shared their first dance to Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am", and we sat down to eat a wonderful meal of chicken marsala or steak.

As the sun went down, the party really started--  the boys got on the dance floor.
Yes, that is my husband doing the chicken dance.
..and it ain't a party till the ties are around the head.

Congrats to the happy couple.  We had so much fun, and wish you many many years of love and happiness!

Always & Forever,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pregnancy: Week 40

It's here folks-- due date.  Yesterday I had a couple Braxton Hicks ("practice contractions") and I have a lot of pressure on my pelvis, but otherwise, I don't think I am going to be birthing this baby today.  

But, in honor of my official due date, let's look back on the past 20 weeks of bumpage:

..and the grand finale (along with the rarely-seen full frontal):

Yes, my t-shirt says "Pirates arrrrrrrr cool".  Because they... arrrr.
Pregnancy By the Numbers:
Weight Gained: 26 pounds
Inches Added: 44 to waist
Clothing Purchased:  1 pair of shoes
                                2 maternity shirts (apparently pre-pregnancy I had a thing for loose and/or empire tops)
                                2 dresses
                                5 pairs of pants
Daily trips to the bathroom:  12-15, which is a lot for a girl who's mother referred to her as 'the camel'.
Gallons of lemonade drank:  probably like 100
Items dropped and left for someone else to pick up:  innumerable.

My belly button held on for dear life, but as you can see in the above picture, it has started to pop.  I had this mental image of a bunch of little men holding onto ropes, trying to keep it in and finally one of the ropes snapped.  Thanks for trying guys-- you did what you could, and I appreciate it.

I love the shocked looks I was getting from people when they would ask when I was due and I got to answer "Tuesday".  I'm thinking about running to Target just so someone will ask me when I'm due so I can say "today".  hehe.

When I had my Braxton Hicks yesterday I went into OMG-what-if-I-go-into-labor-and-the-house-isn't-clean mode.  I still needed to empty the dishwasher, the bedroom needs to be dusted, the checkbook needed to be balanced, and there weren't fresh towels in the bathroom!  So I zipped around like a mad woman trying to have the house clean, and guess what?  I'm still pregnant.  I'm telling you-- pregnancy strips the sanity from you.

Winston knows something is up.  He's been following me around every day as if to say "I know something is going to happen and I want to make sure you are ok".  He's my buddy :)

A strange thing has happened this week:  our calendar is completely empty.  We have no plans of dinner with friends or anything of that nature.  No parties or day trips over the weekend.  Nothing.  Just spending the last couple of days as "just the two of us".

When we were first told the due date of September 27th, it seemed so far away (even though we only have 4 months to go!).   Now that it is here, I have all these emotions running through me; excitement, fear, love, joy. All of them are so strong, and yet there is still this disconnect that within the next week I will be bringing home a baby.  A little human being that I am responsible for.  That I get to keep-- no more handing it back to the mother when it makes noises I don't understand.  I have to figure out what those noises mean now.

My next doctors appointment is on Friday.  If I haven't given birth by then, we will start talking about inducing.  So this time next week, I will have a baby.  It's been a strange and yet incredible journey, and I thank you all for your support.  It has really warmed my heart to read your kind words.  <3

Always & Forever,

Monday, September 26, 2011

Still Pregnant...

Wow.  You guys, I have gotten a crap load of e-mails asking if I have given birth to our monster.

Sadly, I have not.  But I swear you all will be at least in the top 30 to know.

JEGs and I rallied over the past weeks and got a lot of projects around the house done.  However, the weather has been craptastic  and not optimal for picture-taking.  And you guys deserve good pictures.  Because I like you.  A lot.  Aww.. group hug.

Anyway, the bobble-headed weather girl on my local station has promised me some peaks of sunshine on Monday, so I am going to run around like a mad woman and take pictures for you.

Or maybe I'll go into labor.  Either or would work for me.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pregnancy: Weeks 38 & 39

My Stats:  
Who cares.  I look and feel like I swallowed a watermelon.  Whole.

The Monster's Stats:
About 7 pounds and roughly 21 inches.  
All organs are developed, including his lungs (which are the last to form).  He doesn't have a whole lot of room to move around in there.  I keep telling him that if he doesn't have enough room, he can just come out.  There is plenty of room out here for him to bend and stretch.

Energy Level/Sleep:
The baby dreams have started...

