it's Christmas tree time

And just like that, it's Christmas time already. It feels like it was just yesterday that fall was creeping up on us, and now there is snow on the ground. Granted the snow only lasts a few days, but while it sticks we enjoy it. Lets just say that there probably won't be any snowmen made any time soon.

On Sunday we took a trip to a local tree farm to pick out our very own Christmas tree. This adorable tree farm also included a visit from Mr. & Mrs. Clause, hot apple cider, a wagon ride to the different types of trees, and help to trim & tie your tree. After a quick time-consuming but fun trip to target, we picked out some Christmas decor, lights, tree topper, tree stand, stockings and a matching tree skirt.

We can't wait to fill the bottom of the tree with presents, but as you can see I already got a jump on that! I just couldn't resist!


wedding advice

Here is some advice from me and my new hubby:

-listen to other people's advice {I know that's a funny one to put first, but at times the advice that others gave me really helped}

-get as many projects done before the last week or two before the wedding because there will be plenty to do the last 2 weeks

-write down specific pictures that you want taken for your photographer, because when the day comes you will not remember any of them

-have fun {hence the picture above} because the day flies by

-take lots of time to spend with your fiance before the wedding because when the day comes, it's a whirl wind

-make sure you inform everyone who is close to you what is going on the week of the wedding

-delegate projects even if it feels strange to, I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who truly wanted to help out

-even though I certainly did this, don't stress about the little things because when it comes to your wedding day, those little details won't matter

-plan a honeymoon, you need the break with your new husband/wife

-make sure you focus on your relationship with your soon-to-be husband, not just the wedding details

-check your attitude at the door**

-think about opening your gifts after you get back from your honeymoon. Brian and I left our gifts at my parents house and we were so excited to come back and open them with just our immediate family. If we would have done it the day after with 2 dozen people watching, it would have been waaay to overwhelming!!

-don't procrastinate when you can do something earlier because your wedding day will come a lot sooner than you might think

-ask your bridesmaids what they would like to wear. I stayed in contact with my girls and we chose a dress that was comfortable, they could wear a regular bra, they were flattering on everyone, and they could dance the night away with no "technical problems" {if you know what I mean}

-pray about everything, no matter how small it is God wants to hear it

-make sure you have people in charge of the little things on the day of the wedding, like: who will clean up the church, who will drive the wedding party around on the day of the wedding, who will be at the reception hall before everyone arrives to make sure everything is in order

-everyone says the day goes by sooo fast {and you will hear that a million + 1 times} so don't sweat it if you are a little off schedule or your dress gets a little dirty, just enjoy every moment you can!!

**When Brian and I got engaged, I made one promise to myself, family, and Brian: I will not become a bridezilla. While most everyone said that I didn't really freak out or get too stressed, there was one person who did take the brunt of my stress. Brian and I weren't in the same town as we went through the planning of our wedding, so I worked closely with my mom and there were a few times quite a few times when I lost my cool and let the stress overcome me. She was such a great help to our wedding and was such an amazing mom the whole way. I only wish that I can be as patient when my daughter gets married {disclaimer, I don't have a daughter and am not even pregnant but I hope to have a girl one day and would love to help her plan the wedding of her dreams}

I'm sure I will think of other advice, so don't be surprised if this list grows over the next few months. I have lots of advice so feel free to shoot me an email or a text. I love talking to future brides about their weddings now that we have been happily married for over a month!


the rant

So do you remember that rant that I was talking about last post? The ranting paragraph that I wrote and then deleted? Well, I thought changing your name took a little more effort than I thought, but after yesterday...it was lots more than I even imagined.

I awoke yesterday morning to my 4:45 alarm clock and proceeded with a normal morning around here making coffee, breakfast, and sending B off with lunch. I headed out the door at 10am to run a few errands and head over to babysit Brian's nieces, now my nieces, yey! I headed to the social security office to apply for a new card with my new last name on it, but their office had moved. I was directed to the new office and sat for about 15 minutes waiting for my name to be called. I was again called and informed that I now needed to go to their office downtown. This was the office that I had planned on going to in the first place, but when I told my very protective husband about it he protested with "That is not a safe neighborhood!" and "Please don't go to that office, I don't feel comfortable about that!"

