Thursday, April 28, 2011

Heartbreaking

Parts of my beloved college town, Tuscaloosa, AL, were leveled yesterday by twisters. What seemed like almost a mile in diameter tornado ripped through the gorgeous college town. While it spared Bryant-Denny Stadium and the main campus itself, it tore up and demolished other parts of the town including the new construction that was just built a year or two ago.

The Taco Casa I used to frequent, gone. McAlisters suffered damage, the Wendys...demolished. The mall, gas stations, Krispy Kreme and Milos, totally unrecognizable. I can't imagine what it really looks like in person but it's gut wrenching to see the images, coverage on TV and facebook posts. The death tolls are rising in both Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and beyond. I pray peace on all that have to deal with this royal mess!

The images are so saddening, especially if you have a tie to the town. My heart breaks for those students and residents, business owners and lovers of Tuscaloosa in general. I know the surrounding towns and all over the southeast have been pounded with these storms over the last 48 hours and my heart breaks for each and everyone of you affected by these nasty storms.

Here are some shots and a link to a video of the madness that hit Tuscaloosa yesterday.
holy funnel cloud
McFarland and 15th ... what used to be Milo's

Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium Survives Alabama Tornado Outbreak - SB Nation Atlanta


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bad Dress Rehearsal ... Perfect Performance

Dead fridge, Mom has surgery, fiancĂ© has laptop stolen and I have to travel MORE for work. All of this is NOT how I saw our wedding week going!

So lets drill down here to all of the issues at hand.

My Mom's surgery went well and she is home recovering...Praise God for that! She does have to have a stint taken out tomorrow early morning and it should be 100% clear sailing from there. I'm thankful that all of this happened late last week/early this week rather than starting this weekend with all the wedding craziness!

Apparently our fridge was dying and we didn't know it. However, when we got home on Monday, it was clear as day. All the food was spoiled (thank goodness I didn't full grocery shop on Sunday as it was Easter) and the ice had all melted into a puddle. We didn't get a chance Monday to pick one out so we went last night. I'm happy to report that we bought a new and better model...hooray...and it's already installed and working!
pretty snazzy huh?
Mike's office got broken into on Easter Sunday and his laptop and others were stolen...nice huh? So they all got new laptops today and are back in business.

As far as traveling...here's my schedule...no joke I am gone 98% of May.Very much looking forward to June and my life somewhat settling down.

April 30 Wedding
May 2-13 Hawaii
May16-19 Raleigh, NC
May 23 - New Intern Starts! (yay)
May 25-26 Raleigh, NC

On top of all of this travel and what not, I've got to work on getting my name changed in what feels like a million places. Most important, SS, Passport (bc of the cruise) and my  license. Goodness gracious great balls of fire I feel like I'm in a tailspin of craziness. I think I just need to keep on swimming in the words of Dori the fish from Finding Nemo!

Thanks for all the thoughts and positive energy, I swear it (along with my workouts and impending massage) is helping!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

IT'S WEDDING WEEK!!

It's FINALLY here! It's officially WEDDING WEEK!!!! Commence freak out ... NOW! Thank goodness I'm 99.9% done. All that's lacking is a few little minor things that I'll get wrapped up by Thursday! As we're heading into this week, we've had 2 small hiccups, okay 3 but one of them is me being silly.

1) My mom has developed a kidney stone as of late last week. She's in a lot of pain but seems to think that it's making its way out of her system. Currently, she's on her way to another doctor to see what's going on. Please keep her in your thoughts so that she can pass this quickly and not be in too much pain this week and that she'll get to enjoy the weekend!

2) One of my MOH's, Kerri, has bronchitis, again. She's been under the weather and is trying to get better. Thankfully, she is already on medicine so hopefully it's taking its course and she'll be good to go this weekend

3) The selfish not really an issue problem. I no longer like or feel cute in my Rehearsal dinner dress. I'm probably being a nut job and looking at myself with critical eyes, but I'm not happy with it at this point so off to the mall I go this week. I hope I find something not astronomically expensive and that will make me feel happy!

The bright side, I tried on my wedding dress this past Saturday and couldn't have been happier! It looked phenomenal and probably the best it has to date. Can't wait to see it all pressed and pretty waiting for me to wear!
photo credit
If this is the worst of what is to come, I think we're gonna be okay! I just have to keep telling myself the following and to relax and enjoy this week and time. I'll be surrounded by 140ish people that Mike and I love dearly and that all traveled near and far to share in our joy with us. None of the small stuff that I keep fretting about will matter and at the end of the day, Mike and I will be married and on our way to HAWAII for 2 weeks!!

