Chad & Kristina

Chad & Kristina
Chad & Kristina

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!