Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life's Miracles

With only 37.5 days to go before becoming a Mrs. to the man of my dreams, I want to stop and ponder here for a moment.  It hit me and it hit me hard and good, but in a wonderful sort of way.  This morning when I was laying in bed, I was thinking to myself about how much Charlie really is my miracle. 

I've been waiting so many years for the right man to come along.  
There were times when I dated other guys and wondered if they might be the right person to spend the rest of my life with?  But always something was lacking that should have been there.
That knowing deep down inside.
Those little or sometimes big moments where God whispers in your ear and tells you that this is
what He was saving for you all along. 

Charlie was well worth the longgg wait and I'm so blessed he is in my life!
I cannot wait for October 5th to get here and to become his wife, a Mrs. Morrison!!!

Speaking of being a Mrs. Morrison....
The reason for this "random picture" is because it tells a little story of things I look forward to as a wife and hopefully mother one day:

- I look forward to creating a small kitchen similar to this one one day; very british with all the white dishes everywhere!!!  I love the clean look of white bowls and containers =)  This picture makes me think of lazy Saturday mornings and staying in pajamas while brewing french press coffee and whisking up fresh waffles with homemade whip cream, organic berries and real maple syrup.  Then staying in said pajamas and reading good books or playing games together.

- Then who knows at what time, putting on something decent and taking a stroll to the park to go and fly a kite.

- Walking to church on Sundays and then walking to the train station and heading into the city for the day.

- Welcoming home a husband every night and being able to take care of someone that I really, really love and cherish!!!  Hearing how his work day went.  Giving him needed or unneeded back rubs.

- Pulling down my book of life's dreams and making them happen together.

- Waiting to see how this little here blog changes over the next few years as I become a wife and mother and conversations turn to household and children related discussions. 

I know in all reality, life isn't always going to be dreamy and full of roses, but still it doesn't mean I shouldn't always try to make life a little sweeter, even when life gets tough. 

Happy hump day, peeps!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dear Letters

Dear Friends: it was so wonderful being together a few weekends ago.  I'm glad we could see each other and catch up on summer happenings and your adventuresome lives.  So many fun facts =)

Dear Charlie:  although vacation is nice and all, I was beyond ecstatic to come home to you!!! yeah, I really, really missed you, kinda a lot =)  thank you for being my hero and for teaching me how to love deeper.  you are my inspiration in so many ways!!!

Dear August:  where has the time flown???  you have come and almost gone.  people just went back to school today and i've seen yellow leaves drifting to the ground already.  crazy stuff.

Dear Running Shoes:  vacation is over!  that means that we are forced to be friends again. blah. blah. blah.  help, I need some serious motivation here.

Dear Pumpkin Spiced Lattes:  shhh don't tell anyone that we've already met this month.  i'm holding off  now until September when we will meet again.

Dear Wedding Plans:  it's been nice taking a short break from you, but we will be back at it again this week. 

Dear August 25th:  i'm really looking forward to you because this means an all day date day with my man.  i have a little something planned for you, honey.  you are always looking out for me and now it's my turn to look out for you!  i know you are soooo ready for a vacation =)  soon enough.

Dear Cough and Cold:  you've been around long enough, please go away!

Dear Weekend:  just get here already pretty pretty please and thank you. 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wedding Planning Part II

