Thursday, November 17, 2011

Finding the Dress

Almost as soon as the hunt began, it was over - and I'm not talking deer hunting here. I'm talking dress shopping. Wedding dress shopping to be exact.

Yes, I've found "the one". The dress that I'll walk down the aisle in to marry "the one". Sounds so silly - but its true. You find that one perfect dress to marry that one perfect man. 

Wedding dress shopping turned out to be a lot different than what I had originally thought. For as much as TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" portrays women sobbing with tears of joy when they find their dress (and for as big of a cry baby as I am...I mean, lets be honest here...) I was SURE that I would be crying when I found it. There were no tears on this end though (at least not the kind of tears you hope for). What I originally had picked out while doing some online and magazine shopping was not at all what I ended up with. (Rachel, Katie, Sarah - you were right!) You think you know (at least I did anyways), but until you start trying these big beautiful dresses on, you don't know. It came down to trying the same style on over and over and really finding one that had all of the details I wanted, was the right price, and made me feel the best. When I saw it - I just knew.

At least I thought I knew...until the next day when I decided I would continue to do a little more browsing online, found about 10 more dresses I wanted to try on, had a complete case of buyer's remorse and broke down in tears. Yeah....these are the tears that I shed. They don't show you anything like this on "Say Yes to the Dress"!!!

Anyways, everything is fine now. The dress is beautiful and I know I will fall in love with all over again when it arrives and fits correctly.

In other wedding planning news, our engagement pictures came back yesterday!! I love how they turned out and they will look fantastic on our Christmas card this year. Keely's work is amazing. She's very talented and I would recommend her to anyone. I was nervous about how the ones with Eddie would turn out. He was not the most well-behaved animal that day and it took a lot of patience and talent to capture those moments, but she did and I think they look great. For those of you that are extremely curious, you can check out the photos hereThe password is 091512.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pepper the Wonder Dog

I started writing this entry with the intent of sharing a few stories about Eddie and how he always brightens my day. I then got to thinking about family pets in general...which got me to thinking about my family's pets...which lead me to write a little somethin' somethin' about our first family pet, Pepper. (Don't worry - I have plenty of Eddie stories to share another time)

I've always considered myself a dog person. Maybe its because my family has always had a pet dog in our lives or perhaps its because I can't really stand cats (shhhhhh - don't tell Chris. Kidding. He's well aware). When I was little, our family dog was a big black mutt named Pepper. Pepper was born on one of the many farms on the outskirts of Sauk Centre. The family that owned the mother gave the entire litter away. We weren't even sure what breed or mix of breeds she was, but we did know one thing - she was perfect for our family - a family that had 3 young children (and another that would join us a few years later). Pepper was just happy to have us in her life and we were happy to have her. That dog would do everything and go everywhere with us - even when we didn't want her to. She would run along side us as we rode our sleds down the huge hill behind our house in the winter. She would come and greet us as we got off the bus from school. She would follow us when we rode our bikes uptown and wait for us outside of the store. Growing up in a small town, it seemed as though everyone knew who she was, so she could get away with this.

One of the funnier memories I have of her was when I thought it would be a good idea to tie her leash up to our little red wagon and have her pull my younger brother Shane (who at the time was about 2 or 3 years old) and his friend Collin behind her - sort of a like a little horse and buggy, except it was dog and little red wagon. Sounds cute right? It was cute.....until she saw something that apparantly she just HAD to have and took off running, wagon and 2 small children in tow behind her with me running frantically behind them yelling at her to stop. I can't even recall what she was running after. She only made it a few blocks until the wagon finally ended up tipping over on the grass with the 2 boy spilling out on the lawn. (Just as a side note - no injuries occurred from this little mishap, probably just a couple dirty diapers because I'm sure I literally scared the sh*t out of those 2 little boys. I'm also sure that I'll get a call from my mom after she reads this asking what in God's name was I thinking? I don't know mom - I was probably tired of pulling the wagon).

