Wednesday, December 22, 2010
On Monday Adam and I exchanged Christmas presents for the first time as fiances; second time ever; and last time before we're Mr. and Mrs.
Honestly, I couldn't have asked for anything more on top of the joyful and thrilling engagement. Christmas came early this year -- at least the gift part!
Thankfully, Adam's presents didn't try to compete with the sparkling one I now permanently wear. Let's be honest, how could it?
Regardless, I don't think I could have taken another feminine, delicate, blushingly romantic gift. Therefore my new Carhartt overalls, hiking socks and winter gloves speak to my heart in a different tone.
My gift to Adam (above) played off his 2009 gift to me. This Timex made exclusively for JCrew has been burning a hole in my pocket since Nov. 1. It's now in its rightful place: on Adam's wrist.
Gifts aside, Christmas will be flighty this year. We're both celebrating with our families, however I will join his crew after my parents leave on the 26th for a trip to Mexico.
I'm anticipating it all to feel rushed and surreal. However, I'm (desperately) hoping to enjoy my last Christmas alone with my parents.
With stinging eyes,
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I am forever indebted to my dear engaged friend Amelia.
She introduced me to the fabulous Pinterest, and it's a bride's dream. I will sing its praises from the hilltops (and down the aisle).
Pinterest acts as a virtual & personal bulletin board as you browse the internet. When you find inspiration bits, you "pin" them to boards you've dedicated to encompass your vision - tablescapes, flowers, attire, etc.
As a life-long, die-hard collage enthusiast, this is an absolutely beautiful & utilitarian gift.
No more emailing myself links and filing them under "Brimer Wedding."
But this is not just a gift to brides - it's incredible for anyone who wishes to keep a visual library. Check it out, request an invite and wait anxiously for its arrival.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Look at this sweet JCrew number. Unfortunately, it sold out yesterday while I was being indecisive. (That comes as no surprise.)
As I wait for various spring collections to be released, I'll shake my head at what slipped through my fingers and refocus on what I'm looking for in bridal jewelry.
DESIRED: A TIMELESS STATEMENT PIECE THAT OOZES WITH SIMPLICITY AND FEMININITY.
That's a pretty loaded request.
And after critically thinking through the JCrew bib, I'm not sure that it fits the bill.
I mean, a bib necklace? I bought one in Washington, DC the spring of 2009 and it totally got shot down.
The super-sized accessory dates back to ancient Egypt and Elizabeth Taylor. Much later, a Cartier bib necklace was given to the Duchess of Windsor by her husband in 1947.
I'm sure there were more notable pieces in between (didn't we all just LOVE the Stormy Seas necklace from Anthropologie?), and I'm sure there are more to come.
What I'm not sure about is whether I'll wear one at my wedding.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Admittedly, the thought did cross my mind to wait until Adam and I were together to open the box. It was a strange twilight zone moment where I felt an insane sense of urgency to move forward yet was paralyzed by indecision.
Meh. It didn't last long.
I ripped open the box to reveal the most darling dainty & rustic wedding stationary I could've imagined. They are pitch perfect.
Then I was struck with indecision again:
- squeal to my mother over the phone
- squeal via text to my roommate
- squeal in person to Adam
- squeal to myself
She listened as I described every inch of the invitation, then promptly asked me to mail her a sample.
They arrived on her doorstep yesterday.
She loves them, too. I can just hear her squealing.
For lovely and affordable wedding stationary, check out Wedding Paper Divas.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Never once did I stop mid-blog scroll to admire that boutonniere or those cuff links-- let alone, give much thought to the question of tux, suit, vest or sleeve-roll.
(Needless to say, this has opened up a whole new reason/way to survey wedding blogs.)
Thankfully, Adam's opinion does count, and he's been helpful in brainstorming ideas. However, it's tricky to argue why a tan suit wouldn't look right with my dress when he has no idea what I'm wearing.
Which brings me another point: It's 7 months until our wedding and sometimes I can't remember what I'll be wearing.
Sure, I have pictures to which I can refer, but those hardly do anything for my memory on the days where it seems like it's a matter of life or death to remember the exact shade of (insert color) I chose or how breathable (insert fabric type) will be in the July heat.