I never quite realized that wedding preparations aren't just about being prepared for the big day itself, but also, all the other activities that go along with a wedding.
Hence, needing to dress up for more than one formal occasion.
It made me realize how infrequently I go shopping for formal dresses.  So here we were on the hunt.
We scored both wedding shower and wedding rehearsal dresses!
Please excuse my clothing rack =)
Wedding planning has to include some chocolate brownies, too =)
Oh boy, sitting and eating brownies while watching the David Tutera bridal show the day before Charlie proposed!!!  
Good thing brownies don't go far with 10 people in the house.  You're 
never in danger of eating too many.
 More wedding magazines!
 Signed up for a boot camp that kicked some serious butt. 
 It was crazy what you could accomplish in 3 weeks.  I miss this class and wish it wasn't so far away!
 It's almost wedding time!!!
A big "thank you" to all the dear friends who have sent really sweet and thoughtful wedding notes.
I've cherished and saved them all.
 The ladies out and enjoying some dinner and drinks before heading back to the stores in search of bridesmaid dresses.  It was quite the hunt.  Beware, if you are doing a wedding in a six month crunch, make sure to shop for bridesmaid dresses right away!  
They can take several months to come in the mail. 
 It was kinda tough trying to decide on a bridesmaid dress color.  While I have a favorite color, it also had to be seasonally appropriate.
 Wedding packages and more wedding packages!  I think I'll be tired of making so many purchases and returns once the wedding comes round. 
 Sending out bridesmaid dresses to 7 different states.
 Looking into tuxes for the guys =)
 Picking out my almost dream TV cabinet! 
 Heading downtown Chicago to spend a ladies day running wedding errands.
Our main purpose was to meet with our florist and collaborate on the floral arrangements!
This was such a blast!!!
 What a random industrial building our florist was in.  It was kinda cool and creepy all at the same time.
It's just neat to see how all these wedding plans come together.  So many things have happened by word of mouth, asking for help or advice and just talking with people.  
I found our florist through the maze of the blogging world. I had heard of and seen Holly Chapple's work on a favorite blog of mine, so even though I knew she was out on the East Coast, I contacted her. I told her that I loved her style and her gorgeous work.  Although I knew she probably couldn't ship her flower arrangements out of state, I asked if she knew of anyone in the Chicago area that had similar taste to hers.  Holly was on it!!!  She e-mailed right back and got me in touch with Alexandra from Exquisite Designs in Chicago saying that she was da BOMB!!!
Holly and Alexandra are good friends and I'm thrilled to be working with someone I can trust and someone whose style I love!
 Taking taxis around the city all day!
 Whatcha do when you don't have enough umbrellas =)
 Having fun playing with textures and colors.
 Tablescapes was this crazy place where people spend crazy amounts of money on table linens, dinner ware, flatware, glasses, tables, you name it!!!  
Our florist recommended it to us and told us to check it out seeing as we were already in the city.
It was fun to look at, but that's all.
 Our trip to the city proved to be an even more successful one when we found the shoes for all the bridesmaids!!!
 Being able to spend a full day in the city was great!  We accomplished a lot and enjoyed ourselves as we made pit stops for Sprinkles cupcakes and lunch at the Bongo room.
 This water tower has a special place in my heart.  It will always remind me of the day Charles and I got engaged and came back from our romantic horse and buggy ride!!
 Here we are booking our photographer!!!
Crazy story how we found Caroline.  After losing our first photographers, we were again on the look out for someone else we really liked. 
One day on facebook these beautiful wedding shots from a photographer in Seattle popped up through Style Me Pretty.   I contacted him and asked if he traveled and if not, if he knew of someone with similar style to his.  He texted and said that he didn't travel, but that he personally knew of someone in the local Chicago area who he highly recommended.
I looked up the work of the lady he recommended and fell in love with her style and the gorgeous wedding photographs she had taken and posted on her website and blog.
I got in touch with Caroline immediately!  She happened to be free on our wedding day and boom, we signed on with her for October 5th!!!
Of all the wedding planning and details, having a great photographer is a huge thing for me!
No two photographers are exactly the same.  I feel as though some people capture pictures, while others capture moments.  Plus I didn't want just the typical standard shots, I really wanted unique pictures with an artistic twist!  
Ha, ha, ha, sorry to go on and on about this....can you tell I'm excited about our photographer!?!?
Like they say, "the cake is eaten, the food is gone, the venue is just for the evening, but your photographs last a life time for you and your loved one to look at!"
 Ahhhh sigh of relief....out for a nice, relaxed and much needed dinner date!!
I think this was the first Sunday in ages that we even sat down for a late night movie.
 Our cake tasting!
This isn't the cake we went with, that would be spoiling surprises to show that =)
 Charlie trying out our fine china.
 Here is to six more weeks until our wedding day!!!  
I know time will fly, but I'm looking forward to this season of Fall.  
Romance will be in the air =)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wedding Planning Part I

Time is quickly flying by as we wedding plan, so I thought it would be good to slow things down a bit and enjoy this Monday by reflecting back on where we started 4 short months ago!
It's fun going back, collecting all the pictures from our journey and putting them in order because it's neat to see how they tell such a love story!!!
I know some people enjoy picking out their engagement ring, while others might not.  
I loved how comfortable Charlie and I were as we did this together and personally, I LOVED it!!
We turned each trip into a lunch date or coffee date =)
In the end, we became friends with the owner of the jewelry store and some of the other incredibly sweet people working there.  We are talking nice to the point that they told us to stop by on our way from the church to the reception so that they could pop some champagne for us and our bridal party!!!

