Thursday, April 28, 2011

The unexpected adventure

I'm talking about planning the rehearsal dinner. For something that shouldn't be that complicated, I feel like it was. OK, here's the story:

The location of the church is in northern Houston. So LOTS of restaurants, several of which have private dining rooms, etc. Things that were the obvious excluding factors were the cost and/or the type of food. So yes, that makes sense. 

From the beginning, my mom & I had thought one particular restaurant would be perfect. Fun environment, tasty food, etc. It seemed to fit the bill. However, Matt didn't really like it, so back to the drawing board!

Then we had a hard time looking for alternatives. One night, my parents & I drove out to County Line BBQ and decided that was a good contender. Next time Matt came into town, he decided he liked it. He talked to his parents and within the next few days it was booked. 

Now Christmas time rolls around and I move back home. My family goes there to eat dinner one Friday around 6 PM, you know, about the time we would be going to the rehearsal dinner. It takes us about 40 minutes to get there. One way. I start freaking out as I realize:
  • I got my parents' genes for being willing to drive 40 minutes one way just to eat good food
  • No way do I want our close family and friends driving 40 minutes in Houston traffic just to eat at a particularly good BBQ place
So, the search was on. Again. We were having a hard time finding a place within a 15 min drive that ALL INVOLVED were willing to have the dinner at. It was either too small, too expensive, or not 'us.' And then we had the brilliant idea of still doing BBQ (because what Texan doesn't like BBQ?) and just getting it catered at the fellowship hall at our church.

And yes, that is what we're doing. It may not be traditional, but it will be a relaxing and fun time with our family and friends, just what we (I) will need the day before the wedding.

There's the story of how what should have been easy I made complicated (in true Jessica fashion, I might add). Any other brides have a wedding-planning process that should have been easy turn complicated?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The bridal shower

I have gotten several more pictures back from the shower, so I figured I would go ahead and do the recap!

The original plan was to have the shower outside at a nice local part, but it has been excessively windy lately. Skirts + food + wind + tissue paper = we moved it to my MOH's house. I'm very glad we did as I think people were a lot more comfortable then they might have otherwise been.

The shower was hosted by my two bridesmaids living in College Station- Mary & Kara. They did such an amazing job and I'm so thankful for them!
 Overall, it was a very relaxing time with a nice lunch (why did we not get any pictures of the spread? So sad!), gift opening, and then the impromptu tissue paper wedding dress creation. Both my mom and Matt's mom were able to come, so that was really good to have them in the same place and everything :)
I was quite excited about the sifter!

The resulting tissue paper

Mid-dress construction

Complete with a bouquet!

All of us, minus Matt's mom who acted as the photographer
So it was definitely an amazing day and I still feel so blessed by my amazing friends and family and how thoughtful they are! I'm glad I was able to have several of my close friends there, especially the Saturday before Easter. I will say it took a while to get used to being the center of attention; I wish Matt was there to buffer some of that for me, but I managed.

Now the thank you cards are all in the mail (yay!) and my bachelorette party is in two weeks. I can't wait! Til then, I have to finish my undergrad career. Two papers, a presentation, and a test this week. One huge and scary final the next. Then DONE! Ok, it's the final push...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Showered with blessings

First off- Happy Easter, everyone! While you munch on your chocolate bunny ears, I hope you remember the miracle of Jesus' resurrection! 

As you may know, yesterday was my bridal shower. I will post a larger recap later when I have more of the pictures back (AKA stolen from facebook), but I will say this:
-It was so much fun!
-I felt so blessed to have so many of my close friends there, especially when they could have been home with their families
-It was great having not only my mom there, but also Matt's mom and sister present. It meant a lot to me to spend more time with our families in one place.
-I have the best bridesmaids ever.

Here is a preview picture. Yes, you better believe we did the tissue paper wedding dress. Bed, Bath, and Beyond stuffs their gift bags with SO MUCH of it that we had to do something with it. And we still have tons left for packing!

Image courtesy of BM and future sister-in-law Lindsey

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The not-so-fun part about getting married

So as you probably know, Matt & I signed for an apartment this past weekend! Hooray!! But, due to circumstances, we take control of the apartment next month. As in the first week of May. We won't be able to go back up to the apartment until post-honeymoon, so that will be JUNE 5 or so. 

Anyway, as we take possession so early, we have have to have things like electricity and renter's insurance taken care of ASAP. 

Enter the not-so-much-fun aspect of getting married and moving. The craziness is really beginning to set it: 
-finishing college (papers, finals, etc) & graduating
-bridal shower and bachelorette parties (my own + a really good friend's)
-friend's wedding
-moving out of current apartment to my parents' house (week before wedding)
-moving out of parents' house to new apartment (day post-honeymoon)
-a small, insignificant event -- our own wedding
-setting up things like car insurance, cell phone providers, etc.
-buying furniture for new apartment

It is definitely a lot of transition and changing. I'm glad I'm not doing it alone and Matt, as always, has a very good grasp on what to do, etc. But, just wanted to give you a run down of what's going on. There are perks to being an adult, but wow, definitely some downsides. 

Sorry to have such a serious post today. My next post will be after my bridal shower on Saturday, so I'm sure it will be much more exciting than this one! Plus it will actually have pictures haha

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's official!

