Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane...

...don't know when I'll be back again.

If I had my way I'd never come back!  You see, I'm flying to see Mr. T this weekend and I wish I could just stay there for ever and ever.

But school and work are still calling my name, so I'll be flying back Sunday to my normal life.

So please forgive my absence until about mid-day Monday.  I know you guys will probably miss me lots and lots, but I've got some smooching and hanging out to do with my man.
So see you Monday, have a safe and spooky Halloween weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Any Reason to Wear White

I plan on taking full advantage of the fact that I'm the bride and get to wear white during my engagement.  I'm not saying everyday I'm going to wear white and go around saying I'm the bride-to-be...that would just be tacky.
No, I'm talking about bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and the rehearsal dinner.  The bridal showers and bachelorette party will probably be sometime in the early spring, and the rehearsal dinner is towards the end of May so hopefully I can get away with some cute dresses.

So now I'm on the hunt for a different kind of white dress.  There are only two conditions: it can't be long, and it can't cost a fortune.  Here are some things I've come up with so far, let me know if you know of any others!

"As You Wish Bow Dress" at Nordstroms $68

"Poppy Floral Mesh Dress" by Forever 21 $24.90
The website is sold out of the white right now =[

"Cotton Rib Turtleneck Sweaterdress" by Victorias Secret on sale for $39
Very cute for a winter shower.

"Jersey Wrap Dress" by Victoria's Secret $65

"Ruched Squareneck Bra Top Dress" by Victoria's Secret $38

"Smocked Tank Bra Top Dress" by Victoria's Secret $58

"Brocade Strapless Dress" by American Eagle $69.50

"Adrianna Papell Eyelet Dress" at Nordstroms on sale $59.50
I just realized this is not currently, I love it!

Hopefully this will help some of you on the search for a perfect, little white dress.  I'll let you all know if I ever make up my mind and actually order one!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Will You Be Our Flower Girl?

Well, it's official....we finally have a flower girl!  Allow me to introduce you to the most adorable member of our bridal party, Ella Grace.

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, this is Ella on Halloween last year, dressed up as a cute little chicken.

From earlier this summer.

And from this past weekend with her baby sister.

This weekend all of us girls got together for a girl's night and I finally had the chance to ask my friend if she thought her daughter would like to be our flower girl.  She said sure, but good luck getting her to stand still for any length of time!  But then she thought about it, and said maybe she'd be okay after all, she'll be 3 1/2 by the time our wedding rolls around.  So I had Ella come over by me and asked her if she'd like to be our flower girl, and I'm not sure if she knows what she agreed to or not, but she got a smile on her face and said yes.

I'm very excited for her to be our flowergirl.  Her dad and Mr. T went to school together and have been friends for awhile.  Her mom and I were actually pretty good friends when we were both very young, but since she was a few years older than me we lost touch throughout school.  But about a year and a half ago when I started hanging out with the "Superfriends" we all got to spend more time together, and I got to meet little miss Ella Grace.  So it's nice that we can have our friends' daughter be a part of our wedding day.  Especially since neither of us have little girls in our families, it worked out perfectly.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Long Distance Relationships

Being in a long distance relationship sucks.  There is absolutely no other way around it.  I'm at the point now where I'm struggling to function during everyday life.  There are days when I don't want to get out of bed and face the day, and there are nights that I don't want to do anything but lie in bed and cry.  And I do realize that I'm one of the lucky ones.  I haven't had to go more than 3 or 4 weeks without seeing Mr. T, and I can talk to him on the phone whenever I want.  He's not away in another country for a year, or anything like that.  But I was struggling after one month, and it's not any easier now at 2.  We got skype, I make the 8 hour drive, we send each other letters, we're making it work.  Honestly, if this was someone other than Mr. T; if I didn't know I was going to spend the rest of my life with him, I'm not entirely sure it would be worth it.

Because it hurts that much.

