4.06.2014

15 things I love about being married to Adam.

This blog has grown sad and pathetic over the past two months--total apologies for that.

On Saturday, March 22, Adam and I finally got hitched, and it was nonstop wedding planning after work and on the weekends.

I was the type of bride who watched every episode of Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings, and those other wedding movies like I Love You, Man and Wedding Singer while doing the little things like guest cards, table numbers, designing the programs and childhood video. Dear Allah, those shows helped my bridal brain.

Adam and I ended up falling in love with the show Bridezillas about three weeks from the wedding... not for its pure trashy entertainement, but the fact that we could empathize with all of the last-minute planning of these brides and how they were handling it.

Personally, there was a lot to do.

Leading up to the wedding, Adam's family came in from London and we had the rehearsal dinner at Armitage Bistro where both of our families from all over the two countries meshed... and it was sincerely so lovely. I adore seeing my cousins; even though I visit with them about once every three or two years, it feels like time hasn't passed and we can be our silly selves together whenever we reunite.

The next day--my wedding day--my good bud and talented photographer friend, Tiffany Egbert, took my wedding photos throughout the days: the boys getting ready while watching ESPN, the ladies gettin' their hairs did with the awesome Ms. Voelz and her friend, the limo ride while drinking champagne and listening to really bad (yet oh-so good) rap music while taking pictures at Pinnacle Peak, and then the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception at Desert Camp Community Center--with thoughtful toasts, awesome dancing, and photo booth goodness.

Anyway, although Adam and I have only been married 15 days, here's a list of 15 reasons why I love being married, specifically to this wonderful man, especially since we've already reached our first marriage trial not hours after we were married.



1. We had a steady diet of leftover wedding cake until 3 days ago. And it was pure delicious glory--no judgement by either of us. Piece of Cake is seriously the best cake (didn't even really knew I liked cake) that I've ever had.

2. He's really fun to decorate the apartment with. I had a co-worker and friend say how she and her husband went "Indecent Proposal" with all of the money and gifts from others. Most of the wedding gifts were from Target and Pottery Barn, so Adam and I now feel like we live in a totally different place--which is perfectly wonderful. It's like... we're adults getting over IKEA. Laaaaa!

3. Being logical trumps financial wants. With this, we have about $200 to spend at Pottery Barn. Not sure weather to spend it on fantastic vintage-looking Aiden wine rack or the Chloe floor lamp for our living room. Obviously, the Chloe floor lamp, right? RIGHT? The sale ends on Wednesday--help!

4. He talked me out of getting a Pottery Barn credit card account. Good husband.

5. He's really good at nodding his head to music while cooking. Okay, so since running out of wedding cake, I'll be listening to music and writing while he cooks, and well, he does this damn good head nod when pasta-ing it up.

6. I keep his wedding vows in my Mazda's glove compartment. And they've been really getting me through some not-so-perfect times.

7. There's this idea--at least that I had--that once you're married it's going to feel differently. It doesn't. And I love that. I think it means you're married to your best friend.

8. This year was going to be about letting go for me. Lately, I've been obsessing about unfair matters; and though Adam feels the same, he's very good about making me understand how moral matters return to others and how integrity and intention affect others long-term in life. Which means, he makes me a better person by putting things into perspective.

9. He passively tells me what to do--which I love, but is totally annoying. For example, "Hey, I'm going to clean out Zooey's cat box." Translation: It's your turn to clean out her litter box. Another example, "Hey, I'm going to move your car closer to the apartment door." Translation: I saw that you did a really bad parking job where you were basically in two spots, so I want you to take care of that."

10. Life is so much cheaper married, and that's sexy. Yeah, we lived together for about 18 months before getting married, but joining plans like AT&T and Progressive has saved us *so* much money with each monthly bill. Which equals joy. Cheap, cheap bliss.

11. He has random OCD tendencies and I'm learning to keep up. He will berate me for squeezing my toothpaste in weird, random directions. His toothpaste is so nice and perfectly squeezed upwards. Obviously, we have to hide our toothpaste in our drawers. YET: He will mess up his towel on the rack in the guest bathroom--where everyone sees how beautiful the towel can be. This confuses me, yet makes me love him more, to no end.

12. He forces snuggles in the morning, even though we have to get up and going by 6 a.m.

13. The only thing he asked for with the Target gift registry was season 3 of Game of Thrones on Blu-Ray. And now we have HBO for the next six months because today is the magnificent season premiere of my favorite show.

14. We had a date to see the new Wes Anderson movie flick at 1:30 p.m. today, and then when we were ready to go, I told him: Hey, I'm not in the mood to see it. And he returned: Yeah, I wasn't really into it either. Love.

15. We get each others dry, weird, morbid, fun, whatever sense of humor. And then we laugh. He's my favorite person to laugh with, and I love hearing his voice giggling at smart (or stupid) things.

