Chad & Kristina

Chad & Kristina
Chad & Kristina

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Local Wedding

It was very important to us to do as much business locally as we could for the wedding. And I am proud to say we did about 95% of our business that way. So here is the breakdown:

Bridal Wear:
Gown and head piece – Bridal Productions
Jewelry – All were gifts from Chad and purchased at Mark’s Jewelry in St. Lucas
Garders were ordered from KD Rae
Shoes were a custom order from Nike

Grooms Wear:
Tuxes were all ordered from Amundson’s.  And since my boys had grown since measuring they were more than accommodating in getting a size larger for us. 
I gave Chad and the boys matching tie pins with their initials on them which came from Hammel Jewelers.  Chad lost his but that is another story!  I also gave Chad a set of cuff links from Hammel Jewelers.

Bridal Party:
Dresses were ordered from Bridal Productions.  All fit nearly perfect except for the girl who lost a bunch of weight J
The tuxes were brown and as mentioned above they came from Amundson’s.  Becasue they were brown we got brown socks for everyone which we also got from Amundson’s.  And yes, I probably bought them about 6 months ago.
The gifts for the bridal party included:
                Personalized make up bags from KD Rae
                Jewelry from KD Rae
                Personalized shaver bags from KD Rae
                Bar glasses that were engraved at Nordic Lasers
                Eclips gift certificates
                Ball caps from the Ossian County Club
                For my boys an ITunes card from Sim’s TV & Electronics, and a Wal Mart gift card

Party Island were our go to girls.  Tammy and Jill are great.  They are there for set up and take down.  I wanted to use burlap on the tables and I was able to get rolls of it from Pinter’s Pumpkins and Gardens.  I also picked up some candle votives from KD Rae that were brown and green. We also used some hen and chicks on the tables.  Mason made some boxes out of old barn boards which we lined with burlap and placed the hen and chicks. The plants were raised in Calmar at Chad’s aunt’s house.  They were really fun and cheap!  Our name cards on the head and family tables were rocks from one of Wiltgen’s quarries that my sister in law Amy painted on.  Again fun but cheap.  They were fun projects that allowed us to put our signature touch on the day.

Lynch BBQ did all of our catering and we also got some tables and chairs from them.  The meal was great.  We had pork loin, corn, mashed potatoes, pasta salad, and buns. 
The rest of the tables we needed came from Ness in Waukon.  He was a life saver.
The cake was ordered from Pinter’s Pumpkins and Gardens.  It was delicious.  Our cake serving set was purchased at KD Rae and our cake toper came from Hallmark.
We got all of our cups and napkins from the Bargain Outlet. You can order most any color you can imagine from them.  And the price is right. 
I found some green oval buckets from Happiness Is.  I wanted three of them and they were able to order more for me. Two pails were used for silverware at the head of the serving lines and the third one was used for snack mix.  The pails were green and I had Letterwerks add “The Wiltgen’s” in brown on them.  I got scoops for the snack mix from Ace Kitchen Place.

I feel that all I need to say here is that the staff at Letterwerks rocks. We got our invitations (wedding and shower), thank yous (shower and wedding when we are ready), cups, koozies, and programs (all paper and photos), and our save the date magnets.  They work fast and they are great at design.

We were registered at Ace Kitchen Place, JC Penney, The Perfect Edge, and Agora Arts.  The nice thing about these local stores is that they will call you with questions and even tell you if you need to come in and register for more!

The Bar:
The important stuff right? The beer was ordered from Barney’s which then came from local distributors.  The liquor was ordered from JR’s on the Rocks.  Pop came from 7Up.  Ice was from King’s Kubes.  And the Chamber ambassadors were our bar tenders.  We owe them so much for all their hard work.

The Country Garden did all the flowers.  They were exactly what I wanted and of course beautiful.  My bouquet included white gerberas and roses.  I had my grandma Courtney’s rosary and a necklace of her included in my arrangement.  I also purchased different types of ribbon from the Country Garden.

Random thoughts:
Our unity candle was a project.  The taper candles came from Vanberia.  We ordered a vase from KD Rae and I actually had a hard time finding a candle to fit it.  The solution was a candle from Ridgeway’s Country Star which was placed on top of coffee beans that came from Java John’s. 

I am sure I am forgetting stuff.  Feel free to ask us any questions.  I would challenge anyone receipt for receipt on costs.  I firmly believe everything you need is right here and you won’t be disappointed. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bride's Blog

Brides Blog: Day 4

I really don’t even know where to start.  The day was gorgeous and most everything went according to plan.  I was not even aware of one flaw until long after it had been taken care of.  We have some of the best friends and family anyone could ask for!  Oh, and I did get some flak for brining my wedding binder with me on Saturday – but I needed it twice. I may have a hard time parting with it now.  It has been my constant companion for the past 9 months!

The day started at 8 a.m. with the girls at Eclips.  Most of us had both our hair and makeup done.  A little pampering to start the day is always fun.  Everyone looked beautiful.  And the crew at Eclips is superb.  Thanks to Keri I have nice nails – no one needs to know it has taken me months to get there! I guess until now.  Jody is my main girl when it comes to my hair.  I don’t even get an opinion.  I sit in her chair and she does what she feels is best.  And she knows me well enough that she can successfully do that. I also had my knuckles waxed last week too – not painful at all and it cured my man hands!

