December 31, 2010


I can't believe it's new Year's Eve, not only because of how fast this year has flown by but because of how warm it's been today. Nathan, Nenya, and I took an hour and a half walk today. Nathan cooked us an amazing dinner tonight of sirloin steak (my employer sent Omaha Steaks for Christmas) and potatoes. It's been a great last day of 2010.

We've had quite a year.

At the beginning of 2010, I was newly engaged and started some serious wedding planning

Early in January, Nathan moved closer to me and started a new job.

On February 14, I lost my grandmother

Spring was a blur, but somehow during that time we managed to plan a wedding.

We got married the first Saturday in summer.

We took our first vacation together.

We struggled to make Nathan's apartment a home for both of us.

I tried to learn how to cook, and got a little too ambitious at times. 

About a month into our marriage, Nathan lost his job.

In August, he found a better job than the one he'd had.

I got better and better at saving money on groceries.

My cousin got engaged, and I got to try on bridesmaid's dresses for the first time.

I'm looking forward to all the new adventures 2011 will bring for us!

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog during its first year. Improving the content of my posts and the frequency of my posting are both goals for 2011, so I hope you'll keep reading!

December 29, 2010

Wedding Recaps: The Honorary Flower Girl

Although we didn't think it would be a good idea to have Nenya walk down the aisle, the venue coordinator was nice enough to let her stay in the men's changing room during the wedding so she could be in photos.

When she first saw me the morning of the wedding, she didn't recognize me. She was interested in me, but she didn't get excited and whine like she normally does when she hasn't seen me in a while. After Nathan and I had our first look and we went back inside to take photos with Nenya, he told me to put my hand down for her to sniff, and then the happy moaning began. It was a really great moment. Apparently all the layers of fabric that didn't smell like me threw her off.

The Family

We brought her outside for the family pictures after the wedding as well. She was pretty well behaved, considering how many new people and smells were out there.

But she did manage to get distracted...

And eventually got bored and sick of wearing a bow.

She spent some time with my uncle John, who also took care of her during our honeymoon.

I'm really glad we were able to have her there. As I wrote about previously, Nenya has been a part of our lives almost the entire time Nathan and I have been together, and she's definitely important to us.

December 28, 2010

Wedding Recaps: The Details

I didn't quite make my goal of finishing the wedding recaps before our 6 month anniversary (which was 2 days ago), but they should be done by the end of this week. Here are a few shots of various details of our wedding day.

This is how the centerpieces looked in action. As small as they were, with a couple votive candles on either side and some scattered silk petals, the tables were as decorated as I felt they needed to be.

There were two corner china cabinets behind our table at the reception, which we filled with photos of Nathan and I at different ages on our respective sides.

One job I did not want to tackle myself was making signs and placing them around the park to direct people to our wedding. Nathan put his brother Tim in charge of them a couple days before the wedding, and he did a fantastic job. He just happened to have some thick poster board lying around that was our wedding color.

For those of you who are planning weddings or will be some day, make sure whatever container you use for cards is a lot bigger than you think it needs to be. I thought our card box would be plenty big for cards, but someone gave us a card that was actually too big to lie down flat inside the box and the corners ended up getting kind of mashed.

If you've looked at photos of our gigantic bouquets and corsages and wondered how much we spent on flowers, it's probably not nearly as much as you think; our final total for flowers was actually a few dollars less than I'd budgeted. I was shocked when I saw how big the bouquets were. Our florist is a friend of Nathan's family, and he wanted to make sure we got our money's worth.

I wore my paternal grandmother's diamond and pearl necklace. It's been worn by several brides in the family, and as I shopped for my dress I thought about how the dresses would look with the necklace. The dress I ended up choosing matched really well.

Our hands with our new rings

December 15, 2010

Thank You Card

Since I'm a graphic designer, some people expect me to design everything myself, and I kind of feel like I should. But, I don't. After staring at InDesign all day, sometimes I don't want to bother with it anymore at home. I didn't make a header for this blog until very recently, our digital save the dates were a template from, and I bought our wedding thank you cards from Target. Yep, I'm kind of a DIY failure sometimes.

After looking at the card designs on Shutterfly, I kind of wish I'd been a little less lazy with my thank you cards.

Sweet And Retro Holiday Thank You Card
Shop 100s of holiday cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

All I did was drop a photo into this card. It's a Christmas thank you card, but the red and light green are about the same colors as Nathan's boutonniere and match well. I like the simplicity of the design - two nice fonts and some lines. It doesn't have any fake 3D effects or wild colors. The only thing I don't like is that it's a stationary card, not a folding card. The writing space would be a little limited, unless you wrote on the back too.