Real fast: Below was one of the readings from our wedding ceremony written by Tom Robbins from his novel "Still Life with Woodpecker." It is a thought on love and how to maintain healthy relationships. I believe it to the T.

"Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words 'make' and 'stay' become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free."

Clearly, from the picture below, hats off to that.

At any rate, how has everyone else been doing? I've missed writing in here!

2.08.2014

I love this dude.


It's funny to think that Adam and I are getting married in just 42 days. I can't help but feel so lucky and blessed that he's going to be my husband. He makes me laugh out loud everyday, challenges me in conversation with his wit, and is just, well, Adam. He is my heart and my home, and I can't wait to share the rest of my life with him.

Right now, I have Zooey (our newly adopted cat) asleep and purring in my lap, and am watching You Got Mail on the E! channel. And of course I'm thinking about how Adam and I met--online, four years ago, when we both made big moves. From Arizona to Washington for me, and from Washington to Arizona for him. And it's just so funny and perfect reflecting about how I got here: Happy, with Zooey on my lap and Adam in the other room playing some nerdy computer game and watching ESPN.

I cherish these seemingly small victories of just being. They have the brightest impact on our lives. Not at all thrilling, but completely fulfilling.

Next weekend, Adam is celebrating his bachelor party in Seattle with his close friends, and I'm headed to Napa for my bachelorette party. Then, before you know it, it'll be da-dumdumdum, da-dumdumdum and off on our next milestone.

Cheers to that.

1.26.2014

I might have to marry my wedding invitations.


I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't one of those gals who had always dreamed about her wedding. I remember having a "wedding playlist" on my purple iPod when I was in college where I'd walk around Tempe Town Lake mustering up different ideas of what the details would be. One of those, of course, were the wedding invitations.

My cousin, Emily, recently began her own custom stationery business this year. She had designed for Aveda and freelanced for other big brands, but then decided to focus on her custom stationery company, Dorothy Jane Custom Stationery. The company is named after our grandmother who had an affinity for paper goods. I remember in my grandmother's bedroom, she had the bottom drawer of her dresser solely dedicated to birthday, anniversary, thank you cards, and other random letters from friends and family throughout the years. What my grandmother enjoy most about them were the messages and the memories that they gave her.

Through this crazy digital age, I cherish receiving a thoughtful letter or card in the mail; I wanted Adam and I to have wedding invitations that reflected just that--showcasing our style and wit forever in an invitation from 2014.

At first, I was a bit hesitant collaborating with Emily and designing them from afar because a) Emily lives in Pennsylvania, and b) I'm such a hands-on (read: controlling) person. I wanted to see, feel, and touch the possibilities right away. Well, designing them was not only a super fun and interactive process, but they truly exceeded my expectations.

Based on my wedding colors (gold, lavender, and black--now more of a gold, lavender, and ivory look), Emily began the invitation planning process in August. She went beyond viewing the digital image of the initial paper colors that I had picked up at Michael's. Emily actually asked what the ISBN codes were on the back of the sheets so that she could pick them up at Michael's to help her create an inspiration board and glean what look I was going for.

My original wedding colors that I had picked up at Michael's in June.
After that, it was time for the exact look and relaying my vision. I'm a Pinterester and have basically found all of my favorite wedding ideas through there. I was able to go through Dorothy Jane's pins on her Pinterest and relay my favorite invitations styles to Emily. Emily seemed to know exactly what Adam and I wanted based on the Pinterest board and past conversations. She whipped up a formal personalized PDF of an inspiration board and had us had us explain our preferences for our ideal wedding invitation.


 Adam and I are really into that vintage, indie, stylized look, and I am in love with letterpress--a must--so we relayed that we wanted gold letterpress with on a black background with the look of image 1, 5, and the letterprss of 6. 

Letterpress, as I've learned through this process, is a bit price-y. My budget for invitations was about $1,500. I didn't want to spend any more or less; but I also wanted that classy, whimsical look. Emily made that happen. Emily had a friend who had a letterpress machine who would be able to do it at a reasonable price. Plus, the black with gold letterpress would have cost more, so Emily had suggested a white or ivory paper.

Like, I said before, I was somewhat nervous about not being able to see, touch, and interact with the invitations, but Emily made that all available by immediately sending me pictures through email and mailing the actual paper types with the gold letterpress look so I could make educated decision. After chatting about the gold letterpress look, I had received paper samples within three days after she emailed me the style.


I loved that creamy, classy, champagne color of the paper in juxtaposition to the gold letterpress. We decided to go with that look.

Envelopes were another item that was something that I needed to consider. Obviously, I wanted to incorporate all of my colors, so I had considered a black or lavender color to match the colors that I had sent Emily. Emily immediately researched stationary areas in Phoenix that I could visit to compare the colors at The Paper Source. (Seriously, my new favorite craft place.)

Emily had also suggested that I stay away from black since it would be difficult for the return address to write with. Then she sent me different colors available at The Paper Source where I could actively compare colors. 