Arriving at the church was a bit of reality.  When I walked into the basement there were already a few people there waiting for me.  As much as I love being the center of attention (sarcasm) it was the first time for me during the day that told me this is our day.  I took a moment and looked around the church to check out the flowers which also gave me a moment alone to take it all in.

Thing One and Thing Two took on the challenge of getting me into my dress.  It had a corset back which means a lot of standing still and being pulled and tugged on.  But those girls know what they are doing.  Somewhere in the midst of all the wardrobe changes Chad’s brothers delivered a gift to me from my groom.  Chad sent me a beautiful set of diamond earrings which went nicely with the diamond necklace he had given me for my birthday.  He loves to buy jewelry and of course I love to get it. Chad is a very generous and kind man and I hope that throughout our life together I can reciprocate that.

As I have mentioned my boys walked me down the isle. As I stood waiting for our turn my heart was just pounding.  Even Mason mentioned he was a bit nervous.  Of course we made it.  When I reached Chad he was shaking and I am sure his heart was racing just as much as mine was.  The ceremony went well.  I found myself just trying to focus on what I was supposed to be doing and of course breathing that I was not even paying attention to the things we spent time on planning.  Songs, readings, etc. 

The reception was beautiful as well.  The food was great and the beer was cold.  What more could you ask for really? The band was fun and kept many people dancing all night. I still think of Slap and Tickle in their tights and 80’s hair and laugh.  What a night.

There were so many people that I did not see and I apologize for that. It really means so much to us both that there were so many people there to celebrate with us. We love you all.

Sunday was exhausting but we got everything done.  It has taken me a couple of days to get some sense of organization around our house but we are getting there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Count Down Is On

We are officially under the four week mark. How did that happen??

The shower was August 13th. It was held at the new NICC Student Center with Lynch’s catering. It was a beautiful shower with lots of wonderful people. As I sit here and write I am enjoying some popcorn in a properly decorated popcorn bowl that we received as a gift. There are many popcorn recipes – yes, from a new cookbook. I might just have to have a girls movie night with a popcorn bar! All of our family and friends are so generous and loving. Thank you cards are in progress as a small start to our appreciation. I hope we can reciprocate that at some point during our married lives. Here are a few pictures from the shower.

We got a lot of new stuff for the kitchen. From spatulas, and bowls, to cookbooks, and a new food processor. Oh, and a cake leveler! I have decided I want to be the next pioneer woman. How fun would it be to test recipes and ingredients and share the process with people? The best part of cooking is the eating. Perhaps a new blog might be in order after the wedding.

The girls and I had a spa day at Eclips last Saturday. Really ladies, we should treat ourselves like that more often! We had facials, massages, pedicures, and manicures. It was delightful. Thank you to all the girls that joined me!

Some of our table decorations will include boxes that were made by Mason (with a little help from Justin, Terry and Carter.) We lined them with some burlap and filled them with hen and chicks from Chad’s aunt Linda’s yard. I am not sure how long I thought this process would take but it went very quickly and I am so pleased with the results. And the best part – the boys got to help and they are really proud of them too.

So, at this point my need for organization is in overdrive. We are storing a lot of stuff in our humble little abode. I have taken to moving boxes of stuff from one room to another and sometimes just to a different corner or wall. Fruitless I know but somehow it makes me feel better. It will feel good to reclaim our bedroom someday soon.

I have a “master” binder and notebook. I get a lot of flak for the binder but trust me it is all in there. The notebook holds my random thoughts and to do lists. All the big things are taken care of. I have had the final fitting on my dress. My mom will pick it up from Bridal Productions the week of the wedding and store it at her house until the big day. Catering, cake, decorations, bridal party gifts, band, check check check check.

The biggest thing I have put off? Music for the wedding. Our selection for ceremony songs was limited. During the prelude and postlude we have more options. I guess I just don’t have a strong opinion on any of it so I keep putting it off. However, I probably need to get information out to those that are assisting us with music! I am off to make those final selections now…

Monday, August 8, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye

My eyes are green, Chad’s brown. Ironically these are also our wedding colors.

Time is starting to really tick by. I am glad we have so many things done or in progress at this point. A couple of weeks ago we met with the guys in charge of music and all around entertainment for the reception. This is the same group that entertained at the previous two Wiltgen weddings so we are in good hands. And, I love the name of the band – Slap and Tickle.

Mason has started to make boxes that we can plant some hen and chicks into as decorations. This may have been a bit of a larger project than predicted. He is using barn boards to build the boxes and we will line them with burlap before adding the plants. The plants are being well cared for in Chad’s Aunt Linda’s yard until we are ready.

Invitations went in the mail last week, so far only two have come back! Programs are being worked on at Letterwerks and should be done soon. They will need a little assembly so I guess we will have a girl party soon. Some beverages might be in order for that.

I cannot believe the shower is this weekend already. We have so much done already but I am sure the weeks to come will still be filled with a flurry of activity.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Glass Slippers

So, as much as I feel like a girl should have some secret weapons on her wedding day, let’s face it I just don’t work that way. I am so excited for the shoes which I plan to wear all day with my dress. Really, I feel like a kid that can’t wait for the first day of school so I can wear my new shoes.

The shoes are still “in production” but once they arrive I will have a hard time keeping them off my feet. Maybe I should strike a deal with the delivery guy and have him keep them until the week of the wedding!

Chad and I are big Iowa State fans so after the wedding I will have some sweet game day shoes!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Better Late than Never

I know, I know. It has been a really long time. We did so much right off the bat so we were able to slow down a bit. Also, my sister got married last month and I guess time just flies when you are having fun.