But I do it because I know it will be.  I do it because I know that it already is worth it.  I'm doing it because I look forward to the day (in the near future) that I get to move back to MN to our cute little house and never have to be away from him again.  I'll get to marry him, and raise a family with him, and spend the rest of my life getting sick of him.  I do it with the knowledge that this is making us stronger, and that the days we get to spend together will be even more cherished now that we know how bad it can be apart.  I do it because we're growing closer each and every day that we don't get to see each other and instead have to talk about how our days went and write each other letters.  We've gotten really good at talking, just really talking, about anything and everything, our hopes, dreams, and fears.  I do it because, in the end, it's all I can do.

So I keep going, I keep getting out of bed (most days) and going to class and living my life, because I know that it's one day closer until the next time I see him, and until ultimately we're done with this for good.  I keep moving along because I know it breaks his heart to know that I'm sad, just like I can't stand to think that he's all alone in a new place without me, coming home to an empty house every night.  I keep remembering that it's not forever, and I keep reminding myself of all the great things to come.  I keep pushing through the bad days, because I know there are amazing ones in the future.

I love you more than anything Mr T, and it IS worth it.  I haven't doubted that for a second.

I know there are some of you that read my blog that are going through similar situations.  I'm here if you ever need someone to talk or just whine to.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Music Mondays: Part Four

part one, part two, part three

We're back to first dance songs this week.  I stumbled across this song for the first time ever a couple months ago and fell in love with it.  I was really excited and had my sister listen to it and she was amazed I hadn't heard it before.  Am I the only one??

I sent it Mr. T's way and he told me it was kinda lame, aka girly.  And that it's nothing like what we listen to.  I don't really think that matters, but oh well.  So we won't be using this song, but I thought I'd share it with you anyways in case you're like me and haven't heard it yet.

"Everything" by Michael Buble

Saturday, October 24, 2009

DIY: Hair Flower, Version 2.0

Even though I said I was very happy with the way it turned out...turns out I'm not.  It just didn't really lay the way I wanted it to.

So when I was in Joann's looking for something non-wedding related, I decided to pick up a little more white material and give it another go.  Here's what I came up with.

Much better!  I like that it's more structured and actually looks like a flower, instead of being floofy flower-like flower.  I can't show you a picture of it in my hair yet because I have to find a clip to sew it onto, but what I can do is show you how I made it.  Even better right??

Step-by-step Tutorial
1.  Cut out five petal shapes for the base layer from satin.

I know there are only two here, but I promise I do know how to count...just go with me on this.
2.  Thread a simple running stitch through the bottom of each petal.

And yes, I used green embroidery floss because it was the only thing at my apartment and I was too antsy to wait til I got home.
3.  Gather the ends tight and tie it in a knot to give the petal some pucker.

4.  Hold each petal over a flame to seal the edges and let them shrink a little.  Unfortunately for me I didn't have a candle so I was using a lighter.  I couldn't take a picture for you because I was too busy burning my fingers.  But just make sure you don't hold it too close so that the fabric burns.

5.  Arrange all five petals in a circular shape and sew them together in the center.

You can see how the edges are "puckery" from the flame.
6.  Cut out five petal shapes from organza, a little bit smaller than the satin ones.  For these I didn't do the gathering at the bottom, I just held them to the flame to get some shape.

7.  Arrange the organza petals into a circular shape and sew them together in the middle.

8.  Place the organza flower over the satin base layer and sew them in place.

9.  Repeat this same process with another layer of satin, slightly smaller, and a smaller layer of organza over that.  I also added three additional petals under the base of it to fill it out a little more.

10.  For the center of the flower, I cut a long skinny strip of satin and burned the edges of it to give it shape.  Then I rolled it until I was happy with the way it looked and sewed it together.  I sewed a few small petals around the outside of it, and then sewed it to the flower.

11.  There are a few petals of netting at the base of the flower, and I may consider adding a couple more so you can see it better. 

12.  Attach to your choice of clip or comb, and enjoy!

And there you have a finished flower.

