July 28, 2011

Wedding Thursday: The Reception

A little late on this series this week!

Even before I was engaged, I knew that one thing I wanted most when I got married was to have a great big party will all my loved ones...and that's exactly what we did!

One of the perks(?) of planning a wedding in a smallish town is that we had limited reception venues to choose from, so there wasn't a lot of time spent trying to make a decision! We looked at a gorgeous renovated barn that overlooked the mountains...I loved every bit about it, aside from the price tag that was 1/3 of our budget just to rent the venue!

We settled on the local country club, where many of my friends had their receptions and my family had been members for year. It was just $500 to reserve the large ballroom/banquet room and that $500 went towards our final bill! They provided tables, chairs, basic white linens, and service along with food + drink. Talk about a good deal!

After a few formal post-ceremony shots, we headed over to the Country Club. My Great Uncle (My Uncle "B" as I've always called him) helped make one of my wishes come true for the wedding. Our car was a 1949 Pontiac and he was our driver! I think he got a kick out of driving us too :)

We did the bridal party presentation to Led Zepplin's "Kashmir"...J is a big LZ fan and I really like the beat of this song. Honestly, I would have liked to have used the Vitamin String Quartet version, but I don't think he would have approved :)

After the entrance came the dances! Jordan and I didn't pick out the song for our first dance until about a week before the wedding. We wanted a song special to us, but not too long...no one ever tells you how awkward it is to be dancing while everyone stares at you! It came down to Jack Johnson's "Better Together" or Jason Mraz & Colbie Calliat's "Lucky". We went with Jack Johnson because "Better Together" has been our song since we started dating :)

I think choosing a song to dance with my Dad to was harder than choosing our first dance! I wanted to steer away from the typical songs you hear--"Butterfly Kisses," "I loved her first" "Stealing Cinderella"--but still do something sentimental. I toyed with the idea of "The House at Pooh Corner" because I love Winnie the Pooh, or even "Georgia on My Mind". In the end, my dad is actually who found the song. He LOVES looking up random videos on YouTube. He found a cover of "Forever Young" done by Johnny Cash. I always loved that song, but felt the Dylan version was too slow and long for a wedding dance. This version was perfect--and we both love Johnny Cash!

Jordan danced with his mom to The Beatles' "In My Life". He gave her a few options and that's the one she picked. It was fitting, as his dad(and both of us) love The Beatles. She also wanted to avoid a song that would make her cry :)

After dancing came food! We did a heavy finger foods buffet with hot and cold options along with a beer and wine bar. A seated dinner just didn't give in to the party feeling I was going for :)

Our cakes actually came from Publix! A DG sister of mine told me that every venue in Atlanta she spoke to about her reception suggested Publix. I got so frustrated trying to schedule meetings with little local bakers back in Georgia that I just decided to use Publix as well. .I found a picture of a cake on TheKnot that I liked and purple ribbon that matched my bridesmaids' dresses. I bought the mirrored monogrammed cake topper off of etsy. The cake was delicious! It was layered vanilla and chocolate cake inside with fresh strawberry filling and buttercream icing. So. freaking. good. Jordan actually designed his groom's cake to look like the front of his Jeep. We were expecting a white sheet cake with the design on it in icing...nope, they went all out! His was a plain vanilla cake.

After cakes, came dancing, garter/bouquet tossing, and toasts. It all went by in a blur, which is the one sentence that I think sums up the entire day. I'm so glad we hired a videographer! We used a DJ instead of a band, which I liked for two reasons--cost & the ability to request songs. We did, however, download a Pitbull song to someone's iPhone because he didn't have it in his library :)

We exited around 9 PM to our guests blowing bubbles. My Great Uncle drove us to the hotel where we(and most of our guests) were staying the night. The hotel bar stayed open for us and we celebrated with our friends until 1 or 2 AM. It was, truly, the best night ever. It all went by so fast...I just love looking at all the pictures!

All photos in the post were done by William Massey Photography.

Next week: The Details + DIY Projects!

PS--Thanks to Ally for cluing me in on making a photo collage!

July 25, 2011

Menu Monday

First, my living room smells like peanut butter. Baby boy gets a spoon of PB in his Kong each night and I never noticed how strong the smell was!