Pepper did have one downfall. She had a love of chasing cars - a love that got her into a bit of trouble when she got too close one day and a truck ran over her right rear leg. For those of you that know my mom - ask her to tell you that story sometime. :) Even though it was traumatic at the time, it does have some laughable parts when we talk about it today. And the way my mom tells it, you can't help but chuckle. Pepper was a survivor, and though that truck might have taken her leg that day, it didn't take her from us! My parents made the decision to amputate her hind leg and she lived for another 8 years :)

I was a senior (I think) in high school, when it was came time put her down. She was 16 years old, arthritic, deaf and partially blind. It was just her time to go. Its never an easy choice to make when you have to put down a family pet, because they really do become a part of your family. It hit each of us pretty hard. Wow - I still get a little teary-eyed thinking about it. Oh, who am I kidding...I get teary eyed from any story about a family pet that's only got a short while to live. Marley and Me....can't make it through that movie without sobbing hysterically. Then, there is a local pet photographer, Sara Beth Photography whose blogs I follow. She does special pet photography sessions called Joy Sessions. These are basically photo shoots for pets that only have a few weeks left to live. I can't make it through the first few pictures without my eyes watering up.What can I say?? I've got a soft spot in my heart for family pets.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Go Bison

2 words - Bison Win!!

Although I'm not an avid football fan (Chris can definitely attest to this) and I don't follow any 1 football team regularly, I do and always will hold a place in my heart for the Bison. They are after all my alma mater.

NDSU fans invaded Minneapolis (to the tune of 10,000+ fans) to watch the Bison defeat the Gophers this weekend, 37-24. It was a fun game - and although we were probably outnumbered in the stadium you wouldn't have known it by the level of noise that NDSU fans can produce.

You can't have a football game without some tailgating either. This, I have to admit, was even more fun than the game itself. I was able to meet up with and talk to some of my old college friends that I haven't seen or talked to in such a long time.

Jill and Abbie - 2 of my KD's
Kayla and I - self portraits are immensely hard to take with a huge SLR camera...
Kayla and her man - Kranda
Jason and his g/f Emily. 
After tailgating it was time to get our game faces on (GFO as I like to call it sometimes). TCF Stadium is an awesome stadium - but it would be even more awesome if they would serve me a beer or 2 during the games....I'm just sayin'... :)

Yes, we were fairly high up, but it didn't seem to bother anybody. The herd took home the victory and it was a proud moment for every Bison fan. Chris just smirks and shakes his head at me every time I bring it up. He happens to be a HUGE Badger football fan (University of WI, Madison). He also smirks because the Gophers are the worst team in the Big 10 conference right now so to him, beating the Gophers is no huge feat. Whatevs dude. I'm proud of my Bison!!!

This weekend is NDSU's homecoming and I will actually be attending this year!! I can't even recall the last time I was back to Fargo. Probably since the last time I went to Homecoming - 2008 I think?? Anywho - can't wait!! More friend reunions and visits to our old stomping grounds. Turf burger and cheese curds anyone? 

Things are going stupendous on the wedding front! I think I've snagged a couple more steals for wedding decor off of Craig's List and I'm (and by I, I mean we) narrowing down the choices for a photographer. I would really like to get some engagement pictures in before the fall colors disappear and we find ourselves in the drudge of winter. OH!! And I've found thee most beautiful necklace to wear on the big day too. I'm SO in love with it. Can't wait!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The little brother's nuptials

So last weekend came and boy did it FLY by. My younger brother Christopher and his now wife Kayte were married. It was a great day for a wedding and everyone had a wonderful time. They had the ceremony at a super cute little church at a local college campus and the reception at the Profile Event Center near the U of M.