I now had no choice but to go to the so called "unsafe" office. How bad could it be? I mean really?

After waiting for over an hour and not getting my paperwork done, I came to the conclusion that if I waited any longer I would be late to babysit the girls. So I headed back to my car parked just outside the parking lot because all of the spaces were filled. As I came closer to my car I knew that there was something wrong. I even thought  for split second that it wasn't my car, but there it was damaged and violated, just how I felt.

Panic instantly overwhelmed me and my mind began racing. What did I leave in my car that was valuable? I had everything that was really important on me....purse, keys, wallet, phone. Then it hit me, my GPS...and I was right, it was gone.

I ran back into the building to consult with the police officers who were doing security and they advised me to call 911. After a 40 second conversation with the operator was over I realized that I never told him where I was located and my phone cut out just after he informed me that "we will send someone right out". I gave a call back and they transferred me to the non emergency line 311, they informed me that it could take anywhere from 1-3 hours for a police officer to get to me.

I waited and waited, paced back and forth not wanting to leave my car exposed and unprotected even though I was chilled to the bone.

Over an hour has passed and in the mean time I got a hold of my parents & husband {who was at work} and found out that our insurance won't even cover glass damage. So, the damage report from the officer wouldn't even do good, but I couldn't just leave. After 20 minutes and another call to 311 I found out that my 911 call had been canceled and there was no police coming. They were currently out on a shooting. I counted my blessings, thanked the Lord that my situation was not so tragic, and told the operator to cancel my request.

After bursting into tears for what seemed like the 10th time, one of the police officers took my paperwork an personally processed it so that I could take my damaged car and be on my way home.

But I couldn't even get home, the thief stole my GPS. After break down #11 happened I called my mom and she guided me back to 94, but not before I got lost, ran out of gas and vacuumed out the glass that covered my car's floor.

All I wanted at that point was to be in the safe arms of my protective husband, because it always feels like nothing will ever go wrong there.

What did I take away from this? There are so many people that are less fortunate than I am. I am very blessed to have an amazing family and support system. It's sad that people have to resort to theft, but I am hopeful that he/she will feel remorseful.

It could have been much worse and I thank the Lord that I didn't suffer any bodily harm. Let me just say once and for all "my husband was right!!"


1st week {at home} as a wife

I still have to pinch myself most days. It has been a whole week of being a stay-at-home wife and life is totally changing around here. This place has gone from a bachelor pad, to a slightly less bachelor pad when I moved a few things in, to a full fledged 'home of a married couple.' It smells a little bit better, is much more filled, has at least 1 person {meaning me} in it almost all the time, and is a little more organized but then again a little more chaotic with all of my crafting supplies.

Before my husband and I got married he worried that I would feel confined and claustrophobic because the square footage of our apartment is about the size of my bedroom, bathroom, and craft room at my parents house. In fact isn't quite the contrary. Our apartment is the perfect size. It is still plenty spacious to clean and I love being able to check in 2 seconds if all the lights are off, or in the summer we can air out our place with the opening of 2 windows. I love that I don't have to search across the house to see what my husband is doing, I just have to peak around the corner.

Now this doesn't mean that I don't miss where I lived before. I don't really think it quite hit me until today. I had been holding off the Christmas music {which is very unlike me} because I wasn't really in the Christmas mood. Again very strange for me, I'm normally getting into the holiday spirit before kids decide on their Halloween costume. Anyway, I have seen commercials on TV with Santa and have seen red & green creep into most department stores, but I wasn't feeling festive. All the memories I have of Christmas are tied to the house with my parents & sister, and I no longer live there.

So this holiday season will be the start of new traditions, creating new memories, making lots of Christmas gifts, sending our own Christmas cards....it will be a year of firsts.

So back to my first weeks as a wife, I have had lots to accomplish but haven't made it too far on my to-do list. It turns out that the "simple" task of changing your name & address, takes much longer than it sounds. Anyone who has recently changed their name will understand what I mean. You think it would be as simple as hopping on the internet, and typing in your new name & address but it's much more than that. I just went into a paragraph rant but then realized that nobody really needs to hear me rant about that, so in short...changing your name & address takes much more effort than I had anticipated.