I think this card would be appropriate as a thank you for both wedding and Christmas gifts. What do you think?

Disclaimer: These views are entirely my own. Shutterfly is a life saver, or at least a photo saver. After my hard drive went bad, I lost all my photos from my trip to the UK, but since I had uploaded them to Shutterfly, I was able to get them all back by ordering a photo CD.

December 13, 2010

Decking the Halls

We don't have a lot of Christmas decorations in our apartment, but we did add a few seasonal touches.

We bought this 4' Christmas tree for half price. It's plenty big to hold all the ornaments we currently own on the front side alone.

I had considered a few possibilities for a tree topper but didn't want to spend a lot of time or money on one. While I was getting my hair cut last week, Nathan went to buy some lights for the tree, and I got back home to see Snoopy sitting on top. I really like it. I have 11 plastic Snoopy ornaments, so this Snoopy we got on our honeymoon fits right in.

The only Christmas decoration I really wanted to buy was 
an "Our First Christmas Together" ornament.

The ornament I made Nathan for Christmas last year

This was one of my favorites on our tree growing up. 
My mom gave it to me after Christmas last year for my own tree.

Nathan's had this wolf on top of his TV since I've known him.
I decided he needed a little decorating.

Our advent calendars and Christmas cards on the refrigerator

Snowman night light

I took the normal decorations off the top of our short bookshelf and put up some Christmas candles and a snow globe. I gave the snow globe to my grandma when I was little since she hated snow, and now it's a reminder of her.

What are your favorite Christmas decorations?

December 12, 2010

Wedding Recaps: Eating, Drinking, and a Moderate Level of Merriment

After the ceremony, Nathan and I wanted to take the time to greet each of our guests. We wanted our bridal party to be the first to get in line for the food and not have to stand out in the sun in a receiving line greeting people they'd never met before. Our hope was that we would walk into the reception without any big announcement and find most of our guests already eating.

Well, I don't know if the food wasn't ready yet or if someone decided that we couldn't just sneak in, but we ended up being announced at the reception.  It was unexpected but not the end of the world.

Instead of enjoying the food, our guests were all staring at us, waiting for us to do something.

 And we had no idea what to do.

Nathan said that we just wanted everyone to eat, but it was suggested that we have a prayer first. This was fine, just not something we had planned on doing. Thankfully, the best man was fine with leading a prayer, and then we were all able to eat.

I've heard that some brides don't even get to eat at their own wedding, but Nathan was adamant that I get to eat at our wedding. It's pretty difficult for me to skip meals, so since all I had to eat before the wedding was a bowl of cereal, I don't know how I could have made it through the day without eating at the reception. (Nathan and I did get some Bob Evans at about 9:30 that night too.)

Since we had cupcakes instead of cake, Nathan and I just kind of ripped apart a cupcake.

Of course Nathan ended up with the bigger piece and tried to shove it all into my mouth.

I got some icing on the tip of my nose, so I whispered to Nathan to lick it off. And he did, but no one got a picture. We got plenty of laughs though, and a laughing "Ewww!" from my mom.

Then we enjoyed some sparkling grape juice.

I hope our guests enjoyed the reception even though it ended up being very different from how we planned it. We had a tent set up outside for additional seating, but since it was so hot, everyone crammed inside in the air conditioning. A lot of people left really early, probably because it was a little uncomfortable in there. We had also planned on having dancing under the tent, but since we couldn't get the sound system we'd rented to work, that didn't happen either. Fortunately, my bridesmaids, brother, and cousins were able to find entertainment though since some people had left up a bounce house nearby (I don't have the photos of that, sadly, but they're hilarious).

Our reception at least had one redeeming factor: the FOOD!

Nathan's brother and sister-in-law planned out and prepared (with a little help from various people) all the food for our reception. I was amazed when I saw the results before the wedding. I couldn't believe that was the food for our wedding!

Fruit assortment with dip

Veggies with ranch dip, dill dip, and red pepper hummus

Bacon and cheddar cheesecake

Herb cheesecake

Not pictured: spicy garlic meatballs and sweet barbecue meatballs

I ended up baking all the cupcakes myself and freezing them. Including the trial runs, I probably baked close to 200 cupcakes total. Sister-in-law Betsy came up with the decorating technique. She made all the petals and sugar pecans and shipped them to me before the wedding, and she and our videographer did all the icing and decorating.

If nothing else, our reception was certainly an excellent culinary experience!