I wish I had hundreds of photos to share, unfortunately I was running around like a crazy woman all day dealing with hairdo fiascos and flower arrangement "oops's" to take any pictures. I don't think Chris and I even got a picture together all day :(

By the time the ceremony was over and my bridesmaid/florist/sister-of-the-groom duties were over, I was so exhausted I couldn't have cared less about where the photographer was. All I wanted was a BIG glass of red wine and a chair :) The professional photographer snapped some really cute pictures though!

So you may be wondering about the whole "florist??" thing. My future mother-in-law Ann agreed to help me do the flowers for their wedding. Rest assured I didn't just sit down one day and say to myself.....hmmm, I think I'll do the flowers for Chris and Kayte's wedding. No no no....I worked in a flower shop during my days at NDSU so I had quite a bit of experience with it. Between my experience and Ann's amazing creativity and design work, the flowers turned out absolutely beautiful!! I did manage to snap a few photos on Friday while we were designing them, but unfortunately didn't get as many as I would have liked to. Here are a few:
Program Table Bouquet
Flower Girl Headpiece
Table Centerpiece
Memorial Bouquet
And of course - who can resist the star of the show ;)

My niece Riley
I'm kidding obviously (who can resist that face though??). Here are the real stars of the show!


As fun as the wedding was, I'm breathing a sigh of relief that my florist duties are over. It was fun, but I don't think I'll be taking up a full time job doing that any time soon. 

OH!! And I almost forgot the most important part. There was NO dancing in a bucket for this girl!! Ha!! Someone forgot all about it (or perhaps was too caught up in the fact that he was now married and surrounded by all of his family and friends) so the bucket dance didn't happen :) 

Looking forward to this weekend!! NDSU (my alma mater) is playing the U of M in football. They have played twice in the past and are tied at one win a piece so this game is kind of a big deal. They aren't in the same conference so its almost like its a treat to the fans when these two teams get to meet up and play. I'm excited to see some familiar faces down here and of course to do some tailgating! GO HERD!! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

1st official blog!

Well hello there!

My very first official blog! Wow. Feels like I'm a little late to the party on creating one for myself. I didn't realize how popular these things were until I started in on my (our) weddings plans. I now find myself immersed in the world of blogs. I have found countless ones to follow on some of my favorite topics (cooking/baking, organizing, DIY projects - even though I'm totally not a do-it-myself kind of gal - I just like seeing the before and after photos then sitting and pondering why I'm not talented enough to pull any of those kind of projects off) along with being able to keep up with a few of my gal pals through their blogs.

So, I'm starting this thing seems kind of like the thing to do ;) Kidding. No really - I'm starting it for a variety of reasons. 1. Its a way to share my thoughts and opinions to the rest of world - almost like keeping a journal of sorts I guess. 2. Its a great way to share my wedding planning ideas 3. Its one of the best ways to let family and friends know whats going on in our little life :) You'll hear me tell stories of family outings, planning for our big day and things our crazy puppy Eddie does. Speaking of Eddie...

Well, where to begin? Lets start with one of the greatest things to have ever happened to me. Getting engaged! Woo HOO!! Yep, Chris and I got engaged this past summer. June 17th - the same weekend I ran my first (and perhaps last) half marathon - Grandma's Marathon in Duluth. We both took a half day at work, packed up the car and little Edward, and headed up to Duluth on a Friday afternoon. We actually stayed in Two Harbors where the marathon started (the half marathon started at the half point of the marathon - go figure right?). The race was at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning. We got to Two Harbors around 3:00 and had some time to kill. Chris was adamant on checking out Gooseberry Falls since he'd never seen it, so we got back in the car and drove up the north shore to the falls. Eddie absolutely loved it. Lots of areas to walk around, chipmunks to chase and water to drink. I have to let you know, that I had a feeling the big question was coming sometime in the near future - but I had no idea he would have picked this weekend to do it. He sure surprised me though! As were walking over one of the bridges, he stopped me, got down on a knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. (Awww....goosebumps). We got a bit of an applause and a few congratulations from the passers-by. It was such a happy moment and I couldn't have asked for anything better.