As far as the weather forecast, it's totally improving! A few weeks ago it was looking rough, but now that we're in the week of, I have a bit more confidence in their forecasting!

Accuweather.com
Friday: 76/55 and Sunny!
Saturday: 82/58 and Sunny!
Weather.com
Friday: 73/52 Sunny
Saturday: 80/56 Partly Cloudy with Sun

All in all, I'm keeping it together. Just trying to keep chugging through today and looking forward to all my appointments this week and getting some time to myself. We have our final call with our director sometime early this week. Hopefully this will be painless like everything else has been with our venue!

So Happy Wedding Week to Me and Happy Wedding Week to my date twin also!


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Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter Weekend!

For the first time in 5 years I've had to work on Good Friday ... but it wasn't such a bad deal since we had the shower today. However, now I'm packing up for the weekend to head home. I shall leave you with this adorable little image I found on my computer today ... probably from last Easter!

photo credit
So with that, I shall wish all of you a wonderful Easter holiday weekend. Hope you get to enjoy it with some of the people you love and most of all, remember the reason for why we have this holiday ... and no, it's not for the 'peep' show in the image above!

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Surprise ... Sort Of!

A big thank you to my sweet friends and coworkers, Maria and Vanessa, for organizing the shower at my office today. While it was supposed to be a surprise, I knew about it ... yes I realize I ruin all surprises! They did surprise me a little with Mike and my Mom being there though! My work is more than just a job, it's part of my 'family'. I've been working here since 2006 (well I was gone for 1 year) and most of the time, I love my job and work environment! We scored some awesome Pottery Barn gifts : all of our glasses and they pretty much finished out our everyday dishes on the registry! All of these items are VERY much appreciated as is the effort put forth by my work family! 

gift time! 
presents and cake
"Look, a cup!"
YUMMY cake!
tag team gift opening!
checking out our cereal bowls!
Thanks everyone for participating and joining for lunch and cake and most of all, for making Mike and I feel special and loved. You guys are awesome!!


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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Thursday!

It's now single digits until wedded bliss. I have been keeping track at the office on my white board and every so often I come in and there are "additions" to my countdown! Thanks to my coworkers for always keeping me laughing and in check. They are an amazing group and a bunch of cut-ups!


My shopping extravaganza last night was a success and I'm looking forward to doing it again later in the summer/fall time frame! Got a few new things but didn't have time to snap any photos last night, but it's on my list to do today! I have one more shopping trip in mind before we head to Hawaii and it could be a doozie on the bank account.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nearing Single Digits!

The days are dwindling and we'll be in the single digits tomorrow! I keep telling myself that if I make it through this work week, I'll be all good! With this weekend being Easter, I've got some down time to hang around the house after church and lunch with our families. I'll be working on my packing lists for the wedding weekend as well as Hawaii and my work trip to Raleigh (could that have come at a worse time?!) I'll also be making sure I 100% have everything together, which I'm about 98% of the way there. Wedding week should be pretty easy and relaxing, just the way I'm wanting it to be. Here's what's on tap!

Monday: A good workout in the morning and my final day in the office to get my stuff together for work trip and my new intern. After this, I'll be out of the office for 19 days straight. EEK!!

Tuesday: Work seminar from 8am-11:30 by the American Heart Association and then doing final counts and dropping off all items at our venue, venue for Rehearsal Dinner and taking our welcome bags to the hotel. After that, I'll be getting my hair colored and a final small trim so that my locks look perfect when they go up for the big day on Saturday!


Wednesday: A good workout in the morning and then heading to take my two Matrons of Honor to the spa for massages. I am AMPED about a massage and am 100% in need of one. I'm sure they are too! We're heading to the Spa at Chateau Elan and I can't wait to hang out with them, relax, enjoy some wine and get a massage!!

Thursday: Taking the morning to myself to get my nails done, run any final errands for the honeymoon (ie: more shopping!) and hope to get myself all packed by this day.

Friday: My Bridal Luncheon will begin around 11 and then the day/weekend will be non-stop from then on out. At that point, I'll be in shock, excitement and anxious to get to Saturday!


Just trying to chug along though this week though it seems like it's never ending! Looking forward to my shopping extravaganza at Fab'rik Buckhead tonight with some of my girlfriends and a birthday party for Mike's buddy, Scott, Friday night. Also, I know about a little "secret" shower for me this coming Friday at my office ... so much for the surprise but I'm very much looking forward to it!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Case of Bedhead

Kona was not happy about getting up this morning. She has the best "bed hair" and sleepy puppy eyes in the morning. I am always snapping photos of her when she wakes up and I'm pretty sure she hates the camera because of it...maybe this is why she always attacks my phone?!