We are now nearly two months away from the wedding. Here is what we have been up to!

The shower is on August 13th. It will be held in the new Student Center at NICC. Invites will hopefully go out next week but here is a sneak peak. Letterwerks has been doing all of our printing and designing – they are so easy to work with and very accommodating. (See invite above)

I found these awesome green buckets. Happiness Is only had one in stock but they were able to order two more for me. We will use two of the buckets at the buffet lines for the reception and one will be filled with snack mix for guests to enjoy. FYI, you can get nice scoops in several sizes in case you are curious. And again,

Letterwerks did the lettering on the buckets. I think this is my favorite thing so far! Somewhere along the line I thought it would be nice to wrap the silverware – probably because I found these awesome buckets. We ordered a case of napkins from Bargain Outlet and I got the ropy stuff from The Country Garden. The kids and I wrapped 150 pieces of silverware one night at home last week. Yesterday, my mom came to our rescue and took us out to her place and we finished wrapping and tying all the silverware.

And, last night Sister Amy came over and we were able to get our “place cards” done. Since we have ample access to rock Chad and the guys went to one of their quarries and picked out the rocks. As I sat wiping them off they guys suggest using the air compressor to blow the dust and dirt off them. I had picked up some paint at Ace Hardware and put Amy to work. I had purchased brown and green paint but as you can see we just used the brown. No little pieces of paper telling you where to sit at our wedding – look for your rock. Well, the head table and parents anyway.

Our cake was ordered a while ago from Pinter’s. I just got the glass cut for the cake stand last week. The cake is a bit larger than the stand thus the glass. Chad’s mom, Dianne, had this plant stand that she let me paint and it will be topped with a three tier cake. Lemon and Chocolate are the flavors.

Most important, and exciting – all the dresses are in. My dress fits really well and I have already had it on twice. I’ll try to stay away for a while now. Though the girls at Bridal Productions are pretty accommodating. The bridesmaid dresses were ordered by picture only since they did not have what I was looking for in the store. Boy was I glad to see them and even happier to know that I liked them in person as much as I liked them in the picture. Trisha – our usherette sent me this text yesterday. “Just picked up my dress and I love it! Fits great, covers nicely and I love the color.” As an usher her dress is brown and the bridesmaids are green.

Chad and I also went and ordered wedding bands. What girl doesn’t love a jewelry store?? The Wiltgen’s are good friends with the owners of Mark’s Jewelry in St. Lucas so that is who we have been working with.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

So my first question is – do people still do this?

I have no idea what I will do for any of it other than the new. Of course the dress, shoes, and whatever I decide to put in my hair will all be new – that’s the easy one! I've joked about getting blue contacts for the day but I am kind of partial to my green ones even if they are not quite normal.

I have a necklace that belonged to my great grandma Inez Harvey. The necklace was given to her by my great grandpa Warren on their 25th wedding anniversary. They were married for 75 years before grandpa passed away. I am honored to have the heirloom. I have taken it to a jeweler who informed me that it was basically costume jewelry and therefore not worth much other than sentimental value. Which I am more than ok with.

I have not had the opportunity to try my dress on with the necklace myself but I am already contemplating if it is a suitable combination. I am contemplating having the necklace made into a bracelet. The up side being that I would wear it more the down side being I am not sure how I feel about altering the original piece.

I’ve been trying to think of some clever ways I can help my sister with her June wedding old, new, borrow, and blues. She has had a pair of shoes dyed blue to match her bridesmaid dresses, of course her dress is new but that leaves open the old and borrowed. I offered the necklace to Bre Anna for her wedding but she is not happy with the way it looks with her dress. She is contemplating a set of pearls from KD Rae Jewelry and even without seeing them I think they would look beautiful with her dress.

In other wedding news we have finalized the tux choices. We are getting the tuxes from Amundson’s and they will be brown. While there we purchased a pair of brown socks for everyone on the tux list (except for Carter because he is too small.) I have gotten a lot of flack for doing so but at least everyone will be well coordinated.

We have also pretty much secured wedding party gifts. The ladies will be getting hand crafted jewelry from KD Rae Jewelry and embroidered travel bags. The guys will be getting embroidered travel bags, socks, and possibly one other item that is still a work in progress.

We met with Elisa Pinter at Pinter’s Gardens and Pumpkins about the cake on Saturday morning. Guests will be enjoying lemon and chocolate cake. We opted for a three tier cake and 7 sheet cakes. We will serve the top layer of the cake to the head table rather than freezing it for a year for us and testing our memory a year from September! Oh, and we can also order the burlap I have been wanting from them too!

We are registered at the Perfect Edge. I love the work they do and I know I will want wedding pictures framed. We have other plans for registering as well but that is as far as we have gotten.

Save the date magnets have gone out and continue to go out. I had several typos on addresses and too many of you have moved around! And Chad comes home about every other night wondering if so and so was on the list. When the magnets are gone they are gone! I told him we should have just run an ad in the local papers.

I have added (or will soon add) a few boxes to the right: Wedding party and Registrations.

I welcome input on the old, new, borrow, blue stuff!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How I Met...

This is a blog about meetings.