I didn't assign these to days this week. I like just having a "go-to" list and making what I feel. Only three planned meals for now. I'm going to a painting class with friends on Thursday and we're just going to see what we're in the mood for on Friday.

Tonight, we had Baby Breakfast Quiche with a side of cantaloupe (me) and bacon (J). Our quiche had bacon, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and cheese. They were delicious and really easy to make!

Another night we are having roast chicken with balsamic bell peppers and a side of pesto asparagus. I know asparagus isn't really in season, but I'm a little tired of squash and corn!

The third meal we have planned is skillet-grilled red pepper shrimp. Shrimp and grits have become a bit of a household favorite. This looks like a tasty (and healthy) version!

What are you eating this week?

July 22, 2011

Let's Get Physical

Not so long ago(6 years), I looked like this:

Disney World, 2005--friends' college graduation trip

I believe I tipped the scales at around 165. I probably hit 170 at my highest. I am barely 5'2".

I was never a skinny kid...or teen...or college student. I was always a bit overweight, but in college it got a little out of control. I actually lost weight living in the dorms (Brumby hill, baby), but that all went down the drain when I lived in the DG house my second and third years at UGA. Living in the sorority house meant we had meals cooked for us Monday-Friday, but we were on our own on the weekends. Instead of stocking my mini fridge with easy-to-make foods, I went out to eat with my friends. I probably went out 4-5 times a WEEK! The picture above was taken the summer following my third year at school. After this trip, I moved in to a condo with my best friend on the East side of Athens. We cooked dinner together, I cut out almost all fast food (save my beloved Chick-fil-a), and I started walking to campus from the apartment and walking all around campus. By the time I graduated in May 2007, I weighed around 110. I lost 50 lbs!

I moved to Birmingham for six months. While there, I began actively working out at the YMCA taking classes such as BodyPump and BodyFlow(oh, how I wish my Y had these classes!). I also continued to learn to cook. I was very happy with my weight/healthy lifestyle.
J and I began dating and I moved to Memphis in March 2008. After 3 years, my weight has slowly crept back up and I'm about 15 lbs above where I'd like to be. I've decided to get my butt back in gear before it goes up anymore. Losing it once was hard enough!

You can tell by my Menu Mondays that I try to cook fairly healthy meals and I limit how much I eat out (for budget and health reasons). Really, the only meal out I usually do is on Sundays with J's parents! Not to say I deprive myself of my favorites. Sekisui sushi and Mellow Mushroom make appearances, as does my new love, YoLo.

Wedding planning craziness put a hit in my workout routine. I'm getting back on track now though. I ran a couple of 5Ks last year and enjoyed them. I finally invested in some good running shoes and I'm back up to running 2 or 2.5 miles on the treadmill(wayyyy too hot to do that mess outside right now). I just signed up for a 5K on August 5th. I plan on running it and then the Chick-Fil-A 5K over Labor Day weekend, hoping to see some improvements in my time! I also enjoy lifting weights, I just need a consistent routine.

So here's to getting back on the fitness track! I'll keep you updated on my progress. In the meantime, what are your favorite workouts? And do you have any good playlist suggestions?

July 21, 2011

Currently, I am...

I have a bit of a writer's block today. While going through my Google Reader, I saw this post on Something to Cheer About and decided to follow suit!

Eating: I just finished an Amy's Kitchen Southwestern Burrito. Have you had these burritos? I love them! They're fairly healthy, keep me full and are now available cheap at Kroger for $2.14 (They used to be $3+)!

Reading: Nothing...can you believe it? I just finished the fifth "Pretty Little Liars" book. I have a new book on hold at the library.

Wishing: I was home with my pup instead of at work. Yes, he owns us both now.

Patiently Waiting For: The weekend

Freaking Out About: Our sweet pup is somewhat over our apartment's weight limit. Let's hope we don't get in trouble!

Annoyed By: The fact that I don't have a lot to work on at work.

On My Nails: Nothing! I really need to paint them this weekend.

Obsessed With: Pretty Little Liars. I'm reading the series and watching Season 1. I promise I'm 27, not 17.

Lusting After: This china cabinet. I really, really want it. It would look ridiculous in our apartment, but I hate that our pretty wedding gifts are boxed up in the guest room closet.

Looking Forward To: Football season! It is only 44 days away! GO DAWGS!