We went and had a celebratory dinner then headed back the hotel. My parents and younger brother arrived shortly after. Chris and Eddie decided they wanted to rough it for the night and headed out to set up their campsite. I, on the other hand, needed a good nights sleep for the big race the next day. I wanted to wait to tell them the big news until Chris and I were together after the race. Keeping the news wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. My nerves were starting to get to me about the race as I was thinking mostly about that. After not the best nights sleep I've ever gotten, I got up around 4:30 the next morning, ate a little breakfast and got on the bus to get dropped off at the start line. Oh. My. God. - I've never seen so many people shoved inside such a small vicinity of space. And double Oh. My. God. - was it ever cold out. And rainy. And miserable. It was right next to the shore of Lake Superior and between the wind from the lake and the rain from above - my teeth were chattering so hard I was sure I was going to chip a tooth.

When the gun (finally) went off - it took me 2.5 minutes just to run up to the official start line. After that, people started to spread out quite a bit and I set my pace. Just so you know - during my training for this, I never ran more than 7 miles during any run. So naturally, the first 7 miles were a breeze. Miles 8 and 9 were o.k. too. Mile 10 hit me hard though. A huge wave of  "tiredness" for lack of better term hit me and I almost stopped to walk for a a while. I didn't though. I kept running. Through the pain in my calves, my thighs, and sciatic nerve. Through my sadness when I realized I hadn't seen Chris or any of my family so far, and at this point I didn't think I was going to see them until the end. I kept seeing other runners with family or friends cheering them on along the way. I would scan the crowds constantly looking for a familiar face, but nothing - so that was a little hard (had I actually seen my mom, dad, Chris, Shane or even Eddie - I'm pretty sure the waterworks would have commenced so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise). There were some laughable points during the race which helped. People handing out shots of beer. Men dressed in ridiculous gorilla costumes high-fiving the runners. And some of the fans cheering and saying - "only (insert any number 1-13 here) miles to go!!" Right. Just that many more miles to go on top of the how many I've already done.

Nearing the finish line I was SO bummed that I hadn't seen a single person I knew. Then out of nowhere I heard "THERE SHE IS!! STACY!!" It was my mom who had spotted me. I had already ran past them, but turned just in time to see Eddie's little head popping out of Chris's sweatshirt (because it was SO cold) and the rest of family cheering me on as I crossed the finish life. I can still see them all standing there in the crowd and it still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. Mile 13 felt like it was never going to end, but it did and 2:27:33 after I passed the start line - I had finished my first half marathon. I was proud of the accomplishment. The time it took me to run the race was exactly where I thought I would be. I remember saying to myself - there's no amount of money you could pay me to turn around and run another 13 miles. I don't know how marathoners do it.

We went to lunch afterwards where Chris and I shared our big news! I had put the ring in my wallet in my purse and given my purse to my mom telling...her to "guard this with your life". I secretly put the ring on during lunch, told them Chris and I had some news to share and proudly displayed to them my beautifully blinged out left ring finger. Dad smiled - Mom shed a tear or two and Shane in all his wisdom summed it up well when he said "Cool!".

Isn't it pretty?? He done well I say.

We've gotten as far as picking a venue and setting a date. (9.15.2012 in Sauk Centre, MN where I grew up).

This weekend we are celebrating the marriage of my younger brother Chris to his fiance' Kayte. Although I'm looking forward to it, I'm not looking forward to this idea of having to partake in the age old tradition of dancing in a bucket. Apparantly, when a younger sibling gets married before you (as if that isn't embarrassing enough) you must then embarrass yourself further by dancing in a bucket in front of the entire reception. Wonderful.We'll see if that happens. Maybe I'll just disappear when it comes time for that. The groom's dinner is tonight at my older brother Jason and his wife Kristy's house. Tomorrow will be the rehearsal and Saturday is the big day.

One year until we'll be doing this all over again for Chris and I!!