[I am taking a break from paper-writing to write this blog. You should feel loved!]

Well, yesterday Matt & I signed a lease for our apartment! It was quite a day driving around in the area looking for places to live, but we got a place and we love it! Before I post pictures, let me tell you more details...

Our ideal apartment would be a 1 bed/1 bath (with double sinks), a nice kitchen with lots of counter space, and a study. We want a decent desk space as I'll be in grad school and Matt will be starting his master's program in about a year, so obviously that was important. The double sink was my idea because I've always been spoiled with my own bathroom/sink (except on vacations and 2 years in the dorm).

After grad school/job stuff became official, we decided we wanted to live in a certain DFW suburb that is basically in between our two school/work locations (sorry, no name- creepy internet stalkers and all). We spent several hours looking at apartments and creating spreadsheets of specific complexes, their amenities, costs, making appointments to visit them for yesterday, etc. 

Long story short, it came down to two apartments. One of which I randomly turned into because it looked nice on the outside and I hadn't previously heard about it.

Apartment A:
-Very much in budget
-Had a separate study
-Good bathroom
-But- didn't get to tour the specific floorplan as it wasn't available yet
-And- it was built in the 1980s. We wanted something a bit newer for reliability
-It had no garages nor gated access

Apartment B [the one we randomly turned into]:
-No separate study
-One sink
-Private garage under unit & gated access
-Built within the past decade
-A bit on the upper end of the budget
-Very open floorplan, huge kitchen, etc
-Wrap around porch 
-NOT white paint
-Crown moldings

So, which one do you think we picked? Apartment B of course! (Read the side story at the end for more details) Without further ado, here are a few pictures. I'm sure you'll be seeing more post-move-in and we start to decorate.
As you enter, looking to your left

Living room/study area from the kitchen

Kitchen/dining/laundry room area

Kitchen. We have drawers! If you know where I live, you understand why this is a huge deal

Living room, with door for wrap-around porch

Big empty bedroom

And the exciting bathroom lol
Aww, what a cute couple :P
And there you have your first tour. You better believe I cannot wait to start thinking about furniture and decorating... so glad I'll have the summer off before grad school to do that!

Side story: we almost didn't get this apartment. As I said before, as we were driving to another apartment complex we saw this one, thought it looked nice, and turned in. This unit had been vacant for a little bit, but several people had expressed interest. After we toured it, we really liked it but had one more we wanted to see. The lady told us that there was another couple that wanted it, so if we wanted to guarantee it would be there for us if we decided we did want it, we needed to put down a refundable deposit.

Check written, we went to look at the other complex, went to lunch, and decided yes, we want the newer one. Once we got there, the other couple that wanted that unit had just gotten there and brought in their lease application for the unit!!!! Thankfully, since we had the deposit down, it was ours until we said anything else. They ended up getting another floorplan, and we got our apartment, so it all turned out well in the end. As the complex is really popular, that kind of thing happens a lot, according to the apartment lady, so I'm glad we were able to get it!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Well, hi there!

I know, I was a bad blogger again this week. Remember my calendar post? Yeah, I'm busy!

Right now I'm able to update as I upload the pictures from the bridal portrait CD from my amazing photographer, Kasey.  Yup, I have my bridal portraits back! But sorry, you won't be able to see them til post-wedding. The whole Matt-secrecy thing. But, I will say that I absolutely love them and cannot wait to share it with you (and Matt)!

This weekend, Matt & I will be heading up to the DFW area to look at apartments. So exciting! I know we've been engaged for almost a year, but the fact that we're getting married is starting to feel more official as we finalize the last details of the wedding and look for places to live, etc. Anyone else get that feeling?

Anyway, I'll be sure to update you on the trip when we get back and hopefully have decided on a place to live! Until then, have a great weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Invitations... the details

Since it has been about a week since we sent the invites, I figured I would give you guys a preview.

Invites, like everything else in the wedding world, are expensive. Especially to get the pretty pocket fold ones like I originally wanted [you can read more about that here]. So, enter budget-mode for invites, and I found these pretty guys:
These are not my invites, just the website's version; Source
I loved the daisies and that it matched the feel of our day-time wedding. Classy, yet casual. It was really easy to order them, too. We just picked whatever phrasing we wanted, proofed the sample, and then they were ordered! Our package included the response cards, response envelopes, and reception cards as well. 

So, without further ado, here are our invites. [Sorry for the blurred out words. Privacy and all]
All of them!

Our invite, minus the smudges

Response & reception cards

All of it together!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My calendar

The only weddings stuff going on now is:
-Getting ready for the bridal shower
-RSVP's coming in
-Getting ready for the bachelorette party

So really that isn't my deal. That's stuff for my amazing bridesmaids and parents. In the meantime what am I doing? Well, let me show you:

I may have mentioned once or twice that I'm graduating two weeks before the wedding. At the end of April, I have 2 huge papers (think 20 pgs each or so), 1 presentation, and 1 test all within 3 days of each other. This is how I'm conquering it-- make the world's most detailed calendar. Most days I have to shift things around because I don't normally finish for everything in that day, but that's why I built in some wiggle room.

Yes, it looks gross. But when I'm MIA for blogging I have a legit excuse, right?