I am also learning how to be a better wife. I made a lengthy trip to the grocery store to stock up. It really is nice to have filled cupboards instead of running to the store for each meal. After a little practice I can now wake up with Brian at 4:45, snuggle for a few minutes, make coffee to-go, pack his lunch, and send him off with breakfast for the car ride, all before 5:15.

Our apartment is coming together piece by piece, so stay tuned and I will show it to you corner by corner.


fill in the blanks

1.  I like anything pumpkin. Pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin waffles {yes I found them yesterday} pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin breads...you get the picture.

2.  A life goal of mine is to be an amazing mom. I so can't wait to have a little bun in the oven, even though we will be waiting a while fore that.

3.  The last thing you would ever expect me to like {even though I secretly do} is jamming out to hard core rock & roll/punk music in my family room, just not when anyone else is home.

4.  Some wise words that I love are from 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." That was one of our wedding passages, and it couldn't be more true. Love casts out evil.

5.  Most mornings you will find me waking up early at around 5 am to make coffee, breakfast, and lunch for my new husband. Then I cuddle back up in bed with coffee and flip on the tv to Charmed. Don't judge, I used to watch Charmed as a little girl so watching it now reminds me of the good old days.

6.  Right now I am super into any sort of home improvement/DIY/renting or buying your first home type of show. HGTV is pretty constant around here.

7.  Right now I am super over politics. For better or worse the people have spoken and we have to live with the decision.

Check out Lauren over at the little things we do to see the source of the 'fill in the blanks.'

our honeymoon in paradise

My mom says I look like I'm 12 in this picture and Brian looks 15,
well maybe that's what a honeymoon does to you

Sometimes I close my eyes and I can still hear the white ocean waves crashing up on the beach outside our honeymoon suite. We have been back to the cold weather of Minnesota for a few days and we already want to go back to the safe haven of our honeymoon. It was 8 days of weather in the 80s, room service {even at 1:30am, which we did one night}, 3 pools to choose from, maid service, swim-up-to bars in the pools, being disconnected from the rest of the world in our own little bubble of relaxation.

Before I started planning a wedding I always thought it would just be a bonus to get away for a honeymoon. I never really understood the importance of getting away from everything. And by going to Mexico, my new husband and I really did get away from everything. We didn't have internet {for more than 5 minutes in the cafe} our phones, our regular TV shows, we didn't know a soul there, and it was wonderful! We were totally disconnected from our regular lives and it was amazing. As a new husband & wife we really needed that time to spend together.

We didn't live together before we got married, and while that may surprise a few people it was never an option for us. Living together is very intimate and that was something we wanted to save for marriage. God intended us for 1 person and I am very happy to say that my husband is my 1st and only. The relationship that we now share is stronger than I even thought possible, and with our honeymoon we were able to see our relationship grow even more.

We squished our toes in the sand, sailed with dolphins, enjoyed the warm rays of sunshine, I coached Brian as he swam in the ocean for the first time {seeing as I am a California girl}, got some pretty funny tan lines that I will NOT share online, captured amazing photos, most days accomplished nothing but relaxing {which we havn't done in months}, went to bed whenever we wanted and slept-in till whenever we wanted, enjoyed amazing food including more guacamole than I have had in years,

So my advice for future brides: make sure you plan a honeymoon. By the time your wedding comes you will be so thankful you did. Even though wedding planning is an amazing experience, it is pretty stressful, totally exhausting and the most amazing party you will ever have.

As far as other bridal advice, that is coming up soon. I have a whole lot of advice that I wish I would have known before I started planning our wedding.


Our Love Story

 5.20.11     he saw her in that purple skirt
  6.8.11      they met at “Arise & Shine”
 6.10.11     he kissed her
 6.15.11     the Italian food was delicious
  8.6.11      he stole her heart
 8.13.11     “I love you so much”
  2.9.12      he popped the question…
  2.9.12      ...and she said yes
 3.10.12     their engagement celebration
10.19.12    she stole his last name 

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