First of all my dad and his wife Kwang met Chad’s parents last Friday night. We had a nice dinner at The Oak’s – the fish soup is amazing, you must try it! Those of you that follow me on facebook may have seen my post inquiring on dinner suggestions. Dad is new to facebook and when he saw my post he called and said that I had put his fate up for vote on facebook. Of course he was laughing, he finds facebook to be a little surreal at this point. He referred to last Friday night as “meeting the Fockers” though trust me there were no incidents and it was a nice night.

Now, as for the night that Chad and I met. Some of us were planning a night out for a local comedy night. I was the only “single” so I bought two tickets insisting that I was not going alone. The week of the event I was still dateless and not happy about it.

I met my mom and sister at Barney’s one night and while we are all chatting with Trisha I expressed my frustration. I was asked if I was willing to go on a blind date and thought what the heck. Trisha texted a friend and asked if he was available and willing to go on a blind date. She took my picture with her phone and sent it to him. His reaction was any relative of hers is good enough for him. And so I had a date.

When Friday approached I must admit I was a bit nervous. And I had a horrible headache all day and was taking aspirin every time the clock allowed me to. After work I went to Nikki’s – oops Thing One’s – house to get ready. You know how girls are! At some point Trisha informed me that I had to call Chad. So I worked up the nerve to call him and I was actually a bit relieved when I got his voicemail. (Knowing him now I would expect to get his voicemail!) A few minutes later he called me back and confirmed our plans for the night.

Nikki and Brandon and I went out for supper at Americana Grille before comedy night. As we were finishing up eating Trisha and Chad arrived. Chad was very handsome in a red plaid shirt and jeans. We shook hands and I remember feeling like now what? We found our seats at Club Pyramid and settled in for a fun night. We all had a few beers but they were not going down too smoothly for me. When the comedian was done I ended up going back to Calmar with Trisha and Chad. We went to Tanks and I felt like I was the new girl with the local yocals Trisha and Chad.

We were at a table chatting and I had a water – which I spilled all over the table. Chad jumped right to action and cleaned it up. Suddenly I leaned over to Trisha to tell her I did not think I was feeling very good. And I was right. I ran up to the bar to ask Tank where the bathroom was and made it there just in time.

Night over. Fun over. What a first impression! Trisha and Chad took me back to Decorah to my car and home I went. I have since learned that taking aspirin all day means I should not partake in alcohol that night.

Neither Chad nor I remember who called who after that first date. We met in Burr Oak right away Saturday night. It was crowded and I remember anxiously waiting for Chad to arrive.

Second meeting successful.

Turns out that Chad and I had enough mutual friend that we joke it was just a matter of time before we met. And as they say the rest was history. In just over five months I get to marry my best friend.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Decoration Detail

Mason has been busy working on some decorations for the wedding. He has done a great job too!

This sign will be put in a pail full of sand and wrapped with burlap.

Chad and I will hang on to these signs so we can pose for a picture for wedding thank yous.

We have more wood to work with so there are more projects in store!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who Gives This Woman...

Mason. My oldest and growing way too fast. He has always been a considerate, kind, smart, and a fun kid. He does not look a thing like me but his behavior is definitely modeled after me. He is 11 years old and finishing up 5th grade. I am not ready to say that he will be in 6th grade as I nearly choke on the words. I really enjoy watching him grow and learn, I just wish it would slow down. I think he will have many opportunities in life. He is almost as tall as me so I am going to need to start wearing higher heels.

Carter. The baby. Carter is a fun loving, high spirited, creative child. I think we will have many adventures together. This one looks like me but I don’t think he gets his attitude from me. Carter will be 8 in May and I still tell people he is in first grade. Then I stop and no indeed he is in second grade. Wow. Carter is a smart creative child and he too will have so many opportunities. Or this one might just blaze his own path in life.

Terry. I am one lucky girl. I am fortunate to have a step dad that took us on like his own. While our family is not a traditional one it is a good one. Family is so important to Terry and I often wonder what he did before grandkids. They all have him wrapped around his finger. I appreciate everything mom and Terry did for us as kids. I enjoy the relationships we have as adults even more.

Dad. Dad. I almost don’t even know where to begin. We talk almost every day and I feel like I learn more about myself after each chat. Just the other day I told Thing One and Thing Two that if they spent just 30 minutes with my dad they might understand me better. Or at least know where I get it from. We have not always been as close as we are now and I hate that it took cancer for me to gain some perspective on things. All that aside dad is one of the strongest and most caring people I know.

As a bride to be where do you begin to involve all these men in your special day? Really, how lucky am I to have so many great people around me and in my life? Well, this is the plan. Mason and Carter will walk me down the aisle and give me away. I must admit I was a bit nervous to talk to dad about this. But dad in his rational thoughtful way said it was the right thing to do. He felt that it was a good way to allow the boys to express their willingness to invite Chad into our lives and our family. And dad says he will still be there front and center.

I think Mason is a bit nervous about this arrangement. He kept pointing out that it was Grandpa Courtney’s job to walk me down the aisle. Too bad the church aisles are not wider so we could all walk together!

This is a picture of the boys at Kory and Amy's wedding. It has always been one of my favorites. I hope to recreate this pose at Bre Anna's wedding. They have changed a little since this one.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Other Bride to Be

Well until I can get Chad to sit and help me write a blog about the groomsmen you are stuck with me.

Actually today, I want to talk about my sister and her upcoming wedding a bit. Bre Anna is getting married on June 11th and I think she will be a very beautiful bride. Over the past couple of weeks I have enjoyed spending time with her getting manicures, pedicures, and our hair and make-up done. She had a very nice shower on Saturday with many family and friends.