I had left purchasing envelopes on the back burner since I wanted to see the actual invitations and compare different colors. With that, Emily began working on and completing the design process sometime in late-August. With the first round, she sent three different designs. She had Adam and I talk through what we liked and didn't like. 

Emily was (is) a very conscientious, detail-oriented lady. We really only had two rounds of designs because she had perfectly placed together what we wanted. 


Chatting with Adam about our style preferences has been, so far, one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. It was neat to brainstorm with the one you love about a memory that is going to last forever. I am seriously a cheesy and nostalgic person, so I kept thinking about this invitation in a frame next to our wedding picture for our children to see throughout the ages.

Yes, cheese galore.

But, seriously: Such a fun time planning.

Emily had the invitations printed within a few weeks, but as mentioned before--she's such a detail-oriented person. The letterpress designer had made the "and" in the circle have a tint of gold. Something I didn't want, and something Emily knew that I didn't want. Emily took care of it immediately and it didn't cost me extra to have that mistake fixed. I love that I didn't have to worry about my invitations because I knew that so much detail and thought were going into them by Emily.

In mid-November, the invitations arrived all neatly wrapped and ready to go. (Wish I had taken a picture of the invites in their original boxes!) I was ridiculously excited when they came--I even kept one in my car's glove compartment so I could look at them during a stop light when driving. Yes, I'm a nerd, but I was pummmmped.


Note: Unfortunately, my camera made the invitations look very yellow--that is very much not the look.


Here's what the invitation looks like... but the rest below will be a bit yellow-looking. Le sigh.


Beautimus, are they not? As you see, Emily even created a custom-designed map of the location on the direction card. Adam and I are music buffs, so we added our own quirk on the reply card with a song request.

Emily was such a great guide--letting me know that I should probably have sent the invites mailed in mid-January, six weeks before the wedding.

Next, it was envelope time. Adam and I went to The Paper Source in Scottsdale with the invitations in hand, and compared our light lavender color with the ivory and gold look. The lavender and grapesicle colors (from the image above) were very on par with our colors. But we wanted a different touch. 

The florist, bridal stylist, and event planner and mentioned that pulling a shade of lavender would be very similar and equally inviting, so we went with the aubergine A9 envelope and A7 reply card envelopes with matching satin ribbon to complete the look of the invitations. The folks at The Paper Source walked me through the process of how to custom line envelopes, so I ordered the Stardream liner for that gold "pop" of color to match the letterpress of the invitation.

It took me a season of Say Yes to the Dress while custom lining the invitations, but it was a good ole time. ;)

Because I wanted to pinch those pennies and not hire a calligrapher, I found a custom stamp designer on Etsy called Tickled Pink for only $25. I designed a return address on Adobe Illustrator and sent the stamp designer the look, and received the custom stamp within two weeks. The folks at The Paper Source, who know affectionately know me as "wedding girl," helped me find the perfect gold stamp color that matched the gold letter press on my invitations with the stamp. I seriously had a thousand different samples of stamp colors and possible embossing colors for the reply letter. So glad I went with the stamp.


After stamping the reply cards and meticulously placing the flower stamps on the reply cards, I spent about a week every night after work tying those aubergine satin bows around the freaking invitations. 

The invitations all had super bizarre categories thanks to the bows: perfect bow and stamp; weird bows and perfect stamp; weird bow and stamp. I mapped out with Adam all the people who we thought wouldn't attend the wedding. They, of course, got the weird bows and stamps. My mom hilariously mentioned how men don't care, so even if I knew they were coming--they were in the weird category. 

Meh, heh, heh... 

About two weeks ago, I had my "invitation party" with my mom and matron of honor (and oldest sister/best friend), Meghan. We watched Father of the Bride (clearly as evidenced from the picture below, my mom did at least); and powered through writing addresses with the fine tip Pen Touch from Michael's. Thankfully, it only took the whole move to get through all the invitations with the stamps. Before addressing, I went to the post office and had the invites weighed where they needed two stamps (for the national folks).  


Thanks to Meghan's glorious hand, she was given the task of writing out the addresses of my future in-laws. And wa-lah! The glorious invitation process is finished and magnificent...


Even though it's late-January, and I have until March 1 to track down the flakes, it's pretty awesome knowing that Adam and I are going to get mail everyday. Plus, it's always nice receiving a thousand different kind comments about the invitations...

I took the first picture from this blog with my grandmother, Dorothy Jane Hallinan, in the background since I couldn't have done this invitation process without the patience, thoughtfulness, and expertise of my cousin, Emily. Even though we have different styles, I love that she "got" what Adam and I were going for, worked with our budget, and was patient with my needy emails. 

It's probably a bit obvious how much Adam and I admire our invitations; and I know that we'll cherish them until we're old and gray and I give Adam a stroke from nagging him too much.

:)