I had two baby dreams the other night: the first one was I was having contractions. I woke up and thought it was real and almost woke up JEGs to tell him. Thank goodness I didn't ;)

The second one, I was with my mom at the Goodwill Store donating some stuff. I had the baby with me, and I looked down and said "You know, they must be right about forgetting about the pain of labor, because I really don't remember even giving birth to him" Then my mom looked at me and said "That's because this is just a dream, Liz." ...Oh.

 I am still on an apple kick, but I'm going to throw in a side of pumpkin as well.  Actually, who am I kidding?  I just love pumpkin flavored things!

Pregnancy Fun and Other Bitching:
 I am on in full on waddle mode.  Forget walking.  Also, I've started having some pain in my sciatica, so every once in a while I have to stop and wait for the searing pain in my ass to stop.  

Monday started my first week of maternity leave, so that means I don't have to get showered or dressed (as you can see from the paint stained pants and grubby t-shirt in this weeks photo).  I spent my first day of leave laying on the couch with a rockin' cold.  I've started feeling better through out the week and I am feeling really accomplished on the amount of working I have been getting done around the house.

Everything looks good at the weekly appointments.  Last week the doctor reported I was 1 cm dilated and about 70% effaced.  The little monster is in the birthing position and getting lower.  At today's appointment I was about the same.  I have been promised that if we don't have any more progression by next week, they will induce me.  I hope to not get to that point, but I really, really don't want to meander into Week 41.

The bags are packed-- let the waiting game begin.  We are so excited to meet the little guy!

Always & Forever,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Gots the Whole World, On My Belly

Recently, JEGs and I partook in a mini maternity shoot with a local photographer Sarah Shulte.  Sarah is a pretty popular wedding photographer in the area, but she has been working on a special project recently.  She collected 12 women with pregnant bellies to volunteer to having their baby carriers painted up (by her very talented hubs, John) and photographed for a 2012 calendar.  All proceeds from the calendar go to Little Smiles; an organization that provides hospital-bound kids with entertainment via toys, games, celebrity appearances, etc.  

I thought it sounded like such a fantastic idea, so I contact Sarah and on a beautiful August afternoon, JEGs and I mugged it up for the camera

this is probably one of my favorites

Sarah picked me to be the month of April, so in honor of Earth Day, my belly was transformed into a globe

Sarah was so fantastic to work with!  Her and her husband John made us feel so at ease and they were so much fun to talk to!  An added bonus:  their adorable daughter June.  I might steal her, she was so cute.

Always & Forever,

For more information about donating to Little Smiles, click here.  The calendar is still in production, but once it goes on sale, I will post information on how to order it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wedding Crashing: Tropical Bliss

In August 2009,  my dear friend and former roomie's boyfriend took a secret flight down to  Myrtle Beach while she was on vacation, waited on the balcony of her hotel room, and when she walked out he was waiting there on one knee with a very sparkly diamond ring.

..way to show up every other dude in the world, Phil.  Right now they are all going "thanks a lot, buddy".  ;)

Two years later, they made good on that engagement and got married at The Merion , located in Cinnaminson, NJ.  

First, we need to talk about the color scheme she chose.  In the two years of wedding planning, I think she may have changed it 29349283492378 times.  She started off with watermelon pink and green and branched off from there.  She finally landed on a tropical theme of teal satin bridesmaids dresses and a bouquet of purple and fushia flowers-- a.k.a stunning.  

yes, I totally stole this picture off her Facebook page.

I died when I saw this color combo-- so summer and I loved the way the purples popped off the teal.  Those flowers were ah. may. zing.

Speaking of amazing, Jamie made a stunning bride in a traditional satin A-line dress with a sweetheart neckline  with gorgeous embellishments.  Her veil was epic-- long and sweeping and she accented her beautifully curled hair with a small tiara-like headband.

It was a simple and beautiful ceremony where the bride and groom wrote their own vows.  Phil talked about the first time he met Jamie and bought her a drink with money from a winning lotto ticket.  He continued by saying he never realized how much he won with that ticket.   Admit it-- that's smooth.

We need to talk about the food--specifically the cocktail hour.  I would have taken pictures, but I was too busy stuffing my face.  There was an entire room filled with different food stations-  mashed and baked potatoes, Philly cheese steaks and burger sliders, a pasta station, pizza, an Asian station, and not to mention the usual cheese, fruit and veggie station.  Word on the street there were some passed appetizers too, but I was too busy shoveling cheese steaks and fries down my gullet.  What?  It's what the baby wanted.  Swears.