I paid just under $1.50 for the material for this flower.  I purchased 1/8 yard of both white satin and white organza.  The tulle netting I had left from the first go around.

I'm much happier with the way this flower turned out, and I'm considering making a smaller version of it for my flowergirl to wear on a headband.  Like I've said before, with this much time on my hands, I'm bound to redo a project or two until I'm 100% satisfied with it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

DIY: A Pillow For the Ring Bearer

Here's my inspiration post...
....and here are a couple of pictures of our little man.

And just for good measure, here are a couple new ones.

Let's just ignore all the Bronco stuff please.  How my cousin became a Denver fan in a family full of Packers fans is beyond me.  But as you can see, he is already corrupting his son.

Either way, he's still pretty adorable.

And now onto the DIY portion of the post.  Except it's not so much a tutorial, as it is me showing you the finished product, and briefly mentioning how I got there.  I made this so long ago that I didn't think to take pictures of the work in progress.  But here it is.

I cut out two squares in the green material and put them right sides together.  Then I pinned the black piping in between them so the piping part was on the inside, and the unfinished edges showed.  Then I sewed around three sides, and left an opening in the fourth side.  I turned it inside out and stuffed it.  I decided to go this route instead of using a pillow form, because I didn't want it to be too big, and I couldn't find a small enough form that I liked.

Then I cut a strip of black satin to wrap around the entire pillow.  I didn't sew the edges, I just tucked them under so you see the folded edge.  Then I tied the ends in a knot on the front and played around with it, tacking it in place by hand until I was happy with the result. 

Now I just need to decide about putting a bow on it to hold the rings.  I don't think we're going to have him carry the actual rings down the aisle in case something goes wrong and he doesn't make it all the way.  I don't think I really want to have "fake" rings tied onto it either, so I may just leave it how it is and skip the bow entirely.

Price Breakdown:
The green material and black satin were left over from previous projects, so I'm not including the cost.
So basically it just cost me a bag of stuffing which I believe was less than $2.00  If I had it laying around the house it would have been free!  Now there's my kind of project.

What's your opinion on "fake" rings? Do you have your pillow picked out already?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Wedding Day "Hair"spiration

As I showed you the other day, here's where I'm currently at with my hair.

I'm sure it will continue to grow and get out of hand until the day of my wedding.  I'm really resisting the urge right now to chop it all off.  Anything for the wedding!
But anyways, here are some pictures I've collected over the last few months.  Right now I'm either thinking half up-ish, or a low loose updo.  Oh and just so you know, I plan on wearing a veil for the ceremony, and a hair flower for the reception.  And my dress is strapless.  Just so you can get a visual.

I'm sorry but I don't currently have the sources for any of these pictures.  Please let me know if they belong to you, or you know where they can be found!

These first pictures are my favorite low updos.

I really love all of the volume in the front of the picture on the left.  And how gorgeous are these curly knots on the right?

I want whatever goes on up front to be loose and light and not pinned to my face.

This one is a little too tight, but I like the sideswept bang in the front with the volume at the crown.

I'm in love with these woven looking curls.

And now, if I decide to go half up-ish.

This is actually everything I'm loking for in one picture.  I love the side part, the "pouf" if you will, and the curls.

Same idea, from the side.

And from the back.

At first I didn't give it much thought, but now I'm beginning to think I may need to have a hair trial, or two.  I don't know what I want, and my hair doesn't hold a curl for anything when I do it.  And yet for some reason, it's never had a problem for homecomings and prom.  I just don't have any special occassions coming up, and it seems silly to me to pay to have your hair done just to sit around home.  So we'll see.  I may just wing it the day of.  I'll be sure to keep you updated though!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The First Look

Allright guys, I'm sort of on the fence about this topic and I'll tell you why. 