I will say, what has been extremely helpful - from ordering invitations to meeting with the florist - is having a swatch of fabric on hand from the bridesmaid dresses. Funnily enough, my swatch is in the form of a silk JCrew ruffled blouse I bought along with the dresses.
I just LOVE seeing that hang in my closet!
Friday, December 3, 2010
I apologize for the delay. A week or so ago I mentioned that Adam and I combined forces to create something for the wedding. Well, here is it... hot off the press!
We submitted our love story to Smitten Photography's 4th annual LOVEstory contest with the hope of winning a wedding photography package from one of our favorite photographers with Knoxville roots.
The parameters of the competition allowed us to be creative, and so we gave it our best shot.
Drawing on our newspaper roots, I wrote an article to tell our (well, more so my side of) our story while designing a front page to truly illustrate it. Adam did a fantastic job making the spread, as well as his photos, look old and wrinkled.
(I'm working to figure out how to post the full size .pdf so you can actually read the text... until then, the copy is at the bottom of this post)
Sadly, we didn't make the final cut, but it was such a fun project for Adam and I to share as a newly engaged couple and as a writing/photography team that we're thankful to have entered.
Please visit Smitten Photograhy's website on Sunday, Dec. 5 to vote for the lucky couple who will win a dream photography package!
P.S. For my newspaper friends, we were REQUIRED to keep it within 8.5" x 11"
Hot off the Market
Knoxville photographer and Virginia writer set deadline for wedding
I fell in love with Adam in a beauty salon.
To clarify, I was not daydreaming under the dryer or gushing to the stylist over highlights.
Rather, I was running late to a four-hour hair and make-up makeover I was covering for the newspaper.
As I barreled through the salon’s door full of apologies with reporter’s notebook in hand, I was told the contestant was already in the changing room, and invited to take a seat.
I turned around and there he was unpacking his lighting equipment: Adam, the new staff photographer I’d rarely seen in the newsroom.
Little did I know he would be on assignment that day, let alone on my radar.
As I hurriedly took notes on bobs, bangs, and bronzer, I took note of Adam.
He was politely witty; he could carry a conversation about music; he was a pro at the name game. Moreover, he was resoundingly confident n what he was doing. I could smell Jesus on him.
My nerves, frazzled from work anxiety, fell into a peaceful sleep; in their place sprung a bewildering and steadfast attraction to “sweet, calm, generous, funny Adam,” as he was coined in my journal the same night.
“My full range of emotions is exhausting. I don’t even know the kid and I’m positive that I like him,” I wrote. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this. It’s like going from zero to 60 without him even in the car.”
And so it began.
While I admit to always chomping at the bit, our story is slow and steady.
We forged a friendship across cubicles and behind cameras, dodging questions from coworkers while concealing our blushing faces over the copy machine.
I learned the true meaning of patience and pursuit as I waited for something that actually wouldn’t begin until I dated someone else and Adam ended a relationship with another.
Our story has proven that when the perfect comes, the partial will pass. When I met Adam, my limited understanding of love began to shed- how it sustains, how it remains, and how it gains in fullness.
I caught a glimpse of something eternal in the salon- something stronger than the ammonia fumes: Love has perfect timing, but adheres to no deadline.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
If you've been following, you'll remember the execution of this plan was thwarted when I found the bridesmaid dresses before these little suckers were dropped in the mail to my unsuspecting bridemaids-to-be.
The idea came from a blog post I remembered from August 19, 2009. Yes, people, 2009. Some ideas just stick with you- plus, the star feature on Google Reader helps, too.
From the looks of the original, a card serves as a formal invitation to join the bridal party while the paper doll chain reveals the other gals in the line-up.
While I had already asked my attendants, I did not reveal the composition of the entire bridal party until now. Therefore, the invitations did serve a specific purpose other than fulfilling my childhood dream circa 2009.
A note on the hilarious spread above:
- The infamous wedding binder. Here is it open to the "stationary tab," as I was working on the invitations, of course.
- Crafting cocktails. A mixture of champagne, orange juice and cranberry juice.
- A porcelain marker jar. Only my mother would keep markers in a porcelain jar.
- Throwback souvenirs. Has anyone been to the Flying Monkey in Key West, Fla. ?
P.S. - Ensuring the hair had a nice swoopy side bang was the trickiest part of the entire craft.