Once we were officially engaged, our two families came together and celebrated over a festive evening out.
 Gorgeous engagement flowers from Charlie and Charlie's dad. 
Like father, like son =)  They are both big romantics!!!
 Still floating on cloud nine....
Moving on to some wedding planning.  Although it may be more work
having a whole bunch of bridesmaids, I love it that way!
 Having a good selection of stationary on hand was helpful in getting things out in a timely fashion.
We had a photographer take our save the date photos! 
In the end, we went with photos from both our save the date shoot and our engagement photographs.
I couldn't recommend Minted enough!!!  Their company was easy to use and had a really fast turn around rate.  Some of the toughest work in the beginning was definitely collecting everyones current addresses and compiling a guest list.
 Next we tackled our Wedding Website and some of our gift registries. 
Charlie is great with the computer and really helped to put the important details on our website.
The Knot has been a great free resource when it comes to wedding websites and super easy for linking up your registries.  The wedding registries were a blast to do together in the store.
Note: While men might not particularly care what pattern their table linens are,  they do get a kick out of walking around the store and using the gun to scan all the bar codes.  Careful, they may even go scan-go-lucky and randomly throw on that R2D2 spatula they think is cool and that really nice jewelry case you like but don't think anyone would ever consider buying. 
When it comes to registries, let him have fun with it too, heck, we ended up with both those items!
 Read up, read up, read up and get a cute notebook to get your thoughts organized! 
Going out and buying a wedding etiquette book was a great idea.  It's better to read about wedding etiquette before you give the wedding bloopers a chance occur.  
Just know, they still happen, it's life!
 Some of the sweet ladies from Tae Kwon Do helped us celebrate our engagement Hawaiian style.
 Then came dress shopping!!!  Four stores and many hours later, I finally found the one!
Bernadette is just a little excited herself.  
I hope she has wonderful memories of us shopping together.  Sometimes it is just bittersweet being so much older than your baby sister.  Me getting married and leaving home has to be emotional for her, too.  But she says "not to worry, I'm coming with you and Charlie on your honeymoon!"
 Dress receipt in hand =)  So happy to finally have found the DRESS
 Some of the best advice another mom gave us was to take pictures from all angles when you try on dresses.  This way you can get an idea of what it looks like in a picture.  Doing this helped a ton!!!
Right away you could say "yes" "no" or "maybe". 
Just make sure your fiance doesn't get his hands on your camera or phone while these top secret pictures are stored on them!!!
More pictures and stories to come!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wedding Shower Weekend Fun

The best part about having friends come in town for your wedding shower are all the festivities and fun adventures that fill the entire weekend.  We know how to pack it in and not
let any time go to waste. 
I love how my beach towel made it on my own blog =) Thanks for showing it off, Josie! I'm glad you remembered yours this time, Rachel Ann, ha, ha!
A poolside picture, courtesy of the nice old man who almost got stuck on the sidewalk from bending down to take the picture for us!

Mama Lou's first Irish Car Bomb.  She thought it tasted nasty!  Too bad she couldn't see past the beer taste and enjoy the yummy chocolate cake taste that we think it has.
Our moms rock the Irish pub!!!
Celebratory Irish car bombs!!!  

The morning of the wedding shower, just trying to wake up. These ladies are enjoying the tree fort porch
off my bedroom.

Wedding shower is over and these ladies really really needed coffee for their drives home!
Josie sports her fiat like the lawyer in the making that she is =)
It totally fits her personality!
Everyone hanging out in bed trying to wake ourselves up the day after the wedding shower.
Off for some more coffee at the local cafe.
Best friends for life right here!!!
See you in October, chica!
It was such an awesome weekend filled with many laughs and talk about growing up!  It's crazy to see
where we are all ending up in life as God takes us all on different adventures.  Knowing I have so many great friends makes the journey even sweeter!
I can't wait to spend more time with them in September and October.
50 more days, Charlie, 50 more days =)