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Monday, April 18, 2011

Homestretch!

It's finally  here, the homestretch of wedding planning! It hit me this morning as I was in the middle of my workout ... holy crap! I'm getting married NEXT weekend! It was definitely one of those HOLY COW moments where I think I almost tripped and fell down while running, but contained myself.

This is my last full week in the office before we get hitched. I'll be out of the office for a solid 19 days and then return to chaos and a new intern, joy! I briefly mentioned the other day that there are some big changes going on at work with my boss accepting a new position, my new summer intern, Rebecca, starting and a trip immediately after Hawaii to Raleigh, NC is in store. I sure hope I survive all of it. I keep telling myself if I can survive 12 months of wedding planning, I can survive anything!

Organized chaos happened yesterday at mom and dads. I'm so happy to report one of my final 2 big projects is FINALLY finished and turned out better than I anticipated! Our seating chart board has been something I've harped on and was adamant about it being perfect. This is something every guest will see and is different than your usual "seating cards". Each guest couple/guest has an envelope adorned with my awesome embossed fleur de lis! Inside their envelope is another card (and yes, it has a fleur de lis too) with the table name for them to sit at. I didn't want to do assigned seats at a table, but did decide to do assigned tables as we have a number of people and I didn't want there to be any issues with seating. After days of racking my brain about a seating chart and weeks of stressing over this board, it's finally complete and I couldn't be happier!

Also on tap yesterday was organizing and counting all the items that are in need of heading to our venue next week. Dang we have a lot! It's all accounted for and ready to go! Just needs to be transported next Tuesday along with our "out of town" bags to the hotel. 


My last big project is our programs. They are halfway embossed and still need to be put together ... this is a task for the weeknights during this week. Here's to hoping I get it done by the weekend so that we can enjoy Easter with our families! 

I am shocked it's almost here but relieved to know that I'm about 97% of the way done with my planning and execution! 

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Friday, April 15, 2011

TGIF

Thankful it is Friday to be quite honest. I'm looking forward to a quiet night at home. Maybe ordering in and finishing up embossing our wedding programs. I can't remember the last Friday I've had at the house with Mike and Kona. Needless to say, I think it's much needed.


photo credit
Also on tap this weekend is a trip to the Ted for an afternoon Braves game on Saturday. While I'm not the biggest baseball fan, I go for the beer and peanuts! I'll also be heading to my parents for the third Sunday in a row to finish up gift baskets and wedding stuff. Really down to the wire with only 15 days so we'll be getting into full gear of final stuff, organizing and making sure we have everything we need. I've also got a birthday party for a friend/ex-coworker of mine's 3yr old son, Maddox! Should be good times!


Outside of wedding planning, my life is still crazy. My job is in an uproar with change and good things, but none the less, still nuts. In a nutshell, my boss has accepted another position within the company effect May 1st and that means my reporting manager is in limbo. Not to mention, I have an intern starting, Rebecca, on May 23rd for the summer. I'm going to be out of the office for a total of 18 consecutive days ... yes, you read that right. So needless to say, work life is just as hectic as my wedding planning life and life in general. Hoping to get all of my name change stuff started prior to Rebecca's start date so I can get all of that mess in order...who knew how much of a hassle changing a name could be! Geeze!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Next week I think I'll do a 'spotlight' on some of my favorite people and some good wedding project wrap ups!



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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Final Numbers and Planning!

Mike and I had our final planning session to confirm all of our decor, facility, numbers, etc. yesterday with our venue. Thankfully, our estimated number of 150 is now an actual number of 139. We'll actually have a few more at the ceremony than at the reception, but all in all I'm 100% happy with this number (and thankfully so were my parents!).

Now the final things are being done and organized. I have one more really long call with our wedding director set for the week of the wedding and then we'll be DONE and ready for the big day. I can't believe it's almost here. 16 more days until I'm officially MRS. MORRIS ... although my work email already says it (dang you Lotus Notes support!).

After a three hour stint to get the programs printed at Kinkos, Lauren and I were done with it all and on our loopy train. I picked them up yesterday and started the embossing process. I made one full program just to see how it looks. While I'm not 100% in love with it, I think it looks good and will definitely work. Programs are something I think are a good addition to a wedding, but not totally necessary so I didn't think spending a ton of money on them was worth it. Not to mention, if we did them ourselves, I could use my super awesome embossing tools and heat gun! I'm halfway done embossing and still have to assemble, really hoping to get these cranked out by the end of the weekend.


