Wedding Wednesday: It's a Nice Day for a...Winter Wedding

When you are planning your wedding, one of the biggest things you have to consider is the season in which you are marrying. Are you a spring bride? Or an autumn one? Or are you completely brave and planning a winter wedding? If so, you get sincere props from me. When we were shooting our post-engagement photos a few weeks ago, our photographer, Theresa Scarbrough, was telling us how much her schedule opens up after November. I guess I understand, but having grown up in the Midwest, I have to admit that there is something magical about winter and the snow. The bare branches, Christmas lights (if it's that time of year), and crisp weather. Plus, if it snows? Well, that's even more magical! Winter weddings are obviously not for everyone, but if you can pull it off, I imagine it would be amazing! So, in honor of those that do or want to, here's a bit of winter wedding inspiration. : )



Wedding Cake...

Centerpiece Idea...

Ring Pillow...

Favor/End of Night Treat...

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(Winter Wedding Photo by Rebekah J. Murray via Bridal Guide; Snowflake Invitations by Parrott Design Studio via Oh So Beautiful Paper; Bouquet 2 via Martha Stewart; Wedding Cake via Erica O'Brien Cake Design; Centerpiece via The Wedding Dish; Ring Pillow via The Finer Things; Hot Cocoa to Go Photographed by Kiss the Girl Photography via Inspiring Brides)


Our Newest Endeavor

After a lot of discussion and a lot of fear that maybe we were diving in too soon, we decided to get another dog. It was a hard decision and one that I still have a lot of guilt over, but not one which either of us regret. We miss Radar every single moment of every single day and in no way are we thinking that we can ever replace him. But there are some things that have been hard that we didn't anticipate. We miss just having a dog: walking it, feeding it, playing with it, etc. In a lot of ways, we've gone downhill since we haven't had one. There's less cleaning up you do because there's no dog getting int it. A.P. started sleeping in later in the mornings because he didn't have Radar to walk anymore. That may seem like a good thing, but it made A.P.'s mornings harder. Not having Radar also made our evenings harder. It used to be that for both of us the end of the night signal was Radar's last walk. After he passed away, we found ourselves staying up later. But most of all, we just missed having a dog. Though our cat, Zuzu, was ruling the house and hanging out with us a lot more, which we loved, there was definitely a hole in our little family that a dog used to fill. Cats are wonderful, but dogs are a different kind of pet. And we missed having one.

So, after much discussion and debate, we decided to add a new member to our family. Meet Ollie! His real name is Oliver, but we call him Ollie (also a nice play on words since an ollie is a skateboard trick, too). He's the same kind of breed as Radar was (half Chihuahua, half Miniature Poodle) since we didn't want a large dog in our small space, but that's about where their similarities end. Ollie looks much more Chihuahua than Radar and his coloring and face are totally different. He's 3 months old and 2.5 lbs. of crazy. He basically spends his days running around, chewing the crap out of everything until he's too tired to keep his eyes open and he collapses. It's hilarious. He's pretty entertaining, particularly when he attacks his tail, plays fetch, or does somersaults because he's trying to attack his penis. Seriously. It's pretty cute.

I can't say that everyone in the house loves him. Zuzu was none too pleased to see there was a new dog in the house. Despite her hatred of the new beastie, she was very kind to him. But after about a week, she gave up on that. Honestly, though, that's Ollie's fault; he chases her around constantly, trying to get her to play with him. Hopefully, they'll get to a point where they get along fine, like she and Radar did. Until then, she waits until he's collapsed before she comes and hangs out with us. Don't worry, though! I make sure she gets lots of love, too.

Anyway, here are some pictures of our new buddy! Expect to see more in the future, like all the pets in our household, they're over photographed. : )

1st night home...before we fully learned the insane dog we'd taken in.

Note that most of these pictures are of him when he is sleeping. Sadly, that's the only time you can get him to be still enough to take a photo.

(Photos by me!)


Marriage Monday: Holidays

Hope Your Holidays Aren't Crappy!!

It's that time of the year again. The time when we decide if we will spend Christmas with my family or A.P.'s. It's not a decision I like making (or even talking about). I love A.P.'s family, but I also do not know them super well. In fact, A.P. and I did the math the other night. I've hung out with them a total of seven times. Seven times in five years! That's not a lot, but it's for good reason. For one thing, they all live in Florida. For another, they never, ever, ever come to Chicago. A.P.'s father used to be better about visiting once a year, but the last time he came here was for the wedding almost two years ago. Instead, it seems they all wait for us to make the (often expensive) trek down to Florida each year. We have to go to them or else we don't really get to see them.

I, of course, wish we could have holidays here with both families. That would be awesome. I could cook and everyone could get to know each other better. But A.P.'s family doesn't do winter, so we're often forced to choose between holiday flying or staying local. The last couple of years, we've chosen to stay local.

Obviously I know A.P.'s family better now and I feel much more myself than I did that year. Still, I loathe spending the holidays in Florida. Besides the unnatural warm weather that screams summer and not Christmas, it's just hard being away from our animals, our home, and our own Christmas traditions. But being married is all about making compromises, right? So I've had to spend a few holidays with A.P.'s family.

The thing is, I always knew I would dread the day when I was married and I would have to choose between my family and that of my husband. I always knew it would be a headache and turns out, I was right! I love A.P.'s family, but they're not my family. They don't do holidays like us and they don't come together like us. They will spend a day or so together, maybe an afternoon before or after actual Christmas. But there's no tree, no gifts, and well, the meal leaves a lot to be desired. Not easy for me at all. The worst was the first year I spent Christmas with them. We spent Christmas Eve with his one brother and Christmas day with his other brother's then in-laws. I was a stranger and all of it was a bit overwhelming. Plus, Christmas Eve was a lot of the one brother and his wife going on and on about their daughter. It was a bit much for me. There are other (more important, actually) topics of conversation I felt we could have been having but instead they just kept talking about their daughter. Needless to say, it was a long night. One that saw me taking frequent trips to the bedroom we were staying in to text my friend about how crazy I was going. Yikes!

This year, we've decided to stay in Chicago, but in the future we will, I'm sure, have to head back down south for the holidays. The whole thing makes me realize how hard being married is, though. I can't even imagine what it would be like to choose if we have kids one day. How does that work? One set of grandparents gets one less Christmas than the other? What a bummer! We have not figured out a system for alternating, but I know when we do have kids, it will become necessary. I guess we'll adapt, but it still sucks. Plus, no matter how long I'm married to A.P., his family will never be my family. We will forever be different in some fundamental ways. For now, I just enjoy the fact that I can still sneak a holiday season in with no trips to Florida. It may not be a big win, but I'll take it.

So, how do you handle holidays with the in-laws? Do you alternate? Or do you just have your own holidays?

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(Crappy Christmas by Corey Ann)


How Could I Dance with Another???

Sorry this post-Thanksgiving Friday dance is so late. I'm still recovering from my Turkey Day, which was not so great. But it reminded me of the the very first Thanksgiving A.P. and I ever spent together, which was horrible. I was nannying at the time and the parents knew the girl had been sick and still had me watch her anyway (something I would NEVER do to ANYONE). I ended up getting the stomach flu and throwing up all day Thursday. A.P.'s plans were to go my mom's house for Thanksgiving since he wasn't going home. Since I got sick, he ended up spending it alone, popping in on me once to deliver some Gatorade and medicine and then heading back home to spend the holiday by his lonesome. It was terrible and last night after spending the night at my mother's house with some other family members, we were reminiscing about it.

Truth be told, yesterday was a close second in terms of bad Thanksgivings. First of all, I was supposed to host Thanksgiving. I sent out an invitation at the beginning of November stating that fact. Nobody replied. I assumed that everyone was okay with it. Then, about four days before the big day, the one brother who was attending started in on how nobody was coming and there was no point in me making all that food. Then, my mother called me the next day and "mommed" me. In other words, somehow she decided she was hosting Thanksgiving and I agreed, but I have no idea how that happened. It was probably some awesome form of guilt and mommified reasoning and me not wanting to argue about it. Anyway, it soon became clear that my mother didn't want me to host Thanksgiving because she and her boyfriend and my brother were all on this diet and they couldn't eat a ton of stuff I would assumedly make. And so their plan was for the rest of us to suffer with their bland, crappy diet food so that they could stick to the stupid diet they chose to go on right before Thanksgiving. LAME!

And it was lame...the turkey was great, but there was no stuffing and no traditional cranberry sauce, both of which are my favorites. Initially my mother had talked some crap about making baked pumpkin that we could eat with syrup and crushed nuts (I hate nuts). Thank God that didn't make an appearance (she opted instead for store bought pie). However, about two thirds of the way into the evening, I got sick and spent a good portion in the bathroom. I was also exhausted, still recovering from my long (even though it was short) work week. I got sick between dinner and dessert, so I didn't even get the pumpkin pie I had coveted so much. The end of the evening resulted with us getting lost in the northern suburbs after dropping off my brother-in-law and me guzzling ginger ale from a one liter bottle. Fun. Oh, and besides the meal/evening itself, one of my siblings is in the hospital and I got into a fight with my dad that made me say, "Happy Thanksgiving, assh***!" and hang up on him. Awesome. So maybe not as bad as our first Thanksgiving, but definitely not great.

That's why I needed a good Friday dance. A really good one. And I found it. I love this wedding because A. I love the Beatles and B. I love the Half-breed Swede, who this made me think of. Secretly, I hope that one day when she marries, she'll let me help her plan a wedding just like this one! Wouldn't it be rad?? Carmen and Pete love The Beatles so, so much that they made their music and the band the theme of the wedding. Such a neat idea and executed so well. Jesi Haack Design, a favorite of mine (they also did the Johnny Cash themed wedding I featured a few weeks ago), designed the awesome wedding and the whimsical photos were done by Ashley Rose. Check it out!

Don't you love it? Doesn't it make you hum your favorite Beatles tune?? (Mine is "Here Comes the Sun"! What's yours?) Le sigh.

So, this is a nice long weekend for us. We were off yesterday, again today, and of course the regular weekend. That's four days, baby! I have a lot of work to do, though. But if I can get it done, I'll be halfway through my long term workload through mid-February. Then, I can tackle the other half, so that I can focus more on day to day stuff. Exciting! We also want to go see The new Muppet movie and I'm having dinner and drinks with Rev/Rach tonight! Fun filled weekend, indeed! What are you up to this weekend? Did you do any Black Friday shopping?

In the mean time, here are your dance moves for the week:

Imagine a beautiful English garden wedding

The true cost of a wedding. Yikes!

DIY Shift Dress from Martha

I should so do this for my godmother when she turns 90 next year!

File this away for next year: Chow's Best Thanksgiving recipes

Imagine sleeping and dreaming in this!

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(Friday dance photo via here; Carmen and Pete's Beatles Themed Wedding Photographed by Ashley Rose Photography via Green Wedding Shoes here and here)


Happy Turducken Day!

Not really, but wouldn't that be more interesting than the same old bird? I was supposed to do the cooking this year, but now we're going to my mother's. One day, I'll tell you the story of how I got mommed and ended up going tover to her house instead of her coming to my place and watched as my Thanksgiving plans were saboutaged. But until then, I wish you a happy, halthy holiday!

(Photo via How To Photography)
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