David Wilcox wrote a song called "Block Dog" where he says "Life's like a garden, I'd like to tend it with my wife. You dig in one spot, dig a straight row. You're only digging to hide the bone. When I lived so free, alone, I had an empty harvest."
I expect there will be digging and sweating, but there will also be fruit. And I guess it isn't linear like plant/reap/enjoy and the seasons aren't necessarily... seasonal, but in its own way each fruit undergoes its own growing and maturation process.
Put on the gloves Kate; I know we're going to have a big garden. :)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
as for knowing if you love someone and then if you should marry him…
the longer i’ve been married, my view of this question has become less romantic. i think the question is more about deciding if you want to commit to a life-long relationship. this is a difficult and laborious commitment but one that, i think, has deeply sweet fruits. i haven’t been married for very long (in the wide scope of things) so i am far from a full understanding of my vow. so far i can say that it has been more difficult than it has been fun. but i do feel that i have a priceless friend that (given my character traits), i would not have outside of marriage. i think that this is of value and will continue to become more valuable the longer we commit to it.
deciding if this sort of arrangement aligns with your values and priorities is the first question (i think its okay if it doesn’t).
after this, the specific person you chose becomes less important. i say that because, whoever you marry will grow and change and not be the person you originally picked. and also because, no matter who you pick, you will learn their flaws and forget their beauty and be sometimes annoyed and sometimes you will loathe them (well, i do at least).
not to say that you shouldn’t be diligent and thoughtful in the choosing of a partner. but i guess, the most important thing to consider is if the person has the same commitment and expectations and values for marriage. and after that it just gets down to preferences. think about the things that are most important to you and make sure that those things are supported and valued by your partner and vice versa. i guess i’m saying that feelings of love don’t answer this question. feelings about/for a person are indicators of something going on inside of you and it is good to try and understand what they are pointing to. but they don’t know how to make decisions (especially life-long vows).
I've chewed on this because it's so dang good.
What some may find "less romantic," as Ashley put it, I find thrilling - the grit of marriage. The stuff that's going to require a mixture of head, heart, and help; the necessity of communication, commitment, and community.
The idea is almost too large for me to even put into words. All I can squeak out is a "thank you" to women like Ashley who attest to the fullness of marriage. Or to newly engaged Amelia, who through tears and smiles, has overflowed with love and fear since the day she said, "Yes!"
I'm right there with you, girlfriend.
It's healthy and formative for couples to realize marriage is going to be more than good looks and butterflies.
Some days are going to be gray and overcast. Others will require a lot more shoveling and pruning- we'll probably have to get down on our hands and knees in the dirt and grit. But in the end, there's this picture of a rich marriage to which I cling (Is.58:11-12):
we'll be like a watered garden...
our ruins shall be rebuilt;
we will raise up the foundations of many generations;
we will restore the streets to dwell in.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Turns out, we're the same as all the engaged couples who have gone before us: we hit a wall with the guest list.
As I laid in bed last night, full of ideas and caffeine from a 5-hour road trip, I went over our experience with said list.
I must admit, before I even had a ring on my finger, I created a mock list. "Let's just get an idea!" encouraged my mother. Because of this running start, the process has been largely painless.
To begin, Adam and I utilized Google Docs which allowed us to simultaneously create our individual lists with ridiculous ease. The fact that we could both access the list at any time was beyond helpful. Plus, the autosave feature guaranteed our updates were recorded with no fuss and skipped the frustration that comes when you're a couple who uses both Excel and Numbers applications.
Initially, we each compiled a list which ran side-by-side. For each list, there were 3 columns: # of invitations, Full Name, # in attendance. This allowed us to keep tally of the number of invitations needed; encouraged me to go ahead and properly record the name as it should appear on the envelope; and kept a total head count for the caterer, bartenders, favors, etc.
Tip: Be sure to not factor in children under a certain age if you've reached an agreement with your caterer.
To help organize the chaos and make sure we covered all our social bases, each list was divided into different spheres of interest: Family, Extended Family, Family Friends, Hometown Friends, College Friends, Knoxville Adults, Knoxville Community, Work, etc.
This will look differently for each couple, but identifying the areas/stages of your life helps trigger your thought process as you compile your list.
So, there we had it: our beloved guest list, a true labor of love.
Then the conversations began.