July 20, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Ceremony

Photo by William Massey Photography

Our ceremony was short and traditional. While I acknowledge the fact that the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding day, I have to admit I don't really love standing up in front of a bunch people and being the center of attention!

Our ceremony was officiated by an associate pastor who has been at the church my entire life.
Looking back, I'm a little surprised at how traditional my ceremony was. I don't consider myself a very traditional person! A few prayers, a small sermon, the vows, the rings, the blessing and the announcement. We had two readings. J's best friend from undergrad (who flew all the way from Alaska to be there) read Colossians 3:12-17 and one of my best friends from college read "The Blessing of the Hands" right before we exchanged rings.

We had no singing solos. My dad pointed out early on in planning "That song may be pretty, but you need to think...that's 3 minutes we all have to sit there looking at you while you look at each other." Good point. We also skipped the unity candle.

Our officiant's wife played the piano and another church member played the organ. I started taking formal piano lessons when I was nine, but my Mawmaw began teaching me to play long before that, so it was important for me to have piano music. I had a lot of fun picking out the music for our ceremony. Again, it was all very traditional:
  • Pre-wedding prelude--variety of hymns & classical music
  • Seating of the Mothers- Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
  • Bridal Party- Pachabel's Canon in D
  • Bride's Procession- The Trumpet Voluntary
  • Recessional- Hymn to Joy/Ode to Joy

Our ceremony FLEW by! I can't remember most of it. Sitting in the small holding room off the side of the church foyer with my dad and bridesmaids was the only time I felt nervous the entire day. I vaguely remember seeing faces in the crowd. I handed my bouquet off to my Matron of Honor too early. We kissed 3 times at the end. My ring bearer stood with his hands in his pocket the whole time; one flower girl had her finger up her nose half the time. All in all, I think it was perfect!

July 19, 2011

Our Growing Family

J and I have been married three months as of this past Saturday! Naturally, we've been discussing expanding our family. And we did.

Meet Newnan.

Baby boy is two year-old lab/pit mix. A friend of a friend had two dogs, Newnan and another one. Unfortunately, she and her husband divorced. She is moving and can't afford two dogs on her own. We met Newn and his old owner about a month ago and after spending the day with him, fell in love. We had planned to pick him up this past Saturday, but when J picked me up from the airport Tuesday (I was in Ohio for work) and took me home, Newn was there waiting! Needless to say, he has us wrapped around his paws.

We took him on his first ride in the jeep Friday evening. I feel guilty that he is in his crate all day while we work and that we don't have a yard to let him out in, so we try to do some extra fun things on the weekend. We went walking on the greenline Friday evening and Sunday he went to J's parents with us and played in the backyard.

His favorite spot in the apartment is the front door--no squirrel, chipmunk, train or walker will go unnoticed.

He's also a big cuddler. Don't try telling him he isn't a lap dog--and he prefers everyone to be at his level. Also, I can't believe I'm posting this picture of me on the internet. I'd ran 2 miles and then Newn and I walked another 2, where he attacked a neighbor's in-ground sprinkler (sorry).

I apologize for the iPhone pics. It is easier to take a picture of him with our phones...when you lift a camera, he turns his head!

July 18, 2011

Menu Monday

We've had a hectic couple of weeks and, as a result, our menu planning has been basically non-existent. I'm excited about this week's plan--lots of new recipes, plus some household favorites!

Monday--Spicy Black Bean Burgers from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run with sweet potato fries. I'm excited to try Jenna's "boyfriend-approved" black bean burgers. I love bean burgers, and I'm trying to do one or two meatless meals a week. Hopefully these will be "husband-approved"!

Tuesday- Honey Mustard-Glazed Salmon from Clean Eating. Paired with Kale(for me) and green beans(for him) and brown rice.

Wednesday- Enchiladas! A household favorite. Mine will be vegetarian; his will have chicken.

Thursday- Deconstructed Lasagna from Clean Eating. Another new one!

Friday-- Homemade Pizza. I'm on a kick making my own pizza crust. We like to put pepperoni, spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and basil on it.

Looks like a tasty week! What are you cooking?

July 15, 2011

Weekend Reading Suggestion

I have some fun news to share, but I'm waiting to get some more pictures this weekend before sharing :) In the meantime, I have a reading suggestion for you all!