In other news, for all you fellow brides to be, past brides and future. Here's a hysterical e-card I received today from our sweet friend, Nicole. She knows I've bickered about people not RSVPing or waiting until the absolute last minute!
photo credit
I also got the best chuckle from a friend of ours last night as well. I got a FEDEX letter sent to the house and was quite confused when I saw who it was from. I ripped it open and low and behold, there was a RSVP card in it. Thankfully I had already included them in the headcount as I knew they were attending. They win funniest way to RSVP and an A+ for actually sending it since I still have people who emailed and told me rather than using the RSVP/RSVP envelope I provided!


Needless to say, my breakdown that I'm expecting still hasn't happened which is an awesome thing. I think I've got it mostly under control. If I can make it through next week at the office, we're in the home stretch to wedding and honeymoon good times. Here's to hoping!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch

I'm so excited about the Bridesmaid Luncheon. It's still 2 weeks away, but I'm already giddy about it.

I have lived in Atlanta since 1991 and have always heard about The Swan Coach House located in the heart of Buckhead (and just steps from Mike and I's condo). It's a very "ladies who lunch in a southern way" kinda place. They offer lots of chicken salad, shrimp salad, punch, tea sandwiches and a whole lot more. I knew when I was planning my Bridesmaid Luncheon that I needed to have it somewhere fun, southern and very "Atlanta" and this was just the place.

photo via here
With a few room options, I was able to find enough space to host my 9 guests of honor. We will be lunching in the BelleNita Room. A spread of delicious southern food and some yummy punch will be on hand. I'll finally have time to catch up with my girls, mother and future mother-in-law. For once, we'll ALL be together!

I've got a cute little thing for each place setting  that I got off Etsy as well as individual gift baskets for all the girls. I can't wait for them to see what I've been stashing away at my parents house for months!

Instead of the tradition of someone hosting this luncheon for me, I'll be hosting it myself for my guests of honor! I really hope it lives up to my expectations and that it kicks our wedding weekend off on the right note. I am very much looking forward to sharing this time with some of my absolute favorite people in the world!

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light at the end of the tunnel ...

18 days to keep my breathing normal, not stress or freak out. 18 days of being "single". 18 days until I officially am married. 18 days until we head to Hawaii on our honeymoon! HOLY.COW.

94% of our stuff is done. I've got a few big tasks still ahead but think we'll knock it out by the end of this weekend or next. Our final planning meeting to turn in numbers, finalize food, decor, etc is tomorrow and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit stressed out. I need to let the stress that I've racked up the past few days go and focus on the real deal ... marrying  my best friend. I've lost sight of that a bit the last few days trying to finish all the details, coordinate varying people and plans. But all in all, I think it's coming together and our day is going to be beautiful no matter what. I've worked so hard with the help of some awesome friends, my parents and unconditional support from Mike the past year to get ready for this ONE day. I absolutely can't wait to have all my friends in one place. I haven't seen some of my bridesmaids in months and one of them in a year. It's hard to believe all of us will be in one place at the same time...that's never happened, well at least not since we've been engaged.

So I'll keep trucking and keep trying to remind myself that it's about the future and being married, not about stressing 100% about making the day perfect, although I think with my years worth of planning, it will be!

In other news, Mike and I booked 2 more trips after Hawaii, so my stress will be a little better knowing that I still have a few more vacations throughout the year!

Mike, Me, Joe and Jess @ NYE 2010
We'll be heading out on a cruise to celebrate the 30th Birthday of our friend, Jessica. There are 6-8 of us going and I can't wait! We're taking the Royal Caribbean cruise 'Majesty of the Seas' September 4-9. This will be my first trip on a cruise and needless to say I'm very much looking forward to it. Thankfully, Mike's dad got us all rooms at the timeshare in Ft. Lauderdale so we can fly down early and have a night there to hang out/get ready before embarking on our trip!

Our other trip is sort of random! This past weekend, Mike and I got last minute tickets from our friends Jon and Erin to attend a benefit dinner for Right to Hike. There was a 3 course meal (including beer/wine), silent auction, live auction and the Indigo Girls played at the end of the evening.  It was really a great time for a wonderful cause and I'm thankful we got to attend! Here's the random part, Mike and I were sitting next to a gentleman and his young daughter (the most well behaved 10 year old I've ever met, might I add) at our table. Mike struck up a conversation and come to find out he is a big wig with the MGM Resorts International. He invited Mike and I on a trip this June. We'll be taking a private jet, have the hotel and limo comped and needless to say, be having a BLAST at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. I can't wait for this trip!!!