At heart, I'm a very traditional kind of girl.  I like habits and rituals and patterns.  I like things that are done the same way over and over again.  I'm not always so great with change.  I want to wear a long white dress on my wedding day, a dress that Mr. T won't ever see until the wedding.  And I want my daddy to walk me down the aisle.  I want to light our unity candle together, instead of pouring sand or drinking wine.  I like knowing that I'm following in the footsteps of so many other people, that I'm doing what millions of brides  before me have done.  I want to see that look in my future husband's eyes when he sees me for the first time walking down the aisle.  I absolutely don't want to do this "first look" that is becoming so popular.

But I do.

And I don't.

And I just can't make up my mind. 
I feel like it should be an easy decision because I'm only about 5% pro first look, and a whopping 95% against it.  The only real reason I want to do it, is so that we can take all of our pictures before the ceremony, so we can enjoy our cocktail hour and mingle with our guests.  The church is about 20 minutes out of town, and I don't want everyone to have to come back into town and then wait around until the cocktail hour starts; but I don't want to miss it either!  I feel like I'm being a little selfish here, but it feels like we would be missing part of our own wedding.

I'm sure that once I come to terms with the fact that we just might have to miss out on part of the cocktail hour, I'll be fine.  I'm really not ready to sacrifice that amazing moment.  I just can't imagine that a planned meeting could portray the magnitude of emotions produced by seeing my almost-husband as I walk down the aisle.  It feels like cheating to me, that seeing him standing at the altar, waiting for me, somehow won't be as special.

So yes, while some of these new wedding trends have their place, (colored heels and candy buffets, anyone?) this just isn't one of them for me.  This is just going to be one of those times where I'm going to be the traditional bride.  I'll make my momma proud, yet!

What do you think??  Are you waiting to see your future hubby, or are you saving time and taking a peek?

DIY: Engagement Pictures Scrapbook: Part One

Yesterday I told you about all the pictures I had printed off from artscow that came in the mail.  I printed them with the intention of putting together a scrapbook of all our favorite engagement pictures.  I found a plain black scrapbook on sale at Hobby Lobby for $5.00 and bought a bunch of paper while it was 50% off.

Although the scrapbook isn't technically going to be for the wedding, I still wanted to stick with the same color pallette.  I bought a variety of black and white paper that will be the background for all of the pages.  The green papers will then be used for accents.

I got most of my fun tools and supplies spread out and got to work.  A lot of my scrapbooking stuff is at home right now instead of at my apartment, so I didn't have EVERYTHING but I'm making do.

Here's the progress I've made so far.  I'll show you the rest when I get it finished.

Front cover.  I still need to add "and" in there, but all my other letters are at home.
I guess now you know mine and Mr. T's first names.  I just couldn't blur them out though!

Here's the first page when you open up the book.  I'm trying to keep it pretty simple, and the plan from the beginning was to only have one picture per page.  I thought about adding the wedding date on here, but decided against it because I have another scrapbook of sorts in progress that we're going to use for the guestbook.  I'll show you this when it gets finished.

I love my Clikit by Karen Foster for punching holes and setting eyelets.  I don't think they make it anymore, but I bought it when I made my highschool graduation announcements.

It comes with different size punches and eyelet setters and you can buy separate embossing tips.

Sorry for the advertisement, but I use it ALL the time.  Moving on.

And that's where I'm at for now.  These pictures probably came at the worst time though, because I have three tests this week I should be studying for and instead, this is what I'm doing.  I'll show you the rest when it's finished.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Look what came in my mailbox today...!

I know it doesn't look super exciting now, but I knew what was in there, and I had been waiting on this delivery for almost two weeks, so I was definitely excited when I saw it.  I think I had it half way open by the time I got back up to my apartment.

My pictures finally came from artscow!  I don't know if you remember, but a couple weeks ago I posted about how I ordered pictures from this website.  I ordered 24 5x7's and only had to pay $4.99 for shipping. 

The quality of these pictures is amazing.  They look exactly the same as if I had ordered them from Walgreens or Walmart.  I was a little worried about this because I had never heard of the company before, but decided to risk it for $5.  It definitely paid off and I'll be saving lots of money in the future.  If you read through the earlier post you can get all the details about how the site works.  Make sure if you're interested to click on my referral link, and I'll get extra credits.