Jamie did a crap-ton of DIY things for the wedding including her tropical and elegant centerpieces of floating candles and orchids in cylindrical vases

She also DIYed her own invites AND menus (aka, she has way more patience then I will ever have).  Are you kidding me with the perfectly placed jewels after each course?

I had a slight crush on her wedding cake.  The Precious Moments figurine and dots were so cute :)

See this chick below?  That my bestie Connie.  And that's an umbrella from the DJ.  This picture was taken moments after she produced this umbrella from under her dress.  Not the skirt part-- oh no.  The top part.

Apparently that was not the only thing Ms. Klepto Connie had taken that night.  Other things included a sombrero, keys from the maitre d and other DJ goodies.  Our friend Erin tried to return as many things as possible, citing that Connie was "making bad choices".

All and all it was a fantastic night, and I wish the lovebirds many years of marital bliss

Always & Forever,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pregnancy: Weeks 36 & 37

My Stats:
Holding steady at twenty-six pounds gained.
Waist measures at 44 inches. I think I can officially shop in the Big and Tall section of department stores.

Little Monster's Stats:
Our little dude weights roughly 6.5 pounds and measures from crown to rump 14 inches and his total length is about 21 inches.
This week we are completely full term, so he can be born at any moment.  All his organs are developed.
In the weeks to come, there will be less amniotic fluid around him as he grows.  Where is the fluid going?  My body is absorbing it-- which makes me feel like a member of the X-Men.
Finally, we have reached the final melon on the Fruit-O-Meter:  watermelon!

Energy Level/Sleep:
 I may be thinking about drugging myself with Tylenol PM.  It's getting to that point.  In addition to being generally uncomfortable, I have been having nightmares.  Like, tornadoes-ripping-through-my-house kind of nightmares.

Apples.  Apple juice.  Apple Pie.  Apple Cinnamon Muffins-- which is strange because I don't really like cooked apples.  At all.  But I want them, and I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of baking this weekend.

Other stuff:
We are pretty much set.  The nursery is just about finish (I hope to show you all soon) and we are really plugging away at our to do list.   All the clothes are washed and put away and the crib is set up.  We finished up our birthing classes (and managed not to get kicked out) as well as a Newborn Care class.

I have to note that JEGs gets extra husband points this week:  he painted my toe nails for me.  Love him.  To death.

This weekend I packed a bag for the hospital.  I consulted three different lists from different sources and packed the following items:

For Me:
Nightgown for labor
Nursing Pajamas
Yoga pants and nursing top
Nursing bra
Three pairs of underoos
pack of "sanitary napkins" (tee hee)
Slipper socks
All mini toiletries

For the Monster:
Two receiving blankets
Two onsesies- a newborn size and a 3 month size
Two outfits to come home in- one with long sleeves and one with short sleeves (it will be the end of September)
Sleeper with mittens
Two extra pairs of mittens
Knitted hat.

After consulting with some experienced moms this is what my list looks like:

For Me:
Nightgown for labor
Nursing Pajamas
Yoga pants and nursing top
Nursing bra
Nursing pads
Three pairs of underoos
pack of "sanitary napkins" (tee hee)
Slipper socks (switched out for flip flops)
All mini toiletries
My own pillow
Phone charger
baby book
Insurance card

For the Monster:
Two receiving blankets
Two onsesies- a newborn size and a 3 month size
Two outfits to come home in- one with long sleeves and one with short sleeves (it will be the end of September)   Now only have one outfit to take him home in.
Sleeper with mittens
Two extra pairs of mittens
Knitted hat. you see things changed a little.

So dude... anytime you want to show up, I am down.

Always & Forever,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

You Can Catch Me Vlogging

I grabbed this from Shannanigans blog and found it kind of interesting.  Right now in the blogosphere it's all the rage to post a video reciting some words to show your accent.  I've been left alone all day and need someone to talk to, so who better to talk to then my camera?

Some things to note:
 *it's hot in my house, hence why I keep touching my face.  I'm trying not to wipe the sweat dripping from me.
 *I have ADD and tend to go off on tangents.
 *This is not the best angle for me, but let's be honest-  I'm nine months pregnant, there really is no good angle right now. 
 *If you hear any yelling in the background, it's because my next-door neighbors are hosting a Beer Olympics and by the sounds of it, it's getting cut throat.

Without further ado... my first vlog.:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:
•What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
•What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
•What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
•What do you call gym shoes?
•What do you say to address a group of people?
•What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
•What do you call your grandparents?
•What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
•What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
•What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Any other bloggers want to participate?

Always & Forever,