My dad loves WWII memoirs. My Grandaddy fought in the Battle of the Bulge and other major battles, so I almost always try to find him a memoir focused on those to give him for Christmas or his Birthday. I gave my mom "The Help" for Mother's Day, so I was searching for a book for Father's Day. My parents came to Memphis to visit a few weeks before the holiday, and my dad mentioned wanting this book so I bought it and gave it to him while he was here:

Image via Amazon

From Amazon:

From Laura Hillenbrand, the bestselling author of Seabiscuit, comes Unbroken, the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. In evocative, immediate descriptions, Hillenbrand unfurls the story of Louie Zamperini--a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time. You’ll cheer for the man who somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered, and you’ll want to share this book with everyone you know.

My dad loved it. He passed it on to my Great Uncle who also loved it. When I was home for the 4th, I brought it back with me. I just got around to reading it because I've been tearing through the Pretty Little Liars series(embarrassing, I know, but I have no shame in my reading choices!). I read it in 4 days. What this man went through is unbelievable. Something I've noticed in my history classes and such as that, when it comes to WWII, you mainly hear about the atrocities committed in the German concentration camps. This book shows that over in the Pacific, equal amounts of horrifying acts were committed. I could not put this book down. I finished it yesterday on my lunch break! I highly recommend it, even if you don't enjoy history.

Next on my list? Pretty Little Liars #5. Talk about a 180.

Have a great weekend!

July 7, 2011

Happy (Late) Birthday To Me!

Again, I apologize for the lack of posting this week. I'm hoping to get back on track soon!

I flew back to Memphis on Tuesday and my sweet husband was actually waiting inside the airport when I got there instead of picking me up curbside. Okay...he was only in there because I told him I like it when he is there waiting on me, but it was still sweet :) And the Delta App let him know when I was landing so he hung out in the cell phone lot before parking, so we still made it within the 30 minutes of free parking :)

Yesterday was my 27th Birthday! I celebrated with an all-day client meeting(JUST what I wanted. How did they know? ;))...okay, it ended early and they let me leave around 3:30 so it wasn't terrible. I tried to do some shopping but came up short. When I got home, a gift from my friend Kelly was waiting for me:

Image from Amazon.com

The commemorative 75th anniversary printing of Gone With The Wind. I actually have a copy, but it is my grandmother's hardcover from the 1950's. The binding is coming apart; I keep it with my other GWTW memorabilia on a shelf at my parents' house. Plus, Pat Conroy wrote the forward to this; I love his writing(despite the somewhat sick twists his stories have).

J gave me a big canvas print of Turner Field he found a Target for me to hang in my office. I can't find a picture online! But it will be great to fill in the white space I have going on there.

He also surprised me! I knew we'd go out to dinner and he was very insistent on Tuesday that I pick a place RIGHT NOW. He suggested Mellow Mushroom or (my fave) Sekisui. I couldn't figure out why I had to make a decision at that moment, but I picked pizza. Last night when we got there, two of my good friends and their husbands met us there! I was so surprised. It was nice to have friends there to celebrate with.

All in all, a good day. I loved the Facebook posts and texts and calls. I also love the gift card from my in-laws and new Nike shorts & InStyle subscription from my parents :) I love birthdays!

July 4, 2011

Ain't Nothin' Like That G-A Red Clay

I apologize for the lack of posting this week! I'll be back with the normal posts, plus an update on our new puppy :)

I am currently home in Georgia for the long weekend. I miss my husband(who couldn't come due to lack of vacation time), but I love my time at home. July 4th is a big holiday in my family and we celebrate with a cookout at my uncle's with tons of people, good food(he loves to cook), beer, (illegal) fireworks and the annual shuffleboard tournament among the men(why the women never play, I don't know...I think we drink too much sangria). My dad lost to his brother in the championship round by one point. His strategy every year? Be the sober one. Fell just a little short this year, which is surprising since some of the competitors were drinking moonshine(did I mention I'm from the N. Georgia mountains?)!

The rest of my time has been spent shopping at the Outlets with my best friend and hanging by our pool with the dog. My view looks like this:

Please be aware that there was an empty lounge chair on each side of me, but he had no interest in those. Spoiled dog.

Enjoy the holiday! And many thanks to our service men and women for all they do!