I've already used these pictures to start my engagement pictures scrapbook.  I'll show you some pictures tomorrow!

Newspaper Engagement Announcement

Dad and Mom (Maiden Name) M of Little Town, Illinois are proud to announce the engagement of their oldest daughter, kmattso2, to Mr. T, son of Dad and Mom (Maiden Name2) T. The bride elect is the granddaughter of Grandma Maiden Name and the late Grandpa Maiden Name of hometown, and Grandpa and Grandma M of hometown.
Kmattso2 is a 2006 graduate of Little Town Community High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois in 2009.

The future groom is the grandson of Grandpa and Grandma Maiden Name2 of hometown, and Grandpa and Grandma T of hometown. He is a 2001 graduate of Little Town Community High School and a 2006 graduate of the University of Illinois. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and has also earned his teaching and driver’s ed certificate. He is currently coaching Division II college football at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota and working on his master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

Friends and family will gather to help celebrate on May date, 2010, at Mr. T’s Church in Even Littler Town, Illinois.

Photo courtesy of Brandy Swartz Photography.

I'm not sure the exact rules on when to post your engagement announcements in the newspaper, but I know it has to be coming up sometime soon.  I'm going to wait until December after I graduate so that little part about getting my degree is true! (I'm so excited!!)  Sorry about all the name changes and such, but it's all in the name of privacy, my friends.  I googled a bunch of different newpaper announcements and just pulled pieces and parts that I liked from each one until I was happy with the outcome.  I didn't want it to be super formal, but at the same time be a little formal.  Make sense?

So now I have a couple of questions for you.
Overall does it read pretty well, or is there anything you think I should change or add?
Should I put our mothers maiden names, that way anyone that may be reading it that knew them previously would know who they are now?
Is it typical to have it run in your grandparents' local newspapers?
Do you think it's good timing to run it in the middle of December if our wedding is in May?

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Long Wedding Hair Evolution

I'm one of those brides who is growing out her hair for her wedding.  Kind of.  I had been growing out my hair ever since chopping it off my senior year of high school.  I'm the kind of person that grows her hair out, cuts it off and instantly wishes it was long again.  And then when it gets long, I'm ready to chop it all off.  It's a vicious cycle.
Anyways, I've had pretty long hair for awhile now (before we got engaged) and I'm at that point where I'm itching to chop it all off, but have decided for the wedding's sake, to let it keep growing.

Join me, and my hair, on a trip through time to see it's many lengths and multiple colors.  First stop, senior year of high school when I cut it the shortest it's ever been.

Keep your eye out for hair colors you like best.  I'm not sure what color I'm going to want it to be for the wedding.

Summer 2006.  Short and almost black.

Fall 2006.  Still short, but faded towards my natural color.

Summer 2007.  Growing, and probably around my natural color.

Totally kidding, just had to include it!

Summer 2007.  Kind of blonde, and curly.

Summer 2008.  Getting there....blondeish again.

Fall 2008.  Probably the closest to my natural color my hair has been in awhile.

Fall 2008.  A little bit darker, and a little bit longer.

Fall 2008.  Nice and dark.

Early 2009.  Kind of reddish.

Summer 2009.  I have a habit of going blondeish in the summer.

Taken today. 
I just had my hair trimmed this last weekend, and she took about an inch off.  I dyed my hair once I couldn't take my roots anymore from the summer, and it's faded to about as light as it will go.  I'm contemplating not messing with it and having my hair this color for the wedding.  But I get bored easily, and I'm not sure how long this color will last.  There's a chance it will go black before the winter is over, but we'll see.  Other than that, it will just keep growing until the wedding.  Then I'll have to decide if I chop it all off immediately after or not.  I kind of like my long hair.

My wedding hair inspiration pictures will be coming up shortly so you can get an idea of what I'm thinking.
Are any of you growing out your hair for your wedding?  What color do you think I should be as I walk down the aisle??
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