As we kept in communication with our families, we recognized the need to reorder some of our personal priorities and preferences. Because we are having a "smaller" wedding, the natural tension that came with increasing the "Family Friends" category at the expense (both literal and figurative) of any other category was hard to swallow.
With the help of Miss Peggy Post, we're coming to terms with the maintenance required of any guest list. With each step, Adam and I remind each other that on July 16 we're going to be married in the presence of people who undoubtedly love us - and because of that, I have experienced a clean conviction as we make hard decisions.
The decision does not linger and it does not nag. And it does not indicate a wavering friendship or pride/prejudice. It's simply confirmation that we are honoring our parents, we are honoring each other and we are honoring the Lord.
So, as I laid thinking of this list, I also thought of the coffee I drank on the drive home last night. And then it came together in that weird midnight way: you can liken our guest list to a skinny no foam hazelnut latte - my seasonal drink of choice (yay, holiday cups!).
While it's a tall order that receives an occasional roll of the eye... you can't deny it was made with intention and precision. By cutting the foam (thanks, Emmy!), you end up getting more (for what it's worth), and the sugar-free hazelnut keeps it flavorful while being a healthy, slim-and-trim decision.
Yeah, yeah... that's enough, Kate.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Our trip to Virginia is winding down. I'm currently watching Adam and mom play wii tennis.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Last year Kate joined me and my family in Morristown for a feast and now it is my turn. This will be my first Thanksgiving away from home... EVER. I'm sad that I won't be with my family but at the same time excited that I will get to experience the holiday with Kate's family.
I'll be comparing turkey techniques, pie provisions and cranberry sauce craftiness. Just kidding! It's gonna be good.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
You don't get married every day, so every step of the process feels entirely foreign. I'm tempted to not spill any of the beans for fear of it all being a big fat lie. But it's not, and I'm slowly opening up my hands and embracing the reality:
We're getting married on July 16 at the Maple Grove Inn.
Oh, and PS - I was rear-ended this afternoon while running out to buy the 5th edition of Emily/Peggy Post's wedding etiquette book. Pfffffff.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Right now, what gets me more excited than wedding bells is an impending reunion with Sara, my bestie, Adam's secret spy and the illustrious maid of honor. Adam and I will be going to DC this Friday to celebrate Sara's birthday, and it will be the first time we've seen each other since the proposal. I wonder if my parents will continue to let me take Sara on family vacations once I'm married :)
Doesn't she look like she belongs in Tennessee (with me) ?
While I have decided on a dress for myself and my bridesmaids, we have yet to nail down a date and location which makes me feel largely unproductive. However, when I consider what I've truly accomplished and researched, I recognize I'm no slacker.
- The guest list is 98% done
- Invitations have been narrowed down to two possible choices
- Quotes have been received from 2 photographers and 1 videographer
- A revised menu has been submitted to the chef at our desired venue
- Kegs have been price-checked from a local beer market
- Favors have been decided upon
During this entire process I have searched tirelessly to find the one decision that needed to be made in order for everything else to fall into place. Being of such a logistical nature, I was convinced there was going to be a magic order to all of this.
Truth be told, I'm stumped. All I can do is make sound decisions that compliment one another and uphold the values Adam and I have for our wedding.
With that being said, Adam and I value the presence of our family and community. Our wedding will certainly be a celebration of the good work started between the two of us, but it will also be an expression of our gratitude for all those who have loved and labored along with us.
After much conversation and research, I am thrilled to announce that I'm getting married in Knoxville! Although my parents were hesitant to walk their only daughter down the aisle in Tennessee, it has become clear that we're all taken with the Maple Grove Inn, a historic bed and breakfast in West Knoxville. It truly has a Virginia feel in the heart of Tennessee.
In the words of my father, a true Virginia Cavalier, "It is definitely a destination worth traveling to!" Being a retired English teacher, he usually doesn't end his sentences with prepositions, but anything goes these days for the Father of the Bride.
So, stay tuned as the date is announced!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
But that doesn't stop any BTB from taking a picture from every angle! Duh.
Therefore, I have a slew of pictures of myself in the dress I'll be wearing on..... SIKE. We don't have a date. I'm all dressed up with no where to go!
Luckily, I won't be alone. I also purchased my bridesmaid dresses yesterday.