Needless to say, post the wedding, our lives don't settle down much. But that's the way I like to keep it. Always busy, on our toes and with something to do. One of these days I'll learn to slow down and enjoy it!

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weather Nerves

I've been stalking again. This time, it's the extended weather forecast. In a mere week (and a few days) the extended forecast will be available for our wedding date.

If all goes as planned, our wedding ceremony will be taking place outside with our reception moving inside/outside (for a few tables) for the rest of the night. So far, the average highs for our wedding day are in the mid/upper 70's with a low in the mid 50's and with historically no real rainfall on our day.

photo via here
If this stays true for our day, that'd be perfect. However, I get sick to my stomach every time I even think about it pouring/storming/hailing/tornadoing whatever on our wedding day. I really really hope that Mother Nature is on our side come April 30th. They do say that a little rain on your wedding day is good luck...so I'd be okay with that, BUT a torrential downpour, I find that to be not so much 'luck' as I do bad timing.

If for some reason Mother Nature decides to change my outdoor wedding to an indoor wedding, I think I'd be okay with it (just okay, not happy or elated). Flint Hill is notorious for weddings and special events so I know they'd have it covered, I'd just like for this to not happen as I think it'll lose a lot of the design I have planned.

So I'll be continuing to say little prayers to Mother Nature, doing no-rain dances and hoping for the best. In the end, all will be okay and regardless of if it's inside our outside, it'll be beautiful and I'll be married to my best friend at the end of the day.


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Random Thursday!

My brain is in a fog of all the things I've done lately and still have to do. I'd be lying if I said this post had some real content. So here you go, a Random Thursday with me!

**Favorite new eating joint : Local Three Kitchen Check this place out. Food was divine, service was great, atmosphere a huge A+ with me. I went Monday night with some girls and i was definitely impressed with the place. Can't wait to go back.

**My iPad 2 comes today. I've been waiting almost a month for it to arrive and it's finally going to be here today...GET. EXCITED.  Too bad Mike is in Texas until tomorrow so he'll have to wait to play with it!

**Finally hired my summer intern. She starts right after we get back from our honeymoon. Seems like she's an uber smart chick with a lot of potential. I'm very much looking forward to having an intern this summer and working with her!

**My college BF moved to Buckhead this week which means we can hang out much more and not drive (okay, her not drive) so far to go to dinner/go out with us! Hooray! Love the new place, L

**I'm in search of new white pants. Mine are too big (hooray, right?) and not sure where to look. I picked up some new white jeans at Anthropologie the other day, but I need like more casual cute white pants...think wide leg. Got any ideas on where I should go?

Here are some of my recent favorite random images off two of my favorite sites, okay well it's really one site but two different segments ... you get my point. I always check Lolcats and Loldogs when I need a laugh mid-day or to find something funny to send to a friend!






That about wraps up my super random Thursday post. Hope you weren't expecting anything too good to read :) I'll be much better tomorrow and actually write something worth reading!

*all photos via Lolcats and Loldogs 

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Monday, April 4, 2011

26 Days and Counting!

I just can't believe we're only 26 days away! Our RSVP deadline is fast approaching and so far we're looking to be right on that 150 attendee target! I have my final planning meeting to turn in numbers, plan, etc on the 13th...it all seems so surreal that it's so close.

Yesterday, some of my wedding elves (aka Lauren and Kerri) joined me once again at my parents house.We got a lot done! Here are a few shots of exactly how we spent our day!

shakers for our 'getaway'

150 mason jars filled with ivory M&M's!

final product! our favors that will be at each table setting for our guests

our gorgeous seating chart board ... thanks, Danialle!

outer envelope to go on the seating chart board...still not finished!

We're nearing the end. We've secured our paper and embossing items for our programs and have still have to get the final items for our Out of Town guest bags. We still have a few big items left, but I feel assured that by the end of this week or next, it'll all be finished (hopefully) so I can enjoy the final days of our engagement and mentally prep for the wedding!

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Baby Kona is 6 Months Old!

Hard to believe what life was like pre-Kona! We've had her for four months now and wouldn't trade a thing. She's the big 6 months old today! Her curls are finally starting to come in and she's starting to look more like a real dog than a teddy bear! She brings us joy everyday and is one very loved poodle!




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