We had our hair and make-up done before her shower. It was so nice to get up on Saturday and just get dressed and let Eclips take care of the rest. Here are our “before and after” pictures. I don’t think I have ever had my make-up done before but was very relaxing and it felt amazing. My brushes I use at home don’t feel like that on my face! Kaijsa took care of me at she was great. I am the girl that will walk in and say – do what you want. I did not care if my hair was up or down and had no preference on make-up color. I think Kaijsa thought I was a little crazy but she rolled with it.

We were at Eclips a bit longer than we anticipated. Bre Anna got a hold of one of her other bridesmaids to let them know she was pulling and Elizabeth Taylor and would be 15 minutes late to her own party.

Bre Anna’s bach party was…crazy. I was behaved and felt like an old lady in the group. Sometimes 8 years makes a big difference. We did the responsible thing and rented a bus to take everyone around for a bit of a tour.

Her bridesmaid dresses came in yesterday and mine actually fit perfectly (though I am pretty sure I was a bit smaller when I was measured.) No alterations needed if I find the right shoes. She also got her dresses at Bridal Productions. They have done a great job helping with both of our weddings.

I have added a text block on the right with important dates related to the wedding. I know it is hard to read. I’m trying to figure out how to fix that.

We have ordered our Save the Date magnets. Chad really wanted to send these out and I think they turned out great. Thank you to Letterwerks for their design help and of course for offering a great product line. Coming soon to a mailbox near you...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Other Dress

My sister’s shower is this weekend. And knowing what my mom and sister were planning to wear I have been wondering what I was going to pull out of my closet for the event.

Emily (Thing Two) and I ventured out at lunch today and it was a successful trip for me. Then again when I go to Margaret’s I seldom walk out disappointed with the options. Today I found this dress that paired with a short white jacket is perfect for Bre Anna’s shower. As is it will be great for my shower in August. Convenient that we are both using brown in our weddings. Another thing I can cross of my list of wedding to dos.

I have shopped at Margaret’s long enough that they know my size and style. I can pretty much just walk in and find a dressing room and they’ll take care of the rest. It is their 30th anniversary and I wish them 30 more.

Last weekend Bre Anna and I got manicures and pedicures at Eclips. This weekend we are getting our hair and make-up done before the shower. So now that I have the dress all I have to do is greet my alarm Saturday morning. Good thing I have people around town to take care of me!

Chad has declared tomorrow night date night. I fill you in on the details of Bre Anna’s shower and the rest of the fun festivities on Sunday, possibly Monday.

Cheers everyone!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Material Girl

I’ve changed. For the better. I hope. One of my biggest physical change is that I want desperately to have nice nails. Since I was a kid I have picked, chewed, pulled, peeled my nails. So not only were my nails short and ragged but I had hang nails too.

When I had a special occasion on the horizon I paid big bucks to have false nails put on. The irony? They always came off AND your nails were worse for the wear!

Well, old habits die hard. Though with the help of Keri at Eclips I am on my way to redemption. I have been getting the soak off gels put on. Harder polish on my natural nails. They are growing and they are not easy for me to pick at – well not as easy anyway. I had my nails done again on Saturday and Keri commented on my picking at my skin. Hey, I’m learning! I have to be weaned off I guess. If I can’t pick at my nails then I will pick at the skin. Is there a support group for this?!

I was a bit concerned about becoming high maintenance when making Chad take me to WalMart while on vacation. The main purpose was super glue. Yes, for a broken nail. I really did not know what else to do about it. The crack was too far down for me to just cut the nail down. I’m still learning I guess.

Thanks for putting up with me Keri!

At this point I am not worried about my nails and their appearance for wedding pictures. I am more concerned about not having bumps and bruises on my head. In just one day I attacked myself. That’s right I attacked myself. First the telephone. Yes, the telephone. I reached to answer the phone with my right hand. While bringing it to my ear I was off center and instead hit the upper right corner of my right eye. Enough to knock my glasses off kilter and cause a headache. After all that someone else in the office had beat me to answering it anyway.

Second, while putting a box away in the garage I ran into something with the box which then caused the box to jam into my nose. I am always grateful that there is seldom anyone around to witness my most graceful moments.

Perhaps I should get to bed early tonight before lucky incident number three strikes…

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Bridesmaids Four

Maid of Honor, Bre Anna Ryan (Sovereign after June 11!) – Bre Anna is the youngest of our family. I remember reading to her as a wee little tot. I remember her sobbing at my high school graduation. But now she is an adult and is ready to get married herself. Both Bre Anna and her future husband, Justin, are Iowa State fans so I think we have many years of tailgating to come. Go State! Bre Anna is also Carter’s (my youngest son) godmother and a great aunt to both boys. It is great that sisters can grow up to be such great friends.

Janelle Halverson – Better known as Nell. I have been trying to think of when I first met Nell and I am not really sure when that was. We did serve on the Laura Ingalls Wilder board together for a while and we are now in book club together. And we are work neighbors! Sometimes a trip out to get a pop from the machine can take 20 minutes! Regardless of how Nell and I initially met it has been an easy friendship and natural friendship. She makes a good taxi from time to time too. P.S. we should make a point to pose for a more flattering picture!

Amy Courtney – Amy is married to my brother Kory. They have two beautiful children. Amy is one of the most outgoing fun people I know. She is so full of life and laughter. Amy has an infectious laugh and she never laughs alone. I am the godmother to their oldest son Sawyer. She has taken time out of her day to make sure I am ok with things get hectic. I am a lucky girl to have a sister in law that I consider such a good friend.

Carri Dahl – My sister Carri and I are pretty close in age. She is just 10 months younger than me. When we were kids she always looked forward to her birthday in April so that she would be the same age as me. I recall a few arguments about that back in the day. Now that we are both in our thirties I don’t think she rubs her birthdays in my face anymore! I am a godmother to her oldest daughter Madelynn who is one of the cutest curly haired kids I know!

I am so fortunate to have these ladies and Thing One and Thing Two as a part of my life. No matter what goes on one of these ladies will have my back or at least have a shoulder for me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Making Progress

I should have added a recent story about myself with Thing One and Thing Two. While shopping not too long ago I found the big bag of peanut butter M&M’s. I had to buy it because it seems you can never find the big bag of those! So I have (eeerrr had) them on my desk so I had a lot of visitors. While Emily, Thing Two, was in my office helping me with something I asked her how she eats her M&M’s. Personally, I like to sort them by color and eat them in order of quantity. Emily eats her in order of color. Blue is gross in her opinion so she eats those first. Meanwhile Nikki, Thing One, is in her office shaking her head at us saying “oh my god” over and over again. Just another day at work! And yet another one of my retentive tendencies I have made public…

Today, I took one of our engagement pictures down to the Perfect Edge to be framedfor Chad’s office. The picture is to the right. If you have not had the experience of working with the crew at the Perfect Edge you should. Alone, I would be totally overwhelmed by all the colors, textures, frames, matting, etc. But after a few brief moments of examining the picture Anja presents the perfect solution and I walk out a happy girl. The project should be ready by April 1st. I plan to give this to Chad in honor of our anniversary. Our dating anniversary that is – since it will be the last one of those we celebrate!

I believe I have mentioned my search for burlap here previously. Well, I have succeeded in finding it. Pinter’s Garden’s & Pumpkins can get natural colored burlap for me in various sizes. Once we figure out how many tables we will have I will get it ordered. We are also getting out wedding cake from Pinter’s so it will be nice to take care of both things with them. Burlap, check.

Shoes for the girls and I have also been secured. I must admit I was getting pretty discouraged while shoe shopping. I was in the market for flats since I am naturally a bit taller than Chad but found these with a very small heal on them. I was actually initially looking for a pair of Pumas. Really who is going to see my shoes anyway so I might as well be comfortable right?! If I was going to wear Pumas I wanted them to either be brown/green (wedding colors) or red/yellow (Iowa State colors). As luck would have it Thing Two found these cute polka-dot shoes in the clearance section. The photo shows my shoe on my right foot and the bridesmaids shoes on my left. Whew, shoes done, check.

Next, I’ll introduce you to the bridesmaids! Six months from today we will be getting married!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thing One and Thing Two

I figure it is time to meet the wedding party. So enters Thing One and Thing Two otherwise known as the personal attendants. Not many brides get to be in this position. Thing One, Nikki, is my boss. On September 17th she will be at my every beckon call. Thing Two, Emily, the mastermind behind the wedding binder and will dual as the wedding singer. I have the pleasure of working with these women every day. We have a great time together both personally and professionally.

Nikki well let’s just say she does not enjoy my flair for organization. She does tolerate it and mock me about it from time to time. The binder humors her as it does many others. I actually think I will be a pretty easy going bride without many demands. Chad on the other hand my need a few attendants just to keep him and his nerves under control! Good thing we have two personal attendants so they can divide and conquer! I am a lucky girl to be able to consider my workmates good friends both in and out of the office.

We have our engagement pictures. Chad is anxious to get going on save the date cards now. The information has been sent to Letterwerks so they are in process now. Here are a few pictures. Auny Pole is our photographer. You can see more of her work here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Do It Yourself Decorating

We continue to work on fine tuning our invite list which is ever expanding. I think we have an invite going to just about every post office box in Calmar and beyond! Thank goodness for or I would not be nearly as far along with addresses.

I have been thinking a lot about decorations lately. I really like the rustic themes with the hand crafted touch. I have recruited Mason’s help with a sign project. This is a picture of what I would like him to make on a smaller scale. I just want three directional signs that say food , bar, dance. We will put it in a bucket of sand covered in burlap and block a stairway with it at Jewels. When I told Mason about it he wanted to get right to work. We are still looking for some old wood - let me know if you have any ideas!

I also found this idea and love it. I am hoping to find some styrofoam containers that we can line with burlap and put some hen and chicks in them. And hopefully some of our green thumbed guests will take them home at the end of the evening. Chad’s aunt has hen and chicks that we can use so the project will be hands on and inexpensive. I hope the bridal party is ready to get their hands dirty! Don't get me wrong - we still need the ladies at Party Island too!

I will admit that I felt pretty confident about what local businesses could offer. But I continue to learn. Did you know you can order napkins by the case at Bargain Outlet? They are $2.50/50 napkins and come 600 in a case. They have a nearly endless color supply when you order. I will be going in and ordering a case of brown and a case of green napkins. Way more than we will probably need but I can split the brown napkins with my sister for her June wedding.

We have not seen the engagement pictures yet but I will share as soon as we get them!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

More of the Details

Pictures went well and I am anxious to see them! We took pictures in our dress outfits at Vesterheim on the west side of their building. We ran into the Chamber to change and headed out to the quarry for the fun pictures. We took some pictures in a pile of lime which I refer to as a rock pile and Chad laughs at me. We also took some pics against one of the truck, by an old building, and in the bucket of a loader truck. And it snowed the whole time!

Enough about pictures. As I have mentioned we are using Jewels for our reception. The advantages are that we can choose our caterer and control the bar. The disadvantages are that the place is a mess and it requires cleaning and a lot of decorating. We were concerned about the bathrooms and I really hate the thought of having to clean them ourselves. In fact I refuse to. I have been in touch with ServiceMaster to clean the bathrooms. I will gladly pay them to clean it. I figure if I am not willing to clean them myself I should not ask either of our moms to do it either!

We are getting all of our decorations through Party Island. They are very helpful – you can check them out on Facebook. Tammy Brink and Jill Dawley are great to work with and they have a lot of ideas. The majority of our decorating bill was spent on linens and their labor to cover up all the orange shag carpet at Jewels. I am sure it will look beautiful and I am glad that Party Island is available to make the days leading up to the wedding a little less stressful for us. And since I nearly kicked her at our appointment I am glad Tammy is still willing to help!

I want to use burlap down the center of the tables and put the centerpieces on it. I am on a mission to get the burlap in town. My first stop was at Pine Needles Quilt Shop. They don’t carry burlap and don’t have a distributor for it. I made another call and had a very interesting conversation that left me a bit perplexed. They actually told me they don’t get what people mean when they say they want to shop local. They offered to email me some pricing information on flowers and burlap which I never received. Needless to say we are moving on. I plan to talk to some of the landscapers to see if we can get some from them. We are getting the cake from Pinters so I think they will probably be my next call.

All the flowers are coming from The Country Garden. They also have a Facebook page. The price is right and JoEllen is great to work with. We are using white gerbera daisies and roses. The bridesmaids will be carrying just three daisies with a bit of greenery. All boutiners will be a single daisy. My bouquet will have a rose daisy combo. We are hanging pails on the edge of the pews and they will have green hydrangeas in them. I am excited to work with JoEllen on the wedding.

We need more tables than what Jewels has on hand – did you know that Windridge Implement has a trailer full of tables you can rent? Not sure if we have enough yet but we should probably finalize the guest list before we get too crazy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Can that be Photo Shopped?

Tomorrow we have our engagement pictures taken. When we made this appointment it seemed out there a bit and now here it is. I imagine the next seven months will feel that way!

Choosing a photographer was one of the toughest things in the wedding planning process thus far. We were in touch with nine photographers and many of them were already booked. Prices were pretty comparable with a few exceptions. There were two that had photos one their website that really stood out to me. One was booked and the other was available – and I feel very honored to have Auny Kerndt Pole as our photographer. If you saw the bridal edition of the Decorah Newspaper she was the photographer for the White wedding. You can view some of her work at

We have been gone quite a bit in the last two weeks. We spent last weekend in the Dells with my family and this week we have been at the Iowa Limestone Producers Association Convention. I find it easier and more fun to refer to it as the Rock Head Convention. Now that I am home and am thinking about pictures I feel ill prepared. Oh, the outfits are all ready to go, you must know that has been planned about as long as we have had our appointment. Now I wish I had gotten a haircut and probably should have waxed my mustache. There my big secret is out. A couple of months ago all the boys here (Chad included) ganged up on me while I was making breakfast and ooohed over the fact that I had a mustache. Carter came to my defense a bit saying that we all have little hairs. However, I immediately text my fashion consultant/hair stylist/hair remover to tell her we had an issue. Thank you Jody for taking care of me!

So tomorrow I hope my hair cooperates, that my mustache is not visible, and oh yeah, did I mention got a new pimple? Never fails right?

We are taking the pictures in one of Wiltgen’s quarries. We have two outfits planned and Chad very wisely wonders where we will change our outfits at. So if you are on the Madison Road tomorrow and see people in the quarry the people changing behind the rock pile are me and Chad. I’ll be the one with the mustache and the Rudolph like pimple!



And just to clarify - the picture on my previous post is NOT my wedding dress.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Dress

I must admit that the day we went dress shopping I was just not really feeling it. I have no justification for this other than I may have just been feeling pressure to find the right dress. I wanted a simple dress. Nothing fuffy or over the top. And of course it has to be comfortable and affordable.

And you must know that I had a picture of two dresses that I liked in my wedding binder along with a picture of the bridesmaid dresses I wanted. All filed under "clothing."

I had already found the bridesmaids dresses online. If you have not looked at formal dresses online you should check it out sometime! When you find a dress style you can look at it in different colors until you find the perfect one. And as they say once I found it I knew. Bridal Productions has many links off their site to designers they carry so you can shop before shopping!

As for my dress, I tried on seven and went with number two. My mom feels I need a veil and I don’t want one. The reviews are mixed on that decision but I am sticking to my guns there. This dress was a very close second. Even now when I look at the pictures I wonder if I made the right decision but then I think of how I felt in the other dress and know I made the right decision. Ignore the headpiece thing in the picture - it is not included!

Before leaving my mom got her outfit planned for both our wedding and my sisters, Chad’s mom got a dress, and most of the bridesmaids got their measurements done. The staff at Bridal Productions was fabulous. They were very helpful and courteous despite how busy they were on that Saturday morning. It was a great experience.

Bridal Productions also carries tuxes but we have decided to get those through Amundson’s so we can share the love so to speak! The dresses are forest green and the tuxes will be chocolate brown. Should be a great combo.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Short Form, Long Form, No Form?

Choosing a wedding date was not terribly easy. My sister is getting married on June 11th of this year as well and I did not want to totally overwhelm my parents! We also did not want to wait until 2012 to get married. When all was settled we were planning for September 17th.

So begins the conversations with the church. Chad is Catholic and I am Lutheran. Chad’s preference was to get married at St. Aloysius in Calmar. I was open to that as I am in the process of joining a new church and don’t have the established relationship that he has. And having grown up Catholic I was more than willing to go along with his wish.

So first we make sure the date is available with the church – yes! Next we must meet with Father Hawes. I’ll admit I was more than a little nervous as I had heard that the process may not be as easy as we were hoping for. Turns out I had reason to be nervous. I honestly feel as though I may have been better received had I been to prison and back rather than being divorced. I further complicated the situation by growing up Catholic and marrying Lutheran the first time.

I was going to need an annulment. The question was did we need the short form or the long form? The short form is easy - $25 and a couple of weeks and it could be done. I needed a copy of my marriage license and my certificate of baptism. Easy enough. The long form was more expensive (I don’t recall the amount) and it could take 9-12 months with out a guarantee of approval. What?! Really how many people are willing to wait for that?

We left that initial meeting feeling pretty disenchanted. Lucky for us within 24 hours of that meeting we were told we could file the short form and all turned out well in the end. I plan to stay with the Lutheran Church as my boys are being raised Lutheran and I would like to worship with them.

I am happy that Chad is able to be married in his family’s church as his brothers were. Don’t interpret this posting as a religious battle. In my opinion we are both Christians and it is more about making our wedding what we want it to be.

We will be married on September 17, 2011 at St. Aloysius with the reception to follow at Jewel’s Skate Country.

Of course there are more details to come!



I'm a Beaver?

As I mentioned the planning process has really set off my need to plan and organize every little detail. And for me it is never too soon to start taking care of things. However, I am not sure everyone appreciates this. One of the first things that happened following our engagement was the creation of “The Big Book of Wedding Plans.” Now, I did not make this binder. Emily helped me out with this. But I am sure it was only a matter of time before I would have created the same thing or set out to purchase something similar. The book has a calendar through September as we are getting married on September 17th, a tab for wedding party, clothing, Decorah-ations, ceremony, reception, etc. And you must know the binder is nearly full and I have asked Chad to get me a new binder today as he is out and about. All of two months into this the binder is coming apart. My instructions are specific “please get one that is an inch and a half and no plain jane stuff get me a pretty one I am a girl you know.”

Last weekend we attended the M.A.T.T. class in Cedar Falls. Marriage and Trusting Together is a class designed for couples looking to marry in the Catholic Church when one or both have been married before. Since I have been married before we registered and cleared our calendars. Of course the day started with introductions. We were asked to tell everyone how we met, our wedding date, any children we have, and one word to describe our partner. We were the last couple to do introductions. My name is Kristina Falck we are getting married on September 17th, we met on a blind date, I have two kids ages 11 and 7 and I think Chad is a true gentlemen. Chad introduces himself and says Kristina is organized, oh and caring. What?! Others used words like beautiful, charming, loving, fun-loving, etc. But I am organized. Now I’m getting a complex.

Part of the M.A.T.T. class was a discussion on personalities. Which I always find interesting. And yes, I am fully aware of my personality types. However this time I was given a label that was new to me. We were given a sheet of paper with four columns. We were to check each item that we felt described us and add up each column. The columns were labeled L, O, G, and B. Upon watching the coordinating video we learn it is actually Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever, and Beaver. Lions are leaders. Otters are motivators and entertainers. Golden Retrievers are sensitive, routine and loyal. Beavers are inspectors and accurate. Can you guess where I fell? I actually scored equally between Golden Retriever and Beaver but who are we kidding I am a Beaver. Perhaps they were the only stuffed animals the guy had a home as props but really a Beaver??

Last night we had our final meeting with Father Hawes until the wedding approaches. As we were leaving Father says to me “Kristina see if you can get this thing organized now.” Wait a minute, was the priest mocking me?

So if you follow me at least now you know what you are in for!



My Big Fat Winneshiek Wedding

It finally happened, we are engaged. And now the planner, organizer, type a personality I am kicks into high gear. It is time to plan! Our goal to have the “Pay It Local” Wedding. Everything we need is right here and supporting your local economy is the only way to go.

So, let me tell you about the engagement… On Friday, December 17th we had not made any real plans for the evening. Not terribly unusual for a Friday night. I did a little Christmas shopping downtown after work and Chad and I arrived home around the same time. In the kitchen Chad tells me he has a present for me. A nicely wrapped small box from Mark’s Jewelry. Kudos to Chad as I am familiar with their boxes! I anxiously open the box and find a pair of earrings. I might have been happier if they were not the earring he had given me the previous year for my birthday! After expressing my feelings on this Chad pulls the ring from his pocket throws it at me and very quickly asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes and the ring fit perfectly. In celebration we went to Albert’s for dinner followed by a drink at Your Place.

I have no intention of becoming the high maintenance bridezilla. I want a nice wedding with family and friends. Most of all I am on a mission to show all items couples feel are necessary, or just wanted, can be purchased local. Stay tuned as we plan our day by supporting local businesses.

Cheers -