Let's not forget this was on day 8 of engagement. Moreover, the fact that I hadn't even asked anyone to be my bridesmaid. Pfff. I sucked it up and made giggly phone calls in the JCrew parking lot. Not exactly what I was going for... but, ya know.
I went from one emotional high to another as our parents met for the first time last night! But I can barely process that at the moment.
I'm still stuck on the dresses...
p.s. - my dress won't be in until late March or April... so we can at least say the wedding will be after that!
Oh... that was over a week ago... sorry for the delay folks!
Unlike my lovely fiance, I am not the best at keeping up with blogging. This, however, may be my great return to the blogosphere.
The photo above was taken just moments before I popped the question.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
This morning's passage was right on, which, let's be honest, comes as no surprise: Jesus knows what's up.
"This is a time of abundance in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment. I delight in providing it for you.
Sometimes my children hesitate to receive my good gifts with open hands. Feelings of false guilt creep in, telling them they don't deserve to be so richly blessed. This is nonsense-thinking, because no one deserves anything from me. My kingdom is not about earning and deserving, it's about believing and receiving.
When a child of mine balks at accepting my gifts, I am deeply grieved. When you receive my abundant blessings with a grateful heart, I rejoice. My pleasure in giving and your pleasure in receiving flow together in joyous harmony, (Psalm 23:5; John 3:16; Luke 11:9-11; Romans 8:32)."
This served as a simple reminder of how the Lord recognizes and relishes in my joy and excitement as a bride-to-be. Jesus is participating in this process with me -- like my father or like my bridesmaid -- which means He supports me, He'll listen to me and He won't leave my side. But the greater truth is this: it's all from Him... and will remain all His. He has orchestrated this good gift in and between Adam and I, and I'll be forever grateful.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I'm thankful for Adam's family and his relationship with them. It increases my excitement to see my parents on Saturday, and then for the Brimer and Heubach soiree on Monday night! We are merging families; two becoming one.
Today's most exciting happening occurred when Kim at the Georgetown JCrew booked my FIRST bridal consultation for Nov. 26 at 1 pm. Kim made my day (and perhaps has already made my wedding) by allowing me - the one and only "non-emergency" appointment - to be booked on Black Friday.
I feel like what a sparkly sequin must feel like.
This whole dress shopping thing has unfolded in such a sweet manner. Initially, I suggested that my mom and I try to squeeze in some Knoxville appointments this weekend. However, my spirit was immediately uneasy.
Without a date/location (and therefore no conversation with potential bridal party members), buying a dress just seemed out of order. The date and location will certainly influence the style of dress, and moreover, I want to savor and share the shopping experience with pronounced members of my bridal party.
It won't be a perfect experience... I'm not in la-la land here... but I can be intentional in how I go about this.
And I can always hope to be sipping champagne in the dressing room.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Aside from my beloved binder, this sweet little poster is my most favorite homemade wedding item ever. Maybe we'll frame it and display it by the cake table :) :)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Forty-eight hours later and I'm engaged in real time... and fighting the planning bug.
Conveniently, neither Adam nor I had to work the day after the proposal. However, that did not stop me from waking up at 5 am to a stomach full of butterflies and absolutely no frame of reference (sidenote: married girlfriends are such a blessing).
Throughout the day, Adam and I continued to run into simple joys...
- remembering to call each other "fiance"
- signing up for firstname.lastname@example.org (I admit, that was MY joy)
- ecstatically realizing we'll get to register for a new hand mixer - but let's just be honest, it's all or nothing!
- sweetly asking permission before jumping to assumptions
Over lunch today, I purchased a 1.5" bright red binder with 10 pocket divider tabs. Although we've set a three-day no planning grace period, we'll begin a conversation tonight with Carrie Jo to prepare for the 239,847 decisions that lay ahead.
In the words of one dear cousin, "It's not about the cheese tray."
In my own words: One tab down.
Actually, I have eliminated two tabs: Cheese Tray & Get-away Car.
Can I just say.. MY FUTURE FATHER-IN-LAW OWNS AN AUSTIN-HEALEY THAT IS IDENTICAL TO STEVE MARTIN'S IN FATHER OF THE BRIDE.
Oh, sweet mercy. Done and done.
If this is what planning looks